Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 - February Photo & Prayer Review

Hello Friends,

God's faithfulness, despite the ups & downs of life and ministry is truly incredible... and humbling, to say the least. 

We've wrapped up a great season of ministry during the Honduran school vacations (December & January) and are gearing up for changes in the ministry because of public school classes beginning again. Mainly, we shift up our schedule to work with the kid's when not in school.

Join us in prayer for the following areas:

Dark-thirty AM on Friday, February 6th.

1. Oscar & I, Jon, depart for El Salvador, Friday February 6th. We are renewing our 90 day permission on the van. We are preparing for a 3 day stay in El Salvador, but are hopeful for a smooth, one day affair as we experienced back in November! PRAY for our travels and favor with the authorities and customs agents in both Honduras & El Salvador!

UPDATE: We were denied both an extension and a new permit. So, we hope to import the van with the help of our non-profit status. This paperwork is under process now, but could be another 6 month waiting period! There are other quicker and more costly means to import the van, but funds are "tight" because of all the work on the new property. PRAY for a miracle!

2. Continue to PRAY for the finalization of the recognition of our non-profit status from the US, here in Honduras. Once recognized, we can import the van, prayerfully, tax free!!!

Marillyn was given the opportunity to visit her parents for a few days in the States
and a friend caught her father's first embrace on film.
3. Continue to PRAY for Marillyn's parents. Wayne sustained a fractured leg and ankle in a freak accident while helping us complete the house on the new property in December. He is home in Iowa and his recovery is very slow. He is being cared for by Marillyn's mother, Brooke. It is both a physically and emotionally draining experience for her. The most demanding thing she's ever done! (That's saying a lot!)

Looking north from the new property. Just left of center, near the neighbor's roof in the distance, at the edge of our property stands the final electrical pole with our private transformer.
4. PRAISE for the completed installation of the primary electrical line and transformer to the new property!!! We are waiting confirmation from the electrical company that all was installed properly, so continue to PRAY for final approval!

Hola, transformador de Rancho Oasis!
We are also awaiting the estimate for the electrical work to be brought from the transformer located at the edge of the property up to the houses! PRAY for God's provision. We have some small, work teams lined up to complete the work at the property in three weeks and are hoping to have electricity in the houses by then!

UPDATE: The estimated cost of the remaining electrical is ~$4,000.

5. PRAY for our staff. We recognize that Satan often increases his attacks at the close of a great time of ministry (in our case, the end of school vacations) and during the transition of a ministry (start of school and preparation to move to the new property). Needless to say, the spiritual warfare has increased, but our weekly meetings, Bible Study and monthly one-on-one meetings have helped "nip these attacks in the bud".

This month the English speaking staff, The Beards & Lucinda, will be attending a annual missionary retreat. PRAY for a time of refreshment and connection with the Lord and other missionaries here in Honduras. Also, PRAY for the Lord's protection over both properties and for our Honduran staff, Oscar & Ilsy, while they have a lighter ministry week.

Here, Sarah, introduces a new game to the girl's Bible study:
they're making an "elefante"!

6. PRAISE: Our visit with potential RO4Y staff, Sarah Jones was great. She fit right into the mix of ministry here at the Ranch and could make a great addition to the team and the increase of God's Kingdom in this community.

PRAY for Sarah as she seeks God's direction and timing to serve with us at the Ranch. We gave her an open door to serve with us and are hopeful for her collaboration in the Gospel this Spring!

Cristina "cuts in" around the living room window.
The youth group Bible study has donated some time to help finish painting the house!
What a huge blessing!
7. PRAY for the completion of our home and preparation for our move to the new property. We have a few small teams lined up and are hoping to have the new property ready for us in mid-March!

8. Continue to PRAY for our weekly outreaches:

Oscar prays with the boys before the second semi-final game: we needed a miracle!
We lost the two games with a combined score of 5 - 2.
The U-12 boys soccer team finished in second place, but lost the semi-final matches. We are having our Appreciation Luncheon on February 21. We hope to restart the U-14 team with a weekend tournament despite weekday classes.

Who knew the Bible, popcorn and pajamas were a great recipe for fun???

The Girl's Bible study finished vacations with a bang! The first ever RO4Y Pajama Party. Though exhausted, Ilsy and Duna had a blast! To help accommodate the girls' school schedules, we might be having two Bible studies: AM & PM.

Keyla takes the trade school written exam covering work ethic philosophy and color combination theory. All students were required to take and pass the exam to continue with the school!
The trade school has been redefined and we are prepping the students to be more professional in the work with a signed contract to the school and godliness in their attitudes with a study on Biblical Stewardship. We are planning to sell some of their artisan crafts at the upcoming missionary retreat.

In all things, PRAY for the salvation of all the youth & children!!!

9. PRAISE for our support team and ministry collaborators!!

Weekend fun with the Beard kids: cardboard box-boat races!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Newsito: 2014 Furlough Report

Paying the "exit" tax before our departure in Tegucigalpa with dollars or lempiras.
"Cute" isn't a valid currency, yet!

The family and I are half-way through our church fellowship visits. So far, we've shared at churches in Northern & Eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, West Virginia and suburban Chicago. We have two more scheduled stops:
Flower Mound, Texas and Des Moines, Iowa.

Rockin' some Jesus music with the Bachleitner family.
PRAISE: We have been blessed with much encouragement, great meals, and wonderful hospitality this furlough (a.k.a. "working holiday")

The RO4Y display table offering: Coffee, Lempira bill bookmarks...
Paper-bead Jewelry (bracelets, necklaces & earrings), Friendship bracelets, Wooden Signs... 

Jean Bags, Crocheted Hats & coffee mug coozies and T-shirt scarves.

​With the trade school tripling in size this year, the students have fared extremely well in sales. We've even had two churches buy a surplus to stock their bookstore! We are excited to start the planning stages to open a site for the Trade School products on Etsy. More details soon to come! PRAY for God's blessing & wisdom for the students to learn godly stewardship.

We are continuing to pray for God's provision for bringing electricity to the new property. Estimates for tapping into the grid run to ~$15,000. A combo of solar & wind run close to ~$25,000. PRAY for wisdom one which option to take and the Lord's provision. 

PRAISE: During our visits, God provided the funds to move forward with the electrical study to run our own private line of electricity. The study will be approved by the Honduran electric company and give us an estimate on building materials needed. PRAY that the study is approved by the electric company before our return to Honduras. (Again, we are still praying for direction between alternative & grid electric, but the study is a step in understanding which "path" to take.)

Miguel & Oscar extracting "zombie grass". (Unusable, prolific long grasses on the new property.)

PRAISE: News from the Ranch has also been good! Oscar and his brother, Miguel, continue to work daily with the animals and continue to prep the new property for our estimated arrival in early 2015. Oscar has shared that his younger, half-brother is softening to the gospel. PRAY for Miguel's salvation & wisdom for Oscar. As long as the fields aren't too muddy, Oscar continues to coach the soccer team on Saturdays. 

Ilsy shows off one of her Bible study crafts.
Ilsy and her daughter, Lysse, are watching the property and living life in the village. Ilsy has been spending time with the neighbor girls, Dunia and Keyla, who are both involved in the trade school and youth group Bible study. The three are also leading girl's Bible study on Fridays. Continue to PRAY for their protection and wisdom with the day to day.

Tabitha                     &                     Naomi

​PRAISE: We've also celebrated two family birthdays the first week of September! Naomi turned 8 and Tabitha 6.

We've had some time for R & R! PRAISE for God's faithfulness!
It's not often the Beard family can enjoy a movie, in the theater with Closed-Captioning for Mare with Jon's parents! Clearly "Made in the U.S.A."

PRAY for us & the remainders of our travels!
We return to Honduras the end of October.

Saying good-bye to Wayne & Brooke Goranson, Mare's parents,
while we prepare to hit the road!