Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 - Week 48 & 49 Photo 'n Prayer Review

Week 48

Some of our check-in luggage for 5:30 AM departure.
Our return to Honduras was good, but harder than expected. The travel day went relatively smooth both in the US and in Honduras. However, what was unexpected was the cultural shock in returning home
PRAISE the Lord for his faithfulness in extending travel mercies.

Our house was in good order (and clean, thanks to Ilsy), but absent was the "new" routine that we developed in the States. Some things we can only experience in the US; like the kids spending time with their Uncle Steve and Auntie Mel. 
PRAY for us as we continue to re-adjust to life at the Ranch.

Our newest intern, Lucinda, went through her initiation travel experience quite well. Her help was immediately noticed (and a blessing), as Tabi got sick on the plane a few times. 
PRAY for Lu as she adjusts to her new home and to her new family!

Ground work with Nyssa; teaching her some manners.
An extra bonus to our return home was the addition of Marillyn's long-time friend and horse buddy, Michele. She worked with the horses every day and was excited to report their intelligence and progress. 
PRAY for our horses and how we can incorporate them more into the ministry. Also, PRAY for an assistant to help Marillyn.

Lu helps inventory books for our new library.
Tobi and Mare give Poema a bath in the kitchen.

One of the many fix-it projects that awaited me upon our return to the Ranch;
 the shower valve leaked and fried the GFI outlet above the sink. Thankfully, damage was minimal.

Ilsy leads the girl's Bible study in some acapela worship
Jon was unable to attend the girl's Bibles study because of errands in Tegus, but he was blessed to return to the Ranch in time to see Ilsy closing the study with some worship. It was awesome to know that the kids were still receiving Bible teaching in our absence. 
PRAY that God will continue to raise up Ilsy & Oscar as well as other local leaders.

Filipenses F.C. U14 team in orange play to a 1 - 1 draw in Ojojona.
Again, it was a blessing to watch Ilsy and Oscar lead the two boys soccer teams during our games on Saturday. Both teams played well, as the day presented many teachable moments. The U12 team scored a goal to tie in the closing moments!
PRAY for this outreach to form not only skilled futbolistas, but men of God.

The crew on the coach

RO4Y Sunset... it is good to be home.

Week 49

Traditional Nativity Scene displayed at a Honduran mall.
This Christmas season we've been reading through a daily advent and craft. It has been fun to see the girl's interest and talent in helping them to know Jesus. (An additional bonus is the use of the material for the Ranch Bible studies). 
Below: Mare and the girls work on a craft of a kings crown based on Isaiah 9 and the girls re-enact Mary's visit to Elizabeth.
PRAY for the Beard kids to know Jesus as savior 
and wisdom for all the adults in parenting them!

We say good-bye at the airport to our first short-term team of one, Michele.
Marillyn watches on to gleam some of Michele's skill at "ground work" with Zoeva.

Oscar, Aylinson and Jon wait at the registrars office for 21 original birth certificates, required for this year's players in the local soccer league. (5 boys were discovered to have been lying about their age last year. No surprise, but still disappointing. Needless to say, most have not returned to the team.)

Lu's Spanish has been improving leaps and bounds as she is forced to work with Ilsy and the kids in the only language they know. 
PRAY that we will all communicate clearly (both speaking and listening)!

Jon and the girl's tried to attend the local elementary school 6th grade graduation ceremony, but we ran late. (Jon had to run an urgent errand to get gasoline for the generator because the power was off.) We fortunately made it at the end to take a few shots with some of Jon's English students and Rancho Oasis faithful: Daniela on the left and the beloved Nexser on the right. (We joined Nexser and his family for lunch!)

PRAY for wisdom in knowing how to work with these graduates. They must wait until they are 14 before they can start high school (if they even go, most don't because of increased cost). This presents a unique window for Rancho Oasis to work with these kids.  

The people who walk in darkness 

    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
    and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest
    and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
    and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
    just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
    and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
    They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us,

    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and 
justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:2-7

New Living Translation (NLT)

Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 - Weeks 34 - 47 Furlough Photo 'n Prayer Review

The Beards - November 2012

Our time visiting and resting in the United States is coming to a close 
and we wanted to share some highlights of our stay:

Our arrival to US Customs at the Miami Airport
Organized chaos at best!


Making Ice Cream - the old fashioned way with Jon's parents, David and Marsha.
Need some help, buy Mare's recipe book: Just Making Ice Cream

Our September birthday girls, Tabi (4) and Naomi (6), celebrate their "Labor Day" birthdays.

Our Rancho Oasis display at the church of my teen years: Bloomingdale Church

West Virginia

A "parallel" discipleship ministry in Morgantown WV, Chestnut Mountain Ranch,
sponsored a shoe drive for Rancho Oasis during their first "Mud Runner".
Maybe the girls and I will run in it next year!

L: Learning to make paper with grass accompanied by our friend, Kim.
R: Tabi & Nomi reconnect with their buddy and former RO4Y intern, Josy.

Believe it or not, they all started on the couch!

One of our heart's desires as parents was to be able to invest in our children during this break from Honduras. We've heard to many horror stories of MK's gone wild and want to do our best to show the love and truth of Christ to our four kids. I started spending individual time with each of the kids, going on walks and being an ear just to listen.

Calvary Chapel Morgantown - Rancho Oasis Reunion Prayer Party
Part of Jon's experience was not only sharing his heart to the body,
but doing a "reverse" missions trip and painting the fellowship's 
new sanctuary!

It was a joy to share with many of our supporting churches during this break. Relationships were rekindled and new friendships were formed. Though each guest teaching took on its own shape and emphasis, Jon stuck to the book of Joshua. Listen to Jon's furlough message: "Go Make Disciples" from their sending church, Calvary Chapel Des Moines (9/23/12)

Back-porch view of those West Virginian mountains: Thanks, Sheets!
Central Iowa

Quad Cities Walk - mid-September

L: Naomi teaches the kids a Spanish song during Wednesday night Kid's Club
R: Jon has some fun with the kids at the Cory Family Farm

L: Jon lead some Spanglish worship at Calvary Chapel Des Moines' new building.R: Naomi & Tabitha spend the night with their buddies: Jake, Pastor Brent and Katie


Friends in Fon du Lac: The Bachleitner's
(Combined we could be a complete soccer team with two subs!)
Pastor Landon, in Honduran Jersey, introduces the Beard family
Sunday morning at Freedom Church in Kaukana.

L: All my girl's marvel at our host's beautiful mare.
R: The girls enjoy some fishing with the Theyel family.

L: Appleton October fest wouldn't be the same without Freedom Church's:
"Meet Your Maker" Baker's Dozen Deep Fried Oreos
R: Enjoying the eats at the 2nd Annual "Beard-B-Q"

Britt, Iowa

Marillyn's parents home & our temporary home for 6 weeks;
L: Wayne preps the exterior for a new paint job.
R: Nearly finished painting project with Wayne & Brooke.

One of the joys of being in a small, Midwest-town for such an extended period of time was the opportunity to be a part of the community. Simple things like bike rides around town, working out at the local hospital's fitness room, getting a card at the Britt library and attending church activities throughout the week. Admittedly, in and of themselves these things don't amount to much, but when you've been absent from life in North America for nearly five years - it is kinda nice.

The girls were able to attend the weekly Awana's program at the Britt E-Free Church.

Poema Alizay, born October 21,2012
Of course, the birth of our fourth child was a hugely momentous occasion. Once again Mare showed her bravery and delivered Poema in less then 4 hours! To see more photos, check out the photo album on Jon's Facebook page.

L: Mare labors in a birth pool in the Goranson's kitchen
R: Admiration of the new born, Poema!

L: Brooke and Jon sign Poema's Live Birth Certificate Application with a notary
R: Papi and the grand-kids bury the placenta and plant some trees.

I was praying about ideas of how to cultivate a servant's heart with the kids during our extended stay in Britt and the Lord gave me an idea to visit the two local convalescent homes. 

The girls shared their artistic gifts and adopted a few new grandparents.

The girls and I enjoyed an evening of theatre as one of the local Christian schools performed "Jonah's Druthers" a Western spin-off of the Prophet to Ninevah.

We found a "greasy spoon" for dinner and got the actresses to pause for a photo.

While in Britt, Jon attended a Spanish speaking service during the week and was blessed to not only practice his Spanish, but to make some new amigos. Pastor Fernando and his wife, Dunia, were actually sent from Mexico to the US to be missionaries. Jon was asked to share about Rancho Oasis and the Beard family was even invited to their daughter's quinceanera celebration! (The 15 year-old Latino birthday party + coming of age ceremony) 
The girls hug their friend, Arely, during her Quinceanera celebration

Stuffed like sardines in Marillyn's grandfather, Al's, mini-van on our way back to Chicago
One tradition that was nice to celebrate in the United States was Thanksgiving. Christmas and Easter our celebrated around the world, but Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday. However, one thing I do appreciate about the Spanish is the translation. I used to think the translation read "dia de gracias" or day of thanks. I've since learned that the proper translation is "dia de accion de gracias" or day of the action of thanks. I like that simple reminder that thankfulness is not a feeling, but an action. 

L: An early Goranson Thanksgiving meal in Britt.
R: Thanksgiving day meal with the Beards in Bloomingdale

So, to wrap up this long post, Marillyn and I want to thank you for your prayers, encouragement and financial support over the last three months. Overall our baby-birth-extended-stay furlough was a blessing for our family and we thank you for the wonderful reception and warmth we received from long-time friends and the openness and excitement from new friends.

Please keep us in prayer as we return to Honduras on Tuesday, November 27th.