Dear friends and family,
Two months have flown by now and 2017 has come to a close! November and December have been a tremendous blessing for us…
(Pic: Oansa Closing Ceremony) In mid-November the Awana program held this year’s closing ceremony. Parents came to hear the verses the kids had learned, their favorite songs, skits put on by the older groups, and awards to those graduating to the next club. Over 100 kids were discipled through Awana this year, each one committing to continue growing for Christ. We plan to re-start this wonderful ministry at the beginning of the new school year in February.
(Pic: Living Water pump training) As many of you were praying, Job enjoyed a great opportunity to attend a well pump repair training held by Living Water International in Cleveland, TX. This course covered the maintenance and repair of more than 10 different types of well pumps. Job is so thankful he was able to go and learn skills that will allow him to serve with more water-focused organizations. The course also served as a blessing, opening up contacts to help bring well-repair projects to Honduras for the driest regions and the areas with the greatest need. However, the task of getting to Texas was quite a trial and has become a story we will never forget. When Job arrived at the check-in desk we soon learned of the “6-month validity requirement” for passports (many countries including the U.S. and Honduras require you to have at least 6 months of validity left on your passport in order to enter the country). Job’s passport was just 1 week shy of meeting this requirement! By several great miracles of God, Job was able to get a visit in to the Immigration Department (just 30 minutes from the airport), get an emergency renewal for his passport (in less than 2 hours), and catch a late night flight that same day!! If you knew how long government processes like this typically take in Honduras, you could fully understand the GREAT miracles we experienced that day! Thank you Lord! So, when you make travel plans, check the country’s entry requirements and make sure you have at least 6 months left before your passport expires!!
(Pic: Stamm family) The following week I joined Job in the States and we spent Thanksgiving with my family in Kansas. We met our new twin nieces and got several family photos taken! During our 2 weeks in Kansas we also managed to visit 2 of our supporting churches and several individual supporters as well. It’s always encouraging to see you all in person. We were also generously showered with baby gifts and gift money for the new arrival on the way!
(Pic: Many protests have been violent and block major highways) Upon our return to Honduras we were met with the political unrest that had been growing since election day, November 26th. We knew that there had been general tension and disagreement. However, to our surprise, the day we arrived at the airport we learned the news that the roads and highway home were blocked by protests. At first we weren’t even able to leave the airport. However, a friend that lives nearby helped us out and brought us to her place. Fortunately, the military police cleared the roads and 2 days later we were finally able to make it home! It was shocking to see the burned tire remains, branches, rocks, and destroyed toll booths along the roads home. It looked like a war zone. Many businesses were looted, several people lost their lives, and the crisis continued. Tension and crises continue today. The country is divided. There was an agreement to cease the protests for Christmas and New Year’s, so this past week has been calm. However, the opposing party to the leaders of the current government have announced to re-launch the protests this Saturday.
This flow chart is a good, condensed version of the crisis following the presidential election.
(Pic: Job & Carlos (the Colbath’s hired hand) gathering the sheep for deworming and vaccines) Nevertheless, in spite of the political crisis going on and the economic interruptions throughout the country due to the protests, the Colbath’s farm has 10 new members! They’ve had a difficult time lately, as the neighbor’s dogs have killed a total of 7 sheep and injured several others. Unfortunately the neighbor has not paid in any way for the loss or taken any measures to keep their dogs from wandering. To prevent this from happening again, the Colbath’s have set up a trap and so far have captured 5 dogs that have wandered onto the property.
(Pic: Juana is the newest to start a home garden at Puran) Job continues to visit the families at Puran growing home gardens. New families have joined here recently that attend the Catholic Church. So far we don’t know about their conviction of salvation. We are close to reaching 40 families now who have benefited from this ministry and we continue to plant and water the seed of the Word of God. We pray and hope that God will make them grow.
(Pic: Evangelism with Ovidio & Norma) This past weekend we joined the former youth pastor (Ovidio) and his wife (Norma) to evangelize a region on the outskirts of Siguatepeque where numerous families have squatted on “abandoned” land. We brought 40 food bags, balls for the kids, and New Testament books. We made conversation going house to house as well as those we met on the road. That day there were 14 children and 1 woman who accepted Christ as their Savior. Another woman admitted she was searching and yet another admitted she was living “far from God.” Please continue to pray for the people of Honduras!
(Pic: Photo at 29 weeks) We continue to await the arrival of our first child, a daughter! We are so excited to become parents! God has continued to bless us with good health throughout this process.
For allowing us to finish a year full of activities, His protection, daily sustenance, goals met, and lessons learned!
For our family, friends and brothers in Christ; our prayer, moral, and economic supporters who have blessed us greatly this past year. May God be the One who compensates your support for us!
For the opportunity to visit our family, friends and siblings in Christ in the USA and for His care during the journey, even during this political crisis. We have seen God’s hand through all of this.
Pray to God:
For it is God who will allow us to serve Him in this new year, 2018. May He support us in the ministries entrusted to us and may He open the hearts of the people around us.
For the birth of our first child. May God allow us to have a healthy, natural birth. May He take care of Adria and our daughter.
For the political, social, and economic situation here in Honduras. May God protect us and may we be His light and example in this crisis regarding the position we as Christians should have concerning it.
God bless you,
Job & Adria