Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Church Family From Maryland Returns

Derek, team leader, brings back our church family from Maryland for his fourth term as a team leader.  Derek has taken it up to a different level this year with his leadership skills.  On the very first evening after a very long day on the road for everyone he shared I would like to do a devotional before calling it a night.  We said by all means.  So after our beans, rice, plantanes and tortillas we gathered on the dorm porch for a very amazing devotional and time of sharing.  We were all very tired but not too tired for what Derek had in store for us.  Derek pulled from Philippines 2:1-10.  He shared how we are all tired but it is a very good tired.  Because we are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus this week.  We need to go into this with a Christ like attitude and let them see Jesus radiate from our words and our work.  It is hot and that is okay.  We do not need to grumble or complain because we truly have nothing to grumble or complain about.  Now do we.  We are blessed so we think but these awesome folks in Colonia Unidas are going to bless us more than we can imagine.  So let's put Jesus out there in front of us and follow what He has called us hear to do, SERVE HIM with JOY and CHRISTLIKE ATTITUDE.  As Derek was sharing Pastor Paul had out his note pad writing and writing.  I thought wow he is taking notes too.  Pastor Paul's God moment our very first night together was Derek's devotional which is his sermon topic on Sunday.  We serve a mighty God who knows in advance what HIS plans are for each and every one of us.  Debbie shared how she was in awe of the beauty of Mt. Horeb and Dolly, a new friend and team member from North Carolina shared she was in awe of the grandeur of Mt. Horeb.  Pastor Paul also shared how he was there when we met under the blue tarp for the very first worship service and how humbling it was to see what God had done in three short years.  Yes folks we serve a mighty and powerful God.

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Everyone Pitched In Each Morning

Each morning Pastor Paul and return member more than once a year, Bob, cooked amazing breakfast.  They were good old Baptist Men breakfast.  Pastor Paul always up there at 5:00 am with a big smile on his face and ready to help serve his team.  Bob gets up in his corner where he cooks the meat of the day for his team as well.  Bob is always working with a quiet and humble spirit.  Of course Debbie is up there at 4:30 with the coffee ready to be served daily at 5:00 for the cooks. Debbie shared how nice it was to sit on the porch each morning watching the sun come up while having her quiet time and her cup of Honduran coffee.

Dolly, new team member who was also so eager to serve her Lord and Savior got out there making the Gatorade daily.  She was grateful on the second day because God provided ice for the coolers.  The team drank their Gatorade and water the first day without a complaint.  So she felt doubly blessed on day two when God provided ice for the day.  We do not ever need to take any of our luxuries in life for granted.  But as I say it is not eternal now is it. This was an amazing flexible and whatever team this week. 

Mike had plenty of help loading the materials.  I have to say Dolly is our first female to ever left the medal tool box.  Pastor Paul and her help load the Kia after cooking breakfast and making the Gatorade and water.  This team was all over the place serving the Lord.  New team members, Dale and his grandson Luca pitched in and help load those huge monster boards onto the Kia.  A task which is not an easy one.  Everyone was so willing to do what it took to get their day started on a positive note.  Team work was what this team was all about.  Granted only a few of these folks had every worked together before.  But God always knows who He wants on each team and He orchestrates all so beautiful when we are faithful to listen and follow His will and calling for our lives.

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Mark 2:1-10 was Dolly's devotional on the first evening after our first day on the project. She reflected on their day and how they were greeted in the community and were able to interact with the people upon arrival and throughout the day.  We were welcomed with open arms and the love of Jesus.  In this scripture the four friends were taking their sick friend to see Jesus.  They were not greeted so welcomingly.  They had to find a way to get their friend to Jesus so Jesus could heal him.  Dolly shared there were different kinds of folks in this bible story.  The crowd who was out for their own needs and selfish gain, the paralytic who needed help from others, the four friends who worked over the many obstacles to take care of their friend, Jesus who was aware of the need for this paralytic internally and externally.  The paralytic needed healing from the inside and the outside.  Jesus was compassionate for this one man as He was surrounding by a crowd of others. and the scribes who thought they were superior over others and they knew what was best.
But the team all agreed that they saw Jesus on their job site the first day where there needs were met at all times, the love of Jesus was all around them even with the little children who worked so hard beside them.  So which one are you today she asked us?  Which character are you in this bible story?  I hope I am like Jesus who puts others before myself and in turn helps others like the four friends did.

Doubled Blessed

Mike and I are so excited to get our special friend, Sarah along with her mother Debby down to Honduras.  Sarah has been waiting for six years to come Honduras when she turned 16 years old.  She shared in devotions on the first evening she did not feel she was equipped to build a home and she was a little apprenshive about the task ahead.  But when getting to the project Sarah was anytjing but apprenhesive.  She got in there and did what ever was needed to get done.  She along with her mother Debby was especially interested in the well being of Flo the wife and homeowner.  Flo will be nine months on the 15th of August.  We are in August in case you are reading this much later.  Flo was about to explode and she was all baby.  Debby did not know flow knew it was going to be a little girl.  So Debby checks her out and looks at that big tummy and says she is going to have a little girl.  I said you are right because they already know. Sarah was intrigued about the subject because like here mother who is a Registered Nurse she is thinking of going into medicine herself.  So these two along with Meida of course enjoyed finding out the ends and out of Flo's pains and discomforts.  They were joyful throughout the whole week together.  What great memories these two ladies are making together this week.  We love ya'll so much!!!

Welcome, welcome Dale and his grandson, Luca, who Luca like Sarah has waited for two years to come to Honduras.  He wanted to come last year but was not quiet old enough. Dale shared how he came up to us each year we came to visit our family in Maryland and greeted us with a smile and handshake along with everyone else.  He heard our stories several times but until you come here you truly cannot see the blessings Mike and Ginger are talking about.  These people are beautiful and he was grateful when Luca was of age to come and experience this with him.  Luca was amazing on the job site.  He jumped him ready to serve the Lord wherever and however he could.  He learned quickly the tasks around him.  Dale said he was so very proud of Luca and all he was getting to learn and do.  His willingness to serve made Dale so very proud of him. Mike has enjoyed sharing and getting to know Dale while I have enjoyed chatting with Luca about each day and how much he is enjoying his stay here in Honduras.  Luca did an amazing job on his devotional out 2 John 7-10 where we should take what we learn here and carry back home with us and do it there as well.  We should come here prepared to learn from our new friends and be able to apply it to our daily lives.  Mike and I have also fallen in love with two more special folks from our home church in Maryland.

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Praying, Problems and More Problems

Praise God we start each day in prayer for whatever God places before us.  We pray at least twice before leaving Mt. Horeb.  We pray at least three times at the job site.  We pray twice in the evening and sometimes three times.  This is only our group prayer and not including our private quiet time with HIM in the morning and the end of our day.  Well we needed to be covered in prayer the first morning because Satan was busy at work,,,,,,

Everyone gathers in the three vehicles and Bob comes running down the hill to tell Mike the Land Cruiser will not start.  So Mike backs down the road to where the Land Cruiser is sitting not planning to go anywhere not any time soon.  Mike jumps the two vehicles as Bob and Lassie supervise the situation at large.  After much work and persistence on Mike's part they pushed it off to make it safely to the project almost made it to the project until we came across one more obstacle......

Oh yes we are still in the middle of road construction which led right up to where our project for the week was located.  God blessed us the first morning we did not have to sit in the thirty minute to one hour  wait before our turn.  We never know how long it will take each day to get to and from the project.  So in order to make it to our job site by 8 we left at 6:45 to allow plenty of time for arrival.  Hopefully one day these wonderful gift of road constructions will be over and we can truly enjoy these beautiful new roads all these folks are working so hard on.  The road the first morning was backed up on our opposite side praise God for five or six miles easily.  Almost literally to the turn off where our project was located.  But once upon arrival God had placed us into a little piece of Heaven here on earth.  Sometimes when we serve the Lord the road is not always easy but the end results are beautiful.  

 A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:3                   

Nelson and Flo

Mike and I have been so blessed to be a part of watching these two young people grow up in their church family.  These two godly people dated many years as teenagers and matured in their walk with the Lord.  They were blessed to have a church family who encouraged the young couples to marry before having their families.  Do put God first then their spouses.  Nelson and Flo did just that.  They both have served as Sunday School teachers for the children of the church now and years past.  Which is explains a lot of the blogs later on in this beautiful story.  Flo came to a woman's conference provided for her church family a year ago.  She came and shared with me Nelson and she had enough money to pay for their foundation.  They gave us a solicitation about a year ago.  We said we would love to build them a home but they need to pay for their foundation and then we will build their home.  Nelson kind of sighed like I hope I can do this. They were planning to marry soon and wanted a home of their own instead of living with Nelson's mother and siblings.  But we stand firm on the family providing their own foundations.  When Flo shared this that day with me I said okay let's build this home.  So at that time she was not pregnant. We had to wait for this year's schedule to come to see who we could fit them with this year.  We went to visit Flo one morning to let her know her and Nelson were getting a home in August.  So they had plenty of time to get their foundation put in place.  When we told her the date she giggled and shared with us this was the due date of their first child.  Nelson was not there because he is blessed with a job to provide for his family.  This family is so blessed to start out their Christian journey as a couple with a new home, a job and a baby girl who will not have to know what it is like to not have her own home, team leader Derek shared one evening.  The team shared how they are so blessed to be a part of such a precious and godly couple who live their lives totally for their Lord.

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Greet and Meet Our New Friends

We gathered after the long journey to our special place of service this week.  God truly has blessed us with such beauty and splendor all around us.  The project over looks so gorgeous green mountains of Honduras.  As we circled up Derek introduced the team and at the time the only folks there were the immediate family.  I thought God your provision and I know you will provide more folks to build this home.  Nelson could not stay the whole time because of his job. Which is a huge blessing for this family.  So after the introductions everyone starting come to help serve from old and young alike.  God's provision always comes through for His servants.

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Prepping for the First Block

Everyone is a team player on this team.  They started unloading everything off the Kia to carry up a steep rocky terrain to a flat clean shaded area for the week ahead.  The family had cleaned an area under some gorgeous trees which provided shade as needed each day.  The team set up their traditional benches for the week and placed their coolers in place and continue serving in other areas

Mike always recruits his block specialists for the first morning.  Debby and Sarah jumped on board.  Dale and Derek brought the boards and lined them up for Mike so his cutting would go much quicker.  Debby and Sarah along with Meida knocked out the nubs and piled them up for later use.  These willing helpers makes Mike's job so much easier and quicker to get the job done.  Mike tries to cut all the blocks the first part of the first morning and allow them to cut as needed later in the week.  Everyone was available when Mike hollered for help.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

Pastor Paul assisted Pastor Carlos on the four corners.  Pastor Paul was singing a beautiful hymn about Jesus being our cornerstone as he worked beside Pastor Carlos.  They got to the last cornerstone and Pastor Carlos hollered at Mike for the "C" Clamp.  A couple of teams ago one of our "C" Clamps got stolen.  So Mike had not replaced it yet.  Pastor Carlos has been using wire to hold the corner together and set the cornerstone.  So when Nelson brought Pastor Carlos the wire, Mike shouted" There is your "C" Clamp Pastor Carlos.  The gentlemen all chuckled and kept right on working.  Our brothers here in Honduras can improvise as needed on any given day and share this is not a problem.  This may be where I started the phrase "It is not eternal"  solo digo.
Pastor Paul enjoyed his special time the first morning serving by a fellow pastor and friend.

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Hydration Specialists

The team had two hydration specialists for the first couple of days.  Debby and Flo, the lady of the house and future mommy were making sure everyone was getting enough water.  Actually the mescal mixers were getting double care the first two days.  Debby was going around every forty five minutes with either water or Gatorade and Flo brought them out a big pitcher of water with a huge block of ice in it.  Later on the first day I saw Dale out giving out water as well.
But on day three there was huge problem with the two hydration specialists.  They neither one showed up for their job duties.  Well Debby and her daughter Sarah also came to do a medical clinic so they were excused from their assigned duties.  Flo, the very pregnant wife of Nelson went into to labor and delivered a beautiful little girl named Angelica on that Monday morning.  So the team suffered tremendously without their two ladies their doing their job.  Pastor Paul shared everyone was dropping like flies because they were dehydrated.  Just kidding no one dropped too far any ways.  But our hydration specialists were definitely missed on day three of the home construction.

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:14

Preparing to Lay the First Block

There is so many different tasks needing to be done in order to get a home built.  On the first morning everyone is doing some task some where on the job site.  Blocks always have to be moved from one spot to another on just about every project.  Praise God for patient folks who are willing to dive in to do whatever it takes to get the jobs done. Roof materials have to be placed securely until the last day for the final step of someone getting a new home.

More blocks are being moved and more blocks are being moved.  Blocks are everywhere as they continue doing other tasks all around the moving of blocks.  Every single job is valuable on a construction project.  We only use this home construction as a huge tool to reach the lost for Jesus Christ.  The sweet family who is receiving the home yes are Christians and godly folks to put it mildly.  They love their Lord and love serving HIM in church and their community.  It was obvious how much they have done for others of the turn out of folks who helped them get a new home.  But not all people who come to serve are Christians.  So this is the opportunity to do more than build a home but help built up the Kingdom of God here on Earth.  This is a chance to bring the lost to Christ who may have heard about HIM or may not have heard about HIM.  So this is more than moving blocks this is about moving where they lost are so they will know about the greatest gift of all Jesus Christ. 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 1:8

Praying Over The First Block

Nelson and Flo's pastor was asked by team leader, Derek to pray over the family's first block to their new future as a family.  Little did we know at the time of this special moment there would be a third party coming on board really soon.  Everyone gathered around Nelson and Flo placing their hands upon them and upon others around the circle to lift up a new home and a new life in a sweet baby girl coming into this world to live in this precious place they will soon call home.  This was such a humbling time for all of us as we gathered in the presence of our Lord and lifted up this day and the days ahead to His Glory.  All God's people shouted AMEN.

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The Youth is our Future

Derek and his team were blessed beyond measure with a community full of young men who wanted to help their Sunday School teachers, Nelson and Flo receive their new home.  Jose, Nelson's nephew along beside his friends, Fernando, David and another David and Anthony all worked hard every single day to help this house become a home.  Sarah shared one evening how they persevered and gave it their all to completion.  They were always there ready to serve wherever needed.  We joked and said the team was going to be in trouble when they went to school that first afternoon.  Well the team was not in any trouble because all the boys skipped school to help build the home.  What examples of learning how to serve others in the name of Jesus.

Sarah came on board not knowing where she would fit into this construction team.  She shared she had never worked on a house before or done any type of construction work much at all.  Well God had Sarah well taken care of by the time she arrived in Colonia Unidas, Choluteca, Honduras.  Sarah took a lesson from Mr. Mike and off she went filling in the joints on the house.  Sarah shared one evening during devotionals how she did not feel she would fit in very well until she met Andy who was not accepted very well by his peers.  Sarah and Andy became immediate friends and worked side by side on those beautiful joints. Sarah shared how she then felt like she could do this project because Andy was there to encourage her as she reached out to encourage him and helped him feel a part of the team.  God provides all our needs if we are simply obedient to His Calling.  Sarah did a phenominal job her first day and many days to follow.  She became a part of her team very quickly and loved serving her Lord here in Honduras.  What an example of perseverance as well Sarah.  You got out of your comfort zone and served the Lord with much gladness on the construction part of the week.  Thank you for being Andy's friend this week.

Luca, also a new comer to Honduras came with apprehension as well. Luca had little experience on construction but was willing to get out of his comfort zone and learn how to build a home Honduran style.  He listened to his grandfather, Dale as he instructed Luca on techniques of building a home.  He also worked beside Pastor Paul and Pastor Carlos as well.  He had some amazing teachers working beside him.  Luca was a quick learner throughout the entire building process.  I was most impressed with Luca how he got in one of the cornerstones and worked on placing every one of those blocks right where they needed to go.  This was not an easy task and once again Luca as well preserved in learning how to place those blocks correctly and every so perfectly for this new home.  He never gave up on this corner and he gave it his all.  Luca did an amazing job serving the Lord here in Honduras this week.  He did so much more than work on this corner he got up on the scaffolding, he carried the block, he lifted the block up, he laid the block and he was blessed because of all this hard work.  He was grateful he got out of his comfort zone and learned how to build a home Honduran style.  What a great job Luca.  We are so proud of  you!!

Those three boys were every where. They continue down the hill when they saw Mike and Dolly unloading the doors and windows.  They jumped up there and helped them unloaded every single one of them.  They carried them over to where they needed to go as well.  I believe Luca also helped moved the doors and windows as well.  Everyone worked hard those five days to make this house a home.  Jose shared with me he almost knocked Mr. Mike off the truck.  He said "Sorry" and kept on going hard as he could.  One unbelievable young man.  Bob shared how he could not have made one day up high if Jose had not been right by his side working with the laying of the blocks.  Every evening during God moments these boys names always came up.  This team was blessed with some very dedicated young men to their community, their church and their family.  We could learn so much from these young people,

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.
1 Timothy 4:12

Debby and Francesca

As we gathered the first morning it dawned on me we had two very special ladies on this project.  One is Nelson's mother Francesca and Debby, team member.  Both of these ladies are amazing in the kitchen.  So I thought it only approiate these two ladies meet each other.  They are both very joyful and content in life especially in their kitchens.  They both take the enjoyment of eating to a whole new level.  So I suggested very carefully Debby help Francesca in her kitchen cooking on the second day.  Francesca as well as Debby are very territorial when it come to their kitchen.  I was praying I had not stepped over the line here.  But most definitely I did not.  These two ladies had a ball cooking the next day and Sarah, Debby's daughter helped as well.  Debby made the rice and Sarah helped make the tortillas.  Debby said she shared with her new friend how in India she cooked this way as well.  Because Francesca was noticing how Debby knew exactly what to do with the wooden stove and chopping and preparing her rice for lunch.  Francesca had prepared the bean soup so all that was left was for Debby to make the rice.  Debby shared she had not had this much fun getting hot in a very long time. It was a blessing working beside Francesca that one special day in her kitchen.

Also how beautiful it was to see Debby and Sarah working together in Francesca's kitchen.  Sarah had so much fun learning how to make the tortillas as her mother cooked the rice.  Francesca was so proud to have these ladies in her kitchen with her.  What a thought might have been a problem became a beautiful blessing.  Debby was most respectful of the kitchen of her new friend.  They became friends very quickly and thank you to Meida who was right there to help translate every word for both ladies.  They all had so much fun and fellowship that morning.  Our two angels this week at the project and on the ministry campus. 

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:9
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Fun and Fellowship

The team came back each day to a most welcoming Mt. Horeb.  Pastor Paul shared as he entered the campus for the first time in four years in was in awe of the progress which has been made.  Pastor Paul and his team four years prior came when it was only a big field which needed a lot of work.  He actually shared with Mike how at that moment four years ago he thought Mike was crazy.  Mike was crazy.  He was crazy about a dream which has now become a reality thanks be to so many folks who have helped in so many different ways.  So as they gathered around the multi purpose each evening for a game of corn hole which we are so grateful for by team leader Derek, who last year built this on the ministry campus for all to enjoy.  Well this is definitely the case.  Our Honduran staff have gotten quiet well at corn hole and enjoyed a couple of games with their friends from Maryland.  Lassie is always available for Bob to rub her each day as he came upon the porch for an afternoon of watching the sun set.  The sunset is beautiful from the multipurpose porch each evening right before supper time.  It has become a family tradition to stop and enjoy God's sunsets each day if God doesn't provide a massive rain storm which are actually beautiful as well.  God has truly blessed Mt. Horeb in so many ways and we get to enjoy these blessings each and every day. We especially enjoyed sharing with our church family from Covenant in Maryland.

Actually before going to the multipurpose building my friends made their way to the porch of Pulperia De Mt. Horeb for a fresco,  a soda,  and some amazing conversations.  The laughter and sharing on this porch was a huge blessing for Mike and me.  We enjoy our teams who come and fellowship along side of us on this porch.  They sit and share about their day.  They are disconnected from their social medias and actually enjoy conversations on the porch like it use to be years ago before technology came along.  What memories were made this week with some very special folks God has placed in our lives.

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25