Travels and Blessings

There is so much to say about our trip to the United States. It was destined to be a good trip because we faced so much opposition in coming. The night before our flight, they announced the winner of the re-count for the presidential election and everything broke loose. We woke at 2:30a.m. to catch our 1:40 p.m. flight. Pastor Juan slept on our couch to be ready to go at such an hour. We thought, if we could beat the protests and get to San Pedro Sula safely, then we could wait all day in the airport for our flight. We jumped into the Toyota and drove just beyond the toll booth where we ran into cars piled up because shirtless and masked men had lined up a wall of burning tires to block the road. They then cut a tree down blocking any traffic. The whooped and hollered and chanted “Out with JOH,” the president. They told us we could pass, but there were about seven more roadblocks before getting to San Pedro, and San Pedro was shut down. After prayer and encouragement with Joel, we made it through to Guatemala and took a flight from the capital. As God opened a way for Moses, he opened a way for us. I wrote the whole exciting story of getting here on the blog and you can read it if you like the details.

SAN DIEGO JUAN

Pastor Juan stayed with us for a month in San Diego and also went to Tucson. He was able to share several testimonies at a service we held in a retirement home. He was so moved to see such a place that took such good care of the elderly. As you can imagine, there isn’t a place for them in Honduras. Before coming to the states, Pastor Juan had adopted an elderly man from his village who had no one to take care of him. He spent the months leading up to this trip, taking care of him, bathing him, changing him, and providing for him. On Don Teodoro’s last night here with us, he was agonizing in bed and Pastor Juan was beside him. He said he couldn’t go and he was afflicted. Juan prayed and then asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus. Teodoro agreed and they prayed. Teodoro again told Juan he wanted to go, but something blocked his path. There was a part of the path he could not cross. Pastor Juan prayed again with his wife and thought he should baptize him. So with a bowl of water, he baptized Teodoro in the bed. He drizzled water over Teodoro's head and into a small bowl. He dumped the water in the river out back, telling Teodoro that his sins were dumped with it. When he returned, Teodoro was peaceful and said, “Now, son. Now I can go.” I few hours later he passed away. Thinking about his experience with Teodoro who was kicked out to the street, Pastor Juan was amazed at the retirement facility.

Pastor Juan enjoyed everything about the states: the beach, whale watching, Balboa Park, the missions, but mostly the food. When asked about his time and if God had taught him anything, He said that every food he tried was better than the last and that God showed him He is the same way. Just when you think you have experienced the best with God, there is more.

Pastor Juan met my dad, Bruce, and my Aunt Pam, who came out to San Diego for Christmas. Aunt Pam was his personal tour guide, taking him all over and making sure he had everything he needed. He joked saying, “I have an Aunt Pam in San Diego too!”

The ministry did not do intensive classes this winter. Instead we took a contract from C1 church in Idaho. They wanted 75 desks to be used in churches with children’s programs. The table tops swivel, allowing the table to be a bench during service, then transform back to a table. Don Will designed a hinge and lock mechanism and we started production. They have worked faithfully since January and we are ready to deliver the first 23 desks. Rosa also started production with some friends of the ministry to make products in the sewing class. She made an amazing amount of products and items for our students to come alongside and continue to produce with her. I also left Mario with five gallons of paint and some ideas to continue his mural work in the ministry, but what he created blew me away! What amazing talent! His work changes the atmosphere in the ministry.

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While in the states, we were able to visit Faith Church in Tucson, The Chapel, and Mountain View. All three places we were able to visit two years ago and it felt really good to be invited back to share updates and what God has done. In San Diego, we met Escondido Church of the Nazarene for the first time. They gave us an amazing greeting with a potluck lunch. We shared in the morning services and then in the Latino service. My good friend Pastor Rafee invited us for worship with Dwell, where Pastor Juan could share about his ministry. We also gave an update at my home church SDFC, at Ruben's and Dean's Sunday school classes, and at Lakeside Nazarene. It was refreshing to have an oportunity to share with my home church what we do and Lakeside has always received us well. We love to worship with them.

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Brooke Pate, one of our fantastic board members, planned an amazing Benefit night for Cocal Gracias on Feb. 3. Elda McGinty shared some of her worship songs and brought the Holy Spirit to the forefront. We had such a good night and want to thank all the other people who collaborated to make it possible. Thank you to those who came and supported the ministry. If you did not come, you won’t want to miss the next one in January 2019. We closed out our time of visiting with Mission Church for their morning and evening services and really enjoyed to be with them.

God gave me two gifts this trip. The first was a road trip with Joel. I flew to Chicago on a Southwest flight and was picked up in Joel’s mini cooper which was packed to the roof. He told me to only bring a carry-on and boy was he right. We drove to a hotel and unloaded the mini into his Kia van and then