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..."


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