Greetings to all of you – and glory all to God! So many things to share about – so many things the Lord has done!
May 28, 2018 – The first Teen Missions Bible School in La Mosquitia, Honduras, officially began operating! They started out with 15 students. Unfortunately, some of them found it to be harder than they had anticipated, others just didn’t want to work, and a few had to leave to take care of unexpected family problems. But by the middle of that first term, they were down to the eight students who would be staying—seven from the Miskito tribe and one from the Garifuna tribe. Ramiro Varela and Dunia Martinez are the staff running that program. Please pray for them!
Summer 2018 – So many neat things….
First, we went up to Florida in June— family reunion with Daniel – yea! Later, Abi enjoyed her last Peanut team, since she is nine years old now. Samuel joined his team for training to go to Fiji, and Kathy and I joined up with our team: 18 team members, along with assistant leaders, Amanda (staff from the Florida office) and…Daniel!
After completing training in Florida, our team flew to Honduras. We spent two weeks in La Mosquitia and then two weeks at our base near Santa Cruz de Yojoa. We praise the Lord for so many things. We praise Him for good health and total safety of the entire team during the entire time in Honduras. We also praise the Lord for spiritual growth of team members, and because several of them said they felt sure that God was calling them to be missionaries! Please pray for them! In both locations, the team had double projects. In La Mosquitia, half the team would go out on the motorboat with the MSSM Circuit Riders each day to accompany them doing evangelism at the village where they went that day. They played games, did puppets, dramas, and sang songs with the kids while the Circuit Riders would teach the Bible lesson. The other half of the team would stay back at the new base and work on a laundry washing station for the Bible school students. At the Santa Cruz base, the team didn’t have to split up. They went out to several bilingual schools where they helped teach phonics to the kids and then did an evangelistic presentation at the end. And when not out on the road, they were working hard to build a road! Actually, they continued paving the driveway on the Teen Missions property, a project that was begun last year and will take at least a few more years to complete.
At the same time, Samuel was on his summer team in the country of Fiji. His team also worked very hard on their project. They were at a church camp doing construction on a new dormitory. They also had some opportunities to go to the local schools, some of them Hindu schools, and give evangelistic presentations. Please pray for those seeds that were planted. We thank God for the blessing that Samuel’s team was to the people of Fiji. We are also thankful for the new friends Samuel made on the team and the spiritual growth he experienced as well.
The Bible School here at the Santa Cruz base has six students—four boys and two girls. They are doing well in their classes and in their weekend ministries. September is usually a busy month here and this year was no different. It begins with National Children’s Day on the 10th, then we have Independence Day on the 15th, and then National Bible Day on the 30th! Teen Missions in Honduras is all about taking advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel, so there we are, in the middle of everything! Celebrating Children’s Day this year, we had the unique privilege of being invited to share the Gospel at the city dump. Many families go there regularly to look for things of value that they might sell to get a few dollars. Many churches went together to make food, bring piñatas with candy, and games with prizes; and the Teen Missions students were asked to bring puppets, skits, and songs. What a surprise to see over 100 children there that day! On a different day, the students were invited to two different schools to give an evangelistic presentation—complete with clowns. We thank the Lord for these opportunities. Please pray for kids who may have heard the Gospel for the first time. For Independence Day, our staff and students marched in the parade in San Isidro and then presented a drama afterwards during the cultural presentation time. It was a proud moment because it was such a good drama. It showed how the country may have been freed 197 years ago from political bondage, but spiritually, they are still bound by corruption, violence and much more. Then it showed how only Jesus can bring spiritual freedom that this country needs so badly!
The next few months will be spent getting ready for our Boot Camp that is planned to begin right after Christmas. Besides getting material things ready here at the base, the students and I will be traveling to do promotion. They have been invited on several weekends to different churches which will be hosting missions conferences. The students present a missions-focused drama and then I give the message. Please pray that many hearts and attitudes will be changed towards supporting missions as a result of these events.
Although Daniel did lead the team with us, there is not a whole lot of leisure time for leaders to just sit and talk. We were thankful for the time he was with us though, and said good-bye to him and the team as they headed into security at the airport. A few minutes later, however, Daniel returned! He said that they were not letting him through! What? To our shock, although Daniel was a 19 year old leader of the team, in Honduras, you are still considered to be a minor until you are 21!! Since Daniel was born in Honduras—Honduran law prevailed. Even though both parents were present, we did not have the written legal documentation required for a “minor” to travel alone! So, wow! Fortunately, there was another leader on the team who was able to take the team back to Florida. At first, I felt angry at how such a little detail could ruin our plans like that. And then all of a sudden, it hit me. Only God could have worked things out so that Daniel could stay extra time with us! He ended up staying a whole three weeks with us until he flew back to begin his second year at Pensacola Christian College. What a huge unexpected blessing!
Another huge blessing was that after our team returned to Florida, Kathy and I had the fortune of attending a marriage retreat. We have attended marriage retreats and conferences in the past, but none of them were like this one. The speakers, Steve and Debbie Wilson, were an amazing couple, truly used by God in their ministry to spouses. Clearly gifted with communication abilities, their conferences were filled with such realness, it was as if they were speaking our own story! We praise God that we could attend, and we appreciate your prayers that we will continue making progress on our road to a better marriage!
Returning from this retreat, Kathy received an email from one of her brothers, telling her that her mother’s health seemed to be deteriorating rapidly. We decided that she should go and visit her. So, on August 20th, the same day Daniel flew back to Florida, Kathy and Joel flew to Oregon. They were there for just one week, but it was a good week. At this point, there is no medical explanation for what is wrong with her mom, she just simply cannot get around as well as she used to. Kathy’s eldest brother, who lives next to their mom, had been caring for her in many ways for quite some time. Kathy’s sister, her husband and daughter had come to visit and help out, and they were living in their motorhome. So she had several lovely afternoons sitting around and visiting with mom. It was a special time to cherish and Kathy was thankful for it.
Back in Honduras, Samuel and Abi continue homeschooling and Joel has his own schoolwork now, too! Samuel does all of his work on his own since he is completely self-motivated. He is looking into different options as he tries to decide what he will do after high school. We would appreciate your prayers for him in that.
So, thank you, thank you everyone for all of your prayers for our family and the ministry of Teen Missions in Honduras. I hope that you have been able to see how God has been working in and through all of us. May God bless you as you seek to live for Him!
Love from the Chicas family: Chico, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, Abi and Joel