Team Honduras

Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!








I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas, that is full of Christ. For with out the Heavenly Father sending "HIS" One and "ONLY Son, JESUS" to earth that night in Bethlehem we would all be on our way to spending eternity in HELL without hope for our future.

Our family spend the morning with gifts and a big breakfast and taking time to "THANK THE LORD" for what he has done for us this past year. Mark read the Christmas Story from Luke 2 as we celebrated and thanked the Lord for our salvation. We now pray that "Little Man" will grow up and trust Jesus as His personal Savior as he learns about God's love for us all.

Again, we wish all of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Looking for a Miracle this CHRISTMAS!






The Bible says :


"Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou has declared thy strength among the people." PSALMS 77:14

When we moved to Tampa in August we started attending Southside Baptist Church. This was a little scary for me, for I have so many friends and many close relationships with our church family back home in North Carolina. Hilltop is a church that "WELCOMES" you the minute you walk in. I have been in many churches and not yet found that same close feeeling. But the Lord gave me the same great feeling at Southside and to me it is a mini Hilltop. The people are loving and caring and the Pastor is truly a man of God preaching the word with no reservations just like Brother Jeff. It has become our new home.

For the Christmas Cantata Pastor Nance decided to preform a mini play with the choir singing throughout the scenes. The name of the play was "THE GREATEST GIFT". To my surprise the Pastor picked his cast and had Mark and I both in it. I was scared to death!!!! Now I know that I am a bubbly, friendly and out-going person and all......but I have never acted a day in my life......with the exception of teaching K5 and a tiny ladies meeting skit. However, I prayed and learned my lines and just asked God to help me not to stumble and use the words that come from my lips to give HIM GLORY. Praise the Lord the play was wonderful and we had three people walk the aisle. Two of those made a profession of faith.

My devotion tonight reminded me of the meaning behind the play and that God has given us the best gift of all, Himself. The title of my devotion was "FINDING A MIRACLE this SEASON". It made me really think about a dear friend that I have back home.

I have a dear friend by the name of Lanie. Many of you who know me know about Lalania. She has been battling cancer now for sometime. The day that she found out she had cancer, she didn't just found out about it she found out that it was already stage 4. I will never forget that day. My heart was hurting for her along with all her know her. See Lanie is probably the sweetest, kindest, loving, encouraging, and faithful women I know. I am not sure at all what was going through her mind that day but I am sure that her family was heavy on her heart. You see, she has 5 boys that range in age from 14 to 4.

Lanie as long as I have known her has always had an awesome testimony. She has been saved for sometime now, served her country in the Air Force and always been a caring and loving mother and wife. Now she is fighting the battle of her life, yet to see her she strives on and never lets you see her pain or discomfort. She never complains and always gives God the Glory for everything in her life. She jumps in the ring with her "boxing gloves" on and God as her manager. She truly has a wonderful spirit and testimony.

Honestly, I have to examine my own life and how I fail because I let the world creep in and take my eyes off of "HIM". God is perfectly capable of handling every situation. He has never made a mistake with any of us and never will. He has a plan and a purpose for everything in our lives. Why should we think for a moment that he can not stop or start any situation that occurs in our lives in the wink of an eye??

God has a habit of doing some miraculous things and I know that he can still do them today. This Christmas...."I am looking for a miracle." I am actually not just looking for one but for many. I am praying that God will heal my dear friends body and rid it of cancer. Lanie is a fighter and she has not given up and our family and friends will not give up on her either. I am also praying that God will mend my brothers family. This has been a tole on our entire family and without any more details I ask that you join me in prayer for God to give a miracle in these lives. I am not giving up on either of these situations but I am putting them solely in Gods hands. God has a way of sending us just what we need when we need it. I pray this season that you my readers not get caught up in the hussel and bussel of Christmas and don't stand in the way of GOD preforming a "MIRACLE " in your life or the life of someone you love.


"Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer can move God"
E.M. Bounds


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!




Saturday, December 5, 2009

No Ordinary Zoo Trip...........


















On Thursday of this week many of the children were treated to a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo here in Florida. What a treat for all the children this day proved to be. A small business association made it possible for the children in 6th grade and below to attend the zoo. They even took care of the staff that went along to oversee each group.

It was so amazing to see how the Lord provides for "HIS" people. Many of the children.....in fact almost all of the children here have never been to any type of zoo. This was such a treat for them.


The kids were able to do things that otherwise the would have not been able to do. Some of the things that the kids in my group were able to do included feeding a giraffe and stingray. This was so cool. The giraffe at one point had her nose on my camera. It was a treat for me as well. Then we moved on to search out some other neat looking animals and even rode a roller coaster and a sky lift. This was no ordinary trip to the zoo, in fact this may have been a once in a life time event for some of the children here. As they walked they took in every inch of their surroundings and had a wonderful day. The Lord even held off the rain and kept it warm but cool out so that all the animals were active. The group then treated us all to a wonderful catered lunch and then gave every child a stocking filled with goodies.
A BIG THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE!!!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Offering a Little HOPE.........







You know the world tries to offer us hope, however it is imperfect and always fails us: as does man. You see no matter how much we search for worldly hope we always come up short. It is such a comfort for me to know that MY GOD offers me hope that is never ending, unchanging and even unshakable. If we are "saved" (this means that I put my faith and trust in Christ ALONE) we can have a hope for an eternal future.

It is so awesome to ponder on the thought that God does not keep track of our failures if we ask him to forgive us. As a ______(wife, parent you fill in the blank) we will all face disappointments and failures here in our life. But it is so sweet to know that if we put our hope in "HIM" we are secure and are promised peace,joy and eternal life.

Are we teaching and sharing with others the hope that we have in our lives? Do others see us as different because of who our lives belong too? If a stranger happens to come across our path will they see that we are different.....than the world?

Not long ago we were able to have a few kids in our home for Thanksgiving. The day after turkey day we always put our Christmas tree up and living in Florida was not going to stop that long family tradition. So, with new ornaments and lights myself along with all six children helped put up the tree. Some how putting up a Christmas tree with the twinkling lights and shining ornaments puts hope into a child's heart about the holiday season. This year I challenge you to put a little hope in someone elses life by extending them the "Good News of Salvation". Just like we were able to give the children hope that the best was yet to come, you to can give someone hope that their "BEST is YET TO COME". It will come the day they see Jesus in Heaven.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beginning of a NEW Thanksgiving Trend.........








Well, Thanksgiving was a little different this year for our Family. This was the first year since Mark and I have been married that we have not celebrated the holiday with one of our families. However, it will not be the last one that we do not have our parents at......considering next year we will be in Costa Rica and the following year we will be on the ground in Honduras.


When you think of "Thanksgiving" you think of the season of Fall with beautiful changing leaves that look like they have been painted on the trees. You also think of cool crisp days of kids playing football outside while the turkey is being cooked.
Our Thanksgiving was great even if there were not autumn colored leaves and it was about 70 outside. Mark and the kids played outside while I prepared all the traditional foods that go along with turkey. We had:
1. Baked Mac-n-Cheese
2. Green Bean Casserole
3. Mashed Potatoes and gravy
4. Dressing
5. Butterbeans
6. Carrots
7. Cranberry Sauce
8. Deviled Eggs
9. Sweet Potato Casserole
10. Rolls
11. Blueberry Cobbler w/vanilla ice cream
and of coarse my husband cooked his first of many to come fried TURKEYS.....and let me just say that if you have never had fried turkey it is the BOMB!!!! ((and we will be getting a fryer for Honduras.......))
We had some guests with us for Thanksgiving this year that were not family memebers but kids here in the home. Two of them had no family to go home too and one well her dad is in prison and her mom died when she was little. It was nice to be able to bring them home and give them a family style Thanksgiving Dinner. Before we prayed we went around the room and each of us told what we were 'Thankful" for. One of them said they were thankful for the home, another said "that you brought me to your house for Thanksgiving" it was very heart warming tear jerking to hear those words come out of his mouth. You know all he wanted was to have a family. He has been in the home for 3 years. He is now 5. The sad think is that he will most likely live here until he goes off to college.
This was the start of a new family tradition for us: giving hope to those who have none. Sharing something as small as a plate of turkey dinner and hugs and laughs to someone that longs for love and acceptance. I challenge each one of you to start a new family tradition that would include doing something for someone in need.
We are all so very fortunate to have the family lives that we do and sometimes it is hard to even believe that there could be one without a family. If you want to see or read more about the work here at Hope Childrens Home please visit the link below.

HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg To ALL!!!!!!!
"O Give Thanks Unto the Lord; for He is Good:For His Mercy Endureth For Ever.

Psalm 118:29












Monday, November 23, 2009

DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND???






One of my favorite hymns is WHAT A FRIEND by Joseph Scriven. It was very intresting to me that a dear lady gave me a booklet on famous hymns and how their writers were inspired to write them.

In 1845 Joseph came to Canada and lived there until his death at the age of 66. His consecration of his life to Christ was the result of a terrible grief which he endured in his early years.

You see the young lady to whom he was engaged to accidently drowned on the night before their wedding day. Mr. Scriven wrote his famous hymn, WHAT A FRIEND, at a time of very special sorrow to bring comfort to his mother. It was only intended for her eyes only. He told a neighbour, "The Lord and I did it between us". What a true blessing this song has been to so many over the years.


You know while we all have earthly friends it is not uncommon for them to fail us in some fashion. They do not mean too but we are all human which means not one of us is a perfect creature. However, there is one that is always there no matter what the need or situation. I am thankful that I can sing the words to this song and believe them.

Here is the first stanza of this song:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

You should look up the remaining 2 verses and see if they speak to your heart like they do mine.

"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother". Proverbs 18:24

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Winding Road of Our Thought Life....................


Have you ever sat back and pondered how YOUR thoughts affect the people around you? When we have a negative thought about someone "Satan" does everything in his power to make it fester up until it burst, like a splinter stuck in your finger and your body trying to purge it out.


You see the devil does the same thing in our "thought life". He sees a situation that we may have with our children like them constantly leaving their toys on the floor; or maybe it is our husbands dirty socks laying beside the hamper. What ever the situation the devil trys to plant the negative seed to get us angry or to think poorly of them. This could happen with any situation right on down to "Did you see _____this morning at church, they did not even come over to me and say Hello".....boy have I heard that a ton of times. The truth is we don't know exactly what is going through the other persons head. I can testify that I have been at church and it has gotten back to me that I did not greet someone, the truths is "I did not even see them".


What ever the circumstance it can cause one of two situations. One we can blurt out in anger and gain an ill temper for those involved or two we keep it bottled inside but our actions and motives show that we are so mad and ill that we could spit nails at them.


However, there is a third option. You can kick the bad thinking habit by following God's advice to guard your mind. In Philippians 2:5 it says : "Let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus:" It also says in Proverbs 4:23 "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."


We need to take control of our thought life and ask God to give us wisdom in every situation that may arise. We also always want others to be able to see Christ in us. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7


So I challenge everyone including myself to not let Satan take your thoughts on a winding road of destruction but let God guide them with delight.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On the Road to Victory.......




Upon arrival here at HOPE in August we found the kids already in school and practicing for an exciting year of both girls and boys volleyball. Taylor was able to jump right in and be on the girls team and Mark was asked to be the assistant coach for the boys team.

This year was the first time they had ever had a boys volleyball team here at the school. With that said, no one would have guessed that our boys would have played so well at a sport which they have never really played before.

This weekend (Friday and Saturday) we had the championship games for our division. The girls were ranked 3rd overall and if they one on Friday night then they would play again on Saturday morning. The boys had gone 9-0 in the conference so they did not have to play until the Championship Game at 12:30 today. The girls won their first game today and they were headed to the Championship game against a team that they had struggled with all season.

The boys were super. They played great as a team and showed awesome Christian character while playing. They won in the first 3 games. We are so proud that the first year of having a boys team they brought home Conference Champs as well as regular season Champs.

The girls played well but came in second in the Championship game. Maybe next year they will bring home the trophy. They played so hard during the first game and showed awesome team work. They just have to play harder and maybe next year will be their year. You know having kids myself our children have always been in sports and we have always been there to support them whenever they have played. However, this weekend I cheered for my other children (the children here in the home) which I have grown to love as my own.

You know these teenagers played in a game this weekend that were against kids the same age as they were.....the one difference was they had their parents on the bleachers there to scream and yell out support to them. Our "HOPE" kids well they have us but no one can truly take the place of a parent. I remember when I was little and I would get awards at school and I would look in the stands to see if my mom or dad were there. When I caught site of them oh, how I would fill up with pride and excitement. These kids have parents who are strung out on drugs or in jail or who just can not take care of them. Some of them just don't want to have any part of them at all. While you look at the video clip and the pictures of these kids just whisper a prayer to the Lord and ask "HIM" to help someone be a blessing and an encouragement to them during their days here.

I also challenge my readers who are parents to take part in your children's lives and not let a day go by where you are not wanting to cheer them on from the sidelines.....in whatever they do.


video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Life and the word Gracious.......

The word gracious is an adjective that means something characterized by warm courtesy or kindness. A person that displays this characteristic can be described as a person being graceful. It refers to a compassionate or merciful nature or being condescendingly courteous. Something or someone graceful shows good taste, elegance, beauty and charm. I am currently reading a book to help me be the best wife and mother that I can. In this book it lists words that would be attributes of a women of God.

So I decided to study the word “graciousness”. Have you ever been talking to someone and seen a pretty girl come along that has a bad attitude? I have, and I have told my daughter that the person would be so much prettier if she displayed some graciousness. You know a person that displays this characteristic is so much more appealing. I personally had to reflect upon my own life.

If we are all honest with ourselves we would have to agree that we are not always gracious. I have been married for almost 15 years and I can say that unfortunately I have not always shown my husband graciousness. In fact I must say that I wish I could take back the times that I wasn’t so kind and merciful to him. However, with the Lord’s help I can say that I am changing all of that. We all do things or say things without thinking. We should be quick to hold our tongue. It says in Psalms 34:13 “Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile” This is in everything that we say. We have to remember that if we are saved then we are representing Christ when we speak. Sometimes I think that we as Christians seem to forget that part. This could even trickle right on down into our appearance.

OK, so I guess that I have opened a “can of worms” but I have to say my opinion on this situation. If we are saved and Christ lives and dwells within us…how come we think that it is perfectly exceptable to walk around looking like a bum? I am a very casual person, however, I have tried in the last five years or so to put into perspective how others see and view me. I know that looks are not “suppose” to be what counts. But, we should always be showing the attributes of graciousness because we are always letting others see us when we are out and about. I personally try to think about the fact that I could have the opportunity to speak to someone about Christ. First impressions are everything, and if we are representing Christ, then that lost person that I have a chance to witness to will be able to see the attribute of “grace” through me.

I hope that I have made you think of your own life and that you reflect on the attribute of “graciousness”. I personally want to say that I am displaying it better than I have in the past. So my challenge to you is are you showing others graciousness and are you always thinking that someone is watching you not only in this world but outside of it as well?
We need to also be willing to show ourselves gracious just as God has been gracious to us. He sent “His” one and only son Jesus to die on a cross to pay the debt for our sins. We should give others a second chance just as Christ has given us a second chance, and if honest it is third, fourth, fifth etc.

Jonah said this in Jonah 4:2; And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was it not my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore, I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and a merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of evil.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From Onions to Christmas Trees............











Well, it has been a very busy week for the Coats Family. Last Friday at about 1:30 or so we packed our bags and van and headed to our hometown of Fuquay-Varina, NC. We made a stop for the night in Savannah, GA and had plans on driving the remainder of the way Saturday morning. The next morning we prepared for breakfast and sat in the dining area of the hotel to eat. It was very busy that morning and there were no seats left. However, there was a lady standing and we invited her to share our table. She began to share with us that she was a secretary for a church in upstate New York. The Lord opened the door for us to be able to share our burden and the vision of Team Honduras for a childrens home. It was awesome to share with her and give her a prayer card. Who knows but God what can happen for the children now.

On, we drove to NC and we arrived at Mark's sisters house for our week long stay. Sunday we were able to attend Hilltop and see our friends and church family. After church we went to one of our favorite fast food places.....BOJANGLES with our good friends the Hawleys. We sat for a long time and just chatted about the home and what we have been up to.

That night we returned back to Hilltop and had another great service. Brother Johnny Hudson spoke to my heart with his message. We knew that we would not have a chance to see our church family again for awhile so we hung out after church and chatted with them until we were asked to go out to dinner with another family from our church. The Lord knows just how to send you encouragement when you need it most. As we sat at dinner we were able to share what was going on with HOPE as well as the future of Hope of Honduras. It was a blessing to us to have had such an awesome Sunday with members from our church.

Monday we slept in.......(lol) until about 8:30 and then set off to visit with Mark's buddies from the fire station. We made our rounds to each station and then ended by having lunch with about 12 or so at a local restaurant. It was nice to see Mark enjoying his time talking not only about fire and the aspects of the job but also hearing him talk to them about the childrens home and how great of a need it is.

We said our goodbyes and then went to Mark's Uncle Johnny ans Aunt Martha's house. They live on the street where Mark and his family grew up. We were greeted with milk and cookies and of all things a fire in the fireplace. Yes, we were about to freeze.....lol. I guess Florida weather had already set in on our bodies. We were able to share with them some stories about Hope and share the vision that is in place for the home in Honduras. It was such a blessing to be there with family. Josiah even had a little buddy his cousin Tyson. This was the first time they have met and they had a great time playing. They are also pretty close in age so it was cute to see them next to one another. Mark and Uncle Johnny took a trip down memory lane walking around the property and seeing Nanny Bug's (his grandmother) old house. I know that it meant alot to him because he loved his grandparents very much.

Tuesday we woke to visit local churches and pass out some of our promotional DVDs. Then we headed to Lillington to take the kids to the county fair. It was free for kids that night so we thought we would try it and see how it was. Mark and I got in for $4 each and then we bought the kids a $15 bracelet that meant they could ride all they wanted until it was time for us to leave. BOY......was that well worth it. Mark's sisters and their kids were out there as well as my baby sister Brittany and my nieces friend John. We had a great time and the kids did not even have to get off the rides if they didn't want too. There was hardly anyone there. We stayed until about 10:15 or so.

The next day was Wednesday and we just hung out around the house because we knew that we were going to be presenting our work that night at Fellowship. We had to leave around 4 or so because of traffic and plus they were serving us dinner. We arrived and were welcomed with cheerful smiles and hugs. This is the church that Mark grew up at....so for him he was home. We had dinner and chatted with friends that we have not seen in over 2 years or so. That night we were able to share the vision that we have along with Team Honduras and Hope for a childrens home. It was such a blessing to see how receptive the people were for the children.

That night brother Eddie Goddard preached a message on "They remembered the onions"......It may not be his exact words but it is pretty close. Anyway in this message he spoke about the Children of Israel and how God had delivered them but the one thing that the remembered was the onions. You know it made me think about all the things that God has done for me in my life and in this ministry so far......then I had to say to myself.....do I remember the onions or do I always try to see the good things that God has blessed me with. Do I think and ponder on the little things that someone has said or done to me or do I think about all the wonderful things that God has given me and my family......It was a great message and you should log onto to Fellowship Baptist Churches website in Durham NC to hear the full sermon.

Thursday was a long day but a day filled with blessings. We arrived at the church and started the day with chapel and then a wonderful lunch. The ladies did such an awesome job of preparing meals for us all week. Then we were treated to a day of shopping with Pastor Finley's wife and a few other ladies from the church. Our children were treated to a day at Marbles in downtown Raleigh......so no shopping with kids.....wow....don't get that opportunity very often. Pastor Finley took men out for the day and also to share with them the future site for expanding the works their at Fellowship. The other missionary wives and myself had a great time of fun and fellowship that day. That night we headed back to church for another great meal and then saw one of the most amazing things.....a missionary parade. Fellowship is a church that currently runs about 1,000 people including a Spanish ministry and a bus ministry. They support over 129 missionaries around the world. As the children marched in 2 by 2 carrying flags and posters of the families and countries that were represented my eyes filled with tears. Here we have just gotten to share our burden and our name along with Honduras was already on a poster. These people had also gotten a burden for the country of Honduras and the children and were ready to support our family. You see the flags and posters that were represented that night did not just represent families that had been called to the mission field but it also represented souls that could be saved and had been saved as a result of their obedience to God and HIS calling. It made me think of the song:
"LITTLE IS MUCH WHEN GOD IS IN IT"

In the harvest field now ripened There’s a work for all to do;Hark! the voice of God is calling To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it!Labor not for wealth or fame.There’s a crown—and you can win it, If you go in Jesus’ Name.


In the mad rush of the broad way, In the hurry and the strife,Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,Give to them the Word of Life.
(CHORUS)
Does the place you’re called to labor Seem too small and little known?It is great if God is in it,And He’ll not forget His own.
(CHORUS)
Are you laid aside from service,Body worn from toil and care?You can still be in the battle,In the sacred place of prayer.
(CHORUS)
When the conflict here is ended And our race on earth is run, He will say, if we are faithful,“Welcome home, My child—well done!”

You see we are the workers and GOD is our MASTER and the fields are ready: are you doing your part to prepare the fields for harvesting? Are you willing to do what God has pressed upon your heart? Don't let it pass you by.....
OKAY, I know that this has been lengthy but the week has been awesome and I just had to share it with you all. The last night of the conference the message was great again and people were committing and praying hard as families and as individuals sought God's words for what they could do in the way of missions through their church. You see Brother Goddard made the point of saying that when you give to help others reach others for the cause of Christ....."YOU" have a part in it especially if the seed is planted and watered and that soul gets saved. You see you might not even know it but your giving could be setting up rewards for you in Heaven. It spoke to my heart to pray for the other missionaries that were there as well as the others that are all around the world. Just because Mark and I are now on the mission field doesn't mean that we are not going to support others...our giving will continue. You are probably wondering what Christmas had to do with this story well...the ladies and teens decorated the church to look like Christmas and the four mission families had their own tree and even gifts for us all. THE LORD IS TRULY AMAZING and we have received BLESSING after BLESSING this week...much more than we deserve. We are grateful and thankful to a congregation of people who truly love the Lord and strive everyday to fulfill the Great Commission. I hope that this has blessed you as much as our week in NC has blessed us.


Friday, October 30, 2009

In His Eyes.......

As a mother of three, I think back at times where I have been able to rock and cradle my children. Josiah is still small enough that he wants to be rocked and cradled and lay on your chest.

There are many times in a day where he will climb onto my lap tuck his little arms in and rest his head near my heart and just sit and smile.....so contently until he either falls alsleep or he gets up to move on and do something else. Then there are times where he pops his hands under his chin and just stares up at me. Hmmmmm, wonder what he is thinking of as he stares into my eyes. Does he feel safe, and loved and full of joy and peace. I hope that those are the things that he feels.

We should feel those same things when we look up at our Heavenly Father. Knowing that he is watching becasue we are in HIS EYES. The Bible tells us that HE desires to comfort you with HIS love, letting you stop now and then to reflect these promises in his word. Each of us who have trusted Christ are near and dear to him and he is constantly thinking of us and watching all of our moves.

We should never doubt that we are the focus of God's tender care and attention. We can also have a grateful and confident heart knowing that YOU are ALWAYS in HIS EYES!


THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE UPON THE RIGHTEOUS.
Psalm 34:15
The only important decision that we have to make each day is to live for GOD and he will take care of everything else.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Would not wanna trade my life for anything.......

Every one wonders what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes. Well, me I like the ones that the Lord has given me to wear.

Each morning, I start my day by reading my Bible and prayer. The Lord has blessed me with a fresh breath of air and I pray that I am a good steward of the day that he has given and I pray that I can be a blessing to someone.

After waking all of my own children and getting them ready for breakfast, Mark and I are off to staff devotions and a quick meeting.

Following our meeting we ourselves grab a quick bite to eat and are ready to start the day. This week has been especially busy for us. We have been preparing for a missions conference that we will be attending in NC this coming week. As well as, I have been helping Ms. Chris (our Executive Directors wife) prepare and clean a new cottage that we use for guest housing. This has been a large project that will house up to 9 persons. The house turned out great.

Along with that project we have been having lunch with the children each day. Everyday is different and unique here at Hope because each day brings new projects or maybe a guest to greet and show around.

It also might encompass giving a hug to a girl that is having a bad day or buying a soda for a student who has been struggling and finally made a good grade on their test/quiz. It also might be giving a high five to a little one for learning to add. Or just whispering "I LOVE YOU" in the ear of one of the kids here. We normally eat dinner in the dorms with the kids so that we can all get together and joke around like a real family.

You see here for the time being is where GOD has planted my shoes as he is preparing me for the mission field. I love my role here and feel very blessed to be a vessel that said "YES" to the Lord and HIS calling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LOOKING at THINGS in a Different LIGHT!!!

As fall quickly approaches the farmers are gathering their bright orange pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. It is amazing to me how the world has taken such a great and useful creation and turned into an automatic reminder of Satan and his followers.

When I see a pumpkin I think of many things. First, I think of pumpkin pie. This American tradition that probably started on the first Thanksgiving Day warm pumpkin pie, yummy. The pilgrims were thankful for their new religious freedoms and their new friends. The next thing that I think about are those pumpkins that are carved with faces. The designs let their light shine through to see each design in it's entirety. The last thing that I think about is myself , a sinner saved by the Grace of God.



You see the crown of the pumpkin is just like my head. From a tiny embryo(seed) I was created in my entirety. God gave me everything that I have when I was born. The crown on the pumpkin is sealed and no one but the Lord knows what is on the inside. Just like the seeds and guts are on the inside of a pumpkin we are born with sin in our lives. To me the seeds represent sin. Just think of how hard it is to remove those seeds, it is the same way with sin. We will never be fully free of sin until we enter the gates of Heaven.

When I taught kindergarten each year I would use a pumpkin to portray the life of a sinner transformed by God. Once our head/crown is open to the words of God we then have knowledge of his love for us. Again the seeds, are all the sin that we have in our lives. We try to remove them and ask God to forgive us and he makes us JUSTIFIED( just as if I never sinned)(WOW!!) Then I would take those seeds and turn them into something good. As the kids were snacking on those baked and salted seeds I would carve a heart on one side of the pumpkin. This was to represent us asking Jesus to come live within our hearts. On the other side I would carve a cross. I would dim the lights and light a candle to be placed on the inside of the pumpkin.

You see for when we ask JESUS to come live with in our hearts, we should have a change in our lives. Not just a change that we know about but a change that others can clearly see. A Christian's key verse should be Matthew 5:16 " Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,and glorify your father which is Heaven."

So, I challenge you all who have a personal relationship with Jesus to let your light so shine, never trying to hide it or get discouraged by it. For with GOD anything is possible.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GOD has a PURPOSE for EVERYTHING!!!!

On Thursday afternoon we packed our bags as we were preparing for an unexpected trip to North Carolina. There was a young lady named Miranda that has two children here in the home who needed help. She has had a rough life and the home here had just helped her out of an abusive relationship. We began to look for homes here in the area that could help her but unfortunately they were to close to her home town in Florida. In looking for programs that could help her; the Rescue Mission came to mind. So, we called and got her a phone interview and reserved her a bed once we arrived. Now, we were traveling to help her get a new start at the Durham Rescue Mission in N.C.

She was so eager and ready to make a real change in her life since she had just trusted Christ as her Savior the Sunday before. She was just like a child retelling stories to us from the Bible. It was truly amazing to see how God was working in her heart and life. On the ride up she began to profess her heart and how she wanted to see her family saved. She also spoke of all the people that had hurt her in the past and how she wanted them to know Jesus. WOW! Like Mark said, "this is what it is all about". When you are in a car with someone for 14 plus hours you can learn alot about them. The whole trip she read her Bible and asked questions. She also spoke about getting her life back together so that she could be with her kids. See, she was pregnant and married at the age of 13. Her new husband was 18 at the time. You can imagine how her life went from there. She never really had a stable home and role model to look up too. Her mom was addicted to drugs and well, I never heard her say anything about her dad. She was married with kids, no home, evicted from place to place and lost. Then her and her husband split up and she started dating another guy that beat on her. That brings us to today. She is 22, pregnant with her 6 baby. Three are in children's homes and 1 she lost in a miscarriage and 1 she gave up for adoption and now 1 on the way. Here was a girl who needed help and wanted help.

We stopped for the night in Georgia and to be honest, I was afraid that she might run, just given her past. But to my surprise, I woke the next morning to see her still sleeping peacefully. She woke up and got ready and was so excited about her new life getting ready to begin. A friend of mine had written some Bible verses on note cards for us so that when we needed a "Spiritual Pick-Me-Up" we could pull one out. They were so helpful for us that I thought I would pass on the idea. I began to search my Bible for verses that would be encouraging to her on this new venture. I normally can not read and write in the car without getting sick but the Lord gave me the ability to do so for the next 45 minutes or so. By the time I had finished the note cards and written her a letter we were not to far from our destination. We were so happy to be in North Carolina that we just had to stop and eat at Bojangles.(MAN was it GOOD!).(lol)

We arrived at the gate and drove through to meet with the head of the ladies home. Boy, the burden that was on my heart was heavy just like I were dropping off one of my own children. She began to cry and we tried to console her as she pushed back the tears. Mark had brought her bags in and a number for her and said, "we are praying for you and love you". She broke in the elevator on her way up to her room. "Miranda", I said; You can do this only one year and it will be done and you will be back with your kids." She said that she knew and she could do it. We prayed together for God to give her strength and encouragement. When I left her she was sitting on her bed with her Bible. You see she never really had a childhood and all she wanted was for someone to hold her hand and tell her yes and no about every situation in life. Unfortunately, she is 22 and an adult now and she has to make decisions on her own. So,.....that day we left Miranda to start her new life.

We were so excited to be in N.C. and no-one knew we were there. So you can imagine as we drove from house to house giving our surprises. Everyone was so excited. We saw a ton of people including Mark's buddies from the fire station. It was nice to see so many friends and family. We stayed the night at Mark's sisters house in Fuquay and we were going to the beach in the morning.

The next morning we woke to take a short 2 hour drive to see Mark's parents and other sister at the beach. While driving the short drive....lol...I was chatting with my momma about the things that had happened the day before and she was eager to start praying and writing Miranda at the home. Then, I will never forget what happened next. We were about 25 minutes from his parents house and my phone rang for a call waiting call. I ignored the first one because I did not recognize the number. Then it rang again. I said, "Momma hold on I need to take this call." On the other line was a voice from the Mission. "Yes", is this Amy Coats. I replied, "yes it is". We just wanted to let you know that Miranda has decided to leave. Of coarse my voice shouted out ......"WHAT?" "Can I talk to her?" They tried to catch her but she was already gone. Mark's heart and mine just sunk. We were so upset that she had ran off that we missed our exit. We have been driving that way forever and knew where it was but in the mayhem of things we passed right by it. What can you do with someone who does not want to follow through on what you know is best for them. You PRAY that God will lead them back home.

Mark ended up making a stop at a BP Gas station that we would have never stopped at, after that, and you will never believe what happened next. Again, the Lord has perfect timing. I tried to be cheery and greet the people sitting on the front stoop of the store with a southern hello and smile. Then, I went in with Taylor to the restroom. When we came out those folks asked where we were from and what we were doing up here. I told them about us training as missionaries to go to Honduras. The lady asked "Are you a Christian?" I replied with a "Yes Mam". She said well what kind are you? You know sometimes people get so caught up in a name that they forget what being a Christian really means. So my answer to her was simply this....."Mam, I am just a sinner that Jesus saved by HIS Grace". Oh the spark of questions that flew from that point. I told Taylor to run go get my Bible out of the van. The Holy Spirit has a way of working and opening up doors, so for the next 10-15 minutes or so, with the help of The Lord, and my Bible I was able to share with these people the love of Jesus Christ. One of the men must have been "Judas".....I say that because he did everything he could to distract the other two from the truths of God's word. However, they sat on the edge of their chairs and continued to ask questions. You know when the Holy Spirit moves you can tell especially in the life of the unsaved.

The story to tell would go on and on about the things the lady had asked. I asked them if they were to die today did they know where they would go? The one man Mr. Bob( this is his real name) said that he knew that Jesus was in fact in his life but he also knew that Jesus was not happy with the life he was living. He said that he wanted to change and hoped that his wife (Ms. Lynette) would trust Christ as her Savior. She was a hard cookie. Saying that there was no such place as hell or Heaven and that when people die they are either buried in the ground or cremated. I told her with tears in my eyes, "Ms. Lynette, I am sorry that you believe that way but I have to tell you the truth. The truth is that there is a real Heaven and there is a real Hell and when you die you are going to one of those places. Then, I looked into her eyes, and told her that unless she trusted Jesus as her Savior, she would in fact wake up in Hell. The tears started to swell up in her eyes. I could feel that God was in fact moving there. I gave her verse after verse of the Romans Road and John 3:16. Both Mr. Bob and Ms. Lynette were in tears that Saturday. I would like to be able to tell you that Ms. Lynette trusted Christ as her Savior that day but with me she did not. I do believe however, that the seed was either planted or watered that day.


WOW! I was able to share the Gospel on the front porch of a gas station. That was something that I have never done before, but again God was in it all the way. I did invite them to church the next morning and even got their address and phone number. We tried to pick them up but we could not get a hold of them. Please pray for all three people plus Miranda. We were however, able to leave the information with Pastor Mark Foster of Liberty Baptist Church in Hampsted NC so that he can follow up on them and get them into church. By the way they are a great church where they are seeing souls saved and baptized and teaching them how the Bible says that they should live.(just in case you need a church when you go on vacation).

We attended the service at Liberty and then we drove off to see all of our friends at Hilltop, which is our home church. It was so awesome to be there for the kick-off of their revival services. It was also such a wonderful feeling to be welcomed by friends, some with tears and lots of hugs just as if we had never left. That night we chatted with friends and family like we had been gone for years, and it felt good to be back HOME.

We stayed the night again at Wendy's house and woke up early Monday morning to start our long drive home. I would like to say that this is where my story ends but .......it is not. We drove until we heard a loud BOOM and the car start to shake. We were just outside of Timmonsville, S.C. The back van tire had a bad spot in it and blew out. Hold on there is more, not only did it blow out but it bent up some hoses and pipes under the van causing two pipes to get holes in them that were part of the radiator. Anti-freeze was leaking all over the ground. Again, if that was not enough the devil threw in that there was no spare tire on the van along with no lug wrench and it started to rain. LOL......ok being stuck on the side of the road for 4 hours with three kids is no fun. However, thank the Lord for His servants and having a portable DVD player in the van. A man by the name of Mr. Ward was kind enough to leave his home and come help us by going to buy a tire and bringing it back to us. He also brought the tools that we needed and stayed until we were able to get off and running again. Mark was so cold and wet that his hands shook trying to put the lugs back on. But in all things you give Glory to God and thank Him for what he has blessed you with because it could have been worse. So, 1,741 miles later we are back at our home in Tampa. I hope that this did not bore you and that you were able to follow the words of just a simple southern girl. But I do want to ask that again you pray for the people that were in this blog. (Miranda, Ms. Lynette, Mr. Bob, Don(my Judas) and Mr. Ward.



To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, October 2, 2009

Are You a Debitor or a Depositor?

Recently some of our staff here were able to attend a marriage retreat. However, we already had plans and were unable to attend. What was shared with us was very valuable not only with our spouses but with all that we meet especially as Christians.

When we speak with others are we always taking, taking and taking? Or, are we giving back. This goes all the way back to even little things like; can you pray for.....can you fill in for me for nursery on Sunday, do you mind doing...and well you fill in the blank. Or are we deposting into others by taking the time to see others needs?

Last night, I had the opportunity to put in some deposits of my own with one of the girls here at Hope. We were discussing her recent decesion to trust Christ as her Savior(PRAISE the LORD). She has only been in the home for 3 weeks and already she has eternal security of a believer. This is something that she might not have had if not for coming to the home. We continued to talk about how know she can be a witness for her father who is currently in jail, she asked Ms. Amy "what is a witness"? It was awesome just to hear her asking such questions. I began to explain and we talked about her past and her home life. She began to cry.

My heart was breaking, "I did not mean to upset you or make you cry", I told her. Then the words that flooded her lips were from her heart. She said, "Ms. Amy these are not tears of sadness but tears of happiness for I know that people here care about me and love me"....We continued to talk and she continued to weep, about how she wanted to be a witness for her family and how she did not want to go back and live in he same life style that she had just three weeks earlier.

WOW!! God is so AMAZING!!! How he can truly change someone's heart over night. This little girl still needs much prayer as she is a new Christian and is going to have a rough road ahead especially with trying to witness to her father. Last night I was able to give deposits of encouragement and love to another and in return I received deposits that she did not even know she was giving. In the future however, she will be able to make deposits to others by witnessing to her family.

So, I ask you this question....are you swiping that debit card of TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, or are you taking the time to fill out the deposit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pulling off a Great Surprise!!!!!

Trying to keep a secret from you husband is very hard work and your KIDS too!!! Mark's sister Wendy wanted to give him a unique birthday surprise. A week or so ago she came up with the plan that she was going to fly herself and Alyssa-Lou down here to Tampa.

So, with the help of some of the staff here at Hope we worked it out that Mark was to pick up some "Special Guests" at the airport. He though in fact that he was picking up 5 ladies. He requested that I ride with him so that he would not be alone with five ladies. "So", I agreed to ride. Keeping a straight face and talking to Wendy once the plan landed and giving details of where we were going to be was challenging.....however he never had a clue.

We begin our drive through the terminal to pick up our five passengers. I quickly spotted Wendy and Lou and Mark spotted what he thought were our riders. He parked the van and jumped out to get their bags to find his sister running up with tears and a big hug.

He was in complete SHOCK....I still think that he was looking for those ladies....lol. However, we were able to celebrate his birthday with family and had a great time just hanging out.

It still amazes me that Mark and I have been together for so long. I have been able to celebrate 15 years of birthdays with him. WOW, that is a long time. I am thankful to have such a Godly husband in my life. Happy Birthday Mark, I love you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prayer Request........

Hope that all is well for all of those who read this. (by the way...if you read our blog often...please click to the right where it says followers and become a follower).

Today's blog is going to be on prayer. You know the Lord has intended for us to each have a daily walk with HIM....we can greatly achieve this through prayer. I myself have many requests and I am sure that you all do as well. You know the more believers that pray for something lets the Lord know how sincere we are about the request. God wants to comfort us and take care of our needs, and while yes he knows all, he wants to hear it from us.

How many times have we said that we would pray for someone or something?...and then we might pray right away or pray for it for a few days and then.....well that is the end of it. I have to admit this myself, that sometimes we make ourselves to busy to remember things that others have asked us.

You know as Christians we have an instant connection with the Lord. We can pray and talk to Him at anytime. The unsaved do not truly understand the power of prayer or the love of our Heavenly Father, however, they are quick to turn to those who pray b/c they have seen evidence in our lives that it works.

In Psalm 86:17 it says: "Show me a token for good:that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed:because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.

WOW!!! What an impact we can make on others. My challenge is to you that you will sincerely pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ and that through prayer God will show others that he does comfort and help us in times of need.

I have listed below a few of the requests that we pray for daily, whether friends and family or fellow servants in the ministry or specific needs. I ask that you list a request and my readers and myself will say a prayer for the requests mentioned.



*My brother Brandon and his wife Amanda (Unspoken)

*Team Honduras and the conflicts in the country/safety of the team there

*Lalania Hall mother of 5 battling cancer /and her family

*Hope Children's Home(in need of cleaning supplies, food items etc.)

*Hilltop Church/and Pastor Jeff, Bro. Mark, Bro. Rincon, Bro. Travis,
Bro,Trevor and school staff

*Southside Bpt. Church/Pastor Nance and start of Spanish Ministry

*Ryan and Family(student at SEFWBC w/unspoken/health related

*Raising of our support for language school/ and Honduras

*Children that will be in the future home

*Missionaries around the world( we know too many to list by name so pick
ones that you might know)

*Upcoming Revival here at Hope and Revival at Hilltop.

*Mark's Aunt Linda who has brain cancer /and her husband A.L.

*Selling of friends homes: The Ferguson's, The Martin's and The Elliot's

*Speaking Engagement for future support on Nov. 8th and that we will get
many other churches to take us on.

*Mr. Marvin(retiree who works here at Hope) his son Bob w/ cancer

I believe in a loving God who can still answer prayers and is the ULTIMATE PHYSICIAN! Will you join me and many others in prayer?




Saturday, September 19, 2009

Many with No Where to go......

Yesterday started Hope's bi-monthly home visit. For many there was no family to come and get them for the 3 day visit. Many of these kids have family too far away and too little funds to travel. Some don't have a physical home to go to at all and others have family members either in jail or who have totally written them off.

With that said the one great thing about being a staff member here is that (1)... you get to see them all the time and (2)......you also have the opportunity to step up to the plate and give them some "home time".

Last night Mark and I took in four little girls. Destiny 9, Dakota, 10, Christina 10, and Christina 9. The first three girls are sisters. They also have an older sister who is 14 and an older brother who is 13. They all had no where to go.

Taylor has made many friends here including a former resident of the home Nelly. Nelly is originally from Honduras. She has graduated from Hope Christian School and is now on staff here. Hmmmm doesn't the Lord have a fascinating way of putting people in our paths for the future. Anyway she is spending the weekend with her and well Hunter he lives with the boys in the boys dorm and just comes home long enough to get a nights sleep and then he is out again. In fact he is going with some of the boys and Mark to a USF football game tonight. Josiah well he is loved by all here and is trying his best to potty train.

Before I finish with my story I just wanted to say one thing about following the Lord's will for your life. People often choose to ignore God's calling b/c they are to selfish and do not want to give up their luxury items and way of life. Well I am here to tell you that since giving up our worldly things for the Lord we have been blessed with sooooooo much more. The Lord has given us opportunities that back home we would not have had. Now, I am not saying that everyday is easy and peachy but the Lord supplies our needs.


Okay on with the story. So we took in four little girls. The first thing they did was pack for the weekend. Then I loaded them all up and went to Wal-Mart to get some snacks and things to give them a real at home feel. Now, you all who know me well know that I love to cook, so I asked them what they wanted for dinner......You will never guess what their request was. I had to laugh.....RAMEN NOODLES....UGH.....but to them it is a comfort food that no matter who makes it......it always taste the same. I did manage however to get them to change their minds and we had tacos instead. But, I did buy them some Ramen Noodles for lunch...lol... We continued to walk through the store looking at almost each isle and getting something. I had a cart full of stuff and 2 kids on each side. For the first time I knew what it was like to be Lanie, Tabatha and Maureen....lol....(those are good friends of mine for my readers who don't know....and they have 5 kids each).

Anyway, I caught them calling me momma in the store. That is something that they don't say everyday. Here they call everyone Aunt or Uncle. But they wanted to be my daughters. They wanted to stay close and look and be interested in what I was looking at. It was very heart warming to see that they just wanted to be little girls and have a Momma who loved them.

We came home and had dinner, the girls helped prepare the food which is something that they do not normally get to do. Then we ate and they were very quick to get the kitchen back to normal. We watched a movie, put on a peel-off face mask, brushed hair and had a family devotion.

You know those of you who have kids.....even though you are with them all the time...be sure to spend time with them and let them know that you love because there are kids here that just want to have a normal family and be a normal kid.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Blessing that we take for Granted.....

Once we were called to the mission field....we had the support of our friends and family behind us. It has been so far an easy transition into our new life....partly b/c we are still in the states. However, we do not have some of the same luxuries that we once had at home. I can say that we watch VERY LITTLE television now. We have no satellite, no land-line telephone and there are other things that we don't have the benefit of having....such as being able to see our family and dear friends in 20 minutes or less with the exception of Mark's parents who were 2 hours away. However, God has poured out HIS blessings on us and we are content. We do know that things will grow even harder in the months to come when we have to make yet another transition into another life changing style.

You know I am very thankful to the Lord for allowing us the opportunity to be in this ministry. Tonight, we had dinner in the girls dorm and later we spent some time in the boys dorm just hanging out. After awhile we headed back over to the girls dorm for some cake to celebrate one of the little ones birthday's today. Sitting at the table I began to chat with a young lady (she is 14). The kids who have families that they can see were preparing to go home tomorrow for a bi-monthly home visit and will return back to the home on Sunday. As we sat there I began to help her study for a History test that she had coming up. You could tell by her actions that she was kind of shocked and excited at the same time that I would sit down with her and help her in such a task as making flash cards and helping her study.

See, we take for granted the people that we have in our lives that help us out. This kids do not have the blessing of having a home like most of us have grown up in. Hope for them is a great refuge and a place of comfort. As our days get busy let us not take for granted the blessings that Gos has given to us.

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. Psalm 9:1

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spiritual Uplifting

The first year Mark and I were married I bought him a UNC bean bag for Christmas. I thought that it might be a great place to sit and relax and watch the games as well as play video games. However, that bean bag would become more than just a chair of relaxation. It would become a human catapult. "Yes", you heard me right. I can remember Taylor and Hunter both climbing on one end and Mark pouncing his body on the other end to watch them fly through the air. Amazingly, neither of them were ever hurt and always cried out for more. You know, they knew that daddy was bigger and if he landed on one side they would be lifted up in the air. Even at a young age they knew that the heavier the other person was the higher they would be lifted.
You know our spiritual life in no different than this same basic concept of physics. The people that you surround yourselves with will either build you up.....or they will tear you down. Living here at Hope I have noticed this a great deal in the lives of the children. The more you are true and honest with them...the more they grow and blossom. I have started writing letters once or twice a week to the children just to let them know that I am thinking of them and praying for them. It is so amazing to see how they respond to a little bit of positive attention.
When you stand back and look at your life.....who is it that influences you?......who is it that you influence?......would you call the people WISE in the eyes of God?.....would you say that you are WISE in the eyes of God?
We all need to surround ourselves with people who will encourage and help promote our spiritual growth.
Proverbs 13:20 says..."He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

James 1:5 says...."If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

WISDOM IS SEEING LIFE FROM GOD'S PERSPECTIVE.
Just a note about our family: everyone is doing well. Please keep Josiah in your prayers as he is battling his 2nd sinus infection since moving down here. Please also continue to pray for Hunter and his transition into a more independent study school setting. We also still have our house for sale in NC. This is a burden that we know the Lord will deliver us from. Right now we are also starting the process for going out on deputation and getting things rolling for language school.

Thank you so much for the dedication of our readers. It is so encouraging to see you all as followers and nice to see that you comment on our post. We love you all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Grandmother's Love.....

First, I would like to say that I am sorry for not blogging in awhile it has been crazy here.

This week I witnessed a grandmother's true and deep love for her granddaughter. As I sat in the room and listened to her pour her heart out at how she did not want her grandchild to end up like her parents my heart began to swell. She began to say that she was not sure if she had what it took to put her back on the right path. She was speaking of a newly turned 11 year old girl. A girl that had so much anger build up in her.

What could drive an 11 year old to so much anger. Here I am thinking, Hunter is 11 and he has issues with not cleaning up his toys or putting away his clothes. But this little girl wanted to come and go as she pleased. She is merely a child that has had a very hard life. Her grandmother began to tell her story. Her parents well they're drug addicts. In fact they used so much her mother overdosed and died three days after leaving a rehab center. Her father well he is in jail for drugs and theft. No wonder a little girl could have so much anger and pain in her heart.

That day the grandmother drove off and left "Suzie" in the care of the home here. Can you imagine how she must have felt. Well, I witnessed it first hand. Trying not to cry myself I hugged her and told her that her granddaughter was in a better place. A place where she would be loved and cared for, taught about the Lord Jesus Christ and not running the streets, getting a good education and trying to get some peace at some of the situations that she has had to face in he life. While you don't know this childs real name please pray for her. Pray that she will allow God to turn her life around so that she can try to enjoy what is left of her childhood. She has had to witness these things since she was about 5 or 6 years old. I can't imagine the things that she must have seen as she witnessed her parents High on Meth.

After reading this,
Thank God for the good parents and grandparents that you had growing up......
maybe you were like Suzie, then pray and ask God to help you be a better parent than what you had.

Please also pray that God will give Mark and I strength as these are the exact types of situations that we are going to be faced with in Honduras.

Friday, September 4, 2009

From Football Games to Potty Training....

The last few days have been very busy for us. Thursday, Taylor had a volleyball game about an hour from the house. The awesome thing is "yes" she did play...(even had some great hits) and they won 3 straight games in a row. We also have a boys team here and they won as well but it took all 5 games to have a winner.

Josiah has been showing signs that he is ready to potty train. So, we got him a potty of his own today. Please pray that this will be an easy transition for him. He understands the concept and runs straight to the bathroom when we ask him if he needs to go.

Tonight, I got to have some quality time with my Tator Bug as we went to the mall. Fun times for a tennage girl. Mark and Hunter got to go see the Tampa Bay Buc's on the 50 yard line about 2 or 3 rows back. This was thanks to someone donating the tickets to the home. They also got to take along 2 younger boys from the boys dorm here. I am sure that they had a blast...can not answer for sure due to the fact that they still have not made it home as of yet. It is nice though, we leave only about 25 minutes from the both the Buc's Stadium and the Tampa Bay Yankees Stadium.

I want to leave you with one story and thought for the night. Often times when we are living for the Lord and trying to do HIS will we feel like we are not making a difference because we do not get the results immediatley. Well, I am here to tell you that sometimes waiting is the key and the Lord sends you that encouragment and fruits of your labor when you need it. I have received 2 emails on this same subject in the last day.

A former student was riding with her grandma and the conversation came up about favorite teachers. The little girl shared that I was her favorite teacher. The grandma proceeded to ask why? She said because she is the only one who gives out hugs and kisses. While a hug and a kiss is not a treat or a toy or a peice of candy it was from the heart. She knew that I loved her and I still do. I have a special place in my heart for all of my students and remember all of their names. So, rememeber that in everything you do, YOU are touching someones life either positively or negatively. I will continue to pass on my hugs and kisses to all the children that I meet until the Lord comes back for me. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BE REMEMBERED?

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at anytime. If God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:11-13
A smile is a curve that helps to set things straight.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just another day.....

Hello, I just wanted to let everyone know that we are all great here. We are enjoying have Mark's parents here visiting with us. They have jumped right in with both feet and started working on property with us. Taylor, Hunter, and Josiah love having Nanny and Papa around again. We have been busy here as usual and not much new here.

We do however have a prayer request to mention. Last night Jimmy (my father in law) received a phone call that his cousins wife Linda that he is very close to has brain cancer. She is repeating herself and has some memory lose. Please keep her in your prayers not only for her health but for her salvation. This is a trying time for the family because they are not sure how much she will remember. Keep her children in your prayers and pray that God will give them words to say and be able to lead their mother to the Lord before this disease takes over. I was reading in my devotions that we are to share each others burdens. I know that I am sharing mine with all of you and know that you are praying because you have chosen to follow our blog. But please know that while you are helping me I am praying for my readers. If you have a request you can always post a comment to the blog or send an email. I love you all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are "we" making a difference for Christ?

Last Sunday we stopped at a local gas station here in Tampa for some "food fuel" before heading off to church. I must admit that being bold enough to speak out at any given moment to invite others to church has always been a weakness. However, the role that God has now placed us in I need to always be willing to mention Christ in every conversation. Anyway, I proceeded to check out our snacks and began to talk with the cashier about church. She said that she did not attend anywhere so of coarse I invited her to our new church. She then told me how she was the manager and had to work every Sunday. Most people would have left it at that but I invited her to Wednesday night services. She again said that she had to work most of those nights and well I stated that maybe just one night she could switch shifts to attend at least one service. That was the end of our conversation and we both went on with our weeks.


Today we stopped again for Sunday drive snacks . This time I carried a track in my hand just in case she was working or maybe a fresh face. Guess who was indeed working? I grabbed our snacks and went to the counter to pay and began to chat with the cashier and she remembered me from the prior week. I handed her the track and told her that whenever she could would love to see her at church.


While I did not get her to church, she does have the knowledge of the plan of salvation in her possession and a local church to help her on her way if she chooses to invite the Lord Jesus into her heart. Are we all making a difference for Christ with all the opportunities that we have everyday or do we quietly let them slip away. If we are saved we are suppose to be fishers of men. I know that I do not want Christ to be disappointed in how I let opportunities slip away.