Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ready To Go Home

I have travelled for most of the time that I was in the business world. Most weeks I was in several cities and usually I returned to my home and family on Thursday or Friday to rest for the weekend and start again on Monday. I don't miss any part of that life.
This month has been filled with a lot of people and places but, it has been completely different than the travels of my business life. We have spent the month sharing the work and the vision of the work ahead with so very many of our friends and family around the country. As we wrap up the final leg of this journey, we can look back at December 2007 with thanks and wonderful memories of the time we have been blessed to have with our partners in this work that our God has prepared for us to be a part of. Thank you to Jim and Donna for opening your house to us and for making sure that we know how much you love us and support our work. Thank you to Mary S for all that you do, thank you to the church in Fairview Heights for taking on the role as "sending church". We love you. Thank you Maria for your encouragement and for inviting us to meet with your church family. We are blessed to have you and your family as our friends and even more blessed that Jesus made you our sister. Thank you Clint for inviting us to spend a Sunday with your church family. We are looking forward to having you and your team in Honduras this summer. Thanks Tom and Lynn for having us in your home. I see Jesus in both of you. We are better because Kin and Donna are in our lives. You and your family are wonderful and we love you. Can't wait till April to see you in Hondo! Jerry and Sandy - you can't skip us this year. Don't wait for a group to come to Santa Ana. Thank you for your encouragement. Don & Cynthia - you really mean it when you say to make yourself at home. Thank you for your amazing hospitality. You were there when I started this Honduras work and you are partners that were hand picked by the God that we serve together. Others in Columbus are too numerous to mention - Billy, Don & Edna, Earl & Beverly, Wade & Gayle, Les and Phyllis, Wally, Pearly & Ginger, on and on. My Mississippi family is awesome in the constant encouragement. Starkville is no different - Wesley and Natasha, Terry and family, and so many others. Our new friends - brothers and sisters in Shamrock were so amazing and welcoming to Terri and I. We are blessed to know you. Thank you Borger for your love and your partnership in our work, Thank you Krug family, thank you elders and church family for all you do. Thank you Don and Sue and Rick and Janet for standing with us. Thank you Matt and Nicole, Nathan, Julia and Camille. We would be stretched if we didn't have our family standing side by side with us. Thank you Norma and Jana. We love you.
By the time Sunday is over we will have been blessed to have been with 10 different churches. Our goal has been to be able to speak and share the work with as many people and in as many places as possible. As usual, God's plan is always bigger that our own and He has blessed us with an amazing month. Now - we are ready to go home to Santa Ana to do the work that He planned for us - even before the beginning of time.
We are excited about the little pieces of the plan that we are already aware of. We know that there are great plans for Casa de Esperanza. We expect that we will be able to introduce you to several more children that have been rescued because of this "house of Hope". We have already seen some of the church growth plans that our God has planned for 2008. New buildings and sunday school classed are already funded so, I expect that our God is planning for new growth in the Honduras family. The AIM team is coming in May. We are leading 5 TORCH teams in 2008 and supporting 10 others. Interns, shipping containers, Clinic Bus, and many other plans are falling into place.
We are ready to go and do,
Be a blessing to somebody TODAY!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kinder in Oriental

For the past few years we have worked fairly often in a community called Nueva Oriental and renamed Mirradal Oriental - anyway, Oriental is a "squatter' community and is one of the poorest places on earth. It is also a community that is one of the happiest places on earth. The people that live in this little place are generally kind, they are often smiling, sharing, and they like to help each other. There are a lot of Christians in Oriental and the little church there is full every Sunday - last summer some friends from Mississippi built Sunday School classes and there are over 80 kids at church every Sunday. About three summers ago TORCH constructed 3 school buildings for the community and they are always in use - Oriental is a cool place.
Over this year I have met the mayor of the community and we have become friends. One of the things that the mayor has been consistent about is the need to build a "Kinder" in the community. In October he finally wore me down and I told him that I didn't know how we would do it but, we were going to get a kinder built for the 4 & 5 year olds of Oriental.
Now - because of great friends that love the Lord, this kinder is going to be built before the new school year starts back in February. Our God never stops amazing me. He is true and he answers our prayers. I know that the people of Oriental have prayed for this place and God is delivering an answer. In early January some friends and I will have the honor of building the Kinder in Oriental and I plan to be there on the first day of school to see God's little ones begin their school in a new place.
Be a blessing to someone today!

Friday, December 07, 2007

December Is Here

Last Friday we returned to the states for the month of December. We flew into Little Rock and were able to see our little Camille and our kids. Terri and Nicole cooked a great Thanksgiving feast and on Sunday we travelled to Illinois. In IL we were able to meet with the Fairview Heights church and many of our friends. Fairview Heights is our sending church and they are incredibly great to us. We are blessed. On Monday of this week we took care of all of the details necessary to lease our house and remove a lot of the pain associated with paying for a house that you don't live in. The lease is for three years and hopefully the market will be much better when the renters move out in 2010. (Thanks Shaws for opening your housed to us. We love y'all and are blessed to have you as friends.)
On Wednesday we met with friends and a church in Jacksonville, IL. It was great to be with Maria and her church family. Maria is also a great cook - fried okra! YUM.
Yesterday we continued our driving - Jacksonville, IL to Nashville, TN - by way of Henderson, TN. We met with the mission department at Freed Hardeman University to discuss intern opportunities and TORCH. We'll be in Nashville till Saturday and then we'll be off to Kingsport, TN where I will be meeting with a church there to discuss a TORCH team that they are developing.
The rest of the month looks like this -
Sunday the 9th in Kingsport
10 & 11 rest in Pigeon Forge, TN
12 & 13 in Atlanta with a TORCH group and Greater Atlanta Christian School
13 - 16 in Mississippi with Columbus and Starkville churches and friends.
17 & 18 in Searcy with kids
19 - off to Shamrock, TX to meet with the church there.
20 - 26 Borger, TX to be with family, eat, and meet with the church there.
27 - 31 in Seary to be with our kids and speak in Little Rock on the 30th.
Jan 1 - Back To Hondo
Busy month but necessary to involve as many as possible in ministry.
Pray that the roads will be safe and that I will drive a little different than Honduras.
Be a blessing to somebody TODAY.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

That's Dangerous

I hear the words "that's dangerous" more than I ever imagined. It is usually from locals in Honduras - when we are having a conversation about where we work. Particularly the communities where we work. It usually happens when somebody not familiar with the work we do begins to question what we are doing here. I tell them about the work and the next question is " where do you do all of this?". When I tell them that we work in communities with names like Los Pinos, Mirrador Oriental, San Migeal, Villa Nueva, Sector Ocho, or others the response comes back - "Wow, those are dangerous places."
When I first heard this, I was a little shocked because we are pretty careful about where we take people to work. We really do want to keep the people that we bring to the country as safe as we possibly can and we certainly don't want to introduce anyone to "danger". After "chewing" on this for a while, it occured to me that everybody does this - in the states, I spent 3 years driving past East St Louis. When I lived in California, I would drive past South San Francisco or Oakland. I never stopped there to see what the needs of the people were because in my mind those were "dangerous places". In fact - those are likely dangerous places...especially if you are caught up in the dangerous lives that some of the people that live there choose. The sad thing is, there are a majority of people living in those "dangerous" communities that are ignored and are left feeling hopeless because the people that God chose to deliver hope are afraid. I don't know how many times Jesus told us "do not fear". Our Great and Awesome God used these words with his own people all the time. Do not fear, I am God and I will be with you.
Jesus told all of us - "Go into all the world" and he didn't qualify that with "except for the places that you think are "dangerous". He just said GO. In John - just before his death on the cross, Jesus told the apostles that they would be in danger if they followed him. That is a promise that is made to all of us. Everybody is not going to love us if we are doing the will of our Savior.
This blog has been on my mind for a while and on Friday, it really hit me again. The reason is that we were planning to take a load of food to a place in the mountains called Morales. Morales is a destitute place about 2 hours from Tegucigalpa. Morales was hit by an earthquake about 6 weeks ago and the desperate people that live there are now in an even worse state. The community has been ravaged by the massive rainy season and that has been compounded by a series of earthquakes that has destroyed much of what was left of their meager homes. They are hungry. My friend that had planned to take us to Morales told me Friday that we couldn't go without security because "that's dangerous". We didn't get the security detail so, today - the day we had planned to go - we are home instead and the people are still hungry and desperate. This week I am determined that we are going to find a way to get food to Morales. We can't know about a situation this close to us and this desperate and not do something...... especially when we have a warehouse full of the food that they so desperatly need. I believe it is more dangerous to sit back in fear....dangerous to faith.
Do not fear and be a blessing to somebody TODAY!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Are you better at some things than anybody else that you know? I am!

I am better at getting dirty than anybody - with the possible exception of Nicole - that I know.

I discovered this "talent" when I started coming to Honduras more than 7 years ago. I was always dirtier than anyone else on any work crew - every day. I have always seemed to get completely filthy even if I am only on a work site for just a couple of minutes. Don't know why it is this way but I promise that it is true.

The picture here is of me working on the second container of food we unloaded last weekend. It is proof that nobody gets as dirty as me. The good thing about the dirt is that it really doesn't bother me - it all washes off and I get to start over.

For the past couple of days I have been working to build a table big enough so that all of the kids can eat together. As construction has progressed the number of workers wanting to help has increased. Today we were working on filling in some of the cracks with wood putty and it was siesta time - the kids that volunteered to work on the table didn't have to take a nap so - I had lots of help. Rudy, Yovani, Fitto, Pamela, Cindy, Marvin, Mario, & Bryan were all willing to sacrifice a nap to help me. They were so much fun to watch. We used all of the wood putty before we filled in all of the places that needed it so the table will need another day or two before we can paint it. I hope to have it ready for the TG feast by 1:00 on Thursday so that everybody can eat the feast together. It will be a treat to see the group all at the same table and I am sure that Terri will post the pictures.

Quick story about one of the kids - little Cindy. Cindy is 5 and she is a handfull. Cindy came from a place where the people that were supposed to love her didn't. Instead, they hurt her and they molested her - a lot. Cindy lived at Casitas Kennedy for a while - after the government removed her from her home. The people at CK thought she was possessed because she was so mean. We know now that she pulled hair and bit people because it was her way of defending herself from the people that she felt were a threat. Cindy still has a very difficult time at nap or bed time because that was likely when the people that hurt her did their evil stuff. Over the past year and particularly the past couple of months that I have been here full time, Cindy has become my little buddy. She is always wanting a hug or a kiss on the cheek. A couple of weeks ago she called me papa a couple of times and today she asked me if I would be her papa. Of course I told her that I would. I love little Cindy and I pray that she never feels dirty from the things that people in her past have done to her. I will do everything that I can to make her feel like a little princess. Pray for my new little hija.

Be a blessing to somebody Today!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Different

The past couple of days here have been reminders of just how different life and culture is in a third world country. Yesterday Terri and I did accomplish the task of ordering some cabinets from the "taller de madera" - the shop of wood. We were only confused about one question but quickly solved the question and in a couple of weeks we will have a place to put dishes and other kitchen stuff. We were pleased that our limited language skills have at least improved to the point of doing more and more on our own. I still have a difficult time understanding telephone conversations. Communication is different here.
In the afternoon we headed in to Tegucigalpa where we thought that the two food containers would finally arrive - they didn't. We found out that they were still in Puerto Cortez and were being held hostage until we paid the demurage fines and parking fees. It was a lot of money - because the shipper was late sending us the paper work necessary to complete all the Hondo requirements. The thing about paying the fee was that they wanted a certified check - no cash. I can go to a place called CoinSA and cash a check for as much money as I need but they don't issue cashier checks. We went to a bank that CoinSA recommended but the bank would not issue a cashier check without an account at the bank. They would make me wait days for the account to open - even if I deposited cash. The fines are accumulating at $150 a day - We finally decided to call on a friend with a local account and will use her bank to issue the check this morning and we hope to see the food here by tomorrow - sometime. Banking is different here.
I could feel sorry for myself because of some of the aggrivations but I don't have very far to look to realize that there is nothing in my life that can compare to the daily difficulties of many of the people that live here. On Tuesday I was heading to Teguc in the late afternoon to take Fitto to his counseling appointment. I was leaving at 4 which is the end of the work day for Dilcia, Rayna, & Elvia. I told them that I would give them a ride home and they were happy to accept. Elvia lives about 5 miles from here so her daily bus rides are not too bad. Dilcia and Rayna are a different story. These sisters live in the same neighborhood on the Valley de Angeles road. In miles it is probably 30 or so. In a truck - about 45 min. I asked Rayna how long the bus would take from Santa Ana to her house and she told me 2.5 hours. That's right - she and her sister are on a bus for 5 hours a day so that they can come here to work for not a lot of money. We pay higher than the minimum wage of L70 per day (about $3.50) but not that much. (Our workers start at L100 per day). I thought my commute was bad when I lived in LA and drove about an hour to work - 5 hours in a bus where you may or may not even have a seat. A bus designed for 40 people that often has 150 riders. If you have been here you have seen what I am talking about. Going to work is different here.
Every day we see people on the streets trying to sell something - cell phone car cords and chewing gum are big items for street vendors. These are the poor that are trying to eek out some sort of living. The kids on the streets often just ask for un limp para comera - 5 cents for food. Sometimes they want to wash your windshield. Yesterday I saw one of the youngest ever kids trying to wash windows. She was probably 5 years old and couldn't even reach the windows of most cars. She was in the middle of the street at one of the busiest intersections in all of Tegucigalpa - in the middle of rush hour. She told me she was hungry. Being a poor child is different in Honduras.
Be a blessing to somebody today.
Be the difference in somebody's life!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Six Billion

No matter how you look at numbers, a billion is a lot of whatever you are counting. A billion is one thousand million. I remember a joke once that described how big a billion dollars is - the guy said if you gave your wife a million dollars and told her she could spend $3000 a day and that she couldn't come back till the money was gone - she would be gone about a year...if you gave her a $Billion$ and the same instructions she would be gone about 1,000 years. A billion is a lot and when you count people, there are 6 billion of us on the planet.
Thinking about this creation that our God made and all of the people that are here is hard to comprehend. Just think about it. Our God knows all of us by name. He knows our thoughts, our needs, our joys, and our needs. From human terms, just saying the names of every human on earth would be an impossible task for any human - just saying one name every second would require 190 years to name the 6 billion people living right now. Impossible even to comprehend how a God could know all of us or even why he would care about our little problems or issues. But our great big God - the creater of the universe knows us better than any human. He knows our good stuff and all of the bad stuff. Knowing this He still loves us and listens to our crys - our prayers. He answers prayers and I am constantly amazed at the answers that he provides. Just lately, his answers have been unmistakable -
  • At Casa we were short of help. We prayed one day and within 24 hours there was answers that help was on the way. Karen's mom and one of her friends came for 10 days. Another volunteer emailed and said that she wanted to come for 2 months.
  • The van for the children's home has a transmisson problem that will cost more than $2000 to repair. We prayed and within days, a person that has never given to Casa sent me an email that he was sending a check for $2000 - that we can use for anything that we might need.
  • Pamela - one of the children at Casa needs an examination by a foot specialist and within days of praying, I met a Dr that specializes in surgery of feet and ankles. He agreed to see and treat Pamela for free.
  • Terri and I have prayed for something to happen with the sale of our house. Just last night we recieved and offer to lease our house for the next 3 years. Not a sale but definately and answered prayer.

This list could go on and on. Our God knows our names and has chosen us to be his adopted children. No longer orphans - since we are his children, he spoils us just like we do our own kids.

We are blessed and our Father wans us to share the love.

Go and be a blessing to somebody today. Be the hands and feet of God in an answered prayer. Look for ways to serve the creator of the universe.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Work Update

The past few weeks have been busy and I wanted to give you an update on the happenings.
- Just days before their arrival, our October TORCH group seemed to be falling apart. We had one lady that fell ill and another person had passport issues. The night before the group arrival, we had another person that was called to a major business meeting - our team of 8 went to 5 and Terri & I weren't sure how everything would turn out. Well, we shouldn't have worried. This little team was amazing. In our time together, we were able to build a couple of houses, provide a water connection to another home, work in a feeding center for children, visit in the hospital, work with the kids at Casa, and many other things. Lives of the people here were touched and lives of the team were changed. Upon leaving, the group from California told us that they had a person in their church that wanted to give $1000 to needs that were seen while they were here. The list that was decided upon will be a blessing to many - the first of the list included help for bringing water to the home of one of the Casa workers. We were able to put about 300 ft of water line from the main line to the house while the group was here and the money will help our worker get a storage tank and a pila. The second use of the money will be to help another of our workers with adequate bedding. We found out that our worker had her whole family sleeping on one bed - five people on one refular size bed. The money will provide for a new bunk that will mean that no more than 2 people will share a bed. There is MORE! The church in Los Pinos is feeding about 100 kids every Sunday. The cost is about $25 per week and the group is providing enough funds for 16 weeks. That $400 is enough for 1600 meals for children! That's not all - there was also money left for our kids at Casa to all get new shoes. We are planning to make this an outing where we all go to pick the shoes and then go to the Pizza Hut for food and fun. Thank you Walnut Creek Church of Christ.
- In other news, we needed to clean the warehouse so that we could be prepared to receive 3 containers. My friend Timoteo told us of needs in the southern part of the country where floods had ravaged many families and homes. We were able to load and ship a full truckload of food and clothes for the families in Chuloteca. More than 100 families were helped.
- One container arrived while the group was here and we are STILL waiting for the other 2 food containers to be released from "Custom Hostage". We really expect the release to happen today or tomorrow. The good news is that there is more than 100,000 pounds of food on these containers.
- We have been at the church in Los Pinos for the past three weeks. The first Sunday was with the group, the next Sunday was one where the youth group was presenting the service and we were asked to please be there, and this past Sunday we had people leaving immediately after chruch and we needed to be in town. Los Pinos is doing well. The church is strong and growing. There are men that have taken on leadership roles and this church is a light in the community.
- In Santa Ana, the church is going through a period of transition. Our friend Noel and his family have decided to move closer to family and will be leaving soon. Dorian - the husband to be of Karen Vaughan is now preaching at Santa Ana. Dorian is working in the community and is excited to be in this work. He will be assisted by students from Baxter. The church is averaging 45 to 50 adults and about the same number of children.
- Last week we were blessed to have the director of Adventures in Missions - part of the Sunset School- here. He brought one of the instructors with him and we were able to show and discuss much of the work and the vision of our ministry. The AIM students were choosing their mission locations last night so- hopefully we were on enough students lists that we will be getting a team. If we get a team, they will be here in May and will stay for about 20 months. Our plan for a team would be for them to work with TORCH Teams in the summer, work with the mobile clinic, work with the youth groups in Santa Ana and Los Pinos, and work in teaching bible classes to the women in the Mi Esperanza program.
- We have been working to develop more August to May TORCH teams and all of this seems to be coming together. More summer teams are coming as well. So far we have added teams from the University of Alabama in March, Atlanta in April, a new team from Kansas in late May, and a team from Kingsport , TN in July. We also just found out that the campus group from Mississippi State will be joining our original July team. These are all in addition to the other teams that will be coming in the summer.
2008 will be a busy time for TORCH. - I just about forgot- the new team from Kansas has already raised the money for a new church building in Rio Hondo as well as for building a new house.
- This week - if the weather clears up, Dorian and I are going to start building a chicken coop for the kids at Casa de Esperanza. Neither of us has a clue what we are doing but, we are hoping to be chicken farmers in a few weeks. We see this as a great way for the kids to begin to develop work routines and responsibilities. Additionally, we would like to harvest eggs and dinner. Maybe we can start Col Sanchez fried chicken down here!
- Terri and I will be in the states in December and have scheduled a lot of meetings and speaking. Our travels will take us to Little Rock, Fairview Heights, IL; Springfield, IL; Nashville, Kingsport, TN; Atlanta; Columbus, MS; and TX. Of course we will also be in Searcy to see the kids and Camille.
I guess that that is the Update for now -
Be a blessing to somebody today,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Real Nightmare

My whole previous career was one that required a lot of travel - mostly by plane. As you know, there isn't much room to work on an airplane so I ended up reading alot. Several years ago I read most of Stephen King's novels - I later quit reading his stuff because I believe that he just crosses the line. Anyway, if you have ever read some of the more disturbing of King's work, then you probably know what I mean.
Yesterday, I experienced something much worse than anything King has ever imagined - only this was real life. About 10:30 yesterday morning, I was asked to help take an old man to the hospital. It seems that he had fallen and our clinic was not able to help him with the more intense care that his injuries required. He had severly injured his head and one of his eyes. It also appeared that he had a broken wrist. He fell because sharp pains in his stomach had doubled him over. His name is Pastor and he is 76.
Pastor's family asked me to take him to Hospital Esquala - to the emergency room. We drove as fast as we could to get there and arrived in about 30 min. The emergency room wasn't clearly marked and nobody from the hospital met us with a cart or wheelchair. We carried Pastor into the hospital and the staff started looking for a place to lay him down. The treatment area where we ended up was one with an old broken emergency room bed with no mattress. The bed had not been cleaned and there was dried blood from other patients. The staff never once checked Pastor's blood pressure, never once listened to his heart, never once took his temperature. We were there for an hour and a half before anybody ever looked at the wound on his eye. That wound took more than 20 stiches to close up. The hospital offered the old man absolutely no dignity. He was forced to endure a 3 inch incision in the middle of his stomach with no pain meds. We had to go to the pharmacy to buy a suture kit before they could stich up his eye. I was asked several times to be the assistant to the attending DR. Even pushing the cart into surgery.
I can't list all the scary things that I witnessed yesterday because there are too many and because many are too graphic to describe. My intentions are not to be critical of Hospital Esquala either. The very limited resources that are there are utilized in the best way that is possible. The point is that there are likely billions of people in this world that will never see adequate health care. When we as Christians know about some of these places, it is our responsibility to everything in our ability to make it better. It is simply a matter of faith - the kind of faith that won't let you sit on something - instead it bugs you to the point of doing.
Please pray for Pastor. I don't yet know if he lived through the night.
Be a blessing to somebody today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Measure The Cost

Have you ever made a quick decision that eneded up costing a lot more than you could have imagined?
On Friday my mom called to tell me that my USA cell phone bill had arrived - (we had our mail forwarded to her address) - she said that she would open it to make sure that all was well and would even pay it if necessary. Well, she called me back about 5 min later to tell me that the bill was over $500! What! NO WAY! It was supposed to be like $39 plus taxes - somewhere less than $50. I was sure that it could not be correct.
Yesterday we were in Tegucigalpa to work in the warehouse and take care of other biz and Terri was able to use the internet phone at the Mi Esperanza house to call ATT or Cingular or whoever our bill came from. They told her that my phone was used in Honduras on October 1, 2, & 3. I said - there you go! We were in Copan at language school and I didn't even have my USA phone with us. It was in my house where Luis was keeping Skillet - oooooooooo, that's the answer isn't it. My phone was with Luis! I called my 19 year old friend and told him that I needed him to be 100% honest with me and asked, "Luis, when I was in Copan, did you use my cell phone?" I already kned what the answer was going to be and he answered honestly "Yes, why?"
The answer that his phone calls were over $400 was a shock to say the least. He was speechless and immediately volunteered that he has over $100 saved and would give that to help now. We have agreed that Luis can work the cost of the mistake off and I am confident that he will.
All this got me to thinking about the cost of so many of our decisions - some good and many bad. I don't need to list the cost of many of the simple quick decisions that can end up bad we know what they are. On the other side of the coin - I wonder if we were given a view of the cost of our good decisions if we would go in the same direction? I know that our hindsight tells us weather or not we made good moves but, if we could see into the future when we made even a good decision - would we make the same call?
When people decide to become parents - they can't look ahead and see many of the things that will happen to make you second guess that decision - like the teen years. If they could - would they make the same decision?
When Jesus asked the guys on a boat to come with him and become fishers of men - would they have gone if they knew that they would suffer and die for the cause of Jesus? I know that they were more than willing at the end to die for Jesus but - would the answer have been the same in the beginning? I don't know?
If I could have looked ahead when I decided to make a "short term" mission trip to Honuras and seen that Terri & I would be living here - would I have still gone on the first trip?
The answer to all of these questions is impossible to know - but I do know this - parents of teens would never send them back - even on the toughest day, the apostles were more than willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Jesus, and I have the best job in the world.
Terri and I are so blessed to be here - even on the days when we are frustrated with some of the day to day things that are different than the good ol' USA. (like trying to get a drivers license yesterday - I had the "shortcut" plan and still saw 14 people and spent 3 hours)
All is well here. We have our own bed now. I have my comfortable sofa and Terri has her pillow.
Be a blessing to somebody TODAY.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Work Update

Terri & I drove back from Copan on Saturday. We spent 2 weeks in language school and attended a 3 day conference on medical and children missions in Honduras. There are lots of people here working to help the people of Honduras - we met 2 couples that are working to start new children's homes - one in the La Cieba area and one in the mountains about an hour out of San Pedro Sula. The needs of the children are great.
Our week at home is busy as we prepare the warehouse for the arrival of 3 containers. We have one that is filled with medical supplies - over $250,000 worth - and our stuff. We will be very happy to see our bed! There are 2 containers filled with about 120,000 pounds of Tuna, chicken, and other canned protien. We will use a bunch of this at Casa de Esperanza and many communities will be sharing in this shipment as well.
We are also working this week on several other things like preparation for the TORCH group that will arrive on Saturday, registering vehicles, repair work at Casa de Esperanza, etc. Terri will begin work on the Casa books and the day to day financial reporting necessary to maintain our not for profit status - here and in the states.
Please continue to pray that our house in Illinois will sell SOON.
Be a blessing to somebody today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My dog skillet was a pain to get into Honduras. It isn't unusual to start asking questions about how to get something done and get as many different answers as you ask people. That was the case in getting my dog into the country. I finally narrowed all the paperwork down to an international travel certificate that would be issued by a vet, an additional rabies certification, and a letter from Skillet's vet indicating all the shots etc were current. I called the Honduran officials in Chicago and they said and i quote, "with all this, you will have no problems getting your pet through customs. When I arrived, Skillet had been in his kennel for about 6 hours. People on the plane told me that they could hear him barking during the flight and he was definately ready to get out of the box to go and take care of his business.


The agriculture official asked me where the local vet was? I asked him "HUH!"

He said that it was required in Honduras to which I replied that nobody outside of the country seems to know this.... I didn't argue - I just asked him if he knew one close by that could come and get my dog out of customs hostage. The customs ag guy was nice and he helped me get a vet and within an hour Skillet and I were on our way to our new home. Skillet has quickly adapted to his new environment - why shouldn't he. He has moved into the house and likes to sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed. He has a bunch of kids to play with him - all the time. He gets to walk with the guards during the time when I am in town and he is - well he is now a spoiled pooch. Good for him!

Katty in particular loves Skillet. She likes to ride on his back and Skillet doesn't seem to mind at all. He is gentle with the kids and they all run to see him whenever he is around.

Be a blessing to somebody TODAY!


Monday, October 08, 2007

What's In A Name?

The other day I was driving down a Honduras Superhighway (a wide dirt road). Not many cars were going in either direction so it was easy to notice the ones that did pass. One that has stuck in my mind was an old Ford Pick-up. There was nothing special about the old Ford that made me remember it - it was what was on it that makes me laugh out loud. On the front grill of this truck was the emblem of a Mercedes. You know the one - the circle with the three lines that are instantly recognized as the trademark of a maker of expensive cars. The emblem on the old Ford didn't fool anyone - not a chance of it.
Over the weekend Terri & I were out to eat and I saw three guys walk into the resturant - all of them with different t-shirts that would indicate that they were on a mission trip or at least had been a part of one at one time or another. It was sad to see all of them head straight to the bar and start drinking. These guys made me think of the old Ford with the Mercedes emblem on the front. Now I am not trying to judge anyone's heart in this - I only have the judgement that our God gave me to descern what it is that I am observing. It just doesn't seem like it would be the right thing to do - wear a shirt that proclaims yourself to be "servant" and then not acting any different than the world around you. Reminds me of seeing some road rage coming from the people with the "fish" image on the back of the car.
I pray that I will never embarass Jesus by wearing his name into a place that will bring him shame. I pray that my life will be his reflection.
Be a blessing to somebody TODAY!

Ps: I forgot to mention my friend Carrie. We have studdied together for several years and the week before I came to Honduras she called to see if I could come to NW Arkansas to baptize her. It was an honor to have her ask me to be there and to be able to baptize her was incredible. She is a part of the campus group at UA and there were about 75 students at the river. It was such a nice place and cool experience it almost made me want to get baptized again - right there.
Pray for Carrie and her new walk with Jesus.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

School Days

I remember why I didn't go on to grad school. Learning is hard! Especially when the subject is one with lots of RULES and memory work. That defines my Spanish school. RULES and more RULES. I wish I had paid more attention to all the rules of English and that would probably help me with the ones that I am trying to learn now.
The school here in Copan is very good. Terri and I each have our own teachers and we are learning at our own pace- this is a good thing. I really thought I knew a little of the language before I started here - now I'm not so sure. About every other day, I feel really stupid and then the next day it gets a little better. I think I am learning.
Copan is an amazingly beautiful place. It is just a few km from Guatamala on the western side of Honduras. Getting here was an adventure in itself. Terri yells that story on her blog at If you haven't read her story about the trip here - you should.
Our time here has been a blessing and a time to prepare our minds and bodies for all the work that God has planned for us. We are looking forward to getting back to Santa Ana so that we can get things in order for the small team of workers that will be coming on the 20th. There are about 10 coming from a mix of California and Illinois. We will be doing a bit of everything that a TORCH Team does - on a smaller scale. Our plans are to build houses, work at the hospital, teach, work at Casa de Esperanza, work with some of the new churches, distribute food, and many other things. Pray for the work and for the workers that will be coming.
Be a blessing to someone today!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Terri was on time yesterday!
She left Little Rock at 5 something so that meant that she was up at 2:30. Needless to say she was tired when she arrived. I kept here busy for a while as we needed to meet with people about getting a few things done to our house, we had to meet with the lawyer to discuss becoming residents of Honduras, and we had to go to our warehouse so that we could make room for a container that will arrive in about a week or so. Our stuff is shipping out of Gulfport today so - if the ship doesn't sink, we will have our own bed in a couple of weeks. We got rid of lots of stuff but - my pillow top bed wasn't one of them!
Our plans for the next weeks incude 2 weeks of intensive language school and a conference in Copan. We will leave after church in the morning for the 250 mile dirve to Copan - about 3 miles from Guatamala (did I spell that right?). I'll be unloading the container on the 15th and we will spend the rest of the week preparing for a small group coming from Illinois and California. From the 20th to the 27th we will have a TORCH group of about 10 building, feeding, teaching, and just serving the people of Honduras. Please pray for this. While you are praying - please pray that our Illinois house will sell soon. Today would be soon enough!
Terri & I want to thank all of you that keep us in your daily prayers. Please pray that we will see what God has planned for us to do and that we will follow his plan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random Happenings

On Thursday afternoon, the youth group from Santa Ana joined others from the Teguc area for a seminar at Baxter. Travelling 16 miles to spend 3 nights in a crowded dorm room wouldn't likely get too many kids from the states excited but - these kids don't get more than a mile or two from home very often. There were 15 or 16 from Santa Ana. I went to Baxter Friday afternoon to see some friends and there were about 200 - 300 teens at the seminar. Los Pinos alone brought 27. It is great to see that the seeds planted over the past couple of years has done for these two communities. More than 15% of the seminar came from churches that were not here just a few years ago! (By the way, there were 8 teenagers that chose to accept Jesus as their savior and were baptized at the seminar.)
Speaking of new churches, we have already begun the planning for a church plant in Rio Hondo (pronounced RRRio Ondo in Spanish). People here are excited about this plan. Stay tuned.
When I arrived on Thursday, there was a group of dentist at our clinic. This brigade is working to change the practice of extraction into restoring teeth. Some of the work done was amazing. This team of 3 dentist worked tirelessly for a week - averaging between 25 & 30 patients each per day. This compares to 10 to 12 average per day in the states.
I met with one of the dentists at the end of the day to have him take a look at a lump that had grown into my bottom lip. He said that it wasn't anything to worry about but, I should get a Dr to look further and perhaps have it removed. Well, I asked a friend about a possible Dr in honduras that could help me with this. Yesterday morning on my way into Tegucigalpa, my friend Gina called to tell me that I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon in 30 min. No time to think about it means no time to worry. I met with the Dr at 9:30 and by 10:15 the problem was removed and I now have 6 stiches and a fat lip. All is good - the problem was clogged salivary glands. Removing the problem glands removes the issue. Can you imagine having minor surgery from a plastic surgeon in the states for $75.00?
Yesterday we didn't get rain until after 7:00 pm - maybe one day we will not have any rain. The 10 day forecast is for rain for the next 10 days. Anyway, because it didn't rain early, we were able to take the kids on a walk to a pulperia. It was great to see how important it is to hold hands.
I am sad to report that Luvin has run away. This wasn't the first time that he has done this and because of the need to maintain a stable home for all of the children, we will not be able to let Luvin come back. Please pray for this little boy. He is so smart and it is sad that he cannot accept authority and is not willing to be loved.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hondo Home

I arrived in Honduras today with my dog Skillet. Taking a dog to a 3rd world is an adventure in itself - a whole new story will come later about that.
Arriving at Casa de Esperanza on the day it became my new home is difficult to describe. Exciting would be one description - aprehensive - a little fearful - but definantly happy to be here. The kids are great - everyone ran to give hugs & kisses, smiles, donde esta es Nicole y Matt? All the questions. Hold me, no me - it's my turn - Tonight Bryan insisted that I sit beside him for dinner. I am blessed. As for Skillet, he is doing rounds with the night guard so - hopefully he will be tired and sleep tomorrow. My bags ddin't make it so, I wilbe back in Teguc to (hopefully) pick them up and take care of other things like securing a mailbox and other things. I plan to go over to Baxter where there there will be more than 500 local teens at a youth seminar. Thanks to several donars, there are about 15 kids from Santa Ana attending the seminar. I saw all the teens as they were leaving this afternoon and they were all smiles. Good Stuff!
Terri will be travelling to Texas tomorrow to see her mom and other family and will be making the trip to Teguc next friday. Pray for her safety on the road.
I plan to post updates on the work as often as possible.

Monday, September 10, 2007

10 Days

In 10 days I'll finally be Honduras. I will be travelling on the 20th of September and Terri will be down a week later. The house is almost completely empty and we are both excited to be at this point of the move. As soon as Terri arrives, we will be heading off to Copan for a couple of weeks of language school and to attend a conference for medical and children's mission work that focuses on Honduras. There will be about 120 to 15o folks attending the conference. I will be speaking at the conference on the second day - please pray for that.
Before we leave, we are going to head to TX so that we can meet with the AIM - Adventures In Missions class of 2008. That will also give me a chance to see the folks and my brother before I head out next week.
Terri & I have been truly blessed by a bunch of people and congregations that have made it possible for us to go to Honduras to serve. I am amazed at how our God has put all of this together and how he has introduced us to so many wonderful people that have stepped up to join our team. Our God is Good - All the time.
Just one example of this happened yesterday. I was asked to speak to the Central Church of Christ (what a great bunch of Christians) and after the lesson was approched by a man that tells me that he wants to help build a new church building. It was just last week that I began to discuss the potential of a church plant in a community called Rio Hondo and now - the answer seems to be clear - The man from Topeka said that they would likely write the check before the end of the year. That is pretty exciting isn't it.
I will update the work in Honduras as soon as I land next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blog Invasion & News

Since I have been in the states - somebody has been attacking my blog. I have it set up so that any new post to my blog is emailed to me. Well, for the past few days, I open my email and find that I have made a new post in the middle of the night - when I thought I was asleep.........
The new postings are strange and mostly some sort of advertising - I sign in and delete them.
The inconvenience doesn't agitate me as much as the fact that there are people out there in cyberspace that actually take the time to figure out how to get into a place that belongs to somebody else. I don't understand the how's and certainly don't understand the why's.
This little place on the internet isn't special and there likely aren't more than a couple of hundred people that regularly read it ...... Oh well. I have made a few changes and hopefully this will cure my invasion. If you open this space and see anything but a "BLOG" please ignore it and please don't open up any attachments. I really believe that the invasion came from my email so - if you have recieved any "advertising" emails from me or things that look like "pass alongs" I didn't send them - the person that invaded my computer did it. No es mi culpa!
Good things have been happening on the work front -
Since we have been home, we have news that we now have a bus that will be converted into a Mobile Clinic! The bus is in Mississippi right now and my friend Wally Sweedenberg and his son are repairing all the bugs - from there the conversion will begin. The plan is to have two exam tables and one chair that can combo for dental or eye care. Hope to ship the bus down in early spring!
More good news! The AIM (Adventure in Missions) program in Lubbock approved our application for a team. The class of 2008 will graduate in April and 3 to 4 grads will be joining us - specifically to work with the Mobile Clinic. The medical staff will treat physical needs and the AIM team will work with Spiritual needs.
Other news - Terri & I will be travelling to Mississippi this weekend to take care of bus business, banking for Casa & TORCH, & joining the Tupelo church on Sunday night for their kick off for TORCH.
I have also been asked to preach and teach in Topeka, KS on the 9th of September. Please pray for this. The Central Church is about 500 strong and is interested in our ministry - especially TORCH.
Be a Blessing!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

TORCH Summer Summary

What a summer in Honduras. I arrived on June 11th - a short week after Nicole's wedding and there was already a TORCH team working. The Mark Connell / Larry Sawyer group arrived about a week before me and they had already been very busy building, feeding, teaching, and - well, just being the hands and feet of Jesus. This team was a mix of folks from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. This group was about 60 strong and didn't quit until it was time to go home. This is also the team that had been the "trainers" for three of the four men that I was blessed to work with for the summer - Bret Flannery & Andy Sawyer are from Louisville and cousin Stephen Sawyer is from Indiana. Bret just graduated from Lipscomb and Stephen and Andy are seniors at Harding. (My other work partner was Andy Hubright from Lipscomb). These guys are the best TORCH Builders that I have ever worked with! (my groups have built over 180 houses so - I've seen a lot of builders)

Anyway, the Connell/ Sawyer team built about 16 houses and packed out several tons of food. This team - as usual also worked right in the heart of the rainy season - so almost every day on the mountain- it rained - (drops as big as small cars) - and rained, and rained.

In the midst of the second week of the Connell/ Sawyer team, a group of 35 from Ohio - led by Donna (Dynamo) Brothers. This group of 100% first-timers worked nonstop for the 8 or so days that they were in Hondo. Donna - assisted by Jen Wright led this team in building more than 10 houses, delivering about 5 tons of food, teaching and loving 100's of kids, touching the lives of even more children at several of the area children's homes, and many other projects.

Right on the heels of the Brothers team, the combo groups of Gayle Davidson - Melbourne, FL & Mark Halbert of Tupelo, MS - This group of 100 came to work and work they did! There were multiple house building teams, medical teams, VBS groups, food distribution groups, and many great things were done in a bunch of comunities. Here are the numbers - there were 19 houses and 2 Sunday School Classrooms constructed, there were at least 5 days of medical clinics in many communities including - Santa Ana, San Migual, and others. More than 1000 people were treated for their medical needs by this team. This team also delivered about 18,000 pounds of food to really hungry people, they led 1000's of children in VBS, there were 100's of visits to children in hospitals, and the lives of both Honduran's and the mission team were changed forever.

As soon as the group from Florida/ Mississippi departed, we were blessed to have the team from the Campus Church in Atlanta. This small group was amazing in both their willingness to work and the love that they showed to the people of Honduras. Led by Kin & Donna Ellis, the 18 folks started their week by building a home for a young mother and her 8 day old baby. What a blessing to see this team work through the day in a total downpour to make sure that a baby could live in a warm dry place. This smaller team spent other days at children's homes, in Hospital Esquala, at the special needs orphanage, and working in communities where the needs are impossible to describe. Everywhere they went, they were a blessing to the people they met and they were blessed in return. This group delivered food to more than 4oo families and also helped two children's homes with food supplies.

Before the Ellis Team was on their way to Roatan, the first of the two Terry Reeves teams arrived. I was personally blessed by this first team because they arrived on the same day that I needed to finish closing out our old warehouse and moving it to our new warehouse. The Reeves group sent in an army of workers to help with this nasty-dirty-stinky project and we knocked it out in a short 4 hours. This team also rescued us by arriving just in time to unload a massive container - (it just happened that it was the Reeves container and it could be that the timing of the release from customs was arranged so that it had to be unloaded on the date that the Reeves team arrived....could be?) Anyway - the 60 folks from Terry's team arrived over a 3 day period and - once on the ground, they focused on work in children's homes, in hospitals, in food distribution, VBS, and in construction. This team built 5 houses, they distributed more than 20,000 pounds of food, blessed 1000's of kids - and all of this in only 6 days. The team was only in Tegucigalpa for this short time as they also planned work in Southern Honduras. Down south, the team worked in laying concrete in the floor of a new church building, in medical clinics, in building a massive playground for children at the new church, in VBS, and in touching and changing the lives of everyone that they came into contact with.

Terry Reeves - Part 2 arrived next. This team came from Columbia, SC and was about 45 strong. There is one part of this team that loves to dig footers and lay concrete and for 8 days, that is what they did. A new day care facility is being constructed in San Miguel and everyday at 7 AM a group of gringo's went to work mixing concrete (HONDO Style). It is painful to think about the sore muscles that were part of life for this group. While the concrete was being mixed and poured - the rest of the team was building houses, delivering food, treating the sick, teaching about Jesus, and serving others. This team built 4 houses, delivered over 20,000 pounds of food, held clinics that treated over 1000, and worked to change the lives of everyone that they met.

Toward the end of the work for Reeves II, my team from all over the country came in. We were blessed to be able to share meals, devotionals, and the mission house with the group from SC for about 3 days. The Tindall team was about 87 strong and came ready and loaded for work. We were sent out every day as builders, comforters (at Hospital Esquala), teachers - in VBS & evangelism, feeders (packing and distribution of food), and in many other ministries. The team had 2 to 4 people working and staying at Casa de Esperanza every day, there was at least 8 team members that dedicated their day to being Jesus for the kids at the hospital - every day. The builders finished 21 houses and continuing into the next team - finished the 24 that were the goal. (More houses from this team will be built in September when I am permanently in Hondo) There were 28 baptisms that resulted from the work done by the evangelism part of this team. More than 12,000 pounds of food was deliered to hungry families. Work was done in more than 6 different communities. Medical teams treated more than 1000 in the 5 days of clinics - many in places where people hadn't seen a doctor in years - if ever. Everyone on this team was a blessing and was blessed by the work that was accomplished.

The last group of the season arrived on July 28th - from the Lexington Church in South Carolina. The group of 18 was led by Tom Gilroy and all but one or two were first timers. It is always great to be with first timers in Honduras and to see them open their eyes to the needs of the "real world" ... to see their faces with they look into the eyes of the children and see Jesus looking back at them. It is amazing to see the tears flow from the eyes of the tough guys when they stand to pray with a family that has a new house - only because our God chose these "tough guys" to come to Honduras to be a part of an answered prayer. I like to take first timers to Hospital Esquala to see their reaction to the children that lie in the cancer ward or in the area of the hospital where the kids were found to be starving to death.
I saw all of this with the Lesington Team and I saw my friend Jesus in them and the way they reacted to the people and the needs that they came to serve. This team built 3 more houses and delivered more than 6,000 pounds of food to some really hungry people. They showed the compassion of Jesus, they touched lives and their own lives were touched in return. As a matter of fact, 2 members of the same family - Sasha & Demi Lane both saw Jesus very clearly and both confessed his name and were baptized. Pray for them as they begin their walk.

I would be remiss if I didn't also commend the Spring Break team from Belpre, Ohio - about 40 strong. This team built more than 10 houses and worked in many areas. Led by Jennifer Wright (director of Casa de Esperanza) the team fed, taught, loved, and blessed many many people from both Honduras and the Ohio.

The year has seen more than 475 TORCH Team members in Honduras. (Terry Reeves also led a team of 30+ to Brazil and several of his first group travelled to El Salvador.) Our teams this year have distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food, they have treated more than 3000 in medical clinics, they have built at least 95 houses and Sunday School classrooms for 2 different congregations, There have been 100's of visits made to childen in the hospial, children's homes were a part of every groups ministry, VBS happened almost every day of the summer, countless numbers of people studied the gospel and 28 people chose Jesus to be the Lord of their lives.
Our God is an AWESOME GOD!
It has been a great year in Honduras.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


A great thought for today! This is an absolutely incredible interview with Rick Warren, author of "Purpose Driven Life." His wife now has cancer, and he now has "wealth" from the book sales. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:
"People ask me, "What is the purpose of life?" And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body--but not the end of me.I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.No matter how good things are in your life, there is alwayssomething bad that needs to be worked on.And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain."But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder.
For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book
sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness?Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD. "

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Good Tired

I'll admit it. I am tired.
Since coming to Honduras on June 11th, I haven't been able to take a full day off and most of the days are from 5:30 AM to about 10:00 to 10:30 PM. I'm tired but it is a really good tired.
I have been blessed to be a part of amazing ministry this summer. God has introduced me to some true servants and allowed me to work shoulder to shoulder with them.
I have learned a bunch of Spanish and am now to the point of feeling totally inadequate - I know just enough to know how little I do know........ I am anxious to be able to take two or three weeks of language school in the fall.
The work here is growing and that too could be overwhelming - I am learning to look at individuals and what we are able to do - one soul at a time and that makes it easier.
I am blessed with the best job in the world and would like to thank all that are participating.
I'll be posting a full report for the work of the summer next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Month ONE

Yesterday was the one month anniversary of coming to Honduras. I now have the best job in the world and in a week, it will only get better. Terri will be here with 85 of my closest friends and will be staying until I return on August 5th. I have missed having my wife here and am blessed that we enter this ministry together. Since we made this decision in February, Terri has been 100% comitted to making this her life work.
The past month has flown by and I will be writting a complete summary of the events of all of the TORCH Teams sometime after August 5th. Just know that there are 100's of people of all ages that have experienced a lifechanging time during the work that is happening in Honduras. Removing yourself from the traps of the world is exactly what it takes for many of the changed lives to come face to face with their Savior. Many see Jesus in Honduras and for a lot of people, it is the first real face to face experience that they have ever had. I was blessed to see Jesus face to face this afternoon. My interns and I went to a village called Villa San Francisco to build a house for a friend of Hannah Sawyer (sister of one of my interns). When we finished the house I looked into the eyes of Jesus - he told us that "whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!" I saw Jesus in the eyes of the lady that has a new house and in the eyes of her children.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tough Decisions

When you are on a mountain and there are hundreds of houses that could easily be replaced, you can think of the "Starfish Story" and be somewhat satisfied that you did indeed help one family at a time. The one big difference between people in need and starfish is that the starfish on the beach aren't running up to the guy helping them and pleading to be the next starfish that is saved. Since coming to Honduras a month ago, I have become the person on the mountain that makes the house decisions - this is the toughest thing that I've ever done. I pray every night that God will help me make the right decision. In Nueva Oriental last week there were no less than 20 people that handed me written requests to be considered for a new house. Somehow my old (and now lost) cell phone number fell into the hands of the mountain and one day I had 40 or more phone calls. I hope that the person that stole my phone isn't mean to the people that call him asking for a house.
How, how, how - is anyone supposed to know which family is more deserving than another? I pray that this is the wisdom that God promised - if we ask for it. I'm asking!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Smiles, Giggles, & Wiggles

Yesterday was a first for many people. I had talked to the leader of the Atlanta team that is working here for the next week and asked if they would be interested in taking a youth group from one of the mountains to dinner & a movie. We agreed that in spite of the language barrier, the idea would be a lot of fun. I ran the idea up the flagpole with one of the leaders of the Los Pinos Church and we were off. The plan was for Timoteo & I to go to the mountain in our trucks to pick up the anticipated 17 or 18 kids and take them to meet our TORCH group at the mall. When we arrived at Los Pinos - there were 43 people waiting and two pick-up trucks. No hay problema! I just loaded 23 excited people in my truck and Timo loaded the rest and we were off to the mall. I think that 23 in my truck may be my record for carrying a group - once I counted 18 in the back of a tiny Toyota but - I had 9 inside so there were only 14 in the bed of the truck. Anyway it was sort of funny going through a police stop because they just waved us on through. That is funny because I've been stopped with only 8 gringos in the back and told that I was breaking the law which only allows 6 in the back of a PU.
We made it to the mall and met up with the Atlanta group and were forced to make a quick change of plans. Originally (with 17 in mind) we were going to eat at TGIF but our new size required a change in plans and that led us to the food court. Our group of 43 from Los Pinos and our team of 20 enjoyed Pizza, cokes, & laughs. We later went to Shreck (in Spanish) and took the group home.
What our TORCH group didn't know was that of the 43 kids from Los Pinos - more than 30 had never been to the mall and more than 35 had never seen a movie in a theater. These kids were all smiles and were as happy to be in a new place with strangers as anyone that I've ever seen. Our blessings have led us to be complacient with what we have and because of that our expectations and demands for instant gratification sometimes keep us from experiencing the simple joy that the kids from Los Pinos had yesterday.
Some long team joy also happened this past week in Santa Ana. A group of ministry students wourke with Noel and the community and there were 14 people that made a decision to give it all up for Jesus! The work in these mountains is fruitful and very worthwhile. The dedicaiton of many of these workers is amazing. Working in a community like Los Pinos means walking up and down the mountain just to meet the people and to talk to them about Jesus. I met a 60+ year old lady last week that leaves her house every Sunday morning at 6 so that she can walk to be with her Christian family at 9:30. That's dedication!
I am blessed to be here!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Coming Home

Luvin is home.
Some of you may not even know who Luvin is or why being home is important. Luvin is a 10 year old boy - we first thought he was 12 but, he had stretched his age a bit.
Last month a judge asked the children's home to take a chance and to take in one angry little boy. Luvin is scarred because of his past abuse and the scars are on his body and in his head. He has learned to hit back.
Luvin came to Casa with an attitude and because of that, we had to consider the safety of all of our other 15 kids. As much as it hurt, Luvin was taken back to the judge after a couple of really tough weeks. There were many tears and prayers about this decision. Luvin was taken to Casitas Kennedy to live (a really not so good place)
Well, on Thursday at about 6 PM, Luvin showed up at the casa gate - he had escaped from Casitas at about 5 that morning. He had quite an adventure that day. He first travelled about 40 miles in the wrong direction and ended up at the jimmy Hughes home. They gave him shoes and some money and they wrote Santa Ana on a piece of paper for him to show to bus drivers. His day ended at Casa de Esperanza where he had come to see if he could come home. He first wanted to apologize to the kids and then to see if he would be able to stay if he promised to not hurt the other kids.
Of course - we are all about second chances and Luvin has been granted his. We are working through the details of the situation with the judge - all that will be fine. We just need to pray that Luvin will know how good it is to be loved and not ever be abused again.
Luvin is home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nuevo Oriental

Two years ago, I went to Nuevo Oriental for the first time. At that time it was (and remains) one of the poorest comunities that I had ever seen. Today the group from Florida and Mississippi built three houses there and I had a chance to revisit the area in a way that I hadn't in a long time - truly, today was different than any that I had ever had in this community.
While the crews were building, I met a lady that wanted to show me places and introduce me to families that needed new houses. I met with 8 or 9 families and all of them were in desperate situations - every one of the families needs a house and I am praying to have the wisdom to know how to decide who goes first.
Today I met the preacher that lives in the community - what a happy guy. He lives in a TORCH house and was all smiles telling me about the growth of the church in N.O. There are about 65 people attending Sunday services there and many more children. There was a building constructed in April and this weekend, one of our teams is adding Sunday School classrooms. God is good... all the time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rainy Season

Don't know where you live but, if you have never lived in a place that only has two seasons and one is called "The Rainy Season", well - just say it's WET!
The good news is that a little (or A LOT) of rain and mud won't stop the work or the workers. It just makes for a little more adventure. For instance - yesterday I was in Santa Ana with a couple of the interns and Noel - the minister of the congregation in SA. We were out surveying the locations of 4 new houses that will be built when the next team arrives. It had rained all night on Wednesday (HARD - HURRICANE STYLE RAIN) and the main roads had mostly dried. Not true however about the back roads. I have a 4x4 and was in L4 which made me confident that my truck could roll through anything. Confidence and mud are a poor combination. Noel had just said - "this is a great truck" - about then I drove into what appeared to be an average sized mud hole. I was wrong to think this because my tires began to spin and before you could do anything about it we were stuck - the truck was so deep in the mud that it appeared to be sinking - the bottom of the doors were at mud level - and my truck sits high off of the ground.
I laughed and decided that this was going to be another part of our adventure and it was. We were rescued by a lady that had a large rope and a nice 4x4 of her own. We also had about 15 guys that came to assist in the push out - everybody was covered with poo-mud and everybody was smiling about it. (For the uninitiated "Poo-mud" is the result of combining rain or any other water source with close proximity to a poorly built outhouse - email me if you still don't understand).
I laughed at our adventure because I knew that we would get the truck out, that we were gonna get really dirty, and that we would finish our day in a shower and with a hot dinner. God has blessed those of us that were in my truck with these things.
The rainy season also reminds me that the mountains of Honduras are surrounded by families that really suffer because of the wet, the cold, and the mud. Three years ago, I was with a group of TORCH members that were building 2 houses in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We finished the houses and prayed together giving God thanks for the shelter for the 2 families that would live there. Just as we finished praying, a t-storm blew in and it poured. The rain that day showed us that the shelter was not good enough - until that day, we had build homes with dirt floors. As the rain waters poured through the dirt floor and the dirt became mud, we all knew that we could do better and we did. From that day forward, we have built houses with wooden floors that are raised above the mud.
Every time it rains here, I think about all of the families on the mountain and how an already difficult life becomes miserable. I especially pray for all the children and I hope that you will join me in that prayer.

Friday, June 08, 2007

June Mission Report - The beginning

On Monday June 11th I will leave for Tegucigalpa and will be there until August 5th. Terri will remain in the states until July 19th when she will be travelling with our regular TORCH group and will return to the states on July 31.
Lot's happening this summer -
TORCH - there are teams from around the country that will be working for Jesus in Honduras. When I arrive, there will be a group from Alabama and Kentucky already there. I will also be meeting up with my intern team when I land. There are 5 guys that will be my crew for the summer and I am blessed that they are all full of Hondo experience. There are 2 Andy's and 2 Stephen's and one Brett - so, there will be a few folks with new names by the end of next week. As soon as we are all together on Monday we will be unloading 2 containers - one from Florida and one from New Orleans. Both are filled with supplies for the TORCH Teams use in clinics, construction, benevolence, etc. God is good!
There are going to be a total of 9 TORCH Teams this summer and there will be about 450 total missionaries travelling to Honduras for our work. The groups will build about 100 houses, distribute many tons of food, clothes, shoes, and love. All of this will be going on while many people are taught the good news of Jesus. God is Good!
Casa de Esperanza - many of the TORCH teams will be involved in projects at Casa de Esperanza. Every group will be touching the lives of our children. We are going to complete construciton of a new dorm sometime this month and are already planning on where we will build the next one. I just interviewed a lady that is very interested in the potential of moving to Honduras to manage one of our new dorms! Wow - God is good! Terri and I will be living in Santa Ana by sometime in September.
Santa Ana Church - we just found out this week that the TORCH team from Tupelo, MS will sponsor construction of 2 sunday school classrooms in Santa Ana. God is Good! By the end of June, the children (about 60 to 70 of them) will be able to have real classrooms for Sunday School.
Please keep Terri in your prayers whild I am away from her. My wife is amazing and I am so proud of her for her strength aaand determination in our mission.
Please pray for Casa de Esperanza and our kids there.
Also, pray daily for the mission teams and their work for the Lord.
June 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Have you ever heard of things that had to be real because they are so "unreal" that nobody could make them up? Beyond imaginaton.

In Santa Ana, Honduras there is a little girl named Pamela who is 10 years old. Pamala came to live at Casa de Esperanza last week and her's is one of those stories that no normal person could make up. Pamela came to us with her little brother and her little sister. To Pamela and her little family, Casa de Esperanza is the real house of hope that it was designed to be. Casa de Esperanza is a refuge.

Before Pamela and her little brother and sister came to us, Pamela's mother was making her work. In third world countries - a child working and helping to bring in food isn't unusual - enen at 10 years old. What makes this story different is the type of work that this little girl was forced to do. Pamela's mother had forced her into the dark world of prostitution. It makes me sick to think that in our world, a child is forced by anyone to do this but, coming from the one person that God put here to protect you is gut wrenching. I have cried every day since I heard about little Pamela and the world she was forced to live in. I have also thanked our great and awesome God for building the refuge that we call Casa de Esperanza.

He's My Rock! He's My Deliverer!


Friday, May 18, 2007

That's My King

Here is a sermon delivered in 1976 by a man named S M Lockridge.

My King was born King. The Bible says He's a Seven Way King. He's the King of the Jews - that's an Ethnic King. He's the King of Israel - that's a National King. He's the King of righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that's my King. Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don't try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing. He's enduringly strong. He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. That's my King. He's God's Son. He's the sinner's saviour. He's the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He's honest. He's unique. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's pre-eminent. He's the grandest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He's the supreme problem in higher criticism. He's the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He's the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That's my King. He's the miracle of the age. He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He's the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He's the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That's my King. Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He's the wellspring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the pathway of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway of glory. He's the master of the mighty. He's the captain of the conquerors. He's the head of the heroes. He's the leader of the legislatures. He's the overseer of the overcomers. He's the governor of governors. He's the prince of princes. He's the King of kings and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King. His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you . . . but He's indescribable. That's my King. He's incomprehensible, He's invincible, and He is irresistible. I'm coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens can't contain Him, let alone some man explain Him. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your hands. You can't outlive Him and you can't live without Him. The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him. That's my King. He always has been and He always will be. I'm talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He'll have no successor. There's nobody before Him and there'll be nobody after Him. You can't impeach Him and He's not going to resign. That's my King! That's my King! Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We're around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God's power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? Forever and ever and ever and ever. . . And when you get through with all of the ever's, then . . .Amen!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What's Important?

On Monday morning I was at the Y for my morning workout. I usually go about 7:30 which puts me in between the 8 - 5 folks and the mommy brigade. I'm usually still working out when the mommy crew arrives and most of the time pay no attention to the world around me. On Monday, it was different because there were two moms on the machines next to me and they were engaged in a conversation that I couldn't help but over hear. One of the moms was giving the family success update - "we just picked up our new boat and can't wait to get it on the lake... I don't know if we'll keep it at the lake or at our house....of course we've finally started construction of the new house and can't wait till October when we can move in.....blablabla...what about you? " The other mom was one that I've seen several times at the Y - you know the kind...always 'coordinated', her conversation was sorta like this, "wow! a new boat and a new house! well, we have been so busy....and it's so hard to get the workouts that I really need - what with the kids and regular sitter hasn't been able to work so I've been 'stuck' keeping the kids in the afternoon when I'd really like to be doing a lot of other things besides that....being stuck with the kids makes me feel like I'm in jail."
I wasn't trying to listen in but, what I heard made me wonder what is going on in families around the country? What's different about these families than most of the world around us? What's important anyway?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Life Changes

Terri & I are moving to Honduras!
Yep, after 29 years in the business world, we are going to to make a move into full time ministry and we are way excited about what God has planned for us.
Right now, our plan is to work until Nicole's wedding on June 2 - preparing for our ministry and building support - for our mission. I will travel to work in Hondo with TORCH teams about June 12 or so and Terri will be coming with our usual team on July 19th. We will return to the states in August to finish up our stuff here and we plan to be in Honduras in early September.
We will be working with Casa de Esperanza and will plan to build a house on the property. Our plans include helping with staffing the clinic, growing the work at Casa, working with new churches, working in feeding and clothing programs, and growing the work of short term missions.
We believe that our God has been training us for this work and have often talked about doing this "sometime". Over the past few weeks we have literally stood face to face with our Lord and had to answer the question - If not now, then when?
I'll plan to use this blog to keep friends and family posted on our progress as we work toward our move to Central America. In the mean time, please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for the greatest adventure ever.