It is because of your faithful prayers and support, that we have been able to continue serving our Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of Teen Missions. We are thankful for many things, including:
1. God’s grace to give us eternal salvation, forgiveness, and love
2. all of you who are so amazingly supportive of our family and the ministry here
3. good health and safety
4. the lives that have been saved as a result of Honduran teams and the students’ ministries
5. and many, many more blessings!
At the time of the writing of the last letter, we did not yet have the final information from the 2015-2016 Boot Camp. But there is much to praise the Lord for, as you will see. The four teams did door-to-door evangelism as well as evangelistic presentations in a total of ten different communities around Honduras. They were a positive witness as well. One team had several people from the community bring gifts of food to share with the team as a thank-you for what they were doing there! During the project time in January, there was a total of 371 people who prayed to give their lives to Christ Jesus! And during our closing reunion with the four teams together again, 59 of the team members and leaders made commitments to serve the Lord full-time! Please pray for the new believers to grow in their knowledge of the Lord and to walk worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:9-11) and for those who made the commitments of service to be faithful.
Sixteen team members wrote their testimonies of how God had used Teen Missions to change their lives. Here are excerpts from three of them:
“I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to come to this camp. Before I came, I could not share God’s Word with anyone because I was afraid. But now I give thanks to God because He has taken that fear away from me and that’s how I know that God is working in me.” Denis Maradiaga
“Before I came here, I had a false life. I went to church and I went forward each time the pastor asked who wanted to repent from their sin. But each time when I went back to school, I would go right back to my old life. I am thankful for this camp because it has greatly changed my life and I pray to God that He will help me when I get back so that I can be an example to the others and not fall back any more.” Jose Antonio Romero
“This camp has changed my life. I used to say bad words and I was into drugs, but I know that when I get back, I am not going to be the same old person because I am a new creation in Christ. I want to shake up the neighborhood so that when they see the change in my life they will be drawn to Jesus and God will be glorified, but I have to humble myself…” Edson Daniel Flores
We began the school year in February with five new students for a total of 12 students this term. Three of the new students are from the area called La Mosquitia. Some of you may have heard about the new ministry Teen Missions began in Africa called Motorcycle Sunday School Missions. They are reaching people in remote areas by going on motorcycles. Each circuit is made up of six communities which they visit each week throughout the year. Besides giving a Bible lesson each week, they are also teaching literacy classes. It is open to adults as well as children. There are already over 200 circuits currently running in Africa, reaching over a thousand people. (You can read more about this at www.motorcyclessmissions.org ) Just last year, we started the first circuit here in Honduras, in the area known as La Mosquitia. Because it is dense jungle with rivers running through it, canoes are the most commonly used form of transportation. In light of this, instead of Motorcycles, in La Mosquitia we are using Motorboats. We have two young men there who are both graduates of the Teen Missions Bible School, Faustino and Brian. Faustino is originally from that area, so he is familiar with the culture and terrain. Brian is originally from southern Honduras, and surprising as it may be, even though it’s the same country, La Mosquitia is so different that it seems like you are in a different country. Besides cultural differences, they even have their own dialects. Add to that, Brian has had malaria twice since he has been there, and you begin to get an idea of how difficult it has been. In spite of it all, both of them continue to hold the classes each week and they have already seen God working. At the beginning, no one wanted them there. The leaders told lies about them so that no one would attend the meetings. But the townspeople were watching, and they saw something different. Eventually, they wanted their kids to go and learn about God’s Word. This is a big praise – but it does not mean there are no more problems. Please pray for Brian’s health and for both of the guys to maintain a blameless testimony that they may shine as lights in the darkness (Phil. 2:14-16).
At the Teen Missions base, our Bible School students go out to the surrounding communities each weekend to put into practice what they are learning in their classes during the week. They work with pastors or church leaders doing evangelism – most often in areas where there is little to no Christian witness at all. Usually, each term, we change the locations of the ministry groups, but sometimes we leave them the same. This term we have three groups. One of the groups is made up of students who are finishing up their High School classes on the weekends in Santa Cruz. So they actually are not working with a pastor, but they have permission to share a short message with their classmates at the beginning of classes each week and now they are going to be holding a Bible study after class. This is a great opportunity because it is a public institution that is willing and full of people who are in desperate need of hope for the future. The second group is working with a former graduate from here, going to a village where there is no church at all. The third group is working with a pastor from this area, but they are traveling about four hours in a bus just to get to this village where there is no Christian church. The first time they went, it was raining, cold and muddy. Even so, after going around inviting people, thirteen came to the first meeting! Since there is no electricity, they were reading the Bible by candlelight. At the closing prayer time, many of the people thanked God for permitting His Word to come to their village! Afterward, one man said that he was Catholic but that he would be coming to the Bible meetings and he asked for prayer that God would help him understand the truth. Please pray for the students to be diligent in their study of God’s Word, to keep Jesus as their first love, and to maintain a clean testimony for Christ.
The quickly upcoming summer months will be bringing many opportunities for evangelism as our family will be a part of the many teams that Teen Missions will be sending around the world. Chico and I are planning to lead a team of teenagers to the Intibucá mountains of Honduras where we are hoping to start a Motorcycle Sunday School Missions circuit as soon as we have people who can run it. The team will be riding bicycles to different villages, sharing the Gospel through music, puppets and dramas. After that, they will return to the base where they will help us put a badly-needed new roof on one of our student cabins. Please pray for our team to be a positive witness for Jesus Christ, for spiritual growth and that God would call those He would want to serve Him as missionaries; as well as for good health, energy, wisdom, and safety for all those involved! Abigail is excited about going on her first Peanut team this summer. Peanuts are 7-9 years old and the teams last one week as they participate in projects in the area around the Teen Missions headquarters in Florida. After that, she would join Chico, myself and baby Joel before we head back to Honduras. Daniel has signed up for a team that will be doing earthquake relief projects in Nepal and Samuel decided on a team that will be working with an orphanage in India. We are so thankful that they both continue to have the desire to go on teams because that puts them in a good place for God to continue speaking to their hearts.
We are grateful to all of you who have contributed financially, and in many other ways, to their missions trips in the past and we would like to extend an invitation to participate once again. Although we are not in Oregon this year for them to have the blessing of working for those of you who live there, rest assured that they are still getting the blessing of work! They each spend two to four hours each afternoon working alongside the students, with the animals, or helping with family jobs. So, in a way, you could still say they are earning their support. On a technical note, just to avoid confusion, if you wish to send financial support specifically for them, since we are not in the U.S. now, all donations should be sent directly to the Teen Missions office in Florida. Just send a note saying what it is for so our names do not appear on the checks. Thank you so very much in advance for your kind generosity. We would also appreciate your prayers for our children, for God’s protection and good health, and for them to be receptive to God’s speaking to them; also for the teams to have great spiritual impacts in the places where they are.
Thank you so much for everything you do. We pray for God’s blessing to rest upon you, for wisdom, provision for all your needs, and that you will continue to be used by God to spread His glory around the world!
Until all have heard,
Francisco, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, Abigail, and Joel Chicas