Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 - Called to Persevere

Bienvenido Mathias Caleb Beard!

So much has happened in our lives & ministry since I've last written.

A new life was introduced into the Beard Family.
(And some other Beards got another year older!)

Best birthday gift ever!!! Tobias turned six a week after Mathias' birth!

Mare = 32                                Jon = 4, I mean 40!

We've said good-bye to some staff & hello to new youth & children.

We've hosted three short-term missions teams,
including both of our parents!

The Ranch is officially an NGO in Honduras 
& the Durango is back in the shop (and up for sale.) NEED: 4 x 4, duel-cab, pick-up truck - option to import tax free from US! (Toyota, Nissan or Ford best models for Honduras.)

The construction of our new staff housing, Casa de Apoyo, continues to move forward
and the infrastructure of the Ranch is growing... poco a poco.

And through it all, the good, the bad & the messy, the Gospel is our beacon; guiding us through all of the changes and reminding us of the course that God has set for the ministry.

I have been teaching the staff through the book of Colossians and found great encouragement from these lines in chapter 1:

23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. (NLT)

As a full-time missionary, I've seen the importance of realizing that part of the "entire [Gospel] message" that Paul speaks of is our life & testimony. Which often includes suffering. Yet, it is in the challenges and difficulties of life & ministry where the Gospel can be seen the clearest.

So, thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and financial gifts as we continue to make adjustments at the Ranch to all the recent changes! PRAY that we would continue to "stand firm" in the Gospel in our marriage, family, service and outreach.


Mare focuses inward & upward for "Baby Cinco's" arrival!

One of the many joys of home birth is to include the family.
Marillyn's mom, Brooke Goranson - an unofficial Doula, is pictured with the Beard kids and Marillyn in the birthing pool.

December 9th, 2016
(In this day of ultra-sounds, we've waited to find out all of our baby's gender until their birth.)

Well done, mama! Well done, baby!


Lesly, our family cook & long-time RO4Y participant, was wed on December 17th.

Civil unions are first & separate from church unions in Honduras.
PRAY for Lesly & her husband, Carlos.
They are expecting at the end of June.
 (Also PRAY for us as we seek a maternity leave replacement.)

Lucinda says, "Adios" to Honduras and her service at the Ranch.
She had a four-year tour-of-duty!
PRAY for Lu as she continues to adjust to life in the US.
PRAY for the Beard's as we try to nail down what our kids' education will look like. Marillyn has stepped into home schooling, but we don't see this as a permanent solution. NEED: Nanny/Teacher

Melody and her Nicaraguan husband, Roberto take a "Farewell" photo before they depart for Nicaragua.
After cutting her commitment to the Ranch short by moving up her wedding day six months, then moving to Nicaragua it was difficult to reconcile Melody's commitment to her marriage and service at the Ranch. We sadly decided to not invite Melody back. 

PRAY for the equestrian ministry vision of RO4Y. 
(Pause to read blog title, again.)
PRAY for God's timing on finding a new horse. We received a donation in 2016, but haven't found the one!

NEED: Equestrian assistant

NEED: More monthly financial givers - we're feeling the absence of Lu & Mel's "hands & feet", as well as their room & board fees.

Melody's final equestrian class given at Rancho Oasis.

Our ministry stamp:
Woo-hoo!!! The Ranch is official in Honduras! PTL!!!


Calvary Chapel Morgantown @ Parque Picachu in Tegucigalpa.

This small team of 8 had a combined experience of over 20 visits to Rancho Oasis since we begun in 2010. (That includes two first timers!)

We are not only blessed to call them friends, but family!

Bitter-sweet, final day reflections from the CC Morgantown crew!

Calvary Chapel Des Moines @ replica Mayan temple.
We were also blessed to fellowship & serve alongside our long-time friends from our home church in Des Moines, Iowa. The Beard & local kids especially enjoyed Chelsea's return visit, as she had interned with the Ranch in the Spring of 2016! NEED: Interns for remainder of 2017 & all of 2018!!!

What was really fun is that all but one of the team members had been to Honduras, but only one of those five knew first-hand our new property. Thus, this visit was like serving at a whole new ministry!

Kevin shares during the RO4Y staff Bible study about answering God's call on your life.

World Racer's first day in Ojojona: learning to shop @ the Pulperia!

One of our surprise highlights of the year was the month long service from the six gals from the World Race missions ministry.

They lived with us on the Ranch, but were completely independent: making their own meals and getting their own groceries.

Not only did they complete a variety of projects around the Ranch, they helped with the schooling of our youngest children, worked with the animals to give Oscar and Nelson some real time off over Semana Santa, ministered alongside the trade school & children's Bible studies and offered us their fellowship. 

We unofficially changed their name to "World Ranchers!"

Dropping the gals off at the bus stop. 


The trade school gals hold up their newest creations: paper bead hearts!
Marillyn has been faithfully teaching these young women for five years!
PRAY that they will not only mature in their craftsmanship, but in their walk with the Lord.

PRAY that God will also open up some more selling opportunities. He's blessed us with a few wedding/gift orders and we have applied to work with some larger State-side distributors.

What a blessing to have the multiple teams speak into the lives of these young women as they come to learn every Tuesday!

PRAY for our special sale on the Etsy website: Las Aguas Verdes,
as well as the special event May 12th at the US embassy!

The U-12 boys meet for a friendly game during the school break in January.
PRAY that we can maintain a relationship with these boys during the Honduran school year.

"And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

First practice for the U-25 team at the start of our second local championship.

PRAY for Oscar as he leads the boys both on and off the field. When push comes to shove and we're short a player, Oscar will step-in to play a half. (Many of the boys finish their school at 1:30 and half of our games start at 1 PM!)

PRAY for perseverance. The season is coming to a close and we are, once again, in last place of eight local teams. We are essentially at a high school level playing college opponents! The boys are a bit discouraged, but are actually playing well. Just missing that definition in the final third, if ya know what I mean!

While recently in Ojojona, I received some positive feedback about the team. This man, a player in one of the men's leagues, congratulated me for the efforts we were making with the boys. He said that most are in it for a trophy, but he sees that were are interested in forming these boys into good players and good men! PTL!!!

Win or lose - we always give thanks to the Lord!

Friday AM & PM Bible studies have been packed!
On a whim, obviously lead by the Holy Spirit, I decided to take a new route into Ojojona for Friday Bible study. Like the piped-piper, I drove through new neighborhoods and talked to every kid I saw, inviting them to the Ranch! It was crazy fun and I had no idea what to expect!

Our Friday attendance has nearly doubled in size!!!

Oscar teaches the AM class!

PRAY that Oscar, Dunia, Keyla and Saleni (Machi's girlfriend) and I will have perseverance, love and wisdom as we reach out to these kids! We've been so grateful for the help from the teams, but we want to keep this study growing strong!

We used Legos to help illustrate the parable of the house built on the sand & rock!


Both CC Morgantown and CC Des Moines helped stub in plumbing & electrical conduit for CDA!!!

PRAY for the funds and wisdom to finish CDA this year!!!
Our local Honduran forman, Jose de La Paz, has been completing the interior stucco.

We have two more teams lined up that could be helping with this process, as well as a significant donation from a supporting church to prayerfully finish the work!

NEED: Property manager / maintenance man / missions team construction manager!!!

CDA's septic tanks:
Bio-digestors that make human waste compost!!!

Beard Kid Creativity!
Enjoying washing the busito!

Arco Iris!

Blessed to ride these beautiful mountains!
PRAISE for good health!


Marsha & Dave Beard

Brooke & Wayne Goranson

PRAY & stand firm with the Beards & Rancho Oasis for Youth!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 - November Photo N Prayer Review

Melody introduces the afternoon girls' Bible study to Zoeva.

After nearly seven years of living in Honduras,
the equestrian-Bible program is finally coming to fruition!

We combined a study in 1 Corinthians 12 with a lesson on horse grooming. Each brush is unique and has it's own purpose, just like each member of the Body of Christ. No brush is more important than the other, but each has a specific job!
What a fun way to bless these kids's with some spiritual truths!

PRAY for Melody as she works with the kids and the horses & Jon as he leads the Bible studies!

Zoeva is getting a full-body brushing from the boys' class!

First boys' Bible study in years that doesn't include soccer... yet!

One of the nice horses at a horse barn just outside of Tegucigalpa.
PRAY for us as we continue to seek a "retiring" horse from a nearby local barn. 
Melody and Marillyn recently made some connections, PRAY they work out!
The goal is to find a trained horse that has many years of life left in him/her.
PRAY these horses will not only be "bomb proof" (require less work) for the kids, but they'll also be in our price range!

U-25 team plays a "friendly" game with prisoners inside the prison!
The U-25 soccer team had a unique opportunity to minister to some prisoners. Jon had been praying for an opportunity to serve the community and the Lord provided through a Honduran pastor friend in Ojojona.

So, with the van full of young men we traveled almost two hours south to Nacaome, near the El Salvadorian border!

Once there we made our way through security then Oscar gathered those prisoners who would listen and shared his testimony of coming to faith in Jesus. We played a game (and lost badly! The heat was a HUGE factor! Oscar described it as an oven.)

Finally, before our departure, one of the inmates shared his story with the boys and how he has come to know Christ in prison. This man has 12 more years to serve of a 25 year sentence! What a teaching moment for our young players!

PRAY for these young men to fully give their lives to Christ and to avoid prison.
PRAY for more opportunities to serve the community. We plan to return!

Group photo outside the prison entrance and prisoner, Ulises, shares his story with the young men.

School vacations has started and the U-12 team has begun practice!
PRAY for Oscar as he both trains the U-12 team and teaches from the book of John!
PRAY also that the Lord will provide some volunteers from the U-25 team to help Oscar.

PRAY for these U-12 boys to gel as a team and grow in their walk with Christ!

Paper bead Christmas tree garland, anyone???
Though trade school classes have been greatly simplified in anticipation of Baby Beard being born, the students still meet weekly.

The Lord answered prayer and opened five different opportunities to sell the students work in Tegucigalpa this December. We're hoping to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season to bless these students! PRAY all goes well!

Also PRAY for Jon has he has been leading the weekly devotionals.

Can't make it to the sales events in Honduras, no problema!

Henry works on Christmas tree ornaments and Yahaira some garland!

Melody de-feathers a chicken at the Rancho Oasis homestead!

PRAY for our weekly adult Bible study in Colossians.
We've had some of the best discussions we've ever had at the Ranch! PTL!
(I'm honestly not sure why this particular prayer requests follows that particular picture! Hahaha!)

Poema: the kitten princess!

Lucinda, Melody and Marillyn enjoy some much needed fellowship and spiritual renewal
at the annual women's missionary conference in Tegucigalpa.

Mr. Mom takes the wheel while Mare is away at the conference!

Tabitha and Tobias are loving their "new" used adjustable b-ball net!

Family bonfire with Naomi's no-bake cookies and goat's milk.

Face-Timing Grandpa & Grandma:
The blessing of technology allows us to stay close to friends and family despite being thousands of miles away.

Nelson, aka "Machi" and his newborn daughter, Milagro (meaning Miracle).
PRAY for Machi to learn his spiritual role as father!

As I type this, Mare's due date, December 5th, has come and gone!
Vamos Baby Cinco!
PRAY for Mare... she's ready to be done!

Tobias and I, Jon, clean out the water tank with the close of the rainy season.
Though coming from the water aquifer that feeds Ojojona, the ground/rain water floods the pipes and brings a lot of "yuck" into the tank! Nonetheless, PRAISE for our water source!

Our first ever Thanksgiving in our own home!

Apple tart & chocolate silk pie - both with homemade almond crust!

The meal was amazing & the fellowship sweet!
Gracias a todos!
PRAISE for our wonderful supporters!
For your words of encouragement, financial gifts and regular visits!
We are so blessed AND grateful for you!

Tobias rethinks his gift of a half-eaten paleta (popsicle) for the new born messiah!

Blessed to ride on DRY trails again!