Today it is 88 degrees at 75% humidity making it feel like 102 degrees, “Feels like a sauna.” Today’s low will be 81 degrees with 97% chance of rain but as of 3:30 pm, no rain. Visibility 6.2 miles, nice weather to drive, especially if you are blessed to have a/c!
Lisa and I are alive and well as we find ourselves caring for nine hijos del Rey! (Sons of the King!) Hard to believe six months have passed since we opened the home. The food issues, of rice and beans with no ability of going out for a nice steak or a fresh salad has been more difficult than I imagined. I will say that today Lisa prepared a special lunch of grilled chicken with a special sauce and a pasta salad as good as the ones I remember her making at home. I will be praying for more of this, lovingly prepared by Lisa.
I will also share that I have struggled with being task driven, causing more than its share of struggle and fatigue, between Lisa and myself and has clearly shown me my lapses and short-comings – this is where I pray for growth to continue. Realizing it is not about the tasks or the “to do list” but that it is about building the relationships, and as in the story of raising Lazarus from the dead, its about our privilege to loose the newly resurrected. “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.” (John 11:42-43 HCSB) Jesus resurrects us and then He gives others the privilege and responsibility to “loosen them.” We are to help the newly born again, to loose their old habits and hang-ups, and as we get the privilege to pray for them and to walk along side them.
What a blessing we are called into, helping the next leaders of Puerto Lempira grow in their faith and being a small part in the growing of God’s Kingdom here in La Moskitia. As our relationships deepen with each of these boys, it brings so much joy in realizing the opportunity they are getting because of your willingness to be used by God, coming along side us in prayer and financial support. This boys are getting to be kids really for the first time and they are growing in Christ. We have a Wednesday and Thursday night bible study at La Casa with our good friend and Miskito Pastor Ludy Washington. They have been learning about a new life in Christ and what it means to be a disciple – they are able to focus on their faith and on school without having to worry about the struggles so common to this remote part of Honduras. What a blessed life we live!
The Last Few Months:
As I have focused on tasks, mainly of the homesteading variety, I am grateful for the support we have received from our monthly donors and the visiting of family and friends. The encouragement and love we have experienced from our visiting groups this year is what has allowed us to make it this far. We have had five different groups to date, not including our first visitor, friend and fellow missionary from ACTION International, Patrick O’Conner. He was only with us for two days but very much enjoyed our fellowship while it lasted. God bless you Patrick and thank you for making the long journey.
Our next visitors were Lisa’s brother Patrick and his family including his wife Naomi and two of their three sons Titus and Levi who came down in late March.
It was not their first time down so they kind of knew what to expect, but it was the first time staying at La Casa del Camino. I was able to get the tile laid in the shower floors before they arrived, but we were still without power – and they were total troopers! We had an uplifting time while getting some important things done, like finishing up the outdoor kitchen wood-fired oven in just enough time to have a pizza party and water balloon toss on the night before they left.
The week went by way too quickly but we are so thankful as they helped us to be recharged with a much needed visit from family who loved on us the whole time! Good-byes are definitely hard.
The second group was our daughter Taylor and son in-law Bryan.
This was their first visit to Honduras and to La Moskitia. Lisa and I seem to learn a little with every new visitor, and were excited to see Bryan and Taylor both able to enjoy and communicate well with the boys.
We are sure lasting connections were made.
Super special to have our girl come down and see where God has called us, and to share in the blessings of serving these beautiful people.
The third team was a group of seasoned missionaries from our sending agency ACTION International Ministries – consisting of John and Georgie Reed from Member Care,
Melinda Creef a professional counselor and from the International Director Thomas Smoak with his wife Suzanna and their five daughters Esther, Jessie, Lilly, Maggy and Violet. We had such a valuable time full of prayer, great counsel, advice and help with a focus on our marriage – very important. As a result we have been able to come up with a plan for a little time alone one night every six weeks or so. Thank you for your encouragement and well received advice, we had a great time playing games and hanging out. Much appreciated.
Our last group was our first “work team” and they happen to be from our home church, Highlands Community Church.
(No photo of Spencer because he was not well most of the trip) Our time was amazing with them – they worked so hard pouring 110% into everything they did. We got so much done, a large part of our new aquaponics system was completed along with the fence around our garden, a toilet changed out, trench and large sump pit dug for our aquaponics,
a track bar for our truck was delivered and installed! They even painted the kitchen, entry and living room walls! They also painted the metal entry gates for the property
and the men went and did prison ministry where we shared of the story of Jesus healing the blind man in (John 9).
I feel as though we were all blessed by that ministry, as it seems when I am feeling tired and stuck and I do what we are all told to do, share our faith and talk about who Jesus is, I am instantly refreshed and at ease.
A lot of games were played with the boys between going to House of Hope orphanage were they did VBS, shared scripture, and did crafts. They also visited IVA, the school our boys attend, where they did more bible verse memorization and taught the the kids how to loom. Mama Tarras orphanage was also visited on two different occasions, played games and crafts sort of a mini VBS. The Highlands team also helped with setting up computer and wifi making the boys homework much easier, not to mention all the tools that were brought and donated along with items for the boys. What an amazing blessing it was to have the fellowship and comrodery of our church along side us, Lisa and I miss you all very much and are looking forward to our return visit before Christmas. All the donations and gifts made us feel appreciated and loved. Powerful and encouraging. Thank you! So encouraged and blessed by our church, you make everything so much better. Definitely need to up my game for this caliber team as the amount of work done was divine, out of this world! Thank you Lord, and thank you Highlands! We love you! Good-byes are hard.
Finally, we were blessed again to recieve yet another team from Applegate Christian Fellowship, a group of 13 teenagers and two adults who came to worship and evangelize throughout La Moskitia and Puerto Lempira. Also hard an extra special time worshiping along side the students of IVA (Instatute Vida Abudaunte).
We provided accommodations, meals and transportation for them as they walked along side our boys and others from La Moskitia doing worship festivals- where they played music and sang worship songs, and some even they wrote! God was so glorified by their worship, testimonies and sharing of the good news with hundreds of people and included several alter calls. During one festival held in el centro we witnessed 25-30 people come forward to make a public declaration to follow Jesus. They were then prayed over and connected/invited to church. It was beautiful to witness.
Progress and upcoming projects:
Our latest project has been an aquaponics system that’s completion was being held up by 8-1″ bulkheads that I now have. When completed the system will grow tilapia fish, two tanks of 50-75 fish per tank and 8 grow beds of tomatoes, lettuce cabbage, basil and other herbs.
We have completed three team rooms below the home and are currently working on the entry area and sala under the home.
We have had one 12’x4′ mahogany table and bench seating made, still waiting on the second one to be completed.
Fresh coat of paint on all property gates has been completed! ( The ones not completed by our Highlands Team) Living on the lagoon rust is a constant battle with metal gates.
As we are coming into a raining month of July we just completed a roof over our burn pit where we burn all our garbage. Our near future plans include construction of a pig pen as we have decided to raise one pig per year that will provide us our end of year “pig roast fiesta” to celebrate a successful school year for the boys before we send them back to their families for the Christmas break. We will also be building a chicken coop for about 15-20 chickens mostly for egg production but when that slows, soup!
Our solar setup is up and running but I’m only seeing about 25.5 volts float level should be up somewhere a produce 300 w per panel and the turbines work rain or shine, day or night. I m currently waiting for a remote start for our generator that will allow it to be started automatically to charge batteries when they are low, it will also include building a generator house off the well tower, bellow the solar battery bank.
Still needing to finish outdoor kitchen windows and railings of the palapa but have been cooking and eating meals out there for several weeks now and is working wonderfully. definitely cooler eating outside! Great idea! Also needing to finish tile work in all the bathrooms but as I said, all shower floors are in so not a priority at this point. Same goes for all the deck railings, there is no shortage of things to be done here at La Casa Del Camino!
Last blog we shared three boys Arnold, Marco and Jerbin. This time we will share the other six joven: Elvin, Kelvin, Morphy, John, Coby and Ariel.
All our boys are very unique with very much their own personalities. Even though Elvin and Kelvin are twins they are very different, Elvin is quite a free spirit that easily finds himself in sticky situations. None of them too serious but we spend most of our time keeping him on track and focusing at the task at hand. Elvin is light hearted and laughs always.
Kelvin on the the other hand is our one boy that will be leaving us at the end of the year, and he will be the first Casa Del Camino boy to graduate from IVA. He is a little more serious and will be testing for entry into the Honduran Navy in Oct. 2019. A good student, very polite, very easy to encourage and spend time with. Good head on his shoulders, using the military to pay for his future education.
Morphy has really grown spiritually, and seems to be sincerely seeking the Lord during our times of bible study with pastor Ludy. Always in a good mood and laughs a lot. Once, I had hurt my leg playing basketball and Morphy came into our room where I was resting and asked if he could pray over me. Always smiling, sweet kid.
Probably our best student, never have to chase him down about doing his homework, good grades, very competitive, gets along well with everyone. Pretty humble kid.
Coby, loves football and is known for his goal keeping abilities, follows instruction well, works hard also doing well in the discipleship program that the boys are working through with pastor Ludy. Our last boy Ariel, happens to be pastor Ludys nephew. Sweet kid and plays the guitar during worship at church. only has to be told once when help is required. It has been easy to love these boys, giving God thanks and praise for allowing us to be the ones that help them through these next several years. It gives Lisa and myself so much joy as we hear these boys laughing and joking with each other. I really believe they are having an experience of a life time getting to grow together and build life long friendships with one another and having fun doing it.
Continued prayer for Gods sovereign provision.
Please pray along side us for not only our boys at La Casa Del Camino but for all the families that struggle to make ends meet here in La Moskitia. As you may of heard on the wold news, July brings the beginning of lobster season in Honduras that goes through November and recently a local lobster boat was capsized claiming the life of 27 men. In this small community, it seems as if everyone has been touched in some way by this tragity. One of the work crew here at La Casa, Delino who has been with us from the beginning, has lost three of his brothers and two nephews on this particular boat, causing a huge burden on his family as now not only are three of the men dead, they where the ones providing for their families. Life is hard here and death is always difficult and sad but seems even worse here as many do not have a personal faith in our Lord and savior. So sad for the lost. Pray for the survivors of the lost to seek God through this tragity.
Please pray for how God may be wanting to use you in this ministry, be it praying for us or becoming a sponsor for one of our boys, giving financially and or praying specifically for one of the boys, or even being part of the next mission team to experience what God is doing here in La Moskitia with these young lives.
Please be praying for our health and stamina as we try to stay focused on Him and make time everyday for us. We are a team, neither one of us could do it without the other so keeping our marriage strong is a priority.
Please pray for me as I try to make more time to write and share how I see God working in this ministry.
(Philippians 1:3-5) “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
We miss and love you all,
Mike (and Lisa too)