In Hines Sight...

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!

Blessings Come In Different Packages

The M100, waterstep.org

If you’ve reached this point you probably clicked through from the portion of our June newsletter where there was a picture of two guys working on a plumbing project. The two guys are Shane (the one higher up in the photo) and Dennis, friends of ours from Kentucky. The plumbing project is actually a water purification project, well actually it is a water chlorination project. Dennis understands the science behind it since he’s a science teacher. Since I (Greg) barely made it through high school chemistry my explanation will be of the “for Dummies” variety, you remember, those books that were popular sometime ago that explained complicated things in an easy to understand way.

This system uses a cool little machine that has two chambers; one is for water and salt and the other is for water. There is a metal tube stuck down into one side that is electrically charged and there is a circulating pump. And a car battery providing the electrical charge. The combination of electricity, salt and water creates some sort of chemical reaction that splits stuff apart, puts other stuff together, and kicks other stuff out so that chlorine gas is produced. Sounds dangerous. The pump circulates and mixes the water and chlorine gas together so all of the bad stuff gets killed making the water safe to drink. It sounds much better when Dennis explains it. The bottom line is that we now generate our own purified water for drinking at La Casa De Rubén. And as an extra benefit we are pretty sure that we will be able to use this system to provide chlorinated water (at a different level) for the hydrotherapy pool when we are ready to put that into service.

Training Day

Our other recent blessings came in the form of household appliances. The Lord provided funds in May for us to be able to outfit the house with a large refrigerator more adequate to the needs of the house, a new stove, and a washing machine and dryer. Even right now with only 6 people in the house you can imagine that washing and drying clothes, sheets and towels by hand would be quite time consuming and laborious. We were also able to purchase a lawnmower to make quicker the work of maintaining the yard at La Casa De Rubén. A job that was taking two full days per week with a weed eater now only takes a day. And the yard looks much better too!

During that week in May we were also able to put the roof on the two bedrooms we are building so that more people will be able to come and stay to receive the treatment and healing they need. The week prior to this we got to spend with Lorraine, a friend of ours from Georgia and a missionary, who was a great help to us with documentation and administration of a new ministry project that we hope to roll out by the end of this year.

The construction and water purifier crew

But the greatest blessing that we receive has nothing to do with buildings, water purifiers, or appliances. It’s the people we get to serve with and serve. It’s the experiences we get to have with them while serving together. It’s the blessing of being able to watch God work in La Campa and the surrounding villages. We are blessed when He brings new people into the story and how He touches their hearts and minds. We are blessed when people that were once “new” to Honduras return to serve here again and again. We are blessed to see God birth new ministries. We are equally blessed to see Him nurture and develop the new ministries into more mature ministries. It is a blessing when God brings an end to a ministry too although that one is usually harder to recognize in the moment as a blessing. Remember what Jesus said about the grain of wheat; that it must fall into the soil and die in order to produce more. Sometimes that has to happen to ministries too. Sometimes God has to shut something down in order to birth something new.

For us a lot has changed in the last year. Some of that change has not been easy. But looking back we can see God’s loving hand in all of it. At the same time a lot of things have remained the same too. As we say, our calling is always to share the love and truth about Jesus with as many people as possible. That calling will never change. But the ways we do it can change. So our greatest blessing, besides God himself, is all of you who are part of what God is doing here in Honduras, where He has knit us together. Thank you so much for obeying God and joining in what He is doing here in and through us.