We pray that this letter finds you well in the midst of this craziness that we all live in, called life. As we look around and hear the news, it’s mind-boggling how much is going on in the world. It truly is God’s mercy to withhold Judgment Day destruction. He is giving His children a chance to make a difference, to bring one more life to the feet of Jesus, to show who God truly is. (2 Cor. 5:15-20, 2 Pet. 3:9, Ph. 2:15, Ps. 51:13 emphasis on the word “Then”, 1 Pet. 2:9 and 1 Pet. 3:15) Are we each doing our part?
We want to thank those of you who support us financially, as we recognize there are so many areas of need. Why should you continue to support the ministry of Teen Missions in Honduras? What part does Honduras play in the overall picture of the world?
The statistics are hard to believe; only three percent of missionaries today are working among the most unreached people groups in the world, and about one-third of the world has never heard the Gospel! (See YouTube video “Unreached Peoples: Do you know the real deal?”)
If this is true, then what are we doing in Honduras? We have asked ourselves the same question. Let us share with you why we believe that God would have us continue with Teen Missions in Honduras.
Windows of opportunity: How appropriate that the missions course taken from Perspectives is called Kairos—the Greek word meaning “the right or opportune moment”. We believe that there are several windows of opportunity available to us at this time and place. I don’t know how much you have heard about the doors closing in many countries to missionaries from the United States, mostly due to political conflicts. Caucasians are becoming less and less welcome in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Latinos, however, primarily due to their skin color and physical features which greatly resemble those of the Middle Eastern and Asian people, are welcome and blend in easily to their surroundings. Cultural differences are also not as strikingly different and that adds to their ease of blending in. While it is our heart’s desire to reach those people groups with little to no access to Bibles or evangelical churches, we must ask what would be the most effective way? If we go, we are one family going. If we stay in Honduras, we have the opportunity to train many more who may be able to go. So far, there is ONE person who has gone, his name is Jose Martinez. He came as a team member to a Teen Missions Boot Camp many years ago where he learned about missions. He has now spent 10 years as a missionary in Bangladesh, and, due to visa problems, is now in India. Our vision is to send many more missionaries to the unreached people of the world.
There are two parts of Teen Missions in Honduras: the short-term mission trips and the two-year BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK (BMW) Training Center. We have the short-term mission trips twice a year because we have the North American teams over the summer and then we have the Honduran teams in the winter. The purpose of these teams is threefold: to bring compassionate aid to those in great need, to give teenagers an idea of what missions is and to provide an atmosphere where teens may realize that God is calling them to serve full-time in missions work. The purpose of the Bible school is to completely train those who have been called to serve God full-time. Not only do students receive Bible and missions classes along with practical work training, but they also receive disciplined character training that is not being taught at any other Bible school in Honduras. After all, what good is a head full of wonderful knowledge, if the first trial that comes along so discourages new missionaries, that they leave the mission field? We need men and women with hearts of steel when it comes to facing difficulties, yet with hearts of compassion for the lost and perishing.
After having explained all of this, you will now have a greater appreciation when we tell you that the first week of September, Chico was teaching the Kairos course here in Honduras and there were 16 people attending, most of whom were pastors! This is such a huge step forward since most pastors in Honduras are not at all interested in missions. If these pastors go back to their churches and begin to encourage people to be involved in missions……this could be a major change in Honduras! For all of these years, Teen Missions in Honduras has had fairly small Boot Camps and relatively few Bible school students because the pastors of the churches have not been supportive of their members attending anything outside of their own denomination. Could we really finally be breaking the denomination barrier? Wow, this could be something amazing! Please pray for this breakthrough and praise the Lord for every big and little step that takes us closer to getting God’s Word preached around the world. The Kairos course is something that Chico may be able to teach once or twice each year. In addition to that, he will always incorporate the message of Kairos every time he is invited to preach—and that is pretty often.
Now that we have shared our heart, we can share what we have been doing for the last few months. At the writing of our last newsletter, our family was headed off in different directions for the summer. Well, Chico, myself and two young ladies, led a team of 25 teenagers serving the Lord at a Children’s Home in Honduras. While it was very challenging and difficult at times, it was also a blessing to get to know the team members and see God working in their lives. We had a double project: to share God’s love with the children through puppets, crafts, songs, games, and stories; and to work on a building that will be used for classrooms for the Children’s Home. Abi was with us and we were blessed by the directors of the home, who also homeschool their daughters who are Abi’s age. They invited Abi to be at their house with them doing schoolwork every morning! Please pray with us for our team, now that they are back home, that they will have the courage to make choices that honor God, and, if God calls them to work in missions, that they will obey.
While we were still in Florida, training with the team that would come to Honduras, Abi was able to participate on her very own team—the Mustard Seeds! And she loved it! They have a great program for 4 to 6 year-olds that lasts four days every summer. One of the highlights is their very own Obstacle Course! They also learn the basics to present the plan of salvation through the Wordless Book. There were 16 kids altogether and Abi made a couple of really special friends. Praise the Lord for that precious opportunity!
Samuel was blessed by receiving the support to go on his last preteen team to Malawi, Africa. Their project was planting trees for the Rescue Units that Teen Missions operates for AIDS orphans. They worked very hard digging holes in the rock-like soil, but they got to have a lot of fun playing with the kids afterwards. He will be happy to share further with anyone who would like to hear more the next time we are in the States. Thank you for your support and prayers! Praise God for the safety, good health and spiritual growth experienced by this team.
Daniel stayed in Honduras attending school because we believed it was the best thing for him at the time. We thank God for taking care of him those long, two months, and for the things he was able to learn during that time. Upon our return however, after he was able to share with us, we decided that it was no longer the best place for him to be and we withdrew him. He is now continuing his education at home along with Samuel and Abi. We so appreciate your prayers for us in this area—for wisdom, discernment, time management, discipline and anything else that comes to your mind!
We finally have an answer regarding length of time remaining for Chico to take classes at the University. Unfortunately, they decided to accept only six of the classes Chico had taken 20 years ago (smile), so that leaves five more terms after this one. So, it appears, we are looking at a graduation date for him near the end of 2016. Wow, that seems like a long time away!
September 1st, we began a new term here at the Honduras BMW with eight students. (I wanted to include a picture, but one of the students had to leave for an appointment in Tegucigalpa so I couldn’t get it.) September 10th is National Children’s Day here in Honduras, so right away the students were given many amazing opportunities to share the Gospel. They were invited to two different elementary schools where they dressed as clowns while they presented the Gospel through puppets, skits and choreography. After that was over, they went to the city park in Santa Cruz where there were hundreds of kids and adults and they continued sharing the love of Christ through humorous skits. Praise the Lord for these and so many other opportunities that we are given to share the love of God around Honduras!
Over the next few months, we will be getting ready for the Boot Camp that starts December 27th. We are praying for enough leaders and team members to fill six teams this year. Please join us in praying that God will bring, not only the maximum number of people for these teams, but that the leaders will be mature men and women who love God above all else. We also need volunteers to help us out during the first 10 days of training. If you are interested in that, please let us know!
And now it is time to bring this letter to a close. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your part in this ministry. We pray that God will bless you in every way (III John 2). But most of all, that your love for God grows stronger every day. We love and appreciate you!
Francisco, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel and Abigail Chicas