Team Honduras

Monday, August 30, 2010

Starting a New Family Tradition

  Over the last year or so we have adopted a few new family traditions. We moved from North Carolina to Florida and then to our home now in Costa Rica. We will again have a new home next May in Honduras as we prepare the start of Hope of Honduras Children's Home. The holiday season is a big one for starting or carrying on family traditions.  Since we have been on the field we have learned that things in other countries are not always like they are in the states. We have already started to think about Christmas as this will be the first Christmas that we will be completly away from our families. When we moved there were things that we of coarse did not bring and one of those things were Christmas deorations. I have been talking to some friends and they gave me a few great ideas on starting "new traditions". I know that our family is not the only missionary family that you know and just like you all we have friends that are missionaries that we pray for and suppport. So, I have listed a few new ideas that I think would be a great new start for you all and know that we are starting the same ones. I am doing this blog early I know but it gives you plenty of time to prepare....:)

1. Decorate your Christmas Tree with prayers cards of missionaries that have been to your church or that you know and support.

2. Place prayer cards in your napkin holder on your table and each night pull out one to pray for as you pray for your meal.

3. Have a prayer board (we use a whiteboard) and write down prayer requests and praises

4. Place prayer cards in a 4x6 photo album and use as a reminder for birthdays, anniversaries and simply praying  for their families.

5. Include your whole family in prayer there are five of us and all 5 pray including our 2 yr old little Josiah.

6. We have also started a tradition that we as parents only buy 3 gifts for our children for Christmas. Seems fitting Jesus received 3 gifts so that is the number we will buy for our kids. We usually buy 1 really nice gift and 2 smaller ones.

I hope that this helps to start some new traditions in your homes since the Holiday Season (meaning Thanksgiving and Christmas) is really just right around the corner. I would love to hear your family traditions so please post a comment and share. I also want to see how many readers I do have and so I am going to do a drawing. You can get your name in the drawing by doing the following:
              1. post and leave a comment
              2. Become a follower
              3. Suggest my blog to a friend (have them leave a comment w/your name)
              (saying that you suggested they follow and learn more about H.O.H.)

At the end of  November the winner will be picked and a bag of wonderful Costa Rican Coffee will be mailed to you. **Those who are already followers have their name in the pot already. So keep reading and good luck to you all...
Thanks to you all who already pray and support our family and is because of you we can carry out the Lord's Plans.(BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE FOLLOWERS LINK) and add yourself as a follower.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trying to be Light for the Lord......

Since we have been living here in Costa Rica our lives as we knew them in the states have been turned upside down. When we lived in North Carolina we were all very active in our church. Mark and I sung in the choir, attended Sunday School, helped in our Wednesday night Awana program Mark was an usher and I served as a nursery captain we also went out on Soul Winning Visitation. Taylor and Hunter were also active in church activities as well and went out on Teen Soul Winning. When we moved to Tampa we jumped right in to the minitries there and went on Soul Winning on Saturdays when we were home and not out on deputation. It is so amazing that others do not take advantage of sharing the Gospel in our native tongue.  It is so easy to hand a track out or ask a person where they will spend eternity when they day in English if we only step out of our comfort zone.

This has been such a challenge for us since we have been in Costa Rica. Not only could we not speak the language when we arrived but we did not even have the material to hand to someone so that they could read it for themselves. Mark and I knew that even here we could be doing more to reach the people of Costa Rica for Christ. We began to pray that God would put people in our path to witness too. You know that God does answer prayers if you only ask, it may not always be the answer that we want or expect but he always answers. I told you a few weeks back about a lady named Ms. Anna. Well, after meeting and talking in Spanish for over 2 hours and comforting her with God's love and mercy while she witnessed a loss right before our eyes we knew that God had placed us there. The very next day we were getting ready for school just like any other day and had Josiah ready and everything and at the last minute decided to let him stay home with Taylor and Hunter.
Later that afternoon when classes were over we walked down to pick him up from class....forgetting that we had broken our daily pattern and left him home. Instead of walking out of the bottom gate which we were standing about 20 ft from we decided to walk all the way back up to the top of the hill to the main gate. Once we were at the top of the gate we saw an older lady sitting on the ground with a few bags and a man standing over top of her. The man helped her to her feet and handed her the bags. I looked and Mark and we both agreed that we should go over to help her for we could tell that she was having difficulty caring the bags and she was not using her left arm at all. When we approached her she began to tell us with pain in her eyes that she thought she had broken her arm. Mark understood alot of what she said because of all of his training in the fire service. We helped her to her house and as she pulled out her keys Mark noticed that during her fall she broke all of her eggs in her purse. We helped her inside and asked her name "Alisa" (we think.... she gave another name but this was the short version) We told her that we would be praying for her and she was so thankful. We walked home and grabbed a bag of eggs that we had in the fridge and quickly ran them back to her house. Her son had called the ambulance and asked "how much for the eggs" we told them they were a gift. They seemed very surprised and thankful.
We have tried many times to go and see her but she has not been home. We did found out though that she in fact broke her arm and look each day to see if she is home so we can visit.  During both of these encounters we would have loved to had a track to hand out so that they could read about the Roman's Road or The Plan of Salvation. That all changed though this past week when our director Pastor Mike Higgins brought us some Spanish Gospel Tracts. What a praise item for us. Even though we are still not fluent enough in Spanish to present the plan of Salvation we can hand out a track and plant the seed for someone to water. We make it a habit now for all of us to take 2-3 tracks with us where ever we go and hand them out. Whether we are in a cab, grocery store or passing someone on the street we try to hand them out.
Today we were walking back from a visit out for breakfast and the park and went a different route than normal. Again, God will direct your paths if you let HIM...and he let us to an older man sitting on his front step reading the paper. Mark greeted the man with "?Como esta?" The man jumped to his feet and began a conversation with us. We began to talk and he started to tell us that he had lived in the US for 5 years and traveled all over the world. After talking to him for a while we told him that we must be heading home and handed him a track. Mark asked him if he could read it when he had time and he happily excepted and began to talk some more. He looked at us and asked if we were Ticos? We giggled and said no...he said your Spanish is so good and we laughed again. What a nice thing to say...but we still have much work and learning ahead. He continues to talk to us and say the he was a boxer in his younger days and that he is a member of the World Boxer Org. how cool was that. As we concluded our conversation he said You and I are now friends and I want you to come inside for coffee. We had to turn him down but promised to return. It is so amazing at how God opens the doors and leads you down the path that he has paved. We now have 3 open doors not only to plant the seed for the Lord but great ways to help improve our Spanish.  Please help us by praying that the Lord will continue to give us opportunities to reach the people of Costa Rica with the Gospel.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

God's Blessings

Well, we have finished our first trimester in language school and are now on our 2 week break. It has gone by so fast. I am happy though for the amount of language we have picked up in those three months. We have adapted to the culture and are fairing well. Last week was a busy week for us but very exciting! Our director Pastor Mike Higgins and his son Ryan flew from Tampa for a two day visit with us. It was so nice to have some faces from home here to talk with.

 We were also able to look at the plans for the future cottage that we will be living in.We just had a great time of fellowship with people from home.  Pastor Mike was here last year for the intensive coarse of study and stayed with a local family here. We were able to go and visit with them and have lunch. Then we headed down town where Ryan got to experience his first out of country bus ride. We had a lot of fun showing them around San Jose. We hate that they were only able to stay for a short time but pray that they will be able to visit again at Christmas. 

The Lord has truly blessed us during the past 4 months and he has used you all as our readers to do so. Thank you to Hilltop our home church in NC for the wonderful love offering that you sent. That helped take a huge chunk out of our language school expenses for the year. We have about $7,000 more to raise for the year to be paid for. We know that God is in control and will supply all of our needs. It is so awesome to think that the amount we needed was around $32K and now we only need that small about of $7. God is so good. Our funds are continuing to grow and we all have been healthy and well. Please pray for us as the kids are going to start home school this month. So please pray for that transition and that it will not hurt our studies. We just felt that home schooling was the best for our family and it will be the same studies that they will do in Honduras. We also have a dear family The Tatum's that delivered their baby girl Emma today by emergency C-section. Please pray for Emma she weighs 2.5 lbs and was due in October. I know that our God is the ultimate physician but I am asking that all of our friends, family and readers take five minutes of their time to pray for her and her family. Thank you to you all for your prayers and support. We could not do what we have been called to do without you all.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

El parque+ tres hijos+dos mujeres= God's Perfect Timing

Today started out as a normal school day. Mark and I woke up and headed out the door for school around 7:15 this morning with Josiah in tow. After school we headed home and had some lunch. I wanted to relax a little because I had just taken a grammar test but Mark suggested that we go to the park ( el parque) before it rained. So, with sombrillas, bolas y hijos ready to go ( that is umbrellas, balls and kids) we headed to the park. However, today we decided to go to the park near the ferria where we buy our fruits and veggies on Saturday. Normally, we go to the park closer to the house. Anyway, we head to the park and Mark and the kids shoot a little basketball while I play with Josiah on the playground. Taylor and I with Josiah in the stroller decide to take a walk around the track. Now, at this point everyone is ready to go home. So, we start to head for the gate. We notice that 2 mujeres ( ladies) are walking towards us so we greet them with the few Spanish words that we know....Hola, Buenos Tardes, ?Como esta? The ladies stop and actually want to carry on a conversation with us. We chat for about 10-15 minutes in the entrance of the park. We discuss in Spanish of coarse why we are here, where we live and how long we plan on staying among other things. We get ready to go and then it starts to sprinkle. (by the way...the 2 ladies had just eaten and came to walk around the track for some excerise) As we start to walk away the ladies change their minds about walking and offer us a ride in their this time it is really starting to rain. We insist that we are fine because we have sombrillas(umbrellas) with us and we live close. We start to head home and as we turn down one of the main streets to our house guess who is in the car in front of us and driving towards us.....?You guessed it those two ladies. They toot the horn and wave. We smile and wave back and proceed to walk home. But wait  that is not the end....they pull up into their driveway and wave us up. They want us to get out of the rain and so they invite us inside. So, we go on up the driveway and begin to chat and then we are motioned inside for cafe and te (coffee and tea) which is so funny because we don’t drink either....However, we did not want to offend our new friends so we all chose to drink hot tea. We get the tour of the house and the inside scoop on both ladies.

 Anna the lady who owns the house is the mother of 3 children and her husband has passed away. Margarita is her friend and her father passed away about the same time as Anna's husband. Margarita is visiting from Mexico. (so far only the Lord could have put us in this place...) We sit and drink tea and eat cookies and just chat around the kitchen table like we have known these 2 ladies for every. Actually, Anna kind of reminds me of my grandma Mathie in North Carolina. She is a very sweet lady who fell in love with our kids.
She was already trying to spoil Josiah.....:). We talked about many things and again yes it was all in Spanish. Anna told us that she was a teacher before she retired and she helped us a bunch with some words that we were unsure of in our conversation. Margarita is also a teacher that helps children who have specific learning disabilities and struggles in class. As we are talking we get started on church. We explain where we go to church and what we believe. While this is still a hard area to really get into because of the language barrier we did our best and conveyed our beliefs. In Costa Rica as for almost all of Latin America almost all claim to be Catholic. We chat and talk about Jesus Christ and how he is the only way to Heaven and he is the only one that can forgive us of our sins. You can tell that the ladies are holding on to something and also there is something else there...a deep feeling in their hearts...maybe they had been misguided or confronted in the wrong way about their beliefs.
Josiah giving kisses to Ms. Anna
We chat more and more and then we start talking about struggles in life and how they affect your life and your spiritual life and  how some people react differently to trials and sorrow. I begin to share with them that, I myself have had some hard trials in my life and the ladies are eagerly listening as I explain the Lord taking my babies to Heaven. In the middle of the 3rd story of losing Uriah the phone rang. You can hear Anna say Hola and then it is silent and she returns with the phone in hand and tears streaming down her face. It was the hospital; they had called to tell her that her sister in law had just died. (Wow) Here we are in a house of a stranger and we are currently talking about struggles and trials and then she receives this you can say ONLY GOD! We hug her and tell her how sorry we are and then we offer to pray with her. As Mark is praying she starts to cry. God knew where we needed to be, who we needed to encounter and what needed to be said. We pray for Anna, Margarita and their families tonight not only for comfort from God almighty but that this will be a door that we can use to share the love of Jesus Christ with them. After all that is why we are learn the language so that we can share the gospel. Please help us by praying for these 2 ladies and that the Lord will continue to soften their hearts for us to be able to share our faith. We have been invited to stop in at anytime again another gift from the Lord. Pray that we speak only the words that the Lord would have us to speak to help these two ladies.
Margarita, Anna, Taylor and me

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

Monday, August 2, 2010

Joy and Hope.....Learning to Sing in Spanish........

Recently in one of our classes we were able to learn some hymns and songs of praise in Spanish. This was one of my favorite things about this paticular class. In "fonetica" or phonics class we have been learning the tools that we need to be good readers and speakers. It is amazing for me to think just how much I learned as I can now pick up a book or paper and read it. I might not know all the words but at least I can read it. As the trimester is closing to an end our teacher pulled out some songs so that we could learn how to sing in Spanish. I must say that I was excited about doing this. It is so amazing to hear a song even in Spanish and how it can touch your heart. When singing one of the songs it brought such joy into my heart. Here is the song is Spanish and I will translate the title for you so you know what it is...but everyone should know this song for it is a very popular hymn:

?Que me puede dar perdon? Solo de Jesus la sangre.
?Y un nuevo corazon? Solo de Jesus la sangre.
Precioso es el raudal, que limpia todo mal, no hay otro manantial,
solo de Jesus la sangre.
(Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)

There is such joy in that song for those who are saved while there is such hope in that song for those who are not. We as Christians put our faith and trust in Jesus and know that he is the only way. He is the truth and the life. We know that you can not go to Heaven except by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is not from good that you or I have done. It is not from the money that you have or give. It is not from even being called into service for the Lord. Our salvation comes through Jesus Christ and HIM alone. As for the world and those who are non-believers they put their faith and trust in things of this world. Maybe for some it is a job or money. For others maybe it is another human.  Those who are unsaved are blinded to the truths that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. It is our job as Christians to share with others that there is "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus" that can make us whole and can send us to Heaven when we die. It is our responsiblity to share the news with others that brings us so much JOY! Is our world perfect as a Christian........NO! Why because the devil is always out seeking whom he may devour. But we have JOY anyway because we know that one day we will live forever in a place that is beyond human comprehension and meet the one who sacrficed all so that we could be there too. I challenge my readers to share this good news of Joy and Hope with someone this week.

John 16:33 says "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 says  "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. Comfort your hearts, and stablish you and every good word and work."