In Hines Sight...

July 2020 Prayers & Praises

Well, 2020 post March 15th still does not look much like what we expected. 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:

Please continue to pray for La Casa De Rubén, specifically for the staff (Maria, Angela, Marcos, Emilson & Prudencia) and for Rubén and Rosalina.

Please pray for the Lord to provide the funds that we need to continue operations, and more importantly, for Him to provide capital donations to purchase the home and make it the permanent location for La Casa De Rubén.

Please pray for the people and nation of Honduras as the virus and the economic, social, mental and emotional impacts due to the response continue to have serious negative impacts in people’s lives. The hospitals are overwhelmed and supplies are running low. Many are not receiving the treatment needed, not only for COVID but for other things as well. You can read more about this on our blog as we just posted an update there.

Praise God for His continued favor given to La Casa de Rubén during this crisis. Most of the roadblocks and checkpoints are gone but the travel restrictions remain so most everything is still being delivered.

Praise God for the continued health of everyone at La Casa De Rubén. Please pray for this to continue as even a mild respiratory virus would be very dangerous for both Rubén and Rosalina in their circumstances.

We are giving praises to God for the continued healing that Rubén and Rosalina are receiving. Rubén continues to gain upper body strength, flexibility and mobility. The last of 5 serious skin ulcers he had is almost healed. When Rosalina came to the house she was so hunched over that she had to eat from a plate that was in her lap. She is now sitting upright and eating at the table with everyone else!

The physical therapy center (CRILE) has not reopened. We met with the president of CRILE earlier this week to discuss the situation. At this point it is not clear when CRILE will open or how they will function once they are open. There are new health regulations being developed in response to COVID that will impact their operation significantly. Please pray for us as a ministry and CRILE as we explore options and opportunities to work together so that this vital service continues to be available, not just for our patients, but for the population of two entire states, Lempira and Intibuca.

Praise God for the continued studies of our sponsored university students. Using online platforms they have continued their classes so they are not falling behind.

The schools were closed in March and the decision was just made that there will be no campus classes offered for the rest of 2020. The school year is different here (February-November) so this is a really big issue. The education system has been trying different platforms to prevent the students from losing the year but we are not sure how all of this is going to work out, specifically for Marlen (Marlen is Rubén’s sister who is being sponsored and is living at La Casa de Rubén with him). We have been able to buy equipment she needs (smart phone and a radio) but it remains to be seen how effective these substitutes will be for in class teaching. It was a hard year for Marlen last year but she overcame many obstacles and was able to advance to the 8th 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. Please pray for all of the high school and grade school students as they and their families now have to deal with the impact of these changes.

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 continuing to make it possible for us to provide food for both the bodies and souls of people in need. You can visit fhdhonduras.org 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 to change so that hunger does not continue to be a problem.

Praise God, everyone’s crops are planted and He has been sending us rain. Our corn and beans are doing well and when we are able to be out and about it looks like everyone else’s crops are doing well too. A good harvest will prevent hunger from being a persistent problem. Please join us in praying for God to continue providing 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.

Please pray for resolution of our immigration status, the border closure and lack of commercial air travel. Because of the closure of the country residency applications and card renewals are not being processed. The Honduran government recognizes the facts so all of us missionaries in this situation are still considered legal residents. We can leave Honduras if we want or need to but we will not be allowed to return until the borders are open and commercial air travel resumes. There is reason to believe this might happen mid August but we just don’t know for sure.

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.

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 didn’t happen as commercial flights are not available, nor do we know when they might resume.

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 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.

May 2020 Prayers & Praises

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.

 

Short Term Mission Team News

Short term mission team ministry holds a special place in our hearts and continues to be an important part of our ministry here in Honduras and 2020 is off to a great start!

About two weeks after our return from the states the Redeemer Church team came to serve with us for the third time. However, this

Some of the Redeemer Team men working hard in Otolaca.

team has a much longer history of serving in Honduras as they’ve been going to Flower Mountain to minister to the Tolupan people for 18 years. We are so thankful for their faithfulness. After spending their first week in Flower Mountain the team came to La Campa and did medical clinics in three communities serving almost 450 people. The people they saw received medication and vitamins but more importantly they were each prayed for and heard about the God of the universe and the great love He has for them. Several of the guys worked on a church construction project in a community called Otolaca. As you can see from the picture the walls are being made using adobe blocks. It has been quite some time since I worked on an adobe construction project so I had forgotten just how heavy those blocks are. We all agreed that somehow they seemed to be heavier later in the day.

Redeemer at La Casa de Rubén.

In addition to these ministries the team spent a day with us at La Casa de Rubén and CRILE (the physical therapy center). At CRILE they saw first hand the amazing work that is being done there, they met Dora, Rubén’s primary therapist, and they prayed for her, all the staff, and the patients who were there. We then went to La Casa de Rubén. Last January this team met Rubén in Mescalillo not too long before he moved into La Casa de Rubén. It was a special blessing for the team to see him again, and to see just how much he has improved in less than a year of staying at the house, receiving proper care and nutrition and physical therapy. Their visit concluded with a powerful prayer time that encouraged Rubén, his sister Marlen, and Jean and me very much.

 

OHC ministering to children in La Campa.

About a week after the Redeemer team left our second team for 2020 from One Heart Church in Norcross, GA returned to Honduras. This was a small team in numbers but large in impact. Last year one of the things they did was teaching in the areas of worship and sound mixing in our La Campa home church, Torre Fuerte. This year they blessed the church with more training, but they also brought some equipment to significantly upgrade the sound system helping the church to excel more in providing a quality and dynamic worship experience. The team ministered to nearly 200 children in two schools, preached and shared the word in three churches and held an evening conference on faithfulness and multiplication to encourage the church members and pastors in these topics.

OHC Team (one team member not pictured) at La Casa de Rubén.

This team also spent a day with us visiting the hospital, a children’s transition home, CRILE and La Casa de Rubén. At the hospital we prayed for many patients and staff members and at the transition home they ministered to the children who were there. For the first time they too saw first hand all that is happening at CRILE and prayed for the patients and staff. And then we had another very powerful time at La Casa de Rubén. Like the Redeemer team, some of the team members had previously met Rubén when he was still in Mezcalillo. This team visited La Casa de Rubén last year just as we had begun getting it ready for opening day. It was powerful for them to see the changes that had taken place since their last visit. Another blessing for them was to meet Rosalina, our newest guest patient to stay at La Casa de Rubén.

We could not have asked for two better teams to kick off our year of short term mission team ministry and we can’t thank them enough for all that they did to serve the Lord by serving the people of Honduras, and how much of an encouragement they were to Jean and me.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.”-Psalm 133:1

February 2020 Prayers & Praises

Please read below for updates on previous prayer requests, new prayer requests, and praises for what God has done.

Prayers and praises so often go hand in hand that it can be hard to follow when they are split between different sections so we have combined them by topic. Where combined the prayers will be in black and the praises will be in red.

Introduction

2019 was a very busy, often challenging, but always fulfilling time in ministry and 2020 is continuing in that direction. 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. Thank you for praying and rejoicing with us in the following:

  • We praise God for the time we had in the U.S. last year. We were given so many opportunities to speak and share about all that took place in our ministry in 2019. We also got to spend some time with our families and to see so many of our friends. We thank God and we thank all of you!
  • Please continue to pray for our new organizations that have been formed to allow us to pursue the new ministry opportunities the Lord has brought to us. Family Health & Development Foundation Honduras (FHD Honduras for short) is the Honduras non-profit organization; FHD Missions, Inc. is the complementary U.S. non-profit organization that will serve to support and guide the activities of FHD Honduras. December 22nd we received our notification from the IRS informing us that we received our 501c3 tax exempt status!! We ask for prayer for Jean and me and for the boards of both organizations as we work to establish and fund the projects that are being developed.
  • Praise God for the successful completion of our first 10 months of operations at La Casa de Rubén! It hasn’t been without its challenges but God has been faithful and lives are being impacted. Please pray for the Lord to touch more hearts to help support this ministry on a monthly basis.
  • This month a new person was able to come to stay at La Casa de Rubén to begin receiving physical therapy! Because of some changes that were made at the end of last year and for a donation we received to purchase more beds this came to pass. You can learn more about Rosalina, our newest patient guest, on our website.
  • Please pray for us to receive the funds we need to purchase the house we are currently renting for La Casa de Rubén. We have done our due diligence to ensure that the price is fair and we have prayed about the situation. As a result we believe that this is the place God intends for us to be. That being the case we are trusting God to provide the significant funding needed to make the purchase.
  • Short term mission teams continue to be an important part of our ministry to reach people for Christ and to serve and bless them in other ways as well. Praise God for the two teams we have already hosted this year and the ones coming in March and April.
  • Please continue to pray for an exciting new ministry to launch this year at a church in Gracias. Work began on this project last September, and while the progress has been slow, we are trusting that it will come to pass in the Lord’s timing. Please pray for the pastors and leaders of this church as they do their work on the initial planning that will open the door for them to receive the teaching and training to launch and sustain this ministry.
  • There may be an opportunity coming our way to get much more involved in the healthcare system in our part of Honduras. This is something that we’ve thought we should do but we have not been actively seeking this out since there is still so much to do to stabilize and grow La Casa de Rubén and continue on in our other ministries. We recognize that even though we don’t think we are ready God might have a different plan so please pray for wisdom for us to know if this opportunity is from God and courage to move forward if it is.
  • 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.
  • Please pray for us personally however the Lord leads.
  • 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.

 

New Things-Part One

The God of the Bible is the God of the past, present and future. He knows everything from the beginning to the end. Before anything comes to pass He knew it and He knows how everything that comes to pass will end before it even gets started. Compared to His knowledge and understanding all of the smartest people who ever lived combined doesn’t come close to matching God’s knowledge.

The God of the Bible was God in times of old and the way He worked in ages past serves as an example and an encouragement to us. While His principles and purposes never change He is also a God of new things. Paul wrote that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior that we become new creations, the old things have passed away (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Then Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers that they were to lay aside their old selves, their old manner of life, and to then renew their minds in God, and put on the new self. These are beautiful verses showing just how much God longs for new things (see Ephesians 4:20-24). These verses apply just as much to each of us today as they did to the original audience.

This month I would like to share a very long overdue update with you. Jean and I have been on a journey for the last year or so during which time God has revealed many new things to us. During this time He challenged us to step forward in faith and do something new with Him. We have experienced things in ministry that we never imagined back in 2012 when we first heard Him inviting us to live and serve in Honduras full time.

A little over a year ago we sensed that God was moving in our lives and ministry in a way that we had not expected. As a result of the ministry we had been doing we had been learning much more about the medical situation here in Honduras. He brought into our paths friends in the states who were interested in making a difference in this area of people’s lives and we began to develop a deeper interest in doing the same. God showed us how this could be not just a part, but an enhancement to, our existing ministry.

Then He brought into our lives Dr. Maria. Dr. Maria is a Honduran doctor who lived in the states for several years as a child and returned to Honduras as a teenager. She then went on to study medicine in pursuit of her dream from an early age to become a doctor. Dr. Maria loves her country and her people with a heart much larger than her barely 5’ in height might indicate.

We continued to follow God down this path as best as we knew how. While not impossible to launch a new non-profit foundation in Honduras it is not the easiest thing to do either. So with God’s favor we formed a brand new non-profit foundation in Honduras called Family Health & Development Foundation Honduras. For several months last year we were also working on developing a new medical project that would benefit many people.

Then in August last year we received quite a surprise. The government of Honduras decided that it was time to do a comprehensive review of the public healthcare system to determine how it could be fixed to work better. While that review was underway they put a freeze on all new private healthcare project applications. Well guess what? We were just about to submit our plans and request for permits to begin building a private healthcare project near to our community.

The review was supposed to be completed with recommendations published in 90 days. That was over a year ago and so far nothing has really changed. Actually that is not completely true, some things have changed, which made it even less likely that the project we wanted to do would be approved anytime soon, if ever.

So much for that idea. Now what?

The Lord didn’t make us wait too long to find out the new thing that He had for us. You see, during all the time spent in those communities with medical mission teams and otherwise, one of the things we learned is just how lacking rehabilitative services are in this part of the country. We’re talking about therapies like physical and occupational therapy. We had met many people who had lost mobility and independence simply because there was no therapy available allowing a full recovery from fairly routine injuries.

Well, that’s not actually true. The therapy is available, and it is affordable for most costing as little as $2.00 per session. It is not uncommon for these sessions to last as long as three or four hours. So why are people suffering as I’ve described? Everybody should be getting therapy at these prices right? There is one thing I’ve not told you yet. The therapy center is located in the small city Gracias, an hour or more away from most of the communities we serve.

You might be thinking, so what? It takes an hour in traffic to get anywhere, especially if you are in the Atlanta area. For my Atlanta readers, there was a meme going around Facebook recently showing the traffic on the downtown connector at a standstill in both directions. The caption across the top read “Atlanta is an Hour From Atlanta”. While meant to be a joke it also happens to be quite true. After living there for twenty years I can attest to the fact that the photo was not an exaggerated or infrequent event. That picture is reality every weekday, and often even on the weekends. But back to rural Honduras.

In this part of Honduras we’re talking about an hour or more on unpaved, rutted and washed out mountain roads where only first and second gear are needed. Imagine having to ride in a pick-up truck (cars, vans and buses can’t get to many of these communities) in these conditions with a disability or injury of any sort.

And if it is pouring down rain, as it is at the time of me writing this article, and as it will do with much more frequency and intensity from now through the end of the year, it becomes impossible often times to get up or down the mountains at all in any kind of vehicle. Sometimes even 4 wheel drive isn’t enough to do it safely. And besides all of that, hardly anyone even owns their own pick-up truck in the first place.

So think about this. You have an accident and break something. You are actually able to get an x-ray, and a cast, which isn’t always possible. And after that you’re on your own. We know of cases where people were sent home with instructions on how to remove the cast so they didn’t have to come back to the hospital. And what of the recovery? Well, just do the best you can.

Admittedly sometimes that is enough. When I was in high school I had a rare fracture in my leg resulting from a football injury in gym class. I was hit in the center of my calf muscle by the knee of a friend when we both jumped up to catch the ball at the same time. The pressure of his knee in the muscle was so great that after the impact the muscle retracted and pulled off a tiny chip of the bone. My leg reacted as if it had been broken, well, because it had, although not in a way that required a cast.

However, I was on crutches for several weeks and my leg was immobilized with a brace and bandages. At the end of that time my knee was bent about 45 degrees and my ankle too was bent about that much and they didn’t want to go back to normal.

We weren’t a poor family but there was not what you call a whole lot of extra left at the end of any given month. So my dad decided that he and I would do the physical therapy ourselves. It was hard but we did the best we could and fairly quickly I regained regular use of my leg and foot.

My point is that sometimes it is ok to go back to your remote mountain community, do the best you can, and achieve good results. Sometimes the barriers that most everyone lives with here can be overcome without professional assistance.

But what about the times when that isn’t the case? What about the times when it takes more than just bucking up and doing what has to be done the best way one knows how? What about the times when it does take professional help? We’ll see how God has helped answer these questions next month.

Oct/Nov 2019 Prayers & Praises

Please read below for updates on previous prayer requests, new prayer requests, and praises for what God has done.

Prayers and praises so often go hand in hand that it can be hard to follow when they are split between different sections so we have combined them by topic. Where combined the prayers will be in black and the praises will be in red.

Introduction

It continues to be a very busy, challenging and yet fulfilling time in ministry. 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. Thank you for praying and rejoicing with us in the following:

Please pray for Jean and me as we continue our travels in the U.S. sharing all that God has been doing in our ministry in the last year. We’ve been to TX and GA already, we’ll be in KY, IL & IN through Thanksgiving and then we’ll return to GA for the month of December. We praise God for all of the opportunities He has given us to share about what He is doing with our partner churches and friends in TX, GA & KY so far. We are so grateful to have so many strong supporters and encouragers and for how you all take such good care of us while we are with you.

Please continue to pray for our new organizations that have been formed to allow us to pursue the new ministry opportunities the Lord has brought to us. Family Health & Development Foundation Honduras (FHD Honduras for short) is the Honduras non-profit organization; FHD Missions, Inc. is the complementary U.S. non-profit organization that will serve to support and guide the activities of FHD Honduras. We have not yet received word about our 501c3 tax exempt status so please continue to pray for favor in this matter. We praise God for His favor and wisdom in the creation of these new organizations. We ask for prayer for Jean and me and for the boards of both organizations as we work to establish and fund the projects that are being developed.

Praise God that our new website is live!! fhdhonduras.org

Please continue to pray for the nation of Honduras. Protesting had subsided for a few months but is expected to resume today (October 21st). Please pray for the protests to be peaceful and yet allow for the people’s voice to be heard on important issues in the country.

Praise God for the successful completion of our first 6 months of operations at La Casa de Rubén! It hasn’t been without its challenges but God has been faithful and lives are being impacted.

We need to ask you to continue to pray for La Casa de Rubén. La Casa de Rubén is the place for Rubén and others like him, to stay near to the physical therapy center in the city of Gracias in order to receive physical therapy. The needs are great for this project so please pray for wisdom and funding. Please prayerfully consider how you could be a part of this project with us. There are many ways to partner with us. We praise God for the partners He has brought us and for the donations that we have received to help with construction of two extra bedrooms and a bathroom and to help us buy supplies needed to open and operate La Casa de Rubén. The project is not fully funded but we are trusting God to provide.

Please pray for wisdom regarding a very important decision regarding the future location of La Casa de Rubén, and please pray for construction funds so we can finish the two additional bedrooms and bathroom so more people can come to stay and receive treatment. We have yet to receive additional construction funds but donations for the beds were received to allow us to begin rotating some new guest patients into the house beginning in January! We were also able to negotiate a fair price for the house and land we have been renting. Please pray for the funds to arrive so we can close the deal and make this the permanent location for La Casa de Rubén.

Please pray for the Lord to help us find new strategic partnerships in the U.S. to support La Casa de Rubén and our other FHD ministry projects.

Please pray for the Lord to bring us the financial support needed to fund the regular monthly operations of La Casa de Rubén for the rest of the year and on into 2020.

Short term mission teams continue to be an important part of our ministry to reach people for Christ and to serve and bless them in other ways as well. Please pray as we are in the process of scheduling short term mission teams to come in 2020. Praise God that we have a team scheduled to come in each of the first 4 months of 2020 and at least one scheduled for June already!

Please pray for a strategic meeting that will be taking place at the end of this month regarding the potential launch of an exciting and much needed new family ministry. The meeting went very well and progress is being made towards launching this new ministry next year. Please continue to pray for this.

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.

August 2019 Prayers & Praises

Please read below for updates on previous prayer requests, new prayer requests, and praises for what God has done.

Prayers and praises so often go hand in hand that it can be hard to follow when they are split between different sections so we have combined them by topic. Where combined the prayers will be in black and the praises will be in red.

Introduction

The last couple of months have been very busy, challenging and yet fulfilling in ministry. We are so thankful for the ministry partners who have chosen to remain alongside us and commit their efforts and resources in the projects and communities that the Lord has given us. Thank you for praying and rejoicing with us in the following:

  • Please continue to pray for our new organizations that have been formed to allow us to pursue the new ministry opportunities the Lord has brought to us. Family Health & Development Foundation Honduras (FHD Honduras for short) is the Honduras non-profit organization; FHD Missions, Inc. is the complementary U.S. non-profit organization that will serve to support and guide the activities of FHD Honduras. Our application 501c3 tax exempt status has been filed and received by the IRS. Please pray for favor from the Lord that we fall into the “90 day bucket” meaning that no additional information is needed. This is a big step forward we need to take to further grow and support the ministry. We praise God for His favor and wisdom in the creation of these new organizations. We ask for prayer for Jean and me and for the boards of both organizations as we work to establish and fund the projects that are being developed.
  • Please continue to pray for the nation of Honduras as tensions have not decreased although until now the protesting had subsided. While we don’t want to blow things out of proportion there are serious problems in this country. The protests of May and early June subsided but are starting up again over mostly the same underlying and unresolved issues. Praise God that neither we nor our teams have been in any danger whatsoever. However, because of the tension and anxiety in the country right now we have to constantly be extra vigilant regarding current events and how they might impact our plans. This in and of itself can take its toll emotionally so please pray for us in that regard in respect to current events in Honduras.
  • Please continue to pray for Frontline Missions. Please pray specifically for Heidi Winter and the board as they continue working together to establish the clear vision and direction for Frontline Missions. Praise God for how He continues to use Frontline Missions in our lives, in Honduras, and in many other places around the world.
  • Praise God for the successful completion of our first quarter of operations! It hasn’t been without its challenges but God has been faithful.
  • We need to ask you to continue to pray for La Casa de Rubén. La Casa de Rubén is the place for Rubén and others like him, to stay near to the physical therapy center in the city of Gracias in order to regain mobility and independence. The needs are great for this project so please pray for wisdom and funding. Please prayerfully consider how you could be a part of this project with us. There are many ways to partner with us in this project. We praise God for the partners He has brought us and for the donations that we have received to help with construction of two extra bedrooms and a bathroom and to help us buy supplies needed to open La Casa de Rubén. We still have much more to go but we are trusting God to provide.
  • Please pray for wisdom regarding a very important decision regarding the future location of La Casa de Rubén. And please pray for construction funds so we can finish the extra rooms and bathroom so more people can come to stay and receive treatment.
  • Please pray for the Lord to help us find new strategic partnerships in support of La Casa de Rubén and our other ministries.
  • Short term mission teams continue to be an important part of our ministry to reach people for Christ and to serve and bless them in other ways as well. Praise God for the teams that have come to serve with us in and around La Campa this year-most recently our friends from First Baptist Church Atlanta-what a huge blessing they were to the church families of Gracia Abundante in Gracias and Ministerio Cristiano Vida in Caiquin.
  • Please pray for a strategic meeting that will be taking place at the end of this month regarding the potential launch of an exciting and much needed new family ministry.
  • 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 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 communities represented by this ministry.

First Baptist Church Atlanta In La Campa 2019

Pastor Arturo & Wendy giving each team member a very special personal gift.

Well, in Gracias more this year but close enough since Gracias has become our home away from home! What a blessing it was to host this team of friends again this year from First Baptist Atlanta. They returned to lead teachings from the Bible based on Life Principles developed by Charles Stanley and to teach and equip leaders and teachers for teaching ministries in their local churches. There were two day long conferences offered in Gracia Abundante in Gracias and at Ministerio Cristiano Vida in San Marcos de Caiquin. We can’t thank Pastor Arturo and Pastor Jorge enough respectively for organizing and hosting these conferences!

In addition to the teaching that was done there were many resource materials that were given to those in attendance to add to their toolboxes to better equip them in the work of teaching and making disciples. We also want to say a big “Thank You!” to the folks at Passion City Church and In Touch Ministries for the materials provided for these pastors, teachers and leaders.

The team spent a day visiting both La Casa de Rubén and CRILE. Most of you know by now that La Casa de Rubén is the house God has allowed us to open to serve as a place where people who live far away from CRILE can come and stay to receive the physical therapy they need but can’t get in the communities where they live. You can visit www.fhdhonduras.org for more information about our project La Casa ee Rubén.

Dr. Maria, our Executive Director with Dora, Rubén’s physical therapist at Crile.

CRILE is the non profit physical therapy center located in Gracias providing quality and affordable therapy to those who can get there. The team learned very quickly that there is much more happening at CRILE than just physical therapy. The team spent a couple of hours observing the therapy that was being done. But more importantly, they began to make connections. They connected with the therapists, especially Dora, the therapist who has been assigned to work with Rubén. They also began to make connections with some of the patients in just a short amount of time. You see, the thing bigger than the therapy that is happening is community. Our time at CRILE concluded with a group prayer right in the middle of the therapy room!

And of course the team came and spent several hours at La Casa de Rubén getting to meet Pastor Tulio, his wife Lourdes, Rubén and his younger sister Marlen for the first time. They all had heard very much about them and this ministry so it was a special time to have them there to see and experience it in person. What an encouragement they were to us and to everyone they came into contact with at both locations.

 

 

La Casa de Rubén-Q1 In Review

At the close of July we reached an important milestone-our first full quarter of operations! As many of you know from experience the start up phase of anything new is usually challenging and our new ministry project has had it’s fair share of challenges. However, like the old saying goes, “no pain no gain”, and while pain is not enjoyable we have gained much as a result.

Surprises

UCRISH at La Casa de Rubén

To say we experienced some surprises would be a bit of an understatement. One Saturday afternoon a group of business students from UCRISH, a local university in Gracias, came by the house to spend some time learning more about the project and the history of how it came to exist. While they told us in advance they would be bringing some donated supplies for the house we had no idea just how hard they had worked obtaining personal care and cleaning supplies, cookware and many other things for the kitchen and house. It was such a fun time and we were blessed greatly.

We also received a visit from friend and missionary Ben Agee who had lived in Gracias with his family before a health crisis caused them to have to return to the states much sooner than they ever imagined. Ben brought with him Mike, Zane and Jack one morning for a visit. We got to spend some real quality time together sharing about the ministry of La Casa de Rubén. They were a huge blessing and encouragement to us.

There have also been some other surprises that have caught us a little off guard that we are working through at this time. While some of them are forcing us to do a lot of thinking and praying they are developments that, once we work all the way through them, will turn out for the good of the house and the foundation overall. As these things develop we will be able to share more detailed information about these situations. In the meantime please pray for us as we determine the best decisions to make that will help us move forward and increase our capacity to help more people.

While there has been much focus placed on Rubén to date this project has never been just about him. Along that line we immediately began construction of two additional bedrooms and a bathroom to increase our capacity to bring in more patient guests. We find ourselves at a bit of a standstill as we have temporarily run out of construction funds. Please pray for us to find a donor, or donors, who are willing to help us with the materials and labor needed to finish these rooms.

In the future the other patient guests we receive will come and go on a rotating basis with their length of stay running anywhere from 1-4 weeks. This rotation will be coordinated with the therapists at CRILE and will help us maximize the use of the house for many more patients annually. While we don’t know exactly when we’ll be receiving more people we are certain that the time will come for more people to be blessed by all that is being offered at La Casa de Rubén.

The Staff

It has been very good, although interesting at times for them we’re sure, learning more about us and each other and the specific strengths and skills each of us brings to the project. Through the challenges the Lord is showing us how to minister and serve each other better while we each do our parts to make this project successful. To that end we’ve implemented specific prayer and meeting times, both with the entire staff and one on one, to teach and encourage one another. Through all of this the Lord is drawing us closer to each other and closer to Him while improving our effectiveness as a team. Please pray for this process to continue.

Rubén & Marlen

As is the case in all of life there are ups and downs. While Rubén has made much progress he still faces some very serious short and long term health challenges. Without giving too much detail and compromising his privacy we can say that his last skin ulcer (there were 5 at one time) is in a very difficult location to keep clean and infection free. Because of this he has suffered many serious infections in the last almost three years. As a result his body has become very resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the particular bacterial infection that he gets the most often. It appears that we are down to the last and very expensive antibiotic for him that is available in Honduras.

On a recent Friday we requested some lab work because he was showing signs of having another infection. With medication his fever went down overnight but by Saturday late afternoon it was up again so we sent him to the hospital. On Sunday night before it was confirmed which antibiotic he would need (we were still waiting for the lab results from Friday afternoon) the hospital received a donation of the exact one he ended up needing! The attending physicians put his name on the box and set it aside for him and he has gotten over this infection.

There is a permanent surgical procedure recommended that would more effectively prevent this from happening again but for personal reasons, and with full understanding of the potential outcomes, he has chosen not to have the procedure done. There are some changes in his care that we are making to do what we can to help prevent future infections but his battle is still very much uphill in regards to this part of his health.

We took him to get an MRI a little over a week ago to confirm the level of damage and recovery potential as the images of his neck taken at the time of the injury were very poor quality. The results confirmed that Rubén faces some great challenges and limitations. But the neurologist who is reviewing his case also told us that in his time he has seen many cases where God and physical therapy combined brought about improvements that were beyond what could be explained medically or scientifically. While he and we have very realistic expectations we are also not limiting what God can do through hard work and faith so we press on and with his physical therapy and exercise program as we have already seen significant improvements.

Marlen, his younger sister, is just as much a part of this story as her brother. She got to participate in her first ever class parade to celebrate Dia de Lempira last month. Lempira is a national hero who fought the Spanish conquistadors with quite a bit of success until he was tricked into a meeting where he was killed. There are big celebrations all over western Honduras on July 20 every year.

Marlen continues to adjust to being a middle school student and that has its own ups and downs, especially in a different house in a bigger city and school than she had ever seen before. Please pray for her and for all of us as we figure out how to best help her overcome the challenges she has faced and is facing in her short life so far. Please pray for her to grow in her understanding of and relationship with Jesus. Please pray for her to begin believing in herself. She has much more potential than she realizes and we need wisdom to help her find her way.

While it hasn’t been very easy, especially in just the last few weeks, it has been confirmed to us several times that we are right where we are supposed to be doing what we are supposed to be doing. Please pray for Jean and me as we continue to develop this ministry for the benefit of many others, but more importantly for the glory of God.

Team 12:11

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”

The other day we were listening to a pastor on the internet in our home. While there was much more to the sermon one thing he said stood out about the pulpit ministry. He said the pulpit should be much more of a ministry of reminding than innovating. Even if we have been followers of Jesus and readers or students of the Bible for many years we still need to be reminded of the basics.  This pastor went on to say that if we focus too much on wanting to “innovate” we run the risk of reading things into the Scriptures that aren’t really there. I think we could all agree that there are many false gospels being preached in our day because too many are looking for something “innovative” in the Scriptures.

There are times in our lives when a particular passage from the Bible impacts us in different ways. That does not mean there is a “new” meaning that wasn’t there before. God’s Word means what it means and using correct interpretation methods will protect us from finding “new” meanings that were never intended. But the different impact just means that because of current circumstances those particular verses have a different effect in our lives at a particular moment. And for us that is the case with the first two verses of Psalm 121 that are referenced above. When I (Greg) was a new Christian I heard a song on the radio and the chorus was mostly comprised of verses 5-7 of this Psalm. I was so new that I did not know the words in the chorus were Bible verses but they sounded like they might be so I did some checking and discovered Psalm 121. It quickly became a favorite of mine.

The challenges in this new phase of ministry that the Lord has led us to in the last year have been tremendous. During the last quarter of 2018 the idea for this ministry was planted and nurtured. It was cultivated and grown to the point of opening La Casa de Rubén officially on April 26th 2019. The quarter prior to that held its own challenges that were difficult enough. The first quarter following have presented more challenges beyond those we had ever faced before.

A view of Mt. Celaque from the entrance to the house.

All of us and our staff have been seeking a Bible verse that we could claim as the foundational verse for the ministry. We exchanged lots of ideas over the last few months but nothing ever ‘stuck”. I know it sounds bad to say that any of God’s perfect words did not have sticking power with us. Obviously it wasn’t that the other verses were bad or wrong. They just weren’t speaking to us in the present circumstances. Then the Lord drew us to Psalm 121, and these verses stuck. Immediately we all said “Yes!” this is it!

Opening with lifting up our eyes to the mountains fits because the house is located near the foot of Mount Celaque, the largest, and possibly most beautiful mountain in all of  Honduras. This new ministry has been challenging beyond what we expected so we are constantly looking for and needing help. If we’ve learned anything so far it is that we don’t have enough time, talent, funds, etc. to handle this on our own. And by reaching that point then we remember what we should never have to be reminded of, that our help comes from the Lord, the One who made heaven and earth.

And He has helped us time and time again. And we know He will help us many times more because we are constantly lifting up our eyes beyond the mountains to Him, the One who made the mountains.

So what does that have to do with the Team 12:11?

From the Scripture reference Psalm 121:1-2 we have chosen to set aside 12:11 p.m. daily as a time to pray specifically for FHD Missions and La Casa de Rubén. Several of us already have an alarm set on our phones to go off at that time to remind us to stop whatever it is we are doing to pray for this ministry. Will you consider becoming a Team 12:11 member? There is no other commitment required than to pray briefly and daily for this ministry at this hour. If you would like to officially join the team please contact us using the form in this website, our email addresses greghines@fhdhonduras.org or jeanhines@fhdhonduras.org or any other way you already have to reach us and let us know. We will be putting together a very focused and brief message to send to everyone on the team periodically to report on how God is responding to our prayers and what the prayer needs are at any given time. Thank you and God bless!