Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day activities...

After lunch we took our truck and headed into the river to collect some rocks for Joyce's rock gardens, but it wasn't all work...

In Honduras there's even good-looking girls in the trees!

Cesar knows no fear!

Angel says, "Man that was easy!"

Rosa shows us Fabiola's not the only girl who can climb a tree!

Pedro says, "Somebody get me down!"

Mama & the boys brave the rapids!

Yeah, that's right! My waist looks exactly like Mauricio's. Well, maybe not exactly!

Joyce & Jasmine on an adventure!

Jasmine has become the consensus 'queen' in our family!

First you learn to sit on the water; then you learn to walk on it!

Nothing like a day in the river to make a couple of 'oldsters' feel like a couple of 'youngsters'!

Beauty & the Beast: Cast your vote for who's the beauty & please consider my feelings when voting!

Sisters by blood; and now: Sisters in Christ!!!

God's biggest surprise of the day...

The older sister of Fabiola, Mauricio, & Angel has been staying with us since Sunday. Andrea lives in an orphanage outside of town that is a completely agnostic if not atheist environment and therefore has had very little exposure to the gospel. Today the Holy Spirit softened her heart and God called her into 'the body'!

After breakfast this morning Fabiola, Joyce, and myself sat at the table with Andrea and shared the good news with her. We went slowly, a step at a time, beginning in Garden and culminating with Christ's gift on the cross. God had ripened her for us...she was ready and proclaimed her desire to invite Jesus into her heart and to begin to learn to live her life for Him!  When we told her of the party all the angels in heaven were having for Andrea she beamed from ear to ear! What a glorious gift from God this was.

But that's not all...we told her about baptism and the significance of it and told her to think about it and make a decision on her own whether or not she thought she should be baptized. After lunch she told us she wanted to make that public commitment! So, not only did we get the thrill of seeing her invite Jesus into her heart and life, we also got to baptize her!  WHAT A GREAT CHRISTMAS!!!

Getting ready to go under with our 'witness' close by!

Jasmine, our retriever puppy, confirms the old has passed away!

Andrea  comes up a  new creation & Jasmine lays 'paws' on her!

Praise the Lord for the gift of a precious soul!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Rains are back...

It's raining so hard here it's impossible to do anything outside. The road to El Doradito had just gotten graded on Wednesday and now the rains will soften it to where it will once again be morass of potholes! We did get two days of good driving. Now the roof over our second floor 'sala' (living area) is leaking and our entire yard is flooded; and it looks like there is no end to the constant downpour.

The kids were already bored with their vacation from school and now they're trapped in the house with us...anybody want to trade places? We have 6 who will keep you either entertained or aggravated depending how bored they are at the moment.

We're praying not for a white Christmas, but for one dry enough where the kids can hit the outdoors!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Community Center/School/Church & House #23...

In El Doradito the work continues at a ferverish pace! We now have almost completed house # 23 and our much anticipated Community Center which we will utilize as a community social area, micro-enterprise work area, school, & church! We are very excited about this building as it will allow us to take another huge step forward as a real community. And, of course, the house will be a new home for another family that probably thought it was never possible for them. Thanks to God and to all of you who give, and labor, and pray!!!

View from the back with the bathroom yet to be erected.

Front view with the window yet to be installed. Soon this will be the best Christmas gift this family has ever received!

We're hoping we can get the community center ready for a Christmas celebration!

Front view, if you look closely you can see 5 windows and 3 doors!

Back view; this building is 50' long!

Soon to be bathrooms!

A look inside the 'common area'!

Looking from the 'work area' through to the 'common area'!

Inside the 'work area'!

End view of our 30' wide center!

Our center is constructed with reinforced footers and foot pads for the columns so it can hold a second story when the need arises. We simply remove the metal roof and raise the walls on top of the existing structure! Thanks to all who have given and all who have prayed...please don't stop!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My thoughts on Newtown...

It's difficult to know how to address something as heinous as the Newtown massacre, but it must be addressed, it must be written about, it must be discussed among ourselves so that it's never forgotten. This morning I was watching FoxNews' coverage when they simply scrolled the names and ages of the children and adults murdered. Somehow watching that lifeless script roll by indelibly etched the horror in my heart!

How? Why? What's next? How do they recover? How do we as a people, a nation, a world recover? Questions that should be haunting all of us; but I fear too few of us are even thinking about it any longer. We have become a society that is calloused, one that stands back from the fire, one that is quick to 'move on' to something more enjoyable. But if these senseless tragedies are to cease we must take stock of ourselves.

The common response is this is just an isolated incidence, one 'crazy' gone bad, it could never happen here. Tell that to the community of Newton, CT., or Columbine & Aurora, CO., or Virginia Tech, or Jonestown,or the mall shooting in the Northwest, or the families of the 77 murdered in Europe, or countless other shootings that are simply foggy events in the past! 

It can and it will happen "here" if we don't make some changes in our society world-wide. I heard an ex-psychology professor at West Point make the case for movies and video games being one of the prime contributors to these events...and I agree with him. He said that these movies and video games teach children how to kill, how to aim and shoot, how to make bombs, how to break in without getting caught, how to shoot everyone at least twice to make sure they're dead, how to steal cars, how to sell and buy drugs, etc., etc. AND HE'S RIGHT! We need to make manufacturers accurately rate their games and movies, and then we as parents must step up to the plate and enforce them. Too many allow their kids to sit for hours and play video games that are filled with horrific actions because it keeps their child quiet, keeps them occupied, keeps them out of trouble, allows them to do what they want without interruption from their children! 

I think most of us would agree with Proverbs when it tells us we will become like those we hang out with...well your children are hanging with murderers, drug dealers, prostitutes, thieves, mass murders, and more when they are 'occupied' with their video games or movies! I hope this angers some parents, I hope some of you get very angry with me for daring to suggest that you might be responsible for your child's actions; and then, I hope that anger turns into introspection! I hope you decide to make sure your child doesn't become the next one to turn the video game into real life! Look at the backgrounds of the past shooters; all of them spent countless hours on video games! Does your child?

The aforementioned ex-psychology professor at West Point says, "...this is only the beginning; things will get worse if we continue on this path..." Mike Huckabee says we've created a culture of evil, a culture where God is lacking or removed completely. What did we think would fill that void? We've become obsessed with "our rights as individuals" and completely forgotten about the rights of our Creator! 

To the card carrying ACLUers I would say, "We've tried it your way and it's not working!" As a Christian I would tell you it's time we turn back to God, time we put God back in our schools and our homes. Problems in our schools used be gum-chewers or cheaters on tests; now it's mass killings! What's different? Oh yeah, we can't pray, we can't talk about God, we can't even pray SILENTLY! 

We have a God who wants to protect us, to shield us from these onslaughts of evil, but we turn our backs on Him; or we play at honoring Him and then wonder where He is. Don't forget Newtown or all the other tragedies before Newtown. Understand it could very well be your child who is the next mass murderer if you don't get involved with their every actions. Leaving them to spend countless hours alone (while in your house with you) is leaving them to the assaults of evil...and soon enough they may fall into the thought process of the Newtown murderer. 

As I watched the names scroll by I looked at my local newspaper and read that 20 people had been murdered in San Pedro Sula, where we live, just last night. But I can assure you it will not illicit much response from the people here...we are used to it, calloused to it...just as the world is becoming calloused to these mass murders. They are not one time events. There is a history of them, an ever-increasing history of them...what will we do? MAYBE WE SHOULD TRY TURNING TO GOD!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Air Compressor woes....

Just received the bill for the repair of our air compressor: 24,353 Limperas or approx. $1229.00; and that after we purchased the repair part that was needed. Hopefully we can get some wells completed now to help ourselves recoup some of the money. If anyone is looking for a place to sow some Christmas-time funds...here you go!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can you pray for Robin???

Many of you know that Robin Demboski, our Chief Medical Officer, has been suffering from kidney failure for years. Despite her pain and discomfort Robin constantly gave of herself, both in her work at Moffitt Cancer Center and in the foreign missions field..specifically Haiti!

Now her condition has deteriorated to the point where she must use dialysis and she is in constant pain. Recently small cysts on her kidneys began to burst and she had to be hospitalized. She is home now but her pain is constant and unending, prohibiting her from working. Because of this her employer has terminated her work...she no longer has a job and ergo, no income. This is what the world had dealt to a mother who adopted her three children, who cares for a legally blind husband, who was the ultimate care giver at the cancer center, and who sacrificed much personal time and resources to take medical supplies into Haiti and to treat patients who otherwise might not have ever seen a physician or health care professional.

So now we can add incredible amounts of stress on top of the constant pain for Robin. She is tentatively scheduled for a kidney transplant in January. What can we do to help Robin?

  • we can pray for her pain to subside
  • we can pray for her to be healed by divine hands (Jehova Rophe)
  • we can pray the hospital will restore her job
  • we can pray the Holy Spirit sends her "the peace that passes all understanding"
  • we can pray health and strength for her family
  • we can pray the surgery (if needed) will take place as scheduled
  • we can pray she has the strength to endure until that time
And we can ask God if He is leading us to help Robin and her family with their finances...with their bills, groceries, Christmas, medical expenses, etc.  If God quickens your heart to assist Robin financially you may send a check to: Wellspring of Life, P.O. Box 3027, Plant City, FL. 33563 and simply include a note with the name "Robin".  

Your gift will be tax deductible!

Robin has given so much to so many; now is the opportunity for us to give back to her. Not all can give; but all can pray! Let's come together on her behalf and on behalf of her family in a way that lifts her spirits far higher than she might have ever imagined!

Thank you...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rain day...

Up there in the states some of you have snow days. Down  here in Honduras we have "rain days".

Below is a video of one our streets...most of them look like this today!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our first praise & worship ....

On Sunday Mauricio, Cynthia, & Marina led our little church in our very first praise and worship session. It was a great success...we may not yet be ready for 'prime time', but we did make a joyful noise unto the Lord!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Prayers for Will...

Please lift Will in your prayers. He's had a terrible cough and chest congestion for weeks and although he's been taking medication it's not getting any better. He's in bed today trying to get enough rest to fight back. Ask the Lord to do what the meds don't seem to be doing...keep him out of the hospital.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grateful and Proud Family....

Armando, Glendis, and Michael are proud of and grateful for their new home!!!

Imagine how their sense of self-worth soars with their new home!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Here comes home #22...

Last week we hosted Ritchie & Decca Singletary and their friend Barry Cook from Dothan, AL. The first four days of the week Decca worked in the aids department of our public hospital. 'Public' means that the care is almost free, but it also means that the hospital has very little of what a normal hospital has. Supplies are almost non-existent and because of low or no pay the services are very limited, as well.

Meanwhile Ritchie, Barry, Will, and myself busied our selves trying not to get stuck in the mud as we raised house #22 from the foundation to the roof. It was a tough week...trudging through the mud and getting soaked by the rain everyday didn't help, but these guys were determined to build a house and they didn't allow the weather to stop them. By week's end Decca was shoveling right alongside the rest of us and the house did get built. In the process Ritchie, Barry, & Decca made many new friends and impressed the entire village with their 'can-do' attitude! Thanks team Alabama!!!

This scaffolding only holds guys Ritchie's size!

Barry readies his 'cement volcano'!

Ritchie makes sure there's no air pockets in our cement header!

Now the fun part...Barry's volcano is ready for mixing!

The finished product, ready for the family!

Tomorrow I'll get a close up of the house and a picture with the family in front of the house. I can tell you now they are thanking God for a blessing they never thought possible. Never does such hard work feel so good as when you're giving a family a new start on life!

Thanksgiving program in El Doradito...

Good Seed School, the school of Fabi,Mauricio,Cesar, and Angel, put together a great Thanksgiving Day program for the people in El Doradito.First they collected donations from all the parents to be able to supply each family in the illage with a huge basket of food.In addition, Cepudo supplied a large package of food, drinks, and most importantly two blankets for each family(The rainy season has made everything wet and the temperatures have fallen dramatically.)

The students, directors, teachers, and parents all worked together to create an evangelical program that was broken up into groups of : adults, teenagers, youth, and small kids. Miss Trejo and the teachers were able to reach into the hearts of all present. Culminating in several coming forward to confess past sins, and some to make declaration for the Lord.

Even the villagers laid a big part in the program as they built and decorated cabanas for the programs. It was great to see the smiles on everyone faces... teachers, students, parents, and villagers. EVERYONE WAS BLESSED!



Small kids.


One of the cabana.


Praise and worship.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Let the building begin...

Although we got soaked by the rain and trudged through way too much mud we had a great work day in the village. Ritchie & Barry are proving to be excellent home builders. Today we erected all four walls of the house, not a little bit of work, and in addition to that we spread approx. 30 tons of dirt and rock to make the road passable.

On the way in this morning the truck got bogged down despite being in 4 wheel drive. Everyone came running to our rescue and after a bit we were able to work our way free and on to the building site. The rains just won't go away and so, we'll face more bad conditions tomorrow...but we'll "git 'er done!"

While we were working in the village Decca was busy at the public hospital learning her way around the aids ward. I'm certain she got her eyes opened as she witnessed for herself the lack of supplies in the hospital. Tomorrow it's more of the same.

Pray for safety and for the opportunity to share the Good News with some new acquaintances.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

An opportunity for you...

This week we started work on a community center building for the village. We're very, very excited about this since the building will be used for social meetings, a small business center, a school, and our church! The cost of the construction of the building is completely funded by a Food for the Poor donor!

The building is approximately  50' x 28' with 8' walls. It is concrete block with a cement floor and a steel roof, and 7 large double windows, two bathrooms, running water and electricity. It will be divided into 2 parts; one part will be secured to house our business center, sewing machines & materials, and the other will be open for use as a social center, school, and church! 

One of the things the builder suggested to us was to make the original footers and support columns heavy enough to support a second story, if in the future we had a need for it. That way they could just lift the roof structure off, build out the walls on the second story and replace the roof....making a second story very attainable in the future. We agreed that it was an excellent idea and agreed that we, Wellspring of Life, would pick up the cost of the reinforced footers and support columns. That cost is: $3467.00 and is what we will need to raise. 

We have an offer from Orphan's Heart to match funds dollar for dollar which means we need only raise $1733.50! This is your invitation to join us in God's work in El Doradito! We are so excited to finally have a building where we can have our church services indoors, where we can begin our own school and help to see these kids get an adequate education, where we can begin micro-enterprises so the villagers can begin to become self-supportive, and a common area where they can hold their business and social meetings. It will also give our teams a place in the shade with bathrooms/running water/electric where they can eat and minister to the villagers.

Please pray and ask God if you should take advantage of this opportunity to be personally involved and invested in His work in El Doradito! If the answer is yes, please notify us via e-mail(bcoder@tds.net) or FB of your decision and the amount of your commitment so we can keep Orphan's Heart appraised of our progress. You may make your checks payable to: Wellspring of Life and send a note with "El Doradito community center" attached. Our P.O. Box is: 
     Wellspring of Life
     P.O. Box 3027
     Plant City, FL 33563

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is it time for a trip to the hardware store?

I feel as if this post needs to begin with the declaration that it's not about Republican or Democrat, Romney or Obama; but rather is about the condition of our souls! It's not declaring that a vote for Obama is a vote for the Devil; nor that a vote for Romney is a vote for God! It is about the watering down of our moral values, of what is acceptable and what is no longer acceptable...it is about where our current path will lead us not as a nation, but as a sinful people seeking a merciful God!

I fear we have become a nation of shadows, a nation of compromises, a nation where there are no longer any absolute truths...nothing is black and white any longer; we've merged nearly everything into grey areas so they don't offend us. We've become, or are becoming, a nation of traders, i.e. "I'll agree to your terms if you'll give me my desires". Our foundation is crumbling beneath our very feet and instead of taking a stand to repair it we seem to be taking 'the path more easily traveled'. God is becoming a distasteful word in our mouths and one which we only use in public if we're backed into it. And certainly don't mention that you stand upon the principles of Jesus Christ!

Entitlement programs are the lure of the evil one, and yet we constantly trade one program for another so we can advance our own agendas. We claim to have principles, but if it means we can get free health care, or food stamps, or more rights for illegal immigrants, or easier abortions, or a handout of any kind...we will soften our stance on almost any issue to fulfill the desires of our own hearts.

This morning our Bible Study took us through Isaiah 7, John 5, Proverbs 7, & Psalm 37. I encourage you to take a quick look at these and see for yourselves the common thread that runs through them all. It begins in Isaiah with a prophecy of the coming Christ and what will happen to those who will not believe and continues on in John 5 with the warning that the day of the two resurrections is coming: the resurrection of life & the resurrection of condemnation! Moving on to Proverbs 7 we read of the need to "...treasure my commands..." and how if we don't hold fast, the lure of the crafty harlot draws us inexorably to her side. And finally in Psalm 37 we're told over and over to "...trust in the Lord...", "...do good...", "...delight ourselves in the Lord...", "...commit our ways to the Lord...", and in verse 25 David tells us, "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread." 

The message is clear; we don't need to soften our stances...we need to reaffirm them! Hang on to the declaration of David and keep ourselves righteous in all things ("...seek ye first the kingdom of God and these things will be added unto you...") and God will take care of the rest!

The Hardware Store??? I think it's time we make a trip there to purchase a new bag of nails. Just as in Colossians 2 where Christ nailed the list of requirements against us to the cross; so, we too, need to nail our flesh to the cross and die to the desires of our own flesh. We are saved by the righteous blood of Jesus Christ and it's time we began to act like it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Please pray....

 I am extremely sick and both Joyce & I think it is a flare-up of malaria. Many years ago in Haiti I had a severe case of malaria and from time to time it resurfaces.
 The symptoms are extreme pain in every cell of my body accompanied by fever and chills. I've been in bed for a day and a half and can see no improvement at this time.

Please lift me up....Bob

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday's in El Doradito....

Every Sunday afternoon we head out to El Doradito to have abbreviated services with the village.

 For the adults: we gather under some trees trying to catch a little shade and I share a short message from God's word with Mauricio translating.

Our church for now...

For the children: Will & girlfriend Alba gather the young one to teach a Bible story and then to enjoy some games as Rosa helps to translate.

This crew is a lot wilder than they look right now!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cleaning Day...

We look like a hive of bees today...since we no longer have a part time cleaning lady we all have our Saturday cleaning duties; and it's a sight to behold. Everyone sweeps and mops their own rooms, and then they each have an area of the living space for which they are responsible, i.e. Cesar the back porch, Angel the parking area, Pedro the front entrance, Mauricio the dining area, Rosa the upstairs study area, and Fabiola the living room and hallway!

They do a pretty good job, considering! Albeit not all have a smile on their faces while working. Actually they don't put up much of a fuss, so it's all good. I think the oldest likes it the least...maybe has something to do with those dreaded teenage years!

We are all fairly healthy, Rosa has a lingering cough and congestion cold, and Joyce and I still have some mucus hanging around; but other than that we're all well!

Lots of typical 'mission' problems: with the drill rig a hose burst, a fitting is shot, still working on our new air hammer, Joyce had a small fender bender (almost impossible to avoid those in San Pedro), had the gear shift repaired on the truck, paper legalities for the land for our church building in El Dorardito,...etc, etc, etc. Just the normal stuff!!!

We bless you for blessing us...Fabiola, Mauricio, Rosa, Cesar, Angel, Pedro, Will, Joyce, & Bob

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Grand Day of Celebration...l

Sunday the seventh of October was a great day of celebration in El Doradito! That was the day every house in the village got running water into their homes! It may be difficult for North Americans to understand just how life-changing an event that is...to be able to walk to a tap inside your home, turn it, and see water flowing out of it must be a most exhilarating experience. Remember that last October they were living in shacks made of mud, tin, wood, and any other scraps they could find. They had dirt floors, no electricity, no water...and most times they couldn't even keep the rain out! Now they have new homes, electricity, roofs that repel even the hardest of rains; and now...running water INSIDE the house! No more walking to the pump, pumping the bucket full, and then carrying it back to the house (5 gallons weighs over 44 pounds). 

God is showing Himself to this village in different ways almost everyday. The well turned out to be another of God's proofs that He cares for them and is there for them. The village hired a 'professional' to clean the well with an air compressor, but after 4 hours of working he declared the well to have not enough water to bother with and he left. I arrived as he was leaving and after meeting with the water committee we decided we needed to walk by faith, and not by sight. We decided there were some things we could try with the pump we had purchased. After explaining the process I left the work to them and returned home last Saturday. Spending the day in silent prayer (they didn't call me) I tried to keep my belief high as they continued 'developing' the well. Finally at 10:00 p.m. Saturday night I received a call and they asked, "how full to you want the tank?" THEY HAD WATER!  What the 'professional' had declared dead; God brought back to life! The well that was empty; was now filled with LIVING WATER! 

Arriving Sunday afternoon for our church service I saw the well for myself and learned the details of what took place. The committee purchased the valves, pipe, gauges, electrical boxes needed and went to work. First they pumped the well until the water was clear and then they began filling the tank...by the time I arrived the tank was FULL! Not only that, but Sunday morning they opened all the valves and EVERY home in the village received fresh, potable, running water...and we believe Living Water! Our church service was one of shouting and praising God for all He's doing for us in El Doradito. 

It is so exciting to be allowed to be a part of what God's doing...all of you who have come and labored, all of you who have given so sacrificially, all of you who have prayed so faithfully...all of us! God, for whatever reason, has chosen to allow us to be a part of the rebirth of an entire village! And not only that, but one by one we're seeing the rebirth of souls!!!

Now it's your time to celebrate, to praise God, to jump up and down and cry out, "Hallelujah, He lives!"  Now is the time to take advantage of the "open door set before us"!

Join us in prayer, in giving, or in coming to labor...the choice is yours!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

There's a new chef in the house....

Angel is keeping a close eye on the pot as he stirs the tapioca! He's the new "big cheese" in the kitchen!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the work goes on....

We've been blessed this week to host our very first team from Orphan's Heart in Florida. On Saturday 9 men from FBC Milton, Florida arrived along with Orphan's Heart chairman, Ron Gunter, and the next morning they jumped into the task of building 3 houses.

Sunday we were at the site by 7:15 a.m. and this crew was eager to get their hands dirty...and did they ever! They plowed through the work at breakneck speeds and then at 3:00 p.m. we stopped to have a church service with the village. It was a great service as the village was blessed to hear 5 personal testimonies from the men...and it was very moving for everyone in attendance. At the close of the service one of the Hondurans there felt called to stand and address the congregation thanking God for sending Orphan's Heart and the men of FBC Milton! It was a very fulfilling day!

On Monday it was more of the same...early to work and no slacking; by the end of the second day they had the blocks for the walls up on 3 houses...amazing! Admittedly we were all getting stiff, sore, and drained from the heat; but it didn't deter anyone.

Tuesday morning Ron greeted me with the news that the men felt led by God to provide an additional blessing for the village. During the night they felt like God was calling them to provide a week's worth of food for everyone of the 30 families currently living in El Doradito. With the money they gave we were able to purchase enough food to provide flour, rice, beans, manteca(oil), and cookies for a family of 5 for an entire week! Other than receiving a new house that may have been the biggest blessing these families ever received.

You want all that dirt where?

I'm comin' Blackie!!! (inside joke)

Me too, Blackie, me too! (more inside jokes)

This is actually starting to look like a house!

First we move all this dirt in here and now you want it all tamped down? I'm sick of this dirt!

Two more days to go and we're closing in on completion. Please pray for continued safety and expediency in  our work.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request...

Please lift up our Chief Medical Officer, Robin Demboski. Robin has been suffering with kidney failure for years and for the past year has been on the kidney transplant list. Today she was taken to the hospital for some type of surgery and will begin dialysis tomorrow.

Robin is a selfless servant of the Lord who gives everything she has and then some. Haiti has a special place in Robin's heart and she's made many trips there with medical supplies and treated literally hundreds and hundreds of patients...all while suffering with her kidney disease.

Please, please pray for Robin, her husband, and her children.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A very, very difficult day...

Today was one of those days nobody wants to endure, but everybody has to experience at some point in their lives. It was a funeral and it wasn't even immediate family; in fact, it wasn't even blood family at all...but it was extremely painful!

The central force of the little village (El Doradito) we've been working emanates from Consepcion and her family. Yesterday her father, Santorino who was 62 years old, passed away and today he was buried. Santorino had been in poor health for the past 3 or 4 years due to a stroke and then a fall that caused a broken hip which was never set. After the stroke he lost much of his speech capabilities and after his fall he slowly lost all of his ability to walk. During the time he was still able to walk he would often struggle to make his way down to wherever we happened to be working to just watch us. Whenever I or anyone would stop to speak with him his face would shine like the noonday sun. Despite his maladies he was always in good spirits and was revered by the entire village; to the point that most simply referred to him as "Abuelo" or grandfather! His passing literally touches everyone in this tiny village, because he displayed what so many of us find difficult: high spirits in the face of torturous physical suffering! Some would tell you that Santorino wasn't saved, that he hadn't accepted the Lord; but I'm not so sure about that. I would almost swear I could see Jesus in his smile, in his demeanor, in his aura. I feel fairly certain that there was ample evidence of the Holy Spirit working inside of Santorino even if he didn't, or couldn't communicate that to us.

When we arrived at the cemetery Dulce, one of the granddaughters Consepcion is raising, took my hand and said, "come see where my mother is buried." Five years ago Dulce's mother was murdered in a robbery and since then she and her sister have been raised by Consepcion. Reaching the gravesite Consepcion pointed to the weed covered area with a few crosses poking above the weeds and said, "there is my daughter and here are my two sisters." Clearly this would be a pain-filled day. Now we all moved to the gravesite for Santorino.

Burials here are not like in the states...here there is no embalming so the odor is overwhelming and everything is makeshift and hurried. Some men were still removing dirt from the grave as the pick-up pulled up with Santorino's casket in the back. Encircling the casket with two ropes, four men hauled the casket from the pickup to the open grave and some women began to sing funeral dirges. There were no words spoken, no gestures made; they simply began to lower the casket down into the earth and then shovel by shovel they covered over the life of Santorino. With the reality of the end setting in Consepcion began to wail and to collapse. Many gathered around her trying to comfort her, while some of us prayed, but all was to no avail. Her remorse was overcoming her and she became more and more hysterical. And as she became more hysterical her daughter and granddaughters became more and more frightened. It was painful!

Consepcion is the spiritual gyroscope for this village...they see her strength daily, they watch as she endures through her prayers and her faith, and they gain strength from her. As they watched her unravel in grief you could almost see fear and uncertainty washing over them. For me, it etched in stone how vitally important it is for us to sow the words of Jesus into this village so they can endure the trials that are coming their way!  They desperately need to be weened away from depending upon their matriarch and guided to the Father in heaven! Perhaps today will be a day of new beginnings for them, perhaps today will help them to see the truth of needing Jesus for themselves, perhaps today will bring about a communal healing for this tiny village that will truly turn them into the body of Christ! Pray for Consepcion and her family; but pray for this village, as well.

As we were driving back we received a call telling us that a 12 year old girl from the village had been tortured and murdered in San Pedro Sula this morning. Maria, a young girl who had stumbled into the snare of gang membership, was stabbed repeatedly with a fingernail file to where she was almost unrecognizable and then HUNG!!! Let that sink in for a moment...HUNG!  In the 21st century, in the Western Hemisphere: HUNG!  Displayed publicly to send a message... It makes me sick to my stomach to know that this news will not illicit much, if any, response from the citizens of San Pedro and the surrounding areas. Why? Because it's so commonplace here. People are calloused to death, to senseless killings...the notice of her death, and it's manner, will not be read anymore than the next day's weather report! What does that say about the spiritual condition of this country and the people living here? And it's not just the natives who are calloused, it's not just the unsaved; it's the churches and even the missionaries also. It's the schools, the government, the whole fiber of this country and those of us who live here are in danger of becoming hardened. So much senseless killing grows spiritual apathy like moisture grows cultures in a petry dish. It's the 'what can I do syndrome'? Recently I tried to stir up some churches to enter into a commitment of prayer and fasting. I visited several churches, large and small, several denominations, men's groups, convocational meetings, TV stations...all to no avail! Why? I believe we're becoming duped into believing we're powerless to do anything about the hold evil has on Honduras; and it eats at me! How can we be powerless? Did not Jesus tell us in Matt. 28:18-20 that He had all power on heaven and earth and He was sending us to teach, baptize, and make disciples? Again in Matt. 16:19 He told us He would give us the keys to the Kingdom of heaven and we could bind and loose! With these promises how can we be powerless? The totality of the presence of evil here slowly grows a veil over our hearts, and I believe that although we continue to do good deeds, continue to share the Word; we grow disconsolate and apathetic! We don't do all that we could be doing, all that we're called to do; we come up short and rationalize it away with our myriad of excuses. We need your prayers, we need to be strengthened so we can help to strengthen others. 

Today was just a day like every other day here in Honduras; and that is the danger of it!!! It's become the norm and we accept it! If we are to overcome the evil that is resident here, we need an army of intercessors and we need you now! Make a commitment to lift the people of Honduras in a breath prayer daily. Lift the children, the youth, the adults, the unsaved, the saved, the missionaries...all of us need you.

Thank you for your faithfulness; we lean on you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pedro didn't have a program, but check out his slick new uniform!

Pedro standing tall!

Pedro says, "It feels good to look this handsome!"

Independence Day school celebrations...

Rosa joins her class in reciting an Independence Day reminder.

She takes the mic to share a poem.

Fabi & her Catracho partner 'steppin' out'!

Mister Catracho, Mauricio, grabs a woman for himself!

Traditional Catracho dancers...

Angel holds the Honduran map in his skit.

Soon those teeth will be back!

Cesar is lookin' happy for his turn on stage!

I hope that dove of peace comes to reside in our home!