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