I came across the following missionary update letter and thought you might enjoy it. It has been translated from Spanish.
After studying the language for a month I can tell you that it is not easy, but if we want to understand the culture [of this area] and make significant friendships we should speak their language, as well as English, as that is the language used in business and schools. As I write this letter it is almost one in the morning, I have been talking with a friend for almost four hours (this is how get-togethers are done here) having “chai” tea. We don’t have chairs in the living room, only a rug and some cushions and we take off our shoes upon entering.
I was talking to [God] and asking him to help me find a way to make friends, and I found it through soccer. I am playing in the afternoons and in this way I can get to know people and make friends. I believe that a person who wants to work here should be creative and flexible in order to find a door into the culture. I hope each time to enter further into the culture.
The greatest challenge before any foreigner who wants to come and work here is the language, in order to attain significant relationships. Religion covers all aspects of society, and the question I get asked the most is “Are you Muslim?”
The challenge is great, there is nothing easy about it, but if it’s not us then who and if it‘s not now when.
This letter is not much different from any other letter you might receive from a missionary you are supporting. However, this is from a young man we have worked with in Oaxaca, Mexico. "Juan Marcos" went to the middle east last year on a short term mission trip to serve and share the Gospel. He believed that God was calling him there and is looking forward to returning one day in the future for an extended time.
What is amazing to me about this is that "Juan Marcos" is from one of the poorest places in Mexico. We know him because he is connected to one of our sponsoring churches for Oaxaca 100. Your involvement in this ministry, Oaxaca 100, will enable men like "Juan Marcos" to continue to receive the call to serve in distant lands.
As you pray about your participation, please consider the last words of his letter, "If not us, who... if not now, when?"