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!


2 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi John and Marilyn,
So sorry to hear about these trials you are all going through. I am praying for you all. God has wonderful new plans in store for you all and He is taking care of everything as you continue to trust Him. May God bless you all and give you safe travels.
Riva

James Hauck said...

Dear John and Marilyn,

Rest in the palm of the Lord's hand.

Know that He is with working out the details of your lives in advance just as he has done now.

You and the example and high standards that your faithful service to our Lord inspire us every time we think of you.

All that must be done to see you with Brooke and Wayne will be accomplished in a timely fashion.

May the Lord bless and keep you and yours.

We love you all,

Jim & Jane Hauck

Des Moines, Iowa