Wow! It has been a while, hasn’t it? I guess having a new baby has kept me busier than I thought it would! I am sure you have all heard the news that we had a baby boy, born in August, 2015. But, you probably haven’t heard many of the details. We would like to share for two reasons: one—many of you asked us to, and two—it was amazing and we want to give God the glory for all He did! While in Oregon, I mentioned to some of you that I wondered how the birth of this baby could be different since the births of each of the previous three were all so extremely different (three different cities, birth weight: 5, 7, and 9 pounds, natural and cesarean, etc.)
Well, here’s the story: On Aug. 3rd, I was scheduled to go in for my monthly checkup. I thought I would bring along the hospital bag, since it is an hour and half drive. It would be silly to not have it “just in case” I went into labor. I also persuaded Daniel, Samuel and Abigail to come along with Chico and me so that we could have some time together as a family since the boys had just returned home the week before from their missions trips overseas. So I went in and the doctor began to monitor the baby’s heart. He spent much longer than usual and finally let us know that he was concerned about the abnormality of the heart rate. He said he would advise a cesarean. I asked when and he said, “Today!” Today?! I couldn’t believe it! We were concerned about what could be wrong, so we took our concerns to the Lord and decided to trust whatever happened was His will. Several hours later, a healthy baby boy was delivered. It turned out, he had no medical issues at all. Rather, I had lost amniotic fluid which caused his movements to press against his umbilical cord and suppressed the oxygen for seconds at a time, causing a sporadic heart rate. Once delivered, he was back to normal. PRAISE THE LORD! Thank God for the wisdom and discernment of the doctor! Once born, we had some difficulty choosing a name. I had built up quite a criteria: Bible name, same
spelling in English and Spanish, and now a new one – ends in the letter “L”. Finally, we decided, and his name is Joel Andres. (Pronounced ho-ELL in Spanish.) While we are so thankful to God for blessing us with this beautiful creation of His. We are also so thankful to all of you for your many, many prayers during the pregnancy, birth, and recovery. (By the way, just to note the “coincidences”, when I had to have the unexpected C-section, I was prepared because for some reason I had brought the hospital bag, and also the whole family was present for the birth!)
In other family news, many of you supported Daniel and Samuel on their missions trips last summer financially and/or with your prayers. We cannot even begin to tell you how thankful we are, because through your support, not only is God is working in their lives, but they are able to be a blessing in other countries as well. Daniel had a great time in the Philippines, and his team shared the Gospel in several schools as well as worked hard paving a road for the base of Teen Missions in the Philippines. Samuel had a great time in Bangladesh—his team was a blessing to the kids at the children’s home where they worked very hard in the mud and heat preparing the foundation for a parking lot. They are both hoping to go on missions trips this summer as well – it will be Daniel’s last summer as a team member – so we welcome any donations specifically towards their trips.
Back at the Teen Missions base in Honduras last summer, we had quite an exciting event: the new water lines were connected to the new water tank and to all the houses, and……voila….we had water!! We now have running water in all the buildings at the base, so another huge PRAISE THE LORD for that!!
In September, Chico took several of the students and staff on a special expedition to the Eastern part of Honduras known as La Mosquitia. It is the same area where we took US teams a few years ago. Very primitive, no electricity, and since there is so much water, people go everywhere in canoes instead of cars. It is also an area where the people are very poor, there are very few schools and in many places, there are no evangelical churches at all. Our group helped out a few days at a children’s center run by a missionary friend of ours and the other days they hiked into the mountains to do evangelism. It was a difficult trip, but they all said it was worth it. The spiritual need was just as evident as the economic.
We are thankful that God has continued to give Chico the opportunity to go on a regular basis to the jail in San Pedro Sula. He has been teaching a Bible study class there and the men have been very interested. More people are coming every time and seven men have accepted Christ as their Savior! PRAISE THE LORD for that! At Christmas time, the students prepared a special presentation with dramas and puppets for the children of the prisoners. Chico preached and there was a snack given afterwards to nearly 200 kids. Many of them do not attend churches so please pray that they will take to heart the message that they heard that day.
This past Boot Camp, which ran from Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 29, 2016, we celebrated 20 years that Teen Missions has been operating in Honduras! What a blessing to hear from former team members, leaders, students, and staff, about how God has used Teen Missions in their lives. Many are currently serving in ministry as a result of the training they received here. Continuing in the program, on Jan. 5, 2016, we held a service for the current graduating students. This year, three students were commissioned, meaning they have finished the two years of Bible classes and will be going to serve their one-year internship, and six students graduated, meaning they have finished their internships as well. Your prayers for them to be faithful would be appreciated. We had four teams that made up Boot Camp this year, which were: A)San Luis—the only construction team, who worked very hard on the foundation for a water cistern, carrying big rocks up a muddy hillside; B) San Antonio C) La Paz and D) Zapote—the last three were all evangelism teams that did a lot of walking and hiking up very steep hills. The locations where teams A and C were, the weather was very cold, and the teams courageously endured to the end! Daniel and Samuel were team members in this Boot Camp as well, Daniel on team B and Samuel on team A. We don’t have the final statistics from the teams ready yet, but we do know that many people heard the Gospel and many others responded by accepting Christ as their Savior. PRAISE THE LORD!!
As I write this, we are getting ready for the next term of classes to start, so we do not yet know how many students will be coming. We pray that God will bring those who He wants to have here. We would appreciate your continued prayers for Chico as he is in the final stages of his classes at the university—he has to write his thesis and then he will be done! I would appreciate your prayers for me as I have never been very good at time management and now, as much as I love our baby boy, I am having a struggle finding the time to get everything done. (I’m sure there are many out there who can relate!) Daniel, Samuel and Abigail are continuing to study at home; please pray that they will be diligent and that, as parents, we will make wise decisions to help guide them. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in standing with us in this ministry. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! Eph. 3:20-21
Until all have heard,
Francisco, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, Abigail, and Joel Chicas 🙂