Thursday, October 23, 2014

Praying and Praising God

As time came for the first block everyone gathered around the family of seven as they placed their hands on the first block.  There was probably twenty of us gathered for this occasion.  This family had many other family members present as well. This was definitely a strong community of family and friends.  Everyone was excited for Jose and Maria and the beginning of a dream come true. 
                            I cried out to him with my mouth' his praise was on my tongue. Psalm 66:17


The start of a home

After the prayer the team dispersed to their new found job duties.  Mike gave a quick lesson on laying blocks to the new comers.  They were quick learners and off they went to building up the walls of Jose and Maria's new home.  They paired up with each other and the young adults of the family pitched in to help build their home.  The children of  Jose and Maria helped the entire week as each block became a part of their home.  Their eagerness to assist was most helpful for the North American team.  It was amazing how quickly they connected as one in the Lord for a common goal: a home for Jose and Maria.  There was cousins, brothers and sisters who were helping either mixing mescal or cooking in the kitchen.  This was definitely a family affair.  God showed our North American friends the true sense of community and family this week.  They shared how blessed they were to work beside such godly Christian folk who show what true Christian fellowship and hospitality was all about.  Thank you Jose and Maria for exhibiting Christ in a mighty way.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
                                                              John 13:34


Several families come together to serve

Welcome David and Ellie who came to Honduras for the first time.  David got out of his box and learned how to use the block saw.  Thank you David.  Ellie  brought her loving personality to Honduras and shared it with everyone.  She was the ice breaker for the women on her team as she could speak the language.  Thank you Ellie for your compassion and love for the ladies of Honduras.

Pastor Randy returned this year with his lovely bride, Karen.  They made an amazing team working side by side in the kitchen each and every morning as their servant hearts prepared a IHOP breakfast for their team members.  Then it carried over on the job site as they worked side by side laying blocks, cleaning doors or just being together.  They also showed the love of Christ in all they did.  Thank you both for sharing the love of Christ with everyone this week.

Welcome back our friends Jake and Sondra.  They came last year and so graciously returned to work for the Lord again in Honduras.  They enjoyed the working on the house together and both enjoyed time with the children.  They were wise in so many areas of life and we enjoyed learning so much from this lovely couple.  As my friend Jake would say " Good for you".  They were such encourager's for everyone on their team.  Thank you both for returning and sharing in the love of Jesus with these beautiful people.

Welcome for the first time but not the last time Lynn and her son Tyler who brought so much to their team.  They pitched in wherever needed bu the most amazing thing accomplished from this duo was the NCBM Gospel Band.  They worked together daily on teaching their new friends how to perform music.  But I believe their new friends taught them a lot too.  Tyler enjoyed hanging with the boys and learning so much from their daily lives.  Thank you Tyler for taking the time to be apart of the lives of these young men who have so much to offer.  Lynn you are amazing in how you persevered all week in the name of Jesus.  Job well done my friend. 

Bette was blessed to return this year and bring her sister-in-law Trish.  God blessed them together this week in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others.  They laughed and cried together.  They learned how to cook together.  They worshiped the Lord together in a whole new way.  They took care of each other and learned from the Honduran ladies together. It is so beautiful to see family come together and share the most precious time ever: Jesus Christ.  They were able to spend some valuable time together as sisters in law but more as sisters in Christ.  Thank you Bette and Trish for coming to Honduras and sharing in serving Christ with these beautiful people.
"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Enjoying the culture

The team learned many new lessons this week.  They learned how to stop and smell the roses so to speak.  They learn how to take a siesta if needed and enjoy the people around them.  The ladies learned how to make tortillas.  I believe Trish and Lynn gets the blue ribbon for making the best tortillas.  But Kim Karen and Bette get the blue ribbon for looking so great in their aprons as they learned to cook some delicious food daily.  Pastor Randy and Tyler learned how to just sit and simply enjoy the children.  While Ellie taught the little ones how to braid their hair.  Sondra was blessed with some good ole coconut water and sugar cane one day.   God provides all our needs only if we ask.  Each day the team got to enjoy the freshness of the day as they traveled to the job site.  The clouds hovered over the mountains surrounding the village.  It was a glorious site to see as God painted such a beautiful picture daily.  Thank you God for your many blessings.  One day as the team gathered to pray Jake counted 40 people in the circle to pray and praise God for all HIS many blessings.  Pastor Randy shared one day, How are you blessed?  What is a blessing?  This really gave me a lot to ponder on in the blessings in my life, my salvation is definitely a blessing.  To be called a child of God through the blood of Jesus Christ,  another blessing is to be able to share Jesus' love with others so they too can come to know about the sweetest gift of all, Jesus. What is your blessing today?  Ponder on this and see what God tells you.  Thank you Pastor Randy.
 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8


Women's Daily Bible Study

As the week draws to an end there is less for some to do.  On the last three days the ladies of the team and the ladies of the neighboring houses gathered in the back of Maria's mother home for bible study.  Ellie prepared an amazing devotion each day.  What was most humbling for all of us was when Maria stood up and welcomed everyone into her home.  She thanked God for his word and open the group with prayer.  The ladies opened their bibles as Ellie shared a devotional.  She asked the ladies to read the scripture chosen for the morning devotion.  The last morning together Ellie had prepared a devotion on the virtuous woman. What is the definition of a Christan woman in the home.  They read from Proverbs 31:25-30, Joshua 24:15, Matthew 7:24-27 and Psalm 118:22-23.  They shared what their thoughts of a Christian woman in a home would be.  All of these ladies exhibit godliness and showed it to us all week.  They willingly opened up their home even their kitchen to teach the North American women how to cook.  They gave of their precious time from chores of the day to spend time with our North American women.  One of our ladies shared, "Would we open up our home so freely and willingly to a bunch of strangers at any given time?"  That is a good question for all of us, men and women alike.  These ladies showed true hospitality throughout the entire week.  At the end of the last devotion, the North American ladies gave each lady a gift of gratitude.  It was their favorite bible verse in English and in Spanish.  They made enough so everyone could receive one.  While the home was being finished the Lord's word was being shared.  So much beauty of God was shared during this week with all involved.
Proverbs 31:10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

VBS and Sunday School

The last three days the ladies broke away from construction to go the local church and share God's word with the children.  The first day was on the Creation and the plan of salvation.  The children learned new songs and shared their songs with the ladies.  One of their favorite songs that week was "God is so Good" and "Jesus Loves Me" in sign language English and Spanish.  The ladies learned several of their songs in Spanish as well.

One of the highlights of the week was Bette learning the bible story for Sunday in Spanish. She gathered the children around her in the middle of the sanctuary and did a beautiful job sharing the story in Spanish.  The children listen intensively as Bette, a North American spoke in their language about God and his Son Jesus.  Also the ladies sang  "Victory in Jesus" and sang the chorus in Spanish.  They worked each evening on this hymn to perfect it for the people for church on Sunday.
Gene share a hymn,  "Amazing Grace"  as well.  While Sunday School for the children was taking place Pastor Randy shared a sermon on "Things I long for or things to be better."  It was exactly what I needed to hear this day.  But this is how our God works.  He pulled from Habakkuk 1:2-4 where Habakkuk wanted more for his world.  Sadden by the condition of the world.  He brings his concerns before God.  As we look around us share our concerns to God.  This is our prayer to share our concerns before God.  Prayer includes listening, a relationship with God and to communicate with each other our concerns.  Our prayers should be a two way communication with God.  God tells us to wait and listen to his answer.  Pastor Randy shared an example of Jose praying and dreaming for a home.  God provided him a home.  There were two other points Pastor Randy brought out coming from Philippians 3:4-14 to run the race God has called us to run and to persevere.  The other point was in Revelation 7:9-17, the community of faith.  Live out the vision of God into eternity.  Live our lives as if we were going home to eternity today.  Live our lives for eternity.  Pastor Randy shared how we are worshiping as one today but one day we will be doing this together in heaven.  What a beautiful day this will be.  We had a sweet time when the grandmother opened her bible to Revelation 7 and this was the last book in her bible.  She had somehow lost the rest of the bible.  God's provision for worship on this day was perfect.  It was beautiful watching the younger people in worship helping their mothers and grandmothers find the scriptures in their bibles.  The beauty of all the bibles in church that day.  Everyone had God's word sitting in their laps as they attentively listened to God's word.
Habakkuk 1:1-4
This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
    But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
    but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
    Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
    I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
    who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
    and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
    so that justice has become perverted.


4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing on Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:4-14

The Great Multitude in White Robes

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’[a]
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b]
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]
Revelation 7:9-17



Dream comes true

It was a bittersweet day.  Jose and Maria were getting their home but our new found friends would be finishing up the job God called them to do and return to their own homes.  As the morning progressed Gene was busy with last minute touch ups with Ezekiel.  Also Gene shared how precious it was to watch Jose observing as his new floor was going down into his home.  It did my heart good to watch Jake and Leonel cleaning each window in detail to get all the mud splatter off of them.  Pastor Randy and his church secretary, Kim worked together on the doors along with Tyler and Lynn.  They were making this home something all would be proud of.
The time came for the dedication.  But the most precious part of this dedication was when Pastor Randy opened it up for anyone to share.  Jose shared how many years he had dreamed of providing a home for his family.  He prayed to God for this dream.  As he was sharing about one day he came home from the fields after working and Mike and Ginger were there talking to Maria about their home.  God had heard his prayer and gave him a dream come true.  How big is your God?  Is HE as big as Jose's GOD.  The faith the Honduran folks have in God is so convicting to all of us.  The beauty of their love for others is definitely Christ-like.  We praise God with Jose and Maria today for God's provision in a dream come true.
Karen was not going to speak but God said yes you are.  So Karen graciously thank the ladies of this community with gratitude for all the ladies of the team on teaching them what true Christian hospitality really is in life.  As we gathered to pray God was gathering some rain clouds in the back ground.  They were able to pray over the home, give out the bible and key before God placed showers of blessing upon everyone.  Thank you God for you are a perfect holy and mighty God.
but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
Psalm 66:19

NCBM Gospel Band

Omg!!!!! This was one of the sweetest times ever.  Lynn and her son Tyler "drummed" up some amazing friendships this week.  They some how one day during their break starting talking about music with the boys of the house, Gerson, Naujer and Moses.  Well the next thing Lynn realized was these boys were making some instruments. They made a set of drums, xylophone, bells and some rocks in a coke bottle for a maraca. Each day they played out in front of the house.  Others gathered around to hear this most joyful noise.  It was the most grand sound I have heard in a while.  So as Sunday was approaching a begged Lynn to do this in front of the church on Sunday.  Well it took place.  I have to say our little musicians were a little nervous but they succeeded with a huge applause from everyone.  God made some amazing memories for all of us this week.  Thank you Lynn and Tyler for a beautiful job with your new friends.

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.

1 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. 5 How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts! 6 The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand, 
Psalm 92:1-6         

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mt Horeb Team Becomes One

We had our last team of the year who chose to work helping build the dorms on the property.  This group came from three different churches from around North Carolina.  As soon as they gathered together in the Raleigh Airport they became a family immediately.  God hand picked these folks to serve side by side for HIS kingdom.  By the time they arrived in Tegus airport they were laughing and joking around as if they had known each other a life time.  God is good all the time.
We arrived on the property, Mt Horeb to do the final job blocking up the bathrooms and storage room for the North American dorms.  We gathered around in a circle and each person introduced themselves.  They started by praising God for this opportunity to come and serve beside their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Pastor Carlos was grateful for the help of the North Americans.  North Carolina Baptist Men is blessed with all who come together to work for the better of the kingdom of God.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:5


Preparing for Praying Over the First Block

The team busily got to work finding where they needed to be.  This was very tight spot to work in so they paired up and prepared for the task at hand.  While they were prepping their locations the Honduran brothers were mixing mescal for the first block.

Gordon and Penny together laid the first block as Pastor Carlos prayed over the North American Dorms.  We all gathered close and laid hands on each other as God was given the praise honor and glory for this week ahead.  All God's people said AMEN!!!!
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to your name we give Glory because of your loving kindness, because of your truth."
Psalm 115:1

Many Gifts and God's Word

I sat back one day and was observing all that was taking place on Mt Horeb.  I started writing down the different jobs as I saw them taking place.  By the time I got finished I had listed over 35 different jobs.  Those 35 plus different jobs is what is bringing this ministry campus together in ways I never could imagine.  God is so big when we allow HIM to use us and our gifts to fulfill HIS calling and will for Mt Horeb.  It was humbling to watch each and ever person busily at work, laughing and sharing in God's glory!!!! 

Maurice, a team member shared on the first night could we have a devotional after lunch each day with the Honduran brothers and sisters.  What an awesome idea!!!  So we suggested this idea to Pastor Carlos who was all for it.  The first morning we asked Pastor Benjamin, ceramic tile guy, to do our first devotion.  We asked him around 8 o'clock and he was ready after lunch to share God's word.  Each day we asked someone to share a devotional.  Pastor Carlos, Ezekiel, Pastor Darwin, and Pastor Carlos closed out the last day.  Each day the "devotionals" lasted at least one hour.  I felt like I was in a revival celebrating God's greatness.  These guys can really share God's word and take it to a whole new level.  I as well as the other North Americans felt like we had been spiritually fed as well as physically fed at lunch time each day.  The Hondurans gathered around each day eagerly awaiting to hear God's word.  There is a couple of our friends who need Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Please pray with us as we pray for their salvation.  The awesome part of this story after the North Americans left the Hondurans continue meeting after lunch for an hour to have a devotional together.  All God's people said AMEN!!!!
 -" But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4

Enjoying the Culture

The team worked very hard on the dorms bathrooms but also enjoyed the time to fellowship and take siestas.  They learned how to sit and share in love with one another.  The beauty of God's creation embraces Mt Horeb.  The mountains surround the property with a gentle breeze which comes through quite often during the day.  As the team sat on the porch of the bodega/kitchen area daily they reflected on their week and all God is doing on Mt. Horeb.  The Hondurans on the property who stay there around the clock take such good care of the trees and flowers which are growing over the 36 acres.  Thank you God for dedicated workers doing the work YOU have called us to do.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
I Timothy 4:4

Serving the Physical and Spritual Water

Maurice is our gentle giant who serves and cares for everyone who works on the property.  Each day he set his alarm on his phone for every twenty five minutes and delivered either water or Gatorade to all the men working on the property.  Even the men who were working on the multi purpose building received the physical water of life.  They were blessed with a couple of cool days but there was some days Maurice up his rotation to sooner than 25 minutes.  This is a job we should appreciate on a team.  The guys never had to worry about getting thirsty because Maurice took his responsibility seriously and we are grateful for a job well done.

His lovely wife Penny brought the spiritual water to the people on the property in two different ways.  The project she brought was making the little pockets out of canvas and placing a cross inside the pocket with the plan of salvation.  Penny needed help a couple of evenings putting the blue yarn on the border of the canvas material.  Ron, Joel and Mike were willing to assist Penny in her project.  They were able to get about 25 to 30 of these completed. Penny gave them out at the dedication to each guy on the property.  Hopefully our friends who don't know Christ will keep this little cross close by their side as a reminder of who their true living water is: Jesus Christ.
Also Penny brought 12 bible studies on the book of John.  God placed on her heart she needed to bring 12.  I told  her in the beginning she needed to bring about 6 for the guys staying on the property.  But since we had done the devotional daily this week, Pastor Carlos decided to continue the time after lunch to be in God's word.  So he gave each man and the one lady a bible study of John and after lunch each day they share the book of John and the questions to their study.  There is 12 studies and there is exactly 12 folks who work there on a daily basis.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  God wanted all the people on the property working to have a study and Penny listened to what God called her to do, bring 12 studies.  Thank you God for leading Penny in the direction you would have her go and thank you Penny for listening to God's detailed directions.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16