Well, 2020 post March 15th has not looked anything like we expected when we sent out our last prayers and praises report in February. The impact of the global response to the Covid-19 virus continues to have dramatic impacts in every facet of our lives. We are so thankful for our ministry partners who continue to be faithful in supporting us and the growing ministry the Lord has given us. So, thank you for praying and rejoicing with us in the following:
April 26th was the first anniversary of La Casa de Rubén! Please join us in praising God for bringing us to this point because without Him it would not have happened. While praising God for His faithfulness please join us in prayer as we ask Him to do what seems impossible to us; to provide the funds needed so that we can not only continue operations at LCDR, but to expand as there are still many more people who need this ministry.
Praise God for His favor given to La Casa de Rubén during this crisis. Despite the numerous restrictions, road blocks/checkpoints etc. all deliveries that are needed to keep the house supplied are being made and our nurse aids are able to travel back and forth to continue caring for Rubén and Rosalina. Additionally, everyone at the house has remained healthy in all respects. Please pray for this to continue as even a mild respiratory virus would be very dangerous for both Rubén and Rosalina in their circumstances.
Yesterday (May 13th) the physical therapist (her name is Dora) was able to make a house call to see Rubén and Rosalina for the first time since early March when everything was shut down. She reported that our nurse aids Marcos and Emilson have done an incredible job working with Rubén and Rosalina. They have not lost any ground despite 2 months without formal physical therapy. As long as the restrictions don’t change Dora will be visiting the house weekly until the physical therapy center reopens.
Please pray for Angela, our full time house coordinator at La Casa de Rubén. The nurse aids are able to commute daily because they both live within the city limits of Gracias. However, Angela lives in La Campa and because of the lack of public transportation and travel restrictions she has been unable to leave. As a result she has been working full time since March 16th without seeing her own family as she was on duty when the decision was made to shut down the country. In addition to this last week one her sons had an accident and is in the hospital so please pray for him and her in this matter.
Please pray for God to provide the funds we need to purchase the house we are currently renting for La Casa de Rubén. We negotiated a purchase plan with the owner and have received about half of the amount we need to make the down payment. We have also transitioned from renting the house to making monthly payments towards purchasing the house. So please pray for God to provide the additional $35,000 that we need to make the down payment. Obviously we are praying and trusting God to provide the entire amount we need to complete the purchase but just making the down payment will go a long way to securing the long term future of La Casa de Rubén.
Praise God for the successful completion of another semester of college for one of our sponsored students and the near completion of the semester for one of our other sponsored college students. Using technology they have been able to continue their studies so they are pressing forward.
The high schools were closed in March along with everything else. Unlike at the college level there is a much greater lack of technology at the high school level. A couple of weeks ago Marlen’s (Marlen is Rubén’s sister who is being sponsored and is living at La Casa de Rubén with him) school began to offer homework assignments by WhatsApp so this has been an adjustment for her. It was a hard year last year but she overcame many obstacles and was able to advance to the 8th grade. This year started off well, a good routine had developed, and then all of the changes upended things. Please pray for Marlen to adapt, overcome, and continue to grow and develop academically. We are hearing rumors that if the shutdown continues for much longer that this school year will be lost. Please pray for all of the high school and grade school students as they face the possibility of losing this entire school year.
Praise God for the three teams we hosted this year prior to the shutdown in March. It was a pleasure to serve with these teams and we are so grateful to each person who gave of their time, their resources, and more importantly of themselves. Sadly as you might imagine the rest of our teams scheduled to come to Honduras after mid March have had to cancel. We are disappointed that we can’t serve together this year and we are more saddened by the great loss of ministry opportunities in and around La Campa. We know that God is still on His throne and that He will bring good out of all of this but it is disappointing to us, humanly speaking, nonetheless.
The economic impacts of the response to the virus are having much worse and longer lasting impacts on families in the mountains of Honduras than the virus itself. There are so many who have not worked for the last two months. As a result hunger has become a much larger problem. In response a new ministry opportunity has opened up for us. Please join us in praising God for the generosity of so many people who are making it possible for us to provide food for both the bodies and souls of people in need. You can visit our website to learn more about our new food bag ministry. Please pray for the Lord to continue to provide resources for us to be able to help meet this need as long as the need exists. At the same time please pray for things change so that hunger does not continue to be a problem.
It is the time to start planting crops. A good harvest will prevent hunger from being a persistent problem. The rains have started this month but it has still been a little dry. Please join us in praying for God to provide the right amount of rain at the right times and protection from bugs, animals, etc. so that we can all have an abundant harvest later this year.
Towards the end of the dry season we had close calls with some wild fires in our area, a couple of which were very close to our house and the houses of several of our friends. Praise God for His mercy and protection in that there were no homes damaged by these fires.
We are so thankful for how God has provided for us. We are grateful that our water, electricity and internet have been extremely reliable and that our computers and telephones continue to work enabling us to stay connected. Please pray for the technology to continue to work so that we can stay as connected as possible. We are most thankful to have a reliable truck and a comfortable home and the multiple other blessings from God that are ours. While the lack of freedom to move about has impacted us and our ministry in so many ways we are grateful for the times that we can move about and for the opportunities to serve, although differently than we expected. Even with God’s abundant goodness towards us it has not always been easy coping with the lockdown and the resulting circumstances. Please pray for us personally as we cope with many of the same things that so many of you are coping with day to day, and for the things we face that are more unique to our situation here in Honduras.
Also please pray for us as we try to figure things out and plan strategically, from both the personal and ministry perspectives. We had planned to fly back to the U.S. in May for a short visit to see family and friends and to fundraise but that won’t happen as commercial flights are not available, nor do we know when they might resume. There are a very few repatriation flights offered that we could take back to the U.S. but there are many complications involved. It is also impossible to know how to plan for any other trips to the U.S. at this point. After seeing how quickly some countries closed their borders (with as little as 4-5 hours notice in some cases) much has to be taken into consideration in planning international travel now. Please pray for us to live moment by moment in ever increasing faith, remembering how faithful God has been to provide all of our needs personally, for La Casa de Rubén, for our new hunger relief ministry, and for all of the other ministries that He has entrusted to us. Please pray for us to be wise and courageous in these challenging times, and for us to make decisions that are obedient and honoring to Him.
Please pray for us as we continue talking with a Honduran missionary friend about joining us in our ministry. Having this person with us would greatly increase our impact in the mountain communities we serve so it seems like a good fit but we need the Lord’s confirmation. UPDATE: this is still a current prayer need and we still think it is a good idea but God hasn’t made it clear yet. The unknowns of how and when we will emerge from this crisis have put this on the back burner for now.
Please pray for Pastor Emilio, his family, and Ministerio Torre Fuerte here in La Campa. Please pray for peace, protection, wisdom, and continued spiritual growth and impact in the churches and communities represented by this ministry.
Please pray for Pastor Jorge, his family, and his ministry in Caiquin, Coalaca and Mataras de Caiquin. Please pray for peace, protection, wisdom, and continued spiritual growth and impact in the churches and communities represented by this ministry.