Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sharing about Our Ministry

In just a few months, we will be on our way to the Northwest, and we would love to see YOU!

One big change for us will be planning and schedules. In Honduras, we have a general idea of what we plan to do the next day, week or, month, but what we often think will happen changes. However, in anticipation of the more structured calendar-style that awaits us, I will be working on a tentative itinerary for our time in the States.

We expect to arrive the end of June and return to Honduras the end of November. We will be working on Fernando's citizenship process, spending time with family, catching up with friends and ministry partners, and sharing about our work in Honduras.

Please let us know if we could share at your church, small group, Sunday school class, youth group, or group of friends about how God is working among the Garifunas and about our lives and work in Honduras. We want to make sure we can share with as many people as possible and make the most of our time in the U.S. Feel free to email us (fernandosabio@cten.org or alisonhowards@gmail.com) or send me a Facebook message.

We also look forward to getting together with you one-on-one and hearing about what is going on in your lives! It is not only a blessing for us to share about what God is doing in Honduras, but also to see you personally and hear about what He is doing in and through you.

Please pray:
  • For many opportunities to share with others about God's work here and how we are involved.
  • That God would use us to encourage and minister to those we share with.
  • For special times of fellowship with all we meet with.
  • That God would raise up those He would have partner with us through prayer and financial giving.
  • For His guidance and provision as we make travel arrangements and plans.
Thank you and see you SOON!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Studying the Life of Christ

I just got home from discipleship group, and I am happy to see how the girls are growing in their understanding of God's Word and their faith in Christ. I started discipling three girls in 2011, and it the group continued to grow in the past few years. Some girls have become believers, and others have learned to study the Bible, while becoming friends with each other. It's beautiful to watch God at work in their lives!

Two girls sharing what they discussed in their small group

Last year, Kety, a friend from church, started helping me, and she is becoming the main leader. This is great advantage since she lives in the same neighborhood as most the girls and has wonderful ideas that have helped improve our times together.

Kety leading an activity

Last year we used a book that covered key topics in Christianity, such as prayer, fellowship, witness, etc. This year we are digging deeper in a study of the life of Christ, which includes daily reading and weekly discussion. Last year, my home church sent the girls Bibles in a version that is very easy to read, and this has been very helpful (some of them only had antiquated versions that are difficult to understand).

This girl has grown a lot in her faith and in participating each Saturday

Highlights from today included:
  • Having group discussions about how to learn from Joseph and Mary's example of faith and obedience.
  • Answering questions several girls had written down during their reading this past week.
  • Hearing what they most liked about the passages they read.
  • Finding out that, for some, this was the first time they had read the story of Jesus' birth!
  • Seeing how they have grown in confidence when they read and summarize Bible verses (instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them).
  • Having two girls come to Bible study for the first time.
What a privilege to encourage these beautiful girls in their spiritual lives!

Please pray:
  • That they will experience Jesus in a deep and personal way through this study.
  • That they will develop the discipline of spending time with God each day.
  • That new girls will find a place to learn and belong in our group.
  • That God will bless Kety in her role as leader and encourage her as she reaches out to the girls in her neighborhood.
I hear that a soccer game is being organized and the "old people" (Kety and I) are supposed to play goalies... but I'm not so sure I'll post pictures of that! :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Church's Mission: Bible School Classes (Mar.)

This week Garifuna Bible school students met in La Ceiba for the third session of classes in the current BILD International training program they are taking (the first session was in September and the second in December). Fernando has been coordinating the general logistics of the program and, specifically, the Garifuna pastors and leaders who participate. Pastors from Baptist and United Brethren churches also are participating.

This week's topic was about the purpose of the church: evangelism, discipleship, and establishing churches. Students had studied the Bible passages and exegetical information in the past few months, and they also had met in small groups in their regions to discuss the information. Pastor Felix, who has been facilitating classes during the past year, also taught about leadership formation and how to continue to grow as leaders while helping others develop, as well.

Several students volunteered to lead discussions with their peers in preparation for teaching new groups forming in their own communities:

Tia Lidia, from Cusuna, where a new group will soon start

 Pastor Emilio, from Punta Piedra, who will help start another group

We could see that participants were encouraged to see each other again and share what God has been doing in their ministries and personal lives. Several talked about how God has worked in their hearts and families since the last time they met, when the topic was about God's design for individual families and His church to be a family. Others told us that they have begun to teach this same program to potential leaders in their own communities and churches.

Pastor Castrillo shares about his experience in the program, how God is helping him start a training group in his community, and how we can pray for them:

We are thankful to see their commitment not only to learn and grow as ministers of the gospel, but also to train others in understanding, teaching, and living out God's Word.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:23-25
Please pray for: 
  • Pastor Castrillo and the others who will start teaching, that the Lord will give them wisdom, unity, and vision as they begin training new leaders.
  • Fernando and Elvis, who will be coordinating and supporting those leading new training groups.
  • This group of students as they continue studying and prepare for classes in May, that they will be diligent in their studies and led by the Holy Spirit.
  • That the Lord will raise up leaders who are faithful to His Word and to the Great Commission both in Honduras and beyond. 

Thank you for supporting this program through your prayers and partnership, not only investing in these servants, but also in those they minister to!