Saturday, December 21, 2013

Back to Honduras!

Hello from Honduras! We arrived on December 4, and this is what the past few weeks have looked like for us:

Celebrations and Grief
November was an intense month for our family. My aunt Corie and my grandma had birthdays, my parents celebrated 34 years or marriage, and my brother came all the way from China to spend Thanksgiving with us.

As some of you know, Corie had battled cancer for 15 years. In October, her health suddenly and rapidly declined. My parents and I took care of her at our home for four weeks until she was moved to a hospice center, where she passed away on November 25.

I am deeply thankful to the Lord for allowing me to be with my family during those weeks and be with my mom when Corie passed. I am also thankful for many happy memories with her, gifts she gave me that remind me of her love for me, and the ways she supported our ministry here. I am also grateful for each person who helped our family and made Corie feel loved during the final weeks of her life.

Transition and Settling In
Our last few days in Washington were filled with last-minute errands and packing. This was by far the most difficult departure for me so far, but our trip went well from start to finish (although I hope to avoid taking any more red-eye flights during pregnancy!).

We arrived in time for Bible school classes in La Ceiba the week of December 9. I have had an appointment with my OB doctor, and everything is going well with our baby and in preparation for his arrival. This past Monday we moved to a larger place where we will have room for the baby and for family when they visit (we already had someone stay with us last night!). We have been unpacking and getting settled in, praising God for his timing and provision in each detail.

On the 18th we celebrated three years of marriage! This past year I have appreciated Fernando taking good care of me, especially during pregnancy, and also for his adaptability while during our visit to the U.S. One of the aspects of marriage I most value is that I get to be serve the Lord with my best friend wherever we happen to be!

A Time for Everything
Lately I have been reminded of the passage in Ecclesiastes 3 that discusses how there is a time for everything in life. This makes me aware of how much we need the Holy Spirit to show us how to fully live in the current season God has for us. As you and your families prepare to celebrate Christmas and begin a New Year, may the Lord direct your hearts in whatever He is calling you to and give you the courage to fully embrace His will. Please pray for us in this way, too, as we celebrate the holidays with our brothers and sisters here, and as we prepare for what God has for our family and ministry in 2014.

Thank you for being part of our lives and work! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Odds and Ends: Wrapping It Up

Hello, friends! This is a quick post to fill you in on some final bits of news and info before we wrap up our furlough and return to Honduras the first week of December.

BILD Conference
Fernando is back from the Midwest, where he attended the annual conference for BILD International, the theological training program being implemented in the Garifuna seminary. He had the opportunity to meet others from around the world involved in leadership training and church planting, as well as get a good feel for strategic ways to expand our work in Honduras. Thank you for praying for him, and we praise God for safe travels, good health, and a productive trip.

Immigration Process: Complete!
We also praise God that Fernando has completed all necessary requirements for being able to be in Honduras or the U.S. at any point in the future. This is a big answer to prayer! Our heart's desire is to serve in Honduras indefinitely, but we are so glad we can travel to the U.S. as a family whenever needed for future ministry and personal visits. Thank you for supporting us in prayer during this process!

Speaking Engagements
This past week we shared with a small group and with almost 100 fifth graders at a Christian elementary school. Since God called me (Alison) to missions at a young age, it is always a gift for me to share with children and youth about God's heart for the nations and how we can serve Him in different ways wherever He calls us. We have two more speaking commitments: tomorrow morning we will share at a church and then on Thursday with a small group. Please continue to pray that God will speak through us and lead people to join with us in serving the Garifuna church in Honduras.

Partnership and Provision
We praise God for the many people who pray for us and for our Garifuna brothers and sisters. We are continually reminded of how God has raised up a faithful team standing with us in prayer. The past few months we have had the opportunity to share more in-depth and meet more people who will be praying. We also are grateful for more monthly supporters and for gifts for special projects. For more details, feel free to email me. Thank you to each of you for being part of this answer to prayer, which will help us so much as we serve in Honduras.

Family, Suitcases, and Good-Byes
We are looking forward to spending time with my family, including my brother, who will come for Thanksgiving. Then we will finish packing and head back to our home in Honduras. If you think of it, pray for each detail to come together and for God to prepare our hearts for the transition.

Here are two pictures from a baby shower our church small group held for us. A big thanks to them for "adopting" us as missionaries, praying for us, making us feel welcome, and "showering" us as parents-to-be!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Minnesota Trip

Happy November, friends!

I just returned from a trip Fernando and I took to Minnesota. He is currently in Iowa at the annual BILD International conference, the program being implemented in the Garifuna seminary. We'll share more about that when he returns to Washington later this month.

The picture below shows a very special couple, who invited us to Minnesota to share about our ministry with groups and individuals they know. They have been closely connected to the Wycliffe missionaries in Honduras who coordinated the Garifuna Bible translation project, so Fernando has known him since 1992. Since then, this brother in Christ has played a highly influential role in a variety of projects, including starting a scholarship fund for pastors, leading teams to Honduras who have built homes for pastors and widows, and linking several missionaries to those who have supported them. He also is on the pastoral staff of a very missions-centered church, where the BILD program is also used.

He planned a very productive time for us, scheduling about ten meetings and speaking engagements. We also learned a lot from him about fundraising, as he is gifted and experienced in this area. We hope to follow his example in advocating for others and wisely administering resources for the advancement of God's kingdom. It was a gift from the Lord to get to know him better and learn alongside him.

The next picture shows Fernando sharing at a church missions night. There were tables representing countries around the world where the church supports missionaries, and the enthusiasm and commitment to the Great Commission on a global level was palpable and motivating. Fernando did a great job sharing (according to others, not just me!).

A special part of this trip was visiting my mom's cousin and her family. We spent two nights with them and shared at their church. It was fun to get to know them better and talk about what our families have in common. I also enjoyed the beautiful farmland and cornfields where they live, getting a taste of a part of the U.S. I hadn't seen first-hand. We went to a high school cross country meet, and they brought us extra layers since we are not quite used to the cold!

We are thankful for:
  • The hospitality and advocacy generously extended to us during our trip. Thank you to all those who drove us places, made meals, and took time to learn about our ministry.
  • Your prayers for safe travels, good, health, and stamina. My pregnancy symptoms were much lighter than usual, and I was surprised by how much energy I had!!

Please pray for:
  • The people we met with to follow God's prompting as to how to support pastor training and church planting among the Garifuna people.
  • Fernando's time at the BILD conference: for good networking with other participants and leaders and for clear vision as to how to further pastor training in Honduras.
Binilaün Bungiu súngubei! (God bless you all!)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Getting Ready to Travel To...

Hi everyone! First of all, thank you for praying for us during some busy days of speaking engagements and meetings. Here were a few highlights:
  • I (Alison) met two girls, one a senior in high school at a youth group and the other around 13 at a church, who are very interested in becoming missionaries. I remember being their ages and feeling that same stirring in my heart. What a joy to look in their eyes and encourage them to follow the Lord and see what He has in store for their lives! (I also realized how much I miss teenage girls...)

  • We met with a pastor who implements the same program at his church as what is being used at the Garifuna seminary. It was motivating to hear how the Lord saved him and called him to train leaders and develop church planting teams. He was excited to hear about how the Garifuna church is growing, and we look forward to being in touch with him.

  • A big "THANK YOU!" to:
    • The Grace Community Church missions team and our small group for helping put together a luncheon where we and another GCC missionary could share about our work. We continue to be reminded of the gift of a supportive, enthusiastic church family who cares about us and our Garifuna family in Honduras.
    • A friend of mine who connected us with her church to share and prepared a beautiful reception for everyone afterward, and a couple who organized a dessert night at their home. Once again we thank God for those who go the extra mile and demonstrate Christ's love in practical ways.
Of course, we could share more, but suffice to say we have been busy and are thankful for each opportunity to share with groups, as well as catch up with friends for coffee or in their homes.

This coming Thursday we will fly to Minnesota, where we will share with several churches, groups, and individuals about our work (more about that in an upcoming post!). The following week, I will return to Washington, and Fernando will go to Iowa for the annual conference for the program that has been implemented in the Garifuna Bible school. This will be a great opportunity for him to connect with those involved in theological training around the world and consider how to further develop what is going on in Honduras.

Here are a few prayer points for our time in Minnesota:
  • For safe travels, good health, and stamina in the midst of meeting many people. I'd especially appreciate prayer for good sleep and for pregnancy symptoms to be minimal (particularly stomach aches and joint pain).
  • For fruitful interaction with people and the Holy Spirit to clearly lead those He would have join our ministry support team.
  • For God to encourage and bless the special people who have organized this trip and invited us to come.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and each one who has shown us the Lord's love in many ways (you know who you are!).

Friday, October 18, 2013

Third Culture Kids: A Book Review

I just finished reading Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, by David C. Polluck and Ruth E. Van Reken (click here to find it on Amazon). The term "third culture kid" (TCK) refers to "children who spend a significant period of their developmental years in a culture outside their parents' passport culture(s)" (p. 13). As we look forward to welcoming our baby, who will be biracial, bicultural, and (hopefully) multilingual, I decided to read this book little by little during the past few months. Here is a brief summary and some of my thoughts. I welcome your comments, as well.

The authors divide the book into three sections:

1. Understanding the World of TCKs
These chapters flesh out the definition of a TCK and also discuss Cross-Cultural Kids (CCKs). The latter are those who have lived in and/or interacted with two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time (this is probably a more accurate description for us). These children and teenagers can be "military brats," those whose parents are diplomats or international business workers, or "missionary kids" (MKs). They usually experience two key issues: (A) cross-cultural living and (B) high mobility.

2. The TCK Profile
This section describes a variety of traits, skills, and patterns that tend to characterize TCKs. Polluck and Van Reken emphasize how the concept of paradox underlies these areas, creating benefits as well as challenges unique to these children's identities, life stories, and abilities. One example of this paradox is that TCKs often develop an "expanded worldview," enabling them to appreciate and interact with a wide variety of people in many different contexts, but experience "confused loyalties," which means they may not feel fully part of any one location or group (pp. 88-90).

3. Maximizing the Benefits
This final part of the book outlines practical suggestions, based on research with TCKs, of how families, friends, and organizations can help make the most of the advantages TCKs are offered while addressing their struggles and needs in a healthy way. For example, parents can create special family traditions that their children enjoy and that bring relational cohesion, cultivating stability their children can find comforting regardless of which country or culture they are in.

As I read the book, several recurring ideas stood out to me:
  • My experience is markedly different from TCKs' experiences:
    • I grew up in a monolingual, monocultural environment, felt called to move to Latin America, and prepared as best I could based on my own initiative. I have chosen to embrace this lifestyle, I have had to learn adaptability as an adult, and I know what it's like to return "home" to where I grew up.
    • TCKs usually have no choice in growing up in different cultural contexts with frequent transitions. They often learn to ways to cope and adapt, and they might not have a clear answer as to where "home" is.
  • Being intentional can make all the difference.
    • By educating ourselves as parents, we can more easily understand how our child might think, feel, and act.
    • If we foster healthy habits from a young age, it is more likely that our child can cope with difficulty and enjoy enriching benefits as he grows up.
  • As our world becomes more culturally intertwined and mobile, TCK and CCK life is becoming more common and better understood. This is encouraging!
  • The internet provides access to abundant resources about this topic and connection to others in similar situations.

What I most like about "Third Culture Kids" is:
  • It's very well-organized, research-based, and balanced.
  • Many examples of TCKs illuminate concepts and poignantly show the real, personal aspect of the topic.
  • It invites thoughtful dialogue, not superficial formulae.
  • The tone is positive and there is even an entire chapter called "Enjoying the Journey," which was very inspiring!
  • It is the kind of resource I can refer to in the future, not only as a parent, but also as a friend to other missionary parents and TCKs.

I would love to read your thoughts if you have read the book or other literature about TCKs. For example:
  • What has your journey been like as a...
    • TCK/CCK?
    • Parent of a TCK?
    • Friend of missionary families, both parents and kids?
  • What are some of the best parts, and how did you make the most of them?
  • What would you do differently?

Feel free to leave a comment below, email me, or contact me through Facebook.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Happenings

Hello, friends! Here's an update on what we've been up to and answers to your prayers:

Ministry Activities
  • Thank you for praying for Fernando when he gave the sermon at the Hispanic congregation of our church, Grace Community in Auburn. It went very well; several people told Fernando how God spoke to them through it. Praise God for this growing church family and for how they have blessed us!

  • One of our supporters invited me (Alison) to share with some of her Bible study friends during lunch at her house. Thank you for praying for this time!
  • This past Sunday we shared at the church of some good friends and supporters in Bellingham. The pastor and his wife served as missionaries in Latin America in the past and have a big heart for what God is doing around the world. We appreciated the opportunity to meet more people who would like to follow our ministry and pray for the Garifunas.

Friends, Family, and a Happy Arrival
  • Thank you for praying for our times connecting with people individually. We continue to meet with friends and supporters to hear about their lives and share in greater depth about how their partnership has made a difference in Honduras. I reconnected with a childhood friend I hadn't seen in about 15 years! It was also good to see a friend from high school I got back in touch with last year.
  • My aunt took us to a Sounders game (the rainiest one of the year!). We had a fun time together, a special highlight from our time here so far.
  • We visited the Garifuna church in Seattle, where a pastor and his wife were visiting from New York. This brother in Christ has played a key role in the development of the Garifuna church both in Central America and in the U.S. A musician, he wrote some of the first worship songs in Garifuna, and he also was part of the Garifuna Bible translation team. It's exciting to see Garifuna believers serving the Lord in this country!

  • A very dear friend of mine had her first baby earlier this month, and I was so excited to meet him. It's a special gift from God that his arrival coincided with our time in Washington, and that my friend and I can share the experience of raising sons just a few months apart.

Plans and Prayer Requests

Here are some upcoming speaking engagements you can pray about as the Lord leads:
  • Tomorrow we will share with a youth group in Enumclaw.
  • This Sunday we will have a table display at my home church, Grace Community, to talk to people who might be interested in our ministry. We will also give a presentation at a missions luncheon afterward.
  • This Sunday evening we will visit a church in Puyallup.
  • Monday morning we will meet with a pastor in Burien and in the afternoon with another pastor in Kent.
  • On Tuesday of next week we will speak at a dessert night hosted by a couple at our church.
We are looking forward to how God will work at each of these meetings. Thank you for joining with us through prayer! You are in our thoughts and prayers, as well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good News from Honduras (written by Fernando)

"Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave." Exodus 18:20

"What are you doing?"

Moses thought that Jethro simply wanted to know what he was doing. So he proceeded to describe his work, his unending responsibilities, and all of the activity that revolved around him. Actually, Jethro had already observed these things and instead wanted to communicate this message to Moses: "The way you are working is harming yourself and these people."

Then Jethro told Moses how to improve for his own good and also for the good of the people. What he most needed was to "teach, train, educate, and instruct" so that the people themselves would know how to act and what to do, instead of depending solely on him.

Several weeks ago I (Fernando) had the joy of seeing pictures of Garifuna seminary students, our brothers and sisters, graduating after completing their first level of theological training. It was also encouraging to hear how much this event meant to their lives. Some shared that they cried for joy, and others told us they had never graduated from anything before in their lives, and it was truly a great blessing to be a part of that experience. I am convinced that these small steps ("Studying the First Principles" series) will help the Garifuna church leaders "show [others] the way they are to live and how they are to behave."
I do not completely agree with graduations in theological studies; I am convinced that theological training should be an ongoing and lifelong process. However, reaching this point is good for reflecting on the journey thus far and for recognizing once again that God has been faithful. My brothers and sisters went through countless difficulties: family conflicts, illnesses, ministry conflicts, and more. But they have persevered, and praise God because He never leaves us to walk alone, and He has shown His faithfulness to these students, His children and servants.

"Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." Psalm 126:5-6

Friday, September 20, 2013

Answer to Prayer, Trip to Spokane, and Baby Stuff

Answer to Prayer

In our last post, we asked for prayer that Fernando's citizenship interview would be scheduled before we travel to the Midwest at the end of next month. Yesterday we received notification that his interview will be the day before we leave! We are thankful it will not conflict with travel plans, since Fernando will be gone for several weeks, and thank you all for praying about that. *Please pray for the interview to go well.

Trip to Spokane

This past weekend we went to Eastern Washington, stopping in Yakima to see one of my cousins. It had been over 12 years since we had seen each other last!

In Spokane we stayed with one of my good friends from high school, and we enjoyed seeing her sister, meeting some of her friends, and hearing more about what she has been up to. We appreciated her hospitality and had fun visiting some places around the area.

Baby Blessings

One of my friends teaches birth classes and offered to teach us for free! We have only gone twice but have already learned a lot. Plus, it's fun to see her every week!

Another friend had a lot of extra baby boy clothes she no longer needs, and my mom and I had fun going through them together (the two bags below). I couldn't ask for more supportive family and friends during this time!

Plans and Prayer Requests
  • Fernando will give the sermon at our church's Hispanic church service this Sunday. *Pray that the Lord will speak through Him.

  • On Wednesday I will share with a women's Bible study about our ministry. *Pray for clear communication, rich fellowship, and for receptive hearts to how the Holy Spirit may prompt each person to get involved in supporting God's work in Honduras.

  • We continue to enjoy meeting with friends and supporters. *Pray for each conversation to be filled with God's grace and mutual encouragement.

Thank you, friends! We hope you are doing well and remember you in our prayers!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Long-Time Friends, Special Events, and Baby News

Here is an update of what we've been doing in the past few weeks, along with praises and answers to your prayers:
Church Visits
We shared at a church in Tacoma on August 25, and people were very interested in getting involved in supporting pastor training and church planting in Garifuna communities. The pastor encouraged everyone to join our partnership team, and we felt refreshed worshipping and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters who treated us like family.
This past Sunday Fernando gave the sermon at the Garifuna church in Burien where we visited last month:

He spoke about Joseph from Genesis and how this story illustrates who Jesus is and what He has done for us, which was a great reminder and encouragement to everyone. Afterward we had a great time sharing a meal and getting to know people better. I was really happy to have conversations in Garifuna (even with some Spanish thrown in!) and hear more of these sisters' stories.

Friends, Supporters, and Mentors

We have seen many people in the past few weeks, sharing with supporters about how God has used their prayers and partnership to help individuals, groups, and projects in Honduras. There is nothing better than saying, "Thank you!" face-to-face.

We also have met with pastors from my home church, Grace Community, whose interest in our lives and ministry, as well as their advice, is greatly appreciated.

I was thrilled to introduce Fernando to a friend of mine in her early 90s. She was a pastor's wife for many years, and she informally mentored me when I visited her during high school and college years. Her wisdom and influence have helped me in crucial decisions and have motivated me to live my life for the Lord. What a blessing to have older Christians to learn from.

Over Labor Day Weekend we hosted a BBQ with good friends from high school and their families, the first time we'd all been together in over ten years!

Fundraiser Dinner

On Friday, the Hispanic congregation of Grace Community Church put together a beautiful fundraiser dinner event for us, with proceeds for special ministry projects we have coming up. We are so thankful for Pastor Esau and his wife, Erin, and everyone who came up with this great idea, planned a delicious meal, and did a beautiful job organizing and decorating. Many people helped in a variety of ways with a willing and loving attitude, including a woman who helped all afternoon in the kitchen after taking a half-day off work!

About 70-80 people came, including family friends and church members, a great turn-out! After dinner, Fernando and I shared a bilingual presentation about our backgrounds, how God is working among the Garifunas, the vision God has given for our work there, and how people can get involved. Here are a few pictures:

Thank you to everyone who helped, attended, and contributed to the Lord's work! We loved seeing you all there.

Happy Baby News

Yesterday we found out that we will be having a boy! We are grateful for a healthy pregnancy and are almost to the half-way point. Thank you for praying for our baby!

Praise/Prayer Update
  • Thank you for praying for Fernando's citizenship process. He just completed the biometrics (fingerprinting) requirement, and we are waiting to receive notification about his interview/civics test. **Please pray he can be interviewed before we travel to the Midwest at the end of October.

  • Thank you for praying for our monthly partnership level. In the past few weeks, this has increased from 49% to 57%. Praise God! **Please pray for God to clearly lead those He would have partner with us and for Him to work through upcoming speaking opportunities.

  • We will be in the Spokane area this weekend. Please pray for safe travels, God-appointed opportunities to share with people, and an encouraging time with the friends and family we see.

Thanks for visiting our blog!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Bible and God's Faithfulness

The other day I (finally) accepted the fact that my long-time study Bible needed to be replaced: the binding has come apart, pages have been detached, and Proverbs and Isaiah have become almost unreadable:

My parents gave me this Bible around my 18th birthday. The black leather cover was impeccable, the gold lining on the pages was shiny, and the cover fit perfectly.

At that time, I had not yet traveled outside of the U.S. and Canada or gone on any mission trips, I didn't have a boyfriend, and I hadn't taken any linguistics courses. I did know that I wanted to serve in some kind of mission work, that I felt increasingly drawn to Latin America, and that this new Bible was more than a kind gift - it was my guide for whatever the future held.

Twelve years later, this Bible is marked and underlined, and the cover bulges with prayer cards, pictures, cards and notes, notecards with verses, bookmarks, and more. (There is also a mosquito who met its demise somewhere in Psalm 119.) Here are just a few:

I have taken this Bible with me to 13 countries and on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, pick-up truck beds, canoes, and the back of a burro climbing a mountain path. With adventures, transitions, new roommates, and good-byes, it has represented God's faithfulness and that His Word is unchangingly true, His presence unendingly constant, and His message deeply needed at any time, in any culture, and in any circumstance - whether accompanied by optimism and a morning cup of coffee, or questions and Kleenex (actually, a roll of toilet paper in most places!) in the middle of a sleepless night.

I have tucked away evidences of God's faithfulness in this Bible that remind me of His good gifts and prevailing purposes:
  • A tiny hand-sewn Cuban flag.
  • A stand-by plane ticket that gave me the last available seat just in time.
  • Notes from linguistics students from Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil and Peru, some of whom are now learning Hindi, Mandarin, and Nahuatl as they serve around the world.
  • Small cards from unforgettable people who have hosted me and welcomed me into their communities in Mayan towns in Guatemala, or in capital cities.
I am thankful for God's Word in my language and for how He has taught and guided me in the midst of adventures, uncertainties, and changes. I am equally burdened for those who have not yet heard and believed His Word, and for those who are like the Ethiopian in Acts 8 and are waiting for someone to help them understand, grow, and make disciples of others.

Here is my new Bible:

See how the pages are clean and intact? (And I doubt there are any mosquitoes trapped inside yet.)

I am looking forward to the next leg of the journey.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Do You Think of Washington?

"What do you think of Washington?" Many people have asked Fernando this question, usually followed by, "Isn't it beautiful?" This makes us smile because it happens frequently and because we truly are enjoying summertime here. This is what we have been up to:

We've been seeing friends and supporters in the area, learning about how they are doing and how we can pray for them. In turn, we get to tell them about testimonies from Honduras, challenges and needs there, and how to pray and help. Thank you to all who have taken us out or invited us to your homes for meals!

After visiting a friend in Bellevue, we stopped at Coulon Park on Lake Washington.

With my long-time friend, Heather, at Kerry Park in Seattle.

We spent a weekend in Bellingham, where I attended college. It was fun to show Fernando around and spend time with friends. We went to church with some friends, and the pastor invited us to give a presentation this fall about our ministry. Hearing about how our friends are actively involved in their churches and community encouraged us, as well.

Spending the evening at Boulevard Park.

We spoke at a church in Tacoma that partnered with me when I was with Wycliffe and has prayed for me during the past seven years. We appreciated the warm welcome and the pastor's encouragement during this time of support-raising.

We visited a Garifuna congregation in the Burien area. It was beautiful to worship with Garifuna brothers and sisters in Washington, learn about how the church began, eat a great home-cooked meal, talk to people in Garifuna, and meet relatives of good friends in Honduras. The pastor has invited Fernando to preach there sometime this fall, so we are looking forward to seeing them again.

Worshipping at the Garifuna church (video).
To celebrate Fernando's and my parents' birthdays, my grandma and aunt came over for dinner and cake. Here is Fernando with his gift, a Seattle Sounders soccer jersey:
Our baby is growing well, and the second trimester is going great. A close friend of mine is expecting her baby next month, so my mom convinced us to take this picture together at her baby shower:
Here are some prayer requests and upcoming activities:
  • Fernando's citizenship application is being processed. Please pray for everything to go quickly and smoothly in the coming weeks, as we wait to find out when he will be interviewed.
  • Praise God for several people who have responded to God's leading to be monthly financial partners. This a huge answer to prayer! Please pray for our monthly support level to increase (we are at almost 50%).
  • The Hispanic congregation at my home church, Grace Community, offered to help us hold a fundraiser dinner; proceeds will go to special ministry projects. The ladies will make a traditional Latino dinner, and we will give a bilingual presentation with pictures, videos, and testimonies. It should be a fun event! We are so thankful for their willingness to help in this way! It will be held Friday, September 6, at 7:00 P.M. **Contact me via email, Facebook, phone, or the comment section of this blog for more details and/or to RSVP.** Please pray that God will be glorified and bless those who are making this possible!
  • Pray for us as we prepare to share with churches, community groups, and youth groups in the coming weeks. We plan to spend a weekend in Spokane next month, so **let us know if you or anybody in that area would like to get together!**
Thank you for visiting our blog and praying for us!
P.S. What do you think of Washington? If you don't know yet, you should come visit! :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Trip to Oregon

We just got back from spending a fun week in Oregon seeing family and friends. Here are a few highlights:

It was great to catch up with some good friends/roommates from college. A big thanks to them for their hospitality!
We spent several days with my dad's family... but, sadly, I was too busy talking and laughing to remember to take pictures until it was too late! I always enjoy seeing my uncles, aunts, and cousins, and this time it was special that Fernando could meet them. I am very grateful for all they did to make us feel at home, and for all of the fun conversations we shared. I already miss them! Here's a picture of Fernando with the newest member of the family:

From there we visited good friends who also continually bless us and those we work with in Honduras through their prayer and generosity. We enjoyed fishing with them on a lake, as well as sharing about what is going on in our lives.

We also had lunch with one of my mom's college friends and her husband. Not only was it good to see them, but it was special because God used her life to lead my mom to Christ.

Before returning to Washington, we enjoyed some time at the Oregon coast so Fernando could see the Pacific Ocean. You might notice we are more accustomed to the warm, breezy Caribbean, and not the cold, windy Northwest coast! But, we still had a great time.

We thank God for safe travels, good health, and the family and friends He has given us, who have encouraged us and are such an important part of our lives and ministry.

As we gear up for a busy month of August, with a full schedule of meeting with friends and supporters, we invite you to pray that:
  • We would walk closely with the Spirit and keep our eyes on Jesus in the midst of busyness.
  • God would use us to encourage everyone we spend time with.
  • God would prepare opportunities for us to share about how others can be involved in helping Garifuna pastors receive adequate ministry preparation and supporting the growth of the Garifuna church.
  • The Holy Spirit would clearly lead those He calls to partner with us, and that God would richly bless them.
Thank you for your prayers, care for our lives, and support for our brothers and sisters in Honduras!