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…”