What a privilege it is for us to be able to report on what God has been doing in our family and through the ministry of Teen Missions in Honduras over the last several months. God has blessed us with a tremendous group of people who make it possible for us to continue in what He has called us to do – and those people are YOU!! Thank you!
The Story of Pastillita
As you may remember, while Chico is going to school in San Pedro Sula Wednesdays through Saturdays, he has been doing some evangelism in a pretty dangerous part of the town when not in classes. This past term, there was quite a surprising turn of events. (For those of you who have already heard this, we apologize for the repetition.) Chico had been doing door-to-door evangelism for a few months already, when one day, he was approached by a couple of armed teenagers, obvious gang members, who told him that their leader didn’t want him to pass that point. Now, before I go any further, it is important to understand a little of the background here. We are not talking about a little gang of teenagers who cause problems in the neighborhood. We are talking about an internationally known gang that is run by the drug-lords that is so powerful in Honduras – the police don’t even get involved! They don’t play around with anything – they kill people on a daily basis for things as trivial as not paying the required gang-imposed taxes. So, as a result, most people are pretty compliant. Well, about a month later, Chico was told that the leader had been killed and the new leader wanted Chico to come and pray for him. When Chico went, he had a very nice, long talk with the new leader, Pastillita, and prayed for his two young daughters. Pastillita asked Chico why he wanted to come into the neighborhood, and Chico said, “I want to share Jesus with these people.” Pastillita said, “You know this is a very dangerous area? Somebody could kill you!” Chico just said, “Actually, I am already dead.” “What?” he asked. “Yes, because I gave my life to Jesus, so my own life is not my own anymore – I am dead!” Well, Pastillita liked that idea quite a bit, so he told Chico that he could preach there all he wants! In fact, there are three empty churches because he ran the pastors out of the area. When Chico asked why, he said that they were hypocrites. They just take the people’s money, but don’t do anything for the people. Whereas the gang takes sick people to the hospital and pays the bill! The gang has also repaired the electricity problems in that area. Well, Chico said thank you, but that he didn’t want a church building, he just wants to share Jesus with the people. Pastillita liked that, too, so he said, “Why don’t you hold a service out in the street tonight?” Well, you don’t miss an opportunity like that, so Chico started calling everyone he knew and got sound equipment and some people who could sing ready for that evening. Meanwhile, Pastillita told the gang members to close the streets at both entrances to the neighborhood, and they picked up all the garbage that typically lines all Honduran streets, and he even told the people they had to turn off their loud music during the hours of the service! It was truly an amazing miracle! Chico said when he came back that evening, he felt like he was the president! They don’t permit any pictures to be taken, otherwise we would have them to show. There were about 200 people present at the service that night, about half of them were gang members and the other half were people from the neighborhood. Although no one prayed to receive Jesus that night, we know that God’s Word was preached and will not return to him void. Please join with us in praying for this neighborhood. The majority of the gang members are young, 13, 14 year-old boys and girls, almost all of them are under 20 years old, and they live in fear – almost every day someone is killed.
Boot Camp 2013-2014
For the first time since we came back to Honduras in 2007, we were not here for Leader Training Seminar. We felt that our national staff, Dunia and Karina, along with Chico’s brother, Ramiro, would be able to manage the seminar, so that we could be with family and friends in Oregon for the Christmas season. The two and a half weeks went by fast, but it was a beautiful time that God blessed us with. There was even snow! But, amid the fun traditions we were able to be a part of, Abi was the one who continually spoke to our hearts, repeating what she was learning at church: Christmas is not about snow and pretty lights, it’s about Jesus! And so we are thankful to Jesus for coming to the earth and showing us the way to glorify God with our lives, and we are also thankful for the many friends and family that shared with us. December 26th, we arrived back in Honduras, and the next day Boot Camp started! God brought 74 team members and leaders, enough for the four teams we had planned, so Hallelujah, praise the Lord for that! Also a big praise to the Lord for bringing enough volunteers to cover all that we needed to get done. The food was enough and meals were almost always on time – yea! There were some problems (water pipe broke, leader had to be sent home), but overall it was a great Boot Camp. Chico and I taught the Purity class, where the boys and girls are separated and we take some time to talk about the issues they face and how to handle them in a godly way. There were some great speakers in the evening rallies and several of the young people went forward to ask for prayer and to rededicate their lives to the Lord. On January 5th, we held the annual Graduation service; we had one graduate, Jose Ramiro Varela, and one, Elmer Alexander Hernandez, who finished his two years of schooling and was commissioned to go and do his internship. Now all of the teams are on their project time – one of them is in the area where Pastillita is! By the time you read this letter, they will probably all be back home – but since God is not restricted by time, we would ask you to pray that each team would be effective in the location where they are to present the Gospel clearly and to leave a strong testimony of the difference that Jesus Christ makes in our lives! As they return to the Teen Missions base at the end of January, please pray that God will call many of them to serve Him in missions and that many would return as students in February to the Bible School. As always, our next prayer letter will have the results of what is happening now while they are out on their projects.
We would like to share with you John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” That is the purpose of life for a Christian. Not only do we want others to know God and Jesus, but along the way, we need to make time everyday to know Him better. And so, just as we encourage you to know Him better, we also appreciate your prayers that we will do the same! Thank you!
Love in Christ,
Francisco, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, Daniel, and Abigail Chicas