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Go! Sell! Give! Come! Follow!

We are in transition.  A trying time as the things that have been left behind are still close in heart.  I must confess it is difficult for me to not reminisce on all that I had put so much effort into obtaining and is now gone.  Realizing it was all a false sense of security makes it no easier.  Though our earlier lives had its challenges, it was easy and familiar, it was comfortable, and had a certain degree of dependability.  I was certain as long as I continued to work my best, work would continue to come in.  I had relationships with people.  I miss those relationships very much.  There is a void in my life as we need fellowship and community.  I am grateful to have a blessed marriage, the source of much comfort during these days.  I can speak for Lisa as well when I say that we are truly homesick; we miss our family and friends, our church, our coworkers and bankers. We love you and miss you dearly.  It will be so good to see you all again December 2019. Already looking forward to our visit then and to some of your visits next year!

The transition I referred to is that of having a new “job” – Many of us realize that our needs have always been provided by God but when you leave your careers to follow Him, you find yourself truly relying, solely on God to provide along with filling the ability needed to learn a new language.  These have been a bit of a challenge for us. We are encouraged and do feel as we are making progress with our language skills, only not as fast as we had been praying for.  We are in a new country and we are now the foreigner, the odd man out so to speak, and without the skills to communicate clearly, our relationships are limited.  Sure, we could be surrounding ourselves with other missionaries or our other English-speaking friends here, but that would not help our learning of the Spanish language.  I feel that things will get better as we move into Casa Del Camino and look forward to building relationships with the boys and with the people of La Moskitia.

I find comfort in the verses in Mark 10:28-31 (HCSB) Peter began to tell Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.”  “I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time  – Houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions  – and eternal life in the age to come.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Who? No one! or better yet, everyone who has left anything or anyone, not for their own good but for my sake and for the gospel. Who will not have, how much? One hundred times as much! When? When you get to Heaven, or after you die? No! You will get one hundred times as much NOW! In the present age! And that’s not all, we will have eternal life! We already have joy unspeakable because of our relationship with God.  We have the peace, love and joy the world longs for because of His spirit that dwells in us.  In God we have complete security, nothing can harm us until we finish the work that He has set before us in this world, and then we will be received by Him with great rejoicing! Knowing all this and I still struggle, caught up in internal turmoil, wondering if the cause is of being in transition? Feeling called but not yet fulfilling the calling? The transition is real and it is tough. I believe what I believe, and yet my mind still plays tricks on me, getting me to second guess all that’s going on.  I reckon that’s why it is so very important to stay in the Word, keeping God’s promises fresh in our minds able to call them out in the time of need.

Keeping this BLOG has also been a good reminder of how God has been faithful in His word all throughout this ministry, so that we can look back and see how He has answered prayers and met our needs helping us to live expectantly in His word. I wonder how much more joyous life can and will be by, living the life He has called us to live? But yet we are still in transition.  I think that is what He is telling us in these verses – is not to let our possessions be master over us. Our safety, relationships, possessions, worldly success, trials and troubles there will be, but that it is all for our good and His glory.  God is always good and God is always wise. I am a work in progress, still working out some internal things, and the whole idea “first will be last and last first” is one of them.  I love being first and hate being last, competitive maybe to a fault?

I know that it is only through God that any of this is being accomplished, still I can’t help but continually think about what needs to be done next; spinning my wheels over the details trying to figure out how all this is going to happen.  I would like to clarify, I do not believe the verses in Mark mean, that if I gave up two Cadillacs He will supply me with 200 more, or that by walking away from good paying jobs we will be supplied with even better paying jobs – I believe the things He does and will supply us with are to be so meaningful and magnificent to us, according to His riches in glory! That we will experience the “less is more” effect. That the happiness we felt from the hoards of belongings we were allowed to have earlier, will pale in comparison to how He will supply for us now and the joy we will experience in the days to come.

It is much easier to communicate these thoughts than to actually live them out without being anxious or worried about where the next crews’ payroll will come. Even though a lot of the heavy lifting may be done, there is much more to be completed.  It has become very clear to me that, no longer can I rest in any way of my own doings as I am fully reliant on God’s provision. In doing so, I’m telling you, I feel as if He is treating me to a slice of pie.  I love pie, just not sure about the flavor of humble pie.

Prayer requests are that we be gifted with the ability to learn and speak the Spanish and also Miskito language; to be honest with Jesus and aware of our shortcomings, trusting in and resting in Him fully; to have a great awareness of God’s power, majesty and mercy; to continue to grow and strengthen our knowledge of God’s Word and that we can respond generously to the needs we are made aware of around us. Lisa and I give all praise and glory to our Heavenly Father for all of you in our lives, and pray that you may clearly see Him at work in your daily lives.

Please feel free to comment as we are encouraged by your words and get a certain amount of reassurance knowing that I am communicating clearly about our struggles and praises.

                                            Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord”…

A few pictures of people we have met.  Getting used to seeing the difference in first world and third world lifestyles, and La Cieba is a world apart from where we will be ministering in Puerto Lempira, with much less infrastructure.  Please join us in praying for the Honduranian people, most who are living on less than $10 per day with the price of gas over a $1 per Liter = $3.90 per gallon of regular gas just to help put it all in perspective.

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Camiones De Trabajar

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Fruit Stand

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Our Favorite Swimming Hole… Muy Fresco!

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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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