Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 - Called to Persevere

Bienvenido Mathias Caleb Beard!

So much has happened in our lives & ministry since I've last written.

A new life was introduced into the Beard Family.
(And some other Beards got another year older!)

Best birthday gift ever!!! Tobias turned six a week after Mathias' birth!

Mare = 32                                Jon = 4, I mean 40!

We've said good-bye to some staff & hello to new youth & children.

We've hosted three short-term missions teams,
including both of our parents!

The Ranch is officially an NGO in Honduras 
& the Durango is back in the shop (and up for sale.) NEED: 4 x 4, duel-cab, pick-up truck - option to import tax free from US! (Toyota, Nissan or Ford best models for Honduras.)

The construction of our new staff housing, Casa de Apoyo, continues to move forward
and the infrastructure of the Ranch is growing... poco a poco.

And through it all, the good, the bad & the messy, the Gospel is our beacon; guiding us through all of the changes and reminding us of the course that God has set for the ministry.

I have been teaching the staff through the book of Colossians and found great encouragement from these lines in chapter 1:

23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. (NLT)

As a full-time missionary, I've seen the importance of realizing that part of the "entire [Gospel] message" that Paul speaks of is our life & testimony. Which often includes suffering. Yet, it is in the challenges and difficulties of life & ministry where the Gospel can be seen the clearest.

So, thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and financial gifts as we continue to make adjustments at the Ranch to all the recent changes! PRAY that we would continue to "stand firm" in the Gospel in our marriage, family, service and outreach.


Mare focuses inward & upward for "Baby Cinco's" arrival!

One of the many joys of home birth is to include the family.
Marillyn's mom, Brooke Goranson - an unofficial Doula, is pictured with the Beard kids and Marillyn in the birthing pool.

December 9th, 2016
(In this day of ultra-sounds, we've waited to find out all of our baby's gender until their birth.)

Well done, mama! Well done, baby!


Lesly, our family cook & long-time RO4Y participant, was wed on December 17th.

Civil unions are first & separate from church unions in Honduras.
PRAY for Lesly & her husband, Carlos.
They are expecting at the end of June.
 (Also PRAY for us as we seek a maternity leave replacement.)

Lucinda says, "Adios" to Honduras and her service at the Ranch.
She had a four-year tour-of-duty!
PRAY for Lu as she continues to adjust to life in the US.
PRAY for the Beard's as we try to nail down what our kids' education will look like. Marillyn has stepped into home schooling, but we don't see this as a permanent solution. NEED: Nanny/Teacher

Melody and her Nicaraguan husband, Roberto take a "Farewell" photo before they depart for Nicaragua.
After cutting her commitment to the Ranch short by moving up her wedding day six months, then moving to Nicaragua it was difficult to reconcile Melody's commitment to her marriage and service at the Ranch. We sadly decided to not invite Melody back. 

PRAY for the equestrian ministry vision of RO4Y. 
(Pause to read blog title, again.)
PRAY for God's timing on finding a new horse. We received a donation in 2016, but haven't found the one!

NEED: Equestrian assistant

NEED: More monthly financial givers - we're feeling the absence of Lu & Mel's "hands & feet", as well as their room & board fees.

Melody's final equestrian class given at Rancho Oasis.

Our ministry stamp:
Woo-hoo!!! The Ranch is official in Honduras! PTL!!!


Calvary Chapel Morgantown @ Parque Picachu in Tegucigalpa.

This small team of 8 had a combined experience of over 20 visits to Rancho Oasis since we begun in 2010. (That includes two first timers!)

We are not only blessed to call them friends, but family!

Bitter-sweet, final day reflections from the CC Morgantown crew!

Calvary Chapel Des Moines @ replica Mayan temple.
We were also blessed to fellowship & serve alongside our long-time friends from our home church in Des Moines, Iowa. The Beard & local kids especially enjoyed Chelsea's return visit, as she had interned with the Ranch in the Spring of 2016! NEED: Interns for remainder of 2017 & all of 2018!!!

What was really fun is that all but one of the team members had been to Honduras, but only one of those five knew first-hand our new property. Thus, this visit was like serving at a whole new ministry!

Kevin shares during the RO4Y staff Bible study about answering God's call on your life.

World Racer's first day in Ojojona: learning to shop @ the Pulperia!

One of our surprise highlights of the year was the month long service from the six gals from the World Race missions ministry.

They lived with us on the Ranch, but were completely independent: making their own meals and getting their own groceries.

Not only did they complete a variety of projects around the Ranch, they helped with the schooling of our youngest children, worked with the animals to give Oscar and Nelson some real time off over Semana Santa, ministered alongside the trade school & children's Bible studies and offered us their fellowship. 

We unofficially changed their name to "World Ranchers!"

Dropping the gals off at the bus stop. 


The trade school gals hold up their newest creations: paper bead hearts!
Marillyn has been faithfully teaching these young women for five years!
PRAY that they will not only mature in their craftsmanship, but in their walk with the Lord.

PRAY that God will also open up some more selling opportunities. He's blessed us with a few wedding/gift orders and we have applied to work with some larger State-side distributors.

What a blessing to have the multiple teams speak into the lives of these young women as they come to learn every Tuesday!

PRAY for our special sale on the Etsy website: Las Aguas Verdes,
as well as the special event May 12th at the US embassy!

The U-12 boys meet for a friendly game during the school break in January.
PRAY that we can maintain a relationship with these boys during the Honduran school year.

"And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

First practice for the U-25 team at the start of our second local championship.

PRAY for Oscar as he leads the boys both on and off the field. When push comes to shove and we're short a player, Oscar will step-in to play a half. (Many of the boys finish their school at 1:30 and half of our games start at 1 PM!)

PRAY for perseverance. The season is coming to a close and we are, once again, in last place of eight local teams. We are essentially at a high school level playing college opponents! The boys are a bit discouraged, but are actually playing well. Just missing that definition in the final third, if ya know what I mean!

While recently in Ojojona, I received some positive feedback about the team. This man, a player in one of the men's leagues, congratulated me for the efforts we were making with the boys. He said that most are in it for a trophy, but he sees that were are interested in forming these boys into good players and good men! PTL!!!

Win or lose - we always give thanks to the Lord!

Friday AM & PM Bible studies have been packed!
On a whim, obviously lead by the Holy Spirit, I decided to take a new route into Ojojona for Friday Bible study. Like the piped-piper, I drove through new neighborhoods and talked to every kid I saw, inviting them to the Ranch! It was crazy fun and I had no idea what to expect!

Our Friday attendance has nearly doubled in size!!!

Oscar teaches the AM class!

PRAY that Oscar, Dunia, Keyla and Saleni (Machi's girlfriend) and I will have perseverance, love and wisdom as we reach out to these kids! We've been so grateful for the help from the teams, but we want to keep this study growing strong!

We used Legos to help illustrate the parable of the house built on the sand & rock!


Both CC Morgantown and CC Des Moines helped stub in plumbing & electrical conduit for CDA!!!

PRAY for the funds and wisdom to finish CDA this year!!!
Our local Honduran forman, Jose de La Paz, has been completing the interior stucco.

We have two more teams lined up that could be helping with this process, as well as a significant donation from a supporting church to prayerfully finish the work!

NEED: Property manager / maintenance man / missions team construction manager!!!

CDA's septic tanks:
Bio-digestors that make human waste compost!!!

Beard Kid Creativity!
Enjoying washing the busito!

Arco Iris!

Blessed to ride these beautiful mountains!
PRAISE for good health!


Marsha & Dave Beard

Brooke & Wayne Goranson

PRAY & stand firm with the Beards & Rancho Oasis for Youth!