Monday, November 6, 2017

Welcome Back Our Virginia Team

We want to welcome back to Honduras team leader Steve and some old friends and a lot of new friends this year.  There are five churches involved with this team.  Welcome folks from Trinity Baptist Church, Fairlawn Baptist Church, Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, Blue Ridge Baptist Church and Blacksburg Baptist Church.  This was a team of fourteen and half of the team members were all new friends.  But they all came on board ready to serve the Lord.  Some of these folks did not know each other until this team was formed. The unity this team represented who would have known they did not already know each other.  Everyone pitched in and did an amazing job working side by side.  If it was cooking breakfast, making the sandwiches, mixing the Gatorade or loading the trip, they all worked side by side as one big and amazing family in Christ.  We would like to welcome back team leader, Steve, Mitchell,  Joe and daughter Claire, Sandra, Paula, Mike, Sam and Darryl.  We would love to welcome on board Jim, Chris, Pastor Tommy, Robert and Jenna.

The first night of devotions team leader, Steve, did an amazing job challenging the team He chose three different scripture references to reflect on.  Missions is individual.  God put this team together.  God wants to show us something.  The mission trip is a vehicle  Every one of us has different levels of faith.  We all are on a different journey and will learn something different simply by being here. 
Hebrews 11:1  We have faith easier to speak than it is to do.  God will test our faith and how are we to get there if we cannot see our faith.  We struggle with our faith because it is not something we can see.
John 7:16-17 You will know what God's will for you is this week. Questions
 to ponder on: What did God want you to see, What did God want you to hear, What did God what you to feel and what did God want you to experience.
John 5:17-20 God's will is where God shows me He is working in my life this week in Honduras.  You will be spiritual blind if all
you come to do is build a house or do a police conference.

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Mt. Horeb was new and welcoming to a lot of this team.  Sandra and Paula were so excited about the North American Dorms.  They said the last time they were here there was only a couple of facilities up and running.  God has truly blessed Mt. Horeb  through a lot of answered prayers and monetary gifts as well.  We are blessed to provided such a welcoming and warm facility for our teams each week here in Honduras.  We cannot take any credit for what God has done on Mt. Horeb.  We are all just the hands and feet of Jesus. Mike and I are so grateful for such an amazing gift from God to serve Him in such a loving country with folks who love the Lord.

"Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Mt. Horeb, when He said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn how to revere me as long as they live in the land and they may teach them to their children."
Deuteronomy 4:10

A Beautiful Family

Joe has come down at least two years with his oldest daughter Clara.  This year Joe and Clara were blessed to bring along Jenna their daughter and sister.  As you can see in the pictures it was not hard to get pictures of these two lovely young ladies working side by side.  They were such a blessing to there team and I know Joe was one proud father having his two daughters with him on an internal mission trip with him to Honduras.  They are respectful and strong Christian young ladies.  
Mike was grateful for Joe and his construction abilities on his team.  Mike and I had a family emergency which caused to leave before this team finished the project.  Joe was most helpful to Mike in what needed to be done to complete his team's week and how Mike wanted every detail taken care of and we thank you Joe for all you did.  What an example of a godly family.

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Arrival at El Tambor

This team had a journey each day to their job site. But before starting their journey daily they lifted up their day unto the Lord in prayer on the porch of the North American Dorm. It took the Land Cruiser the Kia and the bus to transport them to the project.  But the project was only about thirty minutes across the road from Mt. Horeb, praise God.  The folks on the bus had to walk from the community center in El Tambor which is actually a beautiful trail of God's creation surrounding their path to the project.  The Kia and the Land Cruiser were able to get closer but had to travel through a holding area for about twenty five cattle which was not a problem either.  The cows either stood or sat watching them each day go by their home as they chewed their cud.  This was the closet any of us had every been to a cow this huge.  They were beautiful creatures who God has created.
The crew on the two vehicles closet to the project starting unloading the supplies off the back of the Kia carrying and dodging cow dung each day.  They did this with a joyous heart for they were providing a precious family a home. The first morning upon arriving they came across  a small stumbling block.  There was a barb wired fence keeping them from getting to their project which was simply on the other side of the fence.  So they passed the supplies over to each other until there was a means otherwise.  They had to cut the barb wire so they cut get through to the foundation of the home.  There was not anything which kept this team from doing what God had called them to do, build a home for Nelson, Ana and Demas, their four year old son. Thank you all for being so flexible without complaint.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
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Nelson, Ana and Demas

We would like to introduce to you a quiet but precious little family who lives in El Tambor.  They are Nelson, father who works in the melon fields which is a seasonal job, his wife and Christina lady, Ana and their son, Demas.  Ana introduced her family very nervously that first day, she shared to Meida she was overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord and humbled God was giving her this home she had prayed for a very long time.  She was so nervous she introduced Nelson as her husband with no name attached.  Meida calmly asked her to give us the name of her husband and she said Nelson every so quietly. Demas was so excited as well to get a dry and secure place to live with his mother and father.  When we went out to assess this was not the family next on Pastor David's list of solicitants .  But a month prior to our visit their existing home had been washed away while they were actually in there sleeping one evening.  The rains this year have been brutal for the people here in Honduras.  Either they do not get enough rain or they receive too much rain at one time.  So as we stood there looking at what was left of their existing home Mike and I totally understood why they got moved up on the list of homes needed in El Tabor.  There is at least six more homes in this community who need homes but Pastor David was led to move her up to get her home and this team was an answer to Ana's prayer that week.

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Happy Birthday

We celebrated with Jonathan his 17th birthday.  We talked the morning of his birthday and he shared he could not pick a better place to celebrate his birthday serving the Lord on his first mission trip to Honduras.  We sung to him several times that day all in Spanish of course.  We provided him a tres leche birthday cake and a big surprise from Mr. Mike an egg on his head.  Martha, Wuilmer, Rudy, Pastor Carlos, Alexa and Manuel sang to him in Spanish the night of his birthday after dinner.  I believe it was Mike who shared can we please sing to him in English.  So we all sang "Happy Birthday" in English too.  He truly celebrated his birthday to the fullest in Honduras.  

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Setting Up the Cornerstones

 Each team comes in with an unique project or opportunities.  Well this one came in with a couple of opportunities.  Jim, new team member jumped right on one of the problems and dug out the corner of one of the cornerstones to make room for the medal pole to go in the ground to set up this cornerstone.  He worked diligently with a shovel digging out the area for this medal pole to be placed.  Pastor Carlos with a grin on his face says the foundation is not level and says, "But this is not problem and turns around to walk off with the help of Sam to make the corrections to make this house a home.  Tino, the driver pitched in to help set one of the corners.  Every one was working together to make somethin imperfect as close to perfect as our human hands can produce.  This is similar with our own lives.  We are not perfect but as long as our foundation is solid in the Lord, He will make us to His perfection in due time.  We just need to be willing to be adjusted at the given time to make us strong in our foundation in Jesus Christ. In order to do this we need the correct tools to make our foundation level and strong, God's Word daily, prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit moving in our lives on a daily basis and be willing to know we are sinners and ask forgiveness daily for all we do which makes our foundation not level.

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Prayer and Dedication of First Block

Team leader Steve and Pastor Tommy prayed over the first block as we directed the family to lay their hands upon the first block.  Nelson, Ana and Demas moved slowly to the beginning of their new home. They came closer to this first block and only can I imagine what their thoughts might have been.  This is it the day God said we are getting a home.  The day we will finally have a fresh start and a new beginning thanks be to God.  The excitement inside of them though other than being very nervous and quiet you would not even know what they were thinking.  The team gathered around this sweet little family and laid their hands upon them and each other as this family and the week ahead was lifted up in prayer to our Father in Heaven who made all this possible.

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Block 101

Mr.  Mike always with pleasure teaches all his new times how to lay the block Honduran style.  He had a big class that day.  Every one watched intently to make sure they walked away with the way it needed to be done here on this project.  There was a lot of returnees who wanted a refresher course as well.  This team was so willing to do whatever it took to give Nelson, Ana and Demas a home they would be proud of and be pleases with as well.  So once Mr. Mike got through every one scurried off to find their corner and paired up to start laying the 799 blocks left for this home.  They learned quickly and did an amazing job, especially with the filling of the joints.  If the joints do not look good the house will not look good either.  One team member shared, Darryl I believe, "We need to build this home as if it was our own home we are building."  Amen brother Darryl.  We need to take complete and total pride in all work we do for the Lord.  It is our gift from Him to serve Him any place in this world.  If we have been called to go we must give it our very best. 

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A House Becomes a Home

In five days this house would become a home.  But not without God leading this team every step of the way.  This is what team leader said during introductions the first morning.  We are only the hands and feet of Jesus called by Him to come and serve you in the building of your first secure home.  So with this in mind each team member worked side by side for five days and got this family a home they would be proud of for many years.  Paula and Sandra, long time comers to Honduras worked together on the joints which they do so well.  They put a lot of love into every slab of mortar they place between each and every joint.  Joe and Darryl laid blocks and cut blocks as well throughout the entire week.  The team lost six of their team members to another mission project team leader, Steve worked on all year for their team to come and do.  So the team of nine worked hard together on this house three of the five days without their new friends and their old friends.  There was never a complaint about we did not have enough help.  They did an amazing job as a team working for their Lord getting those blocks down those joints filled for Nelson, Ana and Demas.  What an awesome job team.  This team came and did two projects in the same week and it all came out according to God's plan.

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The Beauty of Honduras

Honduras has beauty in many ways,  Of course the beauty of the people.  Their lifestyles are none compared to ours but yet the simplicity of their daily lives is breathtaking and a desire had by all North Americans who come to Honduras.  They live each day to provide a meal for their families by collecting the firewood to cook on the clay stoves daily or collectively at one time.  They sell tortillas, frozen bananas, wash someone's laundry or work the fields for a meal for their families.  There is not a lot of stuff in their lives which hinders them from totally relying on their Lord for their daily needs.  They trust God will provide all they need for each day. They do not worry or seem concerned about their day.  The ladies prepare their days like the Proverbs 31 lady does, she provides the needs of her family daily.
They are surrounding by God's creation of trees with numerous fruits and vegetables.  They do not depend on man and the grocery store for their food, they plant and grow their own foods they need to eat daily.  They can always go to the local Pulperia to purchase their beans and rice as needed.  So many of us are jealous of the impression of Jesus Christ they exhibit in their daily lives, they truly rely on the Lord for all they need and His creation which provides so much for them as well.  They may not have a lot materialistically but they have it all within their community and spiritually. 

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Strong in the Word

This team came on board ready to share in God's Word on a daily basis.  They saw the need to put this at the for front of their week.  Team member Mike did an amazing job one evening during his devotion.  He used the scripture out of Matthew 28 about "The Great Commission".  We need to invest our time and energy into Eternity. Whether we are at work, sharing with someone or on a mission trip, sharing the gospel with whoever will listen should be our focal point of our daily lives.  This is not a suggestion but a command from God, "Go and make disciples of all nations,". We need to intently listen to Him and what He has in store for us on a daily basis.  There is no one who can doubt your testimony.  Your testimony is your life in Christ.  This is something not anyone can take away from you or tarnish.  Go and share what Jesus has done in your life.  It could make a difference of eternity and hell for someone.

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Our Second Project

The team leader Steve came last year and Mike shared with him how our ministry was trying to build a relationship with the local police check point.  Steve shared how he and some other of his team members who are police would love to come back and share in some activities and devotional time with these fellow police officers.  So as this year past we heard from Steve and he shared he had six men interested in coming and sharing in drills and mostly God's Word with fellow police officers.  All the hard work Steve put into this came to life this week in Honduras.  We placed the construction team across the road about twenty minutes to so both teams would be close to each other if any needs were required of each other.  So on Saturday of their week the team spit up into two different teams, one the construction team and one was the Police Conference.  The six North American police, team leader Steve, retired Captain, Officer Robert has worked 15 years as an university police, Lt. Sam who has worked for 18 1/2 years in investigation unit, Pastor Tommy, who counsels the police, families and notifies families of deaths, Officer Jim has been a police officer for 9 1/2 years and Officer Chris has been in law enforcement 11 years and works with the canine unit. There is probably sixty plus years of experience amongst these young men who came to serve their Lord this week with the police of Honduras.  They did not come to teach them but to work beside them this week and learn from them as well.
The Honduran Chief of Police has been a police in Honduras for 7 years.  He responsibilities are checking for drugs, weapons and illegals coming through Honduras.  He works with the national border control as well. There was a couple other police who walked in while introductions were taking place.  Officer Nelson also has been with the Honduran police for 7 years. He worked in special unit and shared how the military work beside them as well.  He is learning more about the national border control through educational classes.  Officer Alex has been a police in Honduras 9 years. He also works in the special unit for 4 years now.  He is teaching and helping other officers learn more about the special unit work.  They shared how they went to the states and Guatemala to learn more about the special unit work. 
They shared a word of prayer and went out to take a tour of the facility.  After their tour they decided to meet on the porch of the ware house with the police live and sleep.  We brought in chairs from the local church in Pavana so everyone would have a place to sit during the conferences.  Team member Jim, took the lead and share a little about himself and how he came into law enforecement and his carreer in the military.  One of the Honduran police asked him did he have trouble sleeping since being back home from military duty.  Jim thought this was a most interesting question but knew the Honduran police knew a lot about their lives in the states.  Jim asked them if they were Christians and no one raised their hands.  They knew who God was but did not know Jesus has their Lord and Savior.  Another question was asked from the Honduran police, "How can you have faith in God with the line of work you do.  Jim and several others shared their personal relationship with Jesus Christ is how we do everything in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.  So the North Americans were going to learn from them but they were there to teach the Hondurans how to live for Christ while being a police officer.  At that time Mike asked could Pastor Pedro come out on Monday and join them and let Pastor Tommy worked beside him so in teaching him how to minister to these guys with concerns in their lives and their jobs.  Of course that was a go ahead.  Pastor Pedro goes out weekly with members from his church to teach a bible study with about seven of these police officers.  There was actually ten bibles given out recently to the ones who requested a bible.  God is at work at this police check point and these six gentlemen planted a lot of seeds towards God's Kingdom work.  Thank you Steve, team leader and gentlemen who put so much of their time and energy into this new ministry God has created.
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