Prayers for belief, for translation

(Note: You can see updates to this post in the comments below.)

Hey there prayer team,

How are things? I have a couple of requests for you, real quick:

I just got word that my grandfather, who is not a believer, is starting to look into the faith. He’s looked into it before, but has never made a decisive decision. Please pray that he would have the courage to respond to the evidence as presented in The Case for Christ movie and book that he’s getting into.

This week on Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th, representatives from the partner organization will be meeting with the entire translation team to talk about funding some of the project costs for the next few years. Please pray for us today as we edit the complicated translation schedule, and as well as Tuesday and Wednesday, that we would have great communication and be of one accord.

Also, I think I may be starting to fight a cold.
Thanks so much! You mean the world to me.

God bless,

Alex

The Joy of Scripture in the Heart Language

Dear Prayer Team,

How are you?

Just yesterday I got back from my second week-long stay in the village. I’m really starting to get used to life there. I’m able to eat the foods with more ease and know how I fit in to the family a bit better. While I haven’t found a formal language tutor yet, I made a couple of visits to the town of Panao in which I got to know some more Quechua speakers. This broadening of my community encourages me. I also had the chance to help many of them access God’s Word in their language. The joy on their faces as they read and hear it reminds me that this is all worth it.

For this past week, I am very grateful.

As I mentioned last week, some representatives from a partner organization are coming to Huánuco on the 19th and 20th of March to discuss the possibility of providing some funding for the translation work.

The translation team has some legwork to do to get ready for the big meeting, and so we will be getting together on the 7th and 8th to get ready.

Please pray for us, for the right decisions, organization, and good communication.

Please pray for me, for focus and clarity on how to spend my time. Also, that I would know when I should lead and where I should trust other’s leadership. All of us are growing in new roles!

Thanks and God bless,

Alex

Please Pray: Big Meeting Coming

Hello Prayer Team,

Greetings from Huánuco!

I hear that the winter is starting to thaw out up there, at least for those in the Pacific Northwest.

I can hardly believe that my one-year anniversary in Peru is less than three months away, and that my first visit to the States is less than 8 months away!

Some praises and prayer requests:

Praises:

  • I had a few large unexpected expenses last month, but God put it on the heart of a ministry-partner couple to give a special gift that not just covered the expenses, but will also go towards getting me settled in the village! As soon as I found out, I felt like the addressee in Philippians 4:19: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (NLT). I am so grateful.
  • While in Lima I connected with a colleague who specializes in language learning, and he offered to help me and another colleague by providing some guidance and structure to our Quechua Language learning.
  • My schedule is freer now than it was last year, making it easier to get to the village.

Prayer:

  • I haven’t been able to make it to the village since I got back from Lima. By the time I was ready to head up, the rest of the family started trips of their own! Please pray that I would be able to make it up soon, and that God would provide an urgently needed language tutor while there.
  • Stress and some general discouragement continues to be an issue. Some if it is related to feelings of loneliness. Please pray for wisdom and encouragement.

Major prayer request:

  • Some representatives from a partner organization are coming to Huánuco on the 19th and 20th of March to discuss the possibility of providing some funding for the translation work. Please pray for us as a team, as we get ready. Especially, for organization and good communication.

What are you looking forward to this spring? As for me, I look forward to building stamina and gaining language proficiency as I work in the potato fields.

Thanks so much and God bless,

Alex

Grateful for good travels, grateful to be heading back

Good day Prayer Team!

Greetings from Lima. It’s incredible to think of all that has happened in the past few weeks.

I’m grateful for safe travels from Huánuco to Lima, and then to another city for some Bible translation consultant training. While at the Lima retreat, I was able to network with many colleagues I hadn’t met yet, as well as identify more causes of my high stress levels.

Today I’m wrapping up loose ends in Lima, and then getting on a night bus back to Huánuco, where plenty of work awaits! Please pray that God would continue to guide me in managing my stress levels.

Please also pray for a safe trip back, and that I will find an opportunity to spend some time in the village soon.

I keep seeing photos of the Pacific Northwest and of the Northeast, all covered deep in snow! Any way I can be praying for you?

Thanks and God bless,

Alex

Visiting Lima, Visa in Hand

Dear prayer team,

Thank you so much for your prayers!

I’m excited to share that I now have a visa, allowing me to continue my work here! This has been a long process requiring three cross-country trips, so it’s a relief to finally have it taken care of.

In last week’s update I mentioned fighting a cold. I’m grateful to report that, not only have I fully recovered, but I was also able to spend six whole days in the village! (My longest visit yet.) That time was very helpful and learning some Quechua and relating with the people there.

Please pray for me and my colleagues across all of Spanish-speaking South America, as we travel to Lima this weekend for 2 ½ weeks of meetings and restful team building. Please pray for traveling mercies for those traversing windy mountainous roads, and for effective planning and good rest during the event.
I know that I have recently been struggling with some stress myself.

I’m working on my next newsletter- it’ll hopefully be out later this week.

Thanks again for your prayers!

Alex

P.S. For those of you praying for my mother’s recovery from her surgery, she recently had her last follow-up appointment and is pretty much fully recovered! Thank you for being a part of her recovery process.

From Remote Villages to the Largest Farmers Market

Dear Prayer Team,

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for your prayers.

The visits to the remote villages to share hot chocolate, Christmas bread, and the Good News all went really well. Thank you for praying for our safety. These visits will be the focus of my next newsletter, so please be on the lookout for that!

I am also grateful to have had a couple of opportunities to meet with the missionary colleagues David and Diana Weber. David has started to go over the Quechua grammar course with me. (He used to teach it to new recruits, but with fewer new people coming to Peru these days, the course is no longer formally offered.)

Progress on the dictionary format conversion has been minimal due to the recent holiday season, but I expect the pace to pick up. Please pray for me and Karla Smith, that we would both find the time to advance the project.

For the past few weeks I have been fighting some kind of cold. The other day I did go to the doctor and fortunately, these past few days I have been feeling better. Please pray for healing and guidance as I spend my time- I haven’t been able to go to the village as hoped.

Every Saturday the biggest market in my state sets up in front of my house, and it’s predominantly run by Quechua people. I was able to get a device that broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal that connects devices. …Not to the internet, but to a hard drive full of Scripture media in five Quechua languages. I have permission to hang a big poster in front of the house on Saturdays, and I’ll have the device on in the front window, so that people can connect and encounter God’s Word in their own language. Please join me in praying that lots of people take advantage of this opportunity! But first, I need to have the poster peer-edited, printed, as well as make an actual web-version of the content that they will engage with, so that they can get online and see those resources in the same format anywhere, anytime.

Thank you also for your prayers for my mother Vivianne. She had her surgery shortly before Christmas and it went really well. While she still has some pain, weakness, and numbness, she is really well along in her recovery!

Thank you so much for your prayers. Take care and God bless,

Alex

Christmas Bread, Hot Chocolate, and the Good News

Dear prayer team,

Thank you for your prayers! I am so grateful for all of you. Christmas is a busy, stressful time in North America. How can I pray for you? You can email me at alex_larkin@wycliffe.org.

Yesterday I traveled with some colleagues to a remote town where we shared a special Christmas bread called Panetón, hot chocolate, and the Good News. We were able to distribute some audio Bibles and hardcopies of the Scriptures.

Having come from a world of over-the-top toys and smartphones, it’s quite the experience to see a crowd of kids running up to the pickup truck as we enter town, and then have a group of teens listen to the Christmas story (Luke 1 and 2) for 20 minutes straight.

This was the first of several trips that we will be doing in the coming week or so. Please pray for safety in our travels, and for the hearts of the people that we connect with-that they would be open to the good news of God’s love, as expressed by Jesus’s first arrival.

Terry and Karla Smith have given me access to their Panao Quechua dictionary! It has over 5,000 entries and is about 71,000 lines long. I have been working on understanding and reformatting this complicated data set so that we can convert it to a new platform. This new platform will allow more people to collaborate and access it simultaneously, not to mention help me learn Quechua and work with the Scripture drafts more efficiently. Please pray for us as we work on this conversion process.

I previously asked you to pray for translator Edmin, his wife Mara, and her family. Her sister’s wedding went splendidly, and Maura’s nephew is back from the capital as he continues to recover from his brain surgery. Praise God! Thank you for praying.

David and Diana Weber (missionary colleagues that worked with a neighboring language) are in town for a few months. Please pray for plenty of chances to connect!

Don’t forget to email me if you have a prayer request. (However due to my trips I may take me a few days to reply.)

Thanks so much, and merry Christmas!

Alex

Feeling Better

Hello Prayer Team,

Thanks for your prayers!

I’m really glad to report that I’m feeling better these recent days. I was able to talk with both of my parents on Thanksgiving, spent some time with my Quechua family, and celebrated a Saturday Thanksgiving with some close ministry friends. It’s all been very meaningful. I know your prayers are making a difference too.

This week I’m working on getting another newsletter out, and hope to get to the village Tipsa. I would like to spend perhaps half a week out there. The more time I can spend out there, the better!

There’s always a lot of things competing for my time. Always, there are many tasks that have importance and value. Please pray for wisdom.

Regarding my last full prayer blog update:

  • I am making some progress on language learning! Please pray for continued growth and momentum.
  • On Friday we were able to turn in the preliminary form for the Panao Quechua Old Testament Translation project proposal. That’s a huge praise!
  • Your continued prayers are requested for translator Edmin, his wife Mara, and her family. Her sister’s wedding plans are coming along, and Maura’s nephew’s brain surgery went well. Praise God! Though I believe he still has a lot of recovery to do.

Thanks so much! God bless,

Alex

Addendum: Holiday Blues

Hello prayer team,
 
Thank you so much for your prayers. In addition to the update I put out on Friday, I would also like to share that recently I have been feeling a bit blue. I think it’s related to being far from family and home culture during the holiday season. I didn’t expect it to have such an effect on me! 
 
Please pray for wisdom and encouragement as I go through this season in an all-new environment.
 
Here’s a link to my last update, which is a bit more complete:
 
 
I thank God for all of you,
 
Alex

Six Months Already

Hello Prayer Team,

Thank you for your prayers!

These past few weeks have gone by so quickly, as I worked with the team in preparing the formal project proposal for the Panao Quechua Old Testament translation. (While my personal Wycliffe ministry expenses are met, the team is seeking funding sources to allow the work to continue more quickly and consistently).

Tomorrow Saturday I celebrate 6 months in Peru! The time has gone by so fast and I have been learning so much. Incredible to think that an eighth of my first term in Perú is already over. I’m so grateful for all my friends, family, and partners in my Wycliffe ministry that have made this work possible- both here and there!

Here are some more praise items:

  • That our portion of working on the proposal is mostly finished- now it is in the hands of the SIL office in Lima.
  • For a good time with my forerunners Terry and Karla Smith while they were in Peru.
  • For a wonderful Panao Quechua community meeting in which we talked about the state of the translation and looked at some of a draft of the book of Job. It was the first such meeting in two years, but the 25 people present were highly motivated- they want to meet one weekend a quarter, on their own dime!
  • For some more time in the village Tipsa and some language learning progress.
  • For some opportunities to meet some of the leadership among the church denominations here.

Please pray for:

  • More confidence and progress on my Quechua language learning- to date, it’s been progressing more slowly than I have hoped.
  • For the Panao Quechua Old Testament Project Proposal- that the SIL office in Peru would be able to put on the finishing touches needed, to send it to the partner organization. We are hoping they may be able to fund a portion of the project.
  • Please pray for the translator Edmin, his wife, and her family, as one of her siblings gets ready for her wedding and a nephew undergoes brain surgery. Besides the events themselves, it’s proving to be stressful for everyone.

…How can I be praying for you?

Thank you so much for your prayers.

God bless,

Alex