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. 

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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.
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Three Prayers of Blessings

Team leader, Steve, John and Mike prayed over the first block.  This was also a first but it was done beautifully.  Everyone gathered around Lina and her family as they placed their hands upon the first block.  Everyone who was standing around watching was asked to join us in the prayer of the first block.  There was numerous folks who gathered and bowed in worship unto the Lord.  We do not know if this was a first for a lot of these people but we pray it will not be the last time these folks prayed for our Lord and Savior.

pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Learning Block Laying Honduran Style

On site coordinator, Mike, learned quickly when teaching his friends to lay block this was not John's first rodeo.  John may have been new to Honduras but he was not new to laying blocks.  Everyone else caught on again from last year and off they went.  They partnered up and worked hard side by side laying block and filling the joints.  They had extremely tight working conditions throughout the week but everyone was flexible to do what needed to be done.  They came to lay block and form these blocks into a home but as team member Mike shared during his devotion one evening we are hear to bring the lost to Christ.  The house is only a means to break the ice for our doorway to bring the plan of salvation.  We should be grateful for our salvation and want to share it with others.  Share with others the most beautiful story ever told, the story of Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life for you and for me.  We need to get excited about our eternal home, which is in Heaven. This is a short journey we are on and we need not waste any time sharing this story with a dark and lost world.  Lina's family needs a home where they are secure but this home is not anything but a home if they do not have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  If you are reading this today and you do not know Jesus Christ please do not let this chance go by.  You may not have tomorrow.  All God's children shouted AMEN!

1Praise the Lord.a
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Helping a Friend

Senovia, our cook had a death in her family the first day of the teams stay on Mt. Horeb.  Martha and Alexia jumped in and took care of their friend.  They cooked beans, rice, plantains  and tortillas.  Alexia and Martha cleaned the area as well as cleaned the dining hall.  We are so blessed to have staff who step up to the plate to make sure this ministry runs smoothly when someone else cannot do what they are hired to do.  We also had another staff member out sick all week as well, Arnold.  Also on the second day of Alexia's kitchen duty she received a phone call her sister had been taken to the hospital.  Alexia rushed away to the hospital as Martha continued on without skipping a beat.  All the time Martha was singing hymns as she served and worshipped the Lord.  These folks set the standards high as far as work ethics.  The team did not ever know we were short staffed.  All their needs were met throughout this small opportunity.  Thank you God for teaching us daily about the true commitment to YOU.
"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."
1 Chronicles 28:9

Choir Practice

I sat in the Pulperia Mt. Horeb waiting for the folks to come for their refreshments.  One by one they came. First Mitchell came and set and chatted for quiet some time.  Others joined him and pulled up chairs to sit and talk about their day.  Mitchell got up and left and came back with the guitar.  Well this was the beginning of an amazing hour of singing hymns in Spanish led by Kat and Claire as Mitchell accompanied them with the guitar.  Mike and I joined in and sang along with them.  Mike, the on site coordinator rang the supper bell for all of us to come to supper.  I asked Mitchell to take the guitar up to the multipurpose building to have for choir practice after supper. 
The team had a delicious supper.  After supper they shared in devotions and God moments.  After devotions they got serious on some more choir practice except this time the rest of the team joined them.  Mike, team member ask each of them to line up as if they were singing on Sunday morning.  They put a lot of effort preparing for worship on Sunday.  Thank you for singing Victory in Jesus in English and chorus in Spanish.   

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

More Sand

The dump truck arrived with one more load of sand for the construction project.  They dumped it off at the top of the hill where the vehicles were parked.  Team member, Mike shared it was like a swarm of bees with the children who took off up the hill to help bring every last bucket of sand to the job site.  There was one little girl who carried a rusted paint can full of sand for well over an hour.  She wanted to make sure she did her part as well.  At one point she tripped and her can of sand fell out.  She stopped determined not to loose one grain of sand and she started scooping it up with her hands.  One of the teen age boys was going back with the wheel barrow to get more sand saw her and stopped to help her get all her sand back inside of her container.  John shared at the end of the day they were loading up the truck to head back home.  He was waiting for them to bring him the materials.  God gave him a chance to witness a little girl being a little girl.  She had helped carry sand the entire time but now she was making sand castles out of what was left of the big pile of sand.  God took his creation, sand, and was able for a little girl to simply have fun. 
Kat's devotional was about finishing the race God has called us to do.  On the third day the race was half way through and this team carried many buckets of sand so they could say they finished this one race for God.  There was many more races this week but this one was somewhat special.  Everyone worked together and completed the race.

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The Reason We Came

The team found out early on Lina was the only Christian in her family and around her neighborhood.  She is surrounded by many beautiful grandchildren who are not saved.  Lina's prayer is for all her family to know Christ.  This week they have heard God's Word numerous times through singing songs in Lina's house to bible stories led by Kat, Claire and Mitchell. 
Outside on the work sight, Joe and Mike with the help of Alex led four gentlemen to the Lord.  Their age ranged from 18 to 24 years old.  They asked did they know Jesus Christ.  They said yes we have heard of him.  But the next question was do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Is Jesus your Lord and Savior?  Do you know where you are going to go when you die?  Well they answered no to the above questions.  Joe I believed asked them do they want the greatest gift of all, eternal life with Jesus Christ.  When they die one day they will have an eternal home.  Lina's home is only temporal your final destination needs to be with Jesus in heaven.  They all agreed and prayed the sinner's prayer with Joe.  Mike gave each gentleman a bible and Alex wrote their names inside of their bibles so they would know it was theirs to read each and every day.  Four men came to the Lord today, yes the blocks got done but it more than about laying blocks for this team.  They came to lead the lost to Christ.  While working Joe had a tugging on his heart to go to these group of men to see if they knew Jesus.  Thank you Joe for listening to the Spirit and responding to the calling to go and lead the lost to Christ.  All God's people shouted AMEN!!!!!

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Worship Service at La Criba

The worship service started out singing praises unto the Lord.  The team was getting into this worship service with all hands and arms in motion.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was in this place.  They read a famous scripture Psalm 133 in Spanish from Pastor Gorge's wife, Ruth and English version was read by Ginger.  Pastor Gorge got up to welcome everyone for being in church today.  This church averages 80 plus children and teenagers each week.  There was over 150 total by the end of the service.  This was a beautiful sight seeing this many children and especially the teenagers in church.  The teenagers were already there doing a bible study in another part of the church.  They had their bibles out and notebooks in hand studying God's word.  What a testimony for all of us to experience such beauty in God's house.

The team shared two songs one was contemporary and they sang it all in Spanish.  The second was an old hymn, "Victory in Jesus.  They sang the verses in English and the chorus in Spanish.  The congregation joined in on the parts of Spanish.  John got up and shared his testimony of how we can learn so much from our children.  He shared he has learned how to be patient, time does not matter and things broken are not eternal from his son Eric.  How beautiful it is when we allow the children to change our lives if we would only let them.  Mike got up to share his testimony and he shared how he wished churches back home could have this many young people in church to worship the Lord.  He shred how he grew up in church but was led a stray and brought back into the ways of the world as a teenager.  But a few years back God led him back to church and his life has been forever changed.  Mike shared it is humbling to know I can go to God with anything and He will take care of me.
Ruth, Pastor' wife shared scripture from Mark 10:13 in letting the little ones come unto me.  This is definitely the case in this church.  This church is full of eager and inquisitive minds wanting to learn more about Jesus.  Most all the children had bibles they were looking up the scripture as it was being shared throughout the worship service.  The children were dismissed to go to Sunday School as Steve prepared to bring the message on "Almost".  Steve shared he prayed this message today will either encourage the believers or bring the lost to Christ.  Pray that through the Holy Spirit your life will be forever changed.  Almost is a big problem all over the world.  Steve shares the scripture about the Rich Young Man out of Mark 10:17-22.  He was not willing to give up everything he had to follow Jesus.  His stuff was more important to him than his eternity with Jesus.  You can almost be saved or not exactly saved or being close but not saved.  A lot of folks never make the decision the most important decision of their lives because of so many excuses.  I will do it tomorrow, maybe, they enjoy life just like it is, they do not want to give up their worldly ideas or they just think it is all fictious.   This is a scary thought for us as believers in Christ.  People do not take this decision seriously and it is the most important decision they will every make.  One day when they are before God at judgement there will not be a second chance.  There will not be any more excuses.  Steve shared out James 4:13-16 about all these excuses people have to say NO to Jesus. 
What keeps people from being almost there?  Number One is worldly thinking.  People do not fully understand who God truly is.  Number Two is worldly pleasures.  They know what they are doing are not pleasing in God's eyes yet they continue to live out these lives of the worldly pleasures.  I will sin just one more time and then maybe I will say yes to Jesus.  There is no second chances  Thirdly your own personal ambition is more important than God.  What you can get out of life is more important than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  You may think being a member of a gang is the life to have but this is only a terrible journey for you to follow as Pastor Gorge shouted AMEN!  Joining God's team is an eternal life with God and His Son, Jesus.  A life of no more sorrow, no more pain.  You are going through life and everything is okay you think.  You can handle this without God until your marriage fells, you get a terminal illness or someone dear passes.  Who do you turn to then?  Can you do this alone?  No, you cannot.  This is why you need Jesus Christ to get you through the good times as well as the bad times.   Today there is no reason you should leave here and not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  You have heard it now it is your choice. Steve encouraged them to get with Pastor Gorge if they are ready to receive the sweetest gift of all, Jesus.

While Steve was preaching there was about 50 little ones hearing about Jesus as well. Claire read John 3:16 and shared with them about how Jesus can be their Lord and Savior if they only let Him into their lives.  Alex translated the message as Claire shared.  Before starting they sang numerous songs with the children.  They were able to make a cross out of popsicle sticks to take home as a reminder of Jesus dying for their sins.  The worship service was dismissed with everyone shaking hands and greeting each other in the name of Jesus.  This was a beautiful day in the house of the Lord.

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