Friday, December 9, 2011
The church is Gods bride. He will continue to pursue us until we tell him to stop. He loves us and is compelled to pursue us even when it doesn't make sense. Even when we aren't giving him much back, He loves us! And if you tell Him to stop, He will stop, because he loves you and has given you free will. Kendall never told me to stop so I made her my wife. I believe that marriage is the perfect image of the way God loves his body, the church, all of us. He is pursuing us, but we must accept Him.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
-Gabby, 5 year old island girl
So the past month has been a whirlwind. I feel like the days are flying by. Kendall and I have decided to move back to the states. We will be returning Nov. 5th and Kendall will be going back to school at ECU in the Spring. I am praying and looking for a job in Greenville so lift that up to the Lord for me as well if you don’t mind.
We have been working hard with the kids in French Harbour and the kids at the orphanage. We are still doing our mentoring program where we meet once a week as a large group and throughout the week I spend time one on one with the kids. Kendall has started making and selling jewelry with one of the mothers and we are helping another mother write her autobiography. The kids are frustrating at times but I love them and am so blessed to be able to work with them. Tonight we prayed with the kids for a while and I had four of them come around me and lay their hands on me while praying for God to give me a job. The kids pray with authority so I ask them to pray for me any chance I get. Last time I asked one of the kids to pray for something specific, the prayer was answered in less than 48 hours.
As we prepare to return to the states we are really stepping out on faith in many directions. I have been working with these kids for almost 2 years and there isn’t really anyone who is going to step in and continue the work I have been doing as of yet. I have faith though that the Lord will provide and continue the good work he has started in their lives. There are two American’s who are living here and talking about starting a ministry with the same kids I work with, we are taking a tour of the community with them tom. Also my good friend Roberto has been working with the kids as well and will possibly keep our Tuesday night meeting going. I know that the Lord has used me in their lives and most of those kids have made decisions to follow Him. I believe God will work it out; if the ministry we started should continue, it will if not then something else is coming.
We are also stepping out on faith with everything that goes along with a life in the states. Apartment, cars, insurance, cell phones, jobs, school, ministry, getting there and moving to Greenville. All of these things are on my mind daily as we prepare to return but I have a peace when I give them to God. I will do my part but I know in the end God will have it His way and He will provide. God will receive the glory. Just the other day we were trying to decide whether or not to take our dog back to the states because it costs $200 for the flight and about $200 for a dog kennel. We talked about it and I made up my mind that if we could find a cheap kennel we could consider taking her back. The next day, a lady I didn’t even know gave us a kennel for free.
While we are still here though I am doing my best to make the most of every moment. We are preparing for home but also staying focused here. Pray for us to love these kids well over the next 3 weeks and to take up our crosses daily.
Here is a short exerpt from Carolina’s book that we are helping her write:
I was raised with no love, I found love out there on the street. With people that are not my family and not my color I found love. It may sound crazy but I am telling the truth.
Sometimes I look around and things are so dark, but I don’t question God. I say, “ Lord, thank you for the hardness of today, I would thank the Lord for it and when I look around in the evening, food is on my table. I didn’t question God why things were so hard. He knows the reason why. I say the same things to my the boys, “if you get one little piece of semita and one glass of water, you give God thanks, because some people out there don’t even get that to eat.” And that’s real.
Monday, September 26, 2011
After the vet, we went to the cell phone store because our internet connection hasn't been working. We waited in three different lines for someone to finally tell us there was nothing they could do to help us. The greatest thing this country has taught me is patience. You don't understand inefficient until you live in Central America.
Following the internet issue we went back to the gym. No we are not obsessed with exercise but Kendall and I have decided to be each others personal trainers and today was my day to train her. We worked out for another 45 min. or so and then I went to meet up with some of the kids from French Harbour. One of the boys has recently gotten a job and he told me he was going to use part of his pay check to buy trash bags so that we could all go pick up trash in their community and around the church. He said he believed that if he used his pay check to do something good like this that God would provide more. So today we picked up trash.
It was some nasty trash but with the four of us and an hour or so we filled up 3 big black bags full. We only covered the church and about 100yds of street but that was enough for today. The other kids saw us and were asking when they get to do the same so I think some more trash days are on the horizon.
Monday, September 12, 2011
With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called 'One nation under God!'
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
So Kendall and I have been back on the island for a week after an amazing honeymoon to Costa Rica. It was the perfect trip, we spent 3 nights at a small hotel near a volcano and 4 nights on the pacific coast. We spent most of our time just relaxing and enjoying the places we were but we did get out a few times to explore. We went to some hot springs one day, got massages, rode horses, played Tennis and visited a couple local towns. Check out the pictures:
Its been so good to be back and an amazing 2 weeks of marriage! Kendall and I have already jumped into work with the street kids in French Harbour and the kids at the Children's Home. And we have been starting to see how different this season of life here in Roatan is going to be. A good friend of mine has been running the mentoring program while I have been going and he has really molded it into what it should be. It has been good for me to work with him this week and see things that I never would have realized. He grew up in a very similar environment to these kids so he understands them at a level that is impossible for me. I know the Lord has brought us together to give these kids what they need and to love them in the way he desires us to. As of now Kendall and I are working at the Children's home 2-3 days a week, mentoring 2 days a week and working for a resort 3 days a week for our apartment and food costs. Keep us in your prayers! Thank you and much love!
Saturday, August 6, 2011
This was something I wrote after our trip through Nicaragua last year. Kendall and I spent new years eve in a park in Leon, Nicaragua. As we walked through the park and prayed for the people around us we were moved by the brokenness in this world but also by the beauty of God in people. The people I am writing about are not real but compilations of many people I have encountered over the last two years in Central America.
The human figure is created in the image of God! You can see the creator in everything around you, you only have to open your eyes.
The park is full of life tonight. People are everywhere, doing business, falling in love, falling in lust, searching for a hand out, and bargaining for a deal. They are made in his image but have fallen from the throne to depths undiscovered. There is one man standing on the East side of the park dreaming up the rout to his next fix. Paulo has just come off of a high and is desperate to fill the void which is increasing by the minute. He has nothing left; his “wife” has left (or bean left) and his 5 year old twin boys have been been abandoned with no father to present a picture of what a man should be. He traded his last 4 meals for a temporary high and he will chase that facade to the grave. His next move will be to rob Jillian who has just come off of a 12 hour shift as house keeper. Her wages are necessary to provide dinner for her 6 children and mother. Like most Central American families, Jillian is a single mom who raises her kids with the help of her mother. Again there is no positive male figure present in the lives of these kids, so they will grow up believing what society says a man and a father are. They show no emotion (except anger), they do not trust anyone and value is found in accomplishments. Ruining a woman adds a notch to the belt; men always leave, they yell, they watch sports and yell some more, men run from real issues and hide any weakness with an unbreakable exterior. Jillian will most likely lose connection with her sons in adolescents as they build up resentment and that shell that they believe is necessary for survival. She will not lose her daughters because they will lose their men; the women are united in their loss.
Darkness may saturate the world around us but God has dominion. As I stand here watching the world go by and lives fall apart I am filled with the Hope that only comes from my God! He came for the broken, he came for the lost, he came to bring light to the dark……. Satan may have a foot hold in this world but he is powerless to the name of Jesus Christ! I proclaim that name as I walk into the darkness, nothing will stand against me! I am his torch bearer, I am his light in this park tonight!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
So I am back in NC for summer break and I'm getting MARRIED!!!!!! I'm so stoked to me marrying the woman of my dreams! God is taking us on an amazing journey.
So I want to give a little update on the past few months in Roatan. The mentoring program has grown to over 40 kids twice a week. Some women from the church have been cooking meals for us and there have been many new volunteers who have come along side of what God is doing in French Harbour. Two of my best friends, Aaron and Martha Parrish moved to the island for 3 months and helped put some structure to the program. They made such and impact on the kids and on me during their time on the island. Before they came, I had just been shooting from the hip each week and showing up to hang out with a bunch of kids but they were able to challenge me to seek and cast a vision for the program. It was awesome to work with Martha as she put in constant work to mold and push the program forward. We are very different in our approach to things but in this situation it brought immense progress. I now have a more clear vision for the reasons God has placed Kendall and I in this community. They left in mid May and have been deeply missed by me and the kids. While they were helping in French Harbour we experienced awesome provision. Aaron and Martha had been spending money everyday going back and forth to a local place to print out educational resources which was very inconvenient. After about 2 weeks, a lot of money spent and time wasted traveling back forth, a group of visiting missionaries randomly donated a brand new printer/copier to us. Thank you Jesus. In that same week, we recieved over $1600 of unexpected donations. This money has been such a blessing because it has freed us up to provide for the needs of these kids and of the program.
I gathered up 9 kids 2 weeks ago, piled them in my car and drove to the local orphanage where we played an epic soccer game VS. the orphanage team. Following the game, I took all the kids out for pizza where we talked about the game, good sportsmanship and the Love I have for them which is from God. These are powerful experiences that donations like we received a month ago have allowed us to do. Thank you to everyone who supports us. lives are truly being changed and these young men are being empowered by the love of Christ.
The mentoring program was going to stop for the summer when I left for two months but God had other plans. A week before I left, two women approached me and said that they wanted to keep the program going for the summer and that once I got back, they want to expand and offer more to the kids. One of the women, Jennifer, shared her vision with me for a program that functions everyday of the week, providing food for kids and a positive safe environment to keep them off the streets. I am so thankful and encouraged by the way God brings like minded believers together to accomplish His purposes. Thanks for your prayers!
Check out Mine and Kendall's new website:
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Yesterday was my first time taking some of our boys climbing. It was awesome to see these teenagers get so excited about climbing! They have never done anything like this so it was awesome to get them out of their boxes and get a little uncomfortable. These kids walk the streets everyday and pretty much fear nothing, but when they got about 15 feet off the ground, I thought they were going to pee in their pants. I chose three kids who have shown some leadership qualities in our mentoring program but who still need a lot of guidance. We were able to relate trusting in the rope to trusting in God and having to let go of our problems sometimes trusting God to take care of us. It was Gus' birthday, so we all went out for pizza after climbing with one of the other teachers and replenished our bodies with grease and soda. It was the perfect day!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Fe Y Amor, Hasked ran up to me the other day with the biggest grin on his face and started examining my wrist. The next thing I knew he was holding his arm up to mine and giggling like a school girl!
If you have been following my blog, you will remember the 4th grade girl we supported to come back to school this year. Her name is Alison and she is one of the sweetest girls I know. Her parents have worked exemely hard to pay for her to go to my school. They own a vegetable stand that they run out of their house and her dad picks up odd jobs wherever he can. The first two weeks of school Ali was not here so i asked our principal where she had been. I was made aware that her parents were 6 months behind on payments from the year before and that Ali would not be returning to school. I was extremely bothered by this becaus i know the environment Ali lives in and i can forsee where she will end up without a positive environment to push her forward and mold her into the woman God wants her to be. My mom, dad and many friends pitched in money to support her education this year which has blessed that family in crazy ways. When we sat down with Ali and her dad 8 months ago to tell them that Ali could come back to school without worrying about payments for this year or the debt from last year he burst into tears. He told us how hard he has worked to get her into our school and about ceasless prayers for God to provide for them financially. Ali had the biggest smile on her face and it hasn't faded since. The third quarter just ended and Ali ran up to me at the end of the day yesterday with a giant grin. She looked like she was going to explode with excitement as she yelled out, "I got on honor roll, I got on honor roll.". English is not her first language so she often struggles to keep up in reading and writing so this was a huge accomplishment for her. I was so proud to see her recieve her award this morning and i am so thankful to God and everyone who provided for her this year. Thank you!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I am a part of many projects here on the island that desperately need funding. We have started a mentoring program that meets twice a week at a local church. We provide, reading education, character education, love and a dependable meal to kids that have to beg for most of their food. I was shocked when I told a 6 year old kid that he deserved a reward for coming to mentoring and he asked for a box of corn flakes and milk. The program is run using an incentive system where the kids are rewarded for coming consistently each month. We are up to 30 boys and growing every day. Please support us to buy educational materials, rewards and food. Other projects are ever changing but include things such as painting houses, buying school uniforms for kids to go to school, providing other school supplies, supporting micro-enterprises by giving people loans to start business'. We have assisted one family in starting a linen business, she buys linens from the mainland at a low cost and can sell them here on the island for a profit. I would love to help one family start a business making pinyata's and also help some of the street kids start a bicycle repair business. Support Kendall and I as we strive to serve God and the people of Roatan. Everything that we have been able to do has been financially started and sustained by family, friends and our own investments. Thank you to everyone who supports us in the things God has called us to.
Two weeks ago at then end of mentoring, we gathered together to pray. I explained that we have been buying all the food with our money and we are going broke so we need God to provide for us. I asked a 13 year old boy to pray for God to provide. Pablo said, "God, give us food." I added "please," and he responded with an "Amen." The following day I called a church member who had expressed interest in helping with the tutoring and she asked if she could provide food for every day of mentoring!!!!! It was awesome to go back to mentoring the following day and share that God has answered our prayers. I know what we are doing is important simply by Gods faithfulness in provision. He is so good!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I am sorry I do not have a picture of the finished house uploaded on my computer yet but you can look at a lot more photos at this link: