In a few more days (Dec. 12th) we will have been here in Honduras for six months. Let me see, that would make today the 175th day of our 9 day trip! Wow! God is so awesome! Every day here has been such a blessing in our lives.
Jesus and Jennifer are out of school now until January 12th. That is when they start back next year. I went to the graduation ceremony that was held last Wednesday. It was a special time because it was the first year that students had actually been able to graduate from WGO’s school, “Ebenezer Academy”. In prior years, students had to take some of their final classes at another school, and graduate from there. But this year, “Ebenezer Academy” was certified to teach all classes, and it’s first two graduates, Nilsy Ordonez, and Oscar Solorzano, were awarded their Diplomas on Nov. 26th. Jesus and Jennifer both received “Certificates of Excellence” for their combined 20A+’s, 2 A’s, and 1 B+. I wasn’t going to tell who got the B+ but I will because it’s sort of funny. Jennifer made the “A" Honor Roll with all A+’s except for 2 A’s. She was one of only three students that made it. The others were one each in the 10th and 11th grades. Jesus also did an excellent job and was on the “AB” Honor Roll, with ALL A+’s, except for 1 B+. The funny part is, the B+ was in Spanish!
It’s funny because we get a pretty good laugh every once in awhile when we are around Hondurans that don’t know us. A lot of times when people start talking to us, they start talking to Jesus. Since he looks more like a native Honduran, they figure he speaks Spanish and he will help the rest of us to understand. We normally look at each other and start to smile. Then all of us together help one another understand.
November was a very busy month for us. In the last two weeks alone, 2,111 people were seen in Medical, 220 in Dental, 982 in Optical, and 1,602 children came through our Children’s Ministry. We also did more floors than ever before. We seperated into two teams one day and installed three floors in just one day! Then, in the last two weeks, we installed eight floors. That's a lot of concrete, all mixed by hand with shovels. I let Jesus and Jennifer stay out of school the last two Fridays that we had teams so that they could go out with the Medical Brigades and help too. They loved going last summer, and they were excited about being able to go again. Best of all, during the last two weeks, 185 people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and 120 rededicated their lives. For 2008, there was an average of 209 people every month that made a “First Time Decision” for Jesus Christ while at one of our Medical Brigades! I don’t know if it is possible to describe what is feels like to be there, in God’s presence, as He is working through so many people to do His Will. God takes ordinary people, most of who are here for only eight days, and He uses them to transform lives. To heal people, comfort them, and win them into His Kingdom. It is so amazing to feel God’s presence all around you, and see Him at work!
There is so much opportunity here in Honduras to be used by God to help people in need. In my last update I told a little about a family that we were building a Home for in our spare time. The Home is finished! It is 10’ X 14”. It has wood siding, a tin roof, and a concrete floor. Jesse (the other concrete ministry manager) and I did a lot of the work, especially preparing for the two days that teams of people from different parts of the ministry, and Church, came to help. The first group came to help the day we built the frame and poured a concrete floor. The last group came the day we were ready to install the wood siding. Jesse and I went back other days to finish up the door and window and some of the other odds and ends. One of the neighbors had electricity so a wire was run over to the new Home. They now have a new Home, and electricity for the first time. It was a great moment for Jesse and I as we walked away from the Home the day we finished the door and installed the locks. We thought how that was the first night that the family was able to go into a real house, close a real door behind them, and lock it. They could go to sleep and feel secure for the first time. All they had before was a sheet for the front wall, and a canvas for the back wall of the lean too type home they had before. Jesus, Jennifer, and I bought some groceries and took it to them yesterday. The mother was at work, but the kids were nearby. When they saw us coming they waded across the river as fast as they could and had hugs for us all.
We may be coming Home for a visit soon. Today we are waiting to hear when our flight will be. I checked yesterday to be sure we have all the correct papers for Jesus to travel, and as far as I know, we do. We are excited to be coming Home to visit, but at the same time, we know we will miss our lives here in Honduras. The Honduran people are so rich in love. Every day we see people who have very little material possessions. They barely have food. But to see the love in their faces, the beautiful spirits within them, the love and care that they show toward one another. People make time for one another. They truly care about one another, and they show it. There was an old saying back Home that I heard growing up. It was that a person would “give you the shirt off their back”. Well that is certainly true here, especially among the very poorest. So many Hondurans truly would literally give you the shirt right off of their own back if it would help you. The ones with the least, giving the most. We see it, we experience it, every day. So many live in conditions that many would think to be unbearable. But they almost always have a smile on their face, and a kind word to say. They will take time to talk with you, and offer you a drink of water, or a portion of food if they have it.
1 Corinthians 13;13 There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.
1 Peter 4;7
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. (8) Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Thank You to all of you who continue to support us with your prayers, and emotional and financial support. Without which, our service here would not be possible. We continue to struggle financially, but God always provides us with just enough. Late at night on Thurs., Oct. 30th, I found out that after Jesus and Jennifer’s school expenses were taken out, we were only going to receive $23. for the month on November. $23.23 to be exact. Every month I pray and hope that we will meet our budget, and I have complete faith in God that He will provide what we truly need. But I felt like God was really cutting it close for Nov. The only way we could possibly get more money in time to be distributed to us through WGO on Nov. 1st, was if people would call directly to WGO’s Humble ,TX. office, or contribute Online. I sent out an email as an urgent plea for help. No money came in after lunch time, but over $1,300. came in that next morning! As always, God provided.
Then on Nov. 26th., I found out (after J. and J’s school, etc. was taken out) we would only receive $298.48 for Dec. I had so hoped that we would meet our full Budgeted amount for Dec.. With Christmas coming up, and the extra expenses of a trip Home, it sure would have been nice. But as always, God had given us all we truly needed, and a little more. I had already paid our lights and other utilities, and had a little left. I had already bought groceries too, so we had food. On Dec. 1st I was able to pay our last Bill for the month, our rent, and had $15. left. We took the $15. and that’s what we used to buy the few groceries we carried to the family that I wrote about earlier. Yes, we will have to have more money from somewhere to get us through December, even though we plan to come Home for awhile. But God has continually shown me that He knows what we need (right down to the dollar sometimes), and I know He will provide for us.
There is a good chance that we will be back in Holly Springs some time next week. We plan to stay until early in January. I will try to get some facts, photos, etc. together so we can tell you all more about what we do here, and how God is at work here in Honduras. While we are Home, we also need to raise support so that we can continue to serve here in Honduras in 2009. Please keep us in your prayers.
Again, Thank You for all that each of you do to make our service here possible.
God Bless You All!