Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pastor Randy Returns to Los Delicious

Six years ago we had the privilege of meeting Pastor Randy with another group.  As we were preparing for his project this year God placed upon our hearts to put Pastor Randy and his team in Los Delicious again.  At the time it did not register with us this is where we met Pastor Randy six years ago.  We shared with Pastor Randy at the airport where he was going and he asked the question, Is Carlos and his cow pasture still there?  Six years ago Pastor Randy's team did VBS in Carlos' cow pasture.  We shared with Pastor Randy our friend Carlos received Christ as his Lord and Savior and gave the cow pasture to a new church plant and we have since built a church on the cow pasture.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  Pastor Randy reunited with Carlos and all his other friends from six years ago.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

Meeting Maricela and Alison

Maricela and Alison are two precious ladies God has placed in our lives.  Four years ago Maricela's husband passed away from a fever.  Maricela at a very young age became a widow and a single mother.  But God still provides her with a beautiful smile that radiates from miles around.  She is a servant of God who works hard in her church and in her community.  Maricela is setting an amazing example for daughter, Alison, what a godly woman should look like.  We gathered on her grandmother's front porch where we use to worship God and reunited Pastor Randy to this community and for his church family to meet these sweet people.  We opened in prayer before getting to work.  God's beauty was definitely in this place, this front porch, once again.  I shared with mother, grandmother, Louisa how many memories I myself have as well from this front porch.  Louisa shared how many hugs she has received from many folks, Hondurans and North Americans alike.  How many times we have worshiped together on her front porch.  What a heritage Louisa is leaving for Maricela and Alison for many years to come.
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children
Proverbs 13:22a

Three stages of a Home

For the last six years NCBM has built over 85 homes in Choluteca, Honduras.  Each one is identical in many ways.  Some may be a few inches off and a few blocks off.  But they are all built in five days.  This above is what the progression looks like for the first three days.  New people come and cannot believe this can be done in five day.  There is 800 blocks, 52 bags of cement, two windows, two doors, mounds and mounds of sand, rock and rebar to make this structure become a home.  It takes hard work from the North Americans and a lot of help from their Honduran brothers and friends who also come along to volunteer to help a friend or family member get a home.  We see what true community is here in Honduras when we come together to build a home.  We learn so much from our friends on what true community is all about.  There are always numerous family and friends who come out to help a friend.  On the fifth day the floor and roof go up.  Thank you to all of you who in the last six years have laid a block or mixed mescal to help provide a family a home.  A house does not make a home but a lot of sweat equity surely makes a house a home.  All God's people says AMEN.
A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
Psalm 127:1

Prepping for the First Block


Pastor Randy and I shared how every project is very different.  This team arrived to having to put the blocks inside the foundation.  They also arrived to see the foundation was not complete.  The team helped put the sand inside the foundation and brought the blocks in at the same time.  Also some of the folks were moving the piles of sand which had been dumped onto the base of the foundation where the blocks needed to go.  Everyone did this without one complaint.  Team leader, Pastor Randy, Tyler, George and many others moved sand from the outside to the inside of the foundation.  Once the first block was ready to be set they were to stop hauling sand and start laying block.  But the attitude of my brothers in Christ from North America was quiet humbling.  They were there to do whatever God needed done to get Marcela  a home.  Thank you gentlemen for your willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done.
For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Psalm 37:28

The First Block

God graciously got us all to the point of laying the first block with Marcela and Alison after all the small obstacles were removed and replaced with genuinely godly folks.  Maida, our translator, asked for everyone to gather around the foundation where Pastor Carlos gingerly laid the first block for Marcela and Alison.  Pastor Randy proceeded to pray as we all gathered together as one in Christ and united with a gentle touch on one another's shoulder and presented this home to God and gave him all the praise and honor and glory for all things He has done for each of us standing around this block.  This one block represents the foundation of this home to be used as a refugee for Maricela and Alison.  Marcela can now open her home up to her family and friends as they have done for her for the last four years.  She will be safe and dry and can spend some good quality time with her sweet Alison as she grows up to become a godly lady just like her mother.
pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Block 101 with Mr. Mike

Mr. Mike had a block laying lesson for our new friends and for some of our returning friends.  As you can see they all caught on very quickly and got right to work.  They each paired up and proceeded laying their first five courses.  George, new team member shared during God moments one evening he was overwhelmed from all the materials laying everywhere and how were we going to get it all done in five days.  He got to work to help make this happen.  He also shared how humbling it was to see the youngster helping mix mescal and carrying heavy buckets inside to help build this home.  Our ladies on the team worked diligently to do their part the first three days.  Everyone was a team this week and their workmanship showed through their labor of love for the kingdom work. Pastor Randy shared how everyone worked with joy in their hearts.  They exhibited true Christian labor for Christ.
hatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:23

Two Pastors Serving the Lord

It is so beautiful to see two pastors working side by side with their hands and feet.  They are working pastors.  They live out God's word in their daily lives.  They spent one afternoon sharing their roles as pastor to their church.  They had similar stories but not so similar stories.  Pastor Randy and Pastor Amado were able to encourage one another through their many experiences as pastors.  On the job site they worked hard and got very dirty for one sweet lady named Marcela and her daughter, Alison.  Pastor Amado tends to his flock here in a precious and sincere way.  During the week as the ladies cooked for the team and Hondurans, Pastor Amado served the meals and provided all we needed and beyond with what he had.  It is a blessing to observe the hands and feet of Jesus through our pastors who come through NCBM.  Thank you Pastor Randy for leading your flock thousands of miles to a beautiful place called Honduras where you teach your flock life skills which cannot come from the pulpit.  Well done good and faithful servant.
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:7

Working as a Team

Everyone disbursed to find their spot on the walls of the home.  They paired up and worked side by side.  Danielle asked if a veteran could work beside a new member.  They helped each other out after Mr. Mike turned them loose to do the work God had called them to do.  Pastor Carlos gingerly walks by to help where needed as he is busy with his tasks.  The four walls of Marcella's home starting rising up and becoming a formation of a home even on the very first day.  The doors got placed where she wanted them to go.  Thank you Longview Baptist for excepting the calling to come to Honduras and bless such a precious family in receiving a home.  God blessed all of us beyond any words imaginable.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1

Honduran Food

Each day the ladies were busy at work in their kitchens preparing tortillas for the day ahead.  They made 150 to feed everyone who was working.  The North American ladies, Bette, Annika, Danielle, Addison, Lynn, Kim, and Ellie learned how to make the tortillas.  They helped Sylvia prepare the 150 tortillas for a couple of their lunches.  The new home owner, Marcella, enjoyed preparing the meals along side her Aunt Anna and family.  There was fried fish with fried bananas one day, there was bean soup one day, there was peas Honduran style one day, there was chicken and rice with noodles and beans  and they even had corn on the cob.  Each day the table was set for the North Americans to sit on Louisa's front porch and enjoy the cuisine of the Honduran culture.  This front porch of Louisa has entertained and provided a worship area for us for many years.  There was four generations of this family there daily help with the meals, build the home and playing in the front yard. Bette spent one day with Sylvia help prepare the meal for everyone.  The last morning the ladies set on the front porch and shelled the peas they were having for lunch.  This was a beautiful time of food and fellowship in so many different ways.  Thank you to all the ladies involved in the cooking of all this food this week.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
Acts 2:46

Prepping for the Floor

Before the rain sent them away the gentlemen were working diligently on making the brims for the floor and finishing up the gables for the roof the following day.  They worked mixing the mortar and cutting the blocks per order.  There were many activities going on this day as the rain was coming their way.  Pastor Carlos called it a day and did not put one half of the floor down because of the rain storm.  Thank you guys for working so hard to get this house closer to becoming a home. 
"You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.
Isaiah 45:8

Windows Go In

This is the first time in a very long time I was there to see windows being set.  Marcella was there to direct Mike and Pastor Carlos right where she wanted them to be placed.  This process is tedious and takes patience to get the window placed where it will stay.  The most precious part was watching Marcella watch Mike and Pastor Carlos as they worked on the window.  This is one more piece of the puzzle to getting this house closer to becoming her new home.  She wanted to make sure these two "experts" knew what they were doing.  She was a very precious supervisor as she stood back and watched the process.
"It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,'
Matthew 21:13a


This week was full of laughter, learning English and Spanish, and being children with children.  The team spent a lot of time with the people as well as building the home.  They balanced out their week very well by getting know the people around them.  Ellie, who is bi-lingual, enjoyed the sweet spirit of these lovely ladies in Los Delicious.  Annika and Danielle enjoyed engaging with the little ones as well.  Annika got some beautiful art work on the last day from some of the children.  Tyler helped Caleb one day with his homework.  They were teaching each other English and Spanish with a little help coming from Maida.  God truly blessed everyone this week with lots of tears and laughter which was abundantly full of the joy of Christ Jesus.   Pastor Randy commented on how beautiful it was to watch everyone interacting with each other and sharing the joy of Christ through simple fellowship.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Work Ethics

Strong work ethics start very young here in Honduras.  The young people of this team were taken back of how hard a ten year old young man was working for his neighbor.  This was exhibited throughout the week. This one particular day two young men were working it hard.  They were mixing the mescal as hard as their small bodies would allow them.  George and Tyler did their devotional on Working Hard.  There scripture reference was out of  Proverbs.  We were all impressed with our young men to notice how hard children work in Honduras.  I shared with them, the young boys gather wood for their mothers to cook with during the day before they go off to school each day.  They gather water as well from a nearby river to help with the daily chores.  WE all can learn so much from the children here in Honduras on how to be a team member in our families.  We all use the same items daily.  How do we help our family daily to have a success day in our homes and workplaces.  A family should be a family unit of team work.  Let's learn from our families in Honduras how to work together as a family.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:6-11