Saturday, August 4, 2018

July '18 Review: CONFIRMATION & GLORY

Arrival at Denver International July 31st!


As I sit in the kitchen of our new rental home in Colorado Springs, it is difficult to put into words the events of the last two months:


We have been nomads living in four different locations in the last seven weeks. (Two weeks in Tegus walking through the legal process of prosecuting Oscar; one week at the Ranch packing; three weeks in Santa Ana – the small town that neighbors Ojojona – while we sold off our possessions… from goats to gas grills, tools and tables… and prepped the property to “show & sell” and, finally, a week in suburban Chicago with my parents.)


Enjoying a campfire at one of our temporary homes.

There have been few times in my life where God’s hand was seen in the smallest of details, confirming our decision to leave Honduras and revealing God’s knowledge of “every hair on my head.” (Luke 12:7)

The home provided for our two week hiatus was centrally located in the city giving us the convenience of travel, shopping, and eating out while we went through the emotional roller coaster of making the formal / legal complaint against Oscar. The owner of the home offered it to us because her large family was on furlough Stateside. She was the same person who met with our family to start the process of counseling, taught me to see the many details of the effects of trauma in my own children and eventually bought our 15-passenger van! Glory!

The man who betrayed our family & ministry now sits behind bars awaiting his sentencing trial. The warrant to arrest him was issued THE SAME DAY as our complaint! A process that normally takes weeks and forces the victim and family to act as if all is normal to not tip-off the accused of their knowledge of his guilt. The initial hearing that denied Oscar bail was held A WEEK AFTER the arrest WITHOUT the testimony of Marillyn and I because the strength of the testimony of the three children – all recorded on video with the same kind & proficient translator who helped the kids through the formal complaint process. The decision to deny bail was made by a judge who WENT OUT OF HER WAY to visit & listen to the kids stories… something we learned is the exception to the rule for the practice of this particular judge!

Two of the three government forensic psychologists who met with myself and each of the kids separately WERE BELIEVERS and spoke of the challenges that families will face who have been victims of sexual abuse. Their counsel confirmed the route that we had taken to bring justice to our family and encouraged us that God is bigger than the trauma… one of the psychologists was herself a victim of sexual abuse as a child and told us of the freedom & healing that Jesus had done in her life! This day of tests and counsel itself was a miracle as it was MOVED UP three weeks allowing us to leave Honduras on our desired departure day! Hallelujah!

Having originally planned to take an extended furlough in August, God’s hand was seen in the airline WAVING ALL transfer fees for our family of seven and scheduling the change for July 22nd – OUR GUESTIMATED GOAL to depart Honduras AND THE ONLY AVAILABLE DATE IN THE MONTH OF JULY WITH SIX AVAILABLE SEATS!!! Can I get an “Amen”!?!?!


Purge & Release

ALL OF OUR ITEMS FOR SALE SOLD – except the freezer and the property… which we trust will be done in God’s timing with a ministry that will continue to use the property for His glory! ALL of our dogs found homes and so did the horses! All these sales took place while we stayed at our friend’s nearby, beautiful home – allowing us to sell our things freely (without stipulation of our departure date) and giving us some distance from the hardship of seeing “our life” be boxed up and taken away. God cares, does He not???


Beautiful 15+ acre mountain property for sale. 👍

EIGHT pieces of luggage were sent ahead of us by the generosity of my parents and some family friends flying to Honduras stand-by with the select purpose of hauling our things! Two days later I received word that an anonymous donor wanted to COVER THE COST of shipping our remaining things Stateside!!! This included all the miscellaneous “treasures” that we were unsure if we could take with us like my mountain bike, drums, Christmas ornaments, picture albums, journals, kitchen appliances and even Mare’s homemade horse tack trunk!!! (This itself was a double-miracle because I was delayed two days from delivering our items to the shipper because of a national bus & taxi strike! Praise God the business had weekend hours when the strike took a break!)

Delivery Complications!

MOST IMPORTANTLY the behavioral issues in our three children, increased anger & withdrawn attitudes, have greatly subsided and they are walking in more joy & peace! Why? Because they have seen their parents come to their defense NOT merely in word, but in DEED & ACTION!!! No ministry is worth the loss of value of any of our children!!!

Now we are settling into a home that is perfect for our family and our host’s, Marillyn’s parents: Wayne & Brooke Goranson! Not only have they prepped & furnished the home for our arrival, but have committed to find their own place when we are well established in the community! Not only is Colorado Springs a beautiful part of the country… we haven’t left the mountains… it is well equipped with a strong home-schooling community and a church, Calvary Chapel True North, that is waiting to take us in and see us restored! Our first meeting with the family counselor has been scheduled and we appreciate your continued prayers as we move forward as a family and ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I have yet to schedule our debriefing week with the DAR program of Ministry Training International, but hope to in the coming weeks. It will be a costly investment for our family as our healing process is not supported by a larger missions agency, but I fear NOT doing the re-entry program would have greater long-term damage. The financial cost of the program will be a bit more than $4,000 for our family of seven. So, those of you who have offered any extra help during this season of transition… now is the time to respond!!!

God has clearly been with us at every step & we trust he will make our future clear! “God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet” illuminating our NEXT STEP, not the entire journey!


Nuestra familia Hondurena!

The greatest challenge in leaving Honduras has been walking away from the many relationships that we have developed over the years! From those we have ministered to in the community to those that call us friends… and even family! The loss is profound, but Jesus’ love runs deeper still!


Trade School Class of 2018


For those who have wrestled alongside us in prayer trying to understand the “why” of the tragedy and trauma that has come upon not only our family, but to the unfulfilled dream of Rancho Oasis, I offer you two things:

#1 – God has been with us every step. He did not want this to happen. He fought against it in Oscar’s heart, but ultimately God gave him a free will. Nonetheless, what was intended for evil, we trust that God will use for good! We are NOT angry with God… how could we be? His love for us has never wavered, but gotten even more evident in this trial!

#2 – In God’s economy, success is not always an achieved final goal, but rather the manifestation of His presence in us during the journey! Oswald Chamber’s says it much better than I:


He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side…
 —Mark 6:45

We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.


Again, thank you all for your letters, notes, hugs, prayers and tears!

Time alone with "the light of the world" hiking through a suburban Chicago forest preserve.

This is not the end, but a new beginning!

Dios te bendiga!

Friday, July 6, 2018

June '18 Review: GRIEF, HOPE & TRANSITION

Seeking our home... praying for direction.

“I'm looking up
Holding out
Pressing forward
Without a doubt
Longing for the things unseen
Longing for the things I believe
My true country

We hope and wait
For the glorious day
All tears will vanish
Wiped away
On the saints this day already shines
On the saints this day already shines
It already shines

[Chorus:]
We'll be singing hallelujah
We'll be singing hallelujah
At the top of our lungs halle-le-lujah
(With all of our breath halle-le-lujah)
To Your glory, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

And I know that it's coming
But I can't see it now
And I've touched it in moments
But I can't hold it yet
And it glows in the darkness
And it calls us away
To our true destination
To that glorious day.”

Can I get a Hallelujah?

While on one of my recent early morning hikes through the cool & breezy mountains of Honduras, I was reminded of the song “Hallelujah” by the Newsboys (1998) as my iPod “randomly” shuffled through its list of 1,224 songs. The depth of its simple lyric was a refreshing reminder to my hurting heart & soul…

In my last post I mentioned “a devastating blow” and have alluded to this in my personal & ministry Facebook posts. Marillyn and the family and I have been having a rough time this last month! Though we have kept our situation vague & general, we want to thank you for your ceaseless prayers, words of encouragement and acts of kindness. The Lord has built a wonderful support team for us over the last 10+ years for the ministry of Rancho Oasis!!! (2 years in Costa Rica & 8+ years in Honduras.)




As detailed in the “Health” post and other posts this year, we have been thinning our outreach (no soccer & no Friday Bible Study) and were preparing to take an extended furlough this Fall to restore our spiritual, mental and physical fervor. However, we now believe that our departure will be a PERMANENT return to the States!

We sense the time is right to share with you our struggle:

Waiting to make our legal complaint with the Honduran Prosecutor for Children
with Honduran friend & translator Ileana and intern Katie.

About a month ago, the Lord brought to light a very “life-changing” truth: our #1 farm-hand and ministry assistant had been sexually abusing 3 of our 5 kids (different degrees of frequency & severity, but all wrong/evil.) We have walked through the painful legal process to prosecute this sexual predator with a team from a Christian non-profit called “Association for a More Just Society” and this man, Oscar Gonzalez, now sits behind bars awaiting his sentencing trial. We are hurting, but hopeful for the Lord’s hand in restoring our family.


A "screenshot" of last year's ministry video.

Oscar was more than a soccer coach and a hard-worker at the Ranch. He was a friend, a brother and a family member not only to us, but to the greater family of Rancho Oasis. We were just as shocked as you and are still walking through the five stages of grief.


"A three braided chord is not easily broken."
Getting out to celebrate 15 years of marriage in the midst of the trial!

And then grief upon grief:

One of our ministry goals has been to use animals to promote mental & spiritual healing, specifically a Bible-based equine therapy program. That vision was realized this last year with the purchase of a beautiful Dutch-warmblood named, Nedo. However, during our recent family trial Nedo contracted a nearly permanent and painful hoof disease called laminitis. We made the heart-wrenching decision to “put him down”. So, sad!


Saying "Good-bye" to Nedo. 😥

I share all that to say we sense Nedo’s passing is symbolic of our dream and vision for the ministry of Rancho Oasis. We have been in “survival mode” for way to long as missionaries and it is time to let our work here close. We know that God has some amazing restoration & ministry in front of us, but He is first releasing us from our commitment to the work here in Honduras! This is not an easy choice, we have been here 8+ years and have essentially raised our family here, but we see God redirecting our steps to life in the US. We believe and have been counseled that true healing can only come away from our current location.


Geographical Juxtaposition:
Google maps helps to illustrate the re-entry transition that we will experience!

Our plan is to move to Colorado Springs and live with Marillyn’s parents, Wayne & Brooke Goranson, for a season. Wayne recently took over the pastorate of Calvary Chapel Truth North. Prior to the news of Oscar’s betrayal, they had rented a large enough home with space to host our family for our extended furlough. God knew our stay would be longer. In the Goranson’s new church Body, there is also a family counselor who not only has 40+ years of experience specializing in sexual abuse cases, but was also a missionary in Mexico for a season. God new our need for healing before this tragedy arose. Also, just north of Colorado Springs is a ministry that is dedicated to the training of missionaries, both in the preparation of sending them out to the field and the transition of re-entry to life in the United States. A missionary friend of ours in Honduras recently informed me that one of his closest friends is the director of Mission Training International. God new our need in the help with transition.


Evidence that our 9-year-old is a Third Culture Kid.

Again, this decision to return to the United States is not taken lightly. Due to mental, physical and spiritual health concerns, we originally hoped to answer the question of our long-term commitment to Rancho Oasis and Honduras during our extended furlough. However, we feel that God has used the abuse of our children and the death of our horse to confirm that our ministry here is done. Honduras has been our home, so it is very difficult to leave where we have such deep roots & friendships. We have shared the work together and for this we are so grateful for your years of support financially, on short-term visits and faithful prayers!


Papi, Wayne Goranson, & the kiddos!!!
He was already scheduled to visit in June... God knew!!!

So, continue to PRAY for Marillyn & I & our children.  We will be leaving Honduras July 22nd & starting the next chapter of life!!!

The Christian & missionary community in Honduras is amazing!!!

We are in the midst of wrapping up ministry in the trade school and selling off our possessions, the largest being the property! (The 15-passenger van has sold! PTL!) It is all rather stressful, but we have found aid from the Goranson’s, our current intern (Katie) and many local missionaries & friends. PRAY for our current employees as they look for new employment, too! (Katie returned to Stateside on July 7th.)

Linner with Brooke Goranson (center) & Katie Soy (far right).

We have recently moved offsite and are living nearby in a friend’s furnished home. This not only allows a sense of security for my family but allows buyers to take our worldly possessions without having to wait for us to depart. (Things like our stove, washer & dryer, couches, beds, etc.)


View of Tegus from our "temporary home" during our 2-week hiatus in the capital.

Thank you again for your understanding, prayers and financial support! God is with us in the midst of these trials and changes. He is our living hope!




We love you and are so grateful for our partnership!!!


Carrying one of our goats to her new owner!


Saturday, June 2, 2018

April / May '18 Review: HEALTH

Ranch Life

While studying through the book of Titus, I came across a “new” word:

Hygiainō – “to be sound, to be well, to be in good health.” (Our modern word, hygene, also, has its origin in this Greek root.)

In context, it is used metaphorically “of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error.” (See Titus 1:13)

My perspective regarding “to be in good health” has grown & expanded. I am in the “middle years” of life and I am an “experienced” missionary, father & husband. Also, as a disciple of Christ, I have learned that “to be sound” must include a holistic approach: mind, body & soul.

Honestly speaking, “to be well” has been one of our greatest challenges on the mission field. There has been a tendency to “pour oneself out” to the variety of needs that confront us in Honduras, without thought of its effects on our wellness: mind, body and soul as individuals, a married couple and a family, let alone as a ministry.


Recently this was dramatically brought to mind as two separate friends on two separate occasions made the same comment to us; essentially, that as long as they have known us (2+ years) Marillyn and I live in survival mode, as opposed to a thriving mode.

Yes, of course, “we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13), but there are also natural laws & effects of cultural differences, marital challenges, life stages, family development and ministry growth; namely, STRESS!!!

Jesus summed it up nicely in his divine, humanity: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matthew 26:41)


So, how do we get back to thriving in life, in marriage, in family and in ministry???




Mini-vacation with missionary friends in El Salvador:
70% missionary discount!!!

#1 – We take some time to heal. 

Since entering my 40’s my body has not been the same. Alarmingly, so! Stress has taken its toll on mind, body & soul. Both Marillyn and I are working with a licensed nutritionist to help restore our physical health knowing that the mind & soul will also improve. It is a long, slow & costly venture. We are looking for people to help sponsor our physical recovery. Please contact us for specific costs, if you would like to help financially.


Supplemental Help!

We will also be taking an extended furlough in the Fall / early Winter with an emphasis on our “Hygiainō” (See definition above, wink-wink!) We have been generously blessed with tickets to the US of A and want to focus on our recovery, so that we can be thriving wherever God is calling us to serve Him!



International School of Tegucigalpa (IST) 8th Grader Overnight

#2 – We focus on what we love & what God has gifted us in.

Our ministry outreach in 2018 has narrowed; essentially, we are ministering in only one area of outreach: the trade school. Our desire in 2018 has been to prepare for the equine therapy ministry at the Ranch, but have struggled to stay focused. The daily grind of life in Honduras, running an existing Ranch and homeschooling don’t leave much energy for building a new ministry outreach: the infrastructure (proper riding areas, fencing, etc.) and the methodology. Your prayers are coveted deeply in this area.


Navidad en Mayo!
Prepping for December sales.

We do see God moving to help us specifically with the horse therapy as a friend’s short-term mission team is coming alongside to build fencing in June and a Honduran friend has introduced us to a Christian horse therapy ministry in the States whose leaders are planning to come in August to give us some hands-on training. God is faithful to complete the work He has started at Rancho Oasis!!!

God has also rekindled a passion for teaching His word by opening up opportunities for me to preach. I recently shared three messages at an 8th grade end-of-the-year overnight retreat and have begun teaching through the book of Titus (CLICK TO LISTEN) at our English speaking fellowship in Tegucigalpa! It has been a real joy and pleasure to exercise my spiritual gifts in this way! (On a side note, Union church has selected a new head pastor. He & his wife will be joining the church sometime in August!!! PTL!!!) I am also lined up to teach at a Spanish speaking youth retreat in July then the annual Missionary Kid camp in August! Pray for the seeds that are planted to bare fruit!


HFMM Region #6 "Missionary Spotlight" Collage

We have also enjoyed building community with other missionaries in our area as the Regional Reps for the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries. I am in weekly contact with local missionaries about their ministries in order to put together a simple "missionary spotlight" to share with all of the missionaries in our region. It has been building fellowship and prayer amongst us... poco a poco.



#3 – We partner with those in ministry who have God-given gifts & strengths where we do not. 

Over the years, Marillyn and I have “worn many hats” at Rancho Oasis. We have realized the hard-way that this is not sustainable, nor healthy for us or the ministry at RO4Y. I see that I am the “healthiest” when I am ministering in my gifts via discipleship and teaching. For us to thrive at Rancho Oasis, this needs to be my primary focus. However, we are still at the beginning stages of our property and there are many buildings and projects to complete. We did receive another very generous donation from Bloomingdale Church to finish CDA, but we need someone to manage the final stages of construction...



We have begun to pray and make our need know for an individual, couple or family to co-labor with us at the Ranch as a “Property & Project Manager.” Essentially, we need someone to run the ranch of the Ranch, while we cultivate the spiritual oasis of Rancho Oasis. If God is not done with RO4Y, we know He will send the right people at the right time to accomplish His vision for this ministry! Pray, PRay, PRAY!!!



Daddy Dates

Mamas & Macaroons!!!

#4 – We focus on the foundation of the Ranch: our family and marriage. 

We have recently experienced a devastating blow to our family and ministry that I am not at liberty to discuss publicly. The damage is just beginning to be uncovered and it will take a lifetime of healing & grace. PRAY for us as we walk through the stages of grief and seek out the appropriate means of healing, recovery & justice. Our lives will never be the same, again.





Mango Madness
"Taste & see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8 NIV 

Finally, I want to end on a encouraging note and with a deep sense of gratitude for all those who have sacrificed time, money and vacations to build up the ministry and impact of Rancho Oasis. 

Last Fall we made a call for increased monthly support. Many responded, but in January our largest supporting church drastically reduced their monthly donation, shrinking our monthly “income” by over 20%. However, the Lord has moved on many individuals and churches and they have nearly made up the difference. 

Please continue to pray for the ministry’s financial needs and ask the Lord if he wants you to be involved. Our goal is still to gain another $500 in monthly support. Every donation no matter the size helps and bonds us together for the spreading of the Gospel in Honduras and beyond!


Thank you all for your faithfulness over the years!!! 

To God be the glory!!!


"From ashes to beauty..."



Saturday, April 7, 2018

March '18 Review: NEW LIFE


“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom."
- Helen Thompson


The Goal: One of the many books that is giving insight & direction to our future focus.

PRAY for us as we continue to move forward on this new horse therapy adventure! Sometimes the tasks before us (building a paddock, properly leveling & RE-building the ridding ring, creating a horse therapy program & equipping ourselves with the knowledge to "do this right") seem overwhelming! 

BUT imagining what the end result will be keeps us moving forward! 

Like the time our friends from Tegucigalpa brought their children to the Ranch from their children's home (a.k.a. orphanage). It was a fun day outside the city playing and enjoying God's creation, including the horses... click & scroll to the bottom of the link.

Horse & child: a unique bond.
There was one girl in particular who was very standoffish and stoic. Somehow Marillyn convinced her to "come out of the shadows" and groom Zoeva. Something was beginning to happen in this mundane task. Soon after, Marillyn began giving pony rides to the children and, again, miraculously got this emotionally damaged little girl on the back of Zoeva. Slowly her hard exterior began to fall away.

Not long after her ride, our friends approached us and asked, "What did you guys do????"

We weren't sure what they were referring too, but we were nervous!

With tears in her eyes, our friend described that that was the first time in nearly a year of working & living with this young girl that they had seen her smile and heard her laugh while she was riding Zoeva! They were in awe and many months later told us that that experience was the start of the healing process for that little girl.

This is what we hope to recreate again and again with our horses: Jesus & His creation!

PRAY!!!


Cross frame building & paper-bead varnishing.

PRAY for the creativity, sales & direction of the trade school.
PRAY for the new students to grow their skill & Marillyn to direct that growth.

PRAY for spiritual growth & maturity in their lives.


Bi-weekly Bulk shopping in Tegus


Rancho Oasis: 1 - Rancho Ebenezer: 4
Silliness with missionary friends at the Beard-B-Q

PRAY for wisdom & direction in our role as the Region Six Representatives of the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries. We are so grateful to be able to give back to a local ministry that has meant so much to us during our time in Honduras: from the annual missionary retreat to the one-on-one counseling sessions and the countless friendships that have formed since 2010!

Semana Santa Missionary Beard-B-Q

PRAISE for a wonderful day together
at the 3rd Annual Missionary "Beard-B-Q."
  
The Ranch provides us the unique opportunity to bless our fellow friends and missionaries, many of whom live in the urban jungle of Tegucigalpa. Hosting 80+ people was a little crazy, but a lot of fun!!! 



Another year completed & another ice cream flavor checked off this list:
"One Night in Bangkok Sundae"
Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams


PRAISE for the countless blessings (and trials) that the Lord has brought my way over the last 41 years! Thank you all for standing by us and continually lifting us up in prayer! 


It's a crappy job, but somebody has to empty the Bio-digestor!

PRAY for us as we work through this transitional period of life & ministry at the Ranch. I, Jon, was once the lead voice at RO4Y directing the Bible study outreach and soccer programs, but now I find myself in a supportive role helping with our kids' homeschooling and assisting Marillyn with the equestrian ministry & trade school. It is ALL GOOD, just different!


Easter Services at our English speaking fellowship in Tegus:
Union Christian Church

PRAY for our English speaking fellowship in Tegucigalpa. We are still in search of a new head pastor! In the meantime, I have volunteered to do some teaching through the book of Titus and have been given a few dates in May. PRAY that God would give me the humility and wisdom in preaching to our beloved congregation of missionaries, embassy workers, bi-lingual school teachers and a hodge-podge of English speaking Hondurans and foreigners!


Trampoline Therapy: a.k.a. "Kids get out of the house & burn off some energy!!!" 

PRAY for our TCK's (Third-Culture Kids)! God has gifted us with some truly amazing children! PRAY for us as parents! This summer we will also be participating in our first MK (missionary kid) Camp: Marillyn is in charge of the kitchen for 100+ kids and I will be the main speaker! 


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
-2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)


PRAISE the Lord for His faithfulness through you,
our beloved support team!

Continue to PRAY for God's strength,
wisdom & provision!!!


Please note our new US / Colorado mailing address below:

Rancho Oasis for Youth
6547 Academy Blvd #472

Colorado Springs, CO
80918

Saturday, March 3, 2018

February '18 Review: PERSPECTIVE


Watching Mati... who's watching mommy... who's watching Nedo.

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it 

brings us in contact with the rare elements of 

grace, beauty, spirit and fire.”

-Shannon Ralls Lemon


Tabitha: learning with/on Nedo.

That quote is perfectly said. Horses first captured my heart when I, Marillyn, was 7 years old. They’ve been a soothing balm to my heart & soul growing up as a deaf girl trying to find her way in a big world. Horses have pushed me, in their own gentle way, to better myself and believe I can do anything I set my mind to... even when the world tried to tell me I couldn’t because of being deaf.


Naomi & Nedo: riding the rail.

Fast forward to adulthood... it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve worked closely with horses. To be honest, I grew discouraged and was starting to give up the dream of doing equine therapy. The process of getting Nedo has re-awakened my dreams and was nothing short of a miracle! Slowly, and somewhat cautiously, I feel my heart’s desires being revived. The Lord has used these magnificent animals to shape me to be the person that I am today and it’s my heart’s desire to see others be impacted by these horses as much as they’ve impacted me. I am looking forward to the continuing process of being shaped by the Lord through this guy and other horses we believe will join us in the years to come!


Feliz dia de amor e amistad!

My core group of gals SURPRISED me with

some late Valentines gifts today. 

Honestly, I didn’t expect that!!!! 


Sisters Tatiana & Yahaira work with their cousin & new student, Lorena.

This is a FIRST and just what I needed to know that I am appreciated & loved by them... because, quite frankly, I often wonder if they think I’m just some crazy, deaf gringa speaking Spanglish {which... I am} but, really, I do struggle and wonder. Especially with all the cultural difference I’ve had to wade through and all the things I’ve had to learn the hard way and all the humble pie I’ve had to swallow over the years as we build up our trade school... But, amazingly, it’s been worth AAALLL the struggles, questioning, frustrations, and tears just to see their beautiful smiles while they presented me their gifts.


Daddy Fun Day: movie & a pizza!

 “Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
-Andy Stanley


Poema: my very special pupil!


Tobias: learning to read!



Annual Missionary Retreat or Bust!!!

8 Y E A R S ago, we moved from the hot 

tropical beaches & mountains of Costa Rica to 

the cool, pine covered mountains of Honduras.


To be honest... if God would have let me make a list of countries that I would want to live in and gave me the choice of where I would go, Honduras would not even come close to being on that list... and He knew that. There have been {many} times over the years, when life got especially hard, I’ve asked God “Why are we here?!” and begged Him to move us somewhere else... yet, He has kept us firmly here.


Hosting our first regional missionary meeting as recently elected reps!

When we first moved here, He gave me this... “I am not promising you that life will be easy, just that it will be worth it” and a recent devotion (February 27th) from #NewMorningMercies was exactly that... My life is not good because it is easy or predictable, but because the I AM has invaded my existence by His grace.


Soul Care: leading worship at the conference with my buddy, Ken.

Why did God send us into Honduras? He did it because He knows that sometimes we need the storms/trials in order to be able to see the glory. For us believers, peace is not to be found in ease of life. Real peace is only ever found in the presence, power, and grace of the Savior, the King, the Lamb, the I AM. That peace is mine even when the storms of life {aka Honduras} take me beyond my natural ability, wisdom, and strength. Now... I can live with hope and courage in the middle of what once would have produced discouragement and fear because I know I am never alone. The I AM inhabits all situations, relationships, and locations by His grace.
-
He is in me.
-
He is with me.
-
He is for me.
-

He is MY HOPE 


"Great is thy faithfulness, Oh Lord."

My L I F E verse...

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong {dynamite}
2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Please continue to stand in prayer with us 

about our ministry outreach,

 finances and family.


We love you guys!!!


Soul Care: a morning hike & prayer