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.

 

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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.

Asking for help

IHNFA took the kids from us nearly a year ago now. I can’t believe it’s been that long or that now we have them back. We can hug them, kiss them and read them bedtime stories. A year ago we had no idea what might happen.

I’m so amazed by the response we had and the way God worked through the incredible mess it was. God brought the kids back to us through dozens of people.

One in particular showed up in the form of a lawyer who had a heart for our story and the injustice of it all. Lily the lawyer (has a nice ring, right?) blessed our lives with her appeals, errands and advice through the process of bringing Pamela, Arol, Jonatan, Dayana and Rosie home. Our team cannot begin to thank Lily for the miracle she performed.

We had to pay most of Lily’s payment from Breaking Chains’ general fund, which we use for various other ministry necessities. If you can help pay her bill, we would really appreciate your donation. We couldn’t have gotten the kids back without Lily and her the relentless help she gave us. Her bill was $2000 for a year’s worth of help. The result was priceless.

If you can help, please contact mail@bchonduras.org. Please consider giving any amount you can, and thank all of you for your relentless prayers and support. We have only raised about $500 so far.IMG_2099

Garage-sale it for a cause

We have decided to extend our ‘Garage-sale it for a cause’ event to include Friday also. So come one, come all to our garage-sale extravaganza in two weeks on August 23 and 24. We hope to have lots to choose from, and we would love to see as many of you as can make it.

We’re still looking for lots of donations if you have items you would like to garage-sale for a cause! We’re looking for furniture, books, knick-knacks, painting, posters, gently used clothing or whatever else you might have. The money we get will help us buy furniture, clothes for the kids, beds for them, a bed for us and overall provide our kids and us the household items we need. If you have something large and don’t have a truck, call us and we can come and get it. If you can part with some stylish clothing or something you don’t use much (whatever it may be), send it our way please, and we’ll ‘Garage-sale it for a cause!’ So…are you tired of me working in that phrase? Yeah, me too. I’ll stop.

You can call me at 405-371.8093 or John at 832.776.0215 if you have something you want to bring by to donate or something we could pick up. We would love to have lots of items for people to choose from to buy. So, don’t hesitate to call us; we would really appreciate it! Send me an email at michael@bchonduras.org, and I’ll send you my parents’ address in Edmond.

And then come out and make your purchases and see us before we leave! We would love to see you there.

They’re finally home

We got word today after nearly a year of waiting our babies are home.

I was driving to meet a friend about a month ago, and my phone rang. It was Amber, and she told me to pull over.

“Lily called,” she said. “We’re getting the kids back.”

I think my mouth probably dropped, and I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a bit. Amber explained more and said a lot of other things about Lily the lawyer, but I don’t remember much of it. She said she had no idea of the specifics or when it might happen. I hung up the phone and began to sob. We have searched for God in all of this since last October, and I finally felt him working to bring our babies home.

Amber has called at least once a week since, if not more than that to relay news from Lily. The latest came this past Friday, saying the paperwork was ready. All it needed was the judge’s signature coming Monday, and Amber could pick up Jonatan, Dayana and Rosie from the children’s home.

Arol and Pamela came to live at the house last week, after their mom decided we were the best place for them. (For those of you who don’t know, Arol and Pamela escaped from the children’s home before Christmas, and they have lived in a little house with their mom since then. We enrolled them in school, and we buy them groceries once a week and help with rent and utilities.)

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Rosie, Jonatan and Dayana getting picked up from the children’s home

With paperwork in hand, Amber arrived at the children’s home today and loaded Rosie, Dayana and Jonatan in the car to bring them home. They went to have lunch, play and talk.

John, Arol, Pamela and me

John, Arol, Pamela and me

Amber told me when she explained to them all this was permanent, Dayana started sobbing.

They’re safe. They’re with Amber and Courtney, and soon we’ll all be together again. There’s no possible way to describe the elation, relief and immense joy all of us feel now. Rosie is back with her Mama, and soon John and I will be back with our four sweet kiddos.

Praise God with us for Abba Father reigns and brought our sweet little ones home.

Courtney will take care of the kids for the next two weeks until she has to be back in the States. Then Amber will fill in for the following two weeks until September 2 when John and I can be home with Pamela, Arol, Jonatan and Dayana.

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