Sunday, October 02, 2011
1. Casa de Esperanza is our home and where 19 beautiful kids live. We are working toward a small expansion in numbers - while we were gone, we added 2 new kids but, there was some issue between the mother, IHNFA, and the judge and they were taken back to the mother after living in Casa for about 2 weeks. It now looks like they will be coming back to live at Casa permanently however, in the true spirit of government work, the once completed paperwork must start over.
2. The Farm at Zambrano is progressing under the watch of Nathan Hale. Nate with several of our teams has completed more than 20 drip rows and is working toward getting electricity and fish tanks installed. Once built, we will be seeking employees from the dump to come and work with us.
3. Work at the dump continues and we feed every Wednesday, we support a minister that is doing a bible study with about 20 to 30 every morning at 9. We are also working to help any way we can with the school Amor, Fe, y Esperazna - this school educates children of the dump and teaches them about Jesus. We have agreed to help them with a scholarship for one of their students that is part of the first graduation in the 9 year old school.
The annual Jesus Banquet at the Dump will be on December 7.
4. We continue to work with the import and distribution of containers of food, clothing, and medical supplies. So far this year, we have imported 14 food containers - each with about 280,000 meals and a total value close to 1.5 million dollars. We have also imported another 12 containers of clothing and medical supplies with untold value. Right now, there are 2 containers waiting release - one of them has a new Cat Scan for the public hospital in Tegucigalpa.
5. We just purchased in partnership with Bread for a Hungry World, two pressed earth block machines. We are excited to begin using these valuable tools - one of the first projects will be in Campemento where we will build a village of eventually 200 homes, a feeding center, a church, and a school.
6. We are moving toward development of our mission house project. This place will house our mission teams and will support the planned development of another Casa campus.
7. We have begun discussions on developing water projects as a part of our ministry. Plans are to have a conference call in the coming days to formulate our strategy.
8. We still have 4 teams coming in the balance of 2011 and already have plans for 20 in 2012. New teams from Oregon and California are already making plans for next year.
We want everything we do to have Jesus in the middle of it. We want to be able to share the good news of the Kingdom to the people that need His Hope and are confident that when they see his good news in action, they will be receptive to hearing about what he can mean to them.
Blessings and thanks for keeping us in your daily prayer.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sad and glad!
Sad because we are empty of teams for a couple of months but, glad because August 7 meant a few days where we could wind down and relax a little. Working more than 100 days without taking any down time is hard on an old guy.
My job, the best in the world, is crazy during the season of mission teams. In 2011, our teams have been larger and we have participated in some amazing work, projects, and blessings. So far, we have worked with more than 360 people and we still have 5 2011 teams to go. Some of the highlights of the year follow:
367 people from all over the USA have come to work in Honduras. That is almost double the number for the same months of 2010!
We have build a lot -
65 wooden houses
3 block houses
1 adobe house
2 church buildings
2 sunday school classrooms
1 playground at the public hospital
1 feeding center and play area at a school in Ojojona
several roof projects
We have fed -
More than 13,000 meals have been served to the poor at the dump
More than 200,000 meals have been served in feeding center projects all around Honduras and more than 1,000,000 meals have been distributed to families through Manna Pack, Hunger Plus, and Bread for a Hungry World.
More than 3,000 families received fresh food from the farmers market
More than 1000 families received clothing, blankets, and other much needed supplies for life.
Medical teams have treated at least 1500 people.
We have taught VBS lessons to 1000+ kids
We have visited men in the Honduras National Prison more than 10 times.
We have grown close to the boys in a state run orphanage.
We have completed projects at Casa de Esperanza and loved on the Casa Kids
We have taught the Good News and have seen more than 25 people become Christians.
Wow! I am always amazed to report what has happened and I always forget some of the things we have been blessed to be a part of.
Terri and I head to USA on August 14 for time with family & travel to share our adventures with others. We hope to see many of you there.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Right now, the day is ending at the dump. Some of the many "non official" workers at the dump are trying to make their way home while others are already home. Life in the dump is one that I will not ever personally experience but, I have many many friends that don't know any different.
Today is Wednesday and we did what we do every Wednesday - we went to take some food to my friends. In the 3 plus years that we have been going into the dump, I have gone from being afraid to truly looking forward to being with my friends for a short time. I wish I knew the names of all of the people that know mine and call me their friend. My friends know that we will be there every Wednesday and I believe that they look forward to my truck rolling into the dump - not just for food but, because they know that people that really do love them will be with me. Sometimes, we just sit down and talk about what is going on in the darkness of a place that the uninitiated would be afraid of.
Today - May 4, 2011 we are working with Trey Morgan from Childress, TX and with Bread for a Hungry World - from Ft Worth, TX. We call this Dump Day. A day that we attempt to partner with many many people so that we can continue to feed, share, change, and perhaps deliver a ray of light - HOPE. It is 5:40 and we were just given a challenge - raise $5000 more and one donor will match with another $5000 and Bread for a Hungry World will match another $5000 - that is a $2 for $1 MATCH. Amazing isn't it. We are so blessed to be able to work in this ministry and even more blessed at the connections with others that our God has made possible,
Please consider this amazing opportunity to join us in our work in the Tegucigalpa Dump.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Next week is a very special one for the work we do here in Honduras. The 3rd annual dump day will be on May 4 and if history is an indicator of what the future holds, well, it will be an amazing Wednesday. Pondering Dump Day - pretty much on my mind all the time right now - I have come up with 10 reasons that participating is a good idea -
1. People are hungry - not just for food but for the loving hands that go to the dump to serve the food every Wednesday. Serving food with a smile, a hug, and a touch says - I Love You!
2. If we don't do this, who will? I really believe that God planned very specific tasks for us and I believe that this work in the dump is one that was planned for many of us. I am blessed to get to go to do the actual feeding but, I believe that the plan is to share the work with the many who give to make it possible.
3. Giving to feed some of the poorest of the poor will help all of us remember how blessed we really are.
4. People need to know that others love them - unconditionally. That is the same love that we faithfully know our father has for us.
5. Jesus told us we need to have the heart of a child - we teach our kids to share with others - especially if we have 2 cookies and another has none - share. Sharing is a heart thing - a learned behavior.
6. Dump day provides milk for babies, help for a day care center, medicines, clothing from containers, and HOPE!
7. The Jesus Banquet in December is paid for by Dump Day. In 2010, we fed 1200 an amazing meal of grilled steak, pork, and smoked sausage. We shared Christmas gifts with families. It was an amazing blessing.
8. You can afford it. When you count your blessings and realize that God gave you so much - ponder why. So you could have a bigger house, a very large TV, good stuff...or was it so you could learn to be generous like him?
9. My friends at the dump really do like the rice, beans, and tortillas that we share every week. In the summer, we plan to go as many as 3x each week. Lives are being changed.
10. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you have done for me. Feeding others is feeding Jesus - why don't you consider helping us on Dump Day and you can feed him every week for the next year?
Follow the day at Trey Morgan's Blog
Sunday, March 06, 2011
A few days ago I picked up a copy the annual Forbes Magazine that reports on the richest 400 people in the USA - this group of people is pretty unique in that the club that they belong to requires a net worth of at least one billion US dollars. That amount of money is just about impossible for me to imagine. It is one thousand times one million dollars. WOW. my guess is that there is a lot of pride of ownership among these 400 people and their families.
Near the end of the magazine there was about 4 pages dedicated to the memory of people that were removed from the list because they were no longer part of the living. Made me think - mostly a dangerous thing.
My thoughts were actually about how some of the rich might have felt compelled to protect their wealth and resources - for whatever reason, people generally feel compelled to do everything they can to protect what they have worked hard for - I mean it is only natural to fight for what is rightfully your own. Then, at the end of the day - none of it really matters because every one of us meets the very same end - although the vast majority of us never get our death notice in Forbes 400.
So, even though I am not a Bible expert, I can read and it is pretty clear that choosing to be a follower means that our entire attitude about the ownership of stuff and our attitude toward it should have changed or should be changing. The story of the rich young ruler tells it all. The story of the brand new believers in Acts tells about people that didn't consider anything they had as their own - if anyone needed help, the believers provided. They sold land, things, whatever needed to share. Pride of ownership gave over to humble serventhood.
What if we decide that we will actually live in a way that reflects these attitudes? Instead of claiming our price of ownership, we look for the everpresent opportunity to share everything we have. Trusting Jesus when he said that we don't have anything to worry about. He takes care of the birds of the are and cares for us so much more than that.
How much of our burden of the world would be released if we really do have the attitude "I Own Nothing". That is what Jesus himself said isn't it? Then Paul later told all of us, you should all have the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.
Give it up and Gain everything.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
I really didn't stress too much about the failure of ABC to report the news but, it did make me think about some of those pesky things that end up being called "pet peeves". Some of mine are quirky and some - I think would bug anybody. Here in no certain order are 10 things that bug me enough to be called a pet peeve.
1. When people use "facts" that just haven't been checked for accuracy - that bugs me. For instance, a friend for years has said that an old church in Honduras is the oldest one in the west. An easy check on this showed me that the oldest church is in the Dominican Republic, not Honduras.
2. Similar to number 1, using statistics that logic would easily show were not correct. Recently somebody quoted a "statistic" about violent deaths in Honduras that - if true would have meant that about 1 out of 5 people would be dead in 3 years. Violence is bad but not that bad.
3. Bugs me when somebody smacks gum, or stands behind me and eats crunchy food. (quirky)
4. Arguing over things that don't make any difference - a peeve that I am trying to no longer participate in.
5. People that won't allow their friend the missionary pick up the tab at a restaurant.
6. Oil futures go up at 8 AM and gasoline prices go up at 8:01.
7. Oil futures go down at 8 AM and gas prices go down at 8:01 - three weeks later.
8. Holier than thou people that have never lifted a finger to help somebody.
So, that is the list. What bugs you?
What doesn't bug me is living and working in Honduras. I am blessed with the best job in the world and today was another great day in Honduras.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
On reflection, I have not changed my mind about the sound of the words "professional Christian". I do believe that paid or not, our claim of being a Christian is not a matter of "doing" but instead it is a matter of who we are. When I was in the secular work world, I never wanted to be defined by my job or my profession - I liked my work but, it was not the "who"of who I am. On the other hand, I do want to be defined by my relationship with Jesus - but, a personal claim of being a Christian is hollow if the way I live is not visible to the world we live in. Claiming to be a believer and living a life where nobody knows that Jesus is in there is nothing different than making a claim that you are a scholar and without knowing how to read.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
These past months have been filled with the amazing reality of our God. He has shown himself in so many ways and has continually blessed Casa de Esperanza and the ministries of our work here in Honduras. We have also been constantly reminded that the enemy is real and working hard to destroy, hurt, and tear down years of kingdom work. Here are some examples:
- For many years, a group of believers from Texas worked to build a ministry to provide drinking water through drilling wells in communities throughout Honduras. Late in the fall, all of that came to a sudden halt. The ministry came to an end because of a number of reasons - pride, egos, or whatever. The real reason is that the original purpose of the ministry was somehow lost. Drilling wells in the name of Jesus was exchanged for something else and soon, everything fell apart and no wells are being drilled, millions of dollars of equipment are sitting idle, and people are thirsty and drinking bad water.
- Satan is currently attacking a ministry that cares for more than 50 kids. Faithful servants, friends of mine have been directing a children's home for many years. A change at the top of a board of directors has once again led people that know little about how things work to make decisions that will hurt kids, put the future of a children's home at risk, and take Jesus out of the picture. When Satan attacks, the trail is covered with hurting people and wrecked lives.
- Wrecked lives is exactly what Satan delivered in the other example.
Several years ago I met a man that had a vision to feed kids and teach them about Jesus. He had begun to work in several communities here in the Tegucigalpa area and before long, there were more than 700 kids being fed a healthy meal 5x a week. You could see God blessing this work and providing for the needs - much of it through the business of the man that I met. Recently, it has become public knowledge that the man that I met has fallen into Satan's snare. He has traded his love for the kids for sour fruit. His family is gone, his business is wiped out, and the kids have been hurt. Others are taking up the cause and the kids will continue to be fed - but, once again, the path is littered with the lives of those that the "Dark Side " has ensnared and those that were innocently in the way.
- We have seen a church that is very close to us attacked through one of the ministers and an illicit relationship. Lives and families destroyed and a trail of doubt within the body of believers.
In the darkness, nothing is sacred and nobody is immune. We have found that the harder you work for the kingdom, the more you are attacked.
Jesus told us to "take up your cross daily and follow me". This willingness to acknowledge that our lives are not our own, that "today, I would die for you, Jesus - is the only way I know to stop Satan's plan to take us out of the picture.
James, the brother of Jesus said, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
Simply put, put God first in your life and make a relationship with him the number one priority.
Monday, January 24, 2011
I had been living and working in Memphs, TN for about 3 years and my company wanted to promote me. They actually gave me a choice of where to live - New Jersey or California. All you need to do is look at today's weather and see that California was the obvious choice. I was headed to CA to replace a guy that was the first National Accouts Director that Nabisco had ever appointed. He was a legend and had hand picked me to replace him as he was to retire about 6 months after I arrived. Well, things went great for about 5.5 months. Customers and the job were everything that anybody could every want. Then, the guy that I was to replace took about a month of "trial" retirement off and didn't like it at all. He concluded that he wanted to work a few more years and started trying to destroy my reputation and my career. Thank God I had a boss that could see through all of this and I was actually promoted into an even better position albeit much more difficult work. The result of all of this was my building consumption of hate for the guy that tried to destroy me. I was so consumed that I would drive to work and savor the ideas of how I could hurt the old man. Finally, I realized that I just had to let it go and forget about what had happened. I realized that the only person hurt by being consumed with hate was me. I realized just why Jesus told us that we needed to learn to forgive - just like him.
Isn't it amazing that God's plan for us - in both love and forgiveness is exactly what we need to be healthy and pleasant?
When people asked the greatest commandment, Jesus answered first love God, then love each other. We cannot possibly love each other if we cannot forgive each other. We need to be as consumed with love as I was with hate for the old man.
We can't be consumed with love for each other unless we follow the words that tell us - first love God, then love each other - and we cannot love God unless we are consumed with him.
Well, these are my monday thoughts,
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Santa Ana and Honduras are not too far away from the USA - at least by flight time but, they are a world apart in many other ways.
- Our little country of Honduras has about 8 million people and the USA has about 320 million.
- Honduras is about the same land mass as Tennessee which makes the USA way more than 50 times as large.
- The average age of the population of Honduras is below 20 and in the USA it is above 30.
- The average family in the USA has a car or 2, a house with 2 or more bedrooms, TV with cable, computers, internet, I-phones, and plenty of food. In Honduras more than 60% of the population live in poverty, live in a one room house, struggle daily for food, will never own a car, and may not even have access to electricity.
- In my little country, the average age of first conception for young ladies is below 15 years old. In the USA it is over 21.
- In Honduras today there are more than 1000 people - including kids that will try to find something to eat in a city dump.
- In the USA - as flawed as it is, there is a foster care system that helps to rescue abused & neglected kids. In Honduras many of these kids just run away and live on the streets.
I could make a long long list that contrasts the differences between our little corner of the world and life in these United States. The point is, we need to open our eyes to what is happening in the world around us. We need to realize how blessed we are to be able to say, my home is the USA. We need to consider how we can utilize what God has given us - not just writting checks but by going and doing. We need to be the change that we want to see. We need to lead others and we need to share the Good News that we are blessed to know.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Watching all the football and visiting here in "SEC Country" reminds me just how crazy some folks are about "The Team". (doesn't really make any difference what team -The Team - is. Seeing excitement in action has me thinking "what if?"
- What if we were as excited about going about doing things for others as we are about our team winning the Orange Punch Bowl?
- What if we were just as excited about sharing Jesus with somebody as we were talking about our team's bowl performance?
- What if we decided that people are more important than an accumulation of stuff?
- What if we decided that we were going to trust God when he said that we don't need to worry?
- What if we actually lived lives like we were the person that we want others to believe we are?
- What if we decided to share the new clothes with others and keep the used ones for a while longer?
- What if we kept the car for another year and spent the $500 a month feeding hungry kids?
- What if we decided to love others - even when they don't love back?
- What if we decided to go for a year without using the word HATE - especially when it involves another person?
- What if we decided that we will no longer say anything bad about anybody - even when we know that they are saying bad things about us.
- What if they know we are believers because of our love and our actions?
Happy New Year,