We're probably worrying over nothing, but please entreat the Lord to protect these precious children from the irresponsible acts of the Honduran government!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Please join us in prayer for Rosa, Cesar, & Pedro (siblings) who have been ordered to appear at the IHNFA (child welfare) Office tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for a visit from a family member. We've not been told who the family member is or what the nature of the visit is. When we asked if they were going to take these three like they did Gershon, Karen, & Jesus they told us, "no, it's just a visit." But that's what they told us the last time also.
THE HOUSE: Will & I went back to work on the house we started w/the group from Tullahoma last week and great progress is being made. The walls are up, the plumbing for the bathroom is in, the header is poured, and 3 of the inside walls are stuccoed! We'll return today to work on more of the stuccoing (we're taking Mauricio w/us to give us a hand). It remains brutally hot, tough work; but it's getting done...thanks for all your prayers.
Stuccoing the corner is the tough part
The header is getting the final touches.
Some of the plumbing for the bathroom
Remember each block is 3.3' long!
Tuesday night we had a tornado-type storm here that knocked out our electricity about 5:00 p.m. and worse yet caused flooding throughout our house....every window in the house leaked water (they don't bother to caulk around anything down here)...the wind was literally blowing the rain sideways and the lightning was illuminating the entire sky.
We mopped, and mopped, and mopped, and then we mopped some more. Finally the rain subsided and we got ahead of the leaks, but every towel, blanket, and rag in the house had been used to stuff in the windows to slow down the in-coming water. Oh, did I mention it felt like an oven...no fans, no air, no lights, NO FUN! Finally around midnight the power came back on and everyone gave a shout out to God!!!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Sorry it took so long to get this one to you guys! I had to pick Alba up from her university Monday night then we had a nasty storm last night! So here you guys go!
Tuesday started off as a pretty disappointing day for the team. Halfway to the worksite I watched Bob pull over so I did as well. Bob approached the window and told us we had no work today because they did not have any water! Once again...we were Hondurased!!! Since we could not work that day we decided that it would be the day that the team would go to the hospital and to some poor villages of the city to evangelize. For the team it would turn out to be one of the most emotional days they had ever had in their lives thus far. They witnessed some truly great things and also realized how blessed we really were by God to be raised in the States like we all have.
After receiving the news we turned around and took the team to the house to sort through their supplies for the hospital and for the villages. We divided the team into two groups with Bob and Joyce taking one group to the hospital while Tim and I took the other to a village. The team that went to the hospital were hit hard with some difficult sights. The toughest for most was walking into the ER and seeing a young man that was beaten by a gang crying and screaming in agonizing pain while doctors were working on him. They saw how the hospital lacked resources to perform many of the common yet necessary procedures and I believe that is what surprised most of them. I can't really say much about the hospital because I have yet to personally experience it myself. To tell the truth, I don't know if I want to. Many people that have experienced the hospital's environment say it is horrible and VERY HARD to walk through.
When Tim and I took the groups to the slums, I was excited. I love performing outreach so this was where my heart was for the day. We took the first group to a bordo that is along one of the roads that we take when transporting Mauricio, Angel, and Fabi to school. I did not know what to expect because I had never been to this bordo before. Turns out, it was perfect! Usually when you perform any kind of outreach in a bordo you het swarmed very quickly by large crowds of children and others because they all want what you are giving out. The problem with that is the fact that when it happens it immediately closes any door you have to personally tell the gospel to others. All you can really do is give out tracts and important supplies then leave when your out of supplies. What was so perfect about this site was the fact that it was not a large-scale bordo. It was large but the population itself was not huge. After handing out supplies the group got a chance to go door to door and tell others about the TRUE Christ and about the gospel of FAITH and NOT WORKS. It was truly rewarding for me to watch them.
In the afternoon we took the other team to another bordo and it turned out to be VERY SMALL. We did learn however that there were other Christians there! One in particular was an elderly lady of 76 years who was living in a shack. I learned that she was all by herself and that her husband had died, her children lived far away and the only one that was nearby was a drunkard. She told us that she need a new house which was very hard for me to hear because I did not know what to really do. I told her that I would talk with Bob to see if Cepudo would be able to build her a new house (like the one the team worked on) which unfortunately, they can't. I found out through Bob that the country selects who the houses are built for and Cepudo donates their time in helping build the houses. We prayed with her and thanked her for her strength and the inspiration she was to us. She was a great inspiration because here is a 76 year old woman who has nothing and no family but yet she was keeping her faith. She even told us that she had been praying for years that God would send some "gringos" her way to pray with her! Isn't it awesome how God answers prayer!? I asked her if I could go into her house to check it out and she gave me permission. I'll enclose some photos in this update. I was hard for me to walk through and experience that BUT, what was so cool is that when I walked in I noticed she had a radio on. Guess what she was listening to? A SERMON! I was so amazed! I never expected to walk into a shack like that and hear a sermon being played in one! It really lifted me to see how she keeps her faith in such hard conditions like that!
At the end of the day, God had worked some amazing things out. For me it was the most satisfying day I have ever had down here. The team really had a heart for evangelizing and it was going non-stop all day. It was truly amazing watching them.
I've got my return flight back to Honduras scheduled thanks to my home church of Tellico. I'll return to Honduras on July 15th and my next flight out will not be until the 19th of January. I'm not sure if I will return to the states or not on the 19th though. I'll have the process of applying for my residency started before then and I will only have to pay $20 a month to renew my visa. So this may be the last visit for me to the states for a long time. To tell the truth, I am actually excited about going to the States this time. I talked with my mom via skype a month ago and before I hung up she told me she loved me. That felt so good to hear that. You never really miss people saying that to you until you don't hear it anymore. I am super excited to see my family, friends, and pastor again. Thank you all for your prayers and your support. Whether it be monetary or emotional. You are all truly awesome!
Part 3 next!
"One of the groups in one of the bordos"
"Andy Stallings telling the kids about Jesus"
"Old ladies house 1"
"Old ladies house 2"
Hola mi familia en Jesus Cristo! This week has been long but truly rewarding! I enjoyed every minute of it.......well, except the times Bob, Joyce, and I had to make 25+ PB&J sandwiches every morning. :)
This week we hosted a wonderful and close-knit team from First Baptist Church of Tullahoma, TN. These guys were fantastic! They were an absolute blast to be with. I have never seen such a strong group of believers...especially, their youth! When the time came for them to leave I did not want them to go. I can not tell all of you how great it was to have fellowship with other individuals 24/7 that spoke English!
The reason why I have the title of this update labeled "pt. 1", is due to the fact that I had a lot of thoughts throughout the week and I am aiming to share all that I can during the course of this week in separate e-mails.
So whats for part 1? Here we go:
We had to pick Tim up an hour or so before the team arrived in the airport. Turns out, both flights were delayed due to storms in Miami so we had to wait longer than what was expected. By the time the night was over we had the team and Tim at the hostel around 12:30 A.M. After all the delays and setbacks of the day I had a feeling this was going to be an awesome week!
For Day 1 of the week we all met up at the hostel around 7 A.M., had our morning devotions, then headed to the worksite. We had the family van, a rented van, and the big red machine. Guess who was driving the truck? ME. :) To be honest I was kind've nervous the very first morning because I had never driven the truck through morning traffic and as far as I did. By the time we arrived to the worksite, I enjoyed every minute of the morning drive. Fortunately...so did the individuals riding with me! YES!!!!
We were expecting a lot of work at the job site and we were pretty surprised when we realized how much work we were really in store for when we arrived. We started the day off by using hoes trying to prepare the land to dig the footers and that took FOREVER!!! I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed that part even a bit! That was brutal! The ground was super hard and it took all day before the footers could be dug. Halfway through the day Tim, Bob, 2 members from the team, mauricio and I had to head out to the city to pick up some blocks for the house. That was also another big surprise! When we arrived, we discovered that the place that sold the blocks didn't have any (we were Hondurased)! Since they were out of the blocks, we had to drive all the way to the other side of the city. When we arrived we learned that they had the blocks....it just took an hour and a half for the foreman that was with us to set it up to where we could pick the blocks up (literally) and deliver them. On the way back Joyce informed called Bob and informed him that the team at the worksite had to leave because there was nothing else they could do. The heat was just getting to everybody and there was no more work that could be done until the footers were dug. Two locals were going to take care of that. When the 6 of us returned to the site, we had to unload the blocks from the big red machine and I enjoyed that part! That was the end of Day 1. Day 2 in part 2!
God bless guys and thank you all for your prayers and support! You guys are awesome!
Dios Te Bendiga!!!
"These aren't Legos we played with"
"Tim poking away"
"Wee-man hulking out (Caution: WILL STRIKE)"
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We picked up the report cards for Mauricio & Fabiola today and they joined younger brother, Angel, on the honor roll!!! To realize how big an achievement that is you need to remember that this is there first year ever in a bi-lingual school and that just two years they didn't speak a word of English. Now in their first year in an "English-only" school they are on the honor roll!
Great job Angel, Mauricio, & Fabiola....we're all very proud of you and of what God's done in you.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
One week later, much hard work has passed, many exciting sights, sounds, smells experienced, and life-long friends have been made. Now the team from FBC Tullahoma is on their way home. They have left an indelible mark on the country, the people, and on our family! Andy and his 'team' were stalwarts in every sense of the word; spiritually and physically!
We hate to see you go and can't wait to have you back again....be blessed,
Bob, Joyce, Will, Tim, Fabi, Mauricio, Rosa, Antonio, Cesar, Angel, & Pedro
Monday, June 20, 2011
Last night we welcomed a 21 person team from FBC Tullahoma, TN. They had a long, tough day...leaving Nashville very early in the morning and not arriving here until 10:00 p.m. Actually it was after 11 before they got out of customs and after 12 midnight before they got their room assignments and could head to bed.
Today we begin building a house for a handicapped young man and I expect to see many yawns (mostly mine) along the way. The team will build the house from the ground clearing to the roof, conduct VBS', and visit a local hospital. Lots of work ahead and lots of enthusiasm to 'jump right into it'.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Today Joyce came back home so today we concluded the celebrating of the day that God saved the children from Alzira (the orphanage they were in). So what did we do? We took them to a waterpark named "Wonderland". Here are some pics from today:
Cesar climbing a pole
Fabi was caught off-guard
"Angel....Easily Entertained As Usual"
Buenas mi familia!
Other than the heat, things here have been pretty good besides some constant problems from three of the children. Myself...I earned the name "Senor Madre" during the past two weeks! When Joyce left I was a little worried about filling her shoes for two weeks but she took care of some things to make it a wee bit easier and I can tell you now that I feel much more confident about having to "take control" if Bob and Joyce are ever blessed with an opportunity to take a trip back home (which they need desperately). The only problem would be the cooking part.....
...Grilled cheese sandwiches aren't so bad. :)
Sunday we have a team of 21 people coming in and I am excited to see how the rest of the week goes. The team is from First Baptist Church of Tullahoma, TN. It is the church's youth group (along with some parents) and they are coming primarily to build a house for the poor, perform some VBS's, and to minister to a local hospital. Tim is also coming down to help out too so I'm pretty excited about that.
Mauricio, Fabiola, and Angel performed great on their final's and are now out of school until August. This is their favorite time of the year because they really enjoy ministering with other teams especially Fabiola. Fabiola and Angel will also be taking summer courses to improve their English.
I return to the States on July 6th and so far I have 3 meetings with pastors lined up. I will also present on the 10th at my church (FBC Tellico) and I am pretty excited about that. They have really helped me through the process of being a missionary and I owe them a presentation.
As I mentioned in the last update, Alba and I continue to grow closer together. I continue to "impress" her with my Spanish and we are communicating really well. There are a few times when my brain just has a meltdown and I can't speak or listen but those moments are beginning to be rare. The last week or two we have been able to have some time together but the next few weeks are going to be difficult. The team comes in Sunday afternoon and will not leave until the 25th so I will not be able to see her at all that week. The following week we might be able to have a day or two to be together but then I fly out shortly after.
As far as my airfare to return back to Honduras goes...it still is not set in concrete but I hope to return on July 15th. I have to be back by the 18th because Bob and I have to go drill up in the mountains for a young couple that runs a ministry that produces Honduran missionaries who go out to minister to their own people. Pray for the airfare please. The plan is to schedule a flight back for the 15th and a return flight back to the States in January. Joyce brought back my police records which are needed to begin the process of my residency. If I can begin the process of my residency I need only to go to immigrations once a month and pay $20 or $30 a month in order to renew my visa instead of having to fly in and out of the country every 90 days. If the "residency" thing does not work I'll drive to the Guatemalan border every 3 months and renew my visa that way.
Thank all of you for praying and those of you who give. You guys are changing the lives of these children and helping them to be molded into the "life-changers" God plans them to be. Thank you for praying for this family and thank you for your faith.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
We received a call early this morning that our anchor, Joyce, would not be returning to us today. That's not good news for us...we all miss her and were looking forward to her return, but there was an electrical storm in Knoxville that prevented her plane from coming in. Now she will be returning tomorrow and we will be even more excited to see her. Please pray she has safe travel.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Today is June 11th! What is so special about this day you ask? This day is the 2 year anniversary of the day that Jesus pulled the children out of the horrible orphanage that they were in and started the process of molding them into the life-changers that He wants them to be. Within an instant, they went from experiencing many horrible things on a daily basis to experiencing love of not just us...but the love of God.
On this day, we want to tell all of you "THANK YOU". Those words are constantly used by everyone in this world and often times, there is no heart in the saying. We can assure you, that when we say "THANK YOU"...we mean it. Because of YOU, these children are becoming those life-changers that God wants them to be. Bob, Joyce, and I know with all of our hearts that God has a HUGE plan for these children. Because of YOU, these children are hearing and learning about God's WORD on a daily basis. Because of you they are affecting the lives of other's right now. Because of you...they have a future, a hope, love, strength, personality......FAITH. You are helping these children see that there is more to life than what this world portrays. Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations and you are doing just that through these children.
Thank you Jesus for choosing these children!
Thank you Jesus for placing these children in our lives!
Thank you Jesus for those who have helped us and continue to help us disciple these children!
Thank ALL of YOU who are playing such a vital role in the lives of these children by your prayers, visits, monthly support, love, and FAITH.
Even though some of you may not realize it...you will one day change the country of Honduras forever through the sowing into of the lives of these children.
Below we have included some pictures of the cake and the 7 AND some "Before/After" photos in order for you to see the physical changes in these children that you allowed to occur through your love and prayers:
"Celebrating The Anniversary With A Cake!!!"
"Close up of the Cake"
Friday, June 10, 2011
Since the kids did not have school this morning, something awesome and wonderful transpired. I got to sleep until 6:10 in the morning! I feel so good that I think I can walk right up to a bull, slap him on the butt....TWICE.....and live.....
Watch out Honduras!!!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Fabi, Mauricio, and Angel all concluded their school year today and the joy is already echoing around the house (when will school start again?). They finished strong and we will have their final grades on Monday.
Rosa, Antonio, & Cesar didn't have school today and won't have it again until Monday...one of their teachers got killed and school has been cancelled until next week. You know they're celebrating as well...remember, it doesn't matter why you get out of school, just that you get out!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This week has been pretty busy. Joyce went back to the states Tuesday for a much needed break to see family and to get refreshed. Please continue to pray for her as she travels to from Pennsylvania back to Tellico later this week. As for Bob and I, the week has been interesting. We continue to have problems with Antonio and have had a few with some of the other children as well. For Antonio, he continues to be blatantly disobedient in school and at home. As we disciplined him throughout the week, his acts of disobedience grew and grew in terms of severity. So much so, that he he picked holes in the wall with his toes while being told to sit in the corner. Pray for Antonio and pray that God gives us the wisdom to deal with Antonio accordingly when he is disobedient because we really do not know what to do.
Angel, Mauricio, and Fabiola have final's this week and they have all been studying pretty hard. Their final day is Thursday. Pray that they perform exceedingly well on their exams and finish the year strong.
For myself, it continually blows my mind how drained you can be at just 7 in the night. From 5 in the morning to 6:30 at night...it is non-stop. I never imagined that at the age of 25 I would be raising 7 kids and be struggling to stay awake at 7 in the night. Everything from the mental wear to the heat and humidity that just beats down on you continually wears you out.
Alba and I continue to grow closer together. She is truly a remarkable woman that loves Christ and has a strong faith. I really enjoy being with her. It is difficult to find the time to be together sometimes because of her schooling but when we can be we have a great time. She has examinations this week so please pray for her.
1. Please pray for a lady named Robin. She has been serving Christ in Haiti for a long time and now needs a new kidney. Pray that God heals her or provides her with a new one.
2.. Pray for Joyce and her travel not only to Tellico but for her return flight back to Honduras.
Your brother in Christ,
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Well it's four days without Joyce, our 'glue', and we're still keeping our heads above water. Today we had French toast for breakfast...now, I realize for all you guys out there who cook that's not worth mentioning, but someone who's never cooked in his life it's a big deal...and furthermore, they asked for seconds!!! I'm a pancake master, but this was my first foray into the French Toast area.
The kids jumped into action after breakfast with brooms, dustpans, and mops in their hands they began cleaning the entire house. That must've been some special French toast. They really did a great job: every room, the stairs, the porch outside including raking the lawn! Maybe I have to give them a special breakfast every morning.
Next week is "finals" week for the Good Seed kids so that means lots of studying this weekend. We're hoping to close out their school year with a big bang. They've been on a roll this quarter and if they can just finish strongly it will have been a great year for them.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Chicken Little is alive and well...it seems as if the sky may be falling...Joyce is home in TN. where we found out the central heat & air unit is out or about to be out, there is sand in the plumbing lines, the well is allegedly too low, the dogs have skin problems, and here in Honduras Antonio is driving us nuts, our large air conditioner is down, the printer is down, Skype is down, and the computer is only working sporadically!
Anyone doubt the presence of spiritual warfare???
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Please lift Antonio up in your prayers...he is on a terror streak that's almost one month in length and nothing we try seems to have any effect. He is beginning to dominate other members of the family and to manipulate them to the point that it's becoming a major problem. We need God to step in quickly.