Who we are and what we do:
Julie and I are independent missionaries who live in the city of San Cristobal, Chiapas Mexico with our daughters Cloe, Gabi and Brennah. We have been called by Christ to work with an existing team of audio/visional technicians. We work with various translation groups to edit existing Christian films into the local vernacular of indigenous people. Also we record audio material and develop written tools for indigenous groups that don't have a missionary currently working with them. We are under the authority of our home church, Redeemer Baptist church of Aurora, Colorado. In addition, we provide logistic support services to various evangelical short term mission teams, i.e. cultural knowledge, transportation, housing, food prep, and interpreters. Julie has a vision to start organizing support for other missionary wives in the San Cristobal area.
Our goal is to provide at least one evangelistic film in every language of Mexico so that every indigenous person may be exposed to the Gospel message in their own heart language. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Additionaly we aim at seeing translated written Bibles recorded in an audio format for use with illiterate people.
Indigenous Linguistic Demographic of Mexico:
About 103 million Spanish speakers live in Mexico. Around 270 indigenous languages are spoken here and these represent about 6 million people (compared to 162 languages spoken in the USA). There are also communities where Japanese, Chinese, English, German and Arabic are spoken. The Indians of Mexico are primarily farmers and shepherds, most of the time they don’t read any language (their own or Spanish) and they usually only speak a trade level of Spanish example hello, good bye, how much? Etc. This level of Spanish does not lend itself to evangelism since heart issues like repentance and salvation must be communicated in their heart language to be correctly understood.
Methods for Communication in Mexico:
There are two methods of communicating to an illiterate monolingual:
First and best, another human being preaches the Gospel. Usually this is an indigenous Christian who speaks their language, has a heart for his people and the gift of evangelism. Problem: There are not enough “heart language speaking” evangelists in these languages and training more is still in the works.
So we come to the second choice, anyone who knows how to push the play button shows a “Jesus” film in their language. With this method we can see mass distribution of the same message in an intelligible format that requires very little education. Another advantage is how novel this is in the villages these films are shown in. Often this is the first and only film they have ever seen especially in their own language. It could be about how to break rocks and they would be riveted. Also this method often poses far less of a persecution risk than the open preaching of the gospel in the closed areas of Mexico.
Besides the Jesus film there are many other tools we are using to spread the gospel message. You can see our Projects page for more info.
Our team has been working in Mexico since 1987. There are hundreds of evangelical Christian groups working in Mexico. We work closely with the following.
Global Encounters www.globalencounter.net
Chiapas Ministries www.chiapasministries.com
Campus Crusade for Christ http://www.ccci.org/
Open Doors http://www.opendoorsusa.org
Summer Institute of Linguistics http://www.sil.org/
Reformed Church of America http://www.rca.org
Institute in Basic Life Principles http://iblp.org
Character First! http://www.characterfirst.com/
JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) http://www.jaars.org/whatwedo/vms
Of the 270 total languages in Mexico, 94 have had some evangelistic video produced and now made available for distribution from our office. (Jesus, Luke or Pilgrims Progress) This leaves about 170 major language groups still untouched. After getting at least one form of evangelistic tool we would also like to see some form of discipleship tool produced in every language as well.
Our team distributes about 2000 DVDs or VHS items per year from our office. A conservative estimate is that our current library has the potential of reaching 2.1 million people with the proper distribution. If we could finish another 150 languages we could possibly be reaching 3.6 million more persons. (All census numbers are from year 2005 surveys.) We are distributing audio CDs of the NT in Zoque and Ch'ol here in Chiapas. Every filter installed through the PWP includes a written and audio portions of the NT in the local language along with a study guide.
$1500 per month would allow us (Nathan and Julie) to work in San Cristobal full time. (our current support is around $1200 monthly) for more details on our needs click here.
$2000 per video project. There is a $1000 fee for every language we dub this mainly covers royalties.