Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Beard Family Sabbatical Highlights & Prayer Requests

Esta cayendo NIEVE!!!! CORRE!!!

“Super-blessed” would be an understatement when describing our extended stay (aka sabbatical) in the US.

Yet, we continue to work towards “wholeness” in Christ.

It would be foolish to think that all of our struggles and issues would be resolved in a six month time frame. Yet, we feel that by taking this time off we’ve relearned how to place ourselves in complete dependency on the Lord and to more quickly realize when we're getting off track.


For my personal life, God impressed my heart to invest in my prayer life. I found a great resource called “A Guide for Listening and Inner-healing Prayer” by Rusty Rustenbach. I discovered this resource while preparing for our sabbatical with the Navigator’s sabbatical guidelines. I was able to take a half-day every week to invest in the Lord and pray/listen. God reassured me that I am “cherished” and confirmed this word with two scriptures: Psalm 139:14 and Ephesians 2:10.  Marillyn and I have also begin to put this prayer model into practice and it has brought her some healing from old ministry wounds. 

A romantic Christmas getaway at a Minneapolis B & B!
Another key area in our life that needed some “foundation work” was our marriage. God lead me to Timothy Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage.” So many great nuggets of truth in these pages that left me feeling equipped mentally and spiritually to truly disciple and guide my wife. I’m excited to look to the horizon at what Marillyn will become… that beautiful bride for Jesus!

I also picked up the “The Daily Bible” by F. LaGard Smith to help me approach scripture a little different this ministry year: it is a chronological take on the Bible. It has been good to once again take on the whole counsel of God in a new way!

Mare reflected on her time in photo:
(with less than a 1,000 words!)

I was able to rekindle my passion for the Lord through art!
Essentially responding to the Scripture & voice of the Spirit in my journal.

"The Lord lead me to purchase a Bible study guide called "Lead Me Holy Spirit" by Stormie Omartian. I was struggling with feeling spiritually dry and distant from the Lord. This book is taking me back to the beginning and reminding me who the Holy Spirit is and reviving that desire to have a relationship with Him and Christ once again," says Marillyn.

My time reconnecting with the kids was very important to me.
Here, we're off to Minneapolis to watch a performance of the Nutcracker.

We also had some great highlights as a family:

Thanksgiving with the Elder Beards, the Chicago Beards and the Honduran Beards.

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS: Tobias Dayne's 5th birthday!!!

Ear piercings for these little women!!!

One of the most special was the baptism of Naomi and Tabitha. God gave me the vision of the girls starting a race. I dressed in my workout clothes and gave them running jerseys with a marathon “penny” that included their name, the infinity symbol and 1 Corinthinas 9:24, “You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one runner gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win!” (ERV)

With hopes of creating a more consistent income for the students,
 our Etsy shop is officially open!!!
  Click here to open our "Las Aguas Verdes" shop.

Cutting down the Christmas tree with Papi & Nina, Wayne & Brooke Goranson.

Christmas Eve Service at the Evangelical Free Church of Britt, IA

Please keep us in prayer as we experience some reverse “re-entry” (aka culture shock) in Honduras. 
We drive from Northern Iowa to Chicago on Tuesday, December 29th (Marillyn’s birthday) and fly back to Honduras on Thursday, December 31st!

Rancho Oasis or Bust!!!
We are excited to continue to build on the spiritual foundation we began during our sabbatical and to minister alongside our friends and “familia” in Honduras once again! 

Feliz Navidad y prospero año:
Mordecia, Lissye and Ilsy in Honduras.
This will be a year of progress on the infrastructure of Rancho Oasis. Our primary goal is to build a home to house our long-term ministry partners (aka staff), interns and even small short-term missionary teams on-site. 

Oscar with one of two new baby goats @ the Ranch!
We also are in need of a new vehicle, the 2000 Dodge Durango is almost history. Finally, we hope to import our 15 passenger van tax free once our non-profit status is approved in Honduras.

Taking "down" Christmas:
Adios, Navidad 2015; Hola 2016!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2015 Beard Family Fall Furlough Review


11 Churches Visited

6 States w 4 kids under 9 years old

4,000+ air miles / 4,000+ van miles / ~193 bike miles (+9,600ft in elevation gain)

Watch Jon teach/share his furlough message from
2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 at Calvary Chapel Yuma, AZ
on September 20, 2015.


Two NEW churches, with a possible third, have committed
to short-term missions trips to the Ranch in 2016.

One faithful supporting church has committed to send their
second short-term team in three years

Two pastors are praying about visiting the Ranch in 2016
 with hopes of sending a short-term team in the near future.

One young woman has committed to a 3-month internship for the Winter of 2016 and a second for the Fall of 2016.

All is well with Oscar, Ilsy, Lissye & the animals back in Honduras!
Oscar continue to meet with the soccer boys and Ilsy will be starting trade school in November.
 (Ilsy's brother & our night guard, Kelvin, is healed up and back on the job, as well!)

All our furlough traveling expenses were covered by many generous gifts!

God is faithful!

Blessed & Ready to Rest!

PRAY for provision/donations to reach our goal to build a much needed staff building. (Current staff are living in the ministry house and we have two interested interns!) We estimate the cost to be $40 grand.

PRAY for new monthly financial support for RO4Y.

PRAY for our remaining Sabbatical in the States to be fruitful in our own individual walks with Christ, our marriage and our family time. We will be staying with Marillyn's parents, Wayne & Brooke Goranson.

PRAY for the kids and Lucinda as they start up homeschooling.
(Lu lives a few blocks from Marillyn's parents. PTL!)

We're looking forward to our first US Christmas in 7 years...
Do I dare "dream" for a white Christmas???


We are indebted to the Body of Christ for their out pouring of love
& excited to invest in our Sabbatical time and grow in Jesus.

Blessings / Bendiciones!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rancho Oasis Testimony Video 2015

"The only letter of recommendation
we need is you yourselves. 
Your lives are a letter written in our hearts;
everyone can read it and recognize our
good work among you.
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ
showing the result of our ministry among you.
This “letter” is written not with pen and ink,
but with the Spirit of the living God.
It is carved not on tablets of stone,
but on human hearts."

-2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NLT)

Testimonies are powerful!

They speak of God's work 
in our past & our present.

They remind us that the God of the universe cares about each one of us personally & they give us the courage to not give up the fight when "we grow weary of well doing."

Enjoy these RO4Y youth & staff while
they answer four simple questions:

What is your name?

How old are you?

What are you learning at Rancho Oasis?

How has God affected your life at RO4Y?

Blessings / Bendiciones!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015 Fall Furlough Schedule (5.5 Reasons to Be Back in the USA)

RO4Y Fall 2015 US Tour Dates

The Beards Stateside & blessed with "new" wheels:
1999 Town & Country with ~86,000 miles!!!

Monday, August 10                          Arrive in Minneapolis                                                 USA

Sunday, August 23                      Evangelical Free Church of Britt                                   Britt, IA

Wednesday, August 26                            Lake County Bible Chapel                            Ankeny, IA

Saturday September 5                     Calvary Chapel Des Moines                            Des Moines, IA

Sunday, September 13                   Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast                        Westminster, CA

Wednesday, September 16                        Calvary Chapel Santee                            Santee, CA

Sunday, September 20                              Calvary Chapel Yuma                                Yuma, AZ

Sunday, September 27                   Calvary Chapel Camp Verde                          Camp Verde, AZ

Sunday, October 4                       Calvary Community Church*                    Sumner, Washington

Sunday, October 11                 Calvary Chapel Cypress (Espanol)               Cypress, CA 

Saturday/Sunday, October 17/18               Bloomingdale Church           Bloomingdale, IL

Thursday, December 31                     Rancho Oasis for Youth                        Ojojona, Honduras

* Details To Be Determined

 While in the USA, the Beards can be reached at:

Ministry donation requests:
scrap-booking & card-stock paper, old maps, magazines, 100% cotton jersey t-shirts XL & larger, beads, cords, neckties and jewelry supplies; soccer cleats (sizes 6 - 9), shin guards; 3/4 guitars (child size); used (for trade school) or new, medium guitar strings; Spanish books (children's and Christian inspirational) for our library.

Oscar leads the U15 soccer team, Filipenses FC, in prayer.

Fact #1:  
To raise awareness of the ministry happening

          God’s Spirit is changing the lives of children, teens
and their families in the rural mountains of southern Honduras.

          Your friendship, partnership and prayers are critical for our success!
Will you join our support team?

          [Paul & Barnabas] called the church together and reported everything God had done through them. Acts 14:27 (NLT)

Taller CDP trade school students of 2015

Fact #2:  
To increase our financial support so we can influence more lives

          The Ranch has been blessed with consistent financial giving to cover all of our basic ministry needs. With more monthly support we can expand current projects that we have in the community to help with people's standard of living and mental/spiritual health, plus give us more in roads to communicate the Gospel.  The reality is that money is necessary to provide the services we offer to the youth of Ojojona and Tegucigalpa.

We moved onto our new 17 acre property in April of 2015. We will be collecting funds to improve the property and pay off our interest-free loan!
Major projects include new staff house, new fencing and finalizing several construction projects: the Beard's home/team meal hall, ministry house renovation, and the equestrian riding areas. 

 A large financial invest would be a major blessing. 

Please inquire about other financial needs.

We trust that God will provide for the ministry's needs;
Is He calling you to be involved financially?

You Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News. Philippians 4:15 (NLT)

Brothers in the Lord, Jack from Texas & Oscar from Ojojona!

Fact #3: 
To call the body of Christ to come along side us
by organizing short-term missions teams

          The majority of the Ranch’s construction projects are completed by groups and the money & labor they put into the buildings. Completed projects mean more opportunity to share the Gospel. We've also expanded outreach to the community via VBS, community/RO4Y family construction projects, health seminars, a youth purity conference, rummage sales and special dinners. Teams have also joined us by participating in the regular scheduled events of the ministry week, like leading Bible studies and teaching new crafts.

So much construction as been accomplished in the ministry season of 2014/2015! 
Yet, so much is left to improve on this 17 acre property.

          We also recognize the dynamic spiritual change that can happen during a missions trip. Marillyn and I are serving as full-time missionaries because of our short-term experiences. 

It’s a kingdom building investment at the Ranch and in your life.
Is God calling you to invest a week or more of your life for His kingdom in Honduras this year?

The Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 (NLT)

RO4Y full-time Honduran & North American staff

Fact #4:
 To recruit short-term (3 month) and long-term staff & families

          In the field, Rancho Oasis is one full-time North American staff, two full-time Honduran staff and a family of six that includes one and a three quarters Spanish speaking adults, a deaf woman and four children under the age of nine. We are stretched to the max and amazed at all that God is doing. We’ve seen God move even more when another adult or young person joins us in ministry. (We are praying specifically for someone to assist Marillyn with the animals & equestrian outreach.)

          Reality is we can’t accomplish what God has called us to do on our own.
God is preparing each one of us in the body of Christ to serve and advance His kingdom.
Will you test God’s faithfulness to you at Rancho Oasis?

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

Mountain vista from Rancho Oasis for Youth
with Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, in the distance.

Fact #5:
For some R & R: "Refreshment and Rejuvenation"

          10 months of ministry with all of its ups and downs can be invigorating to the soul, but draining on the body. The Beards are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family, as well as enjoying time as a family!

After 7 years of living in Central America (2 years in Costa Rica & 5 in Honduras), we've decided to take a few extra months for a Sabbatical focused on family, fellowship and renewing our first love.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying,
our spirits are being renewed every day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)

We look forward to seeing you this Fall!!
Keep these goals in your prayers!!! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 - May.June.July Photo N Prayer Review

GOOOAAAL!!! The Beard kids enthusiastically show off their donated futbol digs!

Hola Friends,

It's time to catch you up the last few months
of ministry & life at Rancho Oasis for Youth.

Please continue to lift us up in PRAYER as we finish this season of ministry & prepare for our Fall furlough. We look forward to seeing many of you very soon!

"Nueva alba / new dawn" at the new RO4Y.

PRAISE: Life @ the new property is wonderful, but it doesn't come without a new series of challenges. Much work is left to be finished on our home and the ministry house, including running water in our home. PRAY for the wisdom & know-how to wrap up important projects before our soon departure, as well as God's provision for bigger projects, including our staff housing.

CC Morgantown (half of 'em") pose at the new, not-quite finished, round pen.

PRAISE: We've hosted two amazing large teams this summer.
View a more comprehensive collection of photos of their stay on our Facebook page: Rancho Oasis for Youth 

Some of the Gringo teens lead a great Bible study with the Rancho youth!

The first group hailed from Morgantown, West Virginia with Calvary Chapel Morgantown. These guys focused on work projects, including the round pen for the horses and miscellaneous projects in the homes & barn. They also assisted in leading Bible studies in our weekly outreaches. Bien hecho, hermanos!

First day of VBS with the Texas team & local translator Cristina!

The second team arrived from Valley Creek Church in suburban Dallas, Texas. These guys finished out the riding ring for the horses and also lead our first VBS outreach in the new community.

Some of the Texas crew work on the riding ring posts.

We were blessed to host both teams and our PRAYERFUL that God will continue to minister in their lives State-side! Each church has partnered with us over the last four years! Gracias, hermanos!

The "finished" round pen and riding ring. Very excited to get the equestrian ministry underway!

We continue to PRAY for our US non-profit status to be recognized in Honduras. According to the latest report from our lawyer we are less then two months away from being official! PTL! The final step also includes a final deposit of ~$800. (With this in hand, we can then proceed to import our 15-passenger van!) Also, continue to PRAY for the finalization of our electrical project; we are still waiting on our meter.

Without the 15-passenger van, transportation gets a little "creative"!

PRAY also for the Lord's provision for a new Ranch vehicle. The Durango is in the shop, again. This time with a $900 transmission repair waiting to happen. We'd like to sell the Durango and get a pick-up. (My understanding is that with the non-profit status in place, we can import a truck tax free!)

Felicidades! Celebrating our 12 year anniversary.

PRAY for our ministry partners (aka "staff"): 

USA or bust!
The Beard kids, Lucinda & Brooke head to the US 3-weeks early for some summer fun with the grandparents!

Lucinda has returned to the US with our three oldest children, Naomi, Tabitha and Tobias. They will be staying in the same town, but with Marillyn's parents, Wayne & Brooke Goranson. (FYI - Wayne had his hip replacement surgery on July 10th and is recovering wonderfully... thanks to your PRAYERS!) 

Feliz cumpleanos Elida: Oscar & Marlis' daughter turns 1-year!

Oscar enjoyed a few days off last week and even went to a marriage conference with his wife, Marlis.

Ilsy gets her jump-roping "on" with the WV team and girl's Bible study.

Ilsy is well, but is slowly recovering from a motorcycle accident while traveling with her brother and daughter. She is growing stronger in her ability to walk every day! (She had a deep bruise on her foot.)

We've let Jose Felix go and have tried to find a young man to come alongside Oscar, but haven't had much success. PRAY for Jonathan, one of the soccer boys to follow through. 

We still have our night guards, Kelvin, Ilsy's brother (M-F) and Anastacio, Oscar's uncle (Sat-Sun), so PRAY for their protection and strength. Finally, Dunia & Keyla have been faithfully helping around the Ranch, but have been spending much time with their ailing grandmother.

Greg & Clark, our Seattle based friends visit the Ranch for the first time in May.
We hope to partner with their church in the area of short-term missions in 2016.

  PRAY in general for staff health as we have had a barrage of illnesses over the last few weeks! Satan is relentless!

Tabitha's kindergarten graduation with the Theyel family and RO4Y "staff".

PRAY for the Theyel family! We met Kurt, Rebecca and their two girls, Jianna & Samara, years ago in Wisconsin and have hosted them while coming down with short-term missions teams. However, this time they have come as a family for the month with a heart for missions. They've been a great help with a variety of Ranch tasks and outreaches. PRAY for them as they seek the Lord's direction for their family and missions, as well as wisdom in making it through all of the cultural adjustments while living in Honduras! (FYI - our other team scheduled for August canceled.)

PRAY for God to send us the right ministry partners. We're processing/praying through some applications now and are hoping to meet some potential partners during the furlough travels.

Pre-game prayer with the U-15 team.
We finished the season strong making it all-the-way to the semi-final game!

PRAY for God's protection over our Honduran staff and property as we return to the States in August. More details to come! 

Saying good-bye to the old property with our "Six-stone altar". See Deuteronomy 27.

Saying, "Adios" to the old property.
Grateful for our time in the village, but excited for the future of RO4Y.

Also, PRAY for our furlough to be filled with Divine appointments with new and faithful support team members and times of refreshing for the Beards. We've been in Central America for seven years and are feeling more "burned-out" than ever before. This verse was brought to my attention this morning while listening to a message on my bike ride: 

The Lord said: "Forget what happened long ago!
Don't think about the past. I am creating something new.
There it is! Do you see it?
 I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands."

Isaiah 43:18-19 (CEV)

Girl's Bible study engrossed in the film, the Gospel of John.
A helpful tool as we study through the same book.

As always, thank you for your faithfulness in all areas of support! God is good!