We drove through this quant little town not knowing what all God had in store for us this week. We have not ever come here to share in an evangelism team. This is our first visit to Pastor Hector's church. Pastor Hector has a huge mission field right here in Orocuna. It is a predominantly Catholic community and as we all know it is hard to convert someone into being a follower of Jesus Christ. Their faith is based on family commitment not to their Lord and Savior. Some of the profound Catholics do not even know where they are going to go when they die. They think Hail Mary will take care of them and if they work really hard and not be bad they will get into Heaven. Sadly this is not the case in those who follow Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are saved by His Grace and Mercy and it is a free gift without any works involved. So this week we were blessed and privileged to come along side of this church to share the love of Jesus with a lost and dying community. This team was prayed up prepared up and cover with the armor of God for what journey lied ahead for each of them.
Friday, August 16, 2019
As we arrived at the church everyone unloaded out of two vehicles. Meida came up to hug and say hey to Richard who rode with Bobby and Tino. Well Bobby shared how he felt the love. Meida with her very shy disposition went back over to greet Bobby with and hug and her big beautiful smile. Tino greeted the folks on the Land Cruiser. Pastor Wayne was so joyous to see Tino again. Tino is always a joyful spirit and we appreciate him and how he serves this ministry. We started being greeted by others in the church as we entered the building. We will learn more about a church building later in this blog. This group came prepared to bring the lost to Christ and this church building was just a stopping place along the way.
We arrived after an hour ride through some beautiful country side to a quant little town called Orocuna. We were welcomed warmly by Pastor Hector and his congregation. We gathered around to meet and greet one another as the church members continue to arrive on the local moto taxis. Bobby, team leader introduced himself and allowed his team members to introduce themselves. Pastor Hector introduced his church members who were going out door to door with them that day. Pastor Hector was honest in sharing these people will say they are Christians when in reality they are not. They will say they go to church when there is a strong possibility they may go a few times a year. He said something quiet profound to the team this is a community who thinks when they come to church you are suppose to give them something. We as a church ask you not to give out anything to anyone while out making your visits. We are not a church who gives things out. Praise God for this statement. Mike and I always thought this hand out concept was hard on the pastors once the teams left and now we got confirmation on our first morning in Orocuna by Pastor Hector.
We gathered in a circle as we lifted our day up in pray. Pastor Wayne led the pray as Meida translated it for him. Everyone then broke up into their groups to get to know each other and share their testimonies and prayer concerns with one another. They were just about ready to go and to the ends of the earth to share the love of Jesus Christ.
At the blink of an eye something new is always happening at Mt. Horeb. Finally Praise the Lord the pond is full and now Manuel and Mike are ready to get the tilapia to go in this pond. Praise the Lord the griddle and the new stove came in along with those metal walk boards. So Ingrid is now cooking her tortillas for the teams inside on the griddle. She is one happy lady as she learns how to use the griddle and how to clean it as well. Cristobal is in the process of making soccer field goals as Pastor Carlos and Alexa supervise. Alexa informed Cristobal the goals were too big for the field they would be sitting on. Pastor Carlos studied the situation and I believed he agreed with Alexa. Mike found Pastor Carlos out on the soccer field leveling out the sand on the field along side of his staff. Even on his down time Pastor Carlos finds something to do to help Mt. Horeb get closer to being complete and ready for youth retreats, church conferences and pastor conferences. Mt. Horeb gets closer and closer until God shows us something else He wants us to do.
" Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when He said to me, "Assembly 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 4:10
It always warms my heart when someone joins me at the puzzle table. This week it was Holly. I enjoyed sitting there listening to her hum softly under her breath as she placed pieces of this puzzle into its proper home. Alexia joined us as well one evening. We do not do a lot of talking but we are together as one after a common goal, completely this one thousand piece puzzle. It is most relaxing for those of us who sit down together and look and look and finally we get one. The joy from simply getting one is awesome. We have fun at the puzzle table each week and are always blessed with some good fellowship as well. Plus after each puzzle is completed one of our staff members get to take one home framed in some wood off of Mt. Horeb. We have completed about eight puzzles as of today.
Each day the team gathered together to break bread at the multi-purpose building. One morning Bobby and Mike got to try out the new griddle which came in last week. Brad was also excited to be able to grill toast on the griddle even only he had butter so instead Brad made it work and used mayonnaise on the bread to make it nice and crispy and toasty. This time of the day either morning or evening was a special time of fellowship among believers in Christ. After dinner we all sat on the porch and watched the sunset and reflect on our fruit God provided from the day. We shared God moments off and on all evening as we would remember something or reflect again on something else.
Thank you God for a good time of food and fellowship amongst brothers and sisters in Christ.
Praise God Mike has a mechanical background. The battery went dead in the Kia one morning and immediately Mike and team member Brad knew what the problem was located. Mike shared I need to get a new battery for the Kia soon. So the team took the jumper cables along with them on this beautiful Honduras morning. Of course not anything slowed this bunch down. They left with huge smiles on their face ready to go and bring the lost to Christ and today was a new journey to La Gaza. This is a very flexible team who is willing to do whatever it takes to share God's Word to others. Like Holly's devotional Satan is not going to stop us from serving. Behind me Satan.
This week this team was blessed with amazing godly hospitality in Orocuna. They were definitely humbled by the church's generosity. Each day they were provided a hot lunch. This particular day it was chicken and rice. They even got served breakfast and lunch one day. Sadly they were only at this location for three days. Pastor Hector took them to the mission church up in La Gaza outside of Orocuna. But they definitely were blessed while serving in Orocuna with some delicious Honduran cuisine. Grateful for us all how we are so blessed by these amazing people. Brad shared one day while sitting on the pulperia porch if were we to say no to them, we would deny them their blessing of serving us. Mike and I agreed with him totally. We never need to steal their blessings from them. We all agreed also they sacrifice far more than we will ever sacrifice. Brad's devotional one morning about the woman who broke the precious bottle of oils over Jesus feet. Not just some of it but all of it. It was probably worth a year's salary. She gave all she had. Like the woman who came to visit Jesus this church family gave all they had out of gratitude to the North American team. God is so good!!!!
On Wednesday Mike shared if I got all my work done we could go play with the team at VBS and have lunch with them. I worked diligently on Wednesday and got everything done I needed to get done for Wednesday. So off Mike, Pastor Carlos and I went to Orocuna. This was a special treat for Pastor Carlos because number Pastor Hector is one of his dearest friends who does not get so see very often and number two reason all three of us have worked non stop for the last 35 days without a day of rest. So this was a day we all were looking forward to. We got there early around 11:15 so the team was still out in the field sharing the gospel. So we followed Pastor Carlos up the path by the church through an embankment to Pastor Hector's home. We did not know what a blessing we all three was about to receive upon arriving. We entered their home with open arms of hugs and gratitude for our visit. Pastor Hector hugged his long time friend and colleguage. Pastor Hector's wife took me back to her kitchen where she personally had made a big pot of chicken soup for us. She had asked Meida the day before what did I like. Meida shared I definitely could not have the rice and chicken the team was having that day for lunch. Meida shared with her rice makes Mrs. Ginger hurt so cannot eat it anymore. This sweet lady knew from years passed I love chicken soup so she prepared me some chicken soup with lots of veggies and of course I shared it with Mike, Pastor Carlos and Meida. She even invited Meida to join us as well. What a very special time of fellowship and food with some long time brothers and sisters in Christ. How humbling it was for me to receive a meal I could truly eat without having after affects because this lady who I do not get to see very often went to the trouble to cook something I could enjoy. Thank you God for family and friends who are not blood. Mike and I are so blessed to be your hands and feet of Jesus. We see this everyday down here and we are forever grateful to you God for this precious gift.
On Thursday Brad and Julie along Humberto, their translator got blessed with three very special young ladies taking them out to share the gospel. Sadly one of them is not in this picture. She was about the Lord's work getting ready for the church to start VBS. Two of these young ladies were the daughters of Pastor Hector's daughter. The amazing part of being here sharing the gospel this week is we have known Pastor Hector and his family for ten years. We knew these two young ladies when they were 6 and 8 years old. How beautiful it is to see how a godly home can produce such godly children. These young ladies helped Brad and Julie share the gospel with two older ladies and sitting on a couch was two young girls listening and they also accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as well as the older two ladies who Brad and Julie were initially sharing the gospel with. So Brad felt led by God to go over to Pastor Hector's wife and thank her for raising two godly daughters who helped them so much today out sharing the gospel. God uses any age to share the good news of Jesus Christ, His Son.
Brad and Julie's devotionals were one in the same. Brad shared how they look so forward to coming to Honduras more so than taking a vacation. When we were children we got praised for doing our chores, cutting the grass or maybe cleaning our room. Our parents praised us for what we had done. When we come to Honduras we pray plan and prepare ourselves for this trip. God rewards us as our Heavenly Father when one lost sheep comes to Christ by receiving salvation and eternal life. In turn Julie says we should be excited about coming to Heaven. Because everything on this earth is temporal but eternity is forever. Our vacations are temporal but this week in Honduras is for the Kingdom of God, it is eternal. Brad and Julie basically shared if we are obedient to God and come and serve along their Honduran brothers and sisters we will receive the fruits of our labor which is bringing the lost to Christ and watching the harvest become fruit.
The Mount Horeb porches are special in so many ways. God has blessed us with these porches in sharing God's Word for over four years. God moments have come around these porches more than I can even imagine. This week this evangelism team had a devotional in the morning and in the late afternoon this week. They shared from their hearts how God has changed their lives by being in His Word. They shared their fears, their joys, their love for others and how blessed they are to be called and were obedient to come here and share the gospel not only with Mike and I but also with so many Hondurans this week. They equipped themselves in the Word and in lots of prayer morning and evening this week to make sure they were about their Father's business, and not anything they should boast about. They were humble and submissive to God's calling to come this year and serve beside us in Honduras. But they only could do what they did because they started their day in His Word and they ended their day in His Word. We are not anything without the power of the Holy Spirit which dwells within us. So thank you Forest City family for sharing God's love with us and others this week. We felt like we have been in a revival all week and for this Mike and I are most grateful.
We are so blessed to have this lovely and godly couple back with us this year for their third visit. Welcome Brad and Julie. The love of Jesus radiates off of both of them. Their excitement for one salvation is contagious. They enjoy the culture and the food and most of all the people. They are humble with their witness for Christ. They have had quiet the week with a lot of folks with lots of excuses why they do not need Jesus or they do not know where they are going to go when they die. But they came prepared with the right questions but they also were able and willing to learn from one of their friends from the church who went with them how to approach a person who is Catholic. So we learn from our Honduran brothers and sisters daily here and I am grateful to God they both were willing to receive guidance for the Honduran people. Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus with others and Julie for allowing God is use you this year to bring others to Christ. To God be the glory.
Welcome back for their third year Richard and Holly. Richard had the opportunity to share the gospel in church on Sunday. Holly was able to use the evangi-cube for the first time to bring someone to Christ. Her God moment which brought tears to my eyes with this ninety one year old man and his daughter who has cerebral palsy coming to Christ. Holly was sharing the plan of salvation with the elderly gentleman as the daughter sat on the couch listening. The ninety one year old man received Christ as his Lord and Savior. It is never to late to receive the sweetest gift of all Jesus. Well this story gets even better, Holly looked over at his daughter and ask her would she like to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Holly said with all her might she prayed the sinner's prayer with her and it took all her being to do this but Holly waited ever so gently on each word to part her lips before going to the next word. They were in a very rural community today where there was so many more stories just like this one. This was probably the first time these children had ever seen North Americans. But what a great group to get to meet for the first time.
Richard learned how to make hammocks while sharing the gospel with a family in Orocuna. Also they had challenges as well with a very strong Catholic community but Richard shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with the help of his friend Meida and moved on and dusted off his feet as he left.
At the end of the day it does my heart good to see young couples coming to Honduras to share the love of Jesus Christ with these beautiful people. We are proud of both couples for coming here beside of us this week and what a joy they all four were to Mike and I.
Off they go. This is one of my favorite photo shots is seeing the evangelism teams heading out to wherever God leads them to share their passion and love for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They have prayed, planned and prepared for this very moment here and now God is sending them out to do what they have been called to do, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were obedient and by their obedience this week hopefully their will be fruit produced. They did not know where God was taking them and they were definitely out of their comfort zone in a different country, different culture, and definitely a different language. But there was not any obstacles out there too big for our God. Praise God for Julie and Holly who have made this trip three times and this week God blessed them and decided to use them to bring someone to Christ. Holly for the first time used the evagi cube and Julie shared the Roman Road. God was ready to turn them loose with His Words pouring through them by the power of the Holy Spirit.