After a brief conversation, we realized that God was providing a great opportunity for us to plan and prepare the utilities infrastructure and architectural design for Ranch Oasis for Youth. Shortly after discovering EMI, we filled out a ministry application and were on our way to hosting a team of volunteer engineers.
The vision for RO4Y has been forming in our minds for over 4 years. We sought to establish the ministry for almost 2 years in Costa Rica and have been living the dream for the last 8 months. We moved onto a 6 acre property with a few existing buildings, 4 wells, and electricity. Unlike our service as missionaries in Mexico, we have not joined a ministry well established for nearly 40 years. We are the pioneers for Ranch Oasis and the possibilities are open and exciting (and a little overwhelming).
God knew our need and provided a great group of engineers through EMI: Jim the electrical engineer and his wife Mary Ann, his multifunctional assistant (aka kitchen help); Dean the landscape architect; Beth a structural engineer; Travis, a civil engineer/potable water guy and his wife Laura, an architect specializing in camps & conference centers; Jessica, a civil engineer/waste water gal; Bethany, a civil engineer intern with EMI and Micah, a civil engineer, team leader and EMI full time staff.
We began the week by hashing through our vision for RO4Y and discussing the logistics of making the vision a reality. God had assembled a diverse group of engineers from university professors to recent college grads. These 8 engineers prayerfully took the vision and goals that we shared and created a master plan “map” of what the Ranch could be, as well as step-by-step phasing to accomplish the plan. What a blessing!!!
We look forward to sharing with you, our support team, details of the vision and phasing that the engineers shared with us. Though they accomplished a lot in less than a week, there are still a number of details that they are finishing up. Please pray for the team members as they return to the States and complete the details remaining for the Ranch. (These images are prelimanery renderings, subject to change)
1. Praise the Lord for the week with the EMI team! Praise the Lord for his provision to take care of the team’s food, accommodations and one plane ticket! Thank you, support team, for your prayers and financial gifts; the week would not have been possible without you!!! Continue to pray for the team as they wrap up their individual responsibilities and transition back into life in the States, Costa Rica and one couple’s 2 month service project in Nicaragua.
2. Praise God. It has not rained in over a week!!! (It rained for 7 days straight before the EMI team arrived). It is as if God simply turned off the valve to the heavens; not a single drop!!! (From hurricane Matthew to drought – crazy). Now the roads are dry, dusty and more importantly, drivable. However, the ground is still saturated and the weight of the heavier buses and trucks are creating some huge dents. (We’re not through repairing the road, yet).
3. After almost two weeks of not driving the bus to pick up people for weekly classes or Sunday service, I was back to being bus driver. Class and Sunday service attendance has been lower because of the poor weather, but the times of fellowship have been more intimate. Continue to pray for Sunday mornings as the adults and youth study the Word inductively, and then volunteer to teach the two younger children’s classes.
4. Continue to pray for me, Jon, as I work out details to host a medical brigade short-term missions team this February with the local private hospital just outside Ojojona.
5. Praise the Lord for His financial provision to apply and secure non-profit status in the US (501C3). A total of $1,300!!! We are looking to work with several organizations that help missionaries complete building projects, but they require non-profit status. God knows, He provides!!!
6. Our application for a one year VISA is still in the works; please pray that it would go through smoothly.
7. Continue to pray for the importation of the bus and the installation of the internet.
8. Pray for Brooke, our administrative guru. She completes her time in the States this week and returns to the Ranch this Thursday, October 14th.
9. Continue to pray for our worker Oscar. He recently had a job related injury, but praise the Lord it all worked out and his health is good. (He chipped a rock with his machete and caught some in the eye).
10. Please pray for our safety. Honduras is a dangerous place; from driving on the roads, being in the wrong place at the wrong time in the city and being isolated in the country. Gringos are easily targeted here and Satan could manipulate us into a state of paranoia. God is our refuge and protector, pray that we would trust Him and walk in wisdom.
11. Pray for our missionary friends, Jason and Patty Mula, pastor and wife of the church in Tegucigalpa. They are traveling in the States this month to take care of some family issues and contact supporters.
12. Last, but not the least… please keep Marillyn in your daily prayers as we get ready for our new baby to arrive. Her due date is the middle of December.