Friday, March 26, 2010

New Foundations

The work on the bathhouse has gone up rapidly! We have been blessed by the work ethic of the men and their desire for spiritual growth.

Nearly every morning Jon meets with the guys (and Yolani) to pray for the day. Tuesday evenings we’ve held a prayer meeting and Jon has fielded a few spiritual questions (it was refreshing and encouraging to hear the men’s hearts and for Jon’s confidence to communicate in Spanish).

We’ve had one Bible study so far. For the first Bible study, as a personal tradition Jon asked everyone to share their testimony in response to Revelation 12:10-12.

Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb AND by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” (NLT)

We then mediated on Psalm 139 with an emphasis on verses 23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (NLT)

Continue to pray for:

the guys and gal and their growth in the Lord.

their safety while working
URGENT – as I’m typing this I just got the call that Luis fell off of the scaffolding. I don’t know his condition.

wisdom in purchasing materials

everyone’s level of Spanish, especially Jon and Wayne as the teach and discuss the building project.

the men’s rest as they take off Wednesday noon for a long Easter weekend
Jon taught the story of the prodigal son with an emphasis on the father in the story to honor Father’s Day in Honduras (April 21). He had a wonderful time getting to know the children and also teaching.

Meet the 8 to 10 year olds of Rancho Oasis for Youth!

Rosibel / Kevin

Albaro / Angie

Veronica / Cesar

Genderson / Crisna

Yalbana / Leandro

Gerson / Keily


Prayer requests:

Jon visited a lawyer this last week about obtaining residency and importing the vehicles. The meeting went well and the process for gaining Honduran residency is almost identical to that of Costa Rica. However, we got mixed news about the vehicles. Wayne’s truck is okay, but the bus falls beyond the cutoff date. Unfortunately, the info I had while in Costa Rica about importing the bus was wrong. We are looking into other possibly ways to get the bus imported, but it looks like we might have to sell it. I’m actually really excited to see how the Lord resolves this issue. His provision of the bus was so… Him, I can’t wait to see what He does now!

Praise for how well the building projects are proceeding!

Continue to pray for the first group arriving mid-April. They are slotted to help install a new septic tank and pour a concrete floor in the multi-purpose building.

Thank you for your prayers for strength and health. Tabitha’s allergy rash is gone! We are all doing well and adjusting to life in the hot, dry days and cool, fresh nights of Ojojona. Life is still demanding, but we are excited about the ministry opportunities that are developing on the property and with the people. Pray for us as we pinpoint how to help the people. There is a strong interest in English tutoring. We also are eagerly searching for our first horse rescue. Pray for God’s provision with a horse.

Pray for our travel to the States from April 8th to April 27th. Pray for a fruitful time of ministry and that God would stir in the people’s hearts a desire to support RO4Y financial, prayerfully and with their time for short term missions trips (and maybe even long term with future RO4Y staff).

Ps – internet cafĂ© is shut down all next week in Ojojona for semana santa (Holy Week) not sure when I’ll write to you next… God bless!

Mare and Tabi resting on the porch

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Construction Begins!!!

Local map of Ojojona and surrounding area. Find Ojojona and go west almost to El Circulo; right before El Circulo is a y-intersection. Follow the non-red and white road to Guasucaran and you've arrived at RO4Y!!! (Probably directly under the E of El Circulo).

The 5 - 10 year old Sunday School class enjoying crafts during the lesson.
Naomi showing off her work
(that's Saul being struck with the Lord's presence from Acts 9)
Jon will be beginning an intermediate level class this weekend (8-10 year olds).
Pray for wisdom.
Plans of the bath/laundry house! (That's "m" for meters).
The new building will be to the left of the current house.
Currently, there isn't a "modern" shower or laundry area.
This will accommodate our families and for the meantime, groups as well.
Crew from Tegucigalpa unloading brick, gravel and sand.

Our Honduran Construction crew
From left to right:
Micheal (Oscar's son), Oscar and brother Luis, Angel and Augustin
Micheal's wife Giarlani, the cook.
The crew is living on the property and working Monday - Saturday noon.
One of the stipulations to come was to have a prayer meeting Tuesdays and a Bible study on Thursday evening. Pray for Jon as he heads up a study in one of the Gospels. (Pray for Angel, he is not a believer and some of the other crew members are young in the Lord).

The girls enjoying bathing in their new tub!

  • Continue to pray for the importation of the RO4Y bus and Wayne's truck

  • Pray for wisdom in beginning the building projects of RO4Y

  • First group arriving in April

  • Life is still tough. I feel that I'm more RO4Y maintenance man then director! Pray that we find the balance of working the property, ministering to the locals, our family and that all important quite time, as well as finding that day of rest! Also our physical health. Tabitha was diagnosed with topical dermatitis, but is on the mend. (Pray she sleeps through the night).

  • The Beards will be heading to the States in April for Jon's brother's wedding. We will also be sharing at two supporting churches in Des Moines, Iowa and Freedom, Wisconsin. Looking forward to seeing some of you then!!!

We are so excited to be living out our dream.
Please be encouraged to the vision God has called you to:

My Utmost for His Highest
March 11, 2010
Obedience to the "Heavenly Vision"
I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision —Acts 26:19

If we lose "the heavenly vision" God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to "the heavenly vision" is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory. This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life— sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.

"Though it tarries, wait for it . . ." ( Habakkuk 2:3 ). We cannot bring the vision to fulfillment through our own efforts, but must live under its inspiration until it fulfills itself. We try to be so practical that we forget the vision. At the very beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it. We rushed off to do our practical work, and once the vision was fulfilled we could no longer even see it. Waiting for a vision that "tarries" is the true test of our faithfulness to God. It is at the risk of our own soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical busy-work, only to miss the fulfillment of the vision.

Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside? That will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of the vision you have seen. Let God send you out through His storm, and don’t go until He does. If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod. However, if you allow God to plant you, you will "bear much fruit" ( John 15:8 ).

It is essential that we live and "walk in the light" of God’s vision for us ( 1 John 1:7 ).

-Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Gideon Effect: Bienvenidos a Honduras!

Most of you are familiar with the story of Gideon and his fleeces. That is not what I want to talk about. Remember how Gideon was called to fight the bad guys and he had so many thousands of soldiers but God whittled down the number to double digits. (You Bible scholars out there can help me remember the exact amounts). The principle that God was trying to teach Gideon was to rely upon Him completely, put faith in nothing else but God Himself.

Our journey to Honduras achieved the Gideon factor over and over again! God is good.

There and (not going) back again(to Costa Rica... anytime soon):

A Honduras Adventure in photos

Our former intersection in San Ramon and our current entrance to the Rancho Oasis property!

Juan Manual, English Teacher and friend, rallied some youth from his church to help load for our journey.

Breakfast at 4 AM in Liberia, Costa Rica. Our friend and translator, Miguel Juarez.

Getting our passports stamped at the Nicaraguan border.

Our friend Diego who serves with Youth With a Mission in Costa Rica helped us through the Nicaraguan border with a contact of his Angelica who is actually deaf. God showed his power by getting us through in a little over an hour! 7 passports, 2 vehicles and 2 dogs! That is a lot of stamps, receipts and paperwork.

The bus got a flat tire, but no problem God knew. We were 15 minutes from a schedule stop in Nicaragua (rather than in the middle of no-where-land). We drove around the black and had the tire changed! We also bought the lug nut wrench off of the guys. (This was totally the Lord because I’ve had the tires changes twice since then and both places didn’t have the right tools to change ‘em).

The two latest edition to the Rancho Oasis family: Daisy (the blue harlequin) and Marmaduke (the black). Brother and sister Great Dane and Mastiff mix.

Naomi and Marillyn in Nicaragua. Brooke and Tabitha enjoying a mandarin orange.

Wayne and Javier at the Honduran border crossing photocopy center. Very low-tec!

Mare at the Las Manos border crossing in Honduras.

This sign marks the gravel road from Ojojona to the road that leads to RO4Y!

Naomi and Tabi settling in to the new house. Praise the Lord they are amazing travelers!

Naomi enjoying Sunday afternoon worship with the local kids. (This was her first experience in Ojojona because only Marillyn, Tabi and myself visited last December).

The first group of passengers in the Rancho Bus!

Oscar and his son Michael. Oscar has become a go-to-guy for us in Honduras. He is Patty Mulla’s brother and he will be working with us on constructing the buildings for us on the property. We were praying that God would provide and local, Christian Honduran to help. BINGO! In the photo, Oscar and Michael are helping install the new tires Oscar located for the bus. (Lug nut wrench look familiar?)

While searching out Ojojona for local food sources, a neighbor youth lead me to a young man named Edgar. Edgar’s family has dairy products and is a great source of cheese and milk for us. While visiting Edgar revealed his Christian faith with me and his passion for teenagers. He invited me to participate in an evangelistic project in the next town “down the road”. The next photos are from that adventure.

Edgar in the Salmon shirt, Antonio in the red accompanied by several friends. Antonio is a 14 year-old young man who lives just up the street from us. He has accompanied Jon on several errands in the bus and helped out with different projects on the property. Pray for his walk with Jesus!

Edgar shares his testimony with 1st through 7th graders!

Jon celebrates his 33rd birthday. Naomi thought of the party hats!

Pray Requests:

IMPORTING THE BUS: We got the bus from Costa Rica to Honduras in one piece. Now we have 90 days to get it switched over to Honduras plates and registration. We read that once every five years a car can be imported tax free. Pray for wisdom in accomplishing this task.

BUILDING RO4Y: Our missionary friends Jason and Patty Mulla have just completed their home and their contractors are available to build. (It just so happens Patty’s brothers, Oscar and Luis, are the builders. Pray that God will direct these men as we began work on a shower house and our home!

FIRST GROUP: Our first group arrives at RO4Y in April. They are coming from Bangor, Maine and have ministered with the Mullas in the past. (I believe they constructed the multi-purpose building that exists on the property). Their plan is to install a new septic tank and put a concrete floor in the multi-purpose building. Pray that we serve in unity and have wisdom ministering alongside our first group. Pray specifically for Brooke, as she heads up the interaction with the group. Those of you interested in helping to purchase the septic tank the cost will run around $500).

LIFE ON THE RANCH: It is hard living here. Not because we can’t, but because we’ve been used to so many comforts. As life goes, some days are better than others, but we know that God has called us to be here; therein lies our hope. Pray for strength: physically, mentally and emotionally.

TOUCHING LIVES: Pray for our personal devotions, family devotions and extended family devotions. Jesus needs to be the foundation of everyday and of our RO4Y. Pray that God continues to open doors to minister and meet our neighbors and the people of Ojojona. We’ve taken a rest from actively serving on Sunday afternoons with the group for Calvary Chapel Tegucigalpa arrives. However, our home is getting established so pray for wisdom as we transition in to ministering on Sundays with the CCT group and beyond.