In our last newsletter we were just beginning the post-hurricane repair and reconstruction phase in our community and hoping to help our friend Jose rebuild his home that was destroyed the same moment that ours (Brian Cathy’s) house was swept away in a landslide.
We are happy to report that Jose has a new house in what we believe is in a safer location. That said, our civil engineer friend said it looked like an earthquake destroyed Jose’s home. Interestingly, just last week there was a 5.4 quake just north of us. Thankfully no one was injured. We never even knew about it until we saw it on FB and confirmed it with other missionaries.
A few days later, people near Jose’s house told us they felt it.
There is some shaking taking place in Jose’s life that we can not write about here. Please keep him in prayer.
In any case, Jose’s house was a beta test for future projects. What we’ve learned in the process is that while the US citizen in us wants to provide a US style house, we can rebuild or repair 5 more traditional mountain homes for the price of one house like Jose’s. These tin and rough-cut timber houses may not look like much until you consider the cardboard walled homes from which many of these people hail.
“Dios Bendiga Mi Familia” means “God bless my family.”
Thanks to God and you, ten are completed.
Quite often these are $1000 homes with a million-dollar view. Some common questions we recieve are “what about mosquitoes?” and “doesn’t all that tin make it hot inside?” Yes mosquitos are an issue. So is Dengue. We just began purchasing mosquito nets for some of our families. Surprisingly the answer to the second question is no. These homes are well ventilated. In addition, we are about 3500 feet above sea level which means it’s usually 10 – 20 degrees cooler than in the cities at lower altitudes. Add to this the fact that floors are dirt or very thin cement and the result is a cool and comfortable house.
Our friend Blanca is quite proud of her new home. You provided the roof. Her husband did the rest after he helped us with other projects in his community about a mile up the mountain from us called Bella Vista. While we do own power tools, we usually don’t have electricity. Luckily our Honduran team can do just about anything with a machete. All of this timber was cut and milled by hand with a machete.
Even when there is power it’s usually hazardous. Luckily Josh is an electrician. Still, even he is reluctant to touch it unless he has to. In this case, I was nearly electrocuted so he had to.
I could go on for pages about building projects. Projects are important because love looks like something and they are a door to relationships and relationships to discipleship. Discipleship is the real mission.
Most of our disciples are children. That’s largely due to Abuella (grandma) Cathy being a kid magnet. It’s also because the often aggressive and very transactional western method of evangelism can be off-putting to adults who have already “accepted Jesus into their hearts” fifty times and are afraid of being coerced into doing again. “Low and slow” is what we were taught in a missionary school.
The older we get the easier tortoise speed gets for Cathy and me.
And for the Record…
That said we do have a few adults in our Saturday Bible study.
“The Jesus Film” is a popular evangelism tool for missionaries all over the world if only because it has been translated into so many different languages. However, we use The “Passion of the Christ”. Not only is it a higher quality and more poignant production in Spanish, but Mel Gibson is a devout Catholic. That gives it more proverbial “street cred” among Catholics and those who might not ordinarily listen to us. Our original plan was to show it in churches. More often we end up inviting people to our home.
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, keeping kids in school was one of our primary Eph 2:10 “works” oriented goals when we founded Hope in Time. That became even more challenging when COVID lockdowns hit. Schools in Honduras are still closed. Teachers provide lessons and assignments via videos on Vimeo and WhatsApp chat for kids with phones. Thanks to you phones were provided. We initially began assessing and screening families on our own. We have learned that partnering with school principles and teachers is both easier and more effective as they know both the students and their families. Basically they choose the kids and have them come to the school with their parents for an internet safety class taught by us.
Cathy and I take turns presenting while Paulet translates. People are open to the Bible anywhere you go here. that includes government institutions. Therefore we tell a story and liken smart phones to Moses’s staff. We explain that his staff was a tool with rules governing its use. Everything went well when Moses obeyed God and threw the staff down before Pharaoh and when God told him to strike the rock to bring forth water. But there were consequences when his own emotions and desire got in the way of his obedience and he struck the rock when God told him to speak to it. We explain that a phone is a tool that will open doors to a better future. It can also close them. We also explain to parents how social media is used by traffickers to groom children and that their location can be easily pinpointed. Then we hand the phone to a parent who promises to supervise its use.
Our friends Eber and Omar will be starting school in February.
Some of you may remember Diego. He made a bad decision that resulted in his removal from IMI. For the record, it was completely his own fault not IMI’s. Still, he took full responsibility for his actions and repented. Hence, Hope in Time is helping his family cover the remaining expenses associated with his completing the last year of High School.
Fun and Funny
Our dog Mariposa (butterfly) has become quite the missionary dog.
For months these children would not even look us in the eye. Enter Mariposa the consummate ice breaker. She will rip the face off any human or animal that threatens us. However, she also knows just how to be gentle and fun with children.
She opens a lot of doors and hearts wherever we go.
Honduras has all sorts of things that we often take for granted over time and have to remind ourselves that others might find them amusing.
Not to mention how we do laundry.
On a more serious note.
Some people know that we began our overseas missionary connection with a church in a far east nation. Among other things they used to join our home church services and we would periodically preach at their services. Over the course of time, we’ve made other connections with ministries in the middle east. Its no coincidence that we would end up becoming intermediaries in trying to orchestrate the rescue of four Christian families trapped in certain well known country in the news.
I’d share more but I was immediately followed by a known criminal organization in the as soon as I posted on our personal blog at grayhope.com. I’ll be sharing more of our heart regarding this and missions in general on the site soon. I’m not going to name the involved countries here on our organizational site for fear of triggering the Google algorithm that causes anything written or spoken to function as keywords in internet searches.
My only purpose in posting here is to ask you to pray. Please, please do not share this anywhere else on the internet.
The longer Cathy and I get away from being missionary media managers, videographers and photographers the harder it becomes to stick a camera in someone’s face as a means to an allegedly more important end than the people themselves. That’s a good thing – a more healthy thing for me especially. The downside is that I don’t have pictures and video like I used to and its getting worse. That means you don’t see every project, the hundreds of pounds of rice and beans, and cornmeal, the bags of formula and diapers and diaper rash ointment, OTC medication, solar lights, mosquito nets, clothing, cookware, pipe, nails and cement that God provides through you.
Then again the cement transport is kinda cool.
I don’t have the story of Maria who broke her arm and whose surgery we covered. Those who remember Dennis who got run over by a truck will remember I did a much better job documenting it and keeping people updated.
There are just so many people showing up at our door asking for help. The waiting list gets longer every day. Then there are the near-constant vehicle repairs that delay projects for weeks at a time. Land Rovers are great in Honduras until they break. Anyone who has been here knows the roads are brutal and mountain roads are ten times worse. There’s a lot that won’t fit in one newsletter and some tragic things that don’t belong in one. In any case and this one is getting long.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention C0-VID.
Yes, we have it here
We also have Malaria (on the coast) Dengue Fever, Chikun Gunia, Zika, poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions, and the Flu to name a few. Nearly all are survivable provided you stay out of public hospitals. We wear masks indoors in the cities. Interestingly, people in our village started getting vaccinated about a month ago. We just had our very first “vyras” death in our village this week. Still, people are calm. Maybe it’s because mortality is so much more of a concrete reality here. Perhaps the daily struggle to simply survive makes people more dependent upon God – more trusting that He is in control – more surrendered to His will.
Then again maybe they just don’t have time to listen to the news...
Thank you so much to all of our prayer partners and supporters who provide for these people. Josh just returned to the United States to work for a few months so it’s just Paulet, Cathy, Diego, and me Brian holding down the fort. Please keep us and Honduras in prayer as presidential elections are coming in November.
The last one was kind of intense.
If you received this it’s because we love you.
If you read it you must love us.
God bless you and Maranatha!