Well, since we transitioned out of the tribal village and back into the city (temporarily and possibly permanently) I've been working on maintenance and construction around the mission property keeping everything running and functional. I've also had the chance to work on IT for the field and improve some of our setups for networks and video conferencing. (I know, this is riveting stuff!) But one of the projects I've spent the most time on and that I've been most excited about is that I've been helping the Husband family design and plan for the house they will build when they move into one of the tribal works here in Mexico. Jordan and I have been planning out every detail of the house build and I've been working hard on calculating every bit of material that we're going to need. It looks like we're finally coming to the end of the planning process with the blueprints done and all the calculations double checked, and so we're starting to plan our trips out to the village to work on construction. Jordan is contacting some of his supporting churches to set up work teams to come and do the framing and there is a team from the mission here in Chihuahua that is going to do the concrete work (what's not already done anyway). Right now our plans are that Jordan and I will leave Chihuahua around the beginning of March and spend the whole month plus a good portion of April in the tribe working on construction. Then after about a week back at home we're planning on being out there from late April until just before the field conference the last week of May. It's going to be a challenging time in some ways with lots of hard work and limited water as well as makeshift accommodations, but I'm excited to see all this work come together.
Today I set up my tent in the back yard to test it and see if I'm missing anything. So far I've thought of a few details but it's looking like it will be adequate for the months I'm going to live in it. I even have the worlds smallest solar electric system complete with panel, charge controller, battery, and inverter so that I can charge my phone and laptop for the occasional email and keep my light on. Here are some pics of my tent. Let me know if there's anything I'm missing or if there's anything you really were glad you had when you were camping. (there's an outhouse nearby where we'll set up our tents)
As most of you know we moved out into a tribal location this year and have been there for the last few months getting settled and starting in culture and language study.
In the few months we were out in the village we were met with a bit of a shock, we discovered that despite taking precautions, the Lord was adding another child to our family! We have taken our time adjusting to this idea of another baby, and although we are excited, we have been a bit overwhelmed at the thought. Our time in the tribe was met with blow after blow, sickness, running out of water, pregnancy nausea, and the news that we would be losing our co-workers for a time.
It was almost ten years ago that we first began pursuing missions and tribal church planting, we remain committed to expanding the reach of the gospel, but as it turns out, at least for the time being, our part in the task will look different. Our family is expanding and it seems clear to us that the Lord would have us make some changes for the health and well being of our family.
And so our decision at this point is to stay out of the tribe for the pregnancy and also to take time to recover and adjust to being a family of 6. During this time Don will take a full time role in a support ministry here in Mexico and Chrissy will focus on taking care of the family and will fill in where she can for the field. There is so much to do for the mission in regards to support roles, and we’ll do what we can to help improve our support structure as a mission, but within a year or a few years we plan to reevaluate whether we can move back into the village. We may find it will work for us to return once our children are a little bigger, or we may find that the best use of our gifts and talents are in a support ministry and we may stay in that role permanently, we will be seeking the Lord about where He would have us and maybe someday He will take us back to the Guarijío.
Making this decision to leave was so much harder for us than making the decision to go there in the first place. But we know that each job is important, from prayer and financial support, to the trainers, to the staff at headquarters, to the support in country, to the tribal missionaries themselves, to seeing the gospel go out to the unreached and we just want to be a link in the chain. We are excited to see how we can be used at the support level to help expand the reach of the gospel in Mexico. We’re not sure exactly what it will look like day to day yet, but given Don’s experience with maintenance and construction he’ll probably serve in that area, along with possibly helping another family build their house in a tribal location, and proving some IT support for the field. All of these jobs, no matter how big or how small are important to help keep the field running and in order for the missionaries out in the tribes to be able to stay they require a support structure of missionaries working together.
This was not what we were planning, and we’ve invested a lot in making our house in the mountains ready for us to live in and minister from. The good news is that it’s not a loss. We as a team were hoping for another couple to join us out there someday and so whether we end up going back someday or not, we are planning to leave the house ready for new missionaries to move into so that they won’t have to buy panels, or batteries, or some of the basic supplies needed for life out there...etc.
We hope to occasionally make some visits out to the tribe while we are in this support role and continue the relationships we have begun and also encourage the believers there. If you would like to, you could specifically be praying for the salvation of some of the people we were able to spend a considerable amount of time with. Noe, Maria, Sergio, Manuel, Rosaura, Nayeli and Anita as well as the entire village of Chiltepín.
Thank you for your prayers and support through this time of change!
-Don, Chrissy, Lily, Ruth, Eli and Baby Chubb #4
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Well, we've been settling into our house in the tribe since February 26 and it seems like the dust is finally settling. We still have a bunch of boxes to unpack and we're hoping to finish patching and painting a few rooms but all in all it's going well. One of the larger projects we wanted to do the house was updating the solar panels and batteries along with some other solar equipment. Now that it's finally all set up (took me a few days to set it all up and equalize my batteries), I can focus on the rest of the house. Here are some pictures of taking down the old panels and putting up the new ones.
|Cutting the frame off the old panels|
|Vicente helped me lift the new ones into place|
|This is our battery closet. Looks like spaghetti right?|
|2 sets of 2 6V batteries in series, in parallel, charge controller, and inverter. Fun stuff|