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When You See The Work Of God In Your Life! 3 Months In A Whirlwind!

Hola Amigos. We are praying this finds you well. I am writing this from La Ceiba, Atlantida, Honduras. Sorry this has taken so long, just been trying to keep my head above water. Intend on writing every couple of weeks with pictures following this post.

The last three months have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for Lisa and me as we prepared to depart.  Leaving behind our family, friends, home, careers, pets and selling most all of our belongings in order to boldly step out in faith, learning a new language and moving to a distant location with little infrastructure – many have accused us of losing our minds. Trading in the first world problems of a dead cell phone battery or a car that won’t start or one of the worst yet, everyone hates being stuck in traffic. Instead, we will be faced with some third world problems of no electricity, lack of food to eat or clean water to drink.  In all honesty there have been times when Lisa and I have questioned our decision for our direction in life. As we continued to look to Jesus for all understanding, He closed certain doors as He opened wide new ones. By walking through those opened doors we really began to live, depending and relying on God for our needs and requests has grown our faith tremendously. As we see Him at work daily, almost moment by moment in our lives and the lives of those we are close to.

Talking about going on mission, and actually doing it is very different.  I can now see why I’ve been told that many missionaries do not make it to the field. Without the help and support of our many friends, family and brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m not sure we would be where we are today. Please forgive me for not mentioning each of you by name but what I can say is that we have been blessed so many times in so many ways by so many different people I cannot begin to compile a list adequate enough to express your importance in this journey. We want to thank our home church our church leaders and body as a whole including but in no way limited to the morning bible study brunch group, our small group, our close and not so close friends, Columbia Gorge Christian Fellowship, our sending agency ACTION International and all those who have touched and influenced our lives over the years, our family that has been oh so supportive as it has been difficult for them as well to stand in support of our decision. Lisa and I pray you all find it as uplifting and encouraging as we do, to know that no matter what your role, we will all share in the same treasure on the other side of eternity. For we could not go without senders and we would surely be overcome without the protection of your prayer strengthening and keeping us. We love you and pray the peace of our Lord and Heavenly Father over each of your life knowing that you in turn are creating opportunities for these boys that they would never have otherwise – making a difference in La Moskitia one boy at a time.

We give all praise and glory to God for our dear friends and family who came along side us in the final days, helping us to utilize every moment; for their endless effort they put into always being available to us, without being asked or told what was needed. Truer angels than these cannot be found.

Thanking God for our extraordinary daughter Taylor and her loving husband Bryan whom we adore for all their help as we prepared to leave, giving me peace by providing man’s best friend – my dog Reilly,  a loving home. Thank you to each of you who helped handle the last minute details that were responsible for us being able to leave on time without a minute to spare.

We thank God for bringing just the right people along to purchase all that was sold. I praise God for answered prayer as He brought a buyer for the business, the deal closed on a Friday we flew out of Seattle Sunday. Lisa’s car sold earlier on Sunday, the day we left, my Cadillac also sold that same day.  Just God working in the eleventh hour like only He can do, as we were about to concede, that it must not be part of God’s will for our lives, He continued to show us His faithfulness over and over. All for His glory.

As we arrived at the airport with long lines at the ticket booth we were waved over to the mileage plus line with hardly anybody in it. As our bags were weighed some of them overweight we are told “this is your lucky day!” as the computer system went down and we were told, all of our bags would be checked for free! Six bags total, two of them over weight, about a $300.00 savings! Praise God! Who has ever heard of such a thing?

After arriving in La Ceiba, we by chance met Rod, a local American missionary at the super market  After briefly discussing the vision God had placed on our hearts – the boys home and an aquaponics system to help guarantee a food supply, he shared with us the fact that he knew of a man visiting La Ceiba that was all about aquaponics, and that he would be having lunch with him the following day. I asked if I may tag along, and he agreed. It just so happened that the meeting was scheduled a couple blocks from our school at 12:30PM, and our language class goes from 8-noon. As we arrived we realize this was a gathering of maybe 50-60 people American missionaries and several local Honduran pastors. We had an incredibly blessed, spirit-filled time of fellowship connecting with many local and foreign like-minded folks. Two of our new contacts are both heavily involved in established aquaponic systems here in Honduras. Jorge, the lead aquaponics specialist here in La Ceiba for Connect Global out of Tampa Florida is a Honduran native that has wanted to do work in La Moskitia, he will now have ample opportunity to use his expertise in Puerto Lempira. Again God connecting His network in amazing ways, as our missionary friend Mateo, who has been serving here in Honduras for the past 25+ years had never heard of anyone doing aquaponics here in Ceiba and it only took us less than 24 hours to be connected with local professionals with up and running highly productive systems.

I feel as if we have been blessed with so many divine appointments; God guiding and protecting us the entire way. By answering God’s call or promptings in obedience  we can expect Him to manifest His will and plan for our lives step by step. With each step God has afforded me opportunities to share the gospel with many already.   It began with the director of the language school as he shared some personal struggles with me within the first couple days of being here.  I was able to point him to the redeemng power of Christ.   Almost effortlessly we have been able to share with each of the students our faith in Jesus. My teacher has a second job teaching at a local public middle school and has asked Lisa and me to come and share some of my testimony and our mission in Honduras with his class on Wednesday. There will be an English teacher there to do the translating. Please pray for that experience to be spirit-led, conveying the love and joy only felt by the power of a living God. Just when I feel as if, what more could I possibly do, God allows another opportunity. How exciting it is proclaiming His glory!

We have begun our second week of language school, 4 hour days of one on one instruction and about two hours homework. Lisa and I are grateful for this opportunity to focus on learning this new language. Looking at it as our job for the next four months, we are hopeful and expectant for God to loose our tongues and bless us with a second language. You will know this has happened when I am writing thoughts in Spanish.  We do feel as though we are learning, only not at the miraculous pace we desire, yet we remain confident in He who called us. Please pray for understanding and patience.

We were blessed at our first church experience this past weekend as the church we attended had a guest pastor from Florida, Pastor Mitch who shared with us a valuable truth, in English, translated into Spanish. As we try to settle into our new routine we feel as we just exited a storm, but the truth of the matter is we are all either entering a storm, in a storm or exiting a storm. The story in (Matthew 14:22-29) was shared and a timely reminder of the importance of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, as the safest place to be in a storm is close to Jesus. For when we obey and keep our eyes on Jesus we can defy our own fears and limitations, but if only for a moment we glance away we allow fear to set in. Peter looked away, a casual glance and began to sink. Thankfully, Jesus saves sinking people who call out to Him. So wherever you may be in relation to the storms of life,       (Hebrews 12:1-2) “…let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith…”

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Casa Del Camino…Never Say “Never”

 

*Lisa and I would like to give a special thanks to David Newcomb and Highlands Community Church for the production of this video.

For more information on the ministry of Casa Del Camino or to donate please visit our mission page by clicking here.

In order to receive a brief quarterly newsletter with updates and prayer requests via U.S. Mail, or to further connect with us, please email us including your name and street address to mike.lisa.brenner@actionintl.org

 

 

“Thou Shalt Be Called, Sought Out.” (Isaiah 62:12) KJV

One of the things I must continue to reflect upon is that, it’s not…I that have got God, but that He has got me.  I was lost, but He found me.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. (John 15:16) HCSB

As I am on my way out of Honduras I feel a longing that God has created in my life to serve Him. Realizing all He has done for me, my life, filled with gratitude will surely be a life filled with service for His glory.  I feel the greatest gift life has to offer us all, is that we walk closely enough with Jesus to hear our calling, and that we may be faithful enough to fulfill the ministry God created us to accomplish.  Nothing easy about this, as I battled defeat and what I call, “an emotional rollercoaster” for the last couple weeks.  In need of continual reminders that it is not “me” that has to get “this or that” done but that it is God, who is responsible for the amount of work happening on Casa Del Camino. Knowing this vision was given by God helps me to rest at the end of this trip, taking pressure off me, by believing all things were accomplished on this trip in His timeframe and according to His plan for His ministry.

Low point of the trip:

Making a tough decision with adverse affects on someone’s livelihood, who I claim to be a friend of.

Sorry to say, I had to fire one of the crew a few days ago.  One of the initial guys, one of the first five that were hired to work this project from the beginning.  This was not easy… After multiple issues, everything from our property being broken into, to him having his boys doing his job (unknown to us) and caught sleeping while they were supposed to be doing it, to not bringing his watchdog to the night-time watchie shift multiple nights in one week.  I felt as though he was taking advantage of our desire to be a reflection of God’s grace, and his attitude was that of one who acted like he was above being held accountable for these issues.  Truth be known, we are going to all be held accountable for what we have done with the opportunities and resources we were given here, this side of Heaven.  He had worked for us for two years, without contract, and as I just learned, a workers contract is very important in Honduras.  The following day the ex-employee filed papers with the “Ministry of Work” and the day before I left I was given notice that I had to go in and have a hearing that would determine how much severance I must pay him.  For a worker that is fired unjustly, that amount can equal one years pay.  Gratefully, we had documented said issues and were able to show his release was warranted, and that allowed us to negotiate a severance that started out at two months pay, down to two weeks.  Thank you Lord.

On to good things.  In my additional two week stay, along with good progress at the property, I was able to make some new, invaluable contacts:

One of whom is a Honduran civil engineer who also happens to be an attorney named Roberto.  Roberto is from Tegucigalpa and is friends with the new Mayor of Puerto Lempira.  Roberto had been visiting PL in an attempt to figure out the best way to resolve some drainage and infrastructure issues in the downtown area.  When served with the Ministry of Work papers I immediately thought of Roberto, as we had just met when I had shared a table with him over dinner a few nights before.   It’s funny how God works – all the restaurant tables were full and he was sitting alone at a four person table, I was hungry and ready to eat so it was a no-brainer for me as I motioned to sit down across from him.  We decided to share contact info as he felt he may be able to offer us some service in regards to our mission sometime.   Then, a couple of days later I would call Roberto to explain what I had received from the Ministry of Work, and he was able to meet with me and prepare me for what would happen at the hearing.  He also offered to prepare a simple two month contract document that would protect us in the future and could be used for all of our current employees.  I am so thankful for Roberto.  He drew up a two page contract for 15 employees, he also provided the 30 copies needed, all at no charge.  If our meeting was not a divine appointment between Roberto and I sharing dinner in the middle of Puerto Lempira, and the fact that he happened to speak a little English, two days before I would need his help, I don’t know what is.

Then on my last night, our good friend Walter Tatallon, who is the artist of the featured image above, was coming to deliver my painting, and as I walked out to meet him, he began speaking with a man, who as it turns out is the new Mayor of Puerto Lempira.  Subsequently, I was introduced to Mayor Etgado Alkade, who inquired as to what had brought me to Puerto Lempira.  So! I was able to give God the glory in front of the town’s Mayor.  He then proceeded to tell me he has many resources at his disposal, and if we need any help in the future at Casa Del Camino, to not hesitate to call on him or his second in charge who he then introduced to me.   Mr. Mayor Alkade even gave me his personal cell phone number to call, because he “loves construction and loves that we have come to help the Miskito people, his people.”

Along with those two contacts, God blessed me with yet another one, Earl.   Earl has been working in the Puerto Lempira area for the last 11 years or so with the Rotary, doing various humanitarian projects.  He left the states a couple of years ago and is now based in Roatan and makes several trips to PL each year.  His organization as it happens, is also responsible for providing the power generator system for the House of Hope orphanage and the IVA School.   Presently his organization is currently working on a clean water operation.  Earl and I were able to share the ride out of Puerto Lempira to La Ceiba in a small single prop plane the next morning, and we made sure to have each other’s contact information to touch base as we return home.

I am feeling that by me trying to walk in obedience, every step with God, by desiring to stay longer to accomplish more, I was provided these three incredible connections as they didn’t happen in the previous three weeks.  God always at work and providing opportunities for future friendships – all to help fulfill Lisa and my calling to serve the boys of La Moskitia – for them to know our Savior’s love.

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth.  For I am God, and there is no other.  By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked;  Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance.  Isaiah 45:22-23

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Front deck around to front porch.  We got two more pieces on and call it a trip.  

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My ride out of Puerto Lempira

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View from my seat – those are my knees nearly touching the dash

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Property being cleared to help limit the snake population: No place to run, no place to hide!

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Burning the grass piles on the property

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Casa Del Camino.  Amazing progress.  Broke ground Feb. 2016, realizing the fence alone took one year to complete

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Something is wrong with this picture?  God’s my co-pilot, no fear.  

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Super remote area of La Moskitia from 1200′ just east of Reserva Biologica Rio Plantano

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Trujillo, Honduras.  West side of Reserva Biolgica Rio Plantano 

 

Thank you all for keeping me in your prayers, and for lifting Casa Del Camino boys and all the work crew to the Lord in prayer, praying God’s will be done!

I thank you God Almighty for surrounding me with your people Lord. I give you thanks for all the many blessings You continue to pour out on me keeping me safe as I notice all the physical pain and death that haunt many in La Moskitia Lord.  I pray for them to know You personally Lord.  Thank you for your provisions – for providing me people with the ability to help in situations as they arise God, I owe everything to You Jesus.  Please give me your heart for all people God.   Help me to express my love and appreciation to our family and friends God, who are involved in this ministry.  Heavenly Father, I pray and lift each person reading this, that you may meet them wherever they are Lord, and provide them with Your comfort, let them share in Your peace that You offer so freely, to those who follow you God.  Allow us each the ability to see You God at work in our everyday lives.  May You, the Creator of all that is seen and not seen continue Your great work in each of our lives, as we join together in Your Great Commission.  May You Lord continue to strengthen our faith, empowering us with Your Great Holy Spirit – produce in us a powerful witness to You God, and may we share Your love for one another, this day and everyday forward.  We love You Lord Jesus and we praise You and give You thanks for everything – thank you for what You lovingly accomplished upon the cross for us God, helping us to see it is not what we do, but rather what has already been done for us by Your free gift when Jesus paid it all.  In love we respond.  We praise You God as we wear the name of “Sought out.”  It is in Your blessed name we pray.

Amen.

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.  Colossians 2:6-7 HCSB

My Best for His Glory,

Mike

Click here to go to: Brenner Mission Page

Strengthening My Patience

The above picture was taken last Friday, the day before I was due to fly out of Puerto Lempira heading home to be with my beautiful wife Lisa. Even though we were able to place all the roof beams, I had a certain feeling that my work was not done here on this trip.

I called Lisa and shared with her the defeating feeling I was experiencing, and that I felt I needed to stay a bit longer, not really sure if what I was feeling was God challenging me or?  But I can say I desired to offer Him more, although I know we are no real service to God for He can accomplish anything without us lifting a finger.  God doesn’t need me but am I going to be faithful to Him in even the simplest or most difficult of ways.  This may have been the test for me.

Even as the work I came to do has not yet been done, I feel God providing me opportunities in the most ordinary ways – from sharing my faith in Him with so many hurting people here or simply praying with the boys before they head out to school each morning and before meals.  I see that I have surrendered to God and His will for me today, and my patience is being strengthened knowing this is God’s will for my life this day, and I ask, “What will I do with it?”6F042D68-E054-481C-8B81-798B75C63224“For you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:3-4 200BE072-B7E1-4158-98E3-16D6BD612668

This trip has clearly been God’s timing.  It might not have been the exact timing I had planned out, but I am certain God is continuing to do a work in me, allowing me the extra time it takes to nurture my relationships with the boys.  You have got to put time in with someone before you can truly know them.  I thank God for my extra time to spend with these boys.

Arnold has been with me since we all landed in Puerto Lempira on January 27th, Marco and Jerbin showed up the day after, and they each continue to be on my shirt tails daily.  Since then, there have been several calls to Lisa, sometimes at the end of my wits, overwhelmed from the boys looking to me for the provision of all their needs, or the frustration I’ve felt dealing with their shortcomings, only to be lovingly reminded, who “I” once was, and that God created me perfectly to fill the need and to clearly share Christ’s love with these lost boys.  My time with them continues to be a blessing to me, and even though they can never take the place of our daughter, they do have a sincere commitment from us to continue encouraging them, as I share with them the truth that we will all be held accountable for the choices we make, while focusing on the love of Christ that fills me – it is clear to me that I cannot do this without God.

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Arnold & Jerbin (back)

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! Amen.

Saturday, February 24th, I had the guys work on the fascia board around the perimeter of the roof and pour concrete at the top of the walls, between the roof beams.07855D31-E0BB-48E7-BABD-C25F1AD99BD1

Sunday the 25th, I went to the property to work on the front porch roof and I was able to finish all but a few boards before heading to Miskito church at Pastor Ludy’s.

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Entry Porch Roof Completed

710AA00B-2945-452E-B685-8F362534E994Monday, the 26th I was able to buy 14 of the 28 mahogany windows needed for the home.  I also bought a second replacement saw in PL for L3000 (about ($128.00) so we were able to have one saw on the ground ripping boards and one on roof to cut boards. The roof over the front deck was completed and I had the guys cement between beams on the north wall.  I also laid out the kitchen counter appliances location.

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Porch off the Living Room and Master Bedroom

Tuesday the 27th, we installed wood roofing on the deck closest to the water tower and began roofing in the living room.  I also laid out the bathroom shower shelves and sinks, and had the guys take down the concrete forms between the beams and start laying block for the bathroom vanities and kitchen counters.

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Porch off the Back Bedrooms

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Cement Kitchen Counters Going In

Today, Wednesday, 28th we finished the living room and dining room roof, and began to prepare the remaining entry roof area.  Also when our good friend Mateo (who was building Ludy’s house) went home on Monday, I had him take our DeWalt worm saw to have the switch repaired at the Central American DeWalt dealer that thankfully happens to be in La Ceiba just a block from the airport.   The switch was rebuilt for L125 (just over $5.00) and was flown back to us for another L250 and arrived today! 9CFFEE5E-3483-46F9-AAE0-9A384091FEE5

D6EE2807-81B5-4C74-A1D4-3C7B54332BD4All in all, it is beginning to look as if the majority of the roof will be installed before I fly out of PL on March 10th to begin my journey back to Seattle arriving on March 13, 2018.  Our days working at the property are 7am to 5pm and the weather has been cooperating amazingly!

Giving all thanks and praise to God almighty, the Creator and sustainer of everything – for sustaining me and renewing my strength every night.  Giving thanks for the work crew safety, for the dialog with the boys to be God-centered more and more.   I’m grateful for Marco’s continued success in school (8th grade this year) and a great start of the school year for Arnold and Jerbin who are not used to the idea of homework but are beginning to understand the priorities (they are both in 7th grade).

Praising God for His sovereignty and for bringing knowledgeable people (brothers, Cesar, Carlos and Eddie who went to school for solar) for their help with hooking up the well solar pump and for offering their help in designing our solar system for Casa Del Camino. And for all of you, God’s faithful servants lifting us and Casa Del Camino in your prayers and generous giving. How great is our God!

Not to us Yahweh, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your faithful love, because of your truth!  (Psalms 115:1)  HCSB

In Him,

Mike

Click here to go to Brenner Missionary Website

 

SURRENDERED

Be silent before the Lord, and wait expectantly for him. (Psalms 37:7)

This trip has been a challenging one on many levels.  At the same time, I have continued to feel so very blessed that our Lord continues to show me His faithfulness in all things.

I am aware of my commitment to serve the people of La Moskitia, and am feeling more surrendered to God’s will with every passing day.  I feel as though our Lord May be using Lisa and me to help to fill the hole – the hole left by the loss of Mama Miriki’s life of service to these people.  Surely we could never take her or her family’s place but I’m confident God is using us that we might be a reflection of His guiding light in the lives of the lost – people who need Jesus here in this remote corner of our world.

I am finding opportunities daily to point others to Jesus, and at the same time I am being stretched beyond my comfort zone, challenged to handle situations with my beloved dysfunctional boys; loving them, encouraging them, providing for them, having fun with them – yet trying to reach them in a way that will help them to grow up healthy and strong physically, mentally and most importantly, spiritually.  It reminds me of just how difficult the teen years can be especially for kids that may not have had a typically “good” childhood.  All of this and…the language barrier, I am challenged at every turn.

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From Left: Arnold, Jerbin, Mike and Marco 

Following God’s lead without truly knowing where or what He’s asking has become more of me just making myself available.   Many times I feel totally inadequate as a representative or witness for the Lord; and yet I find myself praying for people I don’t know.

Or, like today for instance when we do the usual topical Scripture study at the prison, with friends Pastor Ludy and Mateo, who are so much more well read and knowledgeable of Scripture than me.  Still, I feel the desire to share what I do know, and I’m blown away by the fact that God has used me to play a part in His master plan by getting Pastor Ludy involved in prison ministry – it’s just cool!

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At Puerto Lempira Prison today (2.22.18) with Mateo and Pastor Ludy

The issue of waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come has been another ongoing theme this trip.  Mostly having to do with materials but, I do know this, “Miskito time” is totally different from “Millitar (military) time.”  I’m getting mucho practice in patience.

Well water.  Expecting the miracle without knowing how God will provide.  I have a big expectation that our well will test clean after it has tested positive for chloroform.  I’m praying for this daily.  Since the test came back positive for chloroform we did a little research and discovered that some wells that test dirty need to be shocked with bleach to remove contaminates.  While a little chloroform is not dangerous because we already have that in our systems, I don’t know what level our well is at since the test doesn’t tell me that.  And because our water in the States is treated, there is zero chloroform so our prayer for this well here too is the same.  When we did the shock treatment the water went from totally clear to slightly cloudy, and is now getting clearer with the more water that is pumped out.  We have pumped roughly 6000 gal. since.  Please pray for the water to be clean.  

Death.  With all the death involved on this trip, understanding God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances has been a challenge as I try my best to pray for those involved in the suffering.  Especially when the lost one didn’t have a relationship with God.  I’m planting seeds of love and at every opportunity sharing Jesus and the truth of an all-faithful, Almighty, All loving God – an important step in true healing for those who are suffering. Please pray that seeds planted will sprout in fertile soil, grow and produce a fertile crop a hundred times as much as has been planted.

Values.  I have noticed the high value placed on relationships here as compared to the “high-value” placed on things or time, in general back home.  People here love to stop and talk.  You just don’t see everybody running around in a big hurry to get somewhere.  Lisa and I are both very excited to get into language school.   That’s another miracle we are looking forward to – being able to communicate in their native language of Miskito. Please pray that we would learn the language thoroughly and quickly.  

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Lucas – fearless on the roof

Other news to share: Casa Del Camino is progressing nicely as all of the roof beams are up and cut to length, fascia boards have been installed, and we are running the first course of 1”x12”x16’ boards.  The security gate on the battery bank has been installed, decorator block has been put into the window openings in the water tower bathroom, solar panels for the new 24v solar deep well pump and mounting bracket have been made, along with the fence surrounding the panels and well is also going up. 

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Front Porch Roof Beams

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P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S

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Looking out the front door from the entry way

Please continue to pray for the people of Puerto Lempira,  for our fellow missionaries serving here and especially for softening of the hearts of our boys.  Pray for clear communication with all, for blessings and safety on the work crew and their families, for the growth of Pastor Ludy’s church, and also for safety and peace over my beautiful wife until I return, and for my continued renewal of strength needed on a minute to minute basis.

A HUGE thank you for all you continue to do in helping provide for this ministry, with prayer support and for your financial donations.  And thank you Jesus for your Holy Spirit, for your grace, for your love and for your guidance in every step of this journey.

To God be the Glory,

Mike

ACTION Website

Life/Death In The Balance

…Grace to you and peace from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:1)

And as I am learning, grace is always first, as there is no peace without God’s grace.

A certainty here in La Moskitia, is that life is hard and death is certain. On our last trip one of the work crew, Herman lost two of his brothers suddenly within a couple days of one another.  This trip, Rudy, another of our crew, lost his mother unexpectedly last Friday afternoon, after one day in the hospital.  Saturday we called it a short day as to support and help Rudy build his mother’s burial vault.

Everyone is buried above ground here, I believe due to the fact that the water table is so high.  This probably goes without saying, but La Moskitia is not the place for urgent care.  If that wasn’t enough, today when we came back into town, we were met by crowds of folks gathered around with news that one of the water taxis, (a 25’ boat with a 200hp motor) that was carrying 24 people (safely made to carry only 12 people), combined with the high winds capsized the boat.  Several people lost there lives, six others hospitalized. Prayers for all the families involved are needed as most do not know the Lord.977FEE19-DB40-4AC8-815F-2242B6605702

3916804C-3A82-4C2B-AB68-388B9AB543D5On a way more positive note, I am loving the time with the boys even though it can be draining occasionally.  I laugh because we are only talking about three boys here at the moment, so we will definitely have our hands full at Casa Del Camino with 8+ boys.  They are such a joy to be around – full of life, even as difficult as it is here – and we pray for their hearts to be opened to the beautiful truth of Jesus. Amen.   E2DD61CA-E8B9-4C26-8FF0-E5A06F0EDB97(Isaiah 40:28-29) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

I see God teaching me that I must renew my strength, daily, and I’m not talking about pushups or pull-ups. I need to remain focused on the battle and the fact that it’s a battle that has already been won!  I realize that even in my strength I am weak.  I can’t control most things, only the direction in which I look to be renewed.  And while I feel the spiritual battle intensifying with each step we are taking, it is good to know that these intermediate struggles are nothing compared to the vastness of God’s purposes.

As we continue taking the steps of faith God places before us – the uncontrollable logistics of material delivery from the mainland, and the language barrier (the bilingual manager at the construction supply store is no longer employed), limited cargo space for material delivery with a “first come first serve” mentality of the shipping company, and a material supplier that has a bigger supply of excuses for not making the boat than they have of product, even the delivery of the local woods have been frustrated by all the heavy evening rains producing impassable mountain roads for the heavily loaded timber truck, the frustrating fact that we have been unable to find any dry wood to use as our material while what we do have is drying under the house, the well water although looks very clear tested positive for bacteria, or the fact that the table saw that we delivered this trip was over-worked within a couple days and melted down the motor windings, and our DeWalt worm saw that has been reliable since day one of this project has stopped working due to what I’m hoping is a simple switch fix (of course there isn’t a DeWalt dealer this side of the Rio Plantano Biosphere), the issue with my iPhone and iPad being temporarily stolen before being retrieved – are just a few of the challenges being prayerfully handed over to the Lord, because I am certain His plans and reasonings are far better than any I might have had!

I’m grateful for His faithfulness in allowing me to continue to grow spiritually and for His indwelling Spirit.  Although we are waiting delivery of plaster for walls, more cement, rebar, plumbing, roof vapor barrier, and while much of the wood needed has been delivered (though freshly cut, needs to dry), we were able to purchase a back up saw here and have made contact with the Latin America DeWalt repair shop in La Ceiba to avoid possibly having to return parts to the States.

The new solar well pump we brought down this trip is incredible! And we added a couple gallons of bleach to the well to see if we can shock it clean. We will continue to pump water out of well because they say the well gets cleaner the more water it passes, and I have one more bacteria test to perform before I leave. The guys are making good progress on finishing the window and door openings and will begin plastering walls after that.

Giving praise to God for bringing Pastor Ludy and his Miskito church to the property last Sunday for a baptism service.  Three ladies were scheduled to be baptized and it turned into 6 girls and three boys!  I’m sure the enemy wasn’t happy about that. (This was the third baptism service that has been held at Casa Del Camino property).

Thank you for your prayers, not sure where I’d be without them. I had kind of started thinking this mission was untouchable for Spiritual warfare, I was wrong. Game on!

 

DC4C2582-E96A-4E54-9C3E-3A8CB8E9D463Psalms 4:8  “I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, LORD, make me live in safety.”

Resting in His Peace,

Mike

Brenner ACTION Web Site

Reinforcements Required

Tuesday morning 5:30 we woke without the alarm going off, but soon after, everyone on the top floor of the hotel was being woken because of two missing phones and one jacked iPad. Let me set this up for you…

Lisa and I in one bed, three boys in the other, the room was feeling a bit stuffy so, as I often do, decided to leave the door open. After all, the hotel is gated with a watchie, and I had never felt un-safe here before. Obviously we all slept well because in the middle of the night someone came into our room and had helped themselves to Arnold’s phone, my phone and my iPad. I immediately went to the watchie to let him know I was upset about this news.  He let me know there was only one other room occupied upstairs other than the two our team had and it just so happened to be the room right next to ours.  As it was further investigated, the man in said room had paid three girls to come to his room and apparently as they left, they couldn’t help but notice the electronics.

Giving credit where credit is due, Apple products rock! Find my iPhone alone, makes the apple product a very good deal.

The police were contacted and I had little hope of finding any real help. But to my pleasure these fine, professional men in uniform, donning bullet proof vest and packing M-16’s arrived in their four wheel drive commando rig looking ready for the task and more than prepared to retrieve my belongings.  Without any real good-byes with my wife, Pat and Paul (they were catching a flight out in a couple of hours), I jumped into action with the boys in blue.

After a ten block ride it looked as if we had closed in on the beacon. The officers surrounded all corners of the shack structure and started knocking on doors.  Soon after this, the girls that were at the hotel the night before were ID’d by the hotel’s watchie (who also came along) and soon after that, the iPad was returned.  Then I let the police know it wasn’t only the iPad we were locating but my iPhone as well. Shortly after that my iPhone was retrieved.  Arnold’s little track phone wouldn’t be so fortunate, as it was unable to be retrieved.  Sorry Arnold.

The police asked me if I would like to press charges and told me if so they would need to keep the items until the girls were charged.  After thinking about how good and full of grace God has been to me, I told the police I would just like to pray for the girls.  And so they brought them out to me and I laid hands on them, lifting them and the man at the hotel – my neighbors – to our Lord, giving the situation to the one who really knows what is best for each of us.

On the way back to the hotel I asked the police if they would take me to the airstrip where me wife was getting ready to leave so I could return her phone which did the tracking and get a proper good-bye – which they did gladly.  All that excitement before most of us have had a chance to drink one cup of coffee. Nothing but my highest regards for these guys – a job well done. Bravo officers!

After Lisa, Pat and Paul were safely on the plane I headed back to the hotel to get my bike and to sadly watch the plane fly off over the lagoon, (my lonely moment).  I then headed off to help our friend Mateo and Oriellio frame up Pastor Ludy’s new house floor.   I did this same work also on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was so nice to work along side these two guys again as they were the ones I helped build five new church buildings with in remote La Moskitia beginning back in September 2012. 1A2A83A8-2F9B-425D-A53B-02FCDB7EF50F

9477A725-2FA5-4A44-9352-F1621DAE6E745E194D6C-5474-48F2-BA13-530CB7D572BAThe boys have had a great couple days start to this school year.  They all seem excited and happy and really it has not been too bad to get up by 4:00AM as they need be at school for breakfast by 6 and it’s an hours walk from the hotel. I have to say they are starting out strong, washing their clothes every night and doing homework.E2DD61CA-E8B9-4C26-8FF0-E5A06F0EDB97

Today, (Thursday) was a good day.  The new solar pump is up and running and with full sun the last couple days we have filled both tanks – 600L and 2500L.  I will be getting a fresh sample for another water test tomorrow.  Please pray that our well water will be free of ALL contaminates.

GREAT NEWS!!!  We have received all but 74 of the 400 1”x12”x16’s and we also received the remaining 15 – 4”x6”x25’ beams.  I am praying this wood will dry quickly so that we can begin placing them on the roof.

On the down side I’m praying that the new table saw I brought down is not ruined, as we got it quite hot fighting each other trying to rip one of the 25’ 4”x6”s. Once the saw was shut down it wouldn’t turn back on?  Maybe a circuit breaker of some sort?  Also, I was prepared to share some reading of Galatians with the guys in the prison this afternoon, but Ludy was tending to Mateo and Oriellio and Walter was out with a team translating so I was unable to share with the prison men without a translator.29C5CDD4-40C5-4BCA-BC2B-6682F14FD3662204E1AB-1B3B-41DA-ADFC-85B31ABEE740

63CB671B-7857-486D-9E84-894E2CA10D8FA67D4D04-5B72-4EC8-9F71-2DA461E59C07God is alive and well, and I can see Him at work everywhere I look! I’ll reflect more in the next couple days but wanted to catch y’all up a bit, just trying to hold on it’s gonna get busy starting manyana!

Welcome to La Moskitia! Two steps forward three steps back? Thank you for your prayers, not sure I could do this without them. I love you and God bless you!

Miskito Mike

Mike and Lisa at Action International

Raising The Roof!

Hello everyone, God is good. Everything is fine here. I will do my best to write more often in the coming weeks.911518D6-5A66-4645-9002-0613761673D6.jpeg

We got into Puerto Lempira on Saturday a week ago, after checking into the hotel, we spent the day visiting the property and then some time catching up with Alex and Laura at IVA. When we arrived back at hotel Yu Baiwan we were greeted by one of our boys, Arnold (a very street savy 15 year old that we’ve known since he lived at House of Hope when he was 9 yrs old) not really quite sure how he knew we were coming but they seem to always know when I’m coming to town. He’s still with us.

Sunday was spent visiting places like Mama Tara’s orphanage, our freind Walter, House of Hope orphanage and then ended the afternoon with Pastor Ludy and his home church. We then went to Ludy’s new property where he is building his family home and church to do some prayer walking. When we arrived back at hotel Yu Baiwan we were greeted by two of our other boys, Marco and Jerbin. Marco has been doing amazingly well after his first year at IVA and will be starting his second year at IVA next week February 7th. Arnold and Jerbin have been accepted into the IVA program and will be starting 7th grade this year as well. The three amigos have been with us night and day – these boys are a big part of why we felt lead to build Casa Del Camino, a place for these boys to feel loved, and encouraged to have a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and savior, as the one true authority in life.65FD5613-01C6-4D86-A5C6-1494C95A2D75

2D2343C7-BE69-4F63-AFA3-578D7485E38D1783DD09-6ECF-42AC-960B-A2139D75189B0BF06138-951E-4708-A7CB-DE93A8CD0A99178E5E5C-1B83-4B4A-8018-D11B85A670B8Monday morning we all got up and ready to spend the day at the property working. Alex has been very accommodating and gracious, picking us up every morning and delivering us back to the hotel every night. Our days are spent at the property 6:30-4pm.

The work has gone as well as could be expected in La Moskitia, with the typical setbacks like materials not being delivered as scheduled or the fact that not all the wood beams have been delivered as promised and some that were, needed extra milling, as they had begun to be chewed by termites. (Simple fix with a good table saw and some termite killer).

Most all the roof beams are in place now, waiting on the remaining 15 – 4”x6”x25’. We are also expectantly awaiting the delivery of 400 – 1”x12”x16’ tablas (boards) that go on top of the beams. Going to property tomorrow in hopes of them being delivered tonight or mid morning as they will all need to be set out to dry under the home for about 5 days before being ripped into straight 12” boards.  Many have live edges and are greater than 12”.

The guys are working the last top part of the walls in the bathrooms and the others are finishing the window openings in preparation to receive windows. One good note, all the roofing tin and 100 of the 300 bags of cement were delivered to our container Thursday afternoon.

There is still much work to be done but at this exact time last year we were forming the top section of the water tower, mind blown! All praise and glory be to God. img_0917

We have also been blessed with a crazy good cook that has been preparing the team lunch everyday. I am fairly certain Casa Del Camino has found its first cook.  She also has a sister that will help in any scheduling problems as they both cook well.

Thursday, Patrick, Paul and I left the property early so we could visit the prison by 3 pm. We usually have pastor Ludy go with us to share.  Please pray for Ludy as he just lost his brother and needed to travel to be with his family during this difficult time. We asked our local Miskito freind Walter to please come and help translate, which he graciously did. Thank you Lord. We went around and greeted all the prisoners and asked for them to come and hear Paul’s word in the book of Galatians. About 20 men showed up for chapter 1 and we will try and finish a quick study of Galatians in the next several weeks. Please pray for me to be full of the Spirit and to share God’s word clearly.

Something else, Lisa had a short bout with some kind of virus or demon as she was bedridden for about 24 hours saying it felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to her body. Thanking God for brother-in-laws who happen to be doctors! His support in many ways of this ministry is also appreciated and grateful for his participation on this trip. Lisa is at 100% now so no worries.

Our friend Paul has also been a true blessing and a delight to travel with.  His expertise in all forms of construction has lightened the load dramatically and the kids and work crew have been blessed by his freindship and are enjoying his presence as well. 3894E831-0830-4E9E-9CCB-C57DD53F3368BAF40012-DC67-4DD2-AF63-5628BD49D70F2B1D2ED7-8205-4DBD-B6DD-F88C48D922D0

427FD1BF-DF75-4E45-95DB-642A276CAA478658E695-BE6C-411E-AD3A-A75E26DBF9EA800772D9-1A2C-4BD9-BAAF-3D4043663104I think this could be one of the hardest things in ministry, is leaving the relationships behind that you have built and shared with others.  We think at first we are going somewhere to do something to help someone else in need, but really it’s the work God does in us through our contact with others that changes us and allows us to see, we are the ones who are being blessed.

Wishing you all to have a chance to feel the power of God working in your life, I pray for us all to boldly share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to continue to walk closely with Him.

Saved by Grace,

Mike

 

Philippians 4:17 “…what I desire is that more be credited to your account.”

Thank You! And praise God, for He has provided exceedingly abundantly and through your giving we have all the monies needed to purchase the remaining roofing, and anticipating the window and door construction to begin. Thank you for your concern and for your obedient heart, we couldn’t go without senders and supporters as you.  It’s beautiful to think about how God has brought us together all for the opportunity that will be afforded the boys of Casa Del Camino and in the disciplining of the work crew, helping them to see God at work, alive in their lives, and learning from His word. When you give selflessly as you have it’s obvious you care about the things our Lord cares about, reaching the lost and caring for the needy.  When I think about your selfless giving to Casa Del Camino I am filled with gratitude and think about a great bible principle, the more you give to the kingdom, the more God is going to give to you.  This is a comforting principle although I have a hard time thinking about what more God could give us, than He already has.

(Ephesians 1:7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

(1 Peter 1:3-9) Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perished though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  Amen.

Freinds we all need God… through Him every single need we have ever had has been met, and will continue to be so. May God forever bless you, and us in our obedience to Him, with Him, in His great commission. Together, awesome things are being done, all in the name of Jesus.

IMG_3014The evening of January 25th Lisa, myself, Lisa’s brother Patrick and our friend Paul will be heading down to construct the roof of Casa Del Camino along side our regular work crew. The three of them will be returning home on February 7th, I will remain in Puerto Lempira returning home February 26th. Please pray for safe travel, for good health, for the Lord to be glorified in our word and deed, for the Lord to go before us preparing the hearts of those who will receive us. Wednesdays will include prison ministry and I will post regularly.

Thank you and praise God for all He continues to do in and through all of us.

May our Lord continue to guide us and direct us,

Mike