Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missing our Anchor...

Joyce is leaving today to spend 15 very much needed days in the states. She hasn't been stateside since last January and the daily grind here is taking its' toll on her. She needs to get some peace and quiet and she wants to visit her mother, who is 92.

While in the states she will be driving from TN. to PA. to visit her mother so please pray for travel mercies for her and that she will still get some 'down time' at our home in TN.

She is glue that holds us together here and she will be missed, but we are thrilled that she has this opportunity to get refreshed; however, brief it may be. Thank you for praying for her.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will's Update pt. 2 5/28/2011

In part 1 I talked about the 3 paraplegic children of Eliadora. Here are my thoughts on Eliadora.

I do not know how old she is but she appeared to be in her late 30's early 40's. Physically she looked tired. It is just her and her 4 kids. They live in a 2 roomed concrete shack with a tiny bathroom. Some things that really hit me about her was the fact that she has stuck by the sides of the these 3 kids for 21 years now. In my opinion, she is a perfect example of a mothers love. In a country like this the usual answer is to just dump the children off somewhere or just let them die. Eliadora has raised and loved these 3. For me it is hard to imagine. Raising three children that can not talk to you...just cry. Children that can not give you a hug, a kiss, unable to show any form of affection towards you. She could easily abandon them (especially when that is what the culture does) but she won't. If I was in her position, I could honestly see myself asking God, during the 21 years I have been raising them, "please take them. Let them die Lord. I can't take it anymore and I can't stand to see them suffer." I can only imagine the quiet strength that she has in her heart. She is truly a testament of motherly love. In a way, she is a prisoner in her home. She can not go out and relax, take a vacation, visit friends and other family. She is tied to that house because the three can not leave it. Try to imagine all of your privileges to go and do as you please having been taken away. Losing all of your social life. Can you imagine living like that? To be honest, when you see her and her children, you find yourself asking:"Why?" "Why, God, would you allow this to happen?"

I'm not having doubts about God or anything like that...but, those are questions that I can guarantee you would find yourself asking if you were to visit her.

We take a lot for granted in our lives. We fail to see the many blessings that God has given us. Even the big things that we view as small. To be honest, I can't think of a time I ever thanked God just for giving me the ability to talk, move, see, etc. Things that God could easily take away.

Joyce leaves Tuesday. Please pray for her safety and refreshing. Pray for the many victims and families of victims that were affected by the tornadoes and floods in the states.

Thank you all for reading. God bless!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Worm begins to turn...

Well...the culture is beginning to strike back at us...I got the truck back from the accident and it is paid for so I'm good to go there. I also gave the mechanic the total amount of his bill on the estimate for the repair of the other truck. Now he tells me he has a problem...he says the insurance company didn't allot him enough money.

When he goes into to detail on why I need to give him more money he loses me in the Spanish so he says I need to bring Mauricio with me and we will talk. Now, I could use your prayers...I may not understand perfect Spanish, but I think I understand when someone is trying to work me for more money; and I don't take kindly to it!!! Pray I won't lose my testimony when he tells me I have to pay more!

This is one of the biggest stresses of living in these countries...even the 'good guys' end up trying to work you for more! It really gets old after a while and right now I'm not in the mood for it, if you know what I mean.

It's amazing sometimes how quickly Satan counterattacks: after a great day of evangelizing yesterday, we get the 'full frontal' this morning. It will all work out in the end, but you have to know I'd like a 'free pass' just for a day so I could handle this in my flesh. Prayerfully, I will not do that. Stay tuned for the continuing saga.....................

Monday, May 23, 2011

Will's Update 5/23/2011 Pt.1

Today Bob, Joyce, and I took some food, pampers, and other supplies to some neighbors and a mother who struggles with a heavy, heavy, heavy burden.

The visit to the family was pretty cool. They live about 2 blocks down from us and they run a small pulperia that sells little knick knacks or fruit drinks. They have no home, just the small shed that they use for the tiny snack shack. We gave them a box of rice, instant potatoes, cereal and other things. After some talking, they informed us that they were Christians too. The wife even brought out one of their bibles.

After leaving the pulperia, we went to a village named Ocotillo. Ocotillo is on the outskirts of the city. I was really excited after this visit and I could not wait to see what would happen with the next stop. We had a large bag of things to give to a woman named Eliadora and the bag was from a fellow missionary who regularly ministers to her and her. Unfortunately, they could not make the delivery due to an unexpected and serious health problem. Turns out that Bob and Joyce actually met Eliadora a few years ago so they already knew where she lived and about her circumstances. Before we arrived, Bob and Joyce filled me in about Eliadora and her circumstances. Eliadora has 4 children. 3 of these children are quadriplegics. I had no clue, that this visit would have such an impact on my heart in the way that it did.

When we arrived to Eliadora's house I got out of the vehicle and grabbed the large bag of goods. I was excited. Excited about the fact that I was being used by God to minister to this woman. That excitement was quickly and unexpectedly knocked out of me when I entered her home and met her 3 kids. It was as if someone balled up their fist and punched me right in the stomach and then blindsided me. I was taking pictures and videos during the first visit in order to show you guys what transpired. I had planned to do the same during this visit, but all I could do was put the camera in my pocket. We talked with Eliadora for a few moments then she had to move the kids to the living room because it was getting to hot in their bedroom.

The ages of the three were 21, 19, and 16. She placed her first child on a worn down and ragged wheelchair the pushed him out. As he came into my view all I could do was bottle up what was building up inside of me. She placed him on a small steel-framed couch that had tightly bound, plastic strings which served as the body of the couch. After moving the oldest, she then went back to the room to bring another out. I looked over to the oldest, and saw that he was looking at me. It was painful. What he saw was guy with no health problems. What I saw was an individual trapped in his own body. He is 4 years younger than me yet the physical appearances were drastically different. He literally had no fat on his body. Just skin and bones. His legs and arms were so crippled that they actually seemed to be bound up together. His left leg was bent so much that his leg literally folded over to where his foot touched his abdomen. One eye was solid white and the other was a dark, miserable, black. His teeth were jagged. His whole body looked like a mangled piece of skin. His body was literally like a rock covered with skin. You could see every bone in his body. That image will forever be burned in my mind for the rest of my life.

I couldn't stay. It hurt to see what I was seeing. I held it all in while there. When the time came to finally leave, it all came out in the back seat. Bob and Joyce were talking but I couldn't speak. All I could do was cry and reflect on how blessed I have been by God. While there I felt like I was invading their privacy. I was trying to imagine what the oldest was thinking when he was looking at me. He may have been a prisoner in his own body but he does have a brain. I felt like I was making him miserable by my presence.

I was trying to imagine how I would have felt if I was in his position. Would I have a tremendous amount of anger and hatred towards other people.......towards God? I imagined how I would feel having to wake up every morning and never being able to sit up and look at the sky. Never being able to hold something in my hand. Never being able to hold someone in my arms and telling them I love them. Never being able to tell the ones I love good morning and good night. Never being able to feed myself, drive, have a social life. Never having the opportunity to throw a football. Never being able to talk with my little sister over the phone. Never having the chance to help others or to enjoy the simple things of life such as having a snack or being with your friends. Never being able to serve Jesus. To me, I would ask myself everyday why God made this way. Here I am in a worn down shack in Honduras and a 5'11, 220 lb., blue eyed, healthy, 25 year old gringo walks into my home. The only place that I would feel safe and secure is that shack. The last thing I would want (if I was him) is some gringo from the U.S. that has everything he could want...to walk into my home.

We are so blessed.....a lot of times we forget how blessed we really are.

I know this was a lot but thanks for reading.

God Bless and please pray for Eliadora and her kids.

Service & Outreach...

This morning Will, Joyce, & I took some food, pampers, and other supplies to some needy neighbors and a mother who struggles with an unbelievable burden.

Situated in the middle of some large scale houses in our neighborhood is a tin/board/cardboard/dirt shack that houses a husband, wife, and 7 children! They have a very small and limited pulperia where they sell some items to try to provide for themselves and their children. We stopped by with rice, potatoes, and cereal for them and then spent some time talking to them about the Lord. The first thing we told them was the gifts weren't from us; we were just the messengers. The gifts were from God! We told them God impressed it upon our hearts to bring them something to show them that He hadn't forgotten them. We acknowledged their very difficult lives, but reminded them that in the eyes of a merciful God they were as important as anyone on this earth. We told them these gifts were His way of letting them know He hadn't forgotten them and that if they followed Him one day He would reward them in ways they couldn't imagine. The wife then went into the house and brought out her Bible to show it to us. It was great to just be used by the Lord as proof to them of His love.

The second stop was out in a village called Ocotillo at the home of a woman we met some 5 years ago. Eliadora is a young woman with 4 children; 3 of whom are complete quadriplegics who cannot move or speak. They are 21, 19, & 16 years of age and this mother is literally 'locked' to them as if chained. We were delivering food and diapers from some friends of ours who minister to them on a regular basis, but who, because of illness, were unable to make the delivery. It's some of God's irony because 5 years ago we were part of a group who purchased land for their current home. Please pray for this family whose burden is beyond what I can describe to you. The children are all deformed and just lie there staring. When she picked them up to move them they were stiff as boards...very difficult to see! Pray!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday party, English lesson, & out on the town....

The three kids from Rodolfo Rojas, Rosa, Antonio, & Cesar, are headed out to a birthday party for one of their classmates. That will occupy them for the afternoon, so the rest of us are going out to eat our dinner...you realize going 'out' to eat probably means we'll end up at Wendy's so they can utilize the playground! Not a 'fine dining' experience!

This morning the teller from our bank showed up for an English lesson. I mess with him every time I go to the bank and he keeps asking me to teach him English and today he finally showed up. The good news is that after the lesson we spent about 15 minutes talking about the Lord and what it means to invite Jesus into our hearts. It was a good time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More of the same...

At 6:00 a.m. the kids were sitting on the couch fanning themselves with their hands to try to cool off during Bible study. IT IS OPPRESSIVE!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nothing but heat...

The heat continues to wear us down...the kids were complaining at 5:30 a.m. about how hot it was...and it only gets worse as the day goes on. It's like living in a constant state of sweat!

Yesterday we picked up some benches and chairs for our dinner table. The table is 8' long so it took specially made benches to fill the bill. It is nice to be able to get all 10 of us at the table for each of our meals. We believe it makes a big difference in trying to develop family unity if we can always eat together.

We're hoping to get our truck back this weekend, along with a newly repaired air compressor. Now, if we can get the rig and drilling bits repaired maybe we can get back to some drilling in the near future.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will's Update 05/18/2011

Down here things are hot! I mean HOT! You can't even breathe without sweating like crazy down here! I was raised in Florida so I enjoy the heat....but not when it's so hot you sweat so much that you look like you just got out of the shower.

In the last update I mentioned we had some surprises. One of the surprises was that Bob and I had a bad wreck in the truck. God protected everyone that was involved so everyone came out of the wreck in good shape. I'll enclose a pic. The truck has been in repair for the last week and a half so please pray that it is finished soon because we need the truck in order to pull the drill rig and air compressor to the sites that we need to go to.

In terms of myself, it continues to boggle my mind how much an individual's life changes when they undertake the task of raising children. When I was in the states I was able to wake up at 6 in the morning to head out to work, then stay up to around 11 at night. Now, I wake up at 5:30 in the morning and by 7:30 at night...I AM BUSTED, The mental and physical wear from raising 7 kids is insane! Plus....the heat here in Honduras really just beats you down too! For those of you who are parents my hat is off to you several times a day. Every aspect of raising children is insane. You have to watch every move you make, every word you say, every facial expression you make, how much attention you pay to each kid, and much more.

Joyce will be headed out to the states for the first time since January of 2010. Raising 7 kids, and doing what she does on a daily basis at the age of 70 is hard to comprehend. She will be headed out May 31st and will returnJune 16th. Please pray for her travel when the time comes.

Thank you guys for your prayers and your support! THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Your brother in Christ,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jurassic Park - Honduras...

This morning I was greeted by screams from the cleaning lady of "come help me, there's an iguana in the pila!" For you Gringos a pila is an outside wash station and in this case it's about 2-1/2 feet deep.

First you need to be aware that iguanas will definitely bite you!

Second, you should know that they are absolutely faster than you! This prehistoric critter means business, especially when he's trapped inside a slippery 'pila'.

Third, trying to catch a greased pig would be much easier!

This monster dragon-like animal was in no mood to be messed with...ok, so he wasn't a monster but he was at least two feet long! Ok, ok, so he was two feet long, if you included his tail. But with his lightning speed and the mouth of an alligator he was a formidable foe.

I gathered Will and we headed to the pila to scout out the situation...we weren't making much progress...I put a couple of broom handles down inside the pila, but the monster didn't seem interested in climbing out and every time we would move our hands toward him he would dart about hissing with his mouth in the ready position to bite! After too many squeals from Will and I our cleaning lady decided to come help us get this invader out of our pila. Seizing the opportunity I backed off and gave instructions from afar, as any good general would do! You don't send the generals to front of the battle...it wasn't that I was afraid of this menacing attacker, it's just that someone had to stay calm in this battle and constantly assess the situation!

As the screams continued to come from the pila area I shouted out new instructions from my location on the other side of the pool, but nothing we tried seemed to help. Finally Will came up with the idea of getting a large trash bag and trying to chase this dinosaur-like creature into it. It took a lot of brooms, a lot of jumping back, and a lot more screams; but finally, he was captured. Will carried him out into the street and released him there to reek havoc in someone else's home.

What happens next is anybody's guess...post traumatic stress syndrome, nightmares, hallucinations? Who can tell when something as horrifying as this happens? This is life on the wild side; this is Jurassic Park -Honduras!!!

Remember this photo is taken from high above our attacker and thus he may not look that dangerous to you, but after today we will be purchasing a supply of "Depends"!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday morning, ready to praise...

The kids are up and dressed, the pancakes made and eaten, dishes washed and the table cleaned, adult & children's Bible Studies finished, teeth brushed, and we're ready to go out the door to praise the Lord!

Have a blessed day in Him,
Joyce, Will, Fabiola, Mauricio, Rosa, Antonio, Cesar, Angel, Pedro, and Bob

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh, the joy...

You really haven't lived until you take 5 boys for haircuts in a Honduran barber shop. Throw in Will & I and you have 7 haircuts to set through, not to mention the joy of hearing other Honduran children scream in the small shop. I will say our boys were extremely well-behaved, but it's not a treat I look forward to!

Friday, May 13, 2011

In the caldron...

Nothing to report, but heat, heat, and more heat...and oh yeah, humidity, humidity, and more humidity!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Will's Update 5/10/2011

Hey everyone! I am so sorry that it has been such a while since the last update! I'll try to catch you up to date as much as possible with as little words as possible. :)

For me I have had some surprises both good...and bad.

2 weeks ago Rosa broke her leg and this past Friday she finally had the cast removed. Speaking of Rosa...a few nights ago she once again blew my mind. before she went to bed she came up to me and told me goodnight....then stretched out her arms to me for a hug. A HUG!!!

A !!!H-U-G!!!

That completely melted my heart. I knew right then and there I was now a big part of her life in her eyes. I wanted to cry so bad but I was able to hold back tears. I was walking on sunshine for the rest of the evening. Most of you do not know Rosa so you really have no clue how much of a big deal that really was. It was an immense step for her!

As for the other children... I believe that God has allowed these last few weeks to be without drilling in order for me to grow closer to their hearts. I am making great strides with ALL of them. With Mauricio and Fabiola, the discipleship has officially kicked into high gear with them I believe. Now they really talk with me and open up. For Angel (6) and Pedro(6), they now cling to me as a big brother and as a sort of rock. They climb in my lap, lay on my chest when I am relaxing, etc. I can not describe the feelings that I feel when I see that these two young boys attach themselves to me like two little boys clinging to a big brother or father. For Cesar he is really starting to bond with me little by little. He picks at me and goofs around with me, but his walls are still up in terms of affections. Antonio is still a challenge. He misbehaves then when he is disciplined, he does what he can to get revenge or to just make the day rough for the other children. He is getting better, but still needs to improve his behavior in quite a few areas. In school, home, and church. Please pray for Antonio.

Random thoughts:

1. There is a man in my church back in Tellico Plains. He has 3 daughters. Two go to the church and the oldest attends another with her husband. I can honestly say I now know how much he feels for his 3 daughters. I love all of these kids...but I must confess that my heart is big for Rosa and Fabiola. I love these girls very much. Watching these two girls grow before my eyes makes me want to have a daughter of my own one day. There is nothing that I would not do for these two.

2. My relationship with Alba (mi novia) is growing more and more. All my life, I have always kept up some walls. I have always had my "guard" up. I always made sure to never make myself vulnerable to anything or anyone. When I was with the dearest of my friends (Pat, Tim, Brandon, and Paige), I would disclose to them much of my heart but I never allowed myself to be completeley vulnerable. For the first time in my life....I can make myself vulnerable. When I am with her, I can lower the "drawbridge across the moat" so to speak. She is truly a godly woman. I have never seen anyone my age with the heart that she has for God and for service. Every woman that I was somewhat interested in before always seemed to have a heart for God...but their walks never %100 reflected it. Her walk does.

3. My buddy Tim has joined Wellspring. Pray for him and pray for the work that he will eventually be doing. He is going to be a trip coordinator which means he will be trying to recruit short term mission teams to bring down once a month so that others can have the opportunity to experience what Bob, Joyce, and I are.

4. I have been calling pastors and so far I have two meetings set up for the week in July that I return to the states.

Prayer Request:
I return to the states on July 6 and I will need to schedule a flight back to Honduras and a flight back to the states 90 days from my arrival in Honduras to renew my visa. I've been keeping track of the airfare and the ticket prices are way out of my range. I would like to ask each of you if you could please pray about possibly helping me with the airfare.

Thank you all for your prayers. God is using you to change the lives of many here in Honduras. THANK YOU ALL!


More excellent test scores...

Mauricio & Fabiola each scored 100 on a recent science test...they were the only two to get 100's! A week earlier Fabiola was the only one to receive a 100 on a language arts test! Great job for both of them...they are really trying to do it the right way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Turnaround in school...

Angel, Mauricio, & Fabiola all came home with absolutely glowing report cards today! For Angel that's not even news...he always gets all "excellents" in his pre-K classes. But the other two had gotten themselves into some trouble during the last marking period and had some catching up to do. The big problem was that all of their teachers told us their attitudes were very bad and that they didn't put much effort into anything.

What a change...all over both report cards were remarks like: improved attitude, working much harder, a changed student, doing much better! And the grades reflected the new attitudes! It looks very much like they will both make "High Honor Roll" if they keep up this work level! We are so proud of them!

We talked a lot after the last grade report about changing their attitudes and they stepped up to the plate in a big way! These kids are learning, growing, and maturing in ways we never dreamed!

Thanks for your continued prayers........

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back to status quo...

Things are pretty much back to " normal" around here. Rosa is cast free and almost walking normal, most kids are off punishment (Antonio is mid-week in a week-long discipline), and every one is healthy. We thought we were going to spread a virus among ourselves, but it looks like we got ahead of it and now all seems to be well.

After a week off school for 'Holy Week' the kids are settled back into their routines and doing well in school. The older two, Fabi & Mauricio, particularly seem to be taking it a little more seriously...a tough battle.

Thanks for lifting us in your prayers........the Coders + Will

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day celebration and liberation for another...

Yesterday was a day of treats for everyone! In the morning Joyce was treated to Mother's Day programs at both Good Seed & Rodolfo Rojas schools. Attached you will find a video of the program with Angel...unfortunately the Rodolfo Rojas 'program' was not something that could be videoed. In the video Angel is on the far right.

The other 'treat' was for Rosa...she went to get the stitches out of her leg and to her complete joy the doctor removed her cast and gave her complete liberty! I don't think she's stopped grinning yet!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A little relief, and a lot of fun...

The heat continues to pound away at us, but at last we received some rain today and it's taken some of the humidity away, at least for the moment.

This afternoon we had some great fun...one of our Board members sent us $150 to buy some bibles and this afternoon we purchased 4 and had a blast delivering them to some special friends we've made here.

One of them is the cook at a restaurant where I had been blessed to help one of the waitresses find her way to the Lord. Recently we were eating there and we found out she didn't have a bible...it was a special blessing to give one to her! On our next trip there she told us that the cook had asked her if he could get a bible like she now had...it is a study bible. We had noticed him sitting outside reading his bible every time he had a break. He saw her bible wanted to know if he could have a study bible because there some things he was having trouble understanding. So, this afternoon we took a bible to him...he wasn't there yet so we gave it to another waitress who we had helped to reach out Jesus and as we were leaving she asked if one day she could have one like that. She's a good woman who helped to mentor the second waitress!So, I sent Mauricio and Cesar to the car to get one for her. She was ecstatic when the boys handed her a new bible and her smile lit the room. And finally, the last one was given to our part time cook. One year ago I had spoken with her and she prayed to receive Jesus into her heart. Today I asked her about the church she was attending and she told me it was Catholic....down here that's pretty bad in most cases. Lots of corruption in the church hierarchy. After some discussion about who she can pray to (and not pray to), about who intercedes for her (and who does not) I asked her if she could read and if she had a bible. She said she could read and had a bible, but it was very small and difficult to see. I asked her if she wanted a new one and she beamed! Now she has a new one!!!

It is such a blessing to have the luxury of affecting people's lives in this manner...thanks to all of you!