Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Would You Like to Help Them Smile?

Written by Marillyn

It isn't easy to catch a beautiful smile like that with these kids.

Most are so solemn... life is hard for many of them.

But when they come here to RO4Y, they are able to forget for a while and just be kids... silly, goofy and laughing. There is so much peace here and they can feel it!

I know a real smile when I see one... it lights up their eyes.

Like Diana, up there.

She has a hard life... Dad is alcoholic and can't keep a job. Both Mom and Dad can't read. They live very simply on beans, rice and corn tortillas.

Thankfully, Diana has chosen to learn to read and write. She has chosen to come to RO4Y. It seems that she wants to choose a better life and learn more about Jesus.

Help us help her.

We want to help with her spiritual needs and physical needs. We want to do that for every kid that comes here as much as possible!

Between Christmas & New Year, we are planning to put together food baskets and give them out has gifts to the families of the kids we work with. For $25 we can give a family a basket of wholesome food that will last them anywhere from 2 days to a week... depending on how many people are in the family.

This picture is to give you an idea of what we want to give out... it's not complete. We desire to add in fruits and more fresh veggies. In the basket are beans, rice, bag of masa, sea salt, spices, oil, honey, tea, veggies and the plastic tub.

Would you like to help give a food basket or two? If yes, you can easily donate $25 or more by clicking our Paypal donate button on the right sidebar or write a check and send it to the address shown under the donate button.

We are also planning a big dinner celebration before New Year on the 30th of Dec. We are inviting all the parents of the kids that we minister to... that includes kids from guitar class, Friday Bible class, Teen Bible Study and the Soccer Boys. We will be expecting a big turn out. Please keep that day in your prayers!

It is our desire to share with these parents what we are doing with their kids. Please pray for wisdom for Jon as he puts together a simple message to encourage the parents to read the Bible with their children or have their children read to them. Basically, to invest spiritually in their kids lives. It is common for most families to go to church, but never read the Bible in their own time or with their children.

That's why we desire to find a Bible that will benefit the whole family. Imagine the amazing impact that these parents would have on their kids!

We were hoping to give out kid-friendly (pictures and simple scripture format) Bibles or devotional to the families at the dinner party, but we are unable to find a kid's spanish Bible or devotional that we like in Tegucigalpa. Please pray that we will be able to find something soon! Also, if you have any recommendations... please let us know!

Would you like to help us purchase Bibles for these families? If yes, again, you can easily donate by clicking our Paypal donate button on the right sidebar or write a check and send it to the address shown under the donate button. 

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to a great New Year!!
Blessings from the Beard Family  :o)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Newsito: Fall Tour Update (# Dos)

Plaque outside of Calvary Chapel Ark City's Building
Our second leg of the 2011 Rancho Oasis tour was wonderful and news of the work in Honduras is spreading across the US and throughout people’s hearts.

Jon teaching at Calvary Chapel Camp Verde, Arizona

I’m tempted to share numbers with you to manipulate a sense of success from our trip. However, I believe in God’s economy, success is a little less tangible. For example, people’s lives were inspired and transformed through the testimony and message of His work through my family’s life at Rancho Oasis. Click here to hear our testimony & sermon covering Elijah and the Widow.

Home Worship & Prayer in AZ
Our first goal of increasing awareness was accomplished in that fact we shared at eight new fellowships. We also signed up several new prayer warriors for our email updates from amongst all the churches services, home fellowships, schools and open houses that were hosted in our honor.

First met in Costa Rica,
Now Monthly Supporters: the Dowd Family!
We were also blessed to increase our monthly financial support. Honestly, the numbers might not be very impressive to some, but in a time when many missionaries are losing support, a 17% increase in monthly giving is huge! We are so grateful for those new families and church bodies that are now actively giving to Rancho Oasis.

We were also able to set aside funds to cover nearly a quarter of the purchase of the property. We are still waiting and praying on God to move through the hearts of his saints to raise the remaining $14,000.

Rosalba: Super-Sister in Christ
&  Latina Mom from CA.
For us the most exciting goal achieved has been the stir in people’s hearts to come and serve with us at the Ranch via short-term mission trips! The three church bodies that came last year are planning their return trips, one new fellowship is marking their calendar for a summer project and several other believers are planning to organize trips with their church or come on their own. Our goal to have a team come every month from November – July has been accomplished! Each team brings a different amount of people, experience and ability, but all will play an active role in growing God’s Kingdom at Rancho Oasis in 2012!!!
Potential RO4Y Intern &
Super-nanny: Lara from SoCal!

Finally, our fourth goal to recruit new longer term, three-month staff is a slower, but hopeful process. Many seeds were planted as Marillyn and I talked to several young men and women who are finishing their studies in high school or the university that would love to serve God with us at Rancho Oasis. Our newest intern arrives at the Ranch November 16 and will stay with us three months. We also are planning on receiving a multi-talented, retired couple for several weeks in February. Interested interns can plan for an early Spring or Summer stay with us at the Ranch. Your service is needed and invaluable to us! Regardless of age, we desire that people come and serve and see how God will shape their heart for future service in their home fellowships, Honduras and beyond!

Naomi teaching a Spanish "duck" song to the kinder at Calvary Chapel Cypress School

Some concluding thoughts:

Though it is good to be back home in Honduras, we are so blessed for the rekindled friendships and new bonds that were formed during our nine week stay in the States.

Jon Teaching a Fifth-grade Class at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa School
Homemade Apple Pie from Scratch

After living in Central America for almost four years, I had forgotten some of the blessings and challenges that believers face in the States. Though persecution is rarely physical, like the kind faced by our brothers and sisters in China or Iran, there is a great battle fought for the minds and hearts of North American Christians. I found it very challenging to not get caught up into “me”. My interests, hobbies, likes, entertainment, fashion, etc.  Case in point, just think about all the mirrors you see throughout your day!

Tobi's first apple!
I think the apostle John said it well as he concludes his love emphasizing letter:

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:21 (NLT)

The greek literaly reads, “keep yourselves from idols”, but I think the New Living does a great translation. Be aware of the battle my brothers and sisters. Don’t lose your first love like the fellowship in Ephesus!

Date night in Long Beach
One of the largest encouragements I received to keep God first in my heart and marriage was from our dear friends in Milwaukee. Tim has been journaling for his wife, Kristen, literally writing her a commentary through books of the Bible. In the busy-ness of their daily lives, they are actively corresponding and talking through the Word of God.

As a husband and wife with three active children in the foreign mission field, life gets pretty busy and unfortunately devotions and prayer with my wife are one of the first things to not happen. (Much to Satan’s delight.) I’ve tried Tim’s suggestion with journaling and it has helped Marillyn and I stay stronger in the Lord and for me to be active in discipleship and godly leading in my home. Men, my encouragement to you is to not waste any more time, but “sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:26 (NKJV)

Beard Family Photo in Boulder, CO.

Thank you all for your friendship, interest and hospitality during our stay. Please stay in touch, the world is so much smaller because of the internet. And the work of the Gospel so much more in your awareness!

Finally, be engaged in disciple making!!!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways!You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table.That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. -Psalm 128:1-4 (NLT)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Newsito: Fall Tour Update (# Uno)

Thanks Sign Factory for the beautiful display!
Our tour of the USA sharing about Rancho Oasis has gone extremely well, so far. Thank you for your prayers! The message of hope offered through Jesus Christ to the youth of Honduras is being spread and it is exciting to see who the Lord brings into our path.
Reunited w/ Josy
When we first planned our trip to the US, two months felt like a long time, but now that we have been visiting a few days with our brothers and sisters, it is just enough time to catch-up and long for more time to fellowship. The first three weeks of the trip has been more reunion than meeting new friends of Rancho Oasis. Calvary Chapel Morgantown (West Virginia), Heartland Christian Fellowship (Des Moines, IA) and Freedom Fellowship (Kaukauna, WI) are all churches that actively support RO4Y through prayer, financial giving and short-term missions teams. It was wonderful to rekindle relationships by sharing stories of God’s faithfulness over good meals! (I’ve already gained 6 pounds!) During my parent’s open house in suburban Chicago, I was able to reunite with an old friend from junior high – talk about a time warp! We also re-met a young woman in Wisconsin who was saved during a youth camp I assisted with years ago while a youth pastor. Read about our Morgantown host’s experience.

The 3 Beard families
Though we’ve been meeting with many old friends, God has been opening doors for us to know many new believers throughout the Midwest. We’ve been able to talk to almost all that we meet about the ministry. From employees at one-of-a-kind ice cream shops to the people sitting next to us in the airport. On the airplane, we befriended a woman named Monet (of Shades of Monet Cosmetics), she wrote on her facebook page:

Mare's family in Iowa
“On my way to Chicago I got a chance to bond in a unique way with the Beard Family from Honduras! All that I will say is that God knows when he hears you asking for him to just show a sign that he is listening to you. This family is a true testament of what it means by loving your family through all adversities. Also, what it means to live your life in God’s eyes and provide a place of peace and refuge when many don’t feel there is a place that even exists… Thank you again Marillyn and Jon for helping make this world a better place and setting a powerful example of what family really means!!”

September birthdays: Now 5 & 3!
Please pray for us as we continue our tour through the US. We have ten speaking engagements left (in Kansas, Arizona, California and again in Iowa) and all but one of the churches are new to us and Rancho Oasis (meaning this will be the first time meeting the pastoral leadership and sharing about RO4Y).

@ CHAPS w/ Angie, Tonca & Giligan
PRAY that our message would be a catalyst in the lives of believers to serve the Lord 100% - making the most of every opportunity for Christ. Ephesians 5:16

PRAY that the Lord would increase the number of people praying for Rancho Oasis and burden them with a heart for the people of Honduras.

Labor Day "Beard-B-Q"
PRAY that the Lord would increase the number of monthly financial supporters for Rancho Oasis and bless them for their generous hearts.

PRAY that God would call many short-term missionaries to serve a week at Rancho Oasis; both veterans to RO4Y and new helpers. Also, pray that they would not listen to the enemy’s excuses NOT to come (namely, fear and finances).

Thanks Pastors Landon & Charlie
PRAY that God would lay on the hearts of the chosen few to come serve with us for three-months. We are making plans for a young man from Wisconsin for this winter! Praise the Lord!

Here are some other highlights of our journey:

God laid on my heart an exciting message to share with the churches we’ve been sharing in (at least I think it’s exciting, judge for yourself). The sermon essentially asks people to consider  who God has made them (interests, talents and spiritual gifts) and to consider if they are being used to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20) The message asks people to confront fear by trusting in God’s faithfulness and to willingly sacrifice our idols to not only serve God more fully, but to know Him more abundantly.

We’ve also shown a five minute video of the Ranch – click the following link to watch: RO4Y “Follow You” 2011

Witnessed to 3 Latina students at Beard-B-Q
We’ve been traveling in Marillyn’s grandfather’s 2002 Dodge Caravan. It has been a smooth ride and just holds all of our stuff. Well, just as we were pulling out of our friend’s house in Indianapolis the check engine light turned on. Not good, but as missionaries, we have become accustom to changes in the plans. So, we headed to the nearest dealer and got a diagnostic. Turned out to be “nothing” and the Christian floor manager waved the diagnostic fee. Praise the Lord! Well, during our stay in Wisconsin the light tripped again. So my friend, Timothy, and I took the van to another dealer. Tim’s uncle was working there as a mechanic and made sure he would find the problem with no additional “needed” repairs. It turned out to be a simple $4 hose that cracked! God is good, amen!

Mare taking Brownie for a spin
We’ve also seen God’s faithfulness come through many generous financial gifts. One of the most exciting stories is God’s provision for new hearing aids for Marillyn! We visited Mare’s favorite audiologist in Des Moines and decided it was time to replace her seven-year-old hearing aid. (The audiologist recommends to change out every five years, so after two mail-in-repairs and two plus years of life – her old one is toast!) A month ago they just released new technology for aids that communicate wirelessly with one another, so after many years of wearing only one aid, Mare is going to try and restore hearing in her left ear by wearing two. Therefore with a guarantee of a full refund on the second aid if it doesn’t work out, Mare’s going for it! Pray that she adjusts to the changes (she hasn’t worn a second aid in sixteen years.)

Father & Man-Child at Zoo
An unexpected, but welcome blessing has also happened in our family. During our time away from the physical property and children we minister to, God has rekindled my love for my family. How many of us invest hours, good hours, in ministry, but neglect the responsibility and privilege of discipling our wives and children?  Years of opportunity to give advice, counsel, and share personal experiences can go unspoken because of busy-ness. How can we fight the daily battle to make time for our families? One idea is journaling. Proactive, intentional writings to our wives and children expounding on scripture, life and our number one passion: Jesus. A few minutes writing on a regular basis will add up to a priceless collection of encouragement for our loved ones, especially after we are gone with the Lord. So, get your pens ready gentleman…

Another welcomed blessing during our trip has been the outpouring of affection for our beloved Honduran RO4Y landscaper-extraordinaire, Oscar. So far, we’ve received donations from many families and churches to help Oscar with work projects in his home. My favorite story is from a young teen in our home church who gave Oscar and RO4Y all of her birthday money! Continue to pray for his health and safety as he and his family watch over the Ranch.

Raise your hand if you love Jesus!
Finally, continue to pray for the children, youth and families that we minister to in Honduras. We miss them very much and are excited to return in October and minister to them.

Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen & amen! -Psalm 72:18-19

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stop & Pray: August 17th, 2011

Copa de Lodo

Pizza & Watermelon
All activities with the kids at Rancho Oasis came to a conclusion the final week of July. We had a few celebrations over the weekend for both the boy’s and girl's soccer teams, aptly named “The Mud Cup” and a Sunday school party with home-made, healthy pizza. Pray that the kids will continue to seek after Christ during our furlough in the States. Even though we return to Honduras in October, our plan is to begin activities in November. (This coincides with the summer school break in Honduras.) Thus, Rancho Oasis will be closed for 3 months. 

7 stitches below the knee

Praise that Pepe's machete injury is healing well. Continue to pray for his salvation, as well as the discipleship of all the children.

Final Day @ Rancho Oasis

Our friend and helper Gaby and her daughter Victoria headed back to Mexico, August 10th. We are so grateful for her friendship & service over the last few months. Pray that her time in ministry will continue well and that God will bless her in Mexico as she plans to live with her widower brother and help with his two kids. Carlos is deaf and is a pastor at Calvary Chapel Ensenada. Also, pray that God would raise up more bi-lingual staff to serve with us at RO4Y.

Ingles with Ilsy

Naomi's kindergarten teacher, Ilsy and daughter Lissy continued to live with us through the first week of August. She had been a huge help with chores around the house and Gaby had been able to disciple her a lot in Bible study. Continue to pray for her salvation and that God will provide a home for her and/or she will be able to raise her daughter without family interference. Ilsy and Lissy have moved back in with her mother, Rosa.

We were blessed with a few surprise short-term missions teams a few weeks ago. They completed a one day medical brigade and built a house for Oscar, our worker's mother. Praise the Lord! Read the full story here.

Installing Turn-out Fencing
New Wooden House!
Pray that God would continue to give us opportunities to minister to the physical and spiritual need of our new "squatter" neighbor, Marisela and her six kids. Praise the Lord that our friend’s ministry came and built them a new wooden home! The teens had been sleeping on the damp dirt floor and begin to well up with tears of joy when I told them Mark and his team were coming. The following week the two teen girls, Lorena and Laura, helped us on the ranch with installing a fence for a turn-out area; Oscar took the opportunity to witness to them. We were all blessed!

Pray for our worker Oscar and his family (wife, Marilyn & daughter, Genesis) as they watch over the Ranch during our furlough in the States: August 12th - October 18th. So far, I’ve received excellent reports about the animals, property and the family from our phone conversations while we are is the US.

Marillyn & Nyssa

Continue to pray for the health and safety of all our animals (Horses - Zoeva and Nyssa; Goats - Bugsy, Gigi, and BK; Dogs - Duke & Daisy; and numerous chickens - unnamed) LOL!


Fernando, our local “farm-intern,” and I completed our work together in July. Pray for spiritual growth in this teen’s life. Also, his mom, Lupe, is expecting her fifth child in September.

Beans, greens & herbs!

 Continue to pray for our outreach projects to better the life of the people in our community. Our first project is the raised bed gardens. Oscar and his family are going to reap the benefits of the first harvest, but we did get to enjoy some lettuce and sweet peas before we left.

Continue to pray for our pine tree. We applied "natural" pesticide, cut the bad limbs and are hopeful the tree will survive.

Praise the Lord our mastiff, Duke, is well. A visit to a vet in Tegus, some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds did the trick.

Kids with Jon's parents, David & Marsha, at the Zoo

Continue to pray for the Beard family and our marriage. We’ll have a lot of time on the road together as we travel the States. So far, we’ve had a wonderful time in the US. Not so much a vacation because we are running around, but it is nice to do something different. Also, both Naomi and Tabitha celebrate birthdays the first week of September – pray for a blessed time!

Praise the Lord for his provision of money for the tickets for our furlough this fall!!! Pray that God would bless us with times of refreshing, fellowship and increase the awareness and enlarge the support team for Rancho Oasis!!! We arrived August 12, depart October 18th! Review our four goals and see our tour dates by clicking this link.

Continue to pray for our residency application. Praise the Lord all the government fees are paid (for now); we owe less than half of the total lawyer’s fees ~$460. As of July 29th, all our paperwork was turned in. Pray that the file will be ready to go and nothing will be needed during our two month absence from Honduras.

Change in scenery on the drive to Rancho Oasis: 25 electric generating windmills in Santa Ana

Continue to pray for the completion of the construction of our personal home. We are working on phasing the work so mission teams can finish the project throughout 2012.

Continue to pray for the importation of the bus.

Continue to pray for the purchase of the property! We have agreed on the price of $18,500 and have to finalize the details in writing for the purchase agreement. The goal is that upon our return to Honduras we can sign the paperwork and make the “compra-venta” official!

Continue to pray for young Breisy's healing from leukemia. 

RO4Y Family May - August 2011

 Thank you, all!!!
We can't wait to see many of you!!!