Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad

We are so excited for what lies ahead for Rancho Oasis 4 Youth in 2010,
but we want to take the time to reflect on why RO4Y even exists:

To proclaim the new life and hope that is found in the God-man,
once a babe in a manger, Jesus Christ.

December 25, 2009

His Birth and Our New Birth

’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ’God with us’ —Matthew 1:23

His Birth in History. ". . . that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God ( Luke 1:35 ). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.

His Birth in Me. "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you . . ." (Galatians 4:19 ). Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a "Bethlehem" for the Son of God? I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. "You must be born again" ( John 3:7 ). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that "Christ is formed" in me. And once "Christ is formed" in me, His nature immediately begins to work through me.

God Evident in the Flesh. This is what is made so profoundly possible for you and for me through the redemption of man by Jesus Christ.

From Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest.

Prayer Requests:

  • Praise - our visit with the State-side Beards (Jon's parents) has gone wonderfully and the girls are enjoying all their new Curious George books!
  • Our visit to the States from December 28th - January 19th: We will be visiting friends, supporters, churches and attending Calvary Chapel's Missions Conference. Pray that God helps us communicate the vision for RO4Y and that He grows our prayer and financial support base.
  • Wisdom in planning RO4Y in Honduras and all the details and logistics in getting there, becoming residents and establishing a ministry/non-profit organization.
  • We would like to purchase a used church van to both transport ourselves and various possessions to Honduras, as well as use for the ministry. (If you didn't see the video in the last post, watch it then you'll know why we want this van). There is another ministry in San Ramon that is wanting to sell one of their vans, pray that we strike a fair and ministry minded deal
Finally, enjoy this video of one of our favorite Christmas songs:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...Red Light... Green Light...

Do you remember playing that game during recess or gym class where everyone stood in a line and ran towards their teacher when he yelled "Green Light" in an effort to get there before everyone else and then slammed on the brakes when barking out "Red Light"?

Well, if this elementary game is a loose analogy for our last 19 months in Central America, we've been somewhat stuck in the middle: "Yellow Light!"

We clearly hit the ground running on a green light from the Lord when we answered the call to come to Costa Rica. However, once we arrived our vision for Rancho Oasis 4 Youth has been on the awkward yield: unable to afford property, distracted by a full-time teaching job, learning how to parent two children under three years of age and ministering just once a week to the children in our neighborhood via Club de Ninos.

All of this was to say that during our trip to Honduras, Marillyn and I received the Holy Spirit's "Green Light" for RO4Y. All of what we have prayed for in starting R04Y and more has been answered - and we are so excited!

The Beards (minus Naomi) downtown Ojojona

When we arrived on the property in Ojojona, Honduras there was this overwhelming sense of peace, excitement and notion that this was home. Our new home!

Bible Class - Campamento 2009

Helping with Capilla Calvario's youth retreat helped us to see the potential for RO4Y. About 50 youth from three different churches attended the conference. (Tegucigalpa, Honduras' capital, Valle de Angeles - a community near Tegus, and Ojojona). It was a mix of city kids and country kids. Exactly the mix that we desire to serve.

These young men are from Valle de Angeles
30 minutes outside of Tegucigalpa
They all accepted Christ at the retreat!

Ojojona is ideally located an hour from the capital. On one hand we desire to minister to the youth of the city by bringing them to a peaceful environment, away from the craziness of the city, to experience and learn more about God. Secondly, the surrounding community is teeming with need. We desire to initially start by continuing the work that our missionary friends in Tegucigalpa started by holding Bible studies Sunday afternoon. From there, because we will be living in Ojojona, the possibilities of ministering, helping and loving on the children and families are endless.

Children from Ojojona

The property itself is perfect and has a few buildings built or started. At the same time there is a lot of work to be done; which opens up the opportunities for missions teams to come and invest their time and labor into the ministry.

It is so encouraging, almost unbelievable, to see the exact answer to the prayers that we've been praying for come to pass in the development of RO4Y! God is so good.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing more details about Ojojona and Honduras, but rejoice with us in this exciting new chapter for RO4Y!

Prayer Requests
  • Praise for the opportunity to visit Ojojona and participate in the youth retreat. We had a wonderful time with our friends, Jason and Patty.
  • Pray for all the logistics in our move to Honduras. Timing (we are thinking February of 2010), selling our possession in Costa Rica (from desks to our vehicles), how to get our "prized" possessions from CR to Honduras, and obtaining legal residency.
  • Jon's parents are visiting for Christmas; pray for safe and blessed time traveling. We are also planning on handing out a bunch of clothes to children in our neighborhood; pray that we have opportunity to share Christ as well.
  • We will be visiting the States from December 28th to January 19th. Our plan is to share in a few churches in Southern California, attend the Missions Conference, then visit friends and members of our support team in Seattle, WA.
  • Pray for us as we plan and prioritize the work and ministry of RO4Y!
  • Continue to pray for Jon's healing from the bike accident. The once dislocated finger is difficult to bend, he still has a lot of soreness on his shoulder and rib-cage and because of the weak condition of his right arm he tweaked his right wrist and is experiencing pain in his hand. The road rash is healing great, but the rest of the injuries have a way to go!
This video was filmed while driving the Ojojonan children back to their homes after the Sunday afternoon service. Can you say BUS?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Asphalt!

Most of you are aware of my biking accident this last Saturday morning because of the amazing e-mail-prayer chain that we have. (If you don't get our e-mail updates send us a line at

Thanks for your prayers - I'm walking (limping) in the promise of God's healing power!

No way is Satan going to rip us off and prevent us from experiencing His plan for us in Honduras! What's a little road rash for the kingdom of God, right?

Okay - here's the low down. It was around 8 AM and I was on one of my short routes - maybe 30 - 40 minutes. I just completed the strenuous uphill push, turned around and started to coast down the street. I decided to apply a little rear break because the turns are a little tight and cars are not a bikers best friend in Costa Rica.

As I applied the brake, I hit an unforeseen dip/hole in the road and hit both brakes thereby flipping myself off of the bike. I only remember launching from the bike then waking up in the ditch facing the opposite direction I was traveling. I looked at my left hand and saw that the index finger was pointing in a direction that was not by design. I panicked a little thinking I broke my finger - not good for a guitar/percussion player. My right shoulder was throbbing terribly and my head wasn't too hot either.

My moans of pain drew out several Ticos who came to my assistance. They called an ambulance, calmed me, sat next to me and supported me. I could barely sit I was in so much pain. I couldn't reach into my hip sack, so I asked one of the Ticos to pull out my phone, dial the home number then hold the phone to my ear. I spoke to Brooke and Wayne was soon on his way to get the bike. We lived about 10 minutes from the accident.

Wayne and our friend Miguel arrived shortly before the ambulance and prayed for me. I was pretty dizzy and don't remember much of the ride in the ambulance. We arrived at the hospital where they gave me some pain killers intravenously and sent me off to get x-rays of my hand, head and shoulder. Once discovering that nothing was broken, the doctor reset my finger and a few of my larger road rashes were cleaned up.

Thank you Jesus for Miguel. I was dizzy and drugged up at the hospital. I was lost and pretty scared, I felt like I was in a dream, only half understanding my surroundings and the people talking to me. It was very strange. (I even saw one of my former students. "Teacher!" she shouted. "Pray for me," I replied as I hurried by in the wheelchair.)

Now I've been home recovering and planning for Honduras! This next week is pretty important as we seek the Lord's direction for RO4Y.

Pray for our time with Jason & Patricia Mulla. (They've got a newborn).

Pray for the youth conference in Ojojona Thursday 10 - Sunday 13th - we'll be roughing it. Roughly 60 city kids from the capital Tegucigalpa will be attending.

Pray for the Lord's confirmation - we will be spying out the land to see if God is drawing us to start RO4Y in Honduras.

Though my helmet wasn't cracked it was damaged (ripples in the plastic);
imagine what the road would have done to my head without it!

Some bruising on my forehead from the impact of the helmet; notice the red line above my ear.

X-Ray of my dislocated finger; the large orb is my wedding ring.
(The slide is technically backwards).

Road Rash - Ouch!