I have just had a great devotion meeting with our leadership team. Every week's isn't great, some are just good or ok, but this one was over the top. We laughed, we cried, we shared, we talked about getting angry and sinning, and avoiding that fine line. We talked about death...of loved ones, a missionary, a father, a mother. It was deep, rough, and raw at times.
We need more of that.
I was having a conversation this week and accidently came upon the realization that life never gets easy. Duh.
I guess the realization was more that the curves that life throws at you, the things you don't know how to do, how to react to...that there isn't an age or level where those things go away. It was one of those comforting and terrifying realizations.
Sometimes you just want things to be easy, or known quantities.
There seems to abound new things to contemplate and work on, and a bunch of old things that require help beyond our scope of knowledge (website improvements, legal paperwork and errands, insurance, etc.) that certainly can add stress and unease to the days...and nights.
The struggle is to remember that in the middle of the battle (of what to do, or the battle of the mind) to remember who is in charge, and who has control.
Wait, the last post was in early September? Good grief, I knew I was busy, but that took me aback.
We fly to the US October 1st, and that certainly did open some doors literally and figuratively. We were doing it to get medicines and supplies, getting the kids out of isolation, and us as well. We were hoping to relax, take some time off, but I would be lying if we have been totally successful on that front, but we have been trying.
It was quite frustrating in a way to be here when two major hurricanes within two weeks were threatening Honduras. We wanted to be home, to be able to help. Instead, sitting on the sidelines, at least how it felt.
Thankfully for us, both Eta and Iota did not hit Teguicgalpa or our Church areas with nearly the force that was anticipated. That does not mean that it didn't hit with great force elsewhere, and after Eta passed, our staff was looking to see how they could help the areas hardest hit.
There were areas affected closer to home, and we will also be seeing how we help in other parts of the country as well...reports are coming in that near Danli there are affected areas, and at least one pastor has some reports of problems of flooding in his home, near Talanga. And there are road issues in many, many areas.
Seen below is Luz Belen in the house her parents were building in Sampedrana. The hard rains there that have washed out the road also affected their adobe, which they only had been able to cover with a roof half way before the storm. They are living with grandparents. (Luz is part of the Milk Project in Sampedrana.)
I don't think I could give an update here on everything else going on in the ministry...even with COVID and hurricanes, there is quite a bit going on, and things that need tackling. Including seeing below...we had issues with water coming through the walls during hard rains in the Milk Project. We tried fixes inside, but ultimately, had to work outside sealing, and then painting the exterior walls. Hoping that will help a great deal. It is certainly more blue now to stand out.
And Oscar reports that Sunday when he went to visit for the 8th anniversary of the Church in Danli, that he heard the testimony of the young woman pictured below, (volunteering by handing out celebratory tamales.) She was thankful for his prayers. In January he visited her house with pastor Edwin and a few group members during a medical brigade we were doing in the area.
She shared how she did not like Church, but since that day something happened, and now her and her family, and her husband are faithful in the Church, and her life has been blessed.
What else to say but...amen y amen
I have had a hard time focusing lately. Not focusing on work, but focusing on prayer, on my absolute dependence on God, on my inability to affect the changes that I want sometimes. I wish sometimes I could go back to when my work primarily looked like the picture above..building things, moving things, seeing progress in front of my eyes (this is just outside the clinic property on the road...sewer pipes in, concrete coming next, and then we wait for them to hook everything up!)
We are facing paperwork/rules work that is seemingly unsolvable right now on the container fronts. Ultimately, there are issues that I cannot fix. But what will happen? I don't know. That all adds up to severe depression...and then some rescue this week via the Holy Spirit. We just have to pray...for God to make a way, because that is the only way...literally and figuratively.
Above, a picture of our new clinic sign. We had tried a painted one a while back, but it never quite fit and was hard to grasp. So, we had this made, and it was pretty inexpensive! We had it made a little smaller to help read it...and plan on filling in the areas around it soon with some different colored/shaped arrows to help point the way.
And below...more coffee. Sorry about the flash/plastic getting in the picture in a few places. I bought the first pound of this new batch, to taste test before it heads to the US soon. 2100 pounds of coffee. Now...we just have to get it distributed. We had a lot of help and people getting together to get great deals on the 50 pound boxes we sent a few months ago, we are hoping we can repeat that and more...as we push to grow this way of drinking great coffee and making a difference here.
I can see the light in this tunnel...finding people to drink coffee, and them directly helping us get to where we can be self sufficient and even go to the next level. It isn't that far away, and every coffee drinker, coffee giver, coffee gifter, comes into play.
This time, we will have about 800 pounds each of ground and whole bean...but also some darker roast whole bean and ground, about 500 pounds worth.
If you want to buy some coffee now though, you can...email me to coordinate a 50 pound box (shipping is so much cheaper that way) or place an order for one, three or five pounds here
I feel like God opened my eyes this morning. It is often amazing to me how gently, how slowly, and how much patience He has. I think I would have given up on me by the time I turned 18.
We have had a cinnamon tree growing on the property here for many years. A novelty, we didn't know what we were doing when we bought it, it just seemed cool. Despite just being planted and left, in the shadow of a now huge avocado tree no less, it has continued to grow and is now about eight feet tall. Recently we decided to look up what is required to harvest cinnamon, and Oscar and Jorge gave it a try, with Maria looking after it and using it afterwards.
This morning, Valerie got some of it, and made cinnamon tea. I had some. Tasted like cinnamon water, not too bad!
I have been a bit depressed of late (uh, who hasn't?) and also thinking about the measures society uses for prosperity, specifically financial. I probably was coveting a couple times in my mind, maybe jealous a bit if I am honest at seeing a few things. Really I would describe those feelings as...a lack of focus and vision (oh, and sin, lest I forget.)
Not to get way too over personal for comfort, but that tea this morning was a "breath of fresh smack in the head" reminding me...treasure, prosperity, and joy, doesn't come ultimately where we think it does.
That might not make a lot of sense to you, I'm not sure, but it was clear as day for me.
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Let's hope it sticks with me for a while.
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