Saturday, August 1, 2015

New Hope Baptist Church Youth

 
Four years ago New Hope Baptist Church adult team came down and built the first home in Las Cabasas, Choluteca, Honduras.  On that team was one of this year's team members John Scott.  Four years ago we discussed this village needed a church established.  Mike shared we do not need to tell them what they need to do and we need to pray to see if the village will come forward and do this themselves.  The lady, Ms. Aleda, who New Hope Baptist Church adult team built her home was meeting with the children of the community having Sunday School each week.  There was around thirty to forty children meeting with her weekly on Sunday mornings.  After that week and several baptismal in the nearby river we went yearly to build a home for the other members of the community.  So after four houses were built one of the families, Ingrid and Teodora, gave their home to the community to have a place to worship.  The church family began to grow and others came to Christ.  There was a pastor in another part of Choluteca  who helped the church begin and led them for several months coming out several times a week.  This became an expense for this gentleman so he had to discontinue his commitment.  So the community has been meeting on their on with a nearby pastor coming occasionally.  So in the last six months or so Mike and Ginger discussed and prayed about building this community a church building.  They already have a family of believers meeting on a regular basis under mango trees or some one's home.  So Mike and Ginger needed three teams to commitment to help build and fund this facility.  This community already had a foundation in place for over a year.  They raised their own money to do this foundation and ran out of funds to continue the construction.  One day while out in Las Cabasas Mike asked one of the people what was the foundation going to be.  They said hopefully one day we will build a church.  Well, with a lot of prayers this community's prayers and long time dream is becoming a reality. 
 
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."
"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Matthew 17:20-21

 

Meeting and Greeting

 
 
 
The team gathered together to reunite with some old friends and to meet with old and new friends.  Pastor Brian went around the circle introducing his team members.  The community introduced themselves and the Hondurans each thank God for this day they had prayed without ceasing to become a reality.  There was an older gentleman, named Don Juan, shared how he had prayed a very long time for this day.  He gave God all the honor and glory as he teared up.  As he was tearing up the rest of us joined in with him.  We all had tears of joy to be a part of such a special time.  Thank you God for this group of North Americans saying yes to this calling at this time.  To God be the glory!!!!!! AMEN!!!!!
 
pray continually,
I THESSALONIANS 5:17
 

Cornerstone

 
After greeting and meeting the team and Hondurans disbursed to get the day started.  Pastor Carlos and Mike took each team to the four corners to set the cornerstones in place.  Each corner has to be leveled and prepared to hold up the 1300 plus blocks which will make the four corners a church.  Jesus Christ is our Cornerstone.  Our life would not be on level ground if it were not for our Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.  We can try life without HIM but we will soon crumble and fall.  Those today who do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your Cornerstone in life, I pray today will be your day.  We are not promised tomorrow.  Tomorrow may be too late to receive the most precious gift of all. 
 
The Book of Isaiah has many references to the Messiah to come. In several places He is referred to as “the Cornerstone,” such as in Isaiah 28:16-17: “So this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line.’” God is speaking to scoffers and boasters when He refers to the Cornerstone—His precious Son—who provides the firm foundation for their lives, if they would but trust in Him.

This Team is Unified


 
Everyone worked collectively but not collectively.  They saw a need and went to help a friend, whether it was North American or Honduran.  Everyone was there for each other.   They took turns sifting the sand, mixing the mescal or wetting down the foundation preparing for the first block.  Petronia, the grandmother and mother to all this folks was sweeping up the area for the mescal to be mixed.  It was a total group effort.  It is truly amazing all the work it takes to lay the very first block of 1300.  But after about an hour of diligent work the first block was about ready to be placed on the foundation.
 
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:20

Prayers Up for The Future of this Church

 
 
Everyone eagerly gathered around the first block.  Mike ask for the two oldest people in the community to come forward and lay their hands on the first block.  Our dear friend Don Juan and Putroma are the oldest in the community at the praying over the first block.  Everyone placed their hands on Don Juan and Putroma as the circle enlarged with many folks Honduran and North American alike. Mike was blessed to stand next to Teodore, who allowed the first church to meet in his home. Pastor Carlos was asked to pray the prayer and Maida did not translate as this was not about us today.  This was about God first and then our sweet Honduran brothers and sisters.  We did not want the translating to break up the prayer of thanksgiving was out poured from Pastor Carlos' mouth.  There was AMENS coming from all around as Pastor Carlos continued the prayer to the beginning of many prayers and blessings which will follow on this beautiful morning in El Porvenir, Choluteca, Honduras.  Thank YOU GOD for this moment and time.  This was all in God's timing.  Four years ago we wanted to build the church but God was not quiet ready for this to happen.  This day was dedicated to our Heavenly Father which all blessings flow on a continual basis if we will only stop and listen.  All God's people shouted AMEN!!!!!
 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

After Four Years


 
This is a very special story about two special groups of people.  One of course is our Honduran brothers and sisters who live in El Porvenir Las Cabezas, Choluteca, Honduras.  The other group is our youth group from our home church, New Hope Baptist Church.  Mike and I prayed over providing this community with a church for quiet some time.  First of all each and every time for the last four years we have been going to El Porvenir we have worshiped under the most gorgeous mango trees surrounded by beautiful mountains all which  are created by our God and Father.  This is an amazingly beautiful setting as each time we praised the Lord under those mango trees.  But during the rainy season it makes it difficult to worship there.  So Mike and I started the process of seeking out teams to help make this dream become a reality. God is good because this team had a team member who was here four years ago to build the first home in El Porvenir.  So this was a moment, a God moment week for John Scott as he came back I believe for the first time in four years to help build this community a church.  During John Scott's visit four years ago he witnessed four children accept Christ through the eye clinic the team provided.  As well we went to the local river and baptized them.  John Scott orchestrated a big part four years ago by allowing God to use him here and build relationships which have not been forgotten.  So this week the same church came back to start the church and answer many years of prayers for the church to become a reality.
This community about two years ago laid out their foundation for the church building with funds they had collected throughout the community.  God is good to bring in some help to continue the forming of this church.
The team journeyed down the road full of boulders and extremely dusty where there has not been much to any rain during this year's rainy season.  So pray with us as Choluteca needs rain.
Team leader, Pastor Brian introduced his team and the Hondurans introduced themselves.  Don Juan the elder of the community welcomed the team and praised God for this day he had prayed for a very long time. Don Juan had tears running down his cheeks with gratitude and gratefulness for God's provision.  Glenda, lady of community thanked God for answering this community's prayers for this building, God's house.  Others continue to say thank you to God.  This welcoming became a mini praise and worship as one after another praised God first and then the North Americans for answering the call to come and serve God amongst their community.  The elder lady, Putroma, also shared a few words with a gentle sweet smile upon her face. 
This was only the welcoming. The week continues to be blessing after blessing after blessing.  Join me as we journey through another wonderful week in Honduras.
 
Image result for pray without ceasing
 
 
 

Building Up The Blocks



 
This team put the roof and floor on a church last year.  This year they get to start at the bottom and head upwards.    Mr. Mike had a block 101 lesson for all the new comers as well as some return folks who only know how to put down the floor.  This team got busy and worked diligently and found their spot where they could serve the best.  They were able to get five courses up the first day which was well over 250 blocks.  Let me share with you after lunch about seven of the team members went down to the soccer field to get a game of futbol in with the local children.  This left the adults behind to continue laying blocks at a steady pace. They still were able to get five course up.  Let's do not forget the help of the Hondurans, Samuel, Wuilmer, Teodore and many more who came out to help start the construction of their church building.
Tuesday was a blessed day for all.  Tuesday is the day the community receives water.  They were busily filling up the blue and brown barrels for the day ahead of mixing their mescal.  John Scott took great pride in helping contain the hose pipe as the water poured into the barrels.  The ladies were off cooking lunch which left no one to hold the water hose in place.  Thank you John Scott for taking on any task to get the job done.  Soon the team will find there is more than building a church.  Join me as we continue this journey of building other things much more important.
 
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matthew 16:18
 
 

Alot of Work Goes Into the First Block

 


 
God provides a lot of folks to get prepared for the first block.  I have been blogging now for over five years and each time it amazes me how many folks it takes to get ready for the laying of the first block.  The cornerstones are formed and in this case it is for the house of the Lord.  Our Lord is the Chief Cornerstone of our lives.  HE is the Perfect I AM.  This four cornerstones have to be near to perfection to continue a good work and a level foundation for the 900 blocks which will be laid throughout the week ahead.  The sand has to be sifted to get all the rock and trash out to go into the concrete mixture and water which forms what our Honduran brothers and sisters call mescal.  The ground where the mixture goes has to been clean as well.  So debris does not get into the mixture.  This is the same with our lives in the Lord.  We need to clean and get out anything which keeps us from being pure and blameless in the eyes of Christ.  We need to clean areas in our lives just as the people cleaned the area were the mescal will go which helps form and connect each block which is placed on the foundation.  First of all our foundation in Christ needs to be solid and clean and pure and blameless so others can see Jesus in us.  Just like building this church we are building our lives on a solid foundation found only in Jesus Christ.  This also takes time to do. Daily cleansing of ourselves before our Heavenly Father so we can stand on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.  We need to get all the trash out of our lives which keeps us from focusing on HIM who died for our sins. There is only one water we need to be cleansed with and this is the Holy water of baptizing which if you have not received Jesus Christ today as your Lord and Savior and you are reading this please cleanse yourself with the purest holy water of all found only in Jesus Christ.  Do not let this day go by and not receive the sweetest gift of all JESUS!!!!!!

 
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:20
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16


 

 

Mr. Mike and Don Juan

 
Last year while building a home for one of the locals.  Mike stopped along the dirt road to help a gentleman move a tree out of the road.  As soon as the tree was moved there was a hornets nest inside of the tree.  Hornets came out in swarms chasing Mike and Don Juan.  Well Mike is a little taller than Don Juan so he got away much quicker.  Don Juan got eaten up by those evil little creatures. 
This week Don Juan is busy at work sifting sand and doing whatever he needed to do to get the job done. Mike looks over where he is working and shares with me I believe this is the man who I helped move a tree out of the road.  We got attacked by the hornets.  Maida, our translator, came over to assist Mike in asking him if he was the same gentleman who got attacked along side of Mike last year by a swarm of hornets.  He chuckled and said "Yes".  Don Juan shared how Mike got away much quicker because of his long legs.  
 
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
I Timothy 4:4
I am not sure Don Juan and Mike would agree this day about all God's creation being good.
Thank you God for all your creatures even when it turns out not to be such a  good a day for these two gentlemen.

Much More Than a Building

Sheri, an adult chaperon, shared one day how she watched Maida and the ladies chatting and giggling.  She wondered what conversations were taking place around their circle.   There was always conversations taking place.  It was a joy to see the laughter and joy as they shared with one another maybe about the future of their church and what all they may do one day in this building.  The many meals they may prepare as they come together to worship our Lord.  They were a joy to stand back and observe each day the team was working.

It is not a trip to Honduras without those precious little faces with huge smiles and big brown eyes. Each day the team did work on the church building, but they also spent numerous times enjoying the simplicity of the children.  Bettylenah taught our friend Juan David to tie his tennis shoes.  One day they had a lesson on how to tie tennis shoes.  The very next day Bettylenah saw Juan David bend over and tie his own tennis shoes.  Good job Juan David.  Of course everyone has fallen in love with our "Stephanie"  who most of her peers consider her an outcast.  But as time as passed and Stephanie's peers have noticed how the North Americans are receiving her warmly they too have soften up a little towards their friend.  The children played marbles, jump rope and played with bubbles.  These are the very things as a child I use to do.  It is awesome to set back and watch them simply be children and enjoy playing outside and have true fun.  A lot of the young people shared how this does not happen at home anymore.  You do not see children playing outside and most of these young people did not know how to play marbles.  They learned a lot from the Honduran children this week.  We always think we are coming to help them and they end up teaching us so much more about what true joy in life really is all about.  Thank you my sweet little friends.  You all are truly a blessing to so many of us.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19:14

The Church Kitchen



I shared with Maida how I wanted all the ladies to come together this week and cook the lunch meal as a church family.  Well they took it to another level.  They got together and build a clay stove at the left back side of the property the church was being built upon.  They all gathered there daily preparing the meals for the Honduran workers and who ever else came  along,  Pastor Brian.  On the last day the ladies were going to prepare a big pot of chicken soup which includes a lot of different vegetables, juka, onion, carrots, corn, potato, squash and several more.  The ladies of the team offered to help cut up the vegetables.  The Honduran ladies were most gracious in allowing the ladies to assist.  It makes your bowl of soup taste even better when you help with the preparations.  So this new church kitchen was put to good use this week.  It was nestled sweetly under some trees with the mountains in the background. 
 
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

Futbol Anyone


Our first time friend, Micaela, brought some futbols and equipment to play in the afternoons with the children at the local futbol field.  They gathered each day but on the first day I believe the North American team got beaten by the Honduran team 5 to 3.  So they had a re match the next day and the North American team came back and had a victory 6 to 2.  I believe my scores are correct.  While the older children were playing with Micaela, Cedric, Hendric, Bettylenah and Justin, Marrah had her own futbol game going on with the younger children.  All the children had fun playing futbol with each other during the five days the team was there building the church.  The North Americans shared how good the Honduran children were and especially the older girls.  They got a true run for their time there as the scorching heat beat down on them and most of the Honduran children were playing bare foot.  I believe our young people learned some new futbol techniques this week.  Everyone had a joyful time serving the Lord through the game of futbol.
 
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11
 

God's Word



Each day three times a day the team read from God's word.  They gathered each morning in the breeze way at 7:05 to hear a brief devotional read out of God's word.  At lunch daily the adult team members and Pastor Carlos shared a lunch time devotional.  Pastor Carlos shared when he started his devotional "I have a problem".  Then he grinned, "I may take longer than ten minutes, you may be here more than hour."  Then he proceeded to ask a question to his captive audience, "If God ask you to do something what
 would you do it."  Everyone nodded yes!!!  Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  He wants to be your Lord and Savior.  Are  you willing to do whatever God ask you to do for HIM.  Many answered later during God moments when Pastor Brian asked them the same question.  He shared what were your immediate thoughts to Pastor Carlos' question, "If God ask you to do something what would you do."
Someone shared my human side would fight it.  It would take me out of my comfort zone.
The word anything was the hard part of this question.  What would be anything?
Someone shared, "Honestly no."  Not sure if it would be God or me making the choice.  I need to be still and listen more to what God is calling me to do.
Well yes of course but would I really do it!!!!
This were very honest answers as I listened intently to each person share.  I thought back on the time God called me to do something and that was come here to Honduras to serve HIM.  Did I say "Yes" immediately. NO I did not and I put God off for more than six months.  If God had not broken me down to nothing I would not have experienced six years of God's beautiful hand at work through me here in Honduras.  I would not have been able to meet such amazing godly people here in Honduras and from back in the states.  God has truly blessed me because of this opportunity to be HIS hands and feet in Honduras.  Thank you God for the most precious time here doing your work.
So as well as devotionals in the morning and at lunch this team had devotionals in the evening as well. 
Justin individualized his devotional by reading out of Ephesians 1:15-18.  But the heart wrenching moment is when he prayed.  He prayed for each person in the room including Mike and me.  The next evening Bettylenah personalized her devotional as well.  She titled her devotional "You Matter".  Her scripture reference was out of 2 Corinthians  13:9-10.  Let me just say how big our God is when Bettylenah asked us to turn to this scripture reference I received chills sitting in a room with a temperature  of 93 degrees.  This was my devotional reference during my quiet time that morning.  God is so good.  She asked each one of to write down what is one of our weaknesses in life.  Fold them up and put them on the table.  Bettylenah read each one out loud to us. We all became aware how many of us had the same answers.  We all have weaknesses in life but God's grace is sufficient for whatever our weakness is.  Our last activity was to write something about each person in the room and then we shared our thoughts about each other.  This was another good way to start out our week lifting each other up in prayer and in encouragement.  These devotionals came from young people who are capable of sharing some very in depth devotionals and very thought provoking messages.  Hendric shared how we should be followers of God, Psalm 27:1-3.  We need to be confident in the Lord.  Another young person sharing God's word.  One evening Marrah shared about it being hump day and challenged each one with questions about "Why did you  come to Honduras?"  "Do you know why God has placed each of us here?"  "How have you seen God work?" Then she referenced Matthew 10:37-39  Cedric shared my favorite verse Philippians 4:13 and shared we all need Jesus walking beside us each and every day.  So if you do not have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior please receive HIM so you can have the greatest gift of all, Jesus, walking beside you daily.  Without Jesus we are nothing.  Without Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior He cannot walk beside us.  Through the power of His Holy Spirit can we find strength in all things.  Micaela shared from heart how she has seen Jesus in so many people and things this week.   She read out of John 13:34-35.  Be like Micaela and allow others to see Jesus in your daily life.  You may be the only bible someone reads just by your actions. Brendan shared out of I Corinthians 13:4-8.  He shared how the more we spend time with God the more we will know HIM and understand HIM.  His Word is all we need to get the answers in our daily lives.  We need to take the time and find the correct answers for our lives.
Thank you young people for such an amazing week in God's word.
 
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people,
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
Ephesians 1:15-18
 
We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored.
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority--the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
2 Corinthians 13:9-10
 
Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Psalm 27:1-3
 
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13
 

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:37-39
 
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
John 13:34-35
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
 
Friends the above bible references came from a group of high schoolers and college students.  To God be the glory.  As Pastor Brian shared one evening these young people are the church not the future but right now today!!!!!!  AMEN