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!)