Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 - Week 27 & 28 Photo 'n Prayer Review

Mare brings some soothing home-made oil for Oscar's son's skin rash.
The oil brought instant relief and much needed rest for Fernando.

Mare and I have been focusing on preparing for the upcoming short-term missions teams, but we haven't lost sight of the daily needs (physical and spiritual) of our community. Mare is going to share a few of the opportunities she's had to share the love of Christ via the knowledge of good health...

I am always blessed to help others deal with their health issues naturally. God gave me a hunger for knowledge about health after Naomi was born and I didn’t know why at the time. But now I do! I have been able to apply what I’ve learned on my family along with helping others in our community. 

Oscar came to me with his son Fernando who had an itchy skin rash that started up over 3 weeks ago and made sleeping at night almost impossible. They went to the health clinic in Ojojona and were given a cream to help with the itching, but Fernando said it didn't help at all. After looking at the rash and hearing his situation... I knew right away that a skin rash is almost always a sign that there is something toxic in the system that the body is trying to push away from the inner organs to protect him and detox through his skin. Knowing how conventional creams work, they often cause the toxics to stay inside the body... prolonging the rash and often making it worst. That was the case with Fernando.

I went through our natural remedies shelf and looked up a few things in some of my books to confirm what I knew, all the while praying for wisdom on how to best help Fernando.

I knew the best thing to do was to give him something that will help his body to clean out whatever is causing the rash... working from the inside out. First, I made a drink of Bentonite clay  mixed in water (taste like muddy water basically). It has natural powerful cleansing abilities, absorbing and pulling out toxics & poisons without harming the body. Second, I gave him some olive oil with tea tree essential oil and chamomile essential oil, both which helps prevent infections, soothes inflammation and bring about healing without suppressing his body from detoxing. Finally, I gave him 5 days worth of activated charcoal (taken once a day) and 3 days of probiotics taken after done with activated charcoal along with strict orders that he is to drink a lot of water and no sugar. For those who may not know, Activated Charcoal is a highly absorbent substance and it removes toxins when they attach to the surface of the charcoal. It is not absorbed by the body, but simply passes through the GI system. So chemicals, poisons, toxins, bacteria, fungal and even viral infections adhere to it, pass through the body and are eliminated in the feces. This is one thing I highly recommend anybody to always have on hand when traveling to a different country to help with food poisoning, diarrhea and exposure to toxins.

I was glad to hear 2 days later that Fernando's skin hadn't itched since he start rubbing his skin with the special oil I made and now, a week later, his skin rash is completely gone and no itching! Praise the Lord for his provision of natural remedies that do help when conventional fail to do so. I'm always thankful that God has given me this gift to help others even when I can't speak the language or do much outside of the home (taking care of 3 energetic kids is a busy job!). I know that my helping someone this way speaks louder than words because they know I care, even if I am not able to say the words.

Ana Melissa
In Melissa’s case, she was basically given a bad diagnoses and wasn’t having any success with what the doctors told her to do. After asking her lots of questions… I basically figured out, through wisdom from the Lord, that she had a mild thyroid issue (Jon had mild thyroid issues a several years back and doesn’t have any problems now) and I encouraged her to eat more foods that will nourish her thyroid, such as liver and heart.

She went through a surgery about a year ago to remove a cyst in her breast, which can be a very emotional experience for any woman. Shortly after her surgery she had an emotional breakdown in the doctor’s office and he said she was depressed & lonely, but after talking to her some more… it was clear that it wasn’t depression or loneliness! She was simply recovery from the experience of having a surgery done to her breast. I was able to encourage her that she, overall, was healthy (strong, good skin color, shiny eyes and a great smile) and just needed to change up her diet.

It was fun to teach her some basic things such as soaking beans (for better digestion & removing gas) and oatmeal (for better digestion & absorption of vitamins) along with teaching her the different foods she can eat to improve her overall health. She seems determined and prayerfully her health will improve beyond where she was a year ago! Please keep her in your prayers, she has a Catholic background, but has been coming faithfully for the last three months to guitar class. The team will be replacing her roof this week. (She lives alone with her mom who was abandoned several years ago by her husband.) Also pray for the Lord to lead me & Jon as we desire to help others when the medical route isn’t working for them.

The family prepped for the 2012 Euro Cup Final between Italy and Spain with some homemade flags;
I think, somehow, Tabi knew Italy was going to be tromped!
PRAISE that my girls enjoy futbol and PRAY they would use their passions to serve Jesus!

Cesar works on his first ever crossword to help review English words.
I couldn't believe this fifth grader had never seen a crossword before!
PRAISE that God has allowed me to know these 22 students every week.

Look Closely:
These little worms were feasting on our moringa trees!
We desire to use these plants as another health outreach tool.
PRAY for God's blessing and protection over our garden.

Fixing the internet... again!
The Technician, Derwin, is one of 18 adopted Honduran children raised by Baptist Missionaries!
Mare and I wonder if we will ever adopt... maybe a deaf child.
PRAISE the Lord for this essential ministry tool!

New guitar student, Kenya, focuses on learning Gringo-style worship!
She has some guitar experience, but with a more traditional Honduran sound.
PRAY that these young people learn to praise Jesus with the guitar and their lives!

Sunday afternoon adult Bible study with Oscar and his wife, Marilyn.
We've come full circle with the adult Bible study returning it to the original 2PM slot;
now we are looking/praying for consistency in attendance/commitment.

Tobi at the top of his fashion consciousness:
The Re-fried Bean Scalp Moisturizer 

Honduran Mechanic House Call:
Satan tried to throw me off with a torn drive belt, but God was gracious enough to send my mechanics (normally 40 minutes away) to the Ranch. And, no, they didn't come by tricycle! LOL!
PRAY for their salvation - Ivan and Freddy!

No, we didn't take the kids to Burger King!
We just borrowed their crown design to create an art project for the theme:
Jesus is the King (of my life).
PRAY these kids allow Jesus to rule in the lives.

Tegus Team Food Purchase Extravaganza!
Our largest team ever arrives at the Ranch Saturday, July 14th -
I almost had to tie the kids to the roof to fit all the food!
PRAY for a wonderful week of ministry in the community:
various construction projects, VBS and health workshops

Oscar and I spent an hour talking through these two verses this morning.
We both were really encouraged:

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.

Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority

so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives
marked by godliness and dignity.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)

RO4Y Sunrise

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 - Week 26 Photo Review

The victorious team of Pallaguagre
Kevin has the crimson Aeropostale t-shirt on.

Week 26 was a good, but challenging week at Rancho Oasis. 
Daily ministry continues and excitement is building 
for the three groups coming in July and August.

The village of El Aguacatal welcome sign / Travelers Tobi & Nomi (Tabi stayed home ill)

A unique ministry opportunity presented itself with Kevin, one of the young men involved with the youth Bible study. In Kevin’s neighborhood, Pallaguagre, they have an adult (mostly) soccer team. They scheduled a game in El Aguacatal, a village about an hour away, and asked if I would be willing to take the team if they committed to pay for gas. So, I decided to go bless Kevin, get to know his neighbors and let some of my children tag along for a Daddy-day adventure.

 It ended up being a great time with my kids, I got to meet some of the dads of boys on the Ranch’s soccer team (Filipenses F.C.), invite some new boys to join our team and hang out with them. It was relaxing and very fruitful!

PRAISE the Lord for the opportunity to know my neighbors and pray that some spiritual fruit will grow out of it!

The field of El Aguacatal

One of the great things about our garden project is the opportunity that it creates to get to know the kids in the community. Both Crisna’s and Yalbana’s garden have been planted and are growing well. 

Gerson with recent find - one of three rabbits & carrying posts

So, this week I got to spend two mornings with Gerson. 
He isn’t much of a talker, but the gardening seems to fit his gentle, 
quiet temperament more than the soccer team.

PRAY for Gerson: his parents are married, but Dad is gone a lot as a security guard in Tegus, plus his older brother isn’t the greatest influence. Gerson has a lot of potential, but the teenage temptations/temperaments are clearly starting to pull on his young heart.

Building frame for palm frond roof / planting seeds

Naomi with Hibiscus /Jamaica Flowers - Mare used the flowers to dye one of her old shirts

El Ayudante - Tobi helps collect wood shavings for the animal's stalls

Filipenses F.C. in orange (2) vs. Atletico Santa Ana in black (4)
Just like sports, the ministry with the soccer boys has victories and losses (failures). Oscar and I are constantly in prayer in how to keep Jesus the center point of the team and our practices/games. We both love soccer, but are more interested in forming disciples of Christ.

Many of you remember “Pepe” from last year as the boy who got his leg accidentally sliced with a machete during our end of the season “Copa de Lodo” game. (By the way he has healed – in fact, he scored a goal this last weekend!) Well, Kelvin Gustavo, as it reads on his birth certificate, is listening. Pepe is a difficult young man. He was kicked out of his first elementary school and his neighbor’s told me that he wasn’t worth my time the day I brought him home from the hospital. How do I know Pepe is listening? Well, normally during our studies through the book of Proverbs Pepe is being Pepe – talking, watching girls, throwing grass, etc. However, this last practice Pepe was the first to answer several of the review questions regarding the previous week’s Bible study. Yes, Pepe is listening! PRAY for his salvation.

Elam is another challenging boy on the team. He is the middle of three brothers in a single-parent family. He is undisciplined, lazy, and a complete jokester. There is a lot to love about Elam – he has a way of growing on you no matter how annoying he can be! Well, he got into a fight during our "friendly" game on Saturday and was red-carded (kicked out). Well, via God’s grace I didn’t get mad at him, but talked to him. I simply asked if it was worth it? He didn’t respond, so I continued by pointing out where he was standing at that moment: not on the field and not playing. I told him the best way to fight back is to score a goal, not raise your fist. It seemed to sink in. We’ll find out next time. PRAY for his salvation.

Fernando Joel, known by “Chino” on the team, is struggling. He is mouthy, cocking and thinks way too much of himself. Reality is, he is extremely insecure and his attitude comes off pretty ugly. He can be hilarious (class clown) and really likeable, but his attitude is quickly going sour. After showing up an hour late to the game, he basically was demanding to be put into the game because he couldn’t stay for the second half (we begun the game late, but the starters were already playing on the field). Well half-time came and Chino’s attitude pushed me over the edge. In front of all the young boys, he mocked me. This is a big no–no (a hot button for me). So, I kicked him off the team for a two week suspension. To be honest, I think I lost my cool. Yes, it was a teachable moment for Chino, but perhaps it lost its impact when I lost my temper. PRAY for Chino that he matures in Jesus. PRAY that I guard my hot buttons more carefully!          

Well, if I was a little unsure of my error with Chino, I knew that I blew it with Kevin Mauricio. Kevin is also another very insecure 12 year old (turns 13 this week), who doesn’t know his dad. He asked to play goalie, so I reluctantly let him. He was amazing! Really! No fear, aggressive, etc. Sure, he made mistakes, but I was really impressed. Well, after the little boy's game in Ojojona, the older boys traveled to Santa Ana for theirs. When it was all done, Kevin decided to get on the back bumper of the bus and rock it up and down. For whatever reason, I lost it and chewed Kevin out. He was just being a boy, doing stupid things and he didn’t deserve the reaming that I gave him. (So much for the great game he played in light of the severe lecture he received.) PRAY for Kevin to know Jesus and find his security in Him. PRAY for me that I learn not to let the boys push me over the edge – they already get yelled at a lot by adults. I need to be a new breed of parent;  a “spiritual father” filled with mercy, love and a whole bus full of grace.

Friday Afternoon Girl's Bible Study

One of my discipling specialties - teaching my son how to go to bed!

Reading break with the momma and frozen bananas 

“So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:14-15 (NLT)

Beautiful RO4Y afternoon