Skip to main content

I.C.E.N.

Huichihuayán, Huehuetlán Municipality

Instituto Cultural Evangelístico Náhuatl

On Tuesday of the week I spent in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, we went to the Cultural Institute for Nahuatl Evangelism (Instituto Cultural Evangelístico Náhuatl), more colloquially known as “the school.” Located in the town of Huichihuayán (wee-chee-wah-YAHN), this is more precisely a preachers training school, where men from all over the Huasteca come to learn how to preach the Gospel and to learn more about God’s Word. In recent years brother José Hernández Félix has been the director, and he has brought about many good things for the school, and accordingly the student body has grown greatly.

The concrete building is well furnished, even with a kitchen where a hired cook fixes the meals for those staying there. The inside of the building is painted a pleasant lime green colour, and as you walk in the door you will find yourself in the main room of the building, alternately used as a classroom and a dining hall. Down the hall are some classrooms and a bathroom. It is really a nice facility, and I am so glad that there is such a work going on in that area to further the kingdom.

Our day there began with meeting all the students and faculty, as well as quite a few other Christians who had come that day specifically to meet brother Dugan. At the very start brother José told everyone that if they wanted to request something of Mr. Dugan, that they should write it on a piece of paper and give it to him. Apparently in past years there were so many people who wanted to see him, that there wasn’t enough time to talk to all of them. This system seemed to work well, but even so, he was detained most all day.

The hallway in the preaching schoolI passed the day talking to various people. That morning I helped out some of my fellow travellers by aiding them in their conversation with one of the students. It is awfully hard to talk to someone when neither of you have a language in common, so I made myself useful in that respect. We ate lunch before the rest of the group, who were still back in the back talking to people.

That afternoon I talked with another of the students concerning songbooks in Spanish. It seems that there are basically just two songbooks, one being hardback, and one paperback. The former is becoming increasingly expensive, and thus it has become expedient to begin purchasing the newer books. But a problem arises because many of the songs in the newer songbook are new, and not widely known. I knew the tunes of some of the songs in the paperback songbook, and sang a little bit there. Later on I was just sitting reading my bilingual Bible, when a man came up to me and said that he was wanting to learn English. So I let him take a look at my Bible, and I gave him a word-for-word translation of a verse. It didn’t seem like he knew much English at all, but I did try to encourage him in this respect.

I also had a very interesting conversation with someone there who was a French Canadian. He was an odd fellow, with a bit of an accent, but he spoke quite good Spanish and English, not to mention French. After chatting a while I asked what had brought him to Mexico? He said it was his desire to learn Spanish. He had studied the language from books for a while, and then he just decided to take buses all the way from Quebec to Mexico! I asked him if he was a Christian, and he said he had been baptised in Chihuahua several months before. I had quite a good conversation with him about the basics of Christianity, and although he had a lot to learn, I hope and pray that he’ll someday be a great servant in the church. At least I know that he’s among good Christian people for the time being.

Towards the end of the day, I decided I had better find brother Federico Reyes (a Huastec preacher) if I wanted to write down some words in the Huastec language. However, I ended up talking to someone else who knew Huastec, who then directed me to his wife, Virginia Lázaro. This lady was very kind to tell me quite a few different words in her native tongue, and her little daughter (who had the same name) was very cute as she leafed through my notebook just for fun.

The next day, Wednesday, we returned to the same place for a wedding, which was actually done in the church building next door. It was then that I met José’s son Luis, and got to partake of zacahuil.

I was very impressed with the preaching school, and I am so glad that there are so many Christian men who are willing to dedicate their lives to proclaiming the truth.