I’m Busy

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When I was home in April, a very wise man asked me how I was doing?  My response, “I’m very busy.”  He replied,  “I know that, how are you doing?”  Thanks, God, for the reminder that we are human beings and … Continue reading

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Another Day in Paradise

Another day in paradise.”

That’s what my teaching partner, Fredy Lopez, says every morning when I pick him up for work.

Mr. Fredy

But to nine little boys and girls, February 15, 2012, wasn’t just any other day in paradise. It was the day Samuel Raymond Christian Academy opened its doors. God has blessed us with nine incredibly wonderful children. Additionally, I couldn’t ask for a better teaching partner than Fredy Lopez. The kids all love Mr. Fredy.

It’s exciting to see the world of reading open up to them. It’s exciting to see the world of English open up to them. It’s exciting to see them want to come to school. We have been blessed with an incredible group of children.

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There continues to be great demand for our Adult English Classes at the Iglesia de Dios in Coxen Hole. We turned many people away as it’s important to limit the class size. When classes are too large, students don’t get the opportunity to practice conversation.  It’s a joy to see these students begin to “get it.”  I thank God for the opportunity to serve these precious men and women.

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It was a blessing to have my daughter, Sarah, here for three weeks with the purpose of helping out in the ministry. The kids at school ask almost every day when she’s coming back. Her time here was invaluable and she won a place in the heart of many people.

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“I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency).” Phil 4:13 (Amplified)

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Celebrations and New Beginnings

Celebrations and New Beginnings 

Celebrations:

Much has happened since I last sent an update.  Lots of celebrations and also some new beginnings.

First, the celebrations.  The weekend before returning to the States for Christmas, we had an awards celebration for our English, Music, and Computer students.  It was wonderful to have them all gathered in one place.

I think one of the highlights was hearing my police students read Philippians 4:13 in English with fervor.  Another highlight of the evening was singing praise songs (one of my preferred teaching tools) at the end of the evening.  And of course, no celebration would be complete without food.

Then I got to celebrate our Lord’s birth with my family in Oklahoma

Christmas evening with Sarah and Daniel

New Beginnings

It’s wonderful to see the students grow and many will attest to the fact that God’s presence makes the classes special.  Everywhere I go, people are asking me,  “When do classes start again?”  In fact, I just returned from a grocery store run and there was a police stop.  And you guessed it,  “When do we start English classes?”  Then, the police captain wanted to make sure I met the head of the COBRAs (drug/SWAT police) who was at the stop.

Last week in church the pastor asked the church to pray for our classes.  In the grocery store, people stop me and ask about classes.  It’s wonderful to meet such a deep need in the community.

More New Beginnings — Samuel Raymond Christian Academy

A year ago it was a suggestion from a couple of mothers that I just blew off.  However, God had other plans.  So,  in two weeks we open the doors for Samuel Raymond Christian Academy in Sandy Bay.

We are beginning with Kindergarten and First Grade.  Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to add more grades.  Several of the neighborhood kids have said they want to go back to First Grade so they can come to our school.  God willing, next year they can come to our school.

Pray that God will direct the right families to SRCA and that we’ll be able to minister to the whole family.

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Called to Serve

Buckner English Students

Adult English Students

Called to serve 

Philippians 2: 5-7a

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;  

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

But was made of no reputation; and took upon himself the form of a servant 

ACE Administrator’s training.  The last time I took this training, Daniel was in kindergarten.  Now, he’s entering his final year of university.  So, here I am in Tegucigalpa – working eight hour days with significant homework each night.  Plus, the seminars have been primarily in Spanish.   Time to be stretched and pushed again.

Going back to being a beginner, waiting for my flag to be answered (those of you from NLCA will understand this), being submissive and being a servant:  these are lessons that I hate having to learn – again.

What was one of the big lessons from this week?  Leadership is service.  Greatness is meekness.

Why am  I in Roatán?  To serve those whom God puts in my life.  To lift up Jesus daily.  Pray that I shall be faithful to these principles.

Time in Oklahoma

caleb

With my nephew, Caleb

My time home was wonderfully refreshing.  Mexican food, family vacations, and Settlers of Catan made the time fly by.  Thanks to each of you for encouraging me and my family during this time.

okc zoo

OKC Zoo with my nephewsMy sister, Rebekah, and I

independence day

Bethany Independence Day Parade with Sarah and Daniel

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The Church at Work


Intibucá.  Christian Heritage Academy.  Small groups.  Accountability
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Intibucá

In May I was blessed to be invited on a mission trip to Intibuca with my friends from the Iglesia de Dios in Coxen Hole.  Here is a church in an impoverished neighborhood sending missionaries all over the world including countries that are closed to North Americans.  We delivered medicine and mattresses to the Lenca Indians of Honduras and also helped with a women’s conference.  Being part of their trip reminded me that we are all blessed and as Christians were are called to serve those whom God puts in our lives.  Maybe it’s the Lencas or maybe it’s your hurting neighborhood.  Whoever it is, we are to serve.  It’s incredible what happens in our lives when we get outside of ourselves.

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Christian Heritage Academy

The last week of May, a group of energetic students and faculty descended on Roatan.  Their task; share Jesus with the Islanders.  Some did this by building a house.  Some hosted VBS for a group of neighborhood children.  Some spent time making friendships with a group of girls that have suffered unspeakable tragedy.  Some did minor home repairs for me. (Sorry Mom, I know I should’ve been able to do it myself.)  Some served me by doing the often mundane and tedious behind the scenes tasks that go with being a teacher.  I know the girls that helped me at my house did not expect to come to Honduras to color 1000 vocabulary flash cards.  However, they saved me weeks of work and were a huge encouragement to me personally.  Thanks, CHA team, for the many ways you served and shared Jesus.

Small groups and accountability

The church in action is not just big groups and trips.  It’s also small and intimate.  And, I’m privileged to say that God’s blessed me with a new friend and accountability partner.  We meet every Monday to pray for each other and the times are sweet.  I’m so grateful God put Debi in my life.  Additionally, a friend of mine, Thelma, asked if we could begin a Bible study.  Two weeks into the study, Thelma accepted Jesus as her Lord during an open-air meeting.  My times of prayer and study with these ladies are a gift from God.  I’m thankful I get to be a part of the church in these smaller settings, too.

Residency

My residency paperwork is still in process. There have been snags, bumps, and even some mountains along the way.  The process needs to be finalized by August 7 or I get to start all over again.  Keep this as a matter of prayer.  We serve a God who sometimes moves mountains and who sometimes invites us to climb them with Him.  Whatever the case, I’m glad He’s in control.

Extremely Extreme Pirates of the Caribbean Zipline

Coming Home

I’ll be home June 27 through August 4.  My sister and her family are currently in the States (they serve in a closed African nation) and this is going to be a great time for all the family to be together.  We are working on an event at Crossings and I’ll advise you when I have the date confirmed.  Finally, it’s a pleasure to have my son, Daniel, here with me for three weeks

I’m so glad the church can show up in may ways, from mission trips to supporters at home, to new friends, to spending time with family.   Thank you for your prayer and support.

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A View from the Outside

Birthday breakfast with my advanced class

April brought a wonderful gift.  Sarah, my daughter, and Rebekah, my sister, came for a one week visit.  I asked Sarah to share her perspective with you.

I only spent a week on this small island. Only a week to cram in as much as I could – to explore a place for which I (honestly) had low expectations. It’s not that I wasn’t excited. It’s just that I didn’t think I would get attached. But I did.

Extremely Extreme Pirates of the Caribbean Zip Line


Maybe it was something about the beach nearby or the fresh mangos each morning. Maybe I just really loved not having to be at work. But as I reflect on the wonderful seven days I got to spend with my mom on this small island, I began to realize that what truly made it special were the people who crossed my path. After all, without the people, it really is just an island, an island with tourists and hibiscus plants and dukas on every corner. I admit, this was what I expected. I expected an island and at first had a difficult time justifying why my mom was doing “mission” work there. But then the plane touched down and I began to see and feel, taste and touch the truth of the island.

Making sugar cookies

Roatan is place of stark contrast. There is extravagance just minutes away from poverty and glimmering cruise ships only steps away from gang graffiti. There are hurting people who have found it hard to trust outsiders because they’ve been used so many times. There are those who want to bring change to the many broken hearts, lives, families, and political systems on the island, but who feel alone. And there are those who simply need a friend. In just a few short months, my mom (despite her … elementary … Spanish) has succeeded in developing genuine friendships and relationships with so many of the people I’ve just named. Her classes have brought influential, passionate people together. Her sacrifice has shown the outsiders that they are loved. Her unselfishness has shown that she is giving without condition. And the truth is, the way she lives her life lets those around her see the hope of Jesus each day. Yes, there is work to be done on this small island — mission work, heart work, life-change work — and my mom is doing it. And in the short amount of time I spent watching her interact with her students and friends, I began to realize that she is right where she belongs, touching the lives she is supposed to touch.

Yes, it’s an island — a gorgeous, tropical island like so many others. But it’s more than just an island. It’s a place that is representative of the reality so many of us go to islands to escape. My mom, though, has chosen not to escape the reality, but to immerse herself in the dirty, crazy, amazing, rewarding, beautiful work of loving people and meeting them where they are ready to be met. And that’s what makes Roatan more than an island. And that’s what makes Roatan special. And that’s what makes me so proud of my mom. And hopefully someday soon, she’ll let me come back and show me more of her new island home, but even more than that, show me how she’s sharing Jesus.
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No Doubt

We all know that as we walk through life, challenges will appear. The direction we

No, they don't have aspens in Roatan.


thought life would or should take becomes a twisted pathway. I have friends that are struggling with their financial support, a friend in the hospital with a very serious illness, a friend who just lost her daughter suddenly, a friend who has decided to give up what she thought was her dream job to stay in OKC, and I’m having some major challenges with my residency paperwork.

So, as I sat down to work on this I decided to listen to some old music on my iPod. The gift – “No Doubt” by Petra.

So, in honor of all of us that are walking through challenges I give you Petra.

“No Doubt”

There are times when you feel like you can’t go on                                                               There are times when you feel like giving in                                                                                And there are times when youfeel like you can’t try anymore                                            There are times of trouble in believing                                                                                      This test of your faith will last                                                                                                        As long as it takes to pass                                                                                                                 Till you have no more doubt you’ll endure                                                                                  And your faith will emerge true and pure

(Chorus)

No doubt it’ll be alright                                                                                                                   With God it’ll work together for good                                                                                            No doubt in the end it will be understood                                                                                     No doubt it’ll all work out                                                                                                           With faith He can move any mountain for us                                                                             No doubt in the power of Jesus                                                                                                      And after all is done we find out                                                                                                    All we really need to have is no doubt

There’s a time to take a reckless leap of faith                                                                        There’s a time to be cautious and to wait                                                                                     And there’s a way of learning from the past                                                                                 That this time of trouble won’t last                                                                                               And sometimes we want to think we know                                                                                 The ways He will choose to make us grow                                                                                      But it’s never the way of our choosing                                                                                           And we can’t always see what He’s using

There will be winters in the seasons of our soul                                                                        With a cold and bitter wind that chills our lives                                                                        But our faith can be building a fire                                                                                               That will warm us ’til springtime arrives

“For I know the plans I have for you,”  declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,  plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11

While the promises in Jeremiah weren’t written specifically to us, they still ring true today.  God will be found — if we seek Him.

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