Peace to those who are near and to those who are far away.
I apologize for it being so long between writing.
basic information to catch everyone up to speed:
Lisa and I moved into La Casa Del Camino on December 12, 2018. On January 28th the home opened to 9 boys ages 14-18 yrs. First day of school was February 6th. Still no power in the home or outdoor kitchen. Boys are doing homework by small solar powered lights; had two sets then one was outside charging and got caught in rain shower, so now we have just one.
We have a couple cooks – starting to gain some weight back. We are trying to speak more Spanish (and Miskito) everyday with help from our boys.
Pastor Ludy Washington is coming once and sometimes twice a week for bible teaching and a discipleship program we are doing with our boys from 6-8 pm. Boys really seem to be enjoying it, lots of discussion.
We employ three watchies that tend the gates to the property while helping with yard work, watering plants etc. I let the work crew go once we moved in and shortly realized there is more work to be done than five of me could do in several years. So I brought back three of the construction crew and two wood workers who are building shelves, beds, doors and windows.
A couple funny stories: one day the pila shower was left on emptying the entire 600 gallon water tank so no water for showers – in turn the boys had a few days of lagoon showers morning and night. Then there was the time when everyone was dragging their feet getting ready for bed on a school night; we normally have everyone showered by 9 pm. At 9:30 none of the boys had showered so I told them they had 3 minutes to shower so they all ran for the shower stripping down to their underwear, they all showered in about three minutes. Lisa and I were dying laughing as what I meant was they each had three minutes in the shower but they thought they all needed to be done in three minutes. Lost in translation.
Or one of the chores is wiping down the table and sweeping the floor after meals, they love to wipe down table with hot pads. Then the time when they needed to shower in the lagoon they thought it best to use laundry soap to get clean. Many miscommunications resulting in some good laughs.
There are many battles going on here in La Moskitia. As we learn and adjust to our new way of life one of my personal struggles is within myself. My own hang ups and control issues, my own selfish desires, thinking I know what’s best. it’s the old pride thing. I find myself expecting stuff to get done in a timely fashion, they operate with a different program here, nothing is as it once was for me. I want to be tranquilo but in reality I think I’m a bit uptight because I have an idea how things should be done in an order and I’m having a tough time finding any order here. I believe the Lord is allowing me to see myself for who I really am in all my many shortcomings. There is a lot for me to learn to feel at home here in La Moskitia and I am praying for God’s peace through these struggles. All the while, trying to be a good example to these boys. I can share with you that, yes, I have “dropped the ball” a few times already. Gladly I have been able to humble myself and to apologize and ask forgiveness. I am hopeful that these accounts have shown them that we all make mistakes, but then too, how we can move past an offense. This experience continues to make me aware of my deep need for Christ to be the center of my life, and that takes the focus off of me and my shortcomings and puts the focus back on our glorious God and what He has done for me and every believer in Christ Jesus.
“The one who boasts must boast in the Lord!” 1 Cor. 1:31 (HCSB)
As I begin to feel stressed and not in control, I can rest in Him, knowing full well who’s in control and that
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” Eph. 1:4 (HCSB)
With all the things to be done and trying to choose the importance of each, prioritizing and multi-tasking while managing the schedules of 9 junior high, high schoolers, I have become almost overwhelmed at times. I am finding rest in this verse today, grateful to realize through our obedience God is accomplishing His will. I’m looking forward to seeing the fruit, I’m humbled to be a part of this ministry to these boys, and I’m completely dependent on our Lord and savior to provide the strength, stamina, knowledge, patience, love, willingness, peace, health and funding needed to get La Casa Del Camino up and running.
The young men the Lord has brought us to live here are all unique in their own ways and we are finding pleasure in developing relationships with each one of them. And as I mentioned before, I cannot help but feel a deep gratitude for what God has done through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and how this ministry is affecting us all. Happy to know that in our obedience, He will remain faithful and
” He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion” Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)
Photo and brief summary of a few boys including prayer requests:
Arnol is one of the first boys we met here in Puerto Lempira back in 2011. Lisa and I were blessed to attend his baptism, Jan. 2015. He is also one of the older boys at CDC at 17 yrs. born June 1st 2001.
Sad to say last year he attended IVA as a seventh grader and after doing well all year stopped attending after we left in from a short visit in October, and subsequently he failed the year. The teachers did not offer him another chance so through your help in supporting the ministry of CDC we have hired a tutor for the year (2-4pm everyday) then he can test out of seventh grade. The hope is that he will be able to re-enroll in IVA next year as an eight grader. He is very street savvy and a smart kid to boot.
I am very fond of Arnol and have a very close relationship with him as we spend most mornings together running errands and he helps me with projects around La Casa.
Prayer request for Arnol may include:
*Continued support to afford his tutoring program at $80 per month.
*That he remain committed to his education. Arnol comes from a family of 10 siblings and he wants to help them however he can – often causing his own needs to take a back seat to any hustle on the streets that will be an immediate help to his siblings.
*For his free spirit to be harnessed and nurtured so as to grow strong in his faith and walk with the Lord here at La Casa Del Camino.
*Softening of his heart as he can be somewhat mean-spirited at times liking to dish out criticism and teasing, but does not receive it well.
Arnol is a delight 95% of the time. The other 5% he is a typical teen. He has been a great assistance to me and my goings about.
Marco is another of the first boys we met in 2011. He is 16 and birthday is August, 31st 2002. I have quite a history with Marco, we have needed to work past many troubles, but he is beginning to grow in his knowledge of a loving God. Marco is the perfect example of why we are here, boys needing encouragement and accountability in order to realize the God-given potential in each. He is in ninth grade and towards the top of his class academically.
Prayer requests for Marco may include:
*a fervent desire to know God resulting in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit giving him power over temptation and sin.
*honesty and humility
*continued excellence in school
Marco is a very smart kid who speaks three languages and has been very helpful to me in learning Spanish.
Jerbin has always been in our hearts from the first time we meet him at House of Hope back in 2011. We call him Cinco because he was five when he came to live at the orphanage. May 27th 2004 is his birthday. Jerbin is the smallest and youngest boy in the house. At 54.5″ and about 60lbs. he can eat as much as anyone in the house. Jerbin is one of our biggest joys, he has a tremendous sense of humor and has been blessed with a great attitude towards life even though he has very little.
Jerbin and Marco were two of the three boys we tried to adopt back in 2014 in order that they might have better opportunities in life with us in the U.S. That was when we were told kids from La Moskitia are not adoptable and the seed of La Casa Del Camino was planted in our hearts all from a desire to help three Miskito boys from Puerto Lempira, Hon.
Lisa and I are very excited for what this year will bring, including our first visitors.
Guests and visitors this year:
The end of March we will be blessed to have Lisa’s brother and my closest friend, Doctor Patrick (who helps keep us healthy) and his family including his wife Naomi and two of their three boys, Titus and Levi. It will have been about 10 months since we have seen them and as you can imagine we are very excited for our time together.
Patrick O’Conner a friend and encouragement partner from ACTION International Ministries, will have a short three day visit to La Moskitia at the very end of March.
In the middle of April we will get to spend some time with our daughter Taylor and her husband Bryan as they are coming for their first visit to La Casa Del Camino.
The end of May will bring us another group of friends and their families also from our sending agency ACTION INTERNATIONAL with John and Georgie Reed and a freind of theirs, Melinda Creef, who is employed as a grief and abuse counselor in the school system back home in the states. She can offer help with the boys. There is possibly another couple who also worked with the Miskito people years ago who may come as well. And finally rounding out this group is our International Director, Thomas Smoak his wife Susanna and their three daughters.
In the end of June we are going to be blessed with a group of possibly 12 from our home church, including our missions pastor Tom Dabasinskas who is leading the group. As you can imagine we are so grateful to see God bringing us family, friends, supporters and encouragers, counselors and the likes caring enough to make this somewhat difficult and expensive journey down to the Miskito Coast.
To all who are coming and plan to visit, we thank God for you and your desire to help this ministry flourish. We are praying for you.
PROJECTS TAKING PLACE:
We need to finish the outside kitchen including the construction of the oven and windows. We are in need of funding and construction of two large dining tables and bench seating to accommodate 30+ people.
Tile in all 6 showers. All the tile, mastic and grout have been purchased, need time to install it.
Railings on the verandas.
Construction of shelving in the closets including special storage for plates, cups and glasses.
Construction of visitor/team rooms below the home. This project is well under way though we are in need of funding for cement for the floors, materials and construction for six more bunk beds and the mattresses for bunks +1 we are needing in the house (13 total) in preparation for our guests. There is also need of 10 windows – three to four in each team room and 4 doors, one for each of the three rooms and one that combines two rooms into one larger room.Solar panels mounted need fuse panel box and to run wire in house
Needs and prayer requests:
*Please pray for the financial needs of La Casa Del Camino to be met. Our God is an awesome God and we are certain that as He brings us together, every need will be met in His perfect time.
Dollar figures that would certainly help with meeting these ministry expenses mentioned above:
$500 for the two dining tables and bench seating
$1020 for six bunk beds
$2600 for 13 mattresses
$1000 for the 10 simple screened windows
$800 for 4 doors needed in guest rooms
$1500 for 125 bags cement (mission team rooms floors and beams above windows)
$300 for ten loads of rock (for concrete)
$100 for six loads sand (for concrete)
*Please pray for our marriage to stay strong and grounded in Christ. Giving of our time to one another, able to rest together, enjoying each moment, for this is where our good Father has us today.
*Prayer for patience in all areas.
*Prayer over our health and the health of the boys at La Casa Del Camino
* Prayer for each person God is inviting to Honduras this year, for their health during their visit and that their trip has a lasting effect on their lives all for the glory of God.
Thanks be to God for each of you who bless us in prayer and who have helped us to meet our monthly support needs
Hoping this has helped inform everyone of the amazing ways in which God is at work here and providing you with some good prayer requests.
We miss you and send our love and thanks,
Mike (and Lisa)