Monday, January 9, 2012

Two things

Tomorrow morning I head back to Honduras!  It has been 3 months since I have been in Tegucigalpa, having spent 1 month in Copan studying Spanish, and 2 months since I have been in Honduras.  I can't wait to get back to work!

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking to all 3 of the services at St. David's.  I had 5 minutes in each service.  Those of you who know me well realize that speaking for 5 minutes is much harder for me than speaking for 30 minutes...or 3 hours!  I managed to do it tho'!  Here is  my message to my beloved parish family:

A year ago I was newly retired from IBM and on my way to Honduras as your missionary to the LAMB Institute.  On Tuesday, I head back to begin my second year.  I could give you lots of statistics about my first year, like I coordinated 21 groups with over 250 team members.  Or that we have 66 children in the Children’s Home, over 250 in the day school and daycare, over 200 in the youth movement, and well over 100 people in the micro-finance program.  But, instead, I just want to tell you two things.   It’s true and it works.

It is true that there is a living God who loves us, each and all.  Let me explain.

Marvin and Marjeli, ages 10 and 3, lived in a one room hut with drug addicted parents and a grandmother sick with untreated TB.  They slept on the dirt floor because the parents sold everything for drugs.   Marvin did the best he could to feed and protect his little sister from human trafficking.  One day, one of our teachers saw them begging for food on the street.   Because she follows the One who loves us the most, she was compelled to love these children.  She scooped them up and brought them to our school in Flor del Campo.  Although we couldn’t afford it, we enrolled them into our school and daycare program to ensure that they had food, safety, love and an education.   Furthermore, our staff set up a schedule to spend weekends with the children so they would be fed and safe when school was out.    We trusted God to provide.   He did.  It wasn’t long before a couple, on their first mission trip, felt called to sponsor both children.

What the Bible says about Jesus is absolutely true and, also true is that prayer works.   Marvin and Marjeli’s home environment was getting progressively worse.  We asked their parents if we could move them to our Children’s Home in San Buenaventura.  The father responded by threatening violence on the staff and school if we took their children – their only source of income for their drug habit.   You can buy a hit on someone for less than $25 so the threat was real.   Our response?  Prayer.   Fervent prayer.  The Lord answered that prayer in a most unexpected way.  The Health Department arrived at the family’s house to test them all for TB.  Both Marvin and Marjeli tested positive.  They were taken by the authorities to the hospital for treatment.  While there,  Social Services awarded us custody of the children.   Meanwhile, the parents have disappeared.   Marvin and Marjeli  are safe in our Children’s Home and there is no longer a threat to the staff or school in Flor.  However, Marvin, in particular, needs your continuing prayers as he struggles to overcome the effects of the abuse he suffered – abuse in all forms.
This is just one story of so many in our ministry in Honduras.  We see the power of God’s love and the answer to prayer every day in the lives of all those God puts in our path.   

So, in the words of the Psalmist:
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!