Dear friends and family,
It is with great joy that we take this opportunity to report some of what has been going on recently at Teen Missions in Honduras. We understand that many of you have gone through some hard times. For others, it’s the daily struggles that are difficult, but God has been good and is always there, right? Well, it’s pretty much the same for us here! Living in close proximity to each other gives us plenty of opportunities to put God’s Word into practice and test whether we are true Christians or not. Between staff and students, we are like one big family—16 total right now, and as long as there is humility, there is peace and love. There will always be misunderstandings that cause hurt feelings, but if we deal with it right away, in love, forgiveness will restore peace and harmony. Ephesians is one of the books of the Bible that teaches how to live so that God will be glorified in our lives. One of the verses we are trying to apply to our lives now is 4:2-3, which says, “With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
So, who are those 16 people who are here right now? Let me give you some information to either update you or let you get to know us all a little bit better. First, there is the Chicas family. Chico is attending a Christian university, though the details are a bit different than we had given in our previous newsletter. At the last minute, he found a university in San Pedro Sula which offers the Theology classes he needs with a much better schedule. Rather than being away two weeks out of every month, he is away every weekend. So, it has been different around here, but not too bad. Chico leaves every Thursday to go to classes, stays with a family there in San Pedro, and returns every Saturday evening. On top of that, Chico is also teaching two of the classes here at the Teen Missions Bible School—Missions and Spiritual Life. And that is besides his regular responsibilities of running the base and being a husband and father—so he is pretty busy! I (Kathy) continue to enjoy homeschooling during the morning hours of the week and working in the office during the afternoons. A new item in my schedule this year is teaching English classes to staff and students three days a week. Daniel is a teenager now, as he celebrated his 13th birthday in January, and Samuel just turned 11 on April 29th. They both enjoy taking care of the cats (3), chickens (25), and ducks (4), as well as other odd jobs they do around the property each afternoon. We have been renovating our chicken cage and trying to develop a plan to get egg production up without increasing costs too much. Abigail turned three in February and is trying hard to fulfill the widely held theory that females speak more words each day than males (although that has recently been proven false!). We praise and thank God each day for His protection over our family and the way He provides for us through many of you! We are truly blessed!
Dunia is our other staff member who was doing her internship last year and decided to stay on staff. She is teaching the Poetical Books of the Bible as well as cooking lunches, coordinating the kitchen, and helping in the office with the Spanish side of things. Recently, Chico has started teaching her how to do the finances so she can do them when we are away, and since she studied accounting before coming here, she can turn in the annual financial report we are required by the government to turn in. Ramiro is Chico’s brother and has been a student here in the past, but because of some poor decisions had been suspended from classes. He is here as a volunteer now, waiting for the terms that he missed to come around again so he can finish. He has been a great help since Chico has to be away so much. He has gotten his driver’s license so he can transport the teachers who don’t have vehicles and also can take people to do the weekly grocery shopping. Also, he has been overseeing much of the agricultural work that is done on the property, including the new coffee plants we have. Armando is Chico’s father and he has been volunteering here since 2010. He enjoys keeping busy and is a help to us at the same time with his experience in construction work. He has dug out and then laid the block walls for two septic tanks here on the property as well as many other odd jobs. Jose and Gabriel are two boys who have the desire to attend the Teen Missions Bible School but since they didn’t go to school, they didn’t know how to read or write. They have been volunteering here during the week and attending literacy classes in Santa Cruz on Saturdays. What a surprise and blessing when the teachers found out that Jose and Gabriel are Christians, they invited them to share a devotional message at the beginning of classes each Saturday!
Finally, the students: Roman, Karina, and Eny are all finishing their two years here in May and will be going to do their internships. Actually, Karina has expressed her desire to remain here as she does more research and prayer, but feels that God is calling her to work with orphaned children in Asia. Roman’s heart is in reaching out to youth and adults who are lost in the addictions of drugs and alcohol. We held an event here at the base a few weeks ago for youth just in this area and had great results. Out of the 19 boys that came, four prayed to receive Christ as their Savior, and two rededicated their lives to the Lord! Rubenia is a second year student now. In a previous prayer letter of ours, we shared of her persistence in her desire to come here after no one took her seriously. Well, she has done a great job and is a bold witness for the Lord when the students do evangelism. Fabricio and Elmer are the only new students in this term. While it is disappointing to not have more students, we continue to trust in the Lord’s purpose for everything. The six students along with Jose, Gabriel, and Ramiro are going into the communities of Santa Cruz and San Isidro every weekend to share the love and hope of Christ with the lost. They meet with children, youth, and adults and find that there is the same thing in them all—a huge need for God. We are thankful for a great group that truly cares about these people. They are dedicated to reach out. Just because someone says they are not interested, they don’t give up, they keep coming back. Also, because of a record of a clean testimony, Teen Missions is highly respected. Many people have said they wouldn’t listen to anyone else, because they are all hypocrites, but they believe us. More than once we have heard people say they were glad we had come, or were looking forward to our coming, or that we are welcome anytime. The students are really doing a tremendous job in the ministries this year. We would appreciate your prayer since lives being rescued from the enemy’s camp is not something done in our own power (Eph. 6:10-19).
That completes the 16 people here on property, but there are a few more people we’d like to update you on. You should have all received a prayer letter from Benjamin and Ana because we gave them permission to use our mailing list. If you would prefer not to receive their prayer letter in the future, please let the TMI office know. We praise the Lord that Benjamin, Ana, and Kadisha are in Ecuador. Even though it is difficult going to a place where you don’t know anyone, the culture is different, and there is no one to tell you what to do because you are the one in charge—they have been doing a great job. It is much colder in that part of Ecuador than anywhere they have ever been, and the altitude is so high, it is difficult to breathe until you get used to it. They were sick at first but are doing better now. Spiritually speaking, we were surprised to hear that Catholicism is so prevalent, there is not even an evangelical church in the area! But Benjamin, Ana, and the two students they currently have, are hard at work making a difference in the community. They hold Bible classes for children and one of the public school teachers is bringing her whole class! Please pray for Teen Missions in Ecuador and for Benjamin and Ana, they are certainly being a light in a dark corner of the world.
Well, that brings us to the end of the people to update you on, and therefore, the end of this prayer letter. Thank you for your prayers. No, really—THANK YOU for your prayers! We know that many of you are so faithful to lift up not only this ministry, but the lives of people all over the world and that’s how we are able to maintain the love, peace, and joy that should radiate from the lives of God’s people! And so, we pray for you, too, that you will be blessed for your faithfulness, and your life will overflow with God’s love, peace, and joy!
Together for His Kingdom, Francisco, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, and Abigail Chicas