Saturday, July 27, 2013

Newsito: "Coming Along Side"

Team Calvary Chapel Cedar Rapids - June 2013
Arrival at the airport.

25 people, young and old, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, arrived in Honduras on June 19 and served alongside us at Rancho Oasis for a week’s time. For some, it was the first time out of the country and the first time on a missions trip. The team focused on coming along side our regular weekly activities, with a special morning emphasis on construction and an arts & crafts class. The time passed quickly, but the Lord spoke profoundly to many on the team.

I’ve assembled many of their thoughts gathered from our final dinner meeting from the week of ministry. Enjoy, be blessed and book your tickets for a short-term missions trip to Rancho Oasis!

Bus ride from Tegus to the retreat center in Ojojona.

God taught me:

Brooke works with Ana Melissa
“That I rely too much on my own strength and wisdom with the safety and well-being of my children”
-Brooke, 33, stay-at-home mom

“God taught me so much! He really reinforced my heart for missions. I also was really impacted and challenged by Ephesians 4:1 in my Bible study time: I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (NKJV) I also learned more about the Holy Spirit. The more I feel His presence… the more I am able to recognize His leading. I felt his presence a lot this week!”
-Elizabeth, 18

Bill and Kevin turn the compost
“He revealed how important my relationship is as far as just living simply by abiding in Him. I have had times in my past where I have not remained in that covering and it hurt my walk. I was able to share that as part of my testimony, as well. It also showed me what joy there is in service, especially when done within fellowship (even the hard work)!
-Bill, 42, engineer

Our intern Chelsey introduces the trade school students to the team.

“For one, He further impressed the truth of “my burden is easy and my yoke is light” upon me. As we labored for hours to form adobe bricks, the work itself was (without exception) intense, but doing it for the Lord with Christian brothers and sisters transformed it into a labor of love done with amazing joy.”
-Caleb, 21, youth pastor

Lauren helps the girls with Bible study
“God taught me how much more I can be doing for Him and for others. How to love on others even if you can barely speak to them. And I really feel called to missionary work, if God has me doing that in the future I would be so happy, but scared at the same time.”
-Lauren, 15, student

“God taught me that sometimes the best service to others is to listen. When I wasn’t doing any work, I found myself trying to listen to God, but I felt I couldn’t hear him in my prayer time. It turns out, listening to the joy of the children, the encouragement of my friends, the wisdom of the leaders, and the Word of God gave me the peace I was looking for all during this week. It sustained me.”
-Bethany, 19, tutor

Lunch! Que Rico!
“That these types of trips are important for the Body of Christ – both for those being ministered to and those ministering. The connection between the missionary and the church is radically blessed by these small teams.”
-Ken, 52, pastor

“He is in control in all things I don’t need to fret or worry about what is to come. He will see me through this journey.”
-Ray, 58, maintenance mechanic

Go Team, Go! CC Cedar Rapids cheering section during the "international" friendly.
It was a tight game, but the team lost 4 - 2.

John-Luke heads the ball away from the CC Cedar Rapid's goal.

“He taught me to be much more thankful for what I have. He also taught me to never do anything without him.”
-Devon, 10, kid

Brooke shares some missionary stories.
“To relax and trust Him! I’ve been very busy and stressed recently, and I truly needed this week to refocus on Christ and abide in His presence – without any agenda of my own.”
-Bekah, 24, ministry

“God taught me to trust in Him alone! When Devon was sick and Aiden coughing I was distraught. I didn’t know how to best care for them in these surroundings, but God reminded me that He is in control.”
-Jeremy, 41, pastor

Rebecca has some Poema time.
“God showed me that I complain too much! He also taught me that He has great things in store for me, that I should not worry about the future, but keep doing what I’ve been called to now and that I don’t need to fear what’s ahead, but trust Him completely!”
-Hannah May, 20, pre-school teacher

“The Lord taught me to trust Him this week. Whenever I felt like I wasn’t adequate or I was discouraged the LORD showed me how His strength was how I could continue on. What joy!”
-Brianna, 19, student

Marillyn shares some laughs with the gals.

Cutting down grass Honduran style!

“To lay down burdens that aren’t mine to carry at His feet. To see our youth kids as new and special as the kids here.”
-Corrie, 26, ASL Interpreter

“He taught me that I have an easy place to serve Him. I should be able to serve Him whole-heartedly and tirelessly because the conveniences of home allows me much time to do so!”
-Natali, 41, wife/mother

Finished pendants and charms from the craft class.

How did your week in Honduras shape your understanding of poverty?

Corrie preps fruit salad.
“Having been to 3 other countries with severe poverty it didn’t shape any understanding anew, but I pray that it did for my children (a large reason for coming). I’m excited to see how the Lord will minister to them in the months and years to come because if this trip and others will have and will take.”
-Brooke, 33, stay-at-home mom

“It made me appreciate what/how people live. Before I had only seen pictures, so it is extremely different to see it in real life. Material poverty is obviously a huge deal, but I feel like people all over the world are emotionally and spiritually poor and need just as much help in those areas as people here. That is really encouraging to know that we don’t have to be in Honduras to be able to really be missionaries. That we can be missionaries right where we are and making a positive impact.”
-Nicci, 20 , student

Putting away soccer uniforms.

“This week changed my outlook on poverty completely. Seeing the spiritual poverty people live in broke my heart. The material poverty suddenly seemed unimportant when I saw people like Oscar who doesn’t have very much materially, but was rich spiritually. I realized that material, emotional and social poverty become so much more bearable when a person is rich spiritually.”
-Elizabeth, 18

Ilsy shares her story with the team.

“I learned more about how poverty isn’t only financial, but there are many ways people can be in poverty. I hope to listen more and ask questions to understand a person’s situation and pray about how I can serve them most appropriately.”
-Kevin, 24, construction

Ryan crosses a village bridge.
“I had a good knowledge of what to expect, but the experience brings about an understanding of what poverty truly is. Unlike what the world would have you believe, spiritual poverty is the worst and probably the fastest growing. We as Christians have a personal responsibility to help eliminate this spiritual deadness in the world by reflecting Jesus’ light and going out unto all naitons, making disiples of them.”
-Ryan, 24, student

Ray works in the garden.

“It helped me to see that the reasons for poverty are probably the same across the world and that even though a man doesn’t have the comforts or luxuries of another man he is not necessarily imporverished. To occupy life with the fellowship of close friends and family, to have your needs meet, and to have the Spirit of God dwelling within you in a land as beautiful as this is a claim to richness far beyond that of many “civilized” societies. I plan to share the love of God with each opportunity knowing that the fellowship of the Lord can address each of these other needs.”
-Ray, 58, maintenance mechanic

“Poverty is not just a lack of things, physical or spiritual, it is not partaking (or lacking) in what God has for you. To address this issue we need to understand what God has for us and how we can walk in it. When I return the LORD wants me to be courageous and bold at my school, shining His light, therefore I will seek to share in those gifts.”
-Brianna, 19, student

Let's make some adobe bricks!!!
Oscar adds pine needles to the clay/mud/water mixture and the team mixes "a pie" (by foot).

What was a memorable moment for you during the week?

Girl's Bible Study
“Seeing the younger girls smile during the girls Bible study. And hugging Ilsy’s niece Breisy. She was sweet and loving. I could see the Lord changing my heart just hugging her.”
-Merissa, 21, Visual Merchant

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with the adobe bricks with Oscar and learning that new skill. I really liked playing soccer with the team on Saturday. Bonding with our church group and the members here at the Ranch was really fun, just getting to know them better and hearing about their lives.”
-Nicci, 20, student

"Killing the tiger!"

“There were so many moments!! But one in particular would be on the way back to the retreat center our team started praying about something and one of the ladies on our team began to read scripture out loud. And it was just so powerful! I got goosebumps, hearing the Word of God prayed over our entire team.”
-Leah May, 19

Caleb leads the teens through a Bible study about God's love.

“I think this has been one of the most memorable times of my life. I didn’t really know how missionary work operated. Plus, I didn’t understand how the missionaries and their families needed support. I have a much better understanding now.”
-Krista, 53, mom

Oscar share his story through Jean Carlos
“I have many memorable moments, but one that really stood out to me was Oscar’s testimony. Prior to coming, it was my intention to impact the people here, but I was not prepared with how much God was going to impact me by the Hondurans. Todo tranquilo!
-Ryan, 24, student

“When I went up for prayer on Sunday and Caleb and Wayne laid hands on me and prayed for me.”
-John-Luke, 11, student
Brianna share through Cristina

“When I was able to lead a Bible study for the kids, the Lord used my weaknesses to be a strength. I always expect the worst, and the Lord always exceeds far and beyond my expectations.”
-Brianna, 19, student

“So many! Vacuuming the rug for Marillyn. Cleaning is what I do and just to be able to lesson one minor chore for her was a blessing. Hearing Oscar’s testimony touched my heart. It showed me how God is able to change lives anywhere!”
-Natali, 41, wife/mother

Bill shares his testimony with the guitar class students.

What are you going to do different in your life as a result of serving at Rancho Oasis?

Making pendants!
“I’m going to set aside more time to get to know God better and be thankful for where I work, sleep, live and just let go or lessen as much as possible the material things in life.”
-Merissa, 21, Visual Merchant

“Go home and stop complaining so much and wait and see what the LORD has in store for me. I haven’t really sat down and asked Him what His plan for my life is, so that’s top priority now, too.”
-Leah May, 19

Sewing for Christ!
“This week showed me how much of a ministry mindset I am lacking in my everyday life. I want to go into the rest of my life with this new perspective always on my mind. I plan to have a missionary attitude in my everyday life. My game plan is to pray for a continuing desire to share His love every day and a constant desire to be in His word.”
-Kevin, 24, construction

“Seeing how light-hearted and cheery Jon was continually around the youth he was ministering to, despite setback, illness, frustrations, etc. was really encouraging to see. I am committed to follow that example in all the areas of ministry the Lord places me in in the future.”
-Caleb, 21, youth pastor

Brianna, Bethany and Hannah teach the students a new song: "In Christ Alone".

Cristina prays to accept
Jesus as Savior. Amen!
 “This trip has done many things, but it has reinforced a couple ideas more than anything. First, that all children and adults are the same no matter what part of the world they live. Each is beautiful in God’s eyes and each can be loved the same way. In this, we can all relate. 

The second is that we simply don’t need all that much materialistically. I want to be like the apostles, ready to give up everything at any time to serve Christ without any attachments to the excess of things that I own… I’m part of the leaders at a group on campus at my school, and this place and experience has helped prepare myself for that time and responsibility.”
-Bethany, 19, tutor

Ray takes the boys to the garden for a hands-on lesson of the parable of the sower.

 “I’ve realized that I need to be a missionary at home first and foremost and that I need to start reaching out to the people in my community, letting my life be an example of Christ and telling people of Him.”
-Hannah, 17, student

Boy's study craft!
“The ministry or the mission field starts in my own back yard. I want to take more responsibility for my relationship with God and be bolder in my faith, especially in the work place.”
-Ryan, 24, student

“The Lord really spoke to me about letting go of my agenda and walking in His plan for me everyday. I plan to go home, take a step back, and prayerfully consider what He wants for my summer/fall.”
-Bekah, 24, ministry

“I’m going to let God water the seeds He planted in me and live as He desires!”
-Jeremy, 41, pastor

Birthday celebrations with the team!

Encouraged through song.
“Work on blooming where I’m put. Loving my work, doing it as though I was giving it to Jesus. Putting away fear and pursing my calling as a worship leader. Going into our new church I’ll be able to apply the kindness I saw and the willingness to go and do as the Lord asks [because of] the outreach [at the Ranch] and watching how Jon and Marillyn interact with the families and children.”
-Sandra, 16, student

“Try to be more “Spirit lead”, not focus so much on my plans, but on what God wants for my life.”
-Hannah May, 20, pre-school teacher

Muchisimas Gracias CC Cedar Rapids!

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; 
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1:1-3
King James Version



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