Sunday, October 15, 2017

I know I say this quite often, but what a blessing today was! After another wonderful breakfast cooked by Yadira, we left the Mission House around 8:00 to go to the village of Mira Mundo to worship with the people who live there. We drove on pavement about 30 minutes before taking a dirt road and heading up the mountain. We literally drove through clouds this morning as the sky was overcast, clouds were low, and we were going straight up. There were places where the road was washed out and the going was rough, but the end result was worth the trip. After another thirty minutes of driving the mountain road we reached the church. People in the States usually get the wrong idea when we talk about going “to church”. For a while now the villagers had gathered in the village leader’s home. Many people would crowd into a small room and worship for hours. And they never complained. They didn’t know any different, and were just happy praising Jesus, singing praises, and hearing Scripture. Recently a church in Arkansas spent time in the village building them a church. It is a concrete slab with a covering, similar to a tabernacle. In the midst of the beauty of the Honduran mountains it is a breathtaking place to worship! When we first arrived a few people were already gathered there. As others began trickling in some of the men began strumming their guitars and singing…an impromptu choir practice. Children were slowly making their way closer to us. When I pulled out my phone and showed one of the boys how to take a picture, I was surrounded by new friends! Next they sang songs. One of the songs brought tears to my eyes even though I didn’t understand a word! The harmony was beautiful and they sang with such passion. Garrison and PJ later told me that was a popular praise song here, asking the Holy Spirit to come to them. They have it downloaded on iTunes. I plan on finding it and adding it to my playlist. I wish I had recorded it.  Mark Reeves, the pastor of the church in Arkansas, brought the message while Emilio translated. We thought it was fitting for Mark R. to be the first “Gringo” to preach in the church he helped build. His message was out of Acts 2:1-12. It was a wonderful message and I took notes the best I could, but I’m not going to lie…between the beauty surrounding us and the two little boys fascinated by my note taking, it was difficult to keep up. They would lean in real close and watch me write. I finally handed them my pen and told them to write their names. Several wrote their names in my sermon notes. I will keep those notes forever. After Mark R. preached, Edgardo spoke, the village leader spoke, and several others from the village spoke. No one is bothered by the length of the service, no one is distracted by children running through, and no one cares about barking dogs, clucking chickens, or any of the other noises that would be frowned upon in the States. These precious people just want to worship Jesus any way they can with whoever will worship with them. After many hugs, a little more singing, and a “few” more pictures we headed back down the mountain to the house. Yadira had a great meal waiting on us. After lunch we rested, walked into town to shop, then had dinner at Jim’s.  Tomorrow will be our hardest day…we will be going to two villages, and one will require walking across a narrow, swinging bridge, with some walking after that. Pray for strong knees and healthy bodies. Thank you so much for your prayers…they are felt and appreciated.

Edgardo’s Ordination Service

Saturday, October 14      Greetings from beautiful Honduras! What a trip it’s already been, and we have only been here one full day.      The roads from San Pedro Sula to Copan were the worst we have ever seen them when we came in yesterday. Prior to our coming, they have had heavy rains for many days. The rains caused mudslides, and washed out the road in many places. The going was slow as we had to stop many times to wait for heavy equipment to clear things up and get out of the way. Road construction/repair work in Honduras is not for “scaredy cats”! Roads wash out easily, and many times the workers are on the edge of a mountain in those big machines. It took much longer than usual, but we made good use of our time by napping on the way. We finally made it to Copan where we reconnected with old friends and ate dinner at our favorite place…Jim’s Pizza. It was also great to see Garrison and PJ Jones. Garrison is from Seminole. He and his wife, PJ, are teaching at the Mayatan school here in Copan.       This is my 9th trip to this beautiful country and I’m not sure we’ve ever done the exact same thing twice. This trip is no exception. This is completely different for several reasons. First, it will be the shortest amount of time we’ve ever stayed here. Second, I’ve never been here in October. But most important of all, we got to experience a first among the Chorti people. The purpose of this trip was to take part in the ordination of Edgardo, the native Chorti who has worked so hard to spread the Gospel among his people. He was ordained as a missionary by the Honduras Evangelistic Association to continue the work God started with the Chorti people several years ago. This morning Chorti from many villages gathered at a church in Copan to witness this event. Many had to leave their villages before dawn to make the trip down the mountains to get to town…hours of walking and hitching rides. Their dedication is like nothing I’ve ever seen in the States. As the members of the HEA asked him questions and listened to his testimony those of us observing knew that Edgardo truly was called by God “for such a time as this”. His wife, youngest daughter, parents, and siblings looked on with pride. It was a blessing to get to experience this ceremony firsthand. God has used Edgardo in such a mighty way already, and I have no doubt He’s only just scratched the surface of what He’s going to do in Edgardo’s life.       Please pray for Edgardo and his family as they continue God’s work. Satan knows Edgardo is a powerful man of God, and we must pray for protection for him and his family. Pray for the Chorti, who have so little by American standards, but who sacrifice so much to teach their families and others in their villages about Jesus and His Love. Pray for Steve and Audrey, who spend six months out of the year here making sure these people know they are loved by God and by fellow Believers in the States.      Thank you for your prayers. As always they are felt, and appreciated.