Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Just 3 months ago, we emptied our warehouse of all of our food we prayed for God to send more and within days, we were offered 2 containers of Manna Pack. We prayed for the money to ship the containers and within a day, both containers were paid for.
When we returned to Honduras in September, we faced weeks of rain. The rains completely destroyed the bean crop and the price of beans rose from about 20 cents a pound to more than $1 in just days. We prayed for God to help us find a way to deliver some relief and once again, The God I Serve heard our prayer and we will recieve about 100,000 pounds of beans on the 29th of November. I am awed!
Even with answer after answer of our prayers, I still put limits on our Unlimited God. Just about the first of August, I put up a FaceBook post that talked about our dream of a new Casa Campus where we could rescue older girls. A place where we can share Jesus with young ladies and teach them how much "The God We Serve" loves them. That they can trust others and that the people that they trust will never abuse them or leave them. I posted that we wanted to build a sustained campus by including a place where we could house our mission teams and generate the revenue needed to support the new campus. In my mind, I limited The God I Serve with my doubt.
Once again, The God I Serve is an Unlimited God. A God that loves us when our faith is weak, that knows our dreams - better than we do, and a God that loves to surprise His children.
Today, we know that the new campus will be developed in 2011. We know that by sometime just over a year from now we will be petitioning IHNFA to extend our license to operate a the Casa de Suenos. By this time next year, our teams will sleep in a place that will support children and make it possible for Hope and Dreams to become real.
The God I Serve is Awesome, Amazing, Undescrible.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
One year around Christmas Terri wanted something - and every morning she would open a catalogue to the page where her desire was and put it next to - or on top of my toothbrush. I never took the hint, I just moved the book and brushed my teeth.
Yesterday in Nicaragua I met a guy that didn't beat around the bush about what he wanted. It was a policeman and I was stopped at a "posta". Here in Central America, there are occasions where you get stopped at a posta and you just know that they are going to do everything that they can to find some "infraction" so that they can shake you down for a few bucks. It is a way of life and very "normal" - so much so that you come to expect it and make lots of jokes about it. I have often said that rather than a shake down, I wish they would just tell me what they need and give me a chance to get it - we would both end up feeling better about the situation. Well, yesterday in Nicaragua, the policeman was very nice - looked at all of my papers and then handed them back and kindly said, "our truck is low on diesel, is there any way you could help us out?" I told him sure thing - handed him $5 and was on my way. It was pretty funny and refreshing - not to be threatened with an infraction!
Knowing how much I liked having the truth presented to me - makes me reflect on several things - like how much easier life would be if we just "shot straight" with everyone on just about everything.....
Sunday, November 07, 2010
1. A couple of years ago, I went to the rock at Villa Garcia to have some morning quiet time. There was a young lady there and we started to talk - she looked into the sky and said "ohhh, look at the eagles, aren't they beautiful." I said, "well, those eagles are buzzards!"
2. I use Claro for my cell service and a couple of years ago, they had an ad slogan "que tienes mas" (meaning - what more could you want or have). I was taking a young lady to the E-Room when she saw the Claro sign and she promptly said - "I didn't know they play tennis here".
3. This spring I had a college team here. One night we were talking about the Casa chickens and one of the young ladies started asking questions about "pregnant chickens". I asked her what she thought the egg thing was all about.
4. Couple of years ago the license tag on one of my trucks was loose and I chose to drive it to San Pedro Sula anyway. When I was loading luggage in the truck, I noticed that the tag was gone - fell off between here and SPS. I went to (try) to get a new tag and found out that you cannot lose a tag here in Honduras, nope, you must report it as stolen. Had to go to the criminal division of the national police and report my tag as stolen.
5. Similar to my stolen tag - last week I lost a paper for my residency renewal and had to go to the criminal division of the national police to report my lost paper.
6. Driving here is better than going to MGM, Disney, and Six Flags all at once. The uninitiated (gringos) don't always understand. I like to put them with Luis in one of my trucks so they can get the full experience. One particular group with Luis was about to have a "group cry" as he was doing a blind curve pass. Luis turned to them and said "don't worry, I don't want to die too!"
7. Last summer there was a group visiting Casa de Esperanza. I walked past two or three teen boys who were standing near our Ana. Ana had a serious look on her face and said - pointing at one of the teen boys, "Marco, el molesta mi!". The teen boy went pale and I got a serious look on my face and said - what did you do to my girl. He was about to cry and said "well, not that!". I had to laugh and tell him that all she said was that "he bothered me".
8. Here, something like 25% of the cars are minus tail lights, break lights, or both. Nobody every seems to worry too much about those pesky details because you don't need them to see ahead of you or to drive the car. The most enforced car laws here are - seat belts and no talking on the cell while driving. Second most - you must have a safety triangle in your car.
9. About 4 years ago, my daughter was driving around one of the traffic circles and was hit by a taxi driver. The cab driver jumped out of the truck and started yelling at Nicole that it was her fault because he honked and she didn't move.
10. In Honduras the transito police require that you have a Honduras Drivers License after you have been here for 3 months but, you cannot get a license without having residency and it takes about a year to acquire residency. Go figure.......
What are your funniest Hondo moments?
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Flash forward to this week and the money is taken care of. My food partners Trey Morgan and Bobby Moore - ( www.treymorgan.net and www.givebread.org ) were instrumental in making this second container a reality. The really cool thing about this food is that it will go to feed families. The first container will go to children's feeding programs that currently feed more than 2000 kids every day and to children's homes that have rescued 100's of kids. The second container will go to Campemento where it will be broken into 5 pound bags (about 9400 of them) and distributed to every house in the area.
One week ago yesterday, I found out that one of my friends from the dump had been hurt and was in the hospital. I had just written about Ana a couple of weeks ago - and part of what I wrote was her problem with huffing. Well, the day after I wrote about Ana, she almost died and was in the hospital recovering. Ana had two issues - and either of them could have killed her. She was pregnant - didn't even know it until somebody hit her in the stomach - killing the fetus and later making her septic. The second issue was because of her huffing. Seems that Ana was huffing paint thinner and somebody encouraged her to take a drink - and she did. The thinner burned her throat but, even worse, when the thinner went into her system, the poisons caused her to go blind. She also has some issues with numbness in her hands and other places. Since the 7th of October when all of this happened, Ana has regained some sight in her right eye and very very little in her left eye. She was released from the hospital on Friday and I went to take her to her home. Today we went to a specialist that could measure the way her brain picks up what her eyes are capible of seeing and they told me that the news is not good. I haven't told Ana that as of yet. I took her for breakfast and to buy a couple of pairs of jeans before taking her home. She just told me - Marco, I just want to see! I told her that I want her to be able to see.
Please pray for Ana. She really needs some hope.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
There is a food crisis going on right now and the September / October harvest of beans in Honduras did not happen. The rains destroyed almost all of the beans in this country and that has driven the price up from 25 to 30 cents a pound to more than a dollar. Many places, beans cannot be bought for any price.
So, here is the deal! We are working with a number of children's homes to make sure that they have the beans they need to feed their kids until the next harvest. That will take care of the first container. For the second container we have been offered the opportunity from Bread for a Hungry World www.givebread.org for matching funds. We need to raise a total of $10,000 to pay for the beans and the shipping. Bread has offered to support the need with a dollar for dollar match up to $5,000. Net - the hungry people here need some food, and we have a plan to help.
Use the link above to give through the Bread for a Hungry World web site.
Because of this, we will be able to provide more than 9000 households with beans for Christmas.
Working together, we can make this happen!
Be a blessing to somebody - Today!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
About a year and a half ago, I was encouraged to join a men's service organization here in Honduras. One of my questions was "what is the cost"? I was concerned about both the time and the actual financial cost. My work here is very consuming and I needed to make sure I could afford the monthly dues. If the cost of either was too much, then there was no way that I would make a comittment.
This early morning, I was reading about Jesus calling of his apostles - the 12 -. I don't know if they had advance notice of the cost of following him but, since Jesus is who he is, I would guess that they knew...the cost. These 12 gave up everything to be followers. Later one chose to leave and the remaining 11 were willing to give up their health, their welfare, and many of them their lives to be a follower. Jesus never promised them anything different.
For us? The promise is the same.
We hear a lot of stuff about the cost of being a follower - anything from all you need to do is pray this prayer and say "I believe", or just be a good person and all will be great. I am not sure where this stuff comes from because it is not what my bible says. My bible says that beliving is not just saying some words but, it is giving everything to HIM. My bible says "take up your cross daily and follow him" - a willingness to die for him - daily. My bible says that Jesus is the only way and that none of us are worthy without him and the only way to have him is to give it up completly for him.
Well, today I am preachy but, I am not ashamed. I am a believer and I am a follower.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
During the unload, there were three kids that showed up to watch. I kept thinking that they were going to ask for some money or something but, they were content to stand off to the side and watch. About half way through the container, I walked down the road to buy some water and I saw the kids sitting - almost asleep in a taxi that was in pretty bad shape. After I bought the water, I decided that I would offer these kids a chance to help out and earn a little money. Containers always generate a ton of trash and it is our job to clean up the mess so, I decided that perhaps these kids might want to help and earn a little money. I asked them and they all jumped out of the taxi to follow me. The three kids - 2 girls and a boy went to work quickly and did a great job. After a few minutes, I asked the kids their names and their ages - they were Alexandra 9, Henry 11, and Maria 12. They were shy and looked as if they hadn't had a bath in several days - maybe weeks. I asked them if they were in school and they told me that their dad didn't have enough money to send them. When they told me this, I felt as if we - the big people - have failed "the least of these". Lots of stuff jumping in my head "how can we live in a world that accepts as a norm (in forgotten countries) that the poorest kids don't get to go to school?" "how can this be fixed?" "why?"
I cannot even pretend that I have an answer to this and the many many other issues that are impacting Honduras and much of the world that we know nothing about. I do know that we must take the opportunty - and seek the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people that God puts into our lives. I do know that when we come face to face with the needs of children and others, we are faithless if we "walk on by". James called it Dead Faith!
My daily prayer is that God will show me what he wants and shows me clearly how to do what he wants me to do.
These little guys today touched me and I cannot get them out of my head. I went into my bodega with a load of food and saw that I had an opened box of used shoes. I was able to find a pair for each of the girls - but didn't have a pair for Henry. The girls were all smiles. Over USED Shoes. I can't say that I have ever worn used shoes and if I had, I don't think I would have been too excited about it. Most folks where I come from would think that wearing shoes that somebody else had first used is a bit "gross". Here - this is just not the case. I doubt if Alexandra and Maria have ever had a new pair of shoes. Maybe never will...........
Ps: I did have a sweatshirt for Henry and he was pleased too.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Our time here has flown by and we are both amazed as we see what God has planned for us to do.
When we started our work toward moving to Honduras, we listed a number of plans and some are falling into place where others are no longer part of our plans.
In our original plans we thought that Casa de Esperanza would grow to be a home for more than 100 kids by now. Once here it was pretty easy to see that this little home was meant to stay a bit smaller than many places we see that are sort of like warehouses for kids. The Casa campus where we live is likely to be full at 30 to 35 kids and it will be filled slowly so that every child that comes here will be loved and will know that they are loved.
In our original plans, we hoped to grow our short term teams and God has blessed our dreams. By the time that 2010 ends, we will have led 15 teams - compared to 3 during our first year here. We already have 3 more teams in 2011. Our teams are the foundation of our ministry here. Because of the teams, we are able to introduce others to the work and as that happens, people fall in love with one of the ministries.
When we moved here, we never planned to work in the dump yet, our work there is growing and our relationships are leading us to be able to disciple people. We will be making some announcements about the future of our work in the dump in early December.
When we were making plans to move here we never planned to facilitate the shiping and recieving of containers from the USA. Even during our first year here, my experiences told me that shipping and recieving containers was not worth the time and effort. As we began to explore how we could help feed children, we discovered that our God wants his kids fed and that he would use us to get food to them. In just the last year, we have been given more than 400,000 pounds of food to help with children's feeding centers and other places with needs for food for kids. Right now, we are awaiting the reciept of a food container and have another due before the end of 2010. In addition to food, many of the churches where we lead teams have packed clothing and supply containers for our work here.
My plan here is not to do a 3 year wrap of everything that has happened - because I wouldn't finish till tomorrow. We are very blessed in our work here and neither of us can imagine doing anything else. These days it seems that the opportunities before us are very big. We are in process of helping some friends get their children's home project up and running by the end of 2010. We are working on a fantastic project for the dump. We are planning the 2010 Jesus Banquet at the Dump, we are working with a water well drill team, we are planning to begin construction of our own mission house, we are making plans for a Casa campus for older girls, we are working with the Bread project in Campemento, wow! Lots ahead and we are blessed to have his plans revealed - a little at a time.
We are blessed to be here and nothing has changed on my thought that I really do have the best job in the world.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Ana has changed a lot in the last 2 years. She has started to "huff" - putting glue or other combustable into a cloth and holding it over her mouth and nose until she is high. I first noticed this about 6 months ago - when she was still smiling. I tried then to talk to her and begged her to stop. I even took her by the hand and we walked around the dump and looked at the guys that are completly empty because they have destroyed their brains from huffing. I prayed for her and for a while she stopped coming to the dump and stopped huffing.
In July one of my teams had a clothing event in the school across the road from the dump and Ana was there with her little sister. She was clear eyed and was fairly happy that day. She told me that she was not going into the dump anymore because that is where she always huffed and almost always was raped and beat up.
Yesterday she was back in the dump. She was high and I am sure that before the day ended, she was raped again. When I saw her she was so sad.
Ana needs HOPE and prayer and some way out! Pray for her.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Well, it is really looking like we may be making this idea a reality! Lots to do but, lots has already happened - to get the ball rolling on a way to feed more hungry people.
Pray that in the coming 2 to 3 weeks that we can have a solid plan to start building and get the process in place that we can start growing food and raising fish for food - all at the same time.
I will have a lot more to follow up on this over the coming days.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Today, we took two of our pick-ups into the dump and the road was the worst that it has been since we have been feeding there for 2.5 years. You could call it mud but, the mix is completely indescribable. It is very slippery and that makes it difficult to drive up the mountain into the center of the dump - and where the people are. Once the mountain is climbed, we begin the decent into the pit of the dump. The many inches of rain that have accumulated there make this nasty mix that we jokingly call "dump soup". It is - well, nasty. The dump always stinks and rain just brings a mix to the surface that makes it more ripe than ever.
Going up to feed a couple hundred people in the "dump soup" is something that I wish more of my non-dump friends could experience. A little "dump soup" is healthy and it will change the perspective of almost everybody that has a sample. It makes you appreciate simple things - more, it makes you want to share - more, dump soup makes some people cry - but they are healthy self reflection tears. Sampling dump soup makes some people make important - life altering decisions - decisions that some would say need lots of thought - but after dump soup, the decisions are obvious.
Dump soup is really impossible to describe to those that haven't sampled it and the only place you can get it is - well... in the dump. It can't be tasted anywhere else.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Last week we had friends here from Walnut Creek, CA. (SF Bay Area) The week was great and we were able to get 2 houses built - the first in Ojojona was fairly easy. It was close to the road and fairly easy to build. The second house was in Tatumbla - a place where lots of folks have lost houses to the mud and rains. We built a house for Maria Josefina and her son as the old place was no longer livable. When we arrived at the site, the wood was on the main road - about 3 KM above the town. There was an empty lot right next to the road so, I wrongly assumed that we would be building there. There was also a group of men waiting with the wood - I quickly found that they were there to help our little team carry wood. The lot for the new house was about a more than a quarter mile straight up the mountain on a muddy trail. There was an old house that needed to be removed too. The house was easily completed in a day and Maria was thrilled.
On Wednesday we went to the dump and afterward, JoHana took us to see little Marcos. I will post a picture very soon. He is beautiful. Once we took care of Johana, we were off to visit the homes of Luz and Jasinia - it is in grave danger of an immediate collapse of the entire mountain. I am looking for somebody in the government to help us with some land so we can build a new house - soon. Next, we were off to see Lourdes new baby girl. Lourdes is Fani's sister and she and the baby are doing well. They live in a gang infested neighborhood and three pick-up loads of gringos drew a lot of attention - but, all ended well.
On Thursday, the real Adventure Land began. We were off to the east to visit the farm that was recently purchased by my friend John Zeller. John and his brother have had an interest in owning a Honduras farm and this year, the place that they really wanted became available - so they bought it. The best description of how to get there is go to El Paraiso and turn left. Go two hours past the boon-docks and you will be at John's farm. John says it is only an hour and a half from El Paraiso but, I am not too sure about his ability to calculate time. The road on Thursday was rain soaked and it is up the mountain - the entire trip. Part of the ride is on the crest of the mountains - where there are cliffs on both sides. One especially "fun" part of the drive was a mud wash on a very steep climb. The road looked like it came from one of those mud bog competitions that is designed to keep even the best 4x4's from making the grade. About the time we - by the way, there was a sheer cliff on the left side of the narrow mud path. About the time we started up, it started raining harder than all day. John was heading up first and after slipping a good portion of the way, made it past the bog. My green toyota was the only vehicle with no issues and I was last. By the time I started up, the other two trucks had really rutted the road and my truck immediatly headed toward the cliff. My passengers were saying they would be willing to walk and lighten the load but, I told them that we were all in this together. If I am going off the cliff, it won't be alone. My next try was a bit better because instead of the cliff side, I went into the tree side and my truck was held back by a broken limb in the wheel well. Once I was cut out by my chainsaw, we were finally able to continue the adventure. A few KM later, we had to take all of the wood (for John's new outhouse) off of the toyota and re-stack and re-tie the load. Load shifts are hard to stop when the ruts make you drive 50% of the time on 2 wheels. anyway, through many prayers, a few tears, and lots of adventure driving, we arrived at the farm. We built the new outhouse - after first digging the 3x3x6ft deep hole. The ride down was easier and we survived 2 days with no outside world communication. All in all, it was best described as another great day in Honduras - adventure land. I am blessed with the best job in the world.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This sort of world view limits perception to about 4 1/2 percent of the world population. It limits what we know or see about how God's creation is living. It also makes it easy to ignore the "GO" words that Jesus spoke when he was about to ascend into heaven - go into all the world! Ignoring the world means that our only focus is on about 1 out of 22 people on the planet. It makes it easy to forget hunger, the need for clean water, the pain of being alone, abuse by family or government, poverty, and especially the need for the hope that Jesus offers.
The little country where I live is full of poor, problems, top to bottom corruption, and needs. It is only 1,000 miles south of Houston, TX yet, a good portion of folks in the states would not have a clue where Honduras is - I was the same before I came here the first time. We are the same when it comes to the many many places in this world where the needs are the greatest. A big part of the reason is that we just don't understand what real needs are. Here, the need for food is great because more than 40% of the people will wake this morning with nothing to eat - absolutely nothing. We often help with food and with feeding children in places where there is no food in the house - yesterday, I had a team in the feeding center in Nueve Oriental and there, more than 250 kids ate lunch and it is very likely that more than half of them will not eat again until they have lunch there today. Today, we will go to feed about 300 people in the Tegucigalpa Dump and it is likely that most of them would have had nothing to eat today unless they found something edible in the dump or were in the line behind the truck where we are blessed to share a hot meal.
It would be pretty easy to look at the world and either become hardened to the needs or overwhelmed with all of the needs and maybe that is the reason that we ignore many of those needs. We certainly cannot change the world alone - but, we can make changes in the lives of one at a time and we can introduce hope to people - one at a time, and we can share Jesus with others by the way we live, share, and participate in their lives.
Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
First blogged this in 2005. I really like the story about Holy Spit!
Have you ever thought what it would be like to have lived in the first century and had actually seen Jesus first hand? This guy comes into your town and touches a leper – and he is not a leper anymore! I mean, how amazing would it be to see someone touch a guy that was untouchable and then, boom, just like that his skin is completely healed. What about the man that was blind from birth can now see? Would you believe it? Would I believe it? What about Lazarus? You know he was dead. He was sick and he died and he has been in the ground for long enough that you know he is stinking. And this Jesus walks into town and calls him out of the grave…..and he comes.
I think that if I saw Jesus doing the things that he did, healing, casting out demons, making the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead – alive again, I’d want to follow him just to see what he did next.
Then I think, all I need to do is open my eyes to the words that describe what Jesus did and then close them so that I can visualize the scene. We have the recorded history of the miracles of Jesus. We have the actual things that he did for those in need – ready to read about - right at our fingertips. We have wonderful minds that can think us into the picture so that we can experience the amazing and awesome images that the Holy Spirit drew for us in the scriptures.
Sometimes I read about the miracles that are recorded in the gospels and in Acts like they are routine or even fiction. Whenever I take the time to really study the words and try to visualize the image that is drawn out in the words, I am awed. Our God is an awesome God!
Here is a really great description that an unknown author put together by putting himself into the picture of a miracle in process. I hope everyone that reads it enjoys it as much as I did.
So I'm walking just outside my village the other day, just minding my own business, and I see a small group of people gathered around a couple guys. Just the fact that there were even a few people outside the village was a bit odd, but they were all looking intently at the two guys in the middle.
I recognized the one guy first. He's the blind guy. Every now and again I'd give him a coin. I figure he needs it. He's blind. I do my very best to respect people who have some challenges. I figured that this other guy was going to do something nice for the blind guy.
I moved closer in to see what was happening, and, I am not making this up, the other guy spit right in the blind guy's face. Then he starts mashing the spit around with his fingers. I was pretty ticked off. I got in closer because I wanted to give this jerk a piece of my mind. I got close enough to hear what he said. I couldn't believe it. First he spits int he blind guy's face, then he smashed the spit into his face, then he has the nerve to ask him if he sees anything. I'm not sure if you can get any more insulting than that.
What happened next knocked me out of my sandals.
The blind guy answered spitman, "I see people, but they look like trees walking around."
Thr crowd laughed because, well that's a very funny thing to say. I did not laugh. This guy who was 100% blind was seeing something.
Then this spit guy smashes the spit even further into the blind guy's eyes.
"How about now? What do you see now?"
"I can see everything. My eyes are clear!"
Some people yelled out shouts of joy. Some people fell to the ground. Others hugged. The blind guy just looked and looked at things. That little crowd was so happy.
Then the spit man tells them all not to tell anyone. Well, that was the last thing I thought he was going to say. I figured this guy could make a fortune with this kind of spit. Not only was he not interested in money, he was not interested in being famous. All I know is that if I had holy spit, I would be milking it for all I was worth.
I wanted to talk to this guy, but he left so quickly. I have a couple of questions for him. I'm going to keep looking for him. I'm sure I'll find him, if I just keep looking.
Friday, September 17, 2010
These days, there is just a ton of happenings. We are working on 2 containers that have or will ship this month - September. Both shipments will have somewhere around $100,000 worth of food and will deliver more than one half million servings of a very good tasting and good for you rice and veggy meal. Having containers on the water means that we need to have all of the legal papers in the right hands before the container arrives in the port. It also means that we are going to have the warehouse space and a clean place to store our food. The good news is that everything is in place for both containers - we will be using one of the containers here in the Tegucigalpa area and the other in the Campemento area. Lots of kids will be fed with the Manna Pack that will be here soon.
We are also working with a lot of folks in the states to help fill up a container in Tupelo, MS. The Trace Crossing Church has a trailer in their lot and every Saturday between now and the middle of October there is a work team collecting things that will help the people here in Honduras. I am especially happy that there will be a lot of Christmas boxes for kids and these will be targeted to the kids around the Tegucigalpa Dump, kids in the feeding / Sunday School program in Los Pinos, and kids in the Campemento area. Likely to use more than 1,000.
We are shopping for land for the next Casa campus. That campus will include a "mission house"for our teams and will be a place that we can use to rescue young lades that are stuck in the system of the Honduras - state run care facilities. We hope to identify a place to purchase within the coming weeks.
We are working on a project that has the possibility of providing food for thousands of families and will offer the opportunity to move some of the people in the dump into a better situation.
We are also working on another feeding project, the Jesus Banquet at the Dump, hiring house parents for casa, 2011 teams, and a few other things that I just can't think of right now.
Frankly, we are blessed with lots of opportunity and we are amazed at how our Maker sends people, resources, and the encouragement to get stuff done. I just call it Kingdom work and because my days are filled, I am blessed - and never bored.
Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Then, there are the random friends that come into our lives that - well, likely are not random but sure seem that way. About 2 and a half years ago when we started working weekly in the dump, I never thought about making friends at the dump. At the time my Spanish was pretty poor so communication was a bit difficult and I just wanted to go and serve. As time has passed, my ability to communicate has improved, enough others go with us to serve that I actually have time to get to know many of the people that we go to serve.
Today, I returned to feed for the first time in several weeks. When we are in the states, we have great friends here that make sure that our Wednesday service continues - but, I haven't been since the first of August. The time of feeding was calm and lots of people said that they missed me and greeted me with hugs, hand shakes (or knuckle hits), smiles, etc. There wasn't a lot of time to have much conversation because there were only 4 of us and we all had jobs to do to get the food to the people. My really good friends waited until the last person was served and then they just climbed into the back of the truck to tell me welcome home. Luz, Fany, JoHana, and Paula were so kind. We had about 50 servings of food left and I told them that we were going to go to Buen Samaratano - a neighborhood near the dump to serve the people there. I was surprised when 3 of the girls wanted to go with us to serve the rest of the food and was impressed that they wanted to carry some of the bowls door to door.
When we finished serving and were getting ready to leave, a lady walked up and told me that my friend Francisco wanted to see me. Francisco is a man that I met in June - the first time in the neighborhood. He owns a small tienda and he shared water and Jesus with us and has been consistent with that every time that I have seen him. His wife found out that I was in the neighborhood and came to tell me that he is gravely ill. She wanted me to come to their house and pray with him. I was honered to to that and sure enough, when I was telling Francisco good-bye, he started telling me once again how great Jesus is. Francisco is another that I would have never picked out as someone that would be my good friend - but he is.
I am truly blessed with some amazing friends and I am not ashamed to tell them -
I love you!
Monday, September 13, 2010
I've been thinking about scraps lately because it seems that that is the way we train ourselves to give. Just think about it - think about how often you see little tin cans in churches with pictures of kids from a children's home and the words "spare change please". Almost everywhere you go you will find some kind of jar asking for help for some cause or some need and all you have to do is give some change or what you might be able to "spare".
We spent Friday night in a hotel next to the Atlanta airport and I walked across the street - fast food - coming back, there was a homeless guy and he asked for any spare change that I might have. I had zero $$ and told him that but I told him he could have my french fries. I was happy to share but, later wondered why I didn't give him the sandwich and keep the fries for my meal? I guess that I have been trained well in the act of giving something that I can "spare". SCRAPS
Yesterday during worship, Ivan talked about extreme faith and some of the examples he used were about giving. I don't think he ever used the spanish word for scraps but, I am sure that his context was something similar.
I just don't remember Jesus ever saying - "all I want is what you can spare. A few SCRAPS would be great. Just think of what we can do if all of you believers give only what you think you can spare!" I do remember the example of the widow that gave 2 coins and it was ALL SHE HAD. I remember the young man that followed all the rules but was just not able to give everything he had because - well, he had a lot. I do remember the words "take up your cross, every day and follow Me!"
Next time, I am going to share the sandwich and the fries! No more scraps.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This really was not my thought when I started this blog on Big Church. I really wanted to share some of my thoughts or maybe just speculation on what seems to be happening in parts of the USA. It seems that a number of churches have decided that UpSizing is a great thing. I am not talking about growing in numbers - I am pretty sure that that is pretty Biblical. No, I am just pondering the 'bigness' of some of the places that some choose to call "houses of worship". All this thinking started last December when I heard about a Dallas church that has decided to build a new campus and they made a big announcement about the fact that it is going to be a $125 million place - complete with a 4 story cross in the lobby - of course set in a waterfall. My first thought was that I would not want to be the church leader that had to stand in front of the Master and try to explain how this was a good idea. My second thought was a bit more selfish - because I calculated that the same $125,000,000 would enable us to build something like 87,000 block houses. Now, 87 thousand houses that would average 6 per house would put a pretty big dent in the housing needs of the people here in this poor country that I call home.
Once I put all of these thoughts to the side, I really just started thinking about what "Big Church"should really be about and it was a pretty simple conclusion. When the church started at the end of Acts 2 - the people met together daily, they ate - together, they prayed - together, and when somebody had a need - they provided - even if it meant that somebody else sold something of value. Hummmm. When is the last time you went to "Big Church"and somebody encouraged you to sell something so that another brother's needs could be met? I don't remember ever hearing this sermon.
So, it is my pleasure to encourage you to take a look at what Acts says about how we might want to do church and if needed, sell a few things and help some of your brothers.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Being in the states for these few weeks, we have been bombed with a lot of talk about some people that want to stop some people in NYC from building a mosque because the place is "sacred". Now, the big talk is about some idiot in Florida that wants to burn some copies of the qoran (I know the spelling is bad). The thing about both of these is that neither of them make any difference and they should not be news.
News is that even if the mosque is built or the idiot burns the books, the world we live in is a mess. There are nearly 7.0 billion people on this big ball and about 50% of us are living with hunger, disease, bad water, abuse of young women (and women of all ages), kids selling themselves for sex, parents selling their children, single moms that cannot feed their kids, bad houses, no houses, and a general need for a little bit of hope.
News is that we have some good news that we can share but, we tend to spend our time worrying about things that don't make any difference so much so, that we don't have the time to GO and share with people that really need some good news.
It is about time that we get up and GO! Go into the places where we can make just a little bit of a difference in the lives of people that really need somebody to come. To come and say how much they care by showing it in the way they serve.
Make me a servent, Lord make me like you!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Just a couple of weeks past build week, we will celebrate the 2nds annual Jesus Banquet for the Dump. On December 8, we will set up tables and chairs - (with table clothes) and serve an amazing meal to 1,000. Our plan for 2010 is to prepare a Christmas box for every child and a bag of hygene goods for every adult. The Jesus Banquet is a unique event and we want as many as possible to come and serve this meal to our friends from the dump. Most folks are planning to come on the 6th or 7th and will stay until the 10th or 11th. Those planning to stay with the group need to contact me at facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will outline the cost of lodging, meals, transport, etc. Imagine - serving more than 1000! It will definantly be another great day in Honduras.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
May began with an annual fundraiser for our ministry in the Tegucigalpa Dump. We completed 2 years of ministry in the dump in April and we have never had to make a plea for work funds. The cause of the poor in the dump has been seen and many, many people have come to us to share in this work. Campus Church of Christ in Atlanta was one of the first and later in 2009, our friend Trey Morgan took up the cause.
On May 5, Trey Morgan, the minister of the Childress, TX Church of Christ held the 2010 "Dump Day" fund raiser. The result was simply amazing in both dollars and in new connections. We were blessed with plenty of funds to pay for food for the coming year and additionally, we were blessed with a matching contribution from a Texas NGO called Bread For a Hungry World. The folks from Bread donated funds that will become the seed money for a brick and morter facility that will provide for health and spiritual development of our friends at the dump. The net of the day was amazing.
On May 11, we hosted a team of college students from Middle Tennessee State University. This team was here for four weeks and we were very blessed to be able to work in many areas including Copan Ruins. The team stayed in our home and were a very big help when Terri had to go to the hospital at the end of May. As I am sure that most of you know, Terri had emergency surgery on May 27 - obstruction in her colon. She is much better now but, for weeks, she was a very sick lady.
Our teams this summer were from Tupelo, MS; Columbus, MS; Baton Rouge, Layfayette, Overland Park, KS; Borger, TX; Starkville, MS; Jacksonville, IL; Childress,TX; and smaller groups and individuals from NC, MO, CA, OK, and many other places. We pretty much ran from May 11 until August 2. Our teams participated in building, feeding, loving, visiting, teaching, providing medical care, and helping the people of Honduras. We built 45 wooden houses and 3 block houses. We mixed tons of cement to build a new soccer field for Casa de Esperanza. We fed thousands of meals at the dump and provided 1000's of bags of food for the homes of people that really needed some food. We treated more than 1000 in medical clinics. We were able to help something like 3,000 people to have clothing and shoes. We held 2 VBS's in the dump. We went into the dump and held a medical clinic and a wound care clinic. We provided formula for babies of moms working in the dump and promise to not bring their babies there. And, there were 25 people that decided to follow Jesus and chose to be baptized. I am sure that I missed some of the work - so add anything you see that I missed to the comment section.
Our work here in Honduras has continued to be very blessed by the shipment of many containers. It is very expensive and time consuming to deal with containers however, we have chosen to make this a part of our work. From May through July, we recieved 4 containers. One with food, one with mission supplies for our summer work, and two with hospital beds. The shipments have benefited many thousands of people. For the balance of the year, it looks like we will have at least 2 more shipments that will include Christmas boxes for many many children and school supplies for many many children. It is very likely that we will also be offered another food container. Food is one thing that we just won't turn down.
The children's home - Casa de Esperanza is doing very well and we are in the process of trying to hire house parents or a house mom. We have a beautiful new home that is ready for kids and we know that our God will send the right person(s) to allow us to continue to rescue more children.
In August, we plan to travel to the states where we will be resting a bit as well as travelling to a few locations to speak about our work.
I would like to thank our friends and supporters that make it possible for us to continue to work here in Honduras. We are blessed to be here and our partners in this work make it possible.
I am doing almost daily updates on FaceBook and would be happy to answer any questions that you might have by email.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
April also marked the reciept of 2 very important shipping containers. The first was a very slow shipment from Jacksonville, IL. Whew! Took almost 6 weeks to finally get here but, the arrival of this container has been a blessing to many and will continue to bless many for months to come. Thank you Maria Phillips and your many friends who made this container possible. There were tons of clothes, many boxes for Casa de Esperanza, many household goods for the Whites, and everything was packed well and arrived in great condition. Just this week, we were able to unload another food container that has about 250,000 servings of a very nutritious rice meal. These meals will be a blessing to children all over the Tegucigalpa area. Feeding centers, church feeding programs, nutrition centers, and many other places. We are blessed and would like to thank Hunger Plus, Feed My Starving Children, and Manna Pack who made this possible. Containers were never planned to be a big part of our work here - at least in our plans. However, opportunities to help are presented almost every week and we look at each one with prayer and petition to God to determine if we should be involved. Just yesterday we were asked to consider recieving 4 containers of like new hospital beds and many other medical supplies. My first thought was to ignore the request - I didn't. I made a couple of calls to friends that are in the care of 13 Honduran hospitals and they moved faster than I have ever seen to accept this offer. The result is that next week, we will be shipping almost $1,000,000 of beds and other supplies to a hospital system that very much needs these supplies. The Honduran government will be paying for the shipment. Again, thank you Hunger Plus of Plainview, TX for making this happen.
The next shipment for our ministry will be coming from the Overland Park Church of Christ and will ship on May 17. If you need to ship supplies to Honduras, please let me know and we will connect you with our friends in Kansas.
Our Dump ministry is continuing to develop. We are working with the city of Tegucigalpa on a proposal to begin development of a center that will offer spiritual, health, and other services to the folks that work at the dump. Pray for God to reveal His plan and that we will be bold in following it.
In the area of short term missions and mission teams, 2010 has started well. Our home has been blessed with 2 small groups that just wanted to come to Honduras to work for a few days. Three young folks from SC came for a week to share in the work here as well as in several comunities of Tegucigalpa. Later, we led a team from FHU in TN. Home building, food distribution and other feeding ministry, work at the dump, hospital, children's home.....a full week was shared and loved. Amazing young folks that we were blessed to serve side by side and shoulder to shoulder with. Later, we closed the month with a family from NC that wanted to come to build a memory house and spend their 25th anniversary here in our home. Thanks for comeing to be with us Rick and Angie.
May really kicks in with teams and other work. On May 5, my brother Trey Morgan will be hosting the second annual "Dump Day" on his blog http://www.treymorgan.net/ . Please take a look at what is happening and help any way that you might can,
Churches here are doing well. IN 2010, there have been numerous folks that have commited their lives to Jesus and have been baptized in His name. Many more are participating in almost daily classes and study opportunities. Summer teams will be working with the local churches to help take the Good News to our community.
Well, if you would like to see updates more often, I am on FaceBook and usually post a note or two every day. We would love to have any of you to come and see us - just be warned, if you come, we will be putting you to work.
Thank you for your constant prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support.
With the Love of Jesus,
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Our work with Casa de Esperanza and other ministries is the best. We love being able to be with the kids and our association with Karen and Dorian is wonderful. Karen does an amazing job as director of the children's home and Dorian is tireless as the minister of the church in Santa Ana.
In early January, Terri posted a summary of our work on her blog. You can link to that here http://terriltindall.blogspot.com/2010/01/year-in-retrospect.html
For 2010, our plans are to continue to slowly add children to the work at Casa de Esperanza. The present campus has space for up to 35 kids however, we believe that Karen - our director needs to be the decision maker on when to add children and we also believe that we need to make sure that new children have the time to feel at home at Casa before we jump in and add more. Our new house has room for 8 more kids and it may take us all of 2010 to build to that point.
In 2010, we are praying for the opportunity to purchase another plot of land to potentially open another campus where some older girls might have the opportunity to be rescued.
In the are of the ministry at the dump, we are working on plans to help with health, education, and spiritual needs of the people that live and work in and around the dump. I hope to be able to make an announcement about the plan sometime around the first of March 2010. The plan is exciting and the potential to change lives is hugh.
Around the first of March 2010, we will finally recieve the first of 2 mobile clinics and will be able to work with the Baxter Clinic and local churches to share the love of Jesus in many many areas. The first clinic is shipping from Fairview Heights, IL and is in mint condition. Hopefully, the bus clinic will be arriving soon after.
We continue to work in the Santa Katerina area with the feeding center/ church plant. Since the political climate is much better in Honduras, working in the boarder area of Nicaragua is safe and we can now proceed.
We are blessed in 2010 with a number of short term teams. Our teams are coming from all over the USA and they begin in March and run through every month of the balance of the end of the year.
Thank you to Churches in Borger, Fritch, Childress, Dumas, & Wheeler Texas, Sentinal, OK, Topeka & Overland Park, KS, Fairview Heights & Jacksonville, IL, Rotary Clubs in Borger, Levelland, Pampa, Childress, & Spearman TX - thank you for listening to the stories about our work and the people of Honduras who have become our friends and one of the reasons we do what we do.
We are blessed to have so many many great friends, supporters, and brothers in Jesus who partner with us in our work in Honduras.