Monday, July 25, 2016

New Hope Baptist Church Youth

Mike and I were excited to welcome back Pastor Brian, John Scott, Sheri and Lizzy to God's new ministry campus at Mt. Horeb.  They came before at the former mission house but this was a huge blessing to see the looks on their faces as they arrived for the first time and to see the beauty and grandeur of God's work here in the last three years.  It is very breathtaking when you first arrive after seeing the progress God has provided in the last three years.  We started under a blue tarp in June of 2013 and look what God has created.  The entire team has joined times on the porch in the morning and eating in the huge dining hall and working out of such a spacious kitchen.  The lush and green surroundings is a place of peace and rest in the presence of the Lord. 
We proudly welcome back a youth group who takes serving the Lord very seriously and will get the job done.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children."
Deuteronomy 4:9-10

Families Coming to Serve

We would like to introduce to you Scott and his lovely daughter Ashlyn.  This is there first time to Honduras and we have thoroughly enjoyed working beside them in the name of Jesus this week.  They both worked hard together and separately.  It is very special to see a father and a daughter to an international mission trip and to see God at work on a different level.  They came in ready to serve and that they did.  Ashlyn did an amazing job on her devotional one evening. It was titled, "How to be flexible". Sometimes life does not turn out like you think.  We do not need to let our relationship with Christ fall between the cracks. Do not blame God for the bad that happens in your life.  God is not the source of badness which happens to you.  Most definitely do not take it out on others.  We all need to learn from the tough times and allow God to use our tough times to glorify HIM and get through them.  We can use our tough times to encourage others who may be going through tough times themselves.  Jesus is always with us if we only allow HIM in.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

We had another precious family here serving, Anna Kate and Taylor, sisters.  They brought a heart for missions and serving the Lord with them.  They came prepared to do whatever needed to be done to help the project get complete and in sharing out of God's word during devotionals each night.
During the week some of the young people shared their testimonies and some did a devotional.  Each came prepared to do this.  Taylor shared an amazing story of her life with Christ.  She was 8 years old when she accepted Christ.  She received a strong spiritual emphasizes at her Christian school.  I believe it was through a devotional time her school was having.  Also she shared how she found her worth in Jesus Christ on a mission trip to Asheville with her youth group.  She allowed God to help her through a time in her life instead of listening to the world around her.  God is good when we allow HIM to come in and be a part of our lives.  Well done good and faithful servant.
Anna Kate who also celebrated her birthday in Honduras with us had an amazing devotional one evening.  She was spot on with how she brought her message to her peers.  There is a song out by the Newsboys called "We Believe".  She shared a quote from the song saying, "Let our faith be more than anthems."  Her question to her peers was, "What is an anthem in reference to Christ?"  Several shared how they thought it was just saying it and not getting out and doing it for Christ.  Words and not actions one of them shared.  Another question she asked her peers was "What examples or ways we can exemplify Christ?"  Someone said we can go and share our faith in Jesus Christ.  "How often do we show our faith?", she asked.  Several shared we do not share our faith enough.  Let's not be an anthem but let's make our faith in Jesus Christ real, because HE IS VERY REAL, says Justin, team member.  He shared out of James 2:17-18,"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds". "What can we do to grow closer to Christ?"  As Justin shared put our words into actions and our actions into words.  Several of them shared spend time in God's word.  Pastor Brian says it has to become a priority in our lives.  We have to make the time to spend with the Lord out of our business of life.  If we make time for God then your day will fall into place.
Folks this was information from our young people.  There is hope for our future.  All God's people say AMEN!!!!!

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1Timothy 4:12

Daily Routine

Pastor Brian had job assignments for each person on the team.  Carlton, Ashlyn, Sarah and Scott helped with this each day.  The ladies on the this team were beasts.  They lifted the heavy boards right along with Carlton and Scott.  They were always available as Mr. Mike needed them each and every morning eager to assist wherever needed.  Scott was blessed to be on this team of young folks each morning.

Before departing each morning someone was assigned to share a devotional from God's word.  This particular morning it was Sophia.  On Sunday evening Bobby was in the dorm and open his bible to a passage out of Isaiah 66:1-2 and he said "Guys look where my bible just opened up too."  This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word."
Moments like these are precious in the eyes of Jesus when our young people open up their bible daily and read HIS Word.  We cannot learn about who Jesus is and what He wants from us unless we open up HIS Word and read it and apply it to our lives.  Thank you young people for setting this example for all of us this week.  Our prayer is you continue this as you go back to your homes and your journeys in life.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:11

Juan and Felipa

This is probably the quickest turn around we had on assessing a family to receive a home.  We headed out one morning to assess for the rest of the year.  Pastor Carlos kept getting a phone call from the gentleman who delivers our sand for the ministry projects.  We had stopped by to check on some doors and windows and the gentlemen showed up where we were ordering our doors and windows.  Pastor Carlos ask us could we follow this gentleman to meet some friends of his who desperately need a home.  We followed him and arrived in a community called San Pila.  This was our first visit to this area of Choluteca.  We get out of the car go inside an adobe and stick home to a beautiful young couple called Juan age 99 and Felipa age 81.  This precious couple has lived in their home for 46 years.  They have been wet and they have not had a door to secure them each evening.  One of their 6 children Beltunio arrived shortly after to talk with us.  They had proof of property which is a must in building a home for people through the ministry of NCBM.  Mike and I quickly decided this lovely little couple needs a home.  We looked at the son and said you have three weeks to get a foundation in and ready for a team to come and provide your parents a home.  Beltunio listened carefully to Pastor Carlos' instructions on the way the foundation needed to be formed. 
So on the first day of the project, Juan and Felipa were brought up to their land where there home of 46 years had been torn down to participate in the praying over the first block.  Juan cannot see well, nor can he hear well and can barely walk.  But with the help of his son and Pastor Brian they placed him on the bench near the corner where the prayer would take place.  Felipa said down next to him as Pastor Brian and Mike with the help of Meida, our translator, discussed their new home.  Juan at the age of 99 said he was ready to go home, his eternal home.  He quoted, "I am just here waiting to die."  He is ready to go home.  The team shared he may be ready because he is tired or he is simply ready to be with His Heavenly Father.  The end for all of us is unknown.  It is harder as a young person to say you are ready to go home because you are just getting started in life.  But the end for all of us is unknown and we need to be ready when God calls us home.  Pastor Brian shared the scripture out of 2 Corthinians 5:1-10.  Out of 5:1, "We have a building from God, an eternal home in Heaven if we are children of God, John 1:12.   God is providing Juan and Felipa a new home after 46 years.  Pastor Brian asked the group wonder how they felt loosing their home of 46 years to a square foundation and 800 blocks sitting in the middle of it.  This home be what it may was their home of 46 years.  Please remember a house does not make a home.  Juan and Felipa had a solid home in Christ and Christ is not provided them a solid home spiritually and structurally.   God led the team's hands as they worked on each job needed to get down to make the materials become a home.  Juan is already thinking of his eternal home as his new home is being built. Praise the Lord Juan was able to live to see his new home to completion.

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Pray Without Ceasing

Each day the young people gathered around the project to give their day to the Lord.  Each team member was responsible for the prayer and the devotionals daily.  We arrived meeting Betulino at the location in San Pila.  He shared he would bring his parents to the location once we were ready for them.  Betulino went around the circle shaking everyone's hand as they introduced themselves.  I do not believe I have ever since this act of worship happen on a project.  As the week progressed we learned he was godly man who loved the Lord and his parents.  So after the introductions and the prayer the team dispersed to get the day started.

pray continually,
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Let's Do It

The team gathered around the Kia unloading everything. Bobby jumped up on the Kia to help Jose untie the materials for unloading.  The ladies, Sophia, Sarah, Anna Kate, Taylor, Ashlyn with
Bobby  made an assembly line to get the heavy boards off and put into place to build the bench for the week.  John Scott and Scott lifted the tool box and found a home for it for the week.  The job location was very tight and compact but the team learned quickly how to maneuver around each other to get the job completed. Everyone was busy at work preparing for the first block.  Pastor Brian and Carlton moved one door while Scott and Taylor moved the other door into place.  This was a busy little corner of the world that first morning.  The locals walking by stopped and watched from a far as the young people were busy working. We are not sure if it was out of curiosity or what but they had a captive audience most of the week.  Everyone gave God their best today on the job site.  Bobby was in awe of the beauty of the country he came to serve.  Bobby enjoyed working with Juan's son, Betulo and grandson Dennis mixing the mescal.  He learned a lot while working with them.  Several of the young people shared how patient Pastor Carlos was and what an amazing teacher is was with each of them the first day.
Sarah's devotional one night was about "How do other people see you?"  This was a good question since the team had a captive audience a lot that week.  How did they see you?  Did they see Jesus in your actions each day?  How do you present yourself is another question Sarah asked her team.  It is easy to be in the darkness.  It does not take much work to be in the dark world around us.  It is more work and more rewarding when we live out our lives in the light of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the best witness is someone who does not say a word.  Think about what would Jesus do in any given situation.  Our immediate action is to sin, because like the question Meida asked in bible school one day who are sinners here today?  Well every persons  hand needed to go up, because we are all sinners saved by God's grace.  If we so choose to accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.
Pastor Brian took Sarah's devotion was step further, "How did they see Sarah's devotion this week? Answer came quickly: The Hondurans has set the example for all of us.  They can do it without us. They teach us how to be true Christians, shared Sophia.  John Scott shared to be like the Honduran Christians is to find folks with the same Christian values of yourself.  Justin shared how he liked himself better here than at home. If your Christian walk is not a struggle then it becomes a routine and you become a robot.  These young people learned very quickly who was going to receive a blessing this week and I do not believe it is only Juan and Felipa.

so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
Philippians 2:15
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven
Matthew 5:16

The Four Cornerstones

Mike and Pastor Brian with the help of Pastor Carlos starting laying out the cornerstones around the firm foundation.  Along comes Bobby, Ashlyn and Carlton.  This is the first corner they worked on and learned how to set.

This would be their second corner they proceeded to work on and set.  The three worked together with a little help from Mike to assure they were doing it correctly.

Well they continued around to the third corner where they met up with Pastor Carlos and started working on this corner.  By this time they were doing this task with very little help from their adult supervisors.

They finished strong as Pastor Carlos stood back and let them worked together.  This is not something we see often, young people taking the effort
to get in there and tackle something they have never done before and finished the four corners and Pastor Carlos was quiet pleased with his helpers.

Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
2 Corinthians 8:11

John Scott's Block Cutting Crew

While the four corners were going down, Sarah, Anna Kate, Taylor and Tabitha were assisting John Scott in his yearly duty of cutting specialty blocks.  These ladies  helped by lining up his blocks getting them ready for cutting. They knocked the nubs away and stack them away for later use.  These girls learned early on we do not throw anything away.  We use everything around us to help complete this home.  These ladies worked hard and steady beside John Scott to make his job a little easier.  When we all come together to get a task complete everyone gets a blessing from it.  Wow ladies thanks for all you did on the block cutting team.
John Scott's shared a  devotional one day at lunch after he completed he closed in prayer, Sarah shared how when John Scott was praying the children standing around with them prayed the prayer with him.  This is something taught in the local churches. The children are very involved at an early age to participate in all aspects of the worship service.  The ladies were blessed this day spiritually and physically by helping John Scott.  Well done good and faithful servants.

so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5

Praying Without Ceasing Once Again

After the four cornerstones got put into place and the plumb line was secure, the mescal was mixed and poured on the board, Pastor Carlos shouted, "Listo" which means he is ready to lay the first block and pray over it. Juan's son, Beluto gathered his mother gently by the arm to lead her up to the block to place her hand upon.  Once she got settled and securely in place we ask Pastor Carlos to led the prayer.  Since Pastor Carlos led us in this direction to find this precious little family we asked him to pray over the first block.  He prayed even though Juan was up in years it was never to late to get a prayer answered or receive such a gift from God. He prayed God's blessing over the family as we all gathered around touching one another and connecting in Christian fellowship during this special time.  This first block was covered in prayer as was the entire week ahead.  Mike and I are so blessed to be surrounded by such strong body of believers which we get to work for and with on a daily basis.

Image result for praying over our home bible image

Block 101 By Mike and Pastor Brian

Mike gathered a group in one corner to teach them how to lay a block properly and the Honduran way.  While Mike had gotten started I shouted to Pastor Brian why don't you teach a class in the other corner.  So that he did.  I stood listening to Mike share what needed to be done and over in the other corner was Pastor Brian basically saying the exact same thing.  These young people learned from the best this day and took off with it and laid some beautiful blocks and filled in some amazingly perfect joints.  Juan and Felipa sat and watched as the young people eagerly worked on their walls of their new home.  Juan was sharing something to his lovely bride as they sat there watching and waiting for all this to become a home.  They were so excited they did not eat their breakfast someone had given them earlier upon their arrival.  We actually never saw them eat while sitting there.  They were in awe of what God was providing for them.  The sweet part of this story is they did not ask for a home and did not know the day we showed up they may be getting one.  It was because of a ten year old friendship of a gentleman who wanted them to have a home that this took place.  Someone showed compassion on the least of these and asked for help for them.  We are grateful to God for someone placing us in the path of these two beautiful people.  God is so grand and good all the time.

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40

The Honduran Culture

This is one team who truly enjoys the Honduran culture.  The captivate it and bask it all in each and every day.  They come to do the job they come to do but they take the time to relax and learn what it means to truly relax and just be still.  The first day coconuts were requested.  So they came home one afternoon and enjoyed their coconut water, ice cream, sodas and chips outside of the pulperia and gift shop.  This time of the day has become one of my favorites, listening to the adventures of the day.  The stories which are shared about what they have seen and heard or done that day is such a joy to me.  I am grateful God has provided this little piece of heaven on Mt. Horeb.  We are making amazing memories on this front porch.  We are also learning to relax and be still which is hard very hard for North Americans to do sometimes.
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

Many Jobs Many Willing Spirits

The team had their block lesson and off they went.  While some laid blocks they rotated out helping sift the sand.  As there day began there was not any help except for Juan's son, Beluto.  The young people never once complained but went right to work.  Everyone pitched in and did multiple jobs as it was needed.  I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of hard work these young people provided the first day.  They did not sit back and wait for a task to get done they got in there and did what was needed.  As you can see by the pictures they were all doing something and they were all doing it very well and all for the glory of God.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:23


Each evening we either gather on the porch of the multi purpose building or inside around the tables for some intense devotionals.  Each young person has to come prepared for a devotional, a testimony and the ability to lift the Lord up in prayer.  They are also encouraged to journal their week and sent out letters of encouragement to each team member.  This has been a delight to watch as each one of them faithfully got the task done at least by the last evening they were with us on Mt. Horeb.  I enjoyed getting letters from them since I do not receive mail anymore.  This is a treat for me and I also enjoying sending them a note as well.  Every evening as been full of questions and praise unto the Lord.  We need to encourage our young people they are our future and they can be the next generation to let their light shine for Jesus Christ. 
There were many God moments during the week and we were blessed by many of them. John Scott shared on the first day at lunch he chose to go eat with Meida and Jose.  Media offered John Scott some of her lunch and he graciously received it.  He had a sandwich but Meida wanted him to have some of hers as well. 
Pastor Brian shared how he saw Taylor working hard and steady up on the scaffolding.  She did not come down until her task was complete.
John Scott shared how Michaela was working it to the end too.
But Sophia took a different approach she was working hard as well but a little girl stopped by to say hey to her, Sophia stopped working and spent time with the little girl. 
All three ladies did the right thing at the time before them.  It sometimes pays to be Martha and Mary.  It all depends on your situation.
Lizzy shared some knowledgeable information on the first day, " You will come in with expectations but it will not always go as you expect.  God is much bigger than our expectations."
Mrs. Sheri enjoyed greeting the children daily at VBS.  She greeted them at the door of the church with a huge warm smile. 
Ashlyn made a ball out of something in her chip bag daily and she did not have enough so a little boy from the community saw her struggling went home and brought his so she could complete her ball.
Mrs. Sheri was well taken care of by Justin and Carlton, Carlton brought her water and Justin ask her to please sit down and take a break.
Anna Kate shared how the Hondurans worked so hard and never stopped until their task were done.  I am exhausted and trying to keep up and they are steadily working hard.  She enjoyed working beside her new friends in Honduras.
Lizzy shared the baseball game with our staff was so much fun.  We were one family in the Lord those two days.
Tabitha shared how Jose always encouraged me, each and every day.
Ashlyn received a letter from a 13 yr old girl who told her she would have a mansion in Heaven for all she did this week.
Carlton was in awe of how loving the children were to complete strangers.
Lizzy shared how the children prayed with open hands unto the Lord.
Michaela sat with a young man in church with a learning disability and how it took him a while to settle in and listen to the sermon.
Justin shared how the preacher listen one time to them sing "Open My Eyes" in English and the next time in joined in singing it in English. A little boy named Herman knew all the songs the church sang during the beginning of the service from memory.  He did not have a hymn book.
Scott shared the home dedication was humbling as Juan sat in his hammock and turn to place his hand on the house as we prayed the prayer of dedication over it.
Justin was standing behind Juan after the dedications as he was leaving his new home with a tear running down his cheek.
Bobby was in awe of the kindness of the people here and how they help each other and work together as a family.  How they have so little but have more than I do.
Pastor Brian shared how he was in awe of them coming down the road on the first day to see what was taking place on their property.
Taylor was taken back because two of the children had VBS got up before the church and sang a hymn in