Saturday, October 12, 2013

Remorse, but Greater Celebration...

Today I'm feeling remorse because I can't watch the Penn State/Michigan football game! I know...a lot of you are saying, "so what?" But you need to know that I live and breath PSU!

However, the reason I can't watch the game gives me great cause for celebration: Today I will be officiating in the first wedding ceremony for our village church, Los Discipulos de Jesus! Carlos & Maritza, one of the strongest couples in the village, are getting married today! That's right; they are getting married...all this time I just assumed they were married, but it was not so. They have been living together for approximately 20 years and have produced 3 children, but were never married. Since we began our church in the village the two of them have seen their spiritual lives come alive and God has given them a hunger and thirst for Himself! As a result the Holy Spirit has convicted them to get their lives completely right before God.

Two weeks ago Carlos came to me and told me he wanted to be baptized! Again, I had assumed he had been baptized since he knew the Word pretty well and obviously had accepted Jesus as his savior. However, like the marriage thing, he had never gotten baptized. So, our family and his family took him to a river just above our new home and baptized Carlos! Now this afternoon, 5:00 p.m., they will unite in holy matrimony! Their prayer is their example will inspire others to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to a righteous walk as well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beginning to see the Fruit...

Last week when I had another near trip to the emergency room (it was aborted when the pain began to subside on the way there) Fabi called the village and asked them to pray for me. Later Carlos, from the village, called and told me they had all been praying for me and how excited they were to hear that I was not in the hospital. I told him their prayers were powerful, and then he told me:

"You don't have to worry as much about us anymore. The seeds you planted in us are beginning to take root and not all of us, but some of us, are 'getting it' and we now KNOW how to move forward on our own! Now we know we can do things for ourselves and solve problems by working together, and we know for sure that God cares about us."

What a great blessing this is for all of us who have worked in El Doradito, who have supported the work in El Doradito, and who have prayed for El Doradito!

Our village has now progressed to the point that others are beginning to take notice of this 'new family'! Last week the alcalde (mayor) of San Manuel, their district, sent 17 dump truck loads of 'select' (material for roads) and a grader to level the material! We now have REAL STREETS! Hopefully I won't be pulling any more dump trucks out of the mud!

Then this week, Cepudo, our Honduran NGO partner in El Doradtio, used their contacts to secure 150 trees to be planted in the village. Yesterday I picked up fruit trees and ornamental trees which will be planted throughout the village this weekend!

A year and a half ago this was a field with a dozen or so stick/tin/mud shacks with dirt floors scattered about the field. Today we are a village of 37 homes with running water and electricity, streets, greenhouses, a herd of sheep, soon to have 150 newly planted trees, and a church/community center! I wish I could show you aerial photos of before and after, because the transformation through God is truly remarkable. I pray this blesses all of you who have been a part of this work and that it encourages you to stay with us and to bring some of your friends alongside as well!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Beautiful on the inside...

Last week we were swamped with "likes" and comments on the picture of our beautiful 16 year old daughter, Fabiola. Allow me to now tell you how much more beautiful she is on the inside:

Before Sunday's church service in our village she was walking around the village inviting everyone to get up and get to church, as she always does. As she was doing this she remembered that last year on her birthday she discovered an old woman in the village had the same birthday as her. So, she made a special attempt to pass by her house this day. Sure enough she found the old woman sitting out front and Fabi stopped to talk with her. During the course of the conversation Fabi discovered that she was very ill and had been for some time. What happened next is what makes our chests swell up with pride:

Fabi said she felt like God was speaking to her to help this old woman, but she wasn't sure how that would happen. Then she remembered that she had received 1000 limperas for her birthday and she took out 500 limperas and gave it to the old woman! The daughter and the old woman immediately began to cry as the daughter explained that they desperately needed to purchase medicine for her mother this would exactly cover their costs!!!

Definitely more Beautiful on the Inside!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Overwhelmed by your generosity...

Please allow me to tell each of you how overwhelming it is to be showered with so many prayers and to receive the financial support that came from your sacrifices! In fact the donations were so great that I now have to do the one thing any missionary never thought they would do: I must ask you to STOP sending donations for "Bob's Heart".  Our expenses have been met in full!!!

Again, please receive our thanks and please don't send any more donations to "Bob's heart". If you still feel led to join us in God's work in Honduras you may contribute to our general account which is:
Wellspring of Life
P.O. Box 3027
Plant City, FL. 33563

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Urgent prayer request...

I just returned from having a stress test and although the news is not life-threatening, it is not good either. The doctor told me I have a blockage and he needs to find out how severe the blockage is to determine if I need a stint installed or not. The hospital explained that I need to be prepared to pay for the diagnostic testing (inserting a catheter into my arteries through my groin area and then injecting a die to measure the degree of blockage, as well as the amount of blockages) and the ensuing procedure for the stint if deemed necessary. They seemed to be telling me that it's almost a certainty that at least one will be needed. 

The cost of the testing procedure is $2,000.00 and the cost of the stint procedure is $7,000.00 for one blockage and $2,000.00 for each additional blockage. I'm sure most of you know Joyce and I do not have insurance (we are not eligible here because of our ages) and therefore we will need your help. 

The first thing we're asking for is your prayers, prayers that the procedure shows the stress test results to be inaccurate and therefore no stint would be necessary. I absolutely believe God can heal me and know that your prayers can help to open that possibility. So, please pray! Unfortunately, the second thing I need to ask for is your financial support. It pains me to ask for myself since I know how you have sacrificed for the ministry over these many years. However, as unpaid volunteers, we just don't have the funds available to schedule these procedures. If God encourages you to help us financially please send your donations to our Plant City office with a memo that simply states "Bob's heart". Thanking you in advance for my healing...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A couple of opportunities to help support our work...

We have a couple of opportunities for any of you who want to help support our work here, but can't do it on a monthly basis. It has become our custom to provide bunk beds for the children whenever we move a family into a new home and currently we have a need for 8 more beds at $325 each.

We also need to purchase approx. 30 more plastic chairs for our church @ approx. $6 each. The church has already procured 25 chairs themselves using our weekly offerings, but now we need more to get ready for our teams this summer. As a point of information our church has also used its' offerings to purchase a tract of land for a homeless family of 6 so we can build a home for them. This body is helping themselves and not looking for constant hand-outs, but we could use some help at this time

If any of you feel led to help us you may send your donation to: Wellspring of Life, P.O. Box 3027, Plant City, FL. 33563 and mark your contribution for "El Doradito".  Thank you in advance!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday Blessings...

This Sunday had some special moments for us as we ministered at our church, Los Discipulos de Jesus, in the village. During our prayer time one of the men asked for prayer for his wife who was ill and couldn't come to church. After the service I went to speak with Roberto (the husband who asked for prayer) and on the way the Lord prompted me to ask if we could go to his house to pray for his wife; and he responded, "yes". I asked Joyce to join us and then on the walk to Saida's house (the sick wife) I asked Joyce to lay hands on her and to pray for her.

When we got there Roberto called Saida to the door and when she stepped out onto the porch I explained that we wanted to pray for her and told her about the passage in James that says, "...the prayer offered in faith will make you well..." Then we all laid hands on her as Joyce prayed and Mauricio translated. It was a wonderful you could feel the presence of God!

After the prayer Saida told Joyce she had a small present for her. She said she meant to give it to her on Mother's Day, but she couldn't make church that day and so she had it in the house. When she came out she had a handmade card for Joyce, but before giving it to her Saida told her the following: "I wanted to make something for you, because I consider you to be the mother of the entire village and I especially consider you to be my spiritual mother." 

Now that by itself is awesome, but here's the kicker! Joyce didn't even know who she was, had never spoken to her other than to say hello; but evidently Saida knew who Joyce was and had been watching her. Joyce often prays during our church services and that's one place Saida would've seen and heard her. She also knows Joyce is working diligently to help the ladies of the village to become self-supportive even though she never attends any of the meeting since she is a teacher. So here's the point....we never know who we're influencing! It was Joyce's demeanor and her character that so impressed Saida! Just when you think you're not being utilized by God He drops a Saida into your life! Remember to exude Jesus...the world is watching!

The other blessing was seeing Fabiola take charge of the teenagers in the village and begin a Bible study session with them while we're having church. She rounds up the kids and takes them to quiet spot on the football (soccer) field where they sit on the grass read the Proverb that corresponds the date of the day. Then they each select their favorite verse and share with the group why they like it. She did this on her own; not at our prompting, but rather at God's! And she has some tough characters in her group and reports that each them is participating in a good way. Five years ago Joyce and I felt God told us to rescue these children, bring them to know the Lord, and turn them into disciples. It's great to watch it happening! Below are a couple of pictures of some of the group...I'll try to get some of Fabi soon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just like Elijah's floating axe head...

Fabiola was blessed by her good friend, Tony, with the gift of a hand-made ring. She cherishes this ring and virtually never takes it off. Last week during a 'dual' birthday party for Mauricio & Rosa we had a swimming party at the house. After everyone left for their homes Fabi came to me and said, "I can't find my ring and I had it on when I went into the pool." I told her to pray and then to enlist the help of the boys and put on their goggles and search the bottom. 

Earlier one of the other girls had lost her earrings and the boys donned their goggles, dove to the bottom and found them almost immediately, so we were pretty confident they could find Fabi's ring. However, it was not to be. Next she searched her room and the outside bathroom where she had changed, and still nothing. She was totally disconsolate! I told her she needed to write to Tony and tell him she'd lost the ring he had made for her. Brokenhearted she did just that. But she continued to pray believing God would cause the ring to show up somewhere.

Today, four days later, Mauricio was vacuuming the pool and went to empty the skimmer basket. When he bent down to pull it there among the leaves he saw Fabi's ring! Now we all know rings don't float! But just as Elijah caused the borrowed axe head to float in 2 Kings 6:5, so God caused this precious ring to float to the top and drop into the skimmer basket. And then He allowed Mauricio to see it instead of just dumping out the leaves. 

Prayer really does work!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Another blessing from above...

Yesterday God sent the Holy Spirit to our church, Los Discipulos de Jesus, to call forth another soul for His family! 
Carlos, the 16 year old son of Carlos & Maritza, came forth to answer the call of God on his heart. At the end of the service Carlos came up for prayer and was joined by his mother and father as he invited Jesus into his life and Lord and Savior! It was a great moment which carries with it a great responsibility for discipleship by his parents and his church family. Together we will help Carlos walk out his newly professed faith.

Thank you, Jesus!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another well completed...

Today we were able to finish another well. This one is in Seis de Mayo, Rivera Hernandez. The heat was so brutal today that I'm still paying the price. I'm cramping all over my body...guess I didn't drink enough water, but it felt like I drank enough for several people. 

God really blessed our efforts and allowed us to finish this well in just two days!!! 

Thank you, Jesus!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ovens & Earthquakes...

We drilled today and it was a mixed blessing: the equipment worked perfectly, perfectly and it was actually a joy to use. However, it felt as if we were drilling inside an oven. The heat was just unbearable, even my Honduran helpers were running for shade as often as we had an opportunity. God gave us great favor with the equipment; now if we can just get a few clouds and a breeze or two...not complaining God!!!

To make things even more interesting we had an earthquake! Some say it was 6.1 and some say it was 5.5, but it evidently set things, including the earth, to shaking resulting in lots of schools closing early after evacuating classrooms. No damage that I've heard of to this point. Joyce said it was really strong here at the house with all the hanging lights swaying back and forth accompanied by a very loud noise. She said it definitely got her attention.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's braggin' time!!!

Indeed, it is braggin' time!
Fabiola came home with her third quarter report card and she is on the High Honor Roll! 

All of our children did exceptionally well, but Fabiola outshined them all. Some subjects don't come as easily to Fabiola as they might to others, but she had a desire to prove herself to be much more than just capable and so, she put forth the effort it required. She worked many hard hours, but now is smiling a dazzling smile of renewed self assurance! Thank you Jesus!

Wild & Wonderful...

This Sunday in the village was both wild and wonderful! During our church service we always have a time of praise and prayer requests.  Things were moving along normally when this prayer request was put forward: "Please pray for my husband, someone threatened to kill him!" 

Now where we live that's not a threat you can take lightly. The Holy Spirit prompted me to respond in a strong manner. I told them I took that threat personally; that I felt a sense of responsibility toward this community and if someone threatened one of them it was as if they threatened me also. I also told them they should feel exactly the same way...we are one family and we need to look out for each other, even in this violent country! I told them after the service I would get involved in the situation and that's what I did. After finding out who the person was that was doing the threatening I went to his house and called him out to speak with him. Gently, slowly I began to remind him what the Bible tells us in Matt. & Luke about forgiving each other regardless of who is correct or incorrect. As you might expect he didn't want to hear this and said he absolutely wasn't going with me to apologize and shake the other person's hand. However, as we continued to talk it wasn't long before the Holy Spirit began to soften him and the eventual outcome was that we were able to get the two men together to say they were sorry and then to shake hands. Again, as you might expect at first they wanted to say, "sorry" and then make their accusations against one another. But we stopped them and explained forgiveness was just saying I'm sorry and nothing more. In the end they were able to bite their tongues and pull it off! This may seem trivial, but in Honduras this is a big, big threat averted. Thank you, Jesus.

Now the wonderful part...As we were leaving the village I noticed one of our congregants walking across the football field with a young man hanging onto her shoulders and both appeared to be crying. I asked one of the kids to yell out the window and see what was wrong. It turns out the young man's wife had just left him for another man and he was devastated. The woman asked if we could pray for him. We got out of the van and gathered round them and began to simply talk about how life throws us curves sometimes and how difficult it would be to try to handle that on your own. Eventually we asked if he knew who Jesus was and he responded, "Not really". Well, now you can guess the rest of the story...we told him the good news of the gospel and before long he was praying to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. We gave him a Bible and prayed with him and although he was still in deep pain and was very disconsolate you could see a difference in his face. There appeared to be some hope, some strength where just moments before there was utter despair.

God will bring opportunities across our paths and if we are looking for them, He will use us! Today ask God to give you the opportunity share the gospel with someone who needs to hear the good news!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passing out blessings...  

Through a gift from a fellow missionary we were able to bless the families of El Doradito with bread,croissants,donuts,and cakes.  




Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday Baptism...

We told you of Eduardo, the friend of Andrea, who is the older sister of Fabi, Maurico, and Angel, accepting the Lord on Palm Sunday. Well, the Lord blessed us again by causing Eduardo to ask to be baptized on Easter Sunday! What a testimony this young man will have: saved on Palm Sunday & baptized on Easter Sunday!

He also gave an excellent and sincere report of how grateful he already is that he now has the Lord in his life!
Very powerful for our church in El Doradito!

Going over the reason and the symbolism of baptism with Eduardo.

Down goes the 'old' Eduardo...

And up comes the 'new' Eduardo, filled with the Holy Spirit!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The last of our Palm Sunday goodies...

I told you earlier how we had a meeting before church with the church leaders and how they voted to use the offering money to help a family purchase land where they could eventually have a home built.

Well, during that meeting a man rushed into the church and yelled, "A house is burning"! We leaped to our feet and raced up to the smoke to find the 'stove' inside the bamboo home of the above mentioned family had caught on fire and was about to ignite the bamboo. (The entire family was away at the time and would never have known a fire had started until it was much too late.)  If that happened the entire home would be gone in minutes! Fortunately God had us assembled close to the house and right beside a water faucet...with spare buckets sitting there empty!!! We all filled a bucket and headed to the house, and as you can guess we were able to extinguish the fire with no damage to the home.

God has a target on this family and it clearly looks as if He's telling them; "despite the fact you got evicted from your previous home, despite the fact that your husband is out of work, despite the fact that it looks as if you will never survive; I'm watching over you!!!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Palm Sunday news...

I recently told you of the Lord calling Eduardo to salvation on Palm Sunday. Now, here is some more good news from that same day: Usually our church service in the village begins at 3:00 p.m., but this day we needed to have a meeting with the church leaders and so I arrived in El Doradito at 1:30 to meet with Marina, Cynthia, Armando, Inez, Carlos, Avellino, & Liliana. We had to make some decisions and I didn't want to make them for them, I want them to begin to talk through their options and then decide together what course they will take.

Our options this day would be how to best utilize the offerings we had collected. I presented two choices for them.

  1. we need benches or seats in our church so we don't have people standing around the sides of the building. Previously we thought we might have a team coming to purchase the lumber and build them for us, but it looks as if they may not be able to come, so...we must do something.
  2. recently a new family moved into the village and constructed a bamboo house. They have 6 small children and the recent rains came through their patch-work tin roof and soaked all their beds. Joyce and I purchased a tarp to cover the house and some of the villagers helped us to get it up and secured.   While working on that the Lord planted the idea of trying to make it possible for them to get one of our homes. This family relocated here because the husband/father was out of work and they were evicted. They were squatting on this land. I asked Inez to inquire of the owner if he would lower his price for this small piece of land (about 1/3 the size of a normal lot) so we could purchase it for the family. He agreed and gave us an incredible price. I told our committee about this and then asked them  to discuss the two options and decide which they would like to do, or if they had other options to present them.
The church had 6049 limperas in their offering...that is incredible; remember this is the poorest of the poor who have given this to the church. I propose that Wellspring of Life pay for 1/2 of the land and the church the other 1/2. Their cost to purchase the land would be 5000 limperas. After some discussion they agreed unanimously to purchase the land for this new family and welcome them to our 'family'! This is huge! Here newcomers are seldom welcomed, but now our new believers were clearly seeing the needs of strangers were greater than their own!

I think they even surprised themselves with this decision. They knew something was different; normally they would've looked only to their own needs, but now, with no coaching, they reached out to someone else without consideration of their own needs. They said, "we can make seats another time!" 

There is more, but's for another post! It's just so neat to be able to stand back and watch God do His work!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Palm Sunday gift...

God blessed us mightily this Palm Sunday. We have many blessings to share with you, but this must come first. Andrea, the older sister of Fabi, Mauricio, and Angel, who accepted Jesus on Christmas day at our house invited a friend of hers to our house this morning to hear more about Jesus and God.

Her friend's name is Eduardo and he knew of God, but was confused as to whether or not he even believed in the existence of God. However, God had been working on him; he came with a desire to learn more. This morning Joyce, Fabi, Mauricio, Andrea, and myself all sat down with Eduardo and 1st talked about nature and how the perfect fit of everything together had to point to a higher power...someone had to put all this together. Eduardo was able to agree with that and we called that higher power God. From there we went through the gospel starting with Genesis 1, creation, the garden, Adam & Eve, the fall, and the resultant curse upon the earth and the sin nature in all of us. We talked our way through the sacrificial systems of the Old Testament and finally came to Jesus and His work on the cross and the following resurrection. We told him of the free gift of Jesus and that it could be his if he chose it, if he ask for it, if he could confess it and believe it. After quite a few questions he decided that gift of the cross sounded like something he wanted in his life.

And so today, Palm Sunday, Eduardo was ushered in through the Lamb's gate, his name was etched in the book of life and there was a grand celebration in heaven for one its' newest members! Thank you Jesus for this precious gift!

Eduardo is now one of us!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Emergency room run...

Yesterday afternoon I spent 3 hours in the emergency room with Fabiola. She came home from school complaining of pain around her heart. She said she'd been playing soccer and after she stopped if she breathed heavily the pain increased. We decided we better be safe and headed to the E.R.

After an EKG, a Chest X-Ray, and complete blood work-up most everything is fine, except muscle inflammation around her ribs and heart cavity. She has some meds and topical cream to apply, and is off soccer for the next 5 days, but other than that she is fine. We're grateful for a non-serious report.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another great Sunday in El Doradito...

Sunday we had an awesome church service in El Doradito. We've been talking with the people about changing their way of life "paso a paso", one step at a time and Sunday we got to see how some of them are taking that to heart. We've been encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone and to begin to take part in "their" church services!

Sunday we had two original songs performed by two different individuals, we had a new praise and worship leader (his first time), we had an ad lib "thank you" delivered for Will, and we had a skit performed by our youth to say good-bye to Will.

This was Will's last Sunday in the village and the people went to great lengths to let him know he'd made a difference in their lives, that they will never forget him, and that they will miss him. They even prepared snacks and drinks to help celebrate at the close of the service and that's no small effort for a village that is far below the poverty line.

God is growing His people and we are seeing fruit coming in bunches. Now it's our responsibility to see that the enemy doesn't 'pick' any of this fruit. Please join in prayer with us to set a hedge of protection around the people of El Doradito as they grow "paso a paso"!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Horrific report!

Yesterday during our prayer request time in church we were asked to pray for the children of the area who are attending schools. There have been reports of children being kidnapped so their organs can be harvested and sold! What kind of world is this???

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birthdays & '80s day at school...

February brings us two birthdays to celebrate:

Cesar turned 10 on Feb. 14

The candles are out; now it's time for presents!

A hydroboat for the pool!

The Spiderman watch brought big smiles!

There were many other presents, but the best were the 'shades' that make him look like Bono!!!

Joyce turned another year wiser on Feb. 17!

Mom's big day...

The kids wanted to buy the 'number' candles, but I told them this would be a better idea!

Made & decorated by Fabiola; the initials down the lefthand side stand for: Bob, Angel, Pedro, Cesar, Mauricio, Rosa, & Fabiola!

Good Seed Kids go '80s...

The "Hipsters" 

Right out of "Laverne & Shirley"