Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Church of Covenant Park Maryland

As Covenant Church crest the top of the hill to come over to the property they were in awe of the progress from almost one year ago.  They worked with the Hondurans last August for a "work day". They saw the palm tree former team member Brad had planted last year.  How big it was becoming.  We all gathered on the front porch of the first building built last September to introduce or I should say reunite some old friends together.  We want to welcome Bevin and Mateo who are our first timers this year.  Welcome back Ryan and wife Elie, Vickie, Derek,  and Dan.  We gathered for Mike to explain to our Honduran brothers and sisters this will be one of three teams working out here in the next couple months.  They are here to start the North American Dorms.  This is the first team to have spent one whole week working on the property. 
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."   
I Peter 1:14-16

The team came to lay block

The Hondurans went to work on the dirt pile near the foundation.  They were shoveling dirt from the outside to the inside of the foundation.  The North American team was standing on the porch watching from afar.  One team member said, "Let's go help them shovel."  The whole team took off found shovels and joined their brothers in shoveling.  There was only 300 blocks the first day so the team immediately took on the role of flexibility.  They did what needed to be done to help out the Hondurans.  Team leader, Ryan shared earlier with me, " We are here to serve however God sees fit.  We are here to help wherever we are needed."
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 17:20
The team had faith and moved that pile of dirt.

Preparing for the first block

The team pulled together after moving dirt to moving block inside of the foundation.  The Hondurans and Derek mixed the mescal.  After about two hours the team is ready to lay the first block.

This is the first time we had the Hondurans pray over the first block.  Mike wanted the team to place their hands on the first block as the Hondurans placed their hands on the North Americans. Pastor Carlos began to pray for the future of this ministry.  We are so blessed with awesome godly men working on the property.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16   

Covenant Church Working for the Lord

Covenant Church came down ready to do whatever needed to be done.  They were able to lay out 2,000 blocks in their five days on t Mt Horeb. Each person gave it their all.  They were blessed to have cool weather three of the five days.  Cool weather meaning a nice breeze continuous blew while working. 
During their week each one had some amazing God moments:
Mateo shared how God is a global God.  God is everywhere.  He is always with us.  Mateo enjoyed Mike's tour of the property.  Amazing what all God is doing on Mt. Horeb.
Vickie shared how we could learn from the Hondurans on how to exhibit their compassion of serving the Lord. Vickie had problems with her foot before coming and once arrived in Honduras pain subsided.  We have a big God.
Bevin shoveled all day one day with Danny.  Bevin built a relationship with a shovel. Bevin enjoyed the children during Sunday School.
Derek shared how one of the workers remembered him from the medical clinic he served on in February of this year. Tio hugs are the best hugs ever.
Ryan shared how he was blessed to see a friend from last year and was able to pray with him with the help of his wife, Elie. Ryan also help lead Danny to the Lord and shared the gospel with Alexis as well.  Pray Alexis comes to accept Jesus Christ.
Dan shared how Sunday was his God moment.  The entire day of worship, visiting Fernando and the much needed rain storm God provided.  The Hondurans have been without rain for over one month.  This is their rainy season. Dan was grateful for the rain.
Elie was in awe of the progress of Mt Horeb since last August.  Elie along with Pastor G and Ryan led Danny to the Lord.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 145:3

Dan and Derek Read the Manual

We are having quiet a few power outages down here.  One evening the team was playing cards in the dining hall and the power goes out.  Everyone says what do we do.  It was pitch dark.  But we heard two of our friends get up and leave.  Dan and Derek came back with their flashlights ready for the power outage.  I asked who else had flashlights.  Only Dan and Derek came prepared for what might happen.  They must of read the manual. 
Which was the true Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world.
John 1:9

The week started out with Elie and Ryan cooking breakfast.  But as day two arrived Vickie joined the kitchen crew for cooking and cleaning. Vickie and Elie dismissed Ryan of his kitchen duty.  Elie claims she cannot cook and Vickie was a hidden secret.  Vickie finally admitted she was a cook at a camp she worked at for years.  Well Elie can really flip some pancakes, and she said she could not cook. 
The clean up crew had way too much fun when our man Mateo was helping the girls.  They truly enjoyed their job duties of the kitchen.  Thanks to all three of you for all you did for the team this week.  It was all yummy!!!!
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.
I Peter 4:10

Worship and Sunday School in Los Delicias

The local church was not available for worship on Sunday.  Their services are on Saturday nights.  We went to worship at God's new church family in Los Delicias.  As always the team was welcomed with open arms from Pastor Amado, his wife, Anna, and their church family.  There were many testimonies this day and Mike preached a sermon.
Bevin shared out of Micah 6:8 not about sacrifice but how we live our lives for Jesus.  This is why I am here Bevin shared to live a life God has called me to do.
Ryan shared out of Ephesians 5:8 we do not need to be of the world but of God.  God placed is wife Elie in his life and Ryan was able to accept Christ and let go of the world and live his life for Christ.
Mike preached out of John 4:34 where the food of the Spirit is to do HIS will.  We need to read God's word daily and see a personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  We could always learn from the children.  They are over under the mango trees now hearing a bible story and are soaking it up like a sponge.  We need to be like the children.  We need to be hungry for God's word and to follow what He has called each of to do, live for HIM.
We were blessed with some Honduran sisters sharing their testimonies as well.  This was joyous day in the house of the Lord.
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.   
Micah 6:8
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.   
Colossians 3:15-16
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Ephesians 5:8
34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.   
John 4:34
While others were sharing testimonies Vickie, Elie, Bevin and Mateo did Sunday School with the children under the mango trees.  Vickie shared the story of Jesus Calming the Storm.  The children enjoyed singing songs and coloring as well.  They had one looker from afar watching as they all learned more about Jesus.
Mark 4:35-41

Enjoying the culture

The ladies of the team, Vickie and Elie, enjoyed helping Maida and Marias cook tortillas and chismo for the fish fry.  The team enjoyed a time of celebration by sharing a fish plate

Maida our blessing

I want to say thank you to Maida who is more than a translator.  She wears many hats in this ministry and does it always with a smile.  Thank you Maida for your service to North Carolina Baptist Men in Honduras.
"I thank my God every time I remember you."
Philippians 1:3

Danny Received Christ

The week started with the discussion of baseball.  One of the Hondurans, Danny, was asking questions about the sport baseball.  Danny worked mixing mescal with Derek most of the week but also laid blocks some with Ryan and the other team members.  As the week progressed they built a relationship with Danny around the sport of baseball.  Ryan asked Danny the most important question of his life time.  Did Danny have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Was Jesus His Lord and Savior?  Had he accepted Jesus Christ into his life?  Danny's answer was no and I am not ready.  Ryan shared he would pray for him as this is the most important decision of his life.  You are not promised tomorrow.  You may leave here today and die and where will you go.  Danny replied, "To Hell."  Ryan question him and ask is this what you truly want to live eternity in Hell.  Danny still said I am not ready.
So the week goes by and the entire team is sharing and praying for Danny to receive Christ.  The night before the dedication of their trip Ryan comes in with a huge stick.  He asked Mike could he borrow a machete.  The rest of us are inside playing cards while Ryan is out in the courtyard wildling away at this huge stick to form it into a baseball bat.  Danny really likes baseball Ryan says and I want to give him a baseball bat.  Ryan was encouraged to write something on the bat and he wrote Matthew 7:7  "Ask and you shall receive."  What a perfect gift for someone who is not ready to receive Jesus Christ.  The last morning Ryan, Pastor G, Pastor C and Elie asked Danny one more time is he ready to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  Tears were forming in his eyes as they rolled down his cheeks.  Tears Danny could not stop and he said I want Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Mike and I arrived for the dedication to a joyous group of folks, "Danny accepted Christ."  All God's people said AMEN!!!!!  The angels in heaven were dancing and singing on this morning as we now have one more brother in Christ.  I walked up to Danny and said in Spanish, "Buenos Dias, mi hermano."  Danny with a huge smile returned the reply with a huge hug.  This is why the North Americans come to Honduras to share the gospel of Jesus Christ whether be through laying blocks, medicines or even a baseball bat. 

Words cannot describe what happened after the dedication.  You would of had to been there to receive the blessings from the first official baseball game on Mt Horeb.  The laughter which brought tears to many eyes was heard from miles around.  Both North Americans and Hondurans laughed from the bottoms of their stomachs.  Digno shared how his stomach was hurting from all the laughter.  Mike explained the basic rules of baseball to the Hondurans and the rest was just plan and simple entertainment.  Rest to sure there will be many more baseball games on Mt. Horeb in the future.  We knew there would be a futbol field and basketball court, but for sure there will be a baseball diamond.  Thank you one and all for making this teams last minutes on Mt. Horeb one to remember for many years to come.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Words of Gratitude

As the week comes to an end this team of seven laid out 2, 000 blocks and led one man to Christ. Also shared the gospel with another worker on the property who we are all praying for to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. They started out shoveling dirt into the foundation, mixing mescal, moving the 2,000 blocks inside of the foundation for easy access to laying them out where they needed to go.  At the end of the week we gathered together on the foundation of the dorm to give God all the praise and honor for each and every block which was laid out in His honor. 
Bevin led the dedication by reading from Isaiah 2:2-3.  He shared what a privilege it was to serve beside each and every one of these men and women in the name of Jesus.  Ryan said thank you for allowing them to work on the property and to work beside such amazing hard workers who never once complained.  We can learn so much from each of you.  Your work ethics are phenomenal.  Your generosity of caring for us to make sure we did not get too hot each day was deeply appreciated.  Thank you for allowing us this privilege.
Pastor C and Pastor G also shared words of gratitude to the North Americans for giving of their time away from home, family and jobs to come work in Honduras.  We know it is much hotter here than in the states yet you work diligently beside us and never gave up.  Thank you for your example you set for the Hondurans. 
So I suppose this week we all learned something from each other.  This is how big our God is.  Like Mateo said earlier in the week our God is global.  HE is everywhere.  We all placed our hands on the one of the walls as Pastor Carlos closed the week in prayer.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say , Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 
Isaiah 2:2-3         

Ryan and Elie

Once again we enjoyed our team leader Ryan and his lovely bride, Elie coming back to Honduras to lead this team.  They worked side by side some of the time but adventure out to get to know the rest of their team members and Hondurans.  Elie was our other translator when needed and she loved to share Jesus with the Honduran people.  Ryan and Elie did more than lay blocks they prayed and shared the gospel with many folks this past week.  They definitely have the gift of evangelism.  It is a natural for each of them.  They are both quiet gentle spirits who love the Lord.  Thank you both for all you did this week to show the love of Jesus to others. Thank you Ryan for leading your team through words of encouragement from God's word nightly.  How you lifted your team members us each and every day.  You two are an awesome team. I pray God continues to bless your journey with HIM.  We love you!!!!!
"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Friday, August 15, 2014

Oakdale Baptist Church Builds Pedro and family a home

One day Mike and I were going through the solicitations for homes for the people here in Honduras.  We came across a solicitation which was two years old and had written at the bottom:  dangerous area.  Mike and I decided to go there anyway and meet the family and see if this was something the North Americans could do.  We met Pastor C of the church of the community on the road.  He had road his bicycle about four miles to meet us to take us to Pedro's home.  We gathered Pastor C and his bicycle and traveled maybe a mile to where the home was located.  We arrived meeting Pedro's lovely wife, Suyapa and their two daughters, Mada and Sophie.  They did not know we were coming this day to announce they were receiving a home.  Because once we arrived we knew this precious family was getting a home.  Pastor C shared during our visit how the night before he had prayed for a home for this family.  Pastor C had been praying for two years for this family a home.  Never stop praying, for God will answer our prayers in His timing.  Pedro was working at the time at a bread company.  A man on a bicycle came riding down the path towards Suyapa's home.  Mada went running to the fence out into the dirt path to greet her Daddy.  This was the most precious sight I had seen in a while.  I knew even more then this family was getting a home.  This family was a family unit of love for one another.  Pedro loves his two daughters and lovely wife Suyapa deeply.  It was obvious in the way his daughters wanted to be near him.  This was a special day in the life of this ministry for me.  Thank you God for leading Mike and I to this family and thank you for sending Oakdale Baptist Church of Rocky Mount, North Carolina to fulfill a dream come true for such a special family.  All God's people said AMEN!!!!!
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
John 10:27

God's blessings over the first block

As the morning progressed the team found where God wanted them to be.  Pastor G was working diligently on the preparation of the first block.  Many activities have to take place before the first block.  This is a time for the team to be flexible waiting for the actual block laying to begin.  They work where needed to help get to this point of the morning.  Pastor G says, "Primero bloque por favor"  The team gathers around one of the cornerstones of the home preparing to pray over the first block.  We start every project with pray and we close out the project in prayer over the home.  Glen prayed blessings over Pedro and Suyapa's home as Maida, our translator, shared the prayer in Spanish for the family and people who were watching from the dirt path.  We never know what person may hear God's word as we work on each and every project.  Some may hear God's word for the first time even though there is a local church in the community.  One person may hear God speak to them through this prayer of dedication or throughout the week as we are the hands and feet of Jesus hear in Honduras.  The people stand and watch in amazement as the North Americans start building a home for a family they had never met until this day.  I always wondered what the outsiders looking in may wonder.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask for anything according to His will, He hears us."
1 John 5:14