Our New Evangelist-Walter…I mean Wualter

I have some exciting news for our Breaking Chains community, we have added a new and excited team member, Walter.DSC_0223  After being with us for a while now, he corrected us when his name was being written that there is a “u” in his name, hence Wualter. It’s a quick u, you don’t even notice it. Nevertheless, a church in Oklahoma City is supporting the position and Wualter is eager to get things rolling with the teens. He joins Siney as our second Honduran minister. They are both from the Baxter Institute, the local preaching school that trains preachers from all around Latin and South America here. I’m excited to be working closely with him on the spiritual forming activities and mentoring him as much as I can.

IMG_0941I found out that Wualter was a taxi driver here. Taxis drive me insane most days when I drive, but Wualter’s stories reminded me why it is one of the most dangerous professions to have here. 30+ taxi drivers were killed last year, mostly by gangs for refusing to pay extortion money to gangs. Wualter told us of a story where a guy wanted to rob him and kill him, so he just drove the guy around telling him about Jesus until the guy decided not to. I am very excited to have his excitement and commitment to Christ joining our Breaking Chains team.

I think the most important part of mission work is for the work of the mission to be turned over to the native people of the culture. I hope to continue the mentoring of young preachersIMG_0887 to more students including those not involved directly in Breaking Chains. The greatest advancements and growth of our ministry will be best done in the hands of these Honduran ministers. Pray for us as we plan and understand our role in showing the love of Christ together. I pray that this will continue and God will continue to bring us more and more people committed to loving the souls of those on the streets and our shelter.

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Only the prince brings peace

John laughs and shakes his head at me often about my lack of awareness of the news. I used to keep up with it pretty well, and I liked it – after all I have a degree in journalism. But I have found myself changing – running away from it sometimes as well as scary movies and gore on TV since I moved to Honduras.

I find the reality or lack of peace in the world so depressing. Satan has so much of the world in darkness – in hunger, in war, without clean water, deep into drugs, enveloped in disease. Sometimes the pain in our neck of the woods alone overwhelms me that I ignore what’s happening outside of Honduras. Otherwise, I’m not sure I could get out of bed if I didn’t focus on our own neck of darkness.

We hear a lot of names thrown around for God for various situations that claim to bring comfort – the Deliverer, the Almighty, Holy Ghost, Messiah, Christ, Abba Father, Holy One. But one of the often forgotten names is the Prince of Peace.

Not everyone likes this one as much of course. I can’t have road rage if I really follow the Prince of Peace. I can’t worry about everything if I follow the Prince of Peace. I can’t start fights with family members if I believe in the Prince of Peace. I can’t yell at that mom for her inability to take care of her children if I really want to emulate the Price of Peace. I can’t…I can’t…wow, there’s a lot of stuff that truly fall short of the Prince of Peace.

But what if we really emulated the Prince of Peace in this world? What if I really did? Such a feat takes a lot of humility. And I for one could use a deep dose of humility every day.

 

Celebrating one year

Today marks one year of John and I living in Honduras together, and I will celebrate my third-year mark in October. Our crazy family is celebrating our first year together, and in that time we have added a seventh member. Do we sound insane? Indeed.

Transitions have defined our first year in Honduras as a couple. And in most ways I feel grateful our first year is under our belts. We may not have many answers still, but we don’t have as many questions as we once did. That’s comforting.

The kids are more settled, more content and more relaxed in a family setting. I use relative terms of course because as soon as I say that they’ll do something to make me look like a liar. We’re still looking for answers and solutions to lots of problems. We get to know the book, and the story changes. We have learned to laugh and not get too predictive. The story rarely goes where we think it will. We generally don’t know what we’re doing, and well we’re learning just to take comfort in the constant of our omnipotent Father.

Our roles in our ministry at Breaking Chains are ever-changing. God is continually molding us into who he wants us to be for our teens, families and co-workers. We feel blessed to be a part of a new, growing ministry made up of a team and a board looking to serve God as best they can, mistakes or otherwise. We are constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves and our ministry for our BC kiddos. I’m excited to see what year #2 looks like with our Breaking Chains’ family.

We had a wonderful first summer working with teams together while juggling our family responsibilities. It was hard, and we made mistakes. Mistakes we will learn from with God’s help and a lot of humility. Grace is a beautiful thing that works for us and the people we work with. We housed four teams along with helping coordinate our other Breaking Chains’ teams. Housing groups in our home was hard work, but watching our kids open up and the teams to them made it worth the stress. The groups encouraged and loved on us personally and on our kids more than we could ever thank them for. We made friends and connections we and our kids hope not to lose.

God brings peace in our lives even among our chaos, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next year and into the next five. John and I are grateful beyond words to those who have made possible our first year working in Tegucigalpa. Yours prayers, displays of love and support have gotten us through. We hope those and others of you will consider (either for the first time or continued) support of our work over the next few months as we all look toward 2015.

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A prayer on this Lord’s Day

Abba Father walk with us.

Walk with my family as we grow together;
Help us to remember your Sacrifice.
Let us celebrate for he bled
And rose for me, my children and all his children;
He waits with open arms for us.

Abba Father walk with us.

Walk with our teens as they fight their vices;
Help them to remember to whom they belong.
Let them see their value as his creation
And remember they are loved by so many;
His grace is open to all of us.

Abba Father walk with us.

Walk with us at Breaking Chains;
Help us to lead humbly and serve fearlessly.
Let us be your hands and feet
And rejoice in the relationship we have with you;
We serve a God who begs to walk hand in hand with us all.

Abba Father walk with us all. Continue reading

Turning over a new leaf, guys

I’m going to blog more. John and I together are going to blog more. Here’s me making a written promise to expound on crazy Facebook posts and be in your face even more in the form of this guy (in this case the guy is this WordPress thingy). This way you can in another way worry about all the bologna we have taken on in our lives but trust that God knows our bologna all too well and now you can see it even more.

So, get excited, groan on shake your head in disbelief thinking I won’t actually do this. Well, guess what! I already done gots TWO written. Hizzah. Now my husband maybe will stop nagging me.

A Time to teach. A time to ask for help.

Well I am officially a teacher in a school like my mother and grandmother before me. I am blessed with the opportunity to volunteer teach at Nashville School which is near my house and is partnered with the school where three of our kids attend. I am teaching Bible for six periods a week, and it’s a blast. It feels good to be in a classroom again. My students love to learn, and I enjoy showing them new intricacies to the Bible. Soon I hope to begin tutoring other students in English or other things in the few free periods I have. I may also begin studying the Bible with the director of the school. She’s a Christian but has said she would love to study more from whoever would teach her.

I’m also feeling very accomplished about the completion of our aquaponics system at the building with some help from a visiting group (See pictures below). A new floor is going in at the building, and the old boards will make great wood for making planters for growing more wood for the building. Fortunately, my back is healed up well enough to begin doing more physical labor.

Our Red Tilapia and Blue Catfish at feeding time

Our Red Tilapia and Blue Catfish at feeding time

One of our chile plant already has chiles on it after a week!

One of our chile plant already has chiles on it after a week!

The view of the whole system. We currently have growing chili and basil plants. Tomato, lettuce, watermelon and beans are just now sprouting.

The view of the whole system. We currently have growing chili and basil plants. Tomato, lettuce, watermelon and beans are just now sprouting.

We also have this little cutie (featured below) living with us right now while his mom tries to quit a strong addiction to drugs. We’re hoping Angel’s mom Yahaira will enter into a rehab program soon, and we’re waiting for her to take the steps to change her life. Angel is a bundle of energy and loves to run and play around our house, and our kids adore him and treat him like a little brother. We’re all quickly falling in love with his kisses and hilarious personality. Luckily, his burns from an accident last fall are now in the final processes of healing. The first few weeks of his time with us were spent taking him to doctor’s appointments and changing his gauze from several poorly taken care of woulds from the accidents (at the fault of even the doctors his mom took him too and her addictions).

Angel along with our four other kids is pretty expensive as you can imagine with diapers and all those things small children need, especially as his burns heal and his digestive system heals as well. We had been getting by without successfully reaching our Fifty for 50 donors, but we are still eight short of reaching the goal. We could really use your help. We are grateful to all of you who now support us and hope others will join us as we provide a loving home for five kiddos and attempt to fight alongside desperate souls who want to leave the awful life of the streets of Tegucigalpa.

Angel helping pick out plants for the Aquaponics farm.

Angel helping pick out plants for the Aquaponics farm.

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Some picture from the aquaponics system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avocados, cheesemaking, A truck and ‘The Story’

I am really excited about all of the new additions in our lives right now! CAM00247First off, we have avocados on our trees at our house. My wife is beyond ecstatic about because of her love of guacamole. We should have hundreds of avocados so we will be able to share with everyone at the BC building and may be able to have some people sell some in the market to help with food costs at the building.

Next, with some leftover wood, I have finished our composting bins for our backyard. Our scraps from the building and from our own house will be the foundation for the gardening projects that we undertake to supplement the food supply at the building. It was quite a shock to my children to know that the vegetable scraps would one day become soil. Their faces were priceless.

We have also finished the fun process of searching for a truck for me to use on projects. It was a bit tedious process to find the right fit in the price range that we had raised, but we ended up with a 2006 Nissan Frontier. We love it. This hopefully means no more haggling with taxi drivers for me.

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Those of you who read some our posts last summer will recall my adventures in cheese-making with the hope of turning it into a sustainable activity here in Honduras for the ministry. Well, I have embarked on the first step to doing this. We don’t have a goat or cow just yet, but around the corner from us is a cheese and tortilla store. I made a friend named Fransceco who runs the store and he is now my supplier for raw milk. He’s going to try to get some goat milk for me, but for now I can work with the fresh cow milk he gets.

What I am the most excited about is the series of sermons and lessons coming up for us. We are going to be working through “The Story” by Max Lucado and Randy Fraze. The goal is to use its easy to read format to boost biblical knowledge among our residents and church-goers and garner interest among our teens for the Bible. Siney, our preacher, will be using a chapter each week for his sermons and the helpful study questions are great for small groups with the teens. If you are interested in buying some more copies of the “The Story” for the teen’s use (they are about $12), please send me a message at johncarson@bchonduras.org. We now only have one. So, we could use several more if the donations came in.

Keep these projects on your prayer lists as we hope they are ways to improve our ministry, help our residents and lower costs we have to raise among donors.

You are blessed.

I’m reading this fantastic book by Randy Harris called Living Jesus. It’s a great read, and he starts off with a great point about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus begins by telling everyone they are blessed. Blessed are the poor…blessed are those who mourn…blessed are the meek and so on. Before any of the other instruction Jesus gives, he says, “You are blessed.”

I’ve been laid up for almost a month now with a moderately herniated disk, which sucks. I hate it, and sometimes all I feel like I can do is sit. I’ve seen a lot of commercials for Black Friday, which is now blackening Thanksgiving. And I can’t help but feel a little sad when I hear LL Cool J say, “T’was the night before Black Friday…” rather than “T’was the night before Christmas.” We are learning to zoom past being thankful for our blessings to moving on to fight others for more stuff that will not make us happy nor will it make those around us as happy as our presence would.

Sure, there is nothing wrong with getting and giving a few gifts. Our kids will get some toys and clothes that they need. Maybe you need nothing, and can choose gifts or to give someone else a happy Christmas at one of these sites or another, http://bchonduras.wordpress.com/ and Heifer International. (Two of my personal favorites)

Yesterday I felt good enough to transplant some lavender with my little girl. She was completely content and happy doing this.  And most of all, she loved doing it with me. When I look at this picture below, I know I am blessed. And she knows she is blessed. God has blessed us, and it all starts from there. This season we will remember that God blessed us with his son, and it all started from there.

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Apparently you are not supposed to start lavender inside, but then we wouldn’t have this adorable picture.