|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!)
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…
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!