Dear Friends and Family,
“…many are called but f
ew are chosen. (Matthew 20:16) Our Boot Camp theme verse this year exemplifies a sad truth–Although God’s heart is for many to reach out to the lost, there are very few who actually stick it out to the end and do it. At Teen Missions in Honduras, we are trying to help more people to “stick it out to the end, and do it.”
Because we ran Boot Camp earlier this year, and the newsletter deadline was later, for the first time ever, we can share the results in one newsletter and you won’t have to wait four months to hear the end of the story!
Arrival Day, December 16, was right in the midst of some major political conflicts. Violent protests were going on all over the country so many people chose not to come to boot camp this year to avoid taking the risk. Others came and had no problems. But there were some who persevered in coming, even though there were difficulties. They would set out to come, but finding the roadways blocked, they had to turn around and go home. One family tried two days in a row, waiting all day, before going back. The third day they were able to make it! Because of this, Boot Camp was noticeably different this year – those who came, really wanted to be here! Also, since the training period lasts 10 days, they were here right through Christmas and out on their project sites for New Year’s. Being away from family on major holidays is a big deal for youth anywhere, and more so for Latin American families. Choosing to be here knowing they would be away from home over the holidays was more proof they really wanted to be here. We divided up the 46 young guys and gals into four teams, and they trained for the projects that they would have.
During this time, we also held our graduation service for the Bible School students. Three students graduated and two were commissioned to begin their year of internship. Of the three graduates, one will continue to work with MSSM in La Mosquitia, the second is joining staff here at our base, and the third is working with his church while he prays about where the Lord is calling him. This year there were many students who had graduated in previous years who came to help out at Boot Camp, either as a volunteer or to lead a team, and that was a great help! Another interesting tidbit about this year’s Boot Camp is that we had a number of team members whose parents were team members on a team here at Teen Missions in Honduras many years before!–Six parents of five team members to be exact.
After the 10 days of training, the teams were sent out to: A) San Antonio, Cortes, to help build a wall for a children’s home, B) the capital city of Tegucigalpa, to do many different evangelistic projects, C) La Masica, Atlantida (Northern coast) to do evangelism with children and teens, and D) several villages and towns near our base to do evangelistic soccer workshops. The surprise was to hear about all that the team in Tegucigalpa was able to do. For the glory of the Lord, they did their evangelistic presentation at a public hospital, an elderly home, a rehab center, a garbage dump (where kids go to look for food), other very poor neighborhoods, and several different central parks. They were able to give out Bibles and 17 people made the decision to give their lives to the Lord! Their evangelistic presentation included songs, testimonies, dramas, puppets and clowning acts. They were a very talented, effective group able to have people laughing hysterically then present their need for a savior. Over the course of the entire Boot Camp there were 48 people who gave their lives to the Lord!
After the project time came to a close, the teams returned to our base for a time of fellowship and reporting what God had done while they were out. Twenty-nine of the team members and leaders made commitments to serve the Lord in full-time Christian service and Chico interviewed 12 of them who are interested in coming to Bible School. And here are the testimonies of a few of the team members this year:
“God did great things in my life. It was a great experience. God changed my life and transformed my character. I reconciled with God and decided to totally change my life. Teen Missions taught me many things that I did not know, but now I know and I understand that God changes lives and I decided to change mine. And if you are reading this, God can change your life the same way that he changed mine, just seek Him and serve Him with all your heart.” Jose Hernandez
“Well, I came here, being a person who played with God, I played that I was a Christian. I used to have a bad attitude and I was aggressive, violent. But when I came to Teen Missions, I felt something different. I struggled with my pride, but God changed my life, renewed my heart…Thank you Teen Missions for this wonderful opportunity.” Axel Lara
“In Teen Missions I learned how to be a true Christian. The Lord changed many things in my life. At the beginning, I didn’t like it, but now I love it and I don’t want to go home! I didn’t know anything about God, now I know a little. At Teen Missions they form your character. They get your true personality out. Another very important thing that I learned is how to share the Gospel. Getting to make the kids laugh is a sweet experience. This has been the best month of my entire 18 years of life.” Alan Lemuz
“At first, I was so excited to come…but when I got here, I didn’t like it. There were so many rules, I wanted to go home. But God began working in my life, and I discovered that I had a lot of resentment towards my father, because he has a very strong character. Through my daily devotional time with the Lord, God began dealing with me, and I felt that resentment leaving. And now I can say that I love my father. Teen Missions has helped me a lot, it is a lovely experience. I am thankful to God for having given me the opportunity to be in this Boot Camp and I hope that it can continue so that it can keep helping many young people.” Fernando Garcia
“For me, it was a great experience. The Lord made me feel in my heart the great need to reach out to the people who need the Gospel…” Alejandro Aleman
PRAY, pray, pray! Please pray for all these people. Pray for all those who heard the Gospel and did not respond, that God’s Word will continue speaking to them until they surrender their life to the Lord. Pray for those who DID respond, that they will be involved in a church that preaches the truth of God’s Word and they will grow stronger in their relationship with the Lord. Pray for the team members and leaders as they go home, that they will be faithful to the commitments they made while here, and that God will bring each person that He would have to return to study here at the Bible School.
Other Miscellaneous Items of Interest about the Ministry and Family:
Teen Missions International approved the purchase of a new vehicle for the new base in La Mosquitia, and the purchase of the property in La Mosquitia has been finalized – praise the Lord! As I am writing this, Chico was packing things to take to the new base to get it ready to begin the new Bible School there in just a few weeks, but he has not been able to leave now because the political protesters have the roadways blocked going out that direction. We don’t know when he will be able to go. We have had three couples and two singles request to join staff – this alone is a miracle! Praise the Lord for that! For the time being, we have accepted one of the couples and both of the singles, so we will have staff at the new base in La Mosquitia, and we will have new staff here helping Chico and me at the main base.
When Chico applied for a temporary permit to allow him to travel to the United States and back to Honduras for one more year, he was granted a two-year permit! So, we give much praise and glory to God as this allows us more time to work on the paperwork for his citizenship.
Chico’s father underwent surgery to remove a large cancerous tumor beside his throat. Praise to the Lord; his recovery has been good. Doctors want to do a 2nd operation. The doctors want to do another operation to remove more of the roots in his cheekbone, but he does not want to do that!
Daniel is beginning his second semester at Pensacola Christian College and would appreciate your prayers for him to manage his time well as he has quite a difficult load of classes. Samuel participated in the Boot Camp that we just finished and it served to strengthen the calling that he already knew that God had on his life. Please continue to pray for him, that God will guide him as he makes decisions for his future. Abi had her own “team” during Boot Camp as some of the volunteers brought their kids and they were the same age as Abi! The four girls had a great time running the Obstacle Course and participating in many other ways. Joel has been struggling with a bout of diarrhea that comes and goes. It may just be because he loves playing in the dirt – but he’s not so careful about what he puts in his mouth. We would appreciate your prayers for him, mostly that I, his mother, will be able to care for him and teach him so that he can be healthier!
As a married couple, Chico and I go through the stresses of life just as many of you do, I am sure. We would greatly appreciate your prayers, that God would help us to learn to love each other more, to treat one another with kindness, forgiveness, and humility.
We cannot thank you enough—those of you who have supported our family in this ministry with your prayers and financial gifts. Please know that your offering to the Lord is not in vain. (Phil. 4:18)
Blessings from the King of Kings,
Daniel, Samuel, Abi, and Joel