Sunday, October 02, 2011

We are home

After 6 weeks of family and traveling in the USA, we returned to Honduras on the 24th of September. We hit the ground running and that is the way life in Honduras is. Just as an update, we are working on a number of ministry areas and projects. Today, I would like to update some of them and introduce others.
1. Casa de Esperanza is our home and where 19 beautiful kids live. We are working toward a small expansion in numbers - while we were gone, we added 2 new kids but, there was some issue between the mother, IHNFA, and the judge and they were taken back to the mother after living in Casa for about 2 weeks. It now looks like they will be coming back to live at Casa permanently however, in the true spirit of government work, the once completed paperwork must start over.
2. The Farm at Zambrano is progressing under the watch of Nathan Hale. Nate with several of our teams has completed more than 20 drip rows and is working toward getting electricity and fish tanks installed. Once built, we will be seeking employees from the dump to come and work with us.
3. Work at the dump continues and we feed every Wednesday, we support a minister that is doing a bible study with about 20 to 30 every morning at 9. We are also working to help any way we can with the school Amor, Fe, y Esperazna - this school educates children of the dump and teaches them about Jesus. We have agreed to help them with a scholarship for one of their students that is part of the first graduation in the 9 year old school.
The annual Jesus Banquet at the Dump will be on December 7.
4. We continue to work with the import and distribution of containers of food, clothing, and medical supplies. So far this year, we have imported 14 food containers - each with about 280,000 meals and a total value close to 1.5 million dollars. We have also imported another 12 containers of clothing and medical supplies with untold value. Right now, there are 2 containers waiting release - one of them has a new Cat Scan for the public hospital in Tegucigalpa.
5. We just purchased in partnership with Bread for a Hungry World, two pressed earth block machines. We are excited to begin using these valuable tools - one of the first projects will be in Campemento where we will build a village of eventually 200 homes, a feeding center, a church, and a school.
6. We are moving toward development of our mission house project. This place will house our mission teams and will support the planned development of another Casa campus.
7. We have begun discussions on developing water projects as a part of our ministry. Plans are to have a conference call in the coming days to formulate our strategy.
8. We still have 4 teams coming in the balance of 2011 and already have plans for 20 in 2012. New teams from Oregon and California are already making plans for next year.
We want everything we do to have Jesus in the middle of it. We want to be able to share the good news of the Kingdom to the people that need His Hope and are confident that when they see his good news in action, they will be receptive to hearing about what he can mean to them.
Blessings and thanks for keeping us in your daily prayer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 7

August 7 was circled on my calendar because that was the last day of summer Honduras Hope Teams.
Sad and glad!
Sad because we are empty of teams for a couple of months but, glad because August 7 meant a few days where we could wind down and relax a little. Working more than 100 days without taking any down time is hard on an old guy.
My job, the best in the world, is crazy during the season of mission teams. In 2011, our teams have been larger and we have participated in some amazing work, projects, and blessings. So far, we have worked with more than 360 people and we still have 5 2011 teams to go. Some of the highlights of the year follow:
367 people from all over the USA have come to work in Honduras. That is almost double the number for the same months of 2010!
We have build a lot -
65 wooden houses
3 block houses
1 adobe house
2 church buildings
2 sunday school classrooms
1 playground at the public hospital
1 feeding center and play area at a school in Ojojona
several roof projects
We have fed -
More than 13,000 meals have been served to the poor at the dump
More than 200,000 meals have been served in feeding center projects all around Honduras and more than 1,000,000 meals have been distributed to families through Manna Pack, Hunger Plus, and Bread for a Hungry World.
More than 3,000 families received fresh food from the farmers market
More than 1000 families received clothing, blankets, and other much needed supplies for life.
Medical teams have treated at least 1500 people.
We have taught VBS lessons to 1000+ kids
We have visited men in the Honduras National Prison more than 10 times.
We have grown close to the boys in a state run orphanage.
We have completed projects at Casa de Esperanza and loved on the Casa Kids
We have taught the Good News and have seen more than 25 people become Christians.

Wow! I am always amazed to report what has happened and I always forget some of the things we have been blessed to be a part of.
Terri and I head to USA on August 14 for time with family & travel to share our adventures with others. We hope to see many of you there.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

It is 5:40 In Honduras

Right now, the day is ending at the dump. Some of the many "non official" workers at the dump are trying to make their way home while others are already home. Life in the dump is one that I will not ever personally experience but, I have many many friends that don't know any different.
Today is Wednesday and we did what we do every Wednesday - we went to take some food to my friends. In the 3 plus years that we have been going into the dump, I have gone from being afraid to truly looking forward to being with my friends for a short time. I wish I knew the names of all of the people that know mine and call me their friend. My friends know that we will be there every Wednesday and I believe that they look forward to my truck rolling into the dump - not just for food but, because they know that people that really do love them will be with me. Sometimes, we just sit down and talk about what is going on in the darkness of a place that the uninitiated would be afraid of.
Today - May 4, 2011 we are working with Trey Morgan from Childress, TX and with Bread for a Hungry World - from Ft Worth, TX. We call this Dump Day. A day that we attempt to partner with many many people so that we can continue to feed, share, change, and perhaps deliver a ray of light - HOPE. It is 5:40 and we were just given a challenge - raise $5000 more and one donor will match with another $5000 and Bread for a Hungry World will match another $5000 - that is a $2 for $1 MATCH. Amazing isn't it. We are so blessed to be able to work in this ministry and even more blessed at the connections with others that our God has made possible,
Please consider this amazing opportunity to join us in our work in the Tegucigalpa Dump.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Giving on Dump Day

I am a lousy blogger. My friends that are good at this usually post something every couple of days and my usual style is to blog two or three times in a month and then - not do too well for a while. If you read this, thanks for being patient with me.
Next week is a very special one for the work we do here in Honduras. The 3rd annual dump day will be on May 4 and if history is an indicator of what the future holds, well, it will be an amazing Wednesday. Pondering Dump Day - pretty much on my mind all the time right now - I have come up with 10 reasons that participating is a good idea -
1. People are hungry - not just for food but for the loving hands that go to the dump to serve the food every Wednesday. Serving food with a smile, a hug, and a touch says - I Love You!
2. If we don't do this, who will? I really believe that God planned very specific tasks for us and I believe that this work in the dump is one that was planned for many of us. I am blessed to get to go to do the actual feeding but, I believe that the plan is to share the work with the many who give to make it possible.
3. Giving to feed some of the poorest of the poor will help all of us remember how blessed we really are.
4. People need to know that others love them - unconditionally. That is the same love that we faithfully know our father has for us.
5. Jesus told us we need to have the heart of a child - we teach our kids to share with others - especially if we have 2 cookies and another has none - share. Sharing is a heart thing - a learned behavior.
6. Dump day provides milk for babies, help for a day care center, medicines, clothing from containers, and HOPE!
7. The Jesus Banquet in December is paid for by Dump Day. In 2010, we fed 1200 an amazing meal of grilled steak, pork, and smoked sausage. We shared Christmas gifts with families. It was an amazing blessing.
8. You can afford it. When you count your blessings and realize that God gave you so much - ponder why. So you could have a bigger house, a very large TV, good stuff...or was it so you could learn to be generous like him?
9. My friends at the dump really do like the rice, beans, and tortillas that we share every week. In the summer, we plan to go as many as 3x each week. Lives are being changed.
10. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you have done for me. Feeding others is feeding Jesus - why don't you consider helping us on Dump Day and you can feed him every week for the next year?
Follow the day at Trey Morgan's Blog

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Own Nothing

Pride of ownership is something almost everybody in my generation grew up learning about. Owning your first bicycle that wasn't a hand me down. Owning first car, house, whatever - we were taught to be proud.
A few days ago I picked up a copy the annual Forbes Magazine that reports on the richest 400 people in the USA - this group of people is pretty unique in that the club that they belong to requires a net worth of at least one billion US dollars. That amount of money is just about impossible for me to imagine. It is one thousand times one million dollars. WOW. my guess is that there is a lot of pride of ownership among these 400 people and their families.
Near the end of the magazine there was about 4 pages dedicated to the memory of people that were removed from the list because they were no longer part of the living. Made me think - mostly a dangerous thing.
My thoughts were actually about how some of the rich might have felt compelled to protect their wealth and resources - for whatever reason, people generally feel compelled to do everything they can to protect what they have worked hard for - I mean it is only natural to fight for what is rightfully your own. Then, at the end of the day - none of it really matters because every one of us meets the very same end - although the vast majority of us never get our death notice in Forbes 400.
So, even though I am not a Bible expert, I can read and it is pretty clear that choosing to be a follower means that our entire attitude about the ownership of stuff and our attitude toward it should have changed or should be changing. The story of the rich young ruler tells it all. The story of the brand new believers in Acts tells about people that didn't consider anything they had as their own - if anyone needed help, the believers provided. They sold land, things, whatever needed to share. Pride of ownership gave over to humble serventhood.
What if we decide that we will actually live in a way that reflects these attitudes? Instead of claiming our price of ownership, we look for the everpresent opportunity to share everything we have. Trusting Jesus when he said that we don't have anything to worry about. He takes care of the birds of the are and cares for us so much more than that.
How much of our burden of the world would be released if we really do have the attitude "I Own Nothing". That is what Jesus himself said isn't it? Then Paul later told all of us, you should all have the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.
Give it up and Gain everything.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pet Peeves

My Claro satellite TV has the big USA networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, & Fox - much better than the last system that had none of these but, had some pretty decent news stations. This morning I turned the TV to watch some news and my choice for the day was ABC's Good Morning America. There is tons of newsworthy stuff happening in the world right now like the civil distress in Libia, the current oil price rise, the economy, etc. None of these things led the "news" on GMA, nope the lead story was about Charley Scheen and his problems. Unbelievable.
I really didn't stress too much about the failure of ABC to report the news but, it did make me think about some of those pesky things that end up being called "pet peeves". Some of mine are quirky and some - I think would bug anybody. Here in no certain order are 10 things that bug me enough to be called a pet peeve.
1. When people use "facts" that just haven't been checked for accuracy - that bugs me. For instance, a friend for years has said that an old church in Honduras is the oldest one in the west. An easy check on this showed me that the oldest church is in the Dominican Republic, not Honduras.
2. Similar to number 1, using statistics that logic would easily show were not correct. Recently somebody quoted a "statistic" about violent deaths in Honduras that - if true would have meant that about 1 out of 5 people would be dead in 3 years. Violence is bad but not that bad.
3. Bugs me when somebody smacks gum, or stands behind me and eats crunchy food. (quirky)
4. Arguing over things that don't make any difference - a peeve that I am trying to no longer participate in.
5. People that won't allow their friend the missionary pick up the tab at a restaurant.
6. Oil futures go up at 8 AM and gasoline prices go up at 8:01.
7. Oil futures go down at 8 AM and gas prices go down at 8:01 - three weeks later.
8. Holier than thou people that have never lifted a finger to help somebody.
9. Arrogance.
10. Greed
So, that is the list. What bugs you?
What doesn't bug me is living and working in Honduras. I am blessed with the best job in the world and today was another great day in Honduras.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Words & Thoughts

In January we were in Panama City, FL and I heard somebody use the words "professional Christian". It seemed to me that the context was not good - but when I thought about the way they sound, my feeling about the use was not too good. I guess that my first reaction would be that a "professional Christian" would be somebody that Does Christianity as a career - sort of an 8 to 5 thing. Or maybe a professional is somebody that is just in it for the money (not sure how this might apply to missionaries....haha). I really couldn't put my finger on the exacts of why I didn't like the sound of "professional Christian" but, I didn't then and I don't now. Well, I was ok with not liking the words but then it hit me that I am a missionary and work full time in a ministry - I could be one of the people that the bad sounding words were referring to. Hummmm...
On reflection, I have not changed my mind about the sound of the words "professional Christian". I do believe that paid or not, our claim of being a Christian is not a matter of "doing" but instead it is a matter of who we are. When I was in the secular work world, I never wanted to be defined by my job or my profession - I liked my work but, it was not the "who"of who I am. On the other hand, I do want to be defined by my relationship with Jesus - but, a personal claim of being a Christian is hollow if the way I live is not visible to the world we live in. Claiming to be a believer and living a life where nobody knows that Jesus is in there is nothing different than making a claim that you are a scholar and without knowing how to read.