So much building going on in the mission, prayerfully we would always pray that the biggest growth would be in the hearts and minds of people we are reaching. Of course, some physical construction is also required.
Certainly the biggest project going on right now, is the office building. Fundraising on this has been very slow, please pray for us on that, as we can't really afford to slow down...we need this built ASAP, plus since we are using a contractor, taking a break isn't good either. Once the contractor is done, we will still have to build out the actually offices and meeting spaces. They are nearing being able to pour the first floor up there in the air...it is a lot of work.
As you can see below, to have a pastor's meeting right now means coordinating when teams aren't here, and to have their wives together...they had to use a bedroom downstairs. Having these dedicated spaces we plan to use on a much more regular basis...when working around teams wouldn't work.
Want to help? Click here We would certainly appreciate it!
Thanks to again special donations for church planting, the congregation in Danli is working hard on their church building as well. Again...going with a second floor to go vertical in the future rather than a traditional roof, for the same reasons as Talanga.
We should have enough funds to finish replacing the small building, and hopefully make at least some improvements to the house there as well, maybe an actual bathroom, safer exterior walls, and eventually...a second floor there as well for Sunday School rooms? We shall see.
There is still work left to be done in Cantarranas (below) for the Milk Project building...doors, windows, bars on the windows, building out the kitchen with sink, etc. and then the appliances will need to be purchased.
We hope to use groups to do more work as well, maybe pouring some concrete for a good place to play outside.
I don't have a recent picture of the new exam spaces being built in the clinic, but those are proceeding as well, and work to install the equipment in the new clinic buildings in Las Botijas and Sampedrana, as well as on the farm in Cantarranas...you get the idea.
Lots going on...this is just sharing the construction side! Pray all of us in Honduras would be able to proceed apace, where the funds have already been received, and where the funds need yet to come, for good stewardship, and sharing His love during, around, and through that construction!
I often find that I feel weird...for a multiple number of reasons. One of them can be having lived in a different culture, and having some of that rub off on you, but then, you aren't really from that culture, so you don't really fit in with either culture. I could go on about that, but...no.
This was well done, funny, and instructional...but with one possible exception, seemingly all aimed at those not familiar with the culture in Honduras.
I took the picture when I was there because I could see why it was written, but it struck me that those from Honduras, and those not, might find it somewhat odd. That was even more amusing, to think about how a simple sign, isn't always so simple. And what we see as simple situations...often aren't quite that so simple.
All that to say, I took it as an unintended allegory to some bigger situations.
I wonder how you see it?
I honestly can't keep up. Whether it is blogging...or anything else. Spinning plates come to mind. Let's try to catch up on a few things?
And what else? We are right now mid way through our second of three groups here this month, two medical brigades, and the group here now is high school students using their spring break to help (painting the MP building and new clinic in Las Botijas, helping with the Milk Project in Tegucigalpa, and doing two clothing days as well.)
Channel 15, our TV station in Talanga is at a crossroads, praying what to do there, as it reaches thousands, but financially can't keep up with its needs and we will have to decide if God is calling us to go forward with that, or whether we need to literally pull the plug. Currently, the main computer is failing.
Otherwise...we are working on installing a lift for the clinic, some way to get patients up and down that have mobility issues. We have a couple trucks in the shop still, the new Land Cruisers helping out tremendously! And there is farm work brewing in Cantarranas with Luis, trying to get that off the ground slowly but surely.
I probably forgot several things...hard to keep up. But we pray for God's direction, His guiding, His leading, His Holy Spirit...to keep us up, and keep everything going!
You are getting a special treat here*, dear blog reader. We had a team last week of four people. Well below our normal for a team...but this was no ordinary team. It's hard to share exactly how all this came together without writing a lot...but sufficit to say, we wouldn't have our 1025r tractor here for the farm, if it weren't for Tractor Time with Tim's YouTube channel.
They came down last week, along with Felipe's dad Kenton, and Cecilia's fiance Dave, all of whom helped with four days of tractor. Tractor work, tractor education, tractor invesigation...it was a lot.
It was also a blessing, all the way around. It isn't something we have ever done, so we had a schedule, but none of us were quite sure how it would come together. It wasn't perfect...but it came together in a way it was clear it was God, and we were all blessed because of it. Blessings abound!
Not just the expertise shared, the progress made, the education for Jorge and Jeffrey...but just sharing stories, learning more about each other, about the capabilities of the tractor, it goes on and on.
*I took some drone videos (posted below...finally getting the mission its own YouTube page, narrated even these videos.) You can check out Tractor Time with Tim's first video here. More will be coming in the next couple weeks of the other days we worked up there.
The whole week was not only was it yet another reinforcement of the value of our tractor to the mission and communities/people we serve, it also came along at the same time to prove how useful the Gator we just purchased for Las Botijas will be for that farm as well. Expensive purchases sometimes, even when you think you made the right call, when you can see it play out in front of you...are encouraging as well.
Harvest is now in full swing, so between that, trying to finish the clinics in each location, and road work...everyone will be busy in both communities for a while to come. Glory to God!
I am currently merry. It won't stay that way, but that's ok. I have peace beyond understanding...well, when I remember Him who gives such peace.
We prayed as a leadership yesterday for requests we all had...some overwhelming health concerns, big meetings/things to do, covering vacations in the clinic for the next couple weeks, things that need to get done/be accomplished/finished, hiring needs going into 2023.
It wasn't all good or fun but regardless, we left merry and at peace.
I thought it was a reminder that others might appreciate. This season gets filled with lots of expectations, lots of sometimes misplaces priorities and focus.
While this card is from Rina, I thought I would great you with her same words meant for an unknown sponsor. I send them to all of you, those known and unknown, as well: "I greet you with love and affection. I thank God for the opportunity you have given me. Thank you for supporting us. We are praying for you, that God will continue to bless you this Christmas and may God keep you always. May you have a Merry Christmas with your family."
Sometimes in the past I have looked at the year coming up and thought/wished/prayed/hoped it would be a little more peaceful, a little easier going.
I know it is not going to be easy going next year. It is going to be busy, different, growing, and who knows what else. This time though, for the most part, we are looking forward to it. There is quite a bit of unknown, but even what we are planning will be interesting:
-lots more work on coming up with hospital plans
-starting work with the rural clinics
-17 or more teams!
-Need to hire several more people for key positions going forward
-more containers? More food?
-looking forward to a next Milk Project location?
-More training, conferences, and work
-trying to take the coffee farms to the next level!
What all will happen? How? When? Can we pay for it all? Is there time for it all? I'm not worried...God is in control, and anything we do will be by Him anyway, so we will just start taking steps and try to wait and walk in Him as He leads! Actually...we won't be able to do any of it without Him anyway, so even better to be at peace with it!
I had a chance yesterday to talk with the team now in Honduras from Casas Por Cristo, an organization that builds homes through pastoral networks, hoping to help the church do outreach into their communities, reaching people for Christ through helping them physically, specifically through home building. They are praying about where to set up shop in Honduras, and how that will unfold (so you can be praying for them...lots of need, lots of possibilities) but it was also very cool to see how many times it seemed like a small world just talking about their general experiences, places in Honduras, opportunities, connections, etc.
It reminds me that while right now looking at the soon beginning new year, and the changes coming, and potential changes/growth/hiring/building/etc. coming...that we have to trust, obey, follow and move, trusting God will bring it all together. That faith...beyond what we can see but leaning on the everlasting arms.
Funny how there is such joy in that...and yet, to be honest, also at least a bit of trepidation, mostly related to how I could screw things up.
Even as areas around us in Tegucigalpa enter later today into a "state of exception" where certain constitutional rights will be forfeited in order to try to prevent extorsion and problems from gangs, meaning, apparently, that the police can pick up anyone they even suspect of committing, assisting, or benefitting from a crime. This will last for thirty days.
Sounds a bit scary to be honest, especially looking into the future of how this will be implemented and seeing just unknown (some of those 89 areas are directly around us.)
Apparently the writer of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms wrote that hymn in 1887 after two friends wrote him letting him know both their wives had died. He wrote back, including the verse "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27) He thought about that...and coo coo ca choo, came the hymn.
So, we will keep walking, but not alone, and not by our own power. We will, we must...keep leaning on the everlasting arms.
Want to hear a cool version of this hymn?
Early Sons of the Pioneers this one made me cry
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi this one made me move
Got one I missed you love? Share it!
All this to get the gravel there to work on building the clinic next to the Milk Project and church there in Las Botijas.
Just one trip...but represents a weekly battle, just getting around.
Those who have been around for this year especially, and for a while, know we share about these pesky issues, and our poor vehicles that make the trips and sometimes don't make it back.
In the not-great picture above taken by our customs agent, you can see the next step forward: we have purchased a new Land Cruiser pickup to help the farms/moving material work!
This one will be for Sampedrana primarily. The white 2000 F-250 we have for that farm...has been down almost all year with problems. This Land Cruiser should last 20 years or more with good care, and given the global craziness, we were fortunate to be able to get a new one, and even fully optioned (for us...that means a winch, cow catcher, and other safety equipment) will be about $35,000 all told.
We have been saving what we can from people drinking coffee, but we are still about $17,000 short of having this fully funded. We have been using our group vehicles to help with this, but that isn't helping us maintain those vehicles for when we have groups!
Want to donate to help us pay this off? It will be coming home this week, so it will be working while we figure out how to balance the books, but given the options available, this was by far the clear winner on all fronts.
If you have questions about the backstory of how we could get this with supply chain issues, want to know why this is the best overall option, what it is equipped with that makes it great for this use, or anything else...please send me an email!
If you want to donate though to help us get this funded and take a load of our minds, click here to help!
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