Monday, December 31, 2018

November / December '18 Review: LIMINAL SPACE

Notes from the first day of our marriage intensive week.

Liminality is linked to the idea of thresholds (the Latin word is related to doorsteps), it’s about passing through into somewhere, something new. It’s the place where transformation happens.”

Part of me wishes to tell you that “everything is back to normal.” (Whatever “normal” is!!!) That our healing is complete and there is no more need of counseling. I want to tell you that I found the “perfect” job and I started “yesterday”! I want to tell you that our marriage has never been better and that our children obey every command and excel at every activity and academic subject! I want to tell you that my walk with Jesus has never been deeper. But these things are just not so. It wouldn’t be honest or real! And none of it, no matter how good it sounds, would require an active faith that looks to Jesus and sees His goodness regardless of the surplus or lack of mine.

We are on the “threshold”. Sometimes looking back and overcome with grief, but most often trying to look forward lamenting what could have been, yet hopeful & thankful for who God is and what He is doing in our lives...

Part 1 focuses on Our Journey Up to this Point:
Our involvement with ministry & missions, from Iowa to Honduras!
(You can skip if you know us & our story well!)

Part 2 focuses on Our Re-entry & New Life in the USA.
(An essential watch for the support team member.)

While at our marriage intensive, our counselor told us his estimate for our transition / re-entry: 3 years!!! Folks it has been just over 5 months since our return to the States! So, we hold onto Jesus with "trembling hands and weak knees" and continue this journey.

One of the exciting things about being “between” is the sense of wonder and dependency that it creates in our walk with Jesus. We can’t rely on our routine, because we don’t have one!

Happy Birthday, Mathias! Two years old!

An example would be “discovering” a new school for the kids! (I put discover in quotes because the Lord lead us to the school and simultaneously answered our prayers.) Let me explain…

After rebooting the “Three R’s and Bible” Homeschool routine, it became evidently clear that this would not be a long-term reality for our family. In all honesty, it was our only option in Honduras, but now living in the Springs there are a lot more educational models to choose from. While doing research on-line, Marillyn found a model of school that integrated classroom teaching with homeschooling! She loved the idea, but could not find a location near us. So, we continued to pray for wisdom.

Well, back up a few steps. In October or so, I began to reach out to a variety of different craft show organizers to see if we could sell the trade school student’s paper-bead ornaments and jewelry. One particular event was being held at the Manitou Springs High School about 30 minutes from us. After giving up hope on the event, I finally heard back from the organizer a few weeks after my original message. She was very gracious and apologized for her delay in answering my inquiry. It turns out that the vendor booths were all taken when I wrote (a pretty common response from the majority of events), but she read our story and was moved to approach the organizers and ask if they would make additional space just for us! She was happy to report that the organizers agreed and invited us to the event! In the course of the next few weeks, another larger (aka more “traffic”) high school craft fair opened up, but I felt strongly that we were to attend the Manitou Springs event! It was obvious that God opened the door for us to attend and I had a sense that the craft fair was going to bring more than sales!

It was Saturday, November 17th and after setting up in the gymnasium, we began to chat with some of our neighbor vendors. I hit it off with a mom and her daughter across the aisle from us. We began to talk about life in Colorado Springs and eventually our transition. I explained our desire to change up the kids’ education style and she lit up with excitement as she begin to tell us about her experience with the University School of Colorado (USCO). It was a Christ-centered hybrid school of three school days and two home school days! Exactly what Marillyn had discovered on-line!

Our new vendor-friend, mentioned that one of USCO’s teachers was present at the craft fair selling her own crafts. So, she took Marillyn and introduced her. Marillyn came back to our booth nearly 45 minutes later with tears welling up in her eyes! “This is exactly what we have been praying for!”  After further discussion, we were introduced to ANOTHER former teacher of USCO! We knew after meeting three individuals involved with the University School that our meeting was not coincidence! (In fact, it sleeted that Saturday and the weather greatly affected the craft fair turn out! Our sales were still good, but God confirmed that we were there to be introduced to the USCO family!)

Post Thanksgiving Hike @ Pulpit Rock

After Thanksgiving we scheduled a school visit and our excitement only grew for the education offered at USCO. We learned that students in the elementary school have classroom days on Tuesday and Thursday, then an “enrichment” day on Wednesdays! Monday’s and Friday’s focus on homeschool assignments that are given during the week! We felt that this Jesus focused education was perfect for our kids to help them transition into their new life in the States! Our next step was to assess the kids and have them “shadow” a day of school.

Our shadow day was full of excitement! The kids were adorably nervous and excited for their “new school!” Naomi sat in on the 5th grade class, Tabitha with the 4th graders, Tobias with the 1st and Poema in the K5 classroom. (Poema was actually with the vendor that we met at the craft fair!) As we met the kids in the afternoon, they could not stop talking about the day, the school and their new friends. One of the most touching moments was shared by Tabitha. She was asked to stand before the class and tell a bit about herself. She shared about her former life in Honduras then broke down crying in front of the other students! Her classmates then encircled her and prayed for her! The bond of friendship was sealed!

Tabitha wins her first archery competition (upper right photo)!

Another confirmation that USCO was the right school for us came from our discussion with the elementary principal. We learned that Julie had two adopted children from China, one of whom was recovering from sexual abuse trauma. Not only could Principal Julie sympathize with our experience, but her own parenting challenges with her kids brought a deeper empathy to our experience of parenting children of sexual abuse! (Also, did I mention that all of the kids books were generously & anonymously donated!!! God is faithful!!!)

All that said and done, the kids have been successfully enrolled for the 2019 Spring semester at USCO! (As expected each of the kids had academic strengths and weakness. Tabitha, Tobias and Poema were enrolled for classes three days a week. Unfortunately, though Naomi was placed in the 5th grade class, they were full! However, we found a compromise! Naomi will attend the enrichment Wednesday’s at USCO to build friendships at the school and study in the home to be better prepared to enter the 6th grade class in the Fall of 2019. The classroom size doubles in 6th grade, so there should not be any issues with her ability to enroll. In the meantime, Naomi will continue to study at home and possibly be tutored by a young woman from church that she adores!)

As expected, a private Christian education is an investment! Not only for our children, but for Marillyn as we have quickly learned that being a home-school teacher and director was not her strength! So we have taken a step of faith that God will provide whether through donations, scholarships, supporters, work salaries or a combination of the above! The Spring semester is costing nearly $7,000 in total! (Broken down into five monthly payments of ~$1,400.) One of our supporting families has committed to support the education needs giving at least $700 monthly. We have applied for scholarship via a local non-profit and are awaiting to hear their reply. (We will be eligible for USCO scholarship in the 2019 Fall semester, per their scholarship requirements.) And, of course, I hope to be starting a new part-time job in the coming weeks!

Naomi dances in the Nutcracker with the Russian Ballet!

Speaking of work, I have another God directed liminal space story!

Upon our arrival to Colorado Springs we sought out a chiropractic office for the whole family. Not only did we find a great deal for a monthly payment plan for all seven of us, but we met a great Christian chiropractor at PLE Chiropractic. During one of our weekly visits, Dr. Paul introduced us to Niki. We learned that we had a similar background of ministry with youth and that her and her family were soon going to be entering the mission field in Guatemala. A friendship was birthed and within a few weeks I met with Niki’s husband, Jeremiah for tea at one of my favorite local coffee houses! Jeremiah and I bonded instantly and we were able to speak freely with each other about family, transition, and life on the mission field.

As a result of that conversation, Jeremiah introduced me to his brother-in-law, Noah, who was starting a new branch of his business in Colorado Springs. I met with Noah within a week and we have committed to meet regularly to help train and prepare me for potentially working together. Though I have never considered this field of work prior to our meeting, the camaraderie of work relationships and potential to use and develop my skill-set really resonated with my heart and thoughts about work. It was truly an answer to prayer!

So, my desire is to invest time and energy into this preparation and find a part-time job on the side to help pay our monthly expenses! In the meantime, we are planning to apply for food and medical assistance through the state of Colorado. It is humbling, but we are trusting the Lord for His provision and timing for our family!

PRAISE for great sales with the paper-bead jewelry & essential oils!

Marillyn and I are also partnering together to develop the business with Young Living Essential Oils. In December, she held a party for the ladies at church and even used a table at our final craft fair to promote her business with DIY “make & take” essential oil sprays and roll-ons! She is amazing at what she does! So be on the lookout for more details and please reach out to Marillyn or I with questions!

Regarding the selling of the property in Ojojona, we are currently in talks with some friends that sound very promising. They are missionaries in Tegucigalpa who want to bring their ministry to a quieter more serene setting. PRAY that God would confirm the purchase in their hearts and minds and that He will provide! We are excited for the possibility of our former home to be continued to be used for ministry and God’s kingdom! PRAY!

We made it!
Afternoon "rest" shots from our marriage intensive with Quiet Waters.
Each morning was 3 hours of counseling!

PRAISE for our week long marriage intensive! We were encouraged that in many ways we have been heading in the right direction. We also received many new “tools” and homework assignments to help us to continue to adjust and create a healthy marriage and family setting! PRAY for us as Mare and I continue to build our marriage! Here is a fun, simple tool that was shared with us: The Gottman Card Decks App.

Feliz cumpleaños, Tobias! Eight years old!

PRAY for our new home church, Calvary Chapel True North. The church is going through many of it’s own “liminal space” issues. Most likely the church will be moving to a new building starting in February. PRAY for Jon as he continues to serve by leading worship and for Naomi & Tabitha as they serve in the children’s ministry.

PRAISE for Marillyn's new hearing aid through the Miracle Ear Foundation!

Tubing Family Fun in Fraser, Co!

PRAISE for the body-health help we are receiving through Upstream Functional Medicine. Jon's adrenal gland fatigue was confirmed through a series of tests and he is slowly on the mend; Marillyn's gut-health was also below par and she is working through SIBO treatment. Poco a poco!

PRAISE for a seasonal part-time job delivering pastries, though sadly, it is over!

PRAY for Jon as he begins his search for new employment! (For those supporters able and willing to continue their financial support, we would be highly appreciative in this time as we anticipate the majority of our support to stop at the turn of the year. This is quite the adjustment for us as we have faithfully relied on God’s provision via our support team for the last eight-plus years! We desire to continue to trust the Lord for His provision & direction financially!)

An introduction to the shooting range with friends!

Continue to PRAY for healing for the Beard kids and help processing the transition into life in the USA!

Enjoying our first annual Christmas Light Parade

Words can not express
the gratitude we have for
our support team! 

Thank you for the last decade of prayer, words of encouragement and financial support! 

We ask that you continue to stay with the team, as you are lead, and stand with us in the threshold! 

Feliz año nuevo, hermanos!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

October '18 Review: RE-ENTRY IN PRAYERS

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Friend & watch "Marillyn Iola Beard" on Facebook Sunday, November 11th @ 2PM (MST)

Write Marillyn at
to ORDER your Christmas Trees TODAY!!!

PRAISE we had great sales @ a local craft fair the first week in November. PRAY for our second attempt later this month!

Family Hike @ Bear Trap Ranch

PRAISE: Marillyn had a break through week at the women's retreat! Naomi also grew in Christ and friendship with other young people.

     Marillyn writes, “The theme for the Women’s Retreat was ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.’ It was exactly what I need to be reminded of as we transition back into living in the states. I was Reminded that He is the Provider and he got us this far and will continue to direct my path if I let Him. I went to the retreat broken and confused, but left renewed and strengthened.”

PRAY for our family's continued re-entry & transition to the US. Here is a great read to give more understanding of our experience: "Coming Back from Narnia: What Re-Entry Feels Like."

Stateside fellowship with Gracie: a dear missionary friend from Honduras.

PRAISE: Jon & Marillyn will be attending their first ever marriage retreat / intensive in December with Quiet Water Ministries. PRAY the 15 hours of counseling over five days will help heal marital wounds & give clear direction for the future. (Donations welcome to cover this new expense.)

Pumpkins + Paint = Fall Art

PRAISE God for our counselors, Penny & Kevin, as they work with the Beard family. At Penny's request, Naomi & Tobias have stopped working with her thus allowing more time for Tabitha, Poema & Marillyn. PRAY for more break through, healing & freedom.

Your Newest Pastry Delivery Boy

PRAISE for Jon's new part-time job - delivering pastries for a fundraising business located in Castle Rock (about 40 minutes north of The Springs). PRAY for continued direction & wisdom for work & ministry for 2019. (Our supporters have committed to give through 2018. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL!!!)

Tobias & "The Champions" wrapped up their flag football season.

PRAISE: After a two month plus wait, Marillyn has been approved & scheduled for a new hearing aid with Miracle Ear. (Her current and “ancient” device is being held together by glue and tape!) PRAY that the aid is powerful enough for her hearing loss!

Feliz Cumpleaños, Poema!!! (#4 = VI)

PRAISE for the Beard children's schooling, especially with Tobias and Poema. PRAY for Marillyn, Wayne & Brooke as they focus on teaching.

We skipped Fall for a few weeks in The Springs!

PRAY for Marillyn’s Young Living side-business: (Contact Marillyn @ for more info on natural products & essential oils.)

Skate City Half-Price Night with Friends from Church

PRAISE for the opportunity to serve @ our local church, Calvary Chapel True North. Jon is leading worship again, especially necessary as the leader, Brooke Goranson, is having knee surgery on November 15th. Both Naomi & Tabitha are helping in childcare on Sunday mornings, too! PRAY for the leadership & the fellowship as they are going through revitalizing changes!

Mr. "Moo-Juice" & the Joy of Weaning

PRAISE for our two vehicles. PRAY for a buyer for our donated 2005 mini-van & a four-door truck with comparable price and good mileage!

PRAISE for God's provision & direction with all the logistics of leaving Honduras and closing down RO4Y. PRAY for a buyer for the property!

Colossians 3:1-17

Sunday, October 7, 2018

September '18 Review: FULL CIRCLE

10,000+ ft elevation quiet time!!!

It is fascinating how God speaks to us.

Our church’s men’s group held a Friday thru Saturday retreat at Bear Trap Ranch, a small church camp located at ~9,000 ft above sea level an hour from our home in Colorado Springs.

This wasn’t my first time to this camp.

Can you find Jonny Mountain Man??? Bear Trap Ranch Summer Staff circa 1997

 21 years ago, after my sophomore year of college, I participated in an intensive discipleship program through Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship. Roughly half of our summer was focused on being counselors for “Family Camps” where we held VBS-like camps for the children/teens and the other half was spent learning evangelism, Inductive Bible Study techniques and a variety of other Christian leadership “tools”. 

Needless to say it was a very pivotal time of spiritual growth as I have since been involved in Christian leadership on campus, in the local church and on the mission field! I hold many fond memories of Bear Trap and never expected to return…

I arrived a day early for the retreat in order to spend some time alone with the Lord and to see if I could remember some of my experiences at BTR! This was a wonderful opportunity for me as our family has been walking through points of restoration and healing since our return to the United States.

As I hiked some of the old Bear Trap trails, I didn’t receive any neon signs or visions from the Lord, but a simple heart-spoken word that said “You are loved” and “enjoy My creation around you.”

Re-creation Hike!

It was a refreshing time, yet God wasn’t done speaking.

The next morning, during a study of Proverbs 2 & 3 that elevated Christ as the wisdom that all men seek and seek to become, God spoke profoundly to me.

We were asked to consider three questions as we studied Proverbs:
1) Who am I?
2) Who do I wish to be or become?
3) Am I willing to do what it takes to get there?

21 years ago life was a lot simpler. I was a student and a son – and my heart was to be more like Jesus! A LOT has happened since that camp experience. I became an employee, a husband, a father, a pastor and a missionary… and all the various roles that those “titles” include.

Though my desire has consistently been to become more like Christ, in that moment I realized that my aim had gone off target. With the accumulation of all these additional roles over the last 21 years, I’ve focused on the “titles” and NOT my identity. So, my well-intended focus on being a good father, husband, missionary, etc unintentionally caused me to lose sight of my one true goal and purpose: to be a child of God.

As Matthew 6:33 states, once I get my eye’s on Jesus & His kingdom all the other things will come into focus.

Life in ministry and on the mission field can leave you pretty beat up and focused on what you’re not and what you lack. This has led to some deep internal & mental battles over the last few years (aka “burn out”). What a relief to be reminded of the simple truth that my aim is to grow as a child of God (my identity) & He will bring the growth/change in those other areas of life.

I miss “home” deeply and the unfulfilled vision of Rancho Oasis for Youth still lingers, but I love our new church family and where God has placed us for this season of healing!

It is good to “Be still” and know that He is God!

Please continue to PRAY for us:

Back in the saddle with Rosie!

  • Marillyn & Naomi will be attending a women’s retreat in October. Please pray that God will minister as much to them as He did to me.

Naomi Shalom: 12 years complete and counting!!!

Tabitha Charis @ 10 years!!!

  • Continued victory in counseling over some of the emotional, spiritual & psychological strongholds that we wrestle

Recent painting job I finished... praying about more work in this area!

  • Wisdom & discernment for our future source of income & areas of service
  • Though approved initially Marillyn is still waiting for the “go ahead” from Miracle Ear for a new hearing aid. (She needs a new one desperately!)

Touchdown Tobi!

Tabniss Everdeen.

A R C H E R Y  It’s so amazing watching her as she gets into position, raises her bow, and mentally quiets herself before letting that arrow fly. Her mind tends to fly all over the place when she quiets herself, but archery is teaching her to discipline and control that better. Her coach is truly a God-send and exactly the kind of coach she needs to be affirmed, challenged, and bettered as a person and as an archer 
Never thought one of my kids would try archery and get so hooked into it. That’s exactly what Tabi did and she’s a natural! This is perfect sport for her and she’s already talking about qualifying for the Jr. Olympic team 
We’ve been praying for each of our kids to find their sport/activity that will help them in a fun, therapeutic way. For years horse back riding was extremely therapeutic for me and I wanted that for each of my kids as they slowly transition to living in the US of A. So far, all the kids have found their place and doing so good... especially Tabi. She struggled the most in finding a sport that clicked with her. She tried a few different things before announcing, out of the blue (really), that she wanted to try archery. Honestly, it never crossed our minds to consider archery, but we signed her up for a few lessons and she was hooked from the very first lesson! If you look closely on her arm... you will see a henna tattoo done of the mocking jay symbol from Katniss of Hunger Games. Tabi hopes to shoot just as good as her.


So grateful to keep some of our most prized possessions from life in Honduras!!!

  • PRAISE for the arrival of our Honduran shipment; Prayer for the courage to unpack it all!

  • For Marillyn’s Young Living side-business
(Contact Marillyn @ for more info on natural products & essential oils.)

Christmas Tree Anyone???

  • Trade School Jewelry Sales!!! 

(Write Marillyn at to PRE-ORDER your Christmas Trees TODAY!!!)

  • PRAISE for a good start to homeschooling! (Mare is focusing on Naomi & Tabitha, I am with Tobias and Poema is with Brooke!)

Late Summer Fun!!!

  •  PRAISE for settling in well to our “nueva vida” Stateside!

  • A buyer for our donated 2005 mini-van & a four-door truck with comparable price and good mileage!

  • A Christian individual/family/ministry to purchase our 17 acre property in Honduras.

  • Grace & Peace as we share a home with Marillyn's parent's, Wayne & Brooke Goranson; PRAISE for the harmony we share!!!

S P A C E \\ this girl... no fence will stop her from exploring. In Honduras, she lived her whole life exploring open pastures and mountains with her siblings with the nearest neighbor being a good distance away. It’s strange to walk out to our backyard and have such a small space... to be “contained” within a fence and see 4 houses surrounding us. It sometimes feels slightly claustrophobic. We prefer the wide open spaces or at least to have more space between houses, but we are blessed to have this house with its small backyard... It’s home. It’s our safe haven. It’s perfect for what we need during this season of life for our family.


Labor Day Lift Off - 2018 - Colorado Springs


Sunday, September 9, 2018


Life on the front range!

Most days are better than others here in the Springs.

This new start has so much excitement and potential, yet there is still the pain from the loss of our life & ministry in Honduras!

11 Mile State Park Church Campout

For example, one day I was camping at 8,500 ft above sea level with my “warrior-children” and the next day I was in bed sobbing like a baby with homesickness!

Read this article from a favorite, “unfiltered” missionary blog. It captures a lot of what we and many “returning home” missionaries experience!

Pulpit Rock Family Hike

Most of our time is now spent exploring this new thing called “Life in America.” We are making friends at the local church and getting involved with a variety of activities for the children!

Being the Church @ Calvary Chapel True North

We are also investing a lot of time in counseling! Everyone, but Mathias is meeting regularly with a counselor to build up our identity in Christ. It is an exciting and humbling experience!

Thousands of Bubbles
Prepping to take a ministry profile test to help know our strengths & weaknesses from a professional Christian counselor.

Continue to pray for our healing & restoration… there is no short-cut to healing, but the path is clear: John 14:6!

HUGE PRAISE!!! We received all of the $4,000 within 24 hours of sharing our need for the family ministry re-entry retreat! We are signed up to attend the March 2019 program. (PRAY that the door will open to attend an earlier retreat as we were put on waiting lists for the remainder of 2018. Marillyn & I are exploring another option for just us through a ministry in Denver called Quiet Waters).


The Ranch in Ojojona.
Selling of our 17+ acre property in Honduras
(We desire to sell to a ministry.)

Protection over caretaker and his family

Breakthrough & growth in our counseling sessions

Patience & direction as we seek our “next assignment” – work and / or ministry! (Jon is gradually helping with worship in the local church and will also be one of four teachers at an upcoming men’s retreat this month.)

True repentance for Oscar as he awaits his trial.

Making new molds for Marillyn's hearing aid at Miracle Ear.

PRAISE for the Miracle Ear Foundation accepting Marillyn’s application for a new hearing aid; PRAY that it is strong enough for her level of hearing loss!

Exploring Colorado Springs.

PRAISE for the new opportunities the kids have; PRAY that they excel and use their gifts to glorify God!

Our "treasures" awaiting shipment in a warehouse in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

PRAISE: our crate of Honduran possessions has arrived Stateside & cleared customs; PRAY it arrives safely & in-tact!

Too Many Choices!!!
Even the simplest errands like grocery shopping are a bit overwhelming here!!!

PRAY for blessing as Marillyn tries to increase her Young Living side-business

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

PRAY for sales of the remaining trade school jewelry and Christmas trees!!! (Contact Marillyn @ for a pre-order.)

CUIDADO: Little Lady in Large Truck!!!

PRAISE for Marillyn’s ability to connect with several home schooling families; PRAY for the Beard’s homeschooling to start with much grace 

A taste of "home" in this new land!

PRAY for our family routine to get established… everything feels so foreign!

I leave you now with a song that has become an anthem of sorts for the Beard family! We love to blast it from the Suburban! (Thanks, Diane for sharing it with me during this tough season of life!)

I believe You are the Way, the Truth, the Life 

I believe through every battle
 through every heartbreak
 through every circumstance
 I believe You are my fortress
 You are my portion
 You are my hiding place 

I believe through every blessing
 through every promise
 through every breathe I take 
 I believe You are provider
 You are protector
 You are the One I love 

It’s a new horizon and I’m set on You
and You meet me here today with mercies that are new
 All my fears and doubts they can all come too
 Because they can’t stay long when I’m here with You

I believe You are the Way, the Truth, the Life

May we continue to draw closer to the Father through Jesus! 

As always, thanks for your prayers, gifts
& words of encouragement!!!

Blessed by technology's ability to keep us in touch with friends in Honduras!

We would love to hear from you! 

Please email me & ask for our phone numbers
 or new home address!

The land of comfort & convenience...
Gotta love 'Merica!!!