Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Change is a coming!

Change is such an interesting topic. It is exciting, scary, uncomfortable, challenging, etc. We learn so much when we are willing to change. I once heard a saying, "If you are not willing to yield to the will of God, why should God show you His will?" God, please continue to change us I pray. Less of me and more of you. Change....Some things we like and others we find we dislike. Often it is a time when we are weak and we must rely on God to be strong. What a wonderful place to be dependence on God.

Change - moving to a new country! Karen is leaving for Chile early tomorrow morning. She will be gone for 3 weeks. She is excited and nervous. She will be looking for a place to live, finding stores, learning new Chilean Spanish, meeting new people, learning the area, and have days filled with training for her new Job. Pray for her. Pray that someone will be there to show her around and that the training will go smoothly. Loren and Karen will be preparing to move from here on out...all in addition to continuing mission work full-time until they leave August 2nd.

Change - a new healthier lifesytle! Pray for Loren - we will be here scouting new areas to travel too and working on medical team suppplies etc. However, the main thing we will be focusing on is Loren's weight. He needs to loose around 40-50 pounds for the IMB medical check-ups but also just for his health (He gained weight after and injury that kept him down for several months). Pray for us these next 3 weeks as we will fast for a few days and then go hard with exercise and good nutrition (Obviously it will take more than 3 weeks but this is just the start). Pray for self-control (for me know I love my sweets). Pray against injury as we train. Loren has bad knees and ankels and his weight is a big stressor on his body. Pray for wisdom for me on how hard to push him.

Change - learning a new language! In addition to training Loren these weeks I will also be in training in the evenings. Carolina and Noelle (sisters) will be trading off living with us for the next 3 weeks. They will be taking me through language school in the evenings. Pray that the Lord will open my mind to understanding Spanish. Pray that I will learn what God desires for me to learn to share the gospel wherever He leads me while I am here. I am learning a little...but of course for me it seems too slow. Also pray that I will be a good example of Christ to Carolina and Noelle -young women of 24 and 18. I am excited to have them here. They both know some English so I will be able to help them with that also.

Change - GET A JOB! There is an 18 year old young guy, named Elmer, who has lived with Loren and Karen for a while now to go to school. Many schools in the smaller mountain villages only go up to the 5-8th grades or so. Elmer is a sweet guy. However, he has no real ambition to do anything. He is going to be forced to move out in May. He has no job training or desire to get any. 1st of all pray for his slavation...he knows alot about God...I am just not real sure he has a realtionship with God. Pray that he will have a desire to be a man of God.

Change - Missionaries! As I mentioned before IMB missionaires will be leaving Nicaragua in the next few years. Pray that the Lord will raise up Godly Nica men and women to continue to spread the gospel. Pray that the Lord will put us in contact with those that He is drawing to himself. May the HS go before us as teams come in.

Change (Matthew 6)....I tell you, do not be anxious about your life...are you not of great value to me..... I, your heavenly Father, know all that you need. So seek first the kingdom of God and His not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thanks for the Prayers!!!


Just wanted to give everyone an upadate. The esophagus is slowly starting to heal....yea. I can take more than 3 or 4 bites at a time now without spasms so that is great. No Diet Coke yet...ha! Actually still eating pretty bland for now but things are getting better.

Also, thanks for praying for Loren and Karen concerning Chile. They heard today the final word and they are leaving Nicaragua for good in August and will be moving to Chile! God hears our prayers... Keep praying for them...they are excited to see what God is going to do in Chile but also sad to leave the people they love here in Nicaragua. I asked Loren if he was excited because Karen and I were doing the "happy dance" (because they finally got a definite answer) and he said, "well, not so sure about a happy dance but is there an obedience dance?" They know God is calling them away from Nicaragua to a new pray for ministry opportunities even now. Karen is leaving to do some training in Chile next Thursday. She will be gone for 3 weeks. Pray that she will excel in training and that she will find a friend to show her around. They have alot of things to organize on that end before the move.

Tomorrow I am going with Karen to do a missions day at a church. There will be around 36 women attending. The focus of the day is teaching these women from various churches in the area about doing mission work locally in their communities. We are praying over these women, yearning to see God move mightly. I won't be able to understand very much tomorrow. I consistantly have to remind myself that I can pray and that God knows each person there. Sometimes the enemy attacks and makes me feel like that is not much because I can't talk to them. Wow, how prideful I am! It is not about me or what I could say and the most important thing I can do is pray. He is the one who is mighty to save!!!

I am really excited about what all happened this week. We went to a pastor's conference that they have once a year here. We meet with multiple people who were wanting Loren to bring in teams to their area to share the gospel! I have been praying for opportunites....for God to bring people to us and us to them....the time here is short. The IMB is pulling out all IMB missionaries from Nicaragua (this is a normal process, they will move to other areas that are less reached). There are many native missioinaries here that Loren and Karen and others have worked with for years to continue to carry on the work. However, the IMB provides a vehicle, supplies, tracts, the word, etc. that may not be as easily avaliable once they leave. God was gracious to bring people to us. Once Spring Break starts we are booked solid until the last week in July. It is going to be fast and furious, sometimes with multiple teams in at one time. It is going to be so awesome to see what God is going to do. We are thankful for the rest and preparation time now.

I am glad to be here now at this time, a time that God prepared in advance for me to be. It is so cool! I am learning to seek God daily, seek Him to see what He desires to do through me, in me, or around me for that day. Then, we will see about the next day when it comes. He is burdening my heart ever more for the lost. I am not ashamed for He saved me, one who was lost! It is the power of God that I share to those who will believe.

I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hard Day....

Today was a hard day for Loren and Karen. They had to put one of their dogs to sleep. They had him since he was a puppy. He was 8 years old. We buried him around the back of the house. Karen cried and cried and Loren cried some too at the vet. So pray for Loren and Karen today. I know he was "just" a dog but people tend to come and go alot on the mission field. Animals don't...they are always there happy to see you when you get home from a team.

Also please say a prayer of healing for me. It is kindof silly really but let me tell you it hurts! I did not swallow an antibotic all the way one evening and so it burned a hole into my esophagus. Every time I eat or drink it spasms and it feels like someone is squeezing my heart really tightly. The amazing Dr. Bacak called me in some medicine that helps coat my throat before I eat AND Praise the Lord they had it hear in Nicaragua! However, he also said it may take 10-20 days to heal. It is nothing serious just very painful when I eat or drink. Tell you what... you really look at that food and think....hmmm is it worth the pain to eat this? So, I appreciate your prayers.

Okay, here is the 3rd thing you can be praying for. As some of you already know Loren and Karen will be leaving Nicaragua in August. They will be moving to Chile (please pray that the paperwork etc. goes through for the is going slowly) to continue mission work there. Thus, there is an urgency here in Nicaragua..especially in remote areas were Loren is usally one of the only missionaries to travel to these places and share the gospel. Pray that the people will have open hearts and that the Lord will raise up Nica men to send out as native missionaries. Pray for Serhio, Darwin, Pablo, and others that the Lord is calling to missions in their own country.

Thank you so much for praying! God is moving here!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Tarantula......

Mel, I knew the boys would love this one. Sherman even touched him...YIKES!

A Few Pictures!!

A Sweet Little Boy!

On one of our hikes last week with the team I met a sweet little boy.

We had just finished a four hour boat ride (I use the term boat loosley...ha) and had done a short hike... but for some reason I was exhausted. We grouped off and went to hand out the gospel of Luke and tell people about the Jesus film that evening. There were around four of us in my group. We walked up and down the hilly dirt trails for about an hour and came to 3-4 houses (we were in the mountains so houses are few and far between). At the last one we asked how far to the next house. It was a good ways and so off we went to get that last house. In my head I was thinking..."God who lives up here that you want to reach so badly"...we were bushwacking through tall weeds, thorns, and mud. I was selfishly thinking I am tired, thirsty, and ready to go back.

Then, we get to the last house and the Lord teaches me a sweet lesson. As we came to the last house 3 young children were standing around the house their parents were out working but were supposed to be back soon. Then out of the corner of my eye I see another young boy. He flashes the sweetest, biggest grin. I am sure that he has never seen a gringo in his life.

As he comes around the side of the tree I see that he is crippled. One side of his body doesn't work correctly. He has on a ripped pair of shorts but nothing else so you can see his body is distorted. The boy hobbles over to us right as his parents come up to greet us. We give the parents the gospel of Luke and then we give the children cristo te amo cards that were colored from kids in the US. As we started to leave I was the last one to come around from behind the house. Everyone had gone ahead of me. As I came around the housse I saw the little boy grinning and leaning down to kiss the cristo te amo card. He just kept kissing it and grinning. Then he saw me and looked up and smiled and waved. I walked off with tears in my eyes thinking okay God....THAT is why we hiked up this hill. You want to reach tha one! I wonder what plan God has for that little boy?

I know that I will never forget the image in my a mental photograph of that boy kissing the card! I think I would walk that path a thousand times to see him leaning over that card. I bet that is how the Lord thinks about us.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2 Weeks of Teams and Now a Week Off....SORTA!

This is so cool! Can I say that again? God is so cool! It is amazing being here and being in awe of God continually. There is a lot to do but yet there are very little distractions when we are out with a team. Thus, you are able to listen more, focus lay down in green be still!

The Living Hope team just left. Well, actually we took them to the airport about 4am this morning. It is now 6:45pm and I am about to go to bed...ha!

What a great team from Living Hope and Living Hope Bryan. Pastor Butch, Jeff, Sherman, Garrett, Jennifer, and Carolynn. I was encouraged and challenged by each of them. It was so neat to see each one of them interact with the Nicas. God used them in amazing ways!

I will write more specifics later...but for now...sleep seems like a great idea!

Oh and Karen made her famous fried chicken this evening for dinner....YUMMY!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kept losing Internet....

Sorry spell check was off on the last one and so is the spacing...keep scrolling down to see all of the post.


Wow, what God has done in my life in the past 2 years! I am speechless! I can think of no better way to bring in the new year than to be out hiking in the mountains sharing the love of Christ to those who have yet to hear. This week was hard and incredible all in the same breath. The mountains were high and the climb was tough but the top was filled with amazing people eager to come and watch the Jesus film or to sit and talk with us...(in my case of no spanish...sit and look at us...ha!). Being in these beatufiul mountains didn't feel like being in a 3rd world country it felt like stepping back in time. No running water, no electricity, no phones, no noise. People share what they have with each other because they have to in order to survive. I washed off in the kitchen of a family of 8, filter water in the hut of a family 0f 6, boiled water on the dirt stove of a grandmother, and made tortillas with a young girl of about 8. Oh how blessed I am to share a moment of life with them.

We had a OPERATION GO group of college students from around Texas in this week. Most of them did not know each other and it was super cool to see how God has molded them together as a team. They are all young and super excited about being here. Last night we shared the ways that we saw God move during the week and it was great to hear how each one of them individually saw God as we were out and how God is working in each of their lives so differently.

My comment in how I saw God move was this: I was never nervous about coming to Nicaragua. It was a long "hurry up and wait" and alot of prayer and anticipation but no anxiety. What is awesome is that as I was hiking with this team up the mountains sharing Jesus I thought...this is it.... I am home. I am right were God wants be to be for this time. The next morning during my quiet time I was praying asking God what he wanted me to do and peace filled my heart that I AM doing it and He will show me what the next step is as it comes.

Of course it came and I had a sweet time of sharing with a young woman on our team last night. So cool how God knits our lives together.

Loren and Karen's anniversary is today. It is also Loren's birthday. Once we got back into Managua last night we had a party. We had a pinata, cake, pizza, etc. It was lots of fun. Karen had planned it all out ahead of time because she didn't go out with this team because it was a tough hike. It is neat to watch Loren transitioning into more of a mentor/outside role and most of the Nica men that were with us on this trip giving the message after the film. I really enjoyed being there with Loren and the team and Carolina, Rami, Pabalo, and Carlos.

Carolina's (a young Nica girl who has some very basic English) feet looked like hamburger meet during the trip because her boots were such por quality....she never once complained. She always had a smile on her face and said "don't worry about me." How humbling. How beautiful the feet of those that carry the gospel out! Teach me Lord!

The Living Hope team comes in this evening around 9:00pm and then we are heading out again in the morning. I am excited to see them! I can't wait to see all that God is going to do this week.

Okay, gotta go to work. I miss you all and love to hear from you.

Thanks for praying. Pray the HS goes ahead of us this week and that the harvest will be ready.