Saturday, November 24, 2012

Unconventional Thanksgiving Meal

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a day full of good food, time with family and friends, and, especially, celebration of all of God's good gifts in your lives.

We spent the week in Wageira, working on more stories for the OneStory project and visiting several pastors to encourage them in their studies. As usual, I enjoyed practicing Garifuna with Fernando's family and am happy to see continued progress.

The meal we ate on Thanksgiving wasn't turkey, but it was delicious! We had machuca (Spanish) / hudutu (Garifuna): mashed plantains, coconut soup, and fish. It was so good I forgot to take a picture until half-way through! :)

For dinner, I helped make tortillas, which we ate with refried beans and cheese. It's obvious that I made these ones because they're not exactly round! But, thanks to Fernando's sisters, my skills are improving (good thing for him!).

This year, I feel particularly thankful for being part of Fernando's family, especially since I am far away from my family in the U.S. I also am thankful for how God brought Fernando and me together in this adventure of serving Him, and for all of you who are a blessing in our lives!

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you." Colossians 1:3

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Special Gift

Today was a special day for the girls discipleship group. We had our last meeting for this year, before people return to their home communities for the holidays. We celebrated with a meal, games, and birthday cake for those who recently had or will soon have birthdays.

A very special part was giving them Bibles my home church, Grace Community, sent us. Some of the girls' Bibles are very old versions of Spanish and are quite difficult to read. The Bibles they received today are a much easier version, more like the Spanish spoken in this part of the world nowadays. Kety (co-leader) and I included notes with a different Bible verse/promise for each girl. (Five of the girls weren't able to be there, so they will receive their Bibles later.)

We are so THANKFUL for the generosity of those who made it possible for the girls to receive these Bibles! They were very happy, as you can see in this video (saying "thank you" in Garifuna, Spanish, and English):

Please pray that each girl will commit herself to studying God's Word and continue to grow in her faith. It is beautiful to see how God has worked in their lives and knit them together as friends. Thank you for being a part of that through your prayers and partnership!

Here are a few other pictures:

Playing games 

 Happy birthday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pastoral Visit

This past weekend, Fernando and I enjoyed the visit of Stephen and Tammie, a pastoral care couple with CTEN (our missions organization). They visit CTEN missionaries in Central America to see how their work is going, spend time with them, encourage them, and pray for them. We shared conversation over meals and heard about how God has worked in their lives and in the ministries they visit in this part of the world. It was also fun for me to talk to them in English! :)

Tammie was able to come to discipleship group on Saturday, and we all went to church together yesterday. While Stephen saw Fernando preach, Tammie joined me as I taught the children's Sunday school class. It was fun to introduce them to people and share about how God is working.

Perhaps the best part of the time was when they prayed for us at the end. We are blessed to be part of such a supportive organization, and we are thankful for Stephen and Tammie's interest and encouragement toward us and the Garifunas!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Travel Adventures

I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into traveling along the rural coast of Honduras.
To go from La Ceiba to "Wageira" (this means "our community," our blog nickname), we take a two-hour trip in a big bus on a paved road. From there, we either (1) go by truck (cabin or bed, depending on room) on a dirt road, crossing the mouth of a river to go the final stretch on the beach; or (2) we take an old school bus on the dirt road and then take a boat (lancha) by river on the final stretch.

This past time we took the school bus and lancha. On the way back, we also took a mototaxi (motorcycle with a bench on the back) part of the way. Here's some video of the school bus, mototaxi, and lancha:

You might have noticed a nun sitting in front of me in the lancha. While riding in the mototaxi, I found out after a big BUMP that we had run over a snake (but, happily, I didn't see it!).

Wageira is a beautiful community nestled between the beach and the river - a completely different world from the city. Here is a picture of the kitchen from the outside:

I think food tastes better cooked on a clay stove:

November is a really rainy month here, as you can see in this video (you can probably guess we didn't go for a swim in the ocean during this trip!):

In addition to working on the stories, I practiced speaking Garifuna, and we enjoyed some time with Fernando's family. I am so thankful for them and their hospitality! We always have lots of fun with Fernando's nieces and nephews.

Working on OneStory in "Wageira"

Fernando and I spent one week in "Wageira," the community where he grew up and where his family lives. ("Wageira" means "our community," our blog nickname for it.) Our main reason for going was to work on the OneStory project in Garifuna. (Click here to read more about the project.) We are working on a set with stories from the Bible about covenants with the goal of demonstrating how Jesus provided the way for God's covenant with His people. Story sets are then used for evangelism and discipleship.

In order to test out the stories, we have people listen and retell them. However, in La Ceiba, it can be difficult to locate people, who tend to be busy working and studying. In contrast, in rural communities, plenty of native speakers are within walking distance and available to help.

These are the stories we worked on:
  • Birth of Isaac (showing how God fulfilled His promise to Abraham)
  • Ratification of the God's covenant with Israel in Exodus 24
  • Gold Calf (showing how Israel broke the covenant right after it was made)
  • Fall of Jerusalem (showing the consequence of breaking the covenant)
  • Promise of the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah 32 (which points to Jesus)
One teenager, CB, has helped us retell stories, and he and Fernando met each day to work together. CB is very interested in Bible and reads from a Bible story book each night. We are thankful for his willingness to help and are praying that God will speak into his life using the stories he retells with Fernando. Here is a picture of them:

We invite you to pray for CB and the others who are helping us, and for God to use us to provide His Word in this format so that many more come to know Him!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Newsletter!

To view our newsletter, just click on this link. We welcome your questions and feedback, and thanks for reading!