Greetings from Florida!
The transition has been made and God has blessed us. As we stepped out in faith, not knowing what was ahead, God confirmed our move every step of the way! More about that in just a bit. These last few months have been a whirlwind of activity and we want to share some highlights with YOU – the people who have been praying for us!
Start of the Summer
June 1st, we traveled to Florida – five people with ten full size pieces of luggage, five full size carry-ons, and five personal items – whew! Once here, Daniel got to come and stay with us for a week before he went back to start his summer job working at the Abeka warehouse for PCC. After that, Samuel attended the Teen Missions Leader Training Seminar so he could lead a team. Then, on June 15th, Boot Camp started. Our 17 team members arrived, and we spent the next two weeks training with them. Our team was one of 15 teams that Teen Missions sent out this past summer to different countries around the world. Three of those 15 were Preteen teams, meaning that the team members of those teams are between 10 and 13 years old! One of those three Preteen teams was headed for Honduras, just like we were with our group of 13 to 19 year olds. In a marvelous change of plans, our daughter, Abi, was allowed to be a team member with the Honduras Preteen team, rather than go along with us like she always has in the past. It was wonderful because not only did she have fellow team members her own age, but all of the activities, schedule, everything was geared toward that age group. And Abi loved it!! We are so thankful – to God, to Teen Missions, and to her leaders – she had a wonderful summer!
Samuel, in a very different role, and on the other side of the world, also had a wonderful summer! As a leader on the Uganda Foot Washing team, he was able to have a part in training others for missions, while being impacted in his own spiritual life at the same time. We are all SO thankful for yet another life-changing opportunity that he was able to have because many of YOU prayed and gave of your financial resources. Thank you!
So that left just Joel with Chico and myself! For the first two weeks, our team was at the base near Santa Cruz de Yojoa (where we have been living for the past 12 years). Despite much physical sickness and many spiritual and emotional needs, the team was somehow able to continue paving the driveway leading up to the base. Chico and I had new opportunities to learn how much today’s youth are different from previous generations. On July 17th, we traveled by bus, pickup trucks, and boat for a total of 12 hours to get to the new Teen Missions base in La Mosquita. The team was energized by the daily boat trips out to the villages where they accompanied our “Circuit Riders” to share the gospel message. The team would sing some songs and present a drama and puppets and share a testimony using a translator, and then the circuit rider would teach a Bible lesson. Afterwards, they got to have fun playing some games like Duck, Duck, Goose, or Link Tag. The teens always have so much fun playing with the kids, and it’s so good because it goes both ways. The kids love having people come to play with them, too! While we may not have seen very many people accept Jesus on this trip, we know that we were successful in supporting the circuit riders in their ministry. They are meeting with groups of children and some adults in the same villages every single week of the year teaching God’s Word because in that whole area there is little to no sound Bible teaching. Please pray for this ministry because recently, it has been getting harder for the circuit riders to keep the kids’ attention and to keep them from fighting.
August 5th, we flew back to Florida and went through Debrief with our team and five other teams. The Bible Quizzing championship is always a highlight of this time along with the closing service where many teens make commitments to serve the Lord full-time with their lives. Please pray for those who responded that they will actively seek to know God’s will for their lives and to be obedient to whatever He may be calling them to do!
August 9th, team members flew home and the Chicas family moved into our new home – a mobile home, provided by Teen Missions, on Heavenly Street in Merritt Island, just a nine minute drive from the Teen Missions headquarters. Right away, we were showered with blessings as we received food from three different sources and Teen Missions gave us a minivan to use while we are in the States!
While Samuel was in Uganda, he somehow contracted the dreaded malaria from a mosquito bite. Even though he was treated there in Uganda, and got better, he had a relapse back here. Just two days after we moved into our house, Samuel came down with a fever of 105! I had never seen a fever that high before and we took him in to the Emergency Room. Two days, and several thousand dollars later, he was better again! Unfortunately, we did not have medical insurance, but we are in the process of getting some now, and hopefully, it will be retroactive!
About three weeks later, just as we were about finished unpacking all of our things, a hurricane warning was issued for the Eastern Florida coast! When the storm was just beginning, forecasters thought its path would go right across Florida, hitting Merritt Island almost directly. Well, back in the boxes everything went! A trip to the store to get water, and what?? No water? The entire aisle that used to be full of cases of water was completely bare! I had heard before about things like that happening, but now we were living it! This was crazy! A few days later, I went to a gas station and saw signs hanging on the pumps, “Out of Gas”. Wow, this was serious! I felt like it was the end of the world! But, as most of you probably heard, Florida was completely spared as Hurricane Dorian turned and went north instead. We were so thankful for God’s mercy on us, and yet at the same time, so sorry for all the destruction that happened in the Bahamas. We must pray and do all we can to help those people!
Now, we are getting more settled into life in the United States, and we are as busy as ever. I am homeschooling Abi and Joel and I am not required to work in the office this year, so I am fully a stay-at-home mom – and that is a blessing for me! I am still helping with some of the communication between the Honduras and Florida bases, so I am still involved in the ministry! Chico has been working 8 to 5 at the TMI headquarters office. This first few weeks, he has been painting and then putting siding on. It will be exciting to watch as God reveals His plan for the rest of Chico’s time here in Florida. Samuel got a job for just a couple of weeks to earn some money, but he is going back to Honduras on October 1st. We are so proud of Samuel. It was his own idea to go back to Honduras and travel around doing promotion for the Boot Camp and Bible School there! He will be a leader in that Boot Camp as well and come back here next February! So, please be in prayer for him and the ministry in Honduras.
Well, that pretty much brings us up to date. By God’s mercies we are not consumed (Lam.3:22) rather, we are quite blessed! Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. May God bless you!
Chico, Kathy, Daniel, Samuel, Abi, and Joel