Dearest friends and family,
By the time you receive this, we will be back into our schedule in sunny Honduras, but as I write, we are still in beautiful Oregon. As some of you already know, we went to Oregon after our summer team this year which was different than usual. Also different was a dry Oregon. There was a devastating number of wildfires in the northwest this year, 35 in Oregon alone! When it finally rained on Sept. 17th, we were happy for Oregon, but since the rain brings cold, we were also happy that we would be returning to warm Honduras soon! Because we shared about our ministry with so many of you, this letter will be much of a repeat of what you have already heard. But for those of you who did not get a chance to hear, let us take you along on the journey we took this summer.
The journey began at the end of May when we left for Florida. Only Samuel stayed back in Honduras because he is attending a high school which is on the Honduran school year schedule. In Florida, Daniel got his GED, so he is a high school graduate (yea, Daniel!) and then he attended Teen Missions’ Leader Training seminar. Abi participated in her second year in Peanuts on the Cookie Command team. They baked cookies and then delivered them to nursing homes, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel, sharing the love of Jesus through songs and testimonies. When Peanuts ended, Boot Camp began for the teenagers and we trained our team to go to Honduras at the same time other teams were training to go to 17 other countries around the world.
On July 3rd, Chico, Kathy, Abi, Joel, assistant leader Nathaly, and 13 excited team members flew to Honduras and then traveled 13 hours east by bus and pickup trucks. When the roads came to an end, we loaded our things onto a canoe and traveled 20 minutes further to our destination – Palacios, La Mosquitia. (Pronounced Mo-SKEET-tee-uh) Here, the team worked hard on many projects at the property that Teen Missions is purchasing for the new Bible School. The main projects were painting, putting new screens in the windows, and digging holes. They dug two garbage pits and one septic tank and also laid the block walls and poured the concrete roof for the new septic tank. Besides all the work, they also went out each day with the students who run the MSSM program in six of the villages, one to two hours away. Besides the Bible lesson that the student would teach, the team added dramas, puppets, songs and fun games to the daily evangelistic missions. There were a lot of bugs and it was downright difficult at times, but we grew in the Lord and were challenged in many ways. We pray that each one will continue to seek the Lord and to be obedient to Him no matter what He asks them to do!
Daniel was a leader to South Korea this summer and their team worked at several bilingual schools helping the kids to improve their English skills. They had a lot of fun playing games and got really close to the kids. He said it was hard to leave but they were thankful for the opportunities that God gave them to make an eternal impact in their lives. After two short weeks in Oregon, Daniel headed off to college! We give the praise to God that Daniel is a freshman this year at Pensacola Christian College in pre-med. He has five classes and is working 12 hours a week in the school’s work program. Please pray that he will be able to manage his time well so that he will do well in his classes.
Samuel is doing very well in school. September 15th is Independence Day in Honduras, and all the schools always participate in the parades. The student with the highest academic grades gets the honor of representing the school by carrying the school’s flag in the parade. And guess what? Samuel carried the flag in this year’s parade! So, we are proud of him and we give the praise to God as well. He gets along well with his classmates and has a heart to reach them for the Lord. We appreciate your prayers that God will help him to always have the courage to stand up for what is right and to continue to grow in his own personal walk with the Lord.
Immigration update: When we entered the U.S. in May, Chico was told that his U.S. residency was not enough for him to continue to live outside the U.S. If he wanted to continue to be able to travel back and forth, he would need to have U.S. citizenship. So, Chico applied for a re-entry permit that will allow him to return to Honduras for one more year. During this year, we will find out if we can do the paperwork to get the citizenship from Honduras or, if not, we will begin the process of preparing someone else to take over the Bible School and Boot Camps for three years while Chico is in the U.S. We know that God is in control and we thank you for your prayers in advance.
We are so thankful for this time that we have had in Oregon. Besides sharing about the ministry that we do in Honduras, we have also had a wonderful time of fellowship with so many friends, family and supporters! We were refreshed spiritually and emotionally, thanks to the prayers of so many. Some of you watched the kids for us so Chico and I could be alone. Thank you. Also, thanks to Dean and Bonnie, for letting us stay at your beach house for some much needed time away.
As we continue serving the Lord in Honduras, we will be praying for all of you, who, in so many ways, are a big part of everything that is done in Honduras. Without God, we are nothing. And God is using you, our supporters, to expand the ministry in Honduras, and in that way, many more souls will be in Heaven! Praise the Lord!
The Chicas family