Friday, February 1, 2019

Welcome Home Joel





Our friend, Joel has been coming many years not only once a year but for several times a year and everyone is always so full of joy and gratefulness to see his smiling face.  Joel this here brought his home church for the first time and we are forever grateful for new teams.  Pastor John and his lovely wife Kelly came with Joel this year which was also a blessing.   Beau returned with Joel from last year which they both came with another team.  Joel brought his co teacher and an amazing youth named Rick along with him as well.  This team started out with eight but God decided they only needed five this year.  These five gave God their all in so many different areas.  Please join me as I share what an amazing week Joel's church family experienced their first time to Honduras.  God is so good and faithful to those who are faithful to HIM.





Mount Horeb


Everyone pitched in to make each take happen.  Pastor John and Kelly did the lunches daily.  Fernando helped Beau, Joel, Rick and Mike load the truck daily.  Ingrid was taking care of fresh tortillas daily for our new guests at Mount Horeb.  Pastor John and Kelly loved the delicious cuisine of Honduras each day.  Beau was the expert at cutting up the fresh pineapple each day as needed for his team members.  Everyone pulled their weight on this team.  Numbers were small but servant hearts were huge and willing.


Each day they enjoyed the beauty of the sunset God created for each of us.  Also Pastor John enjoyed listening to the thirty three plus different sounds of the Honduran birds.  One morning Pastor John and I were talking and suddenly he stopped in mid sentence because one of those gorgeous creatures God created flew by and got his full attention.  Mike and I are grateful teams enjoy the simplistic and tranquility of Mount Horeb.  God has provided an amazing ministry campus where those who come can relax and enjoy God's creation surrounding them after a long hot day on their project.  Mount Horeb is a place of recluse and relaxation for all who enter the gate.  Thank you God for such an amazing place to serve YOU with YOUR Kingdom work.



A New Direction



God had us going in a different direction than normal.  We headed back towards Tegus to a town outside of Pespire.  This road took us to the most precious family hidden in a cove down a desolate road.  But the long journey was worth it all to meet Jacinto Diomedes and his wife and his very special son of thirty two years of age.  Jacinto's daughter spoke for the family when ask to introduce family or share any comments.  The simplicity of this sweet family was refreshing and reassuring how much God truly loves of who are called His Children.  The wife of Jacinto came into his life along with his three children years ago and has stepped up to the plate in helping raise Jacinto's special needs son.  We all shared how this was one godly lady to come into this family knowing what the future held with taking care of a thirty two year old down syndrome boy in very severe living conditions.  What a godly example of a wife that is truly biblical in every way.  The daughter shared with Meida how they all felt this lady treated them like her very own children.  





Receiving Strength Through The Word


Each evening the group gathered on the North American porch around seven in sharing God's Word.  Joel took the first night by reading Acts 10 to us and then proceeded to share from God's Word about the life of Peter.  Our lives are a lot like Peter's where we have to hear God's Word numerous time to hear it and know what God wants from each of us.  This week  Joel challenged his team to take what they brought with them to Honduras and allow God to use each of you in a mighty way.  You are all out of your comfort zone so get out there and share Jesus in a new place.  Joel shared his testimony one evening about how he knew who God was and was raised in the church by Christian parents and was using all this as his identity of who he was as a Christian.  Joel did not find out until later years he was not truly living his life for the Lord.  He was using his head knowledge and now allowing the Holy Spirit to work in his life to use him for the Kingdom work.  Joel did not have the heart knowledge necessary for him to truly serve his Lord.  He shared with the group without the Holy Spirit you cannot share the gospel.  The only way we can understand the scriptures is through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Just like Peter we get into trouble when we take our eyes off of Jesus. We cannot glorify Christ without the Holy Spirit. We cannot pray without the Holy Spirit.
Kim a team member who could not join us this year along with her husband Bill conferenced called us one evening and shared a devotional.  The team also prayed over Bill as he was going into surgery the next morning.  Honduras saved Bill's life actually.  He went in for his check up to come here and they found some complications.  Bill I hope to see you and Kim next year!!!! Kim's devotional was about our hands.  The many different uses of our hands and how important they are to us.  We tap someone for encouragement, we shake someone's hands, we hug someone, we pray over someone. we wave at someone,  we holds someone's head who is dying, we serve communion with our hands, build a home for someone like you are doing this week and open a door for a stranger.  Our hands symbolized the power of perfect protection in strength and in hospitality, to encourage and to strengthen all of us.
Rick our youth this week shared out of his favorite book Acts as well.  Acts 1:12-20  about how prayer changes everything and how God does not choose the qualified but He qualifies the chosen. Amen and amen.  Beau spoke on the structure of building a home is important where we use this as a tool to share the gospel with the lost.  He reflected on numerous bible verses about the structure of a home, the foundation needs to be solid and level. Before each devotional we started out singing hymns and Beau accompanied us on the guitar to a most amazing evening of praising our Lord.  
Thank you brothers and sisters for an amazing week studying God's Word.



A Few Bumps in the Road


Mike's block saw of many years decided on the week we have the smallest team to quit!!  So Mike's pulls out a new one he received last year to use and it did not work either.  But as we say in Honduras this is not eternal.  So Mike, Beau and the special needs boy started trying to repair one of them to try to get the 200 special block cut.  It took two hours for Beau and Mike to figure out what the problem was for one of the block saws.  Mike got caught up with what needed to get done for the first day.


Meanwhile Pastor Carlos and Jacinto's daughter decided where the doors were going.  Pastor and Cristobal came across another problem as well.  The foundation was not level.  So one end had to have special block cut to make in fall in line with the rest of the house.  It seems all the problems that morning stemmed around the block saw and how important that tool is to the ministry.  The team never skipped a beat.  As the day progressed they did what was needed to get the first five courses up in place.




The Well Never Runs Dry


The family did not have a bathroom or running water near their home.  But they along with Jacinto's family members, grandsons, daughters and even our North American family helped haul water from the well.  Tino and Meida were at the well pumping the water out into the numerous containers.  Each person helping haul the water to the fifty five gallon barrel at the bottom of the hill which praise the Lord was near the mescal pile.  So hauling the water was not an easy task but everyone pitched in to keep the barrel full at all times for the mixing of the mescal.  This was a tireless job all five days of this construction project.  This project had so many opportunities but not ever any complaints about any of them.  The entire team, North Americans and Hondurans just to the challenge and glorified God in their perseverance  of this five day journey.  I sat back and watched all this come together the first morning with awe at how amazing our God is to use two different nationalities to glorify HIM through the pumping of a well which never ran dry.  





Preparing for the First Block

As we have always shared the four cornerstones represent the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.  They have to be leveled and secured in place with precise measurements.  This will determine the foundation of the home and how each block will stand firmly in place and hold up the four walls surrounding the foundation.  Just like the four cornerstone, Jesus is our Cornerstone who is secure and precise in all details of our lives if we allow him.  He is our foundation, our firm foundation if we only allow HIM into our lives to keep our paths level and straight and very strong especially in our faith walk with HIM.  Every time these four cornerstones go in and the pains Pastor Carlos and those helping him go to make sure every detail is correct it just reminds me of how secure we are as children of God, who are saved by the blood of our Cornerstone Jesus Christ.  What reassures we have as children of God even when we do not deserve any of these awesome traits from our Heavenly Father's only Son, Jesus Christ.




What a humbling time to see Jacinto pick up his thirty two year old son to get him over the string so he could place his hands on the first block of his new home.  How he trusted his earthly father so much to take good care of him along beside of his mother waiting for him inside the foundation.  What a blessing to watch this family work together through the simplest to the most difficult times during this week.  Thank you Beau for starting our week out with a profound prayer in the name of our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.  This was the beginning of an amazing week for all of us.  Thank you God for giving us just the right team for this very special family.




Lessons On Laying Honduran Blocks


Joel took his newest team members and taught them how to lay the blocks the Honduran way.  They caught on very quickly and off to find their spot on the foundation.  They may have had bumps in the road their first morning but praise God they were quick learners and hard worker in the name of Jesus.  Mike was continuing to cut the rest of the blocks and by the time we left them at the latter part of their first morning they were moving along their third row.  We need this small team of five had this and the Hondurans who helped them as well.  We felt confident to leave them to go about what else we needed to get done for the rest of their stay at Mount Horeb.  Truly this was a blessing for Mike and I to be able to leave them knowing this job was going to get done to completion along with some major relationships being developed this first morning.  



Edilda


I want everyone to meet our new friend Edilda. He is a thirty two year old down syndrome gentlemen who has true joy in his life as long as he is not hungry, his routine does not change or waiver and you help him tie and untie his red and white rope.  He was amazed at Mike and the block saw on the first day of the building of his home.  His sister, Rosemary Analee came and got him twice and took him up to his stick home where he had lived for the last five or so years.  He marched very hard back up the path to his home and turned right around in five minutes was back down there with Mike again.  So finally Rosemary or some family member gave him the rope which can entertain him for hours as long as someone sits with him and helps him tie and untie the string.  Meida got promoted first with him as I sat and watched and helped as well. Later Tino came over sat with him and he truly liked Tino helping him.  Tino and Edilda became great friends that week.  He got real excited on the last day of his home being built.  We knew this was all very new for him but he handled it very well.  The last couple of days his mother kept him at the house because he got tired very easily and stressed quickly of all the activities which was definitely not his normal.  God blessed us this week with Edilda and this team who treated him with God's love and grace.  We love you Edolda.



We Are Blessed


Joel knew when his team minimized quickly he did not have anything to worry about.  God's provision was available and ready.  He already knew Mike had lined him up two Hondurans to help with this home construction project.  Thank you God for our staff and fellow Honduran friends who are always available to help us with a need.  Fernando works for the ministry so he was already in place.  But God knew our friend Cristobal needed work badly so we hired him for the week to help with this project.  We cannot go without saying Meida our translator and Tino our driver are always much more than this.  They help watch over our team while out in the different communities.  This week they also helped mix mescal and haul water from the well as well as pumped the water from the well.  Pastor Carlos is such a godly and great leader to them all.  God has truly blessed this ministry with dedicated staff beyond any means of dedication.  They put their Lord first and foremost as they will all give God the glory for their jobs and are grateful to the ministry for entrusting them to their different job duties.  God is so good!!!!



Praying Over First Block


After a few opportunities along our way the first morning we gathered Jacinto and his lovely family around the first block.  Jacinto had to pick up his thirty two year old son, Edolda, over the string to place him around the first block.  The rest of the family and team members gathered around them as they placed their hands on the first block of their new home.  Beau was asked to pray over the first block as Meida translated the prayer for Beau.  The Holy Spirit was in this place as words of praise and worship flowed from Beau's lip giving God all the praise and honor for such a privilege as this to build this lovely family a home where they will be secure at all times, they will be dry for the first time in their lives all because one team answered the call to come and serve their God in this beautiful country called Honduras.  Thank you God for answering this family's prayer and for Joel, Beau, Pastor John, Kelly and Rick for coming and serving along side of the Hondurans.



Enjoying Mt. Horeb



Each day the team came back from a long day on the project to a refreshing time of soda and sharing on the gift shop porch.  Rick enjoyed watching the sunset each day whether on the gift shop porch, the rock or the multi purpose porch.  Wherever you are at 5:45 pm the sunset is gorgeous.  We enjoyed good conversation with our new friends each and every afternoon.  But they all got involved in a 1000 piece puzzle provided by another North American who comes down to visit.  They worked along side Naun, Manuel, Rudy and yes even Pastor Carlos and Martha helped with this puzzle.  The last night they were with us they finished the puzzle together as a team effort.  Naun was pleased with all the help he had with his new friends.  Thank you for spending time with our staff and building lasting relationships with them which will last a life time.  



The Lord's Supper


Joel asked prior to coming could his team do the Lord's Supper.  Of course you can but little did I know he was going to do it with Mike, our staff and me.  What a humbling experience.  We first of all had dinner together as a family.  We did it earlier this day because Pastor Carlos was going to preach at his church that evening and we definitely wanted him there to participate in the Lord's Supper.  Pastor John gathered us around the table, one Honduran, one North American and so on and so on.  His lovely wife Kelly translated the message of the Lord's Supper as we all participated in a very sacred time in our ministry.  As Pastor John passed the bread to Kelly to show our Honduran family how to do this Kelly then turned to our sweet Rudy as he looked at me with concern and I assured him with a smile it was okay to do this.  Afterwards Pastor John allowed Pastor Carlos to say a few words and the Martha led us all in the hymn "Because He Lives" as we closed.  This was the most humbling experience we have had in a while and Pastor Carlos shared how we need to do this as a family more often.  Thank you Joel and team for bringing this special moment into our ministry family.