Bright hope for Bernie

Missionaries to the Nahuatl people have reached an exciting stage of their ministry.

Bernardina married into a large family. She and her husband live, along with his parents, nine siblings and their six small children, in the village where missionary Katie Moore lives and ministers to the Nahuatl people.

“Bernie,” as Katie calls her, started to work with Katie on the Nahuatl language about a year ago. She comes weekly to visit at Katie’s house along with her two little boys.

“While the boys stuff themselves with almonds, bananas and animal crackers, Bernie and I dig into studying Nahuatl,” Katie says. “She has been a huge blessing to me. She is bright, understands language drills and can now read and write in her own language after just a few quick cross-over lessons from Spanish.”

Being extremely shy, it took Bernie a while to get to know and feel at ease with Katie. But now, Katie says, “I appreciate her quiet sense of humor and her sharp intellect as well as her patience with her children.”

As Bernie shares insights with Katie about her culture, her ambivalence begins to show when she talks about Nahuatl religious traditions. It is easy to see her fear, too, that there might be some truth in some of the old ways and superstitions.

“She is doubtful,” Katie explains, “but goes along with things because, as she often says, ‘Who can know if it is true or not?’”

Katie and her co-workers have a great hope for Bernie and for her people. The missionary team has spent several years studying the culture and language of their Nahuatl friends. In the process, they have learned to love these people who have lived and toiled and struggled so hard and so long without hearing, in their own heart language, God’s message of deliverance from fear and hopelessness.

Last week, after language capability evaluations, it was determined that the missionary team had reached a level of expertise in the Nahuatl language that will allow them to soon begin working on literacy materials, translation and preparation of chronological Bible lessons.

This stage of their ministry brings them unanimous joy. It’s the next step in getting ready to share with the Nahuatl people, in their own heart language, the hope and redemption in Jesus that has the grace and power to finally release them from the terrors that have plagued and ruled their village for generations.

“I can’t wait until Bernie will be reading the Word of God in her own language!” Katie writes joyfully. “We are so grateful to God for getting us this far and can’t wait for the next chapter of His Nahuatl story!”

Pray for the Nahuatl team as they work on literacy and translation to the end of sharing the gospel in the Nahuatl village where they live. Pray for Bernie and others of her people, that God will begin to prepare their hearts by His Spirit to hear and embrace His Word and the Good News about Jesus that it brings to them.