Saturday, April 20, 2013

Two Reasons to Celebrate

This week we had two reasons to celebrate. One was the completion of the first series of BILD materials:

The manual includes four books, each with sessions about important fundamentals of the Christian life. Three believers translated part of the manual, and Fernando translated another part, revised everyone's work, and meticulously proofread. In spite of the tedious work, he often commented about how the material itself was impacting his life!

The hard work will pay off when 30 of these manuals are published this week and then distributed for new training groups in Garifuna communities.

We are happy that several people have started translating the second manual, and we hope that all of this will be a tool in God's hands to disciple His people and prepare them to make disciples, as well.

The second celebration was Fernando's graduation ceremony for his Master's in Business Administration degree. He finished his coursework and thesis two years ago, but his bachelor's degree in Bible had not yet been approved by the government in Tegucigalpa. (These things take awhile...!) On Friday, he attended the graduation ceremony required to receive his diploma.

I remember how hard he worked during his graduate studies and still dedicated time to starting the Garifuna Bible school, so I am proud of him! I am also thankful for the ways God has allowed him to study what has helped him a great deal in ministry (management, finance, strategic planning, etc.). May the Lord continue teach and use Fernando so that others can learn about the Lord and receive preparation to serve Him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

216 Years

April 12 marks the anniversary of when the Garifuna people (Garinagu) arrived to Honduras in 1797. (If you'd like to read more about what happened in their history, click here.) Yesterday we celebrated at church, including participation by the kids and their Sunday school teachers:

Naming objects used in daily life in Garifuna communities, such the woven cassava strainer, cassava flour sieve, canoe oar, baskets, and more.

Reading a summary of their ancestors' history and arrival to Honduras.

 Wearing our "gounu", or Garifuna/African dresses.

Here is a video of some of the worship. At the beginning, you can see a boy playing the wadabu, or conch shell:

Praise God for His hand on the Garinagu and the beautiful ways He has given them to worship Him together.

Thank you to those who have prayed for the new girls' discipleship group. We had our first meeting on Saturday and enjoyed talking about salvation through Jesus and getting to know each other. We expect some more girls to join us this next Saturday and are looking forward to how God will work in their lives.

Biniladün Bungiu súngubei! (God bless you all.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friends, Fellowship, and Other Happenings

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an encouraging Easter, celebrating Christ's resurrection and the hope we have in Him.

The week before Easter, Semana Santa (Holy Week), is one of the most important holiday times in Latin America. In our corner of the world, people come from other parts of Honduras to enjoy the beaches and rivers. However, my 30th birthday was right before Semana Santa, so that gave us a reason to get outside before the crowds arrived!

I had a happy, memorable birthday and was reminded of how I value the friendships God has given me here. I spent the afternoon with D, our pastor's wife and one of my good friends. We took a walk by the water:


Friends around the world and right here made the day special with emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, hugs, and even homemade donuts! Fernando was out of town at a pastors' conference, but we went to the river/beach when he got back. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday.

Speaking of being encouraged by others, I enjoyed facilitating the discussion today at a weekly Bible study for English-speaking women (missionaries and ex-pats). I am thoroughly enjoying learning from the other women, being involved in a regular Bible study in my own language, and feeling spiritually refreshed and energized. What a blessing!
I am also thankful for the opportunity to meet with one of Fernando's cousins to study the Bible together. I find great joy when other women discover truths from Scripture and relate them to their lives.
Another source of fellowship has been meeting with a woman who has helped me lead a discipleship group and two others who will help me start a second one (we all go to the same church). Each week, we prepare for upcoming meetings, study the Word, and pray for the girls and for each other. It is much more enriching and rewarding working as a team than alone, each contributing in different ways and sharing ideas.
Here are a few prayer requests:
  • On Saturday two women and I will begin a new discipleship group. Please pray for God to bring together these young women and form a strong group where they can learn and grow together.
  • Our pastor has begun implementing the BILD training method in several groups (what the pastors have been studying in the Garifuna seminary). Please pray for everyone involved to grow in their faith and develop greater leadership to reach others.
  • Fernando is finishing revising the translation of the fourth BILD book into Garifuna, which will complete the first manual. This manual will be used in new groups that are forming in rural Garifuna communities. Please pray for the final steps of revising, publishing, and distributing. It has been a lot of work, but we look forward to how the Lord will use it!
Thank you for visiting our blog and praying for us!