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!!!


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