Pete and Liesl Hypki remember well the day they began their journey toward the hearts and lives of the Nahuatl people and the remote village in the quiet of the mountains that they now call their home.
They remember pulling away from the border crossing and viewing the desert spreading out in front of them. Only a road and some scuttling tumbleweeds broke up the endless stretches of sand.
“It was a little like a scene from a bad western,” Pete says. “It was different. It was new. It was unknown.”
The months and years that followed have brought change and more change. Geography, living quarters, culture, language, climate—the adjustments have seemed endless.
Because the steadfast grace of God has held them firmly, “We have embraced the changes, excited for what God had next,” Pete explains.
And now, four years after that border crossing, they are up for more adventure. “We find ourselves looking forward again,” Pete explains. “After testing out of Nahuatl language study, we are moving into the most exciting and intimidating phase of this grand plan—church planting!”
While their ministry partners work on literacy and Bible translation, the Hypkis’ part is to begin work on a curriculum of Bible lessons that will share with the Nahuatl people the grand scope of God’s plan for redemption, beginning with Creation.
It’s a new level of challenge, Pete says.
It’s about communicating God’s love – a love so great that He sacrificed His own Son for their pardon – to people who are locked in a view of His unrelenting vengeance and wrath. It’s presenting the Creator Who controls the universe and made man in His image, to people who have believed for generations that ancestors and patron spirits manipulate the weather and seasons and that women descend from dogs.
Ultimately, it’s about presenting God’s offer of peace and hope, because of His great love.
But Pete wonders, “How do you share the love of God with a people who have no word for ‘love’? Who can’t even describe the feelings that a parent has for a child?”
These unknowns of the next leg of their adventure are larger than they can imagine right now and Pete and Liesl know it well.
“Frankly, we know it’s a task much bigger than us or our team,” Pete acknowledges.
But the Hypkis are confident in the ongoing faithfulness of the God Who has led them faithfully this far and Pete shares a verse that is often on his mind. “He made (Christ) Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
“If He became sin for us,” Pete expresses, “the least we can do is find a Nahuatl word for ‘love’.”