Team Honduras

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 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!

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


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 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 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