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