October 2016 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Since arriving back to Honduras nearly 2 months ago Job and I have been constantly amazed at how God has been answering our prayers! Prayers for the tools to do the work He’s called us to do. Prayers for direction and guidance in where and how to begin the work. Prayers for coworkers to labor with us.

As we have been praying about the opportunity to manage the Colbath’s farm we have also been looking at a few different properties for sale that would be ideal locations for the demonstration farm. At this point we’ve saved enough funds for a down payment for land, but for now we feel this is not yet the right time to buy. It became evident to us that God is calling us to be patient and start growing on a small scale, as He’s provided us the opportunity to serve at the Colbath’s farm. So this month we began our work there to help the Colbath’s in their ministry by taking on the responsibility of the farm. Here’s a few pics of our new life on the farm!

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Mark and Paula have decided the cows have become more of a nuisance than a help, as they’re a bit wild and keep breaking through fences to wander over to the neighbor’s corn field. In fact, they’re planning to sell the cows and be done with that chapter. They’ve just bought 10 ewes this month. All pregnant! We’ve got 6 lambs so far.
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Making vermicompost to fertilize the garden.
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The hard workers: red wigglers.
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I think he’s got his hiding spot pretty well figured out.

Every October the youth group hikes up San Juanillo, a mountain just south of Siguatepeque. At just 1,600 meters it’s far from being the highest peak in Honduras, but when it rains, it gets cold!! Despite the cold and the rain, the group had a great time together and it was a successful effort to get more youth involved in the group. God is answering our prayers! Just last Saturday 4 teens accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior at youth group! The Holy Spirit is working and moving in hearts as the Word is shared during our Saturday nights together. To Him be the glory!

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What I want to know is… Who washed laundry the next day?! 🙂
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The peak of San Juanillo.

Awana (which follows the school year schedule) is quickly coming to a close this year as schools finish up their last 2 weeks of session. The Honduran school year runs from mid-February to mid-November. During the break time Job and I will be attending trainings to serve as Awana leaders for this coming year.

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At Awana, some clowns brought us a message about caring for the lost.
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Bible memory verse contests are always a hit!

Job has been meeting weekly with the 30 or so men and women that work at the city dump east of town. They make their living sorting out recyclable materials to sell in bulk; plastic, iron, cardboard, etc. Our purpose in working with this group of people is to help improve their physical living conditions and thus open up opportunities to share our eternal hope in Christ, amidst our lives here and now. Our first initiative was to offer them resources and technical help in starting their own home gardens, to alleviate their need to buy their vegetables at market. However, after many meetings, Job has learned they would prefer to use their earnings to buy vegetables rather than produce their own, but are interested in improving their efficiency of work at the dump. Job continues to meet with this group each week and is researching different options, such as a mechanism they could use to crush plastic bottles and add value to their product, to receive more pay for their labor.

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Discussing the options and possibilities at the city dump.

While developing relationships with the workers at the dump, one of Job’s contacts there indirectly led him to meet another group of people in a neighborhood on the west edge of town, called Puran. Many there are living in situations of extreme poverty. During Job’s first introduction to that community he met Cori, the woman who is pastoring the local evangelical church in Puran. Cori is a very energetic woman with several outreach initiatives in her community, including a feeding program that provides a meal each day to about 100 hungry kids, 6 days a week!

Since then, Job has been meeting with Cori and several other members of that church who are interested in growing home gardens to supply not only their own households with fresh vegetables, but also to help supply the feeding program with more nutrition for the children. Several ladies of the church are excited to start home gardening and have eagerly begun preparing plots or places in their small yards to locate tires to begin planting.  As we are coming alongside them providing tools such as the tires, initial seeds and fertilizer, they are busy working, hauling soil to fill their tires, and spreading the word to their friends to join them in starting their own home garden. In fact, each week that Job visits them he finds more people (usually non-believers that one of the ladies in the church has talked to) that want to start growing. In the long term, we hope that between this community’s production, as well as the surplus from our large garden, we could start a small cooperative to sell produce in Siguatepeque. The lasting work? Amidst the planting and watering of the radish, pepper and onion seeds, we are planting and watering God’s seeds, His Words of Life that will last for eternity!

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Discussing tire planting with Deyli, another important leader in the church at Puran.
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The kids loved playing… umm… I mean, helping their parents roll the tires home!

 

Pray:

  • Pray for the 4 teens (1 girl – Ethan, and 3 boys – Niryan, Yariel, and Orlando) who recently accepted Christ as their Savior during a youth group meeting. Pray for perseverance and wise guidance as they face difficult family situations and relationships that would lead them towards a different direction, away from their new life in Christ.
  • Pray that as we help our brothers and sisters in Christ at Puran plant vegetable seeds, that we could be an encouragement to them as they work to plant spiritual seeds among their friends and neighbors in their community.
  • Pray that God would guide us in our efforts to help the men and women working at the city dump. Pray for opportunities to share His plan for life. Pray for open ears, hearts and minds as we share about His purposes for life in Him.
  • I (Adria) was set back with sicknesses at various times this month and have missed several ministry opportunities (including the youth group hike, which I was so looking forward to spending that day with the youth). Please pray for protection and strength for my immunity and overall health.

Praise:

  • For the opportunity to begin the agricultural work at the Colbath’s farm!
  • God chooses to work through His people to bring more to know Him!
  • The shared vision and eagerness to join in the work of our coworkers at the church in Puran!
  • God’s Word is never-changing, yet new and fresh food for us every day!

And… this month’s update includes a couple bonus pics! Woohoo!!!

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Wow, they deliver in Honduras? Either someone is lost or drawing a LOT of overtime!! (just kidding)
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Nebraska Furniture Mart… are you missing a truck?

I just couldn’t help myself… had to include these pics. We saw this truck while driving to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. I remember when I was a kid I always heard their commercials on the radio! It’s always interesting to see what trucks get brought down from the States.

Alright, I better wrap this one up. THANK YOU for encouraging and blessing us and this ministry! We are praying for you, that God pour His blessings on YOU!

A generous person will prosper;

whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

Love,

Adria and Job

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September 2016 Update

THANK YOU for praying during our travels back to Honduras! God always answers our prayers, sometimes in unexpected ways, according to His perfect will. We had no delays in our flights and arrived right on time, to be greeted by Job’s parents (Francisco and Coni) along with Job’s grandpa, Hector. In the airport parking lot, as we were preparing to leave, a girl about my age came over and asked for help to jump start her pickup truck. We gladly helped her (Lauren) out, learning in the process that she is from Florida and does mission work on the northern coast of Honduras. We got the truck started and all headed out on our way. After paying the airport parking and before pulling out onto the highway, the accelerator cable broke in Francisco’s van. Lo and behold, Lauren came up behind us and seeing our circumstance offered to help. She insisted she would not leave until it was fixed, and ended up towing us behind her pickup to a nearby mechanic. After some parts searching and fixing we were all on our way again! Upon arriving home, just 2.5 seconds after pulling up to the house, the electricity powered out in all of Siguatepeque. As we unloaded our luggage, I began to mentally prepare myself for a cold shower. Meanwhile, Coni sneaked off to the kitchen and heated some water for me on the stove to later surprise me with a warm shower. These events during our first day back were just reminders for me that God answers our prayers, many times in unexpected ways, according to His perfect will.

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Lauren towing us to a mechanic.

For those of you who don’t know, I had sold my Nissan pickup before our visit to the States, since we were planning to live in the States for 4 years to complete Job’s residency and citizenship process. Later we learned in our case it would be better to complete his residency process here in Honduras. So we made plans to return to Honduras and get to work on the ministry vision God has given us.

To solve our vehicle-less-ness we planned to simply rent Francisco’s pickup. However, just 2 weeks after our arrival, a missionary couple who is also part of the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries posted an SUV for sale on the HFMM facebook page. It was the first vehicle I’d seen listed for sale on that page that was within our price range. It was also within a reasonable driving distance to go look at, so we called and made plans to see it the very next day as there were several others interested. After checking it out and talking to the couple, it was clear the vehicle could be very useful in our ministry as it has been for them. Francisco came with us to look it over, and after praying and talking it over we all felt peace that God had arranged the wish to sell of the other couple and our need to buy. Job and I were (and still are) completely taken by surprise by this blessing from God, and we THANK YOU all for your prayers and financial support that God is using in ways such as this, to provide the tools we need to do His work.

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Our “new to us” SUV – a 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser

As we have been searching for a house to rent, we are learning that it is not so common to rent a place that includes adequate property to begin growing and developing the agriculture cooperative. So it is more likely we will need to purchase property. This is delaying us in “breaking ground” on the agricultural work. However, it seems God is bringing us another surprise as an unexpected opportunity has opened up within our first few weeks here!

Upon arriving to Honduras we visited some friends of ours, Mark and Paula Colbath, a missionary couple who have a ministry serving as parents in a discipleship home for several orphans. Their ministry also involves an agricultural component as the property includes 7 manzanas (approximately 12 acres) of land that they have used for different agricultural ventures such as cattle, chickens, bananas, vegetables, citrus trees, and more. As we visited and caught up with each other, we talked a bit about how their preparations were coming along for planting cacao trees. Mark has been communicating with Job about this the past few months, looking into the best planting options. Job and I shared with them about our ministry vision and our calling to start an agricultural cooperative to serve the poor with few resources.

This week we met again with the Colbath’s and they have asked us to manage the farm, for various reasons. Mainly because Mark works full time as a software engineer to support the discipleship home and has little time to invest into the farm work. Mark and Paula long to see the land be used for God’s work and to not let it go to waste.

Job and I see this as a door God is opening for us to get started growing on a small scale while we continue praying and searching for a suitable property to develop the demonstration farm. Please pray with us about this opportunity!

Every Saturday afternoon we meet at the church to help lead activities for OANSA (AWANA). Then in the evening, the youth group meets and we’ve begun leading activities for that group as well. Please pray for us as we get to know the kids and youth better each time we meet.  Pray that God would bring this group together for fellowship and encouragement on October 7 for a hike at San Juanio, a nearby mountain. Pray also for the youth as they raise funds that will go towards a weekend campout in December.

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Saturday night soccer with the youth group!

September is a month full of parades here in Siguatepeque! The mornings of September 13, 14, and 15 schools, universities, and businesses filled the downtown streets in celebration of Independence Day for Honduras (and all of Central America) since September 15, 1821. Then, on September 28, an evening parade was held to remember the arrival of the Act of Independence.

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Our niece, Julissa, as Miss Independence!
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Our studious cousin, Jatniel, privileged to carry the banner of academic excellence!
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Jasiel, another cousin in the top of his class!
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Our cousin Carlos, on the right, graduating from high school this November!

This month an older family member in Job’s extended family died, and attending the wake and funeral was a first for me here in Honduras. Most families here don’t have the finances to pay for embalming, so the wake is held within hours of the person’s passing. The wake involves as many family, friends, and neighbors that can come and gather at the house of the deceased and spend the entire night comforting the immediate family members. This wake involved a gospel message, as Coni had led the life-long church-going woman to assurance of salvation in the Lord just a few months ago, and she wanted to share the story as a testimony to others. The funeral was then held the next morning. The city cemetery was crowded and above-ground burials in cement tombs are the norm. I’m not sure if this is because of the extremely hard, rocky mountain soil or simply the lack of space, or maybe both.

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Although family members were taking pictures during the funeral I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos at the burial. So I searched google to find this photo, just to show a typical cemetery here.

I’ve mentioned to people before that Honduras is unique in the freedom that Christians have to openly, and oftentimes with a warm welcome, teach the Bible in public schools. What’s more, Honduras even has a national holiday established by Congress in 1988 dedicated to celebrate “National Bible Day” on the last Sunday in September.

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About 10 churches in the Central American Evangelical Church denomination, in and around Siguatepeque, gathered at the auditorium of the seminary to worship together, celebrating “Día de la Biblía.”

Prayer Requests:

  • Clarity in each step as we begin Job’s residency process… For those who haven’t yet heard, we are planning to apply for Job’s U.S. residency and then citizenship. Why? Because his U.S. tourist visa will expire in 7 years and there is no guarantee he will be given another visa. In the future we would like to be able to travel to the States as a family, to visit all of you, our supporters, as well as our families. So we are currently gathering documents (we need copies of both of our birth certificates) and other such papers to start Job’s residency process, which is the first step towards attaining his U.S. citizenship. We will continue to keep you updated on this so you will know how to pray.
  • Confirmation about the opportunity to manage the Colbath’s farm.
  • Open ears, hearts, and minds during AWANA and youth group events.

Praise:

  • Evidence of God’s hand and control in our everyday lives!
  • A vehicle that will serve many needs in our ministry!
  • God’s Word revealing Truth in a world full of lies!

Thank you for your partnership in God’s growing work here in Honduras. Your encouragement means more to us than you know. We covet your prayers as we look forward to seeing how God works through us!

Love,

Adria & Job