We want to begin by giving the praise and glory to God, because He is a wonderful and awesome God no matter what happens here on earth! Job asked, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) We may not always respond perfectly, but our desire is to bless the name of the Lord in all circumstances.
We also want to give thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, because we are convinced that your prayers are making a difference! And thank you to those who are giving financially, as your faithful sacrifices make it possible for many things to keep going in the ministry here in Honduras.
Each year has been different so far, and this year was no exception. To begin, Chico decided to go to Florida early to help the base of Teen Missions International as they were getting ready for the summer teams. So he left on May 17th, while I stayed back homeschooling the boys. We were reunited on June 15th at the Orlando Airport. From there, we spent about three weeks in Boot Camp training, where Chico taught the concrete classes and Kathy helped care for the staff children, before parting ways again. This time, it was Daniel and Samuel who were off to Arizona, and Chico, myself and Abigail who returned to Honduras with the 2011 North American team.
For those who prayed for Daniel and Samuel, we believe that it was a good experience for both of them, and they didn’t fight with each other! More importantly, God kept the whole team safe and healthy. They were able to do several small projects to help the Navajo Indians, including painting a church, doing some roofing and building two porches besides their main project of digging a trench for water pipes. They really enjoyed getting to know some of the Navajo people and experience some of their culture.
As for Chico and myself, this was a hard summer, but we learned things that we believe will be helpful in the future. The team’s location this year, in La Mosquitia, in southeastern Honduras, was further in than last year – 12 hours further by canoe. And that was down river; on the way back, it was 24 hours total, traveled in two days! Crazy! There are no roads into this area. Once you get out of the canoe, it’s either walking or horseback riding. It rained a lot, which made for a lot of mud, so we were thankful for every time the sun came out! There is no electricity in any of the villages, so we were thankful for a generator that we could use for a few hours after it got dark each evening (it got dark around 6 p.m.).
One of the hardest things for me personally, though, was that Abigail got burnt by boiling water after the first of the three weeks that we were in the village. I had gone outside to drain a pot of yucca, and instead of just dumping it on the ground like normal, I dumped it in a little hole about a foot deep. I knew that Abi was out there, but I didn’t think she would get near it because she knows that steam means hot. Apparently, out of curiosity, she had gone over to see it when she slipped in the mud. We thank God that it was only her foot that went in, realizing it could have been much worse, because it was bad enough as it was. We were the ones who had to change the bandages every day. Even though we soaked them in water, they still stuck. I had to ask Chico to remove them the first few days because her skin was being ripped off with the bandage and I felt like my heart was being ripped out as I listened to her screaming. But, as all things in life, the worst of it passed. I began to let it get air during part of the day which helped it heal faster. I will always be grateful to the team members who helped me bandage her foot and those who played with her during the two weeks she sat on a chair because she couldn’t walk.
It was a good team. They worked hard on their construction project and were able to see a three-room building more than halfway complete. They did the entire foundation and laid the block walls to about 3 1⁄2 feet high— blocks that they also made themselves! This building will be used as Sunday School classrooms and as an outreach as they hold educational and other events to benefit the community of Wampusirpi.
The team was also able to do four evangelistic presentations in different villages. They did use the horses to get to some of the villages, although the ones we had originally planned to visit that were further away, we didn’t get to visit because there was too much rain. Praise to God for the ten young people who prayed to receive Christ! Praise Him also for the many Christians who were encouraged and challenged themselves by the witness and work done by the team.
During the time that we were away, Benjamin and Ana were once again left in charge of the Bible School, and again they did a good job. It was during this time also that we were finally able to get a well drilled right up here on the top of the hill where all the buildings are. Now we just need to get the pipes put in so we can start using our new source of water. This is a huge blessing because all these years we have pumped water up from the creek which is expensive and not even drinkable. We thank Salem Evangelical Church for their donations to make this well possible!
There is now a coffee project going strong here on the property. In the beginning of this year, the students planted several thousand coffee seeds. We cared for them in a nursery-type setting and now, in September, they are being transplanted. The idea is that the profit from selling the coffee will go to support students (after they have graduated from here) who do not have support from their home churches. Our prayer is that God will bless the coffee orchard so that it will be highly productive for many years to come!
We have one new student from Choluteca named Rubenia. When she shared with us how God called her to missions and how she ended up at Teen Missions, it was a great example of perseverance. She was convinced that God wanted her to do more than just stay at home going to church. She asked her Pastor what options there were for her to go to a Bible School and he said he would look into it, but then got busy and never did. Finally, she started looking herself. When she found BMT (BiBle, Missionary, & Work Training Center in Spanish), no one took her seriously. When she asked her parents, her dad said “No.” She prayed earnestly that God would show her what to do. Miraculously, when the time for the new term to start was getting close, her father gave his permission and her church gave her an offering to be able to come!
We ask that you continue praying that God would send students to the BMT who are truly willing to give everything to live for Him. Just a few weeks ago, we had to suspend all three of our male students for the poor testimony that they were giving. It is hard, but we believe that God is looking for people who will make a difference in the world. If there are 25 students here next year or none – that is completely up to God, because this school is for Him and He is in control!
I apologize that I never got any new pictures put on Facebook if you checked. The time went by so fast, and we were so busy. But this time I will get more pictures on, so if you ́d like to see them, please check! Thank you!
Together with you for the Kingdom,
Francisco and Kathy Chicas and family