Friday, February 3, 2017

First Baptist Raleigh Returns

The team arrived on a Thursday as our first team of the year.  They were told their travel time to El Quiquistal Agua Caliente Linaca would be one hour and a half.  They came with open hearts and minds to what God had called them to do, build Gorge, his lovely wife, Nery and their son Jose, age 10 a home.  This family was renting in Choluteca an apartment which had them away from their family.  Mike and Ginger met Gorge two years ago at a police check point.  He was questioning what we were doing and where we were going.  He asked who we worked for and what was the nature of our ministry.  Mike explained to Gorge we work for North Carolina Baptist Men building homes, churches, Sunday School classrooms, dental and medical clinic but all teams were evangelism teams.  So one time we came through Gorge's police check point he asked could we build him a home.  Mike shared there were many others ahead of him.  Please pray with us and one day we will build you a home. 
One day we were coming through and we said can you take us to where you want to build your home.  So off we go and we traveled through some beautiful mountains on treacherous  rocky roads.  When we finally arrived what a beautiful sight.  Gorge's property was nestled in a cove waiting for us to build a home.  We told Gorge he would get a home in 2017.  But he had to get his foundation completed before we would commit.  He said he would do just that.
So as the team arrived up in El Quiquistal Agua Caliente Linaca they found their long ride turned out to be a little piece of heaven.  They introduced themselves and a local pastor open the week up in prayer.  Gorge was not able to be there until Day Four of the construction but he made sure there was plenty of family there to help get his home built.
Thank you First Baptist Church Raleigh for being the willing servants to make Gorge, Nery and Jose's prayers become a reality.

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God.
Hebrew 3:1-4

Prayer, Work and Fellowship

The team broke to find the many jobs they all knew to well, except for their new friend Brad.  Brad was a first timer to Honduras but shared numerous times with Mike how humbled he was to be here and to serve such beautiful people.  He learned early on he was not coming to bless them they were going to bless him tremendously.  So as his week unfolded from day one when they prayed over the first block Brad learned so much from our Honduran family and friends.  Dennis who has come for many years has been working on his Spanish each year upon returning home. In the last couple of years Dennis has gotten quiet well with the language.  So team leader Steve asked Dennis would he lead the prayer over the first block.  Dennis of course said he would be humbled to do such a task.  Dennis decided to pray the prayer in Spanish and wow what an amazing job.  It does our hearts good when team members come and embrace the culture and the language of the people of Honduras.  Thank you Dennis for taking the time while back home teaching yourself the Spanish language so you can better get to know the people and engage with in depth conversations which you will treasure for a life time.  How amazing our God is to allow us to see what true joy can be found in work on our part and having an open heart and mind to what HE wants us to do.  Our God as Joel shared is so big if we would allow HIM to be our God.  All God's people shouted AMEN!!!!
God moments on the first night were Joel sharing about the beauty of God's creation as he drove out to the job site. Team leader, Steve,  was in awe of the simplicity of the community and how it was refreshing to be away from the hustle and bustle of home.  Tom shared how the sitting was unfiltered and how all these things around us God had created for us.  How we need to take the time from our busy lives and take in the beauty not only in Honduras but back in North Carolina.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Adjusted Well to Their New Home

This was the team's first time staying on Mt. Horeb, Pavana, Choluteca, Honduras.  Team leader, Steve, said he was going to miss the mission house but after thirty minutes he fell in love with the campus and all God had done on it in the last three years.  They enjoyed the huge kitchen accommodations.  The two brothers Joel and Steve got up on Sunday morning to cook up their traditional huge breakfast consisting of pancakes, bacon, eggs and grits before heading out to worship.
In the evenings they had devotionals on the front porch of the North American Dorm where they were accompanied on the guitar by Bob who has made his 15th trip to Honduras this year.  They enjoyed singing good old fashion hymns and praising the Lord while surrounded by the star lite sky.  They enjoyed their evenings of solitude before settling in after a long drive and hard day of work for the Lord.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Gorge and Nery Watching the Blocks Become a Home

Each day the team worked diligently on those 800 blocks and 50 bags of cement placing them into what soon would become a home.  Gorge stood back on day four upon his arrival in awe of his hew home.  How God finally asked his prayer along with prayers answered for First Baptist Raleigh. Without the willingness of these folks coming here and then driving their lengthy trip daily this could not have happened.   God orchestrated all of these long before we did.  God is always in control of every detail right up to the police check point where we met this sweetheart of a man who always smile.  He wanted his wife and son to have a safe place to live near her family while he worked his long hours.  We were blessed to get to meet Gorge that day and we thank God for sending him our way. 
Dennis and Tom got the roof up and running.  The entire team pitched in to get the floor completed. There was a lot of family and friends who showed up to help this project come to completion.  What a great witness for the Lord when strangers come together and become one in just five days. 

A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
Psalm 127:1

Steve Adds a Special Touch

Last year team leader, Steve, started a new tradition.  Steve with the help of Brad and Bob they loaded dirt in a wheel barrow and hauled it up to the house.  They placed the dirt around the foundation for protection from the rain.  So the foundation would not wash out when the rainy season comes to town.  This team has many neat traditions and this one is over the top.  Job well done Steve and team.  What a blessing for Gorge, Nery and Jose to get this little extra touch added to their home for years to come.

His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Matthew 25:23

Suzanne and her Children

Suzanne made dolls out of corn husk with the children as a craft during their VBS time with about six children.  This worked really well for the projects she did with them.  She shared with the children the birth of Jesus one day and she asked the children did they know Jesus.  They answered her not know who Jesus was.  She introduced Jesus to these six children for the first time.  Thank you Suzanne for introducing the greatest gift of all to these beautiful children, Jesus Christ.  It is great this team built a home for this family but the most important part of this trip was everyone knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
One day she shared Zacchaeus and how he met Jesus that day.  What a blessing for Zacchaeus and these six children to meet Jesus for the first time.  Who would of thought two years ago Jesus would have made HIS WAY up to El Quiquistal Agua Caliente Lincaca and be introduced to these children.  Thank you Suzanne for giving them the greatest blessing of all, sharing Jesus Christ with them.

Image result for jesus and the children images

The End and the Beginning

All great things must come to an end.  First Baptist Raleigh came to do what they were called to do which was build a home.  As for many years passed they have felt led to do a washing of the feet for the home owners and the ones who helped them built the house which is now a beautiful home nestled in the cove Mike and I saw well over a year ago.  Steve shared how Jesus washed the disciples feet and we would like to do this in turn for each of you.  So quietly each team member lined up in front of a family member, friend or neighbor and proceeded to wash their feet.  This is a humbling act to observe and participate.  After the dedication they gathered around the completed home and took  pictures with their new found friends.  Hopefully one day they will see each other again in Heaven.

John 13:1-17

Friday, November 11, 2016

Loading up Materials and Prayers

Each day the team loaded the Kia for the day ahead.  There was some mornings Mike had to go collect materials needed for the day from the construction sight of the Honduran Dorm.  The gentlemen who worked up on this project helped Mike load up the Kia as Mike would head back down the hill so the team could load up the coolers and lunches as well.
After all this they would drive down towards the gate, get out and we pray up our day.  There is a lot of praying on Mt. Horeb.  We take seriously the importance of putting Christ first in all details of this ministry.  As the team closes in prayer everyone finds a ride either in the Land Cruiser or the Kia.  The job site this week did not have access for the bus.  So nine of the team members and Hondurans piled into the Land Cruiser while five piled into the Kia to go serve the Lord.  We did not hear any complaints about their riding conditions this week.  They rode like this for about thirty minutes before arriving to their destination, La Criba, Choluteca, Hondruas.

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

Team Work

This team is made up of several churches out of Fairlawn, Virginia.  They came together as one in Christ to serve Him in whatever capacity God needed from each of them.  Team leader, Steve has been coming for many years to Honduras.  We have some returning friends as well, Mike, Sammy, Joe and Claire.  We would love to reach out a big welcome to our new friends Mitchell, John and Katherine.  All of this folks having huge and willing hearts to serve.  They all pitched in daily to fix breakfast and prepared lunches.  Joe was faithful with the help of John with the water and Gatorade.  It takes all of this to make a day go smoothly.  Our most important food is of course our spiritual food but our physical food is most helpful to do a good job in the name of Jesus.
Thank you guys for all you did to support one another this week in all areas of the ministry.

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

Our Life Line

We could not run this ministry without our dedicated staff who also do whatever it takes to get the job complete in the name of Jesus.  This was an unique week where there was an unexpected accident in our cook's family.  Martha and Alexia stepped up to the plate.  Alexia made the tortillas while Martha cleaned the entire multipurpose building.  Martha and Alexia then joined together in the afternoon to prepare the evening meal, which was beans and rice and plantains.  Well they did such an amazing job on the first day they went for round two and cooked the chicken rice and beans dinner.  Team leader, Steve got under the weather on the first day so Wuilmer stepped forward along with Cristobal to help out the team with the construction on the home for our friend Lina.  Pastor Carlos is always over the top faithful to this ministry.  He got sick as well but called it a day went to bed to be prepared for the next day.  Mike joined the team on the third day to assure they went stay on a timely schedule with the construction of the home.  Of course there is Meida and Alex who go without saying dedicated to the well being of each team member as well as our Jose who safely drives the teams from place to place.  We are blessed with a dedicated staff who love the Lord.  I walked into the multipurpose building one of the days Alexia and Martha were cooking to Martha singing hymns.  Once again we are blessed beyond any words.

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tight Spot

The team arrived to a very interesting situation.  How do we get to the construction sight?  Team leader, Steve carefully back down as close to the location of the house foundation as possible.  The Kia and truck were parked up on a road nearby.  Each team member carefully sandwiched their way through a small path between the Land Cruiser and a bob wire fence.  Each day the team did this to get to a little piece of heaven here on earth, Lina's family.  The flowers surrounding the area were gorgeous.  Such a beautiful view for everyone daily.  So through all the tight spots and touchy areas God's creation shines through. 

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
1 Timothy 4:4

Lina and her Family

Once going through the narrow path we arrived at the home of Lina, Maria, her daughter and Maria's children, Marlon, Lixis, Jose, Dilmes and Heven David.  This was a warm and welcoming family.  As several of the team members shared how immediately they saw the joy in Lina's face and life with what little she owned.  In many ways Lina is more blessed than we are.  We learned a lot from this gentle spirit this week.  Katherine learned from sharing with Lina this week she had lost a brother to cancer and she shared how her body was in fine shape except I just cannot see anymore.  Lina is 84 years young and her life is full of energy and excitement this week as her prayer is finally being answered.  She will no longer get wet and as Steve shared one evening for the first time in her life she will be able to lock her door at night and rest safely and securely.  Lina has lived up on this hill in La Criba for forty years of her 84 years of life.  This is her home.   Her daughter Maria and children are all loving and kind to all they see.  Lina has seven other children but Marie is the one blessed to live with her mother Lina.  After our introductions and Lina thanking God for this opportunity in her life we opened with prayer to begin our week of many blessings.
Joe shared in his devotional the first evening about Jesus feeding the five thousands from a small child's basket of bread and fish.  Joe shared how Jesus took an inadequate young man who had very little and performed a huge miracle.  Just like the inadequate young man with very little Jesus is going to take this team this week and perform numerous miracles because we all were willing to let Jesus use us to further His Kingdom. 

Image result for john 6:1-14  images

First Time for This

The Honduran Staff felt it best we put out water and Gatorade coolers inside Lina's home. The team set up benches and we quickly made ourselves at home with the gracious approval of Lina.  She was thrilled for us to come in and out for our water breaks throughout the day.  But this was not the only first time something new happened.  Katherine, "Kat", was fluent in Spanish and in the Christian music as well.  She was offered a seat by Lina as Lina was sitting in her hammock.  One thing led to another and the next thing I observed was "Kat" going to her book bag to get her bible.  Everyone gathering inside Lina's home around fifteen the first morning were in awe of this North American blue eyed blonde who could speak and sing fluently in Spanish.  Kat's love for Jesus radiated this little adobe house and all the children learned many Christian songs, "Jesus Loves Me", "Father Abraham" and many more.  This all took place before praying over the first block.  God opened up a door for Kat and she took off with this amazing opportunity.  Lina is the only one in her family who is a Christian.  So Kat had a wide open mission field sitting right before her.  The children gazed with those huge brown eyes as Kat told a bible story.  She actually told the bible story, not read it but told it in Spanish without too much help from Media.  She needed Meida to help her with the story of Jonah.  This was a situation where you needed to be there to be truly blessed by the activity unfolding the first morning of Lina's construction on her home. 
On the second day Claire was in there for a water break and there was enough of those little blessings around who asked Claire to please sing with us.  Claire pulled out the song sheets and the children sang them some more with the help of Claire and Mitchell ending up coming in and joining the music.  Others came around the door of the adobe house to see what was happening in Lina's house.  Jesus Christ was unfolding through the mouths of babes.  Jesus can use any age to spread His Good News.   Because this week there was a huge amount of non believers observing these North Americans up on their hill.  They were curious as to what they were about.  So by the beautiful sounds of Christian music echoing out of this adobe house everyone was hearing about Jesus whether they wanted to or not.  The gospel of Jesus was being spread throughout the hill tops of La Criba.

The picture below was what I thought of when all this unfolded in Lina's home this week.  How beautiful this picture was live and in person.
Image result for let the little children come to me bible hub