Journal; May 11,2000
Thursday night Armando had to work, and could not go with us. Ella and I went to a small camp called "Maria del Carmen" where for several years we have encountered mostly Triqui people from Copala. This year, there were no Triqui people at all, but nearly everyone there was of a Mixteco group near the coast, and near the border of Oaxaca and Guerrero. Even the men and children did not speak much Spanish, and although we have a cassette that comes close to their way of speaking, it is probably not quite right for them. But we were unable to make them cassettes in any event, for lack of a copier. Using a Spanish movie with such a group is almost useless - they just wouldn't understand it. And we have no Indian language movies in the Mixteco of anywhere near that region. But at last, in talking with one of the men who could talk a little more Spanish, we decided to show the Jesus Movie in the Mixteco of Silacayoapan. They couldn't understand all of it, but could understand it a great deal better than Spanish. It is a very small camp - out of about 20 people there, we had an audience of 15 or so.
More than fifty of these Indian language movies are available now for various Indian languages of Mexico, but we have only been able to purchase nine. A few of these we have been able to place with Indian Christians who will use them to evangelize their own people. And often we have used them in camps that were predominantly of one Indian language.
Friday night we started earlier than usual, in order to go to a more distant camp. An hour of driving over desert hiway full of chuckholes brought us to Campo Los Arroyos. The young man in the office did not feel that he had the authority to give us permission to show a movie in the camp, so he called his superior, who said that he would be back in half an hour. I was beginning to worry inwardly that if we waited half an hour, and then were denied permission, it would be too late to find another camp, when the young man in the office mentioned another nearby camp belonging to the same company. He called it "El Campito" ("The Little Camp"), but said that their were more people there, than in the one where we were, and he was suggesting that we go there instead. I didn't have to be told twice! El Campito has about 300 people, and the only electric power is from a power plant for an hour or so in the evening. Our system is independent of the camps power, so our TV screen was the brightest light in the camp. About 200 people came to see the short version of the Jesus movie, and of those, more than half responded enthusiastically to an invitation to receive hrist as Savior and Lord. Of those some were already in the family, and were richly blessed and warmed in the ambience of the Word of God. Others were from areas where the gospel has seldom or never been preached, and some were of Indian languages. We gave to every interested individual a copy of John/Romans (Reyna Valera translation - similar to King James, but in Spanish), And I spent a little time emphasizing our need as children of God to learn from the word of God. But nine o'clock came too early, and we had to get out of the camp. We look forward to another visit there sometime in the next few weeks.
Daytimes are already so hot that it is very difficult to be outside (especially in the afternoon) for more than a little while at a time. I have used the daylight hours now for several days working toward getting our website organized and working properly. I think it's about there.
Saturday, May 13, 2000. We visited again the Triqui neighborhood that we mentioned in our last letter. Although we cannot make cassettes, we discovered that we do have a limited supply of pre-recorded Triqui language cassettes (and a few other languages) for distribution. We placed a couple of these with two quite monolingual women. We have a short movie (put out by "Scriptures in Use") in the Triqui language of Copala. It is the story of the "Good Samaritan" using Triqui actors, and scenery. And we have the "JESUS" movie in the same Indian language. About twenty-five people stood or sat on the ground or buckets for more than two hours to watch these two movies. When the audience is mostly of an Indian language, I seldom give an invitation at the first opportunity. Instead I summarize briefly with an emphasis on the need to carefully consider what this true story of Jesus should mean in each of our lives. And I encourage them to talk about it among themselves. It is true that I could probably get them to "make a decision" on the spot, but in the context of their tribal way of thinking, it will be more effective to allow some time for them to consider together the claims of Christ. Some individuals have already made their decision to follow Christ, and if given a while to discuss it they may be able to persuade more of their people to the same decision.
Sunday night we stayed for fellowship with the local church here in Carrillo Marcor. Monday I went out in the morning exploring some areas that we have not visited for several years. This area is huge, and there is room and need for lots of workers in the Kings harvest, but there are few workers. In the afternoon Mike Lincourt arrived from Los Angeles for a short visit. What a tragedy that the people who call Jesus "Lord" can find the wherewithal to build more temples in competition with other temples, while needed and effective personnel like Mike are compelled to return to secular jobs in the USA for lack of support! If you find it in your heart to defend your decision to support the building of a temple while there are in the world people who have not heard the gospel, please check your own New Testament! I challenge you to find a single command or example in the New Testament for the buying or building or beautifying of any sort of building as a house of worship by the followers of Jesus. And yet there are repeated commands, and examples for the preaching of the gospel to every creature. It would seem logical and right to do what He plainly said to do before we proceed with what merely seems convenient to us. Either that, or we should cease to call Him "Lord"! And stop pretending that our 'steeple houses' are in any sense "houses of God"!
I spent most of Tuesday with Mike Lincourt. His friend of many years, Duane Grasman (director for Latin America of Operation Mobilization) lives here in Hermosillo. Several worthwhile things developed. For one thing, Mike was able to assemble (master, cable and slave) his cassette copier which he has lent to us for this season. (But see next paragraph). AND Duane Grasman has just finished a three-day mission conference in Hermosillo, and thinks that there is interest to get together a team for work in the camps! We will be expecting him to arrive Sunday night with a team of Christians from Hermosillo to go to some of these areas with us. - Perhaps through the remainder of this season. Pray with us that some hearts will be touched to continue. Also Brother Duane allowed me to connect my computer through his Internet account to work on our web site. I still have a ways to go on that, but it is getting more important since more and more people are visiting it.
In a previous letter I mentioned that we had two small (one on one) cassette copiers that I left in Culiacan as loaners, and then could not find when I went down there for them. Thank the Lord, they have been found, and are probably on their way to us as I type this. They were stored in a mobile home belonging to some fellow missionaries. These "one on one" copiers are adequate for the small camps here in the North. We will still need to purchase a "three on one" copier for the larger needs of this work.
Wednesday, I took the VW to the shop to get the radiator cleaned out because of overheating problems. Wednesday evening Ella and I went to a small camp called "La Pollera". One of the first individuals I talked to was a Mayo Indian man whose first question to me was "Do you have cassette tapes?" It seems that he had received a cassette tape in Mayo a year ago in one of the camps, and had lent it out, and never got it back. Now we will be able to fill that need. Praise the Lord!
An inexpensive supplier of quality cassette tapes has been found in Mexico City. Which eliminates the problem of transporting them across the line. But this is a bulk supplier, and we need to get started ordering tapes for future outreaches. Our cost at last accounting was less than forty dollars per hundred (including individual plastic boxes). Booklets of John/Romans have been provided in quantity by Prensa Bautista Victoria, and they have also provided some New Testaments. More New Testaments are still needed, but especially Bibles. Although our target group is largely illiterate, we meet and minister to large numbers of people who can read also. In addition, I like to carry reading glasses, which I sell at cost. Large print Spanish Bibles are very costly, and the reading glasses makes them largely unnecessary.
Thursday night brother Sotero and his wife (our hosts) took their own car, and went with us to Campo Capitan for the second visit this season. Sotero preached, and about 35 or 40 people responded to an invitation to participate in the Life that Jesus offers. We distributed 14 audiocassettes in 7 languages. We are meeting a number of people from a corner of Oaxaca that, it seems, speak a version of Mixteco not yet recorded. We met them again last night (Fri. May 19) in Campo Teresa. After extensive trials, we concluded that the nearest that we have for them is a recording made in the State of Guerrero, and we left them 7 of those cassettes. Cassette evangelism is really essential in these cases, because the people cannot communicate well in any language other than their own.
A group of Christians from Hermosillo have expressed an interest in visiting the camps with us Sunday night. We expect them about 5:30 PM, and we will go to an area that in a nearby village where there are many Indian people. We are only about five hours from Nogales, Arizona. Arizona Christians or those who are traveling in Arizona are invited to join us any day and participate with us. We are at village 45 Kilometers West of Hermosillo called Ejido Carillo Marcor. Most days we can be reached by telephone through our hosts. The number is: (62) 72-23-24. To dial direct from the USA, dial 01152 first. Our hosts do not speak English, but will call us if you ask for Dave or Ella McMullen.
I'm going to try to get this on the wire Sunday morning.Yours for Him, Dave & Ella McMullen
© Dave & Ella McMullen, 2001