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!