Waypoints Defined

The meaningful points along life's way.


Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Psalm 119:35

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Way God Works

It amazes me! The way God works is beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations. But often we see His workings most clearly in hindsight. "Hindsight is 20/20" was spoken by someone with experience.

Sunday evening we met a gentleman who has had a lot of challenges come his way throughout life. He grew up with an alchoholic father who was abusive both to him and his mother, so he took to the streets and was homeless as a young teenager.

Things went from bad to worse when he purchased a stolen computer. He voluntarily took it back when he discovered what had happened, but needing a scapegoat, they pinned it on him. In jail, he was tortured to gain a guilty plea. Their methods worked, leaving him with a broken vertebrae, nightmares, panic attacks, and a 3 year sentence.

Thankfully the story doesn't end there. While in prison, he starts attending Bible studies with Mike and Glenda Miller. Considering himself a Jehovah's Witness, he has lots of questions all of which Mike is happy to try to answer. Every Friday he comes with more questions. Finally he draws a literal line in the dirt while Mike is talking with him and tells him, "no farther". Mike erases the line with his own shoe and proceeds to come closer sharing the love of Jesus with him. He accepts this love and forgiveness that Jesus is offering and becomes a different person!

The week he gets out of prison, his mother is hit by a vehicle running a red light and dies. Tragedy strikes again! How devastating for this young man, but this time it changes his father. He stops drinking and his life is turned around. 

Then his business is robbed along with another businessman's. Combining their efforts they look for the thief. In working together they develop a relationship and trust for one another. When the businessman decides to move out of the area, he leaves his business with our friend for a reasonable price. This business has been a blessing in this young man's life as it provides for him and his family, which is what brought him to Mike and Glenda's home on Sunday night. He is getting married and wants them to come be the witnesses at his wedding.

What amazes me is looking back on this man's life to see the hand of God at work.
  • He found Jesus in prison.
  • His father does a turnaround after his mother tragically is killed.
  • His business is robbed, but results in gaining a new one.
Negatives turned to positives. Doesn't that show the hand of our God? Isn't He the only One who can do that?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28




Friday, January 27, 2012

First Experiences

Some of our "firsts" are pleasant. Like visiting the volcanic island of Amapala and buying fruit from the stand around the corner. And celebrating Dia de la Mujer (Day of the Woman) by eating out at an open air restaurant. By the way, that celebration was actually unintentional. David wanted to take us out to eat and we found out later it was one of many, many holidays here in Honduras. I'll have to save the holiday topic for another post.

Visiting the open air market, known here as "El Mayoreo" was another first.  Stand after stand of vegetables, eggs, fruit, and dry goods at incredibly reasonable prices which helps to make up for the $5/ gallon of milk and other high prices in the grocery store. I am looking forward to my first papaya shake.

Phillip and Rachelle are great to take along to the market to help carry all the bags of produce, but if they can't make it, I'll just get one of the boys that pushes a wooden wheelbarrow cart to help me with my purchases.



Juicing fresh oranges is also a first.  They are in season, which means they are sweet and juicy, plentiful and cheap. I took advantage of some available man power to do the squeezing.




We all enjoyed the finished product. Especially me, since it's hard to find 100% fruit juice here in the stores. It seems like it all has sugar added.





                                                                                                                             
  •  Some more "firsts" include  trying to find our way around the city only to end up back where we started. :)  We are improving as time goes on, so that gives us hope of learning to navigate in this crazy, busy city.
  • Phillip's first missionary project for Michael Miller was putting together a shelving unit to store and organize donations.


Other "firsts" are downright negative. Like the cockroach on our white shower curtain that was at least 2 inches long with antennae twice as long as his body that twitched 12 hours after David killed him. These are the most disgusting bugs ever. But in my Pollyanna Glad Game I am thankful that  this first didn't happen until the 9th day into our visit. Thankfully, there are enough positives to outweigh the negatives!

Yet another "first" was one I have been waiting for. Shortly after we arrived, my Bible reading happened to be about the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31. This parable tells the story of a beggar named Lazarus who was laid at the rich man's gate. Lazarus suffered terribly with sores covering his body that the dogs would lick. When Lazarus died, he joined Abraham in heaven. These two men have become heroes of mine. It shows that there is justice in the end, even when the earth is so full of injustice now. The rich man in the story ends up tormented in hell after he dies, longing for just a drop of cool water on his tongue from Lazarus' hand. The great chasm between the two of them prevents any help. It's not a happy ending for the rich man who lives selfishly for himself, not noticing the needs around him. Is there a way that we can help ease the suffering around us, so that we can have a happy ending?  I know that I am rich, especially when I look around this country. I also serve an amazing God who has given me eternal riches that I want to share.  This morning a beggar knocked at our gate giving us an opportunity to practice what we have read in God's Word.

Blessed is he who is kind to the needy. Proverbs 14:21b

Whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14: 31b

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Choluteca

Visiting with Mark and Melanie Miller was a special part of our weekend. Getting together with family when we are thousands of miles from home is nothing less than a treat. Melanie enjoys cooking and baking and I wish I had pictures to share of her cinammon buns and fresh fruit platters because they looked as delicious as they tasted.

Marya and her collection from the ocean
Breylon has a fun loving personality and speaks spanish like a catracho.


Rachelle, Marya and Maddie

The Shalom church that they are a part of is a healthy, vibrant church. We were warmly greeted and welcomed by adults and children alike. Discipleship, mulitiple community outreaches, and taking care of the poor and needy in their own congregation are all ways the love of Jesus is demonstrated in this body of believers. At the main service a young doctor gave his life to the Lord. What a neat thing to witness as the angels rejoiced in heaven!



Mark and Melanie have a desire to reach out to the community that works in the city dump. On Saturday a brigade is coming in to distribute eyeglasses to those who need it. Mark was hanging up flyers around San Jorge to get the word out.



One of the homes in San Jorge, the community that works in the Choluteca dump.

The ride home from Choluteca was far from smooth even though our car ran great and nothing out of the ordinary happened. The road itself is full of potholes and washouts. David was always on alert and never fought sleep once as he dodged the road craters  and slowed for tumulos (speed bumps).

We made it safely home and look forward to welcoming Michael and Glenda Miller on Tuesday.


I have the set the Lord always before me.
 Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16: 8

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amapala

First thing Saturday morning we headed south to meet up with my cousin, Melanie and her family. They were taking us to visit an extinct volcanic island in the Fonseca Gulf called Amapala. We left Bruce (our borrowed 1996 Ford Explorer) with a trusted guard; at least we hoped he wanted to earn the money promised and not take off with the belongings stowed inside. Sorry, Bruce. We think you are safe from any envious and covetous eyes.

After waiting a short time for our driver to fix the engine on our boat, we had a smooth ride across a blue sea to the island.






The beach we swam and ate at

Fishing is what these people do

Our five star restaurant

Our chef

Modern kitchen facilities


Sopa de marisco/ Seafood Soup
It was loaded with shrimp, crab and lobster and tasted delicious!

Nothing like fresh seafood!


After swimming and eating a seafood lunch we toured the island on a carrito to visit the four different beaches and hear more about the island from our tour guide.


While we stand on Honuduran soil, we see Nicaragua to the left and El Salvador to the right.

We recommend this charming hotel for your stay when you visit.

Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Isaiah 42:10

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome Bruce

We would like to warmly welcome Bruce into our family. Here is his handsome picture:

My generous sister Janice actually owns him and he is on loan to us while we are here. He was delivered by four kind Pinares teachers who definitely went the extra mile to bring him to us.  Thank you, Janice! Thank you, Pinares Teachers!


We also get to welcome another little guy to our home. Rachelle dubbed him "Carlos" and we are letting him stay because he eats bugs and is cute.


Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
Psalm 125:1&2

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Yard

Our Back Yard
Here is our backyard. Can you call it a yard when there is no grass? Not even a blade? For the garden lover in me, I have planted some seeds. Some dill and cucumbers from this rich soil I begged off a construction project across the street. Okay, maybe not so rich, but FREE. And easy to find. Otherwise, I would have had to find a special shop that carries dirt along with their beautiful, tropical plants. This country is big on shops specific to the category you are looking for. Maybe we will have some dill pickles before our three months here are up.

I had the pleasure of hanging out laundry to dry today in our backyard. Seriously, I do enjoy that task. Maybe because it saves some pennies or the smell of the fresh air on the clothing. 

Our Front Yard
 No need for a lawnmower here. Just a hose and broom to clean up the dust.


Every home here is behind a wall for security purposes. This gate caught our eye as we walked past.
I think about the many doors we go through in life and I am thankful for a Good Shepherd who leads us through them.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone  who asks receives; he who seeks find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7 & 8

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Settling In

What can we say, but God is good. All the time.

Here are some ways that God has showed us His goodness:
  • At the check in counter we had 5 pieces of luggage and 4 pieces weighed 3 lbs over the limit. Instead of making us take stuff out, she mercifully tagged them as "heavy" and  checked them through.
  • We had a relatively uneventful plane ride. Until the landing in Toncontin, Tegucigalpa. If you've landed here before, you know what I am talking about. Is it the third shortest international airstrip in the world? In addition to that, the lady in my row got sick. When I saw her reaching for her barf bag, I could not undo my seatbelt fast enough. It didn't matter that we were coming in for a landing. As soon as I started to get up, she glanced up and said, "Thank you". Poor girl!  I think she was thankful for some space. The seat behind was empty and I gratefully sat down in time for the landing.
  • All the luggage came through with us on the same day. We are not taking anything for granted here. We prayed for that to happen and give God praise!
  • The car we thought would be available to us is still at the mechanics, through no fault of its owner. Flexibility is the name of this game. As a side note: when David and I took our first missions trip together, he had had the adventure of having traveled on about five before I joined him. He spoke from experience when he told me that being flexible is of utmost importance. Utmost. After that word from our sponsor, we’ll go back to our regularly scheduled news: We have had the fun of taking taxis around town. It’s actually a great way to get to know the city before we have to drive it ourselves. And thankfully it’s a cheap way to learn. They also help to load and unload purchases. J
    The main intersection closest to our house where we can catch a taxi.
  • Taxi rides: we got in a taxi this afternoon that didn’t go above 30mph. Phillip wondered if it had been sitting by the roadside because it needed repairs instead of waiting for passengers as we had supposed. He kept looking back when we went over bumps thinking we were leaving car parts behind. I am sure we scraped bottom at one point. Maybe that’s why David gave him a tip... to get some repairs done on his poor car. We see God's goodness in that the other taxi rides have been less exciting.
  • Warm weather. Going from 7 degrees to 77 degrees in one day is something we can all handle.
  • We walked over to the landlady's house, who is out of town for the  next 15 days. We needed the key to Mike and Glenda's side in order to be able to access internet and be able to do laundry. Her grandson was very helpful as he made a couple phone calls to find out where the keys were kept. Thankfully we didn't have to wait 15 days... okay, it just would have 8 days until Mike and Glenda return!


  • A special thank you to Mike and Glenda for allowing us to live beside them for the next 3 months!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Four More Days

Wow! Where is the time going? Honestly, I know the answer to that one. Wrapping up loose ends, packing,  and best of all, connecting with the ones we love. We are excited to go and we are  looking forward to what God has in store. But goodbyes, even temporary ones leave me feeling a bit sad. I am already looking forward to coming back and seeing friends and loved ones again! 

Cindy and Serenity 
These two just spent a week in the hospital. Not just one hospital, but two as the doctors and nurses worked to help Serenity to be healthy again. We are thankful for answered prayer along with the fact that they are home. Serenity had quite the battle, but she is back to her happy self and we are praying she stays that way. 








Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3: 12b-14

Thank you all for your love which binds our hearts together in Christ Jesus.


Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Border Buddies Annual Luncheon


Today we attended the annual Border Buddies Luncheon with Michael and Glenda Miller.
 It's always great to hear how the year has been and the new things God is doing. 

Dave Cleveland emceeing with his great sense of humor.
There were about 170 in attendance with 7 teams scheduled for the 2012 year. 


Team 11 Young people



It is amazing how many different churches support Border Buddies. It would be interesting to get a count of how many churches are represented, united in the work of supporting Border Buddies.. Off  the top of my head I can count nine and I don't know half of the people that were at today's luncheon.



A delicious chicken dinner was served with brownie sundaes to top it off.


Michael Miller

Michael shared how he discovered a drug and sex ring in the community where they minister. The youth groups were greatly affected by this and a couple confessed to smoking marijuana and even doing crack cocaine. But they wanted help. Mike knows how to help. Love, love, love and give them accountability and a goal to work towards. These are the ingredients for change because they are rooted in the love and life of Jesus.


L-R: Laura, Rachelle, Glenda, Krista, Kerri, Stephanie and Janice
All joined in love for God and His people

Glenda shared about school sponsorships. The students that are sponsored each year are up from 5 in 2005 to 159 in 2012. They graduated 11 students this past year. Glenda herself started first grade when she was 9 years old and from her own struggles has wanted to bless and help children get an education.  It is obviously paying off. 

I have only touched a small portion of Border Buddies ministry. Check out their website to learn how they help ex gang members with tattoo removal and Bible study; what types of projects the teams work on;   and lots more about the youth they minister to. 

Mike and Glenda have huge hearts. Their hearts have been enlarged by God's love and that is what draws us all to them. Personally, that is what draws our family to them. We are looking forward to living next to them and helping them in any way we can for the few weeks we are with them. 
Posted by Picasa