Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Until Last Week

Today is my dad’s birthday. It’s been eight years this week since he died unexpectedly, and I still miss him. I’ll never forget those tears of anguish when I heard the news of his death, how I cried inconsolably for hours. I haven’t cried that hard since then, until last week.

For all these years I have often lamented that I have no ministry outside the home. However one thing I take very seriously is prayer, which I can do from home. I love hosting short-term teams partly because I am more actively involved in the ministry, but mostly because I know I can recruit a few more prayer partners.

There is one unreached people group not far from where we live that has been on my prayer list for many years. I remember recruiting a prayer team back in 1999 and asking them specifically to target this group for prayer, that God would open the doors for ministry to the Mixe of Tlahuitoltepec.

That’s a hard name to pronounce, let alone remember, and I often wondered if people were still praying for Tlahui. I sent an email prayer update in September, rejoicing that we have finally found someone (an unbeliever) to help us record the Mixe New Testament for the non-literate people of Tlahui.

Tuesday, September 28, I awoke after a fitful night of attempted sleep, having had nightmares about villages being washed away by the non-stop rain of the prior few days and weeks. Later in the morning, my husband showed me the Internet news about a tragic mudslide that had washed at least 100 homes down the mountain in Tlahuitoltepec.

How can that be? After all my years of prayer, to think of 1000 souls (as the paper predicted) facing eternity without knowing the Lord, I just bawled. My family didn’t know what to think, but I would not be consoled. I wanted so badly to go back to bed and wake up to discover it was all a bad dream. Like the day my dad died.

Instead I sent an urgent email prayer request, which soon got forwarded all over the globe, especially once I posted it on my Facebook page. We even got a call from Mission Network News, who interviewed my husband and broadcast the prayer needs for Tlahui across Christian radio stations in the U.S.

Later in the evening we read updated news reporting that it had been a mistake. Only 11 lives were lost, not 500-1000. What a crazy thing! Only God could orchestrate the events, creating such media hype, to bring attention to one unreached people group in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I’m humbled, amazed, and very grateful for the hand of God preventing the destruction of people just as undeserving of His mercy as I am.

IRL* Tears for a loved one preceding me to heaven are very different than bitter tears for people who die without hope.


  1. I know each of your tear was numbered by our loving Father--- as the tears were a deep part of your intercession for this loved people. I have wept like that ... more than once. Bitter tears over souls of the lost. It isn't a "fun" ministry, this ministry of prayer through tears...but I believe it is a heard one, a special one, and sweet to our tendered hearted God.

  2. I am amazed all over again that our very early prayers to "let the death toll be lower than they think" were answered in such a dramatic way, with such a drastically lower number dead than what was feared.

    And I rejoice with you for that answer, as well as for the "mistake" which garnered world-wide attention to this group.

    Praying still for the Mixe of Tlahui.

  3. ...and I so prefer "fun ministry" - you know? Thanks for letting me be honest about the serious stuff, too.

  4. 8 years?! Wow. Oh, how I miss him - shuffling, whistling and all!

  5. Jamie, I found your blog and was intrigued by this post because just today I bid farewell to a friend who is returning to his Mixe family in Oaxaca. How can I contact you?

  6. You can go to my ministry blog at for contact information. I'd be curious which dialect of Mixe your friend speaks.


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