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.