Devastation in Oaxaca among unreached people groups
Dear praying friends,
It is with a heavy heart and a torrent of tears that we bring news of devastation in Oaxaca. Our hearts are aching and grieving for one particular people group that we have prayed for for many many years. Just a few weeks ago we shared how the translated New Testament was finally being recorded for the Mixe people of Tlauhui, and how we still want to see this unreached people group come to salvation in Christ.
Sadly it is too late for perhaps 1000 of these people who are presumed dead after mudslides washed their homes away last night as they slept. I am sitting here literally sobbing for those who are inevitably beginning their eternity of suffering and anguish without Christ. How is it possible that there are no known believers in that region after all these years? I pray that we are mistaken. Please join us in fervent prayer that the survivors' hearts would be softened to the gospel, and that physical help would reach them soon (roads are completely impassable for now), and that we can complete formatting the New Testament to be distributed to the Mixe of Tlauhui. Maybe this situation will open the door to ministry where we were forbidden to go before. That is our prayer.
May God have mercy on these people who have remained fiercely resistant to the Good News which is their only hope in these dark times.
Here is a link to the news we just received: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39398543/ns/world_news-americas
Yesterday we visited with our neighbor, Juan, a Chinantec pastor many short-term teams have worked with or at least prayed with in the past. His people, too, are isolated by mudslides, and food and supplies cannot reach them. The old landing field is overgrown with weeds, so no airplanes can reach them. Also the Mexican arm of MAF, Alas de Socorro (Wings of Help), has no permission to fly for now. Please pray that the officials would restore their papers so that help might be at least air-dropped to those in need.
Another area we have invested in is the Mixe region of Atitlan, where several teams have ministered in recent years with medical outreaches, showing the Jesus film, and Megavoice distribution. As far as we know, they are cut off from help as well. Please pray for a miracle that their food supplies would hold out. Their crops have all been washed away. It is truly a desperate time for so many we have worked with.
For us it remains simply a laundry problem since we rely on solar-powered (clothes line) dryers. It is almost inconceivable that these unrelenting rains have caused so much devastation. We are fine where we live. Jonny refused to take a shower yesterday afternoon, firmly expecting to get a phone call from neighbors needing help once their houses began to flood. It had rained non-stop for over 24 hours, and we expected the homes further down the road to be in trouble.
In the night, I slept fitfully as the rains continued, having a very uneasy feeling about the plight of the folks living on hillsides in surrounding villages. I am in agony now, realizing my fears had become a reality. I dreamed about this.
Bless you as you stand with us in faithful prayer. Thank you for passing this along to your churches and prayer groups. We will let you know if there is anything you can do to help in a more physical way. For now, please just pray.
Partners in reaching the unreached, Jim and Jamie Loker
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End note: As of now the news is reporting a much more optimistic view of the actual number of dead. PRAISE GOD! May this be a catalyst of opening formerly closed doors to this area and people group.