Friday, June 26, 2009

praise the Lord for air conditioning!!!!!

no joke... think louisiana weather... except for no air conditioning. YIKES!!! osmany's parents do not have air conditioning in their home... oh boy... i am so glad that our hotel has air! i walk into their house and begin to sweat and poor rebeca... she is just wet all the time.

the hotel room i am staying in is pretty bare. a full size bed, a TV, one measly picture on the wall across from a gigantic mirror that looks like it belongs in a dance stuido, and a bathroom. not very homey BUT it treated me well last night :) i slept until around 7 15 and got up and did some quiet time and checked the facebook. i got to talk to sweet sydney on facebook chat this morning.... she made my day! thanks sister :) beca and i played around in the room until we went to the hernandez house. jennifer decided it was too hot for us so we left to go shop some :) you guessed it... NADA... olanchito is a pretty happening place but shopping is not its most popular activity. we ate a typical honduran meal at "Junior's Deli" along with some pineapple juice (all natural, i promise you have never had anything like this... AMAZING!). after lunch i took a siesta... 2 hours of a nap does the soul some good! went back to the hernandez casa and now we are just hanging out. --- i am excited to see what we are having for supper! last night we had baliadas :) jess, i thought of you! they were YUM!

i am reading some in "a chance to die" -- the life and legacy of amy carmichael. so i'll leave you with this quote that has been on my mind, " not one to refuse even unnecesssary risks, Amy was more than ready to take risks for the sake of others."

--> how willing are we to take risks, maybe even "unnecessary" risks for other people to know Jesus? the world will think our risks are unnecessary, but remember... Jesus risked it all for us. may we be found as risk takers for His Kingdom.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

back to ¨the duras¨¨

today marks the 5 summer that i have spent time in honduras! it is really good to be back and to just BE here among the country, the language, the culture, and the people that have become so much of a part of who i am that it is ridiculous. i guess i had no idea how much my summers here have affected daily life for me.. forever.

it has been a day full of emotion.... sweet greetings (beca ran to me), beautiful scenery, and a day of intense questioning. i am longing for the Lord to show me more of Himself and for His direction to be made clear in my life.

in the mean time... we are hanging out in olanchito for a few days. met all of osmany´s family tonight, they are sweet :) we will be spending time with them.. which means practicing spanish. and we are just going to get mentally, physically, and spiritually ready for our journey to la moskitia. the team from north monroe will arrive on sunday and we will fly out of la ceiba on monday to be in la moskitia by supper time.

please pray for me... jennifer and osmany.. for the team coming. pray that the Lord would use us to serve the people here. that we would be faithful to walk in obedience.. whatever that may take or whatever that may cost. please pray that the name of the Lord would be lifted up.

glory to His name!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Gary W. Griffith

On Wednesday, October, 1, 2008, Gary W. Griffith went to be with his Lord. So much is on my heart and my mind, but I take comfort in the promise that he is with Jesus and that greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city...there is NO ONE like our GOD!!!

Garrison told me an incredible story. Wednesday morning around 10 am Brother Gary and Garrison were sitting at the computer listening to "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin and BG was weeping because of how amazing God is. Not even 30 minutes later, he went to the very presence of the one He was weeping over! This man left a legacy that points straight to the Maker of the Universe... there is no question where he stood or what he believed in.

"I firmly believe there is no risk in abandoning ourselves to God and that the Father will use circumstances, pain and suffering, to produce godliness in our lives. Righteousness, a little more freedom from sin, being a little more like Jesus, is worth any pain, discomfort or chastisement from the Father!! It proves you are His child, and He sends more of His Spirit." -- Gary Griffith

BG has shown me through his life and through his death that that a life lived for self is no life worth living and a life lived for the Glory of God is the only one worth living at all. To love God and to love People.

I have also learned to never let a day go by without telling the ones you love, that you love them and how special they are to you. This man was very special to me, a dear friend and mentor. I am a better person for having known him. I thank God for allowing me to be a part of BG's life for these last 7 years. I wouldn't trade the countless memories, laughs, lessons learned, and encouragement for anything in this world.

So.... to my Lord: I give up everything to you. I abandon what we call comfort in this world and desire that you use me in whatever ways you see fit. And at the end of this road, I hope that my life points to YOU! All the Glory be to your precious Name...

The Spirit of God is working mightily in the lives of the people at my church, FBC Swartz. We want more of you Lord! May we never be the same, make us more like Jesus, and may the world see how good you really are! YOU ARE ENOUGH!

R.I.P BG, I can't wait to sing forever and ever with you in adoration of our King. Thanks for teaching me how to worship, not only with my lips but with my life. I love you.

On my lips there's a shout of praise...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At Any Cost...

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Your will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all, utterly to You to be Yours forever. Fill me and seal me with Your Holy Spirit. Use me at Your will, send me where You will, work out Your whole will in my life AT ANY COST, now and forever." ---Betty Scott Stam, Missionary to China in the 1930's

These precious people know what it means to pray that prayer and experience the reality of "at any cost". In a village near the Honduran border, Pastor Davis and his parents (people pictured) reside in La Pita, Nicaragua. We spent some time visiting with them and during our time together this sweet man shared some of his life experiences with us. I could not believe the stories I heard...

Pastor Davis' father was a lead runner in the Evangelical work in northern Nicaragua. When the Sandinistas took over in the 70's him and his family suffered some extreme persecution. He was a prisoner of war, beaten, starved, ridiculed, and still did not deny His Jesus.

After leaving La Pita, we traveled to a village named San Gregoria. We arrived at the place where we would be staying and seeing the church took me back to a story Pastor Davis' dad told us just a few days before... He was a part of the first baptist church plant in Northern Nicaragua and this is where the story took place. They were at church on a Sunday night and after the preaching, 2 men on horseback stormed through the front doors and martyred two Christians with machetes. Pastor Davis' father told us that he still remembers what the message was that night, it was "Suffering for the Love of Jesus".

To see this church and walk inside it's walls and know the faithful saints that had left their legacy there.. brings a new meaning to "Lord, take my life, use me, AT ANY COST."

Monday, August 04, 2008

i'm pretty sure there are no words...

I wanted to sit down and write an update on my travels to Nicaragua and kind of a wrap up of the whole summer, but there are truly just no words that I could say to do these past 9 weeks justice. I have been able to get out a few stories and lessons learned since being back at home but they still fall short... so I made a video :)

I have grown so much in my love for the Lord and His people over these past months.... I will NEVER be the same. To Him be the glory, forever and ever, Amen!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jenn's Birthday, Last Week in Siguatepeque, & Packing

I have become such a slacker this week with blogging! Sorry to all of my faithful readers :)

Sunday was Jenn's Birthday!! I posted after the internet came on on Sunday but I had no idea how exciting of a night it would actually be! Osmany told us that we were all going out to eat for Jenn's birthday... which was great. We all put on our dresses and got ready to go out :) Bec looked so pretty in her dress!

We took a taxi because the vehicle was still not fixed and we headed towards Barrio El Carmen.. which may not be a big deal to you guys .. but Jenn and I knew that all of the restaurants were the other way! He finally told us that we were going to get Hermana Jamie and Hermano Hermes.. Jenn was excited but still had no idea about the surprise party waiting for us at Jamie and Hermes' house! When we got to their house, it was all decorated and there were some of our friends coming over to celebrate as well! Jamie made homemade pizza and brownies.. MMMM GOOD! Osmany also brought the cake that he bought for Jenn! WHAT A FIESTA!!

Me, Jenn, Jamie --> Jenn's B-day

Osmany, Miguel, Hermes --> Jenn's birthday

They are so precious!

Work went well this week.. I did the usual.. Hermon on Monday and Wednesday, Mobile Clinic on Tuesday, and El Porvenir on Thursday.

The most memorable account from this week was Wednesday at Hermon. It was my last day with them and I was hoping that it would be a good one! Everything was kind of slow in the morning but right before I was preparing to leave.... a group of Americans walked through the door. There was a young girl walking towards me, holding her side, and crying hysterically. I immediately asked her what was wrong or what she thought was wrong.. she told me that she has kidney stones a lot and figured that was what was going on. We got an IV started, and gave her some medication for the pain. I asked her if the people from her group (missionaries from North Carolina) had prayed over her yet... she told me no. I asked her if I could pray for her and she agreed. I felt so impressed to pray over here.. it has got to be so hard to be sick (and not just any kind of sick, but passing a kidney stone sick) and to be away from home and be somewhere where the people do not speak your language. By the time I left the clinic, Brittany's pain had eased up and I felt like she was in good hands with Thelma.

During that whole escapade... a girl about my age walked in with Brittany when she was passing her kidney stone. She is from Honduras but goes to school in North Carolina during the school year and comes home to Siguatepeque in the summer! We immediately hit it off... she is 20 yrs old and is a biology major with one more year left. She told me that she plans to apply for med school after she graduates. She was so excited and thought I would be here a little while longer.. but I had to tell her that I was leaving in just a few days! We are now friends on facebook and plan to hang out when or if I am able to come next summer! God works in the smallest ways...

Rebeca knows just how to cheer me up after work.. she got me a flower :)

I have spent most of the afternoon washing clothes and packing up.... with the occasional break to entertain Rebeca. She cannot seem to get out of my way :) I wouldn't have it any other way though!

It has been a great last week in Siguatepeque! I have gotten to spend some good time with Rebeca... we have had 2 sleepovers plus a girls night full of fingernail & toenail painting and Disney movies! I could not think of a better note to leave on... and I am so excited about the next 2 weeks in Nicaragua!

Please pray for our team as we serve in and around the town of Wiwilli, Nicaragua. Our team consists of: Terry Parks, Denise Parks, Caleb Parks, Erin Hall, Jesse Hall, Juliana Wimberly, and myself. I am flying out of San Pedro Sula at 7:05 am on Saturday morning and should be in Nicaragua by 9:35 am! --- The next time I post will probably be in the States... maybe not though.. I may see if I can't hit up an internet cafe during our weekend time!

Thank you all for your love, support, prayers, and encouragement! I would never be able to make it without such a strong support group at home! I love you!

Goodbye Honduras.. Hello Nicaragua!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cataratas, Goodbye's, & The Sabbath

Here we have the Pulhapanzak Catarata --> waterfall! There are no words to describe my experience at this beautiful place...

Jess and I were pretty content and amazed at just looking at the wonder.... but we stumbled upon an American that convinced us that looking was not enough! There were tour guides that take you down into the waterfall... for only 100 limpiras (5 dollars)!! We knew that there was no way that we would be happy with ourselves if we did not do it, so we went for it! I truly have no words to describe the experience it was to climb down to the waterfall and then stand under it! Jess and I just kept looking at each other saying "WOW, OH MY, I'M SO GLAD WE DID THIS, THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!" I felt like I was standing right in the midst of all of God's glory and I was so glad that Jess was with me! The first jump we made was only about a 5 footer... a height I was pretty comfortable with. The second jump was after we had walked under the waterfall and come back up to the same lagoon, except for it was about an 8 ft jump.. still comfortable with that. Our guide asked us after we made the last jump if we wanted to go up to another waterfall. Of course we agreed and it was a pretty intense little hike.. barefoot and all :) As we came back down from the highest point, we needed to jump off of a rock about 25 ft from the lagoon! Jess and I both looked at each other and we just just pretty much agreed that we HAD TO DO IT.. gotta love an adrenaline rush, haha! After that nice little jump we went down some more to where we could jump off of a cliff that was over the river, this one was not as high as the other only being about 20 ft from the water. I wouldn't have known that it was shorter, except for the guide told us after he saw the looks of uncertainty on our faces. BUT the fearlessness took us over again and we jumped! PHENOMENAL EXPERIENCE! Words are not good enough...nothing will ever be able to top what I felt as I stood under that waterfall... God and His glory were displayed to me in a way that I have never seen or experienced before! I praise the Lord for His beautiful creation and for a wonderful friend to experience it with! Unforgettable..

Jess and I with our guide from the waterfall, Salvador.

My sweet sisters :)

Later on that evening, Osmany took the truck to a town nearby to check out a Christian bookstore. Well, Osmany made it back to the Hotel at Lago de Yajoa coasting into the parking lot with a broken clutch. This presented a huge problem for us considering we had to be at the airport on Saturday morning. Jennifer and Osmany tried calling everyone that they knew to come get us to take us to the airport in San Pedro Sula but no one answered. Finally, Pastor Roger answered his phone! He agreed immediately to send someone to get us in their new vehicle that belonged to his church in Jesus de Otoro. I'm telling you guys.. GOD IS SO GOOD! If Osmany had not taken the truck we would have broken down on the way to the airport the next morning, the Lord was taking care of us! We had a devotional Friday night and Osmany shared from His heart about all of the trials that we had been facing and the Lord spoke to my heart. Here is what I have been able to gather....with some help from Elisabeth Elloit's book "Passion & Purity" :) The amazing thing about our victory as believers is that it doesn't always come from the escape of trials. The Apostle Paul endured public flogging, starvation, and many other things.. he did not escape trouble, yet he was able to say he was winning the victory through Jesus. We have such a limited vision when it comes to love, most of us cannot imagine a love that does not protect us from suffering. The love of God does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not even protect His own Son.. that was the proof of His love. He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. These things that we walked through: no electricity for days, the car breaking down, the man approaching us in Panes, are not as extreme as Paul's public flogging but what really matters when it comes to suffering is that we make the right use of it. We have to take advantage of the sense of helplessness it brings to turn our thoughts to God. TRUST is the lesson! (Elisabeth Elloit, Passion & Purity). 1 Peter 5:10 says, "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." If all of the struggles and sufferings were taken away.. where would the victory be and how would we ever grow? There is no victory without first fighting a battle... and how would you know joy when you do not know suffering?

Saturday proved itself to be pretty eventful as well... Jess and I woke up abnormally early and could not go back to sleep. The ride to San Pedro Sula was supposed to arrive at the hotel at 8 am, but because we are in Honduras, he did not come until 9. This put us getting to the airport later than we would have liked but we still enjoyed the ride in a nice air-conditioned vehicle :)

From what I hear... the bunny has been in the United Sates and Africa already, so it had to make its debut in Honduras as well :)

We were about 10:15 making it to the airport with Jess's flight leaving out at 11:50. NOT ENOUGH TIME!!! We waited in line with Jess, Jamie, and Sarah for over an hour trying to get their boarding passes and their luggage checked. The airport is super busy right now because of the airport in Tegucigalpa being closed.. so there were 3x as many people than there would normally be! Jess had to unload some things out of her suitcase to make it under 50 lbs because they would not let her pay because there was not enough time. So in the midst of cramming the backpack full of souvenirs and running to the other side of the airport to get them up to their gate, there was not much time to say goodbye. We got to the ramp and they wouldn't let us pass with her because of the outrageous number of people so we hugged and said a few last words and off she went! Jennifer, Rebeca, and I watched her through the glass windows until she made it through security. Jess told me that as soon as she walked up to the gate to get on the plane they were making the last boarding call! TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT PEOPLE!!! But, as always, the Lord got her on the plane at just the right time!

Pastor Roger's son drove us back to Siguatepeque on Saturday afternoon. It was weird to come back home to an empty house after all of the hustle and bustle that had filled it's walls for the past 4 weeks. The electricity was back on... and we discovered that the refrigerator and most of the other electrical appliance (except for Jenn's computer) had been spared during the power surge on Wednesday night.... so that was a positive note :)

Sunday morning we woke up to no electricity again. Surprise, Surprise!! Later we found out that it was a scheduled outage and that it would not be back on again until 4 30 pm. So that meant that I had a whole day to try to pass with NOTHING TO DO! At first it was hard, really hard, but I resolved to spend the rest of the day resting in the Lord. I was able to spend it praising Him through song, reading His Word, reading Passion and Purity, and praying about the things that were so heavily on my heart. About the time I was wrapping it up, 4 30 pm, the electricity was back!

This is my last week here in Honduras and I can hardly believe it is time to move on to a different phase of ministry for the summer! On Saturday morning I will be flying out of San Pedro Sula at 7 05 am to head to Nicaragua! I will be meeting a group from my church at home to serve with them for 2 weeks! I am really excited about getting to see Nicaragua but even more excited about my reunion with my church family!

Please pray for me as I strive to "be all here" during these last 4 days of life here in Siguatepeque. I just want the Lord to use me..