A Dios Sea La Gloria

We have just finished one of the most exciting weeks of ministry we've had in Honduras. I still can't believe we are finally in our own church building. So much work, prayers, sweat, and tears have gone into making this day possible. To God be the glory!

Below is the link to the video on Facebook (with English subtitles) that our partner in the ministry Matt Goins put together for our series of inauguration services. Please take a few minutes to reflect with us on all the Lord has done here in just over five years; we truly serve a great God.

"To God Be the Glory"

The Battle Wages

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

-Alexander Solzhenitzyn,
The Gulag Archipelago

Last week I headed out to the building site to work in Robbie's office. It's been a little project of mine for the past few months to get it ready for him. Now that Moving Day is almost here, it's finally time to start working on the details.

In order to prepare concrete walls for paint, they must be scraped with a metal spatula and sanded. It took me an entire day just to smooth the walls to an acceptable finish, though I did get a late start due to a protesters' road block that morning. After the walls were sanded, I cleaned them with a heavy-duty broom. When the cloud of concrete dust finally settled, they looked pretty good.

The next morning I applied a coat of primer to seal the walls and keep the paint from popping off from the moisture. Eric (*name has been changed), a young man who trusted Christ as a child and recently rededicated his life to the Lord, works on the crew out at the building site. Although he was laying tile this particular week, his specialty is painting (You have to know how to do a little of EVERYTHING when you work construction in Honduras!). I consulted him several times about the sanding technique and how to apply the primer. He showed me a few tricks and lent me a device he had fashioned to clean excess paint off the roller right out of the bucket. He even taped off a window for me as I worked, so that I wouldn't have to stop. As we worked, we listened to BBN, one of the few Christian stations broadcast in Honduras. The program "Unshackled" was playing, and Eric commented on how much he enjoyed that particular series. I knew Eric had a drinking problem and could relate to the stories that aired.

The next morning, I was finally able to begin painting with the colors I had selected for the room. It was exciting to see it all coming together. Eric came up to check on me, and saw me struggling to cut in the edges near the ceiling with a horribly cheap brush the paint store had sold me. "They just don't have good quality brushes here!" he sighed. "Wait a minute, I've got something you can use." He came back with his backpack and removed a 45 degree angled brush with a wooden handle. He presented it to me with obvious pride. "My twin brother works as a painter in Georgia; he sends me brushes sometimes. It'll be much easier to work with this."

I thankfully accepted the brush and soon learned he was right; I was able to work twice as fast and quickly finished the first coat. When Eric saw me beginning to put my supplies away, he offered to wash out my tray, brushes, and roller. I saw him carefully wash and dry his angled brush, then place it back in its original packaging. I felt guilty for even using it; it was clearly a prized possession.

I called my mom that night and asked if she and Dad could pick up some new brushes for me before they come down on Friday. I thought it would be a nice way to thank Eric for his help on Robbie's office.

Last night I learned the main part of the crew had finished their jobs at the church and would not be working today. I called Alex the foreman first thing this morning to see if he could get in touch with Eric; I could hire him to finish the second coat on Robbie's office so that I could work here at the house.

Alex called back a few minutes ago with bad news. He had looked for Eric for a good part of the morning and finally found him at a neighborhood bar, drunk and unable to work. My heart hurts for him, knowing what a battle he is in.

It's so tempting to herd people into groups. The good and the evil. But the truth is, we all are both. We are all in a battle. I am praying that the Lord will do a work in Eric's heart and that he will one day have his own "Unshackled" story to tell.

I also pray He will work in my own heart. May I never think that I am one of the "good." My heart is no different from Eric's; there is good, but there is evil as well. I must daily surrender my will, crucify the flesh, and pray for victory. He is the only One who has the power to unshackle.

Team Honduras Presents...Creatures!

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The Missionary Life

Goodbyes, a plane ride,
My life’s in a crate;
New land, strange place,
My stomach’s got an ache…

¿Como está, señor?
What did he say?
Mas lento, por favor,
A hundred times a day.

Concrete walls,
And tile on the floor
Tiny geckos scamper
Behind a cupboard door.

Tropical sun,
My coke’s in a bag,
Sitting on a porch
Where time seems to drag.

Crowding in a bank line,
Praying for grace,
These people don’t know about
My personal space.

Brown tap water
Makes your belly reel.
Trip to the pharmacy,
Parasite pill.

Man beside the road
Stabbed with a knife,
No one cares to cover up,
Forgotten life.

Late night music
From the party down the street
Put a pillow on your head,
Walls shaking to the beat.

Civil unrest
And riots downtown,
Until the weary curfew ends
We’re all on lockdown.

Bible Club bug bites,
Itchy legs and feet,
Better grab the Calamine
‘Cause we forgot the Deet.

There goes the power
But it’s all right,
We’ve got a generator
To get us through the night.

Bumping down the road
In a loaded pickup truck,
If it starts to rain,
We’re all out of luck!

Going door to door
Down the dusty street,
Precious gospel given
To everyone we meet.

Sunday morning on a porch
The seats begin to fill.
Short sermon, raised hand,
Amazing thrill!

Little brown hand
Slips into my own.
She calls me, Hermana,
But I’m the only mom she’s known.

Here comes a group
From the USA!
Debbie snacks and Slim Jims
Headed our way!

Believer’s baptism
In a mountain stream,
Living testimony
Of a heart that’s clean.

Prayer letter’s due,
Furlough’s just ahead
We’re only here because of folks
Who gave as they were led.

In a borrowed minivan
We make our stateside rounds,
Been to every Cracker Barrel,
Gained twenty pounds.

Shopping with my sis
Down every Target aisle
These shoes are all so ugly!
Wait…am I out of style?

Preacher says, “Thank you, Lord,
For those who will go
To give someone the gospel,
In a place where they don’t know.”

Some seem to pity me
“That poor missionary,
Foreign land, safety threats…
Must be pretty scary!”

My mind’s eye quickly sees
A dearly-missed brown face,
And I know without a doubt,
I’d never trade my place.

In honor of some of our missionary friends (and many others not listed!):

Matt and Dallita Goins

Nathan and Jennifer Massey

Mark and Amy Coats
Currently in Costa Rica (language school)
Journey to Honduras

Brad and Tricia Henderson

Brad and Kelleigh Edmondson
Medical Missions Outreach

LeRoy and Amber Rolston
Rolston Ministries
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