Monday, December 11, 2017

ReCount Complete

12/11/2017
Election Update:

The Electoral Tribunal has completed their partial recount with virtually no difference.  They will give a complete report of their findings to the public this afternoon.

Some peaceful protests began throughout the country this morning.  Things are normal and peaceful thus far in La Ceiba.  The nationwide curfew is over.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Different Kind of Waiting

In the past two weeks of political turmoil in Honduras, God has given me fresh eyes for a familiar story.  Every year, this is the season in which I chase after that "feeling."  The feeling of God's presence in such a precious time.  The feeling of God's presence in preparing my heart for the celebration of the birth of his Son, Jesus Christ.  I know in my head and heart that it is found in the truth of the Nativity story.  It is not found in commercialism, lights, a tree, presents, silly songs, or my American (or Honduran) traditions.

The whole world groans in brokenness but it is evident before my very eyes in my host country. I see our sin and brokenness in the corruption of the government, in the impulsive violence as a response, in the death and destruction that has taken place in so many cities in the past two weeks. I literally hear the groaning of creation in the protests, in the yelling, and in the pot banging; the noise made by despondence, morose, and oppression.  I see how selfishness taints the conversations and effects relationships among friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike.  The genetics of depravity effect our thoughts, words, actions, and decisions on a daily basis.  The brokenness is everywhere. A holy God would be just in turning His back on the brokenness He can not be a part of.  But He didn't and He doesn't and He won't.  Miraculously and mysteriously, He lavishes His sovereign grace on a rebellious people.  We all are those rebellious people.

How did He lavish His grace and love upon us?  He sent His Son.  His Son, Jesus Christ, came into this messy rebellious world as an innocent helpless babe.  A babe that would grow up, not in a palace in a mighty kingdom, but as a servant alongside his people. A babe who many would travel to meet. A babe who many would marvel then and now. A babe that grew to be a God-man that would humble himself to the point of death on a cross to save us.  The story seems fundamental and imperative when suffering surrounds me on all sides.  God's desire to wipe every tear away, to end all pain and affliction, to obliterate disease and death is palpable this year. The wonder of His love is ever-present on my mind.  How he could love me, a sinner, is an amazing thing.

This year, I can sing, "He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love" while a parade of grumbling people march down the next street.  He is coming.  We need Him to come.  His coming fulfills a deep need in each of us. And He does it with truth and grace and righteousness. This year, I can read, "For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will rest upon His shoulders," and find rest that the turmoil of politics here (and everywhere) is opposite of how my God reigns.  He is perfectly just, merciful, and loving.  He renews my mind with the reality of the sin in and around me but also the reality of His character and His love for us.

I admit, this is not how I would desire God to give me fresh eyes.  I'd prefer something less dramatic, less painful than watching a people and country I love hurting. I'd prefer He just fill me with a fire to see the beautiful things anew.  But God's plan is always better than my plan and He continues to reveal our ever-present need for that babe that He sent so long ago.  So this year I wait in my brokenness with a renewed hope in the birth of Jesus Christ.       

Friday, December 8, 2017

Re-Count

12/8/2017
Update on the Honduran Presidential Election:

Today the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (election agency) began a partial recount.  The votes most disputed are those that came in after the initial reports, long delays and system failure.  TSE will recount vote by vote those from 4,753 (of the 18,128) polling places.  This process will take multiple days.

A cold front with rain is expected to hit this weekend.  Looks like it'll be a weekend of reading, movies and board games!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

In Limbo

12/7/2017
Update:
Political parties are discussing a possible recount of all votes.

Curfew was shortened to 8pm to 5am.  This is nice but even the initial curfew didn't affect our family too much as we are usually home in the evenings.

The protest roadblocks between La Ceiba and other major cities were lifted to allow supplies through.  They had been in place for over a week.  Gas stations had been rationing and grocery stores were empty of produce, eggs, meat and dairy.  Again, we are in great shape as we stocked up last week but most people in the country don't have the ability to do this so the cease in roadblock really helped to ease the stress within the city.

The country is peaceful and waiting.  We are safe and secure.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Votes are Counted



12/4/2017 3:00pm
Update:  see original post here

Votes have been totaled.  Juan O. Hernandez maintains a lead of 1.59% or 52,347 votes. However, the opposing party is disputing some of the vote reports. This challenge phase could take a while. Possibly weeks, not days.

This morning we met with our Honduran teammates for a sweet time of prayer.

Honduran Presidential Election


12/3/2017  11:08pm
I don’t know how much of this is being reported in the U.S. so I figured I’d give you an update and let you know we’re safe.

The presidential election took place on Sunday, November 26. The current president, Juan O. Hernandez is the first to run for re-election as it is prohibited by the constitution. Understandably, many people are opposed to his re-election bid.  The first report of votes showed a sizable lead to his opponent with the majority of the polls reporting.  After that, vote reporting started and stopped, sometimes for up to 36 hours at a time.  When votes were reported, they leaned towards the incumbent. Wednesday night he took the lead. Protests began in many parts of the country, including La Ceiba. JOH currently holds a slight lead.  However, now a week since the election they still haven’t counted all of the votes and have not officially announced a winner. People are frustrated and angry about the process, the lack of transparency, and re-election in general. Many suspect fraud. Protests have become violent in some places but are generally focused on highways (blocking bridges) and the TSE (electoral agency) office in Tegucigalpa. Some people are using the situation as an excuse to loot and destroy property however, less so in La Ceiba than other parts of the country. This has prompted many business and schools to shorten their hours or close temporarily. On Friday a curfew was instated for 10 days from 6pm to 6am.  Military have been called in to enforce the curfew and break up road blockades and protests. Some people have continued their protests by banging pots and pans and setting off fireworks. Things are noisy but peaceful around our neighborhood. We feel safe in our home and plan to stick close for the next several days. We have lots of water, food, and gas.

The last of the votes are finally being tallied. It appears that Monday incumbent, Juan O. Hernandez will be called the victor.  If so, protests can be expected to continue and possibly worsen. We are keeping a close eye on the news and the US Embassy's safety messages. We have met as a team to discuss safety. Our agency, MTW has been in touch with our team leader and will help us to evaluate the situation.

Today (Sunday) we ventured out of our house to attend church. It was a wonderful time of worship. Our pastor, Allan delivered a great message on non-violence. His words were humble and calming without taking sides in the election. He lightened the tense mood without making light of the situation. And he reminded his Honduran congregants that their citizenship was ultimately in heaven, not in this world.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We Came, We Saw, We Prayed, We Ate...

...and we stayed an extra day (whoops!).  The Mission to the World missionary women of Team La Ceiba just got back from our retreat yesterday.  We flew to Tegucigalpa to join the ladies of that MTW team and share how we have been encouraged and challenged in the last year.  The theme of this year's retreat was Praise and Prayers and we revealed to each other the Lord's faithfulness in four areas: Missionary Life, Marriage Life, Mothering Life, and teaM life.  As a lady on the field, you can be pulled in many directions with many responsibilities.  We can categorize them into neat (prayer) areas but truth be told, the lines can be pretty blurry at points.     


Tangible love (not pictured: chocolate already consumed)

THIS year, our team leader's wife contacted many supporting churches and seasoned missionary ladies to pour into us.  A cute canvas bag filled to the brim with gifts, goodies, and notes did just the job. Many MTW missionaries that have been on the field for more than a decade wrote us beautiful pieces of encouragement motivating us to perseverance and continued obedience to our calling in Honduras.  Words from these ladies seasoned with wisdom and understanding are a true treasure.  These cards and letters will be kept with last year's for times where a little boost of morale is needed!  (Thank you to all who contributed!)        

 Country mice in the city
So many delicious restaurants, so little time  

An amazing view of the city of Tegucigalpa on Friday night

A sweet time of fellowship and scrumptious food
(Many thanks for those who donated to this dinner!)


Best of all, I work alongside some amazing women.  These ladies are more than my teammates.  They are my friends, my family, and my church body.  It was a treat to just be together, to rest and pray together, to laugh together, and to cry together.  I am grateful for each of them and for how the Lord has seen us through hardships and unified us as the years go by.  I am grateful our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is what binds us together.  Our differences pale in comparison to our likeness in Christ.  And our differences make us a stronger body together.       


Photographic proof for our husbands that we were on a plane and coming home

(Through a series of unfortunate events, we missed our flight the day before.  We accidentally tacked on an additional 24 hours.  Our husbands are all saints and know how valuable and needed this time is for our longevity on the field, for our sanity as missionary wives and mothers.  They all responded like champs and told us to enjoy our bonus day while they held down the forts.  What a blessing they are to us!)