Saturday, October 21, 2017

Better Together

What have we been up to? A LOT!  Most recently, we spent a week in Wellington, Florida with one of our supporting churches, Christ Community Church.  In 2012, we Skyped into their missions conference and have since attended every year in person.  This was our fifth year to present what the Lord is doing in Honduras and be mutually encouraged by their involvement with us as well as many other ministries.  This church has been like home to us.  They have been by our side and partnered in the Gospel for many years.  They've seen us through tough times and us them.  They are truly like family and we had an absolute blast this year.

3 hour drive to the airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Jacob at the prayer breakfast with two of the elders

Asher schmoozing the lady-folk

Delicious potluck dinner the second night 
We shared a few of the ministries in La Ceiba, Honduras
(Sorry, no photos of the ice cream social on Friday because we were inhaling sweet goodness)

Q&A during Sunday school hour

Adam sharing about the culture and need for seminary during the worship service

Some of the boys' best buddies

The most fitting name for this precious church. 

We've heard it said that life is "better together" and this church is a true representation of that.  Christ is the reason for our true community.  We enjoyed the fellowship in each conference event as well as multiple meals, shopping trips, and even a boat day in the inter-coastal waterways with members of this church.  Christ Community loved us well and we returned to Honduras restored (but maybe still needing some rest! ha ha). We ask you would pray alongside of us for this church who is the hands and feet of Jesus not only locally but globally as well.  They are a true treasure.     

Monday, October 9, 2017

Another Goodbye

In the past year, Team La Ceiba has added two babies to our sum of children, said goodbye to a precious family of four, added a sweet Honduran family of 5 as well as a single Honduran lawyer AND accepted another MTW missionary who will join us after itinerating.  We now say adios to Shannon Innes de Ordonez and her family.  We are sad to see them go but excited to see what is in store for them!   I've said it before, missionaries are no strangers to people coming and going!  How bittersweet! 

Shannon and her family

Shannon moved to La Ceiba with a burden for the vast teen mom population and started a precious ministry by opening a home for single mothers in 2011.  Puerta de Esperanza, (or Door of Hope) intentionally houses up to four moms and their babies.  Here they can learn to be moms, finish schooling, work or gain career skills, budget, cook, and care for their home.  Beyond practical life skills, these young ladies have been exposed to Godly living and loving.  Shannon has come along side many young moms and shared the good news of Jesus Christ.  She has cared for these young women who have been abused, rejected, and abandoned and shown them that their worth is in their identity in Christ. It has been a joy to see the Lord soften hearts and change lives through this ministry and through His willing instrument, Shannon. Well done, good and faithful servant!

Puerta de Esperanza family from 2011-2017

Friday, we had a "despedida" or going away party for the Ordonez family. Our team alongside almost all of the former and current single moms in the  Puerta de Esperanza house celebrated and said goodbye to Shannon.  Lots of fun, food, and laughs mixed with some stories, tears, and hugs made for a lovely day.  

Pray for: *the Ordonez's transition to the States
               *for the transition/changes for the young moms as Shannon leaves
               *Alma Villanueva, the current director of Puerta de Esperanza


Monday, October 2, 2017

Rest of the Summer Newsletter

Proverbs 3:7
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September 2017

Summer Teams

This summer concluded our first full year as coordinators of short-term teams. Michelle mastered the task of feeding the masses. We are grateful for the dozens of people who came down to put their skills to use working alongside of us.  We are also grateful for our wonderful summer interns and our amazing teammates who made it all run smoothly.

New House for Peter Project

Peter Project, our team's ministry to at risk boys moved into a new house recently. The house has a bigger kitchen for cooking lunch, a large dining area, study rooms, and outdoor space to kick around a soccer ball.  And the rent is less than the previous house!

CCI Formalization

The local church we attend, Centro Cristiano Internacional is very focused on church planting and have started several groups around the city. One such group in Corozal, just outside of La Ceiba was recently formalized as a church. Pastor Miguel is one of our students.

Tegucigalpa Team

We had the chance to visit the other MTW team in Tegucigalpa.  They were busy building and prepping furniture to get their offices set up. Pastor JosuĂ© (right) came into this desk which supposedly belonged to a lawyer who was convicted of the biggest act of fraud in the history of Honduras. He and Eric are sanding down the entire desk to give it a new finish and fresh start. It was a joy to see how God is working in and through their team to establish a church body in the capital city.

Team Planning Meeting

Our semi-annual team planning meeting took place earlier this month. How encouraging to see what the Lord has done over the last six months and look forward to future progress through the ministries in which He has entrusted us!

Honduras Missionaries Conference

For the first time our family attended the annual conference of Honduran Missionaries. We came away with new friends, additional tools for ministry, and a feeling of refreshment.

Pastor Gregorio

Pastor Gregorio worked with our team in the community of La Fe for a year and a half. He struggled to gain traction in establishing a church in the community. Discouraged, he decided to move on to a small community in the mountains. We are thankful for his service and wish him and his family well in the next stage of their ministry.

Book Reviews

If you'd like to know more about Honduras' history or just need a good book, I recommend these. The Fish that Ate the Whale is a fantastically written account of Samuel Zemurray, United Fruit Company and the banana industry of Central America. Highly entertaining and fascinating to learn how one man had such influence in shaping the country we now call home. 5 stars.
The Lost City of the Monkey God is a first-hand account of a recent archaeological expedition into the extremely remote rain-forest jungle of La Moskitia, Honduras (not too far from La Ceiba). The book provides lots of Honduran history as well as good personal experience of what it is like to travel within the country.  4 stars.
Jacob and Asher have enrolled in an art class taught by our friend, Noe.  He is an accomplished artist and hopes to one day use his talent on the mission field in Indonesia.

Prayer Requests

  • Last year, Michelle wrote about a woman who has visited us almost weekly since we moved to La Ceiba. A couple of months ago she showed up at church and has continued to come. Please pray that she would see Jesus amidst her extreme poverty and that the Holy Spirit would guide us in how to love her well.
  • In our last newsletter we asked for prayer that we would learn how to encourage our seminary students in the long process of seminary study. God has already reinforced the need for this through a discussion with our Honduran teammate, Raul who shared how vital encouragement is in a culture without a history of long-term vision. Please pray that we would increase our words of encouragement towards our students.
  • I(Adam) am learning that prioritizing the areas of my life means more than just ranking their value but actually applying my time and energy accordingly. Please pray that I would continue to learn to set healthy boundaries and to pour myself into those areas that I claim are of highest priority (i.e. God, wife, children).
Copyright © 2017 Cains On A Mission, All rights reserved.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

June newsletter

Psalm 139
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June 2017

Christ Covenant Church

Our first team of the summer came from Christ Covenant Church of Cullman, AL. This was their 2nd time with us. They put on four mobile medical clinics and painted the teenage mothers' home, Puerta de Esperanza, inside and out!

Christ Community Church

Christ Community Church sent seven people to work alongside Pastor Donaldo in the community of Eden. They toured the area to see some of the conditions in which the local people live.
Christ Community also spent time visiting with Pastor Donaldo and getting to know his story and his family. The group prayed with neighbors, attended Donaldo's church service and did lots of painting in the seminary as well as finished the air conditioning duct work.

Kiski Valley

Four folks from Kiski Valley Presbyterian in PA came down for their church's first summer visit to La Ceiba. Here they are praying over the seminary.
The Kiski team visited with local pastors, and worked tirelessly painting the seminary that is getting closer to completion.

Seminary Classes

Seminary classes continue with the group of people from Centro Cristiano Internacional.  We are now into our second course, the Gospels.  Raul and I(Adam) will teach this Saturday on Matthew and Mark.
Family vacation last month, exploring central Honduras.
Sometimes missionary "kids" grow up to become adults. These girls have served as sisters, baby-sitters and model MKs to our boys. This month we said, "see you later" as they graduated high school and moved on to their next stage of life in the US.

Prayer Requests

  • Two Honduran families and a single Honduran man have joined our team in the last 18 months. Involving our national partners in hosting short-term teams is something new for us and it has proven to be a beautiful thing! Praise God for this opportunity to work closely with our Honduran brothers and sisters.
  • The seminary curriculum we are offering is a multi-year program. Please pray that we would learn how to encourage students in their efforts and convey the value of these classes.
  • It seems that we experience more trials on the mission field during summer team season when we are busiest. This summer is proving to be no exception. Please pray that we keep our eyes on Jesus for perseverance.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Best Teachers

A team of six from Texas and a team of two from Florida came to my home last night for dinner.  As they came into the house, the boys and I greeted them and I then turned back to the kitchen to finish the cooking.  Asher, trailing on my heels, begs, "Mommy, what can I do for you?  Can I fill the water pitcher for the drinks table?"  I am not above accepting a five year old's help so I reply, "yes," as my heart is in awe and wonder of my sweet children.  We are at the tail end of three groups visiting over the course of about five weeks and my kids are still going strong.  Their regular schedules and homeschooling has been turned on it's head and swapped for grocery trips, dorm prep, and more tasks or errands.  (They are learning "life skills" is how I soothe my type-A, list-following, schedule-loving teacher self!)   

On one of our grocery runs, we got blasted by rain 
right as we stepped out of my car!

Christ's words in Matthew 18 pop into my head and I know the kingdom of God is seen in the humility of children, even my children.  I am reminded so often that they provide such a great example to me of faith and teach-ability.  Sometimes, my boys are the greatest instructors.  I saw some of the characteristics I desire most in their service in the last month and thought I would share them.  

Used their skill set
My children are usually extremely helpful. At home, they wash dishes, sweep the floor, fold laundry, set the table, wipe down counters and so much more.  This past month, they went many places with me. They went to the grocery store, they went to our house so I could wash linens for the team, and they "lived" at the dorms (at our team's more central project) for three days straight while I prepped the kitchen and the beds for the very first team of the season.  Do you know what they did in each of those places?  They served in what they already knew how to do.  They lugged grocery bags into the kitchen, they pushed a broom around, they folded rags and towels, they wiped down dusty tables and counters, and they even washed dishes (without prompting) the first night after dinner as the tired team retired to their beds.  They let God use them in what they already knew how to do.  They didn't wait until they were tall enough to operate a huge mop or coordinated enough to prep an entire meal, they used their current skill set to serve.   

I turned around to this sweet view! The boy carrying my load!

Asked for help
How difficult is asking for help?  It's a pride issue in my life.  I see so much of it in our home culture in the States, too. Independence and autonomy are king.  Codependency and a need for community are seemingly signs of weakness.  But these children??  They have no problem asking for help (sometimes to the bane of my existence! ha!).  I tell them in my parenting that "you can't complain about not receiving help of you haven't asked for help!"  Every time it tumbles from my mouth, I wince in self rebuke. How often I moan that no one is helping me when I have not requested assistance.  When I have asked them to help with a task that was too big (or towels that were too big), they simply asked for instructions, additional help or another task.  I want to have the humility of kids. I want the ability to reach out to others and ask for help. I want the ability to reach out to the Lord and say, "I can't do this by myself.  Only with you, Christ! HELP ME!"  

Didn't do it for their glory

Matthew 6:1-4 says, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."  Christ knows our sinful human hearts.  We want to be praised, assured, and approved.  He knows missionaries are no exception (as we too are HUMAN!).  And while this is sometimes part of childishness in our offspring, my boys didn't serve their tiny hineys off for their glory.  They didn't serve so they could go post it to Facebook or write a blog or run off to their supporters and friends to brag of how much work they put in for these teams to come.  They did it because they love Jesus. They want to obey out of gratitude for what they have been gifted.  They may sometimes seek my approval or Adam's approval, but we attempt to teach them that their worth is found in Christ and no one else.  And that the glory does not fall on them for their good works but on God who used them as His instruments.  I want to be more like my children when I grow up! They are the best teachers!      

Tim Keller is a pretty good teacher, too! 
Second to my children! Ha!