Monday, June 27, 2011

Great Suprises

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So this weekend we received our first care packages!   Lorelai described best "It's Christmas, It's our birthday, This is way cool!"   It was so much fun to open those packages and have no clue what was in them.   It was such a blessing.   Our first aid kit was restocked, thank you Pat Oden, that is something we use all the time.   Ryan was blessed by several people with gear for fishing so he can provide us with meat.   Ed and Shelly and Gale and Tommy filled it with so many other great things.   Our pantry now sports beef jerky, peanut butter, crackers, oatmeal, and many other items.   The kids each had speacial treats to open as well Natalie and Mari-Madeline's precious birthday gifts.   I must say that as amazing as it all was the funnest suprise was for the kids....ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!!!!!!   How you ask, think NASA, Tommy found them in the camping department and got them for the kiddos!   Way to go Tommy, the kids we so thrilled.

I am not sure the joy of this will wear off any time soon.   We are so blessed to have so many people caring for us.   Thank you to everyone who contributed to the packages.   We could not have asked for anything better!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our crazy fun week

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This past week has been so much fun.  I am not sure why, it was pretty busy and fairly typical, but none the less it was fun.   I have been halping at the mission school and Lorelai has been going to class with Ryan.   Walker and Mari-Madeline had a great week of school.  Mari-Madeline has finally felt comfortable at school.   The afternoons have been busy with lots of work and lots of house repairs.   The house we live in was vacant for many years and had several repairs to be made.   Today we will hopefully finish these up.

We met a lot of new people this week and are prayerful of ministry opportunities with them.  

Walker has developed a great friendship with a boy from the mission school and they are tied at the hip.   Walker has been able to minister to and help this young man in ways that adults just can't.   Last night the mission showed a movie on a projector and because the two boy had worked for Ryan all day they were able to attend.   They had so much fun.  

Mari-Madeline and Lorelai have been grounded all week.   Lorelai's began when she decided she was going to jump on the canoe as Walker and his friend shoved off.   Oh, that naughty fearless girl.   Then in the same afternoon she and Mari-Madeline along with their friend Danesi decided to take a hike, without permission from any of the parents.   Thankfully the gringitats (white girls) stand out here and Ryan was able to track them to another friends house about 3 miles away.   They were never in any danger except that it was near dark time and would not have been able to get back home.   Let's just say none of the girls will be going anywhere alone again.  

We just love being able to do God's will and share the Good news with the people we encounter.   It seems that so many barriers have been removed and the people in the communtiy have begun to accept us and welcome us.   It has been a long five months of being on the outside, but something just changed this week.   Praise God.   I have been singing a hymn in my head all week...To God be the glory great things He hath done....

Ms. M

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I know the title seems a little odd, but there is no better title.   I want to introduce you all to Ms. M.   She is a widow with five children.   Three of the five are still young and live at home.   Her husband was killed just a month ago in an unfortunate way.   You see there is no life insurance policies out here.   When you are widowed if you have older boys they take care of you, if not the church does.   Ms. M did not have anyone to help her and there is not an area here in which women can work in.   Her husand had some family that she could move in with, but they are strict Catholic and Ms. M is an evangelical christian and did not want her children in that inviornment.   I honestly can not blame her.   Her pastor counseled her and his family has been watching over her.   He urged her to seek God's will and that the Lord would provide.

So, how does she fit into our life?   We have been praying about a house helper.   We talked with the other missionary family and they did not know of anyone, so we put feelers out in the community.   A few days ago, Ms. M went to the other missionary family seeking employment, but they already have a helper.   They encouraged her with prayer and a promise to help her find work.   They immediatly called us and explained the sitituation and asked us to pray about it and meet her.   Ryan and I were really looking for someone younger that did not have kids, but we hiked the trails to her house and met with her.   Ryan and I knew the moment we met her that she was the one.   We met with her and then her pastor and we all agreed on her job and she starts on Monday.  

I am just asking all of you to pray for her and her family.   They are probably one of the poorest families we have met since we have been here.  The smallest child had no clothes at all and the other two go to school with our kids and were not there.   I can not imagine how desperate she must feel as a mother to provide for her children and how alone in this world she must feel.   Please pray that she continues to seek God and that she feels His presence in every moment of her day.   Please pray that we can be a blessing to this woman and her children and show them the Love of Christ.    Pray that our family is humbled by this experience.  

Honor widows, who are widows indeed.  1 Timothy 5:3

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baha! Ryan's Father's Day

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So, what do you do for dad when you live in the jungle?   You take him on down to the local beauty salon.   Yes, we have a beauty salon.   It is pretty fancy for this area.   I has barber chairs, running water (cold), and a generator to run the hairdryer and flat iron!    So, what was my husband doing there?????

He got a manicure, pedicure and facial!   YES!!!!   He did not allow me to take pictures, but he did give me permission to blog about it.   He and I spent a day at the salon while the kids played on the airstrio with their friends.   I got my hair cut and a pedicure while he got the full service.   As funny as it is he actually anjoied it.   He even said he would go back again!    It was a really fun time for all of us and it was a great way to relax.

So, you may be wondering how much this all cost.   In the States it would be well over $100, but here in the jungle...$25 total.    I thought it was a great deal and while we will not be doing another spa day as a family it was fun to enjoy it just once.

The IPod Saga

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Oh my!   What a crazy past few days.   Ryan and I have and IPod that we have Rosetta Stone, a Bible, and many sermons downloaded on as well as books for me to read.   It has really been a great tool for us to carry around.   We have been very careful with it and have not let people know that we have it.  

The other day we got a call from a friend to come see her.   So, we locked up and left.   The only problem was I had been outside in the hammock reading and I left the IPod in the hammock.   Normally this is not a big deal.   People do not use our back porch and since we were not home no one would have any reason to come around.   When we got home the IPod was gone!   I was so upset to the point I made myself ill.   We tore the house apart looking for it on the chance that I brought it in.   I was so upset, bcause in my haste I did not lock it up and now it was gone.    I even spent most of the next day being upset over it.

Imagine my suprise when some youth tell me a guy is trying to sell it for 200 Lempiras or about $11 US.   I mean really at least sell it for what it is worth!   We have now spread the word that anyone who will buy we will buy it from them.   This is a time when living in completly lawless place stinks.   The only bright side is that the person who took it can read the Bible and listen to George Ross bringing the Word as well as many other great pastors.   Perhaps one of those seroms deals with Thou Shal Not Steal!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Seasons are changing

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There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven...
Ecclesiastes 3:1


We have been so blessed with 6 months of beautiful weather.   The seasons are changing and I am finding more of God's beauty as the rain refreshes the jungles.   It seems like things are coming alive in front of our eyes.   It is such an amazing experience.   The colors are so vivid and the wild life so prevelaint that you can't help, but be in awe of God's creation.

The people here have so many fears related to animals, rain, and the land.   It breaks my heart that they are living in fear of something that is so magnificantly created.

God saw all that he had made, 
and it was very good.   
Genesis 1:31

Even the Christians we work with, when asked will admitt to still being in bondage to these fears and falsehoods.   They have not truly found their freedom in Christ.  My heart breaks for these people.   I pray that their eyes will be opened and their hearts opened to the truth!

As the season changes here and rainy season begins to settle in the lagoon in front of our house at times turns a bright red/orange color.   We have heard so many reasons for this that are so far from the truth.   The children are terrified of it.   They fear birdhouses because they could house a dwarf that steals the children.   Owls are feared as well.   It is so sad to live in a fear based culture where they can not enjoy the pleasant things that God has given us.

Please join me in praying for these people held in a bondange that only true faith in Christ can save them from.   Pray that those that already have the knowledge of Christ will come to completly understand what a relationship with Christ means. 
  
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  
The Lord is the defense of my life. Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble, He will hide me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrafices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said "Seek My face," my heart said to You 
"Your face, O Lord, I shall seek." ...
Psalms 27: 1-8

Thursday, June 16, 2011

God At Work

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I have been wanting to give everyone an update on how things are going and I struggle finding the time to get on here and write when I can focus.  You see, my laptop is dead right now.  It has to get shipped back to the states for warranty repairs.  Another one is being shipped to me right now, but until that happens I can only use the computer when the generator is on, 2 hours during daylight hours, of which 1 1/2 I am teaching.  Today it is raining so I filled the generator up so we could update everyone on life.  Today, I am going to tell a story about how God works.

Our first trip out we were riding in the truck about to get on the beach for the final 1 hour ride to Palacios when we came across a broken down truck.  There are about 15 trucks (Toyota Hilux, Nissan Frontiers, etc.) that drive back and forth everyday from the city to Batalla, the village across the lagoon from Palacios.  The truck drivers are all like family to one another even though they compete for business daily.  One of our regular drivers, Palulo, pulls over to check on the broken down truck and we all get out to stretch after 8 hours.  Walker is watching the guys pull the back end out from under this truck to do a major repair (one that would take 2 weeks and thousands of $$$$ in the states) on this dirt "road" and a guy notices his Texas hat and asks in English where he is from.  Now, we are in the middle of Honduras a long way from nowhere and there are not a lot of people that speak English.  Walker and I talk to him for a while and find out he lived in NC and worked for a long time in Spring Hill, TN.  We thought that was cool, and figured we would never see the guy again.
Fast forward 2 1/2 months and it was time for me to go to town for groceries.  I am at the truck stop in Batalla, waiting to ride in with our driver and I recognize him standing beside me.  I begin to talk to him in broken Spanish and he replied in English.  My driver didn't have a full truck that day and was only going to take me so he told me to ride with Noel, my new friend.  I bring my Bible and storying tracks with me everywhere I go b/c you have a lot of free time in a truck for 9 hours with no one to communicate.  This trip was different!  I had the opportunity to witness to Noel the entire trip.  He had such a desire to learn more about Jesus and what it meant to follow Him.  He grew up Catholic but told me he became Christian while in NC.  He was deported for driving without ID shortly after, leaving his American wife and daughter behind.  He mentioned since his arrival back in Honduras, he has not found a church in the city he lives that felt like his church in the states.  I talked to him about the house church planting model.  I spent the last 3 hours of our ride explaining everything to him, showing him the story model, and teaching him how to implement it in his own network of friends.  I was teaching him, thinking that I would be able to get him my Spanish training notes the next day in Palacios, and he told me he prefers to read the Bible and comprehends at a higher level what he reads in English.  WOW!!!!  I had the entire kit with me and I left it with him to begin teaching a house church in Tocoa.  There was no doubt in my mind that God crossed our paths that first day out with His greater good in mind.  Who would think that the first person I taught in Honduras would speak English fluently and would have lived and worked 10 miles from my "home" in the states?

Please pray for the continued growth of Noel and that he will be a light for those around him in Tocoa and his family both in Honduras and the States.

And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region...Acts 14:49

God Bless,
Ryan

Updates

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Wow.  It has been a really long time since we have been on here.   We have had computer problems and have been very busy.   Sometimes we need to just take a moment and catch up on things.   There have been a lot of things going on in our family as well as our ministry.   I am going to try and just hit the highlights of it all so as not to bore you all. 

Ministry

This month we had a missionary teacher return home 6 months earlier than anticipated.   This was dificult on us all and it really brought the struggles of ministry to the surface for many of us here.   With her return to the states the mission school here was without a teacher for 6 kinder students.   After much prayer and discussion Ryan has stepped into this role as he completes his language studies.   Ryan will work at the school in the morning and continue language training in the afternoon.   He will spend the evenings and weekends working in the community and other villages.    Ryan is also working with another missionary teaching him Bible storytelling so that he can teach the people he is working with.   Ryan is also teaching this same missionary T4T (training on mentoring) so that the local pastors can be trained in this and begin outreach in their own community.   Ryan continues to mentor a local youth and continues to teach him bible stories.   Ryan spent sevarl days in May on the river and in a local village doing minstry work.   During June and July he will have the opportunity to go to a village 25 hours away up the river.   Part of this will be a research opportunity for an unreached people group.   This is a group we hope to work with in the future.

Natalie has been able to start a bible study with another missionary wife here.   She is working in the communtiy building relationships in hopes of starting a bible study with the ladies.   Ryan and Natalie also believe that one of these families would be a great host for a house church.   Praying that God opens more doors and opens the hearts of the people.

Walker has started working with a youth group in a Spanish bible study.   He is being challenged now to translate scripture from Spanish to English.  So that he can better understand biblical Spanish.

Family:

We celebrated two birthdays in May.   Walker and Mari-Madeline continue to go to the local school here.  Walker loves it and and is so excited to go.  Mari-Madeline loves school, but does not like being away from home.   We have been praying about what she will do.  Her teacher is amazing and so patient, I had to go get MM from school one day and as we were leaving her teacher encouraged her just to stay for a short period of time each day. 

Lorelai stays with mom most of the day.   Amazing enough her Spanish is probably better that Walker's.  Mari-Madeline has begun to correct Ryan and I in our pronnunciations.   She has also had to help Ryan with translating.    The kids have so many friends here and this is truly their home for now.   I am not sure that they will ever be at home in the States again.   Life is so simple here and so uncomplicated.   They value relationships and time with family over anything else. 

 Natalie and the kids made thier first trip to the city since February.  While we all had fun, the hustle and bustle of the city was overwhelming and we were all excited to come home.   We had to make a quick return trip to the city with Mari-Madeline.   She was very sick and her malaria test were negative, but the local clinic did not know how to treat her.   So we packed up and made the 9 hour trip, by boat and truck back to the city.   Just as we were taking her to the hospital we met a doctor from the states who is a missionary at a clinic there.   He was able to tell us what labwork to have done and how treat her.   What a blessing from God that was. 

While in the city we also met another missionary couple that was able to connect us with a a network of missionaries that have a yearly conference and yearly kids camp in Honduras!   How amazing is that.   We are so excited about this.  Gods blessing are so simple yet so amazing all at the same time.   He knows just what we need! 

We are still working as a family on building relationships and learning abour our neighbors.   We live among three different people groups and each group functions very different.   One group the men are the leaders of the family and function more similar to us, another group the women are the leaders and are very aggresive about their postition in the family, and yet another it seems that both man and women are in charge.   It is also not uncommon for the men to leave the family and go for months and even years looking for work.   We saw one such family this past week.  The wife and kids had gone to the city and were visiting dad and the morning the family was returning was the same we were coming home.   It was so difficult to see the father and children in tears, because they know it may be 6 months before they see each other again.

We are so happy here and pray that we can be blessing to these people.   We pray that God can use us reach these people.
 
1 Peter 4:11
Whoever speaks is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength wich God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.
 
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