Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Traditons in Honduras

What's Christmas like in Honduras?  Since I have never been there over Christmas I had to do some research.  I made this presentation homeschool families and teachers in mind, but you might enjoy it even if you aren't teaching anyone :-)

You can also find a link to it here if you would like to view it full screen:  If you've never used a Prezi before they are pretty easy to use.  Use the arrows on the bottom to go forward or backward in the presentation.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Calling all Chefs!

Do you like to cook?  Have any great recipes to share?  How about tips and tricks?  Well- I am looking for them!  I am compiling a recipe book.

Where did they idea for a recipe book come from?
It all started when I was trying to think of what to give my friends, the Solheims for a Christmas/ going away gift (they will be returning to Honduras in February).  I decided that a cookbook would be a great idea for the whole family.  From there I got to thinking-  I have another friend, Adria, who will be doing missions in Honduras- I bet she could use the same cook book, and so could I when I return...and while I am at it, why don't I put a PDF file online for anyone who wants it, missionary and otherwise?!

How will it work?
I will create a PDF file that can be downloaded and printed by anyone who would like a copy.  When the pages are printed they will fit nicely into a regular 3-ring binder.  A cover and a piece for the spine of the binder will also be included, along section dividers.  Simply print everything out and put it in the binder.  You can punch holes in the pages themselves or put them in page protectors (which is probably a good idea since cooking can get messy!).  And if you are curious about the cookbook, but don't want another cookbook cluttering you home you can download it and look at the recipes on your computer.

What's different about this cookbook?  Why would it be good for missionaries?
I will be making a special (and hopefully large) section for special tips and tricks as well as substitutions and conversions.  It's not unusual for new missionaries to come to the field not knowing how to cook or only knowing how to make things from mixes.  In Honduras (and many other countries from what I have heard) selection is often more limited and more things must be made from scratch.  Many things just aren't available (canned cream soup or taco seasoning for instance), which can be frustrating, but there it's possible to make mixes for those things from basic ingredients which ARE available.  So I want to put together a section of helpful hints and tricks.

I am looking around the internet for good tips, tricks, and recipes.  I am going to include basic recipes (bread, lasagna) along with fun favorites, but I also want to leave room in the binder for recipes collected from family members.

Do you have to be a missionary to make use of the cookbook?
 If you are into cooking with more basic and natural ingredients then the section on mixes and substitutions could be very good for you, plus it's a place where you can put recipes you've collected that aren't in a cookbook.  

Why do I want your help?
Well, a) because I bet you have some great recipes and will think of things that I won't, and b) because it will be way more special with your recipes and hints. I will include your name by your contributions (unless you would rather be anonymous, just tell me not to include your name).   When I was in Honduras I printed out some basic recipes and copied a few of my mom's recipes and put them in a small photo album.  Trust me, when you are overseas it is really really special to have reminders those at hope who are praying for you!

How can I contribute?
You can leave a comment on this blog, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email at .  I am looking forward to hearing from you!

If you have noticed that I have been online less it's because I am in the middle of moving to another state!  Please pray for my move especially with all of the icy weather we have been experiencing here in the Midwest!

Monday, November 25, 2013

What if You Went on a Work Team? 5 Great Things about Work Teams

Have you ever considered being a part of a work team (often called going on missions trip)?  Did you go? Where to?  What did you do?
In high school and college I went on several work teams to Mexico and locations around the US.  I always had a good time and felt like I got a lot out of going on the trips.  Living at El Sembrador I got to experience another side of what is so great about work teams as I saw them come alongside us in ministry.
     I am excited that I will have the opportunity to work with work teams when I return to Honduras.  I would love to see you on one!  Yes, that's right. You could go on a work team to El Sembardor.  Need some convincing?  Read my top 5 reasons that work teams are great and then ask God if He is calling you to GO.

Myself on a work team during college.

5 Great Things about Work Teams
1)  It's a learning experience.  You may learn new skills (how to grout tile or stucco a house perhaps) or be able to teach skills you know to others on the team with less experience.  Don't be held back by thinking that you have nothing to offer because you don't have the skills.

2) You learn God's faithfulness.  Maybe it's a question of getting the money you need.  Or you get sick .  Or the van that taking you to Mexico breaks down in the middle of Texas (that happened on one trip with CCF). You manage to communicate with people who don't even speak the same language you do (mostly with a lot of miming!)   But no matter what happens, God has got it covered.  

(When the van broke down we had praise and worship roadside)

3)It's all about community.  You never know who you'll get to meet and develop a friendship with on a missions trip.  This summer I went on a team to New Jersey composed of people from my church and people from another church in the same town.  Some people met for the first time.  Some deepened friendships.  It's amazing how quickly we can become close when we are all members of  God's family!

4)  It brings understanding of the people you came to help.  You can see video clips. You can read blogs like this.  You can listen to missionaries speak.  But I am not sure that there is anything like actually meeting people face to face and seeing where they work and live. You may see some difficult things like extreme poverty. Seeing difficult realities can make a person feel guilt.  But it doesn't have to.  You can choose to feel guilty or to be filled with passion and conviction.  Passion and conviction lead to action and prayer.  They are feelings of hope unlike the depression of guilt.

5)  It's one of the ways that you can help to fulfill the Great Commision.  "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel." You don't have to go for a long period of time or even travel to the other side of the world to follow this command of Jesus.  You never know what God may call you to through your experience on a work team.

To learn more about work teams read articles in this issue of the Call (Pages 8 and 20):

To learn more about how you can go on a work team with WGM go to:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

She's not my mother!

I just got back from a great week in Minnesota and Iowa! It was wonderful to see my family, reconnect with old friend, and meet new ones!

While I was there I drove up to the Twin Cities to see the Solheims.  I met the Solheims in 2010 when we both were volunteers at El Sembrador.  We fit as much as we could into one day-eating at their favorite Mexican Restaurant, shopping, jewelry making, painting our nails, making pizza, and lots of catching up and reminiscing. Steve and Nick declined to join us for the jewelry making and nail painting.

One of our favorite memories is how Kelly Solheim and I would head for to town every week or two for an a girl's day out.  And by girl's day out I mean a granita (frappaccino) and grocery shopping.  Okay, maybe a little shopping for nail polish.  After a few months peoples people around town started to recognize us.  They wanted to know who we were, why we were in Honduras and if we were related, and a few times we were asked if Kelly was my mother (she's not even close to being old enough)!

As Kelly and I almost share a birthday (hers is Oct 25th and mine Oct 30th) we celebrated together with cake:

To hear Kelly's perspective of our visit  and learn more about the Solheims and their ministry go to: Adventures in Chaos .

As for the nailpolish, here are a couple of pictures (I am referred to as AT in the blog):

Monday, October 7, 2013

3 Things I Learned in Honduras

Living in Honduras was a chance for me to grow and it was there that I realized, or grew in my understanding of, three things (well, more than 3...):

1) Home is wherever God has me.  
Leaving home is hard- especially when you will be gone for a while and are not very familiar with where you will be.  When you get to your destination you are faced with a new situation- a house that isn't your home- yet.  A town you are unfamiliar with.  And the challenge of finding/deciding where to buy groceries and everything else you need.

I started to learn this one when I went to Oman over Christmas break my Sophomore year in college.  It was Christmas day and I felt very, very far from home.  Christmas isn't celebrated in Oman (except for a few decorations for the benefit of tourists).  I was with a college group and I didn't know anyone very well.  I sat by the ocean and it just didn't feel like Christmas.    As I looked at the ocean I did the only thing I could do: I prayed.  I told God how far away I felt.  How far away from home and family.  How lonely and lost.  But as I looked around me at the beauty God had made I was comforted by the realization: God made the world.  Both near and far.  He is the God of the universe.  And I could sit on a beach in the Arabian Peninsula and be heard by the same God I talked to daily in the Midwestern US.

Living in Honduras really strengthened this realization.  My apartment in Honduras became home to me.  It took time and the  help of a wonderful roommate, but what really made it home was knowing that God is with me wherever I travel-and that is what really makes a place home.

2) The Family of God is a great family to be a part of.
I was nervous the first time I went down to Honduras.  I was going to 3 months, and I didn't know anyone.  I had met a couple of people who would be there, but I didn't really KNOW anyone.  Even when I went back for 10 months I still didn't know anyone particularly well (I had traveled during my first 3 months). 

But I wasn't lonely.  I met wonderful people.  I looked forward to holidays and other gatherings.    Hondurans, missionaries, volunteers, and work team members became friends.  Their fellowship and support meant a lot to me.  It still does.  

At the end of my time in Honduras the missionaries and volunteers on the field gathered at the guesthouse for Thanksgiving dinner.  I remember looking around and realizing what a "family" God had placed around me in Honduras.

When I return I know I will see many changes.  People have moved or retired or are back in the US for Homeland Ministry Assignment.  But I know that God will again surround me with a great family.

3) It's not about what I think I can do.  It's about what I know God has called me to do.
If you had asked a 10 year old version of myself about my interests and abilities I am pretty sure you wouldn't have gone away from the conversation thinking I would be a missionary.  A clothing designer or interior decorator?  Probably.  A high school aged version of myself might have had you thinking that I would be a biologist.  My freshman year in college I would have told you that was going to be a history professor.  

Missions wasn't on the radar until partway through college, and even then I wasn't sure I was cut out for it.  I loved the idea of travel, but I wasn't sure I could "rough it".  Of course, some of this attitude was based on the false idea that all missionaries live in grass huts and eat rats cooked over a fire.  There are missionaries who are called to live in places where those things might be true, but certainly not all missionaries.  It really depends on what people group God calls you to work with.

However, even with an accurate representation of what my life would be like in Honduras I probably would have said that I couldn't do it.  I could never have imagined teaching English to classes teenagers (one class have over 30 students which was a lot for someone not trained in classroom discipline).  But I did it.  I loved it.  I saw God in it.

In all 3 ways, I saw God.  In my need for Him, I saw his power and love.  In what ways has God taught you things?

Picture of the inside of the chapel at El Sembrador.

Friday, September 6, 2013

FAQs Part 2

When will you be going to Honduras?
I am aiming to leave mid to late summer 2014.

What are you doing currently?
Currently I am doing doing Home Ministry Assignment or HMA.  This is a time when I build partnerships in the US by speaking with churches, groups (small groups, Bible studies), and individuals. I really enjoy talking to people about what God is doing in Honduras and the vision he has given me for ministry, so please don't hesitate to contact me- we can set up a coffee date (or perhaps a Skype date if you live a ways away)!  I also am willing and able to travel!  I would love the opportunity to speak to you, your church, and/or a group you are involved in.  I am praying about planning several trips, so let me know and I can work speaking your area into the plans!

How can we keep in contact?
There are lots of options.  If you have found this blog then you know one of the best ways to keep up with
what is happening with my ministry. A second way is to sign up for my newsletter! You can sign up for it by clicking the link on the left of the page and filling in your name and email address on the form. You can also keep updated by liking my Facebook page ( ) and following me on Twitter ( ). You can send me an email at .

My blogs are newsletter will contain different content, and even though I've been working to link them, my Facebook page and Twitter aren't identical either.

Do you have to raise support?
Yes. A one time gift goes toward plane tickets, immigration fees, and similar expenses.  Monthly gifts contribute to the set amount needed to provide for expenses that occur monthly such as housing, food, and ministry expenses. In short, 100% of my financial support goes toward making ministry possible.  Please contact me if you like a more complete rundown and explanation.

Should I start sending in support now or when you are on the field?
Support sent in now helps with me with travel expenses now during my HMA.  It also goes toward one time expenses.  It would be a blessing if you are able to start giving right away, but please do as you are lead in your prayerful consideration.

How can we pray?
So glad you asked!  Prayer is very important to this ministry!  Here are two of my requests:
1) Pray that God will direct me as I continue in HMA.  There are a lot of details and decisions, and my prayer is that I will always be listening to God and relying on Him.
2) Pray for the ministries going on in Honduras.  In the future I plan on writing a blog giving descriptions of the ministries, but for now here are the descriptions of the ministries on the WGM website:

Notice something new?  Well, I am working on a new look for my blog, what do you think? (I love feedback!).  I am also working on finding a clever name for my blog, so let me know if you have an idea.  Also, I have added a resources tab at the top.  On this tab you will find ways to keep in touch with me,ways to find out more about World Gospel Mission, and  resources that are helpful in learning more about missions (there's even a section of resources to help teach your children about missions!).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Quick Update


Ok, so I have been working on a second part to my FAQ blog, but that has been put on a back burner for a bit because other exciting things are happening and I wanted to update you!

1) I have my first opportunity to speak at a church!  I am very excited to share what God has been doing in my heart and what he is doing in Honduras.

2) I am getting ready to send out my first prayer letter and I will be enclosing my prayer card, so this time I will send all prayer letters out via "snail-mail".  In the future I will be sending prayer letters through email (unless you request otherwise).

I am getting addresses together and I do not have all of your mailing addresses (or even all of your email addresses).  I would love to send you a prayer letter and my prayer card, but I can't unless I have  your address :-)  You can send me your information through my email Sarah.Larson @      (no spaces).

Prayer Requests:

1) Please pray for more opportunities to share and more partnerships.  I cannot do this ministry alone, and I am so thankful for those who have come alongside me.  If you have not done so, I ask that you prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to partner with me in this ministry.

2) I am currently back home living with my parents.  Their house is up for sale, and when it sells I will move with them.  I ask for prayers for the sale of the house, for the transition time, and for me to find a job after the move that will allow me flexibility so that I can go out and share with churches and groups.

In case you didn't notice:

I added tabs at the top of the blog!  I have a recipes tab where I have added a couple of Honduran recipes that would be perfect the next time you are looking for something new to try.  I am also working on a tab that gives you quick links to resources (like the World Go Bible study from WGM).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FAQs about being an MD (Part 1)

There are questions that I have been asked about my new journey as a Missionary Disciple (MD), and they are often the same questions from person to person.  Because of this I thought I write a post answering a few of these questions:

What mission are you going with?
I am going with World Gospel Mission (WGM).  They are the same organization I was with during my previous time in Honduras.  Here is a link to a section on their website that will tell you more:

What is a Missionary Disciple?
Being a Missionary Disciple is a three year commitment, and it is the first step towards becoming a career missionary.  The first year (where I am now in the process) is Homeland Missionary Assignment.   During this year I will be sharing with churches, groups, and individuals about my call to missions and acquiring the prayer support and funds necessary to get to the field.  I will also be getting the training needed for effective cross cultural ministry. The next two years I will be in Honduras serving in ministry, going to language school, and being mentored and discipled by an experienced missionary.  

Where will you be living?  What will you be eating?
I will probably live in a apartment owned by the mission.  I'll have electricity and most appliances that I would have in the US.  I won't have air conditioning, but the windows are glass slats that open like mini blinds and let in a nice breeze. 

As for food I can make almost all of the food we eat in the US, but I love Honduran food so I will often make it instead.  Beans, rice, tortillas, plantains, beef, chicken and cheese are some of the most common foods.  It is less spicy than most Mexican food and has a different flavor.  I have continued to cook Honduran food since returning to the States, although I have had to make some substitutions. Someday I'll have to post a recipe or two!

I'll be adding more questions in my next post, but I'll leave it at this for now.  Let me know what questions you have.  Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter (it's in one of the boxes to the right)!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


May 17-18 I was in Marion, Indiana where I met with World Gospel Mission for Candidate Review Weekend.  It was a wonderful weekend of learning more about WGM and meeting the people of WGM.  There were eight other candidates there and we had a great time getting to know each other and share our passion for missions.

The next day I received word that I had been accepted.   I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for this news!  I have been praying for years to know God's will.

I have been appointed to the role of Missionary Disciple.  Rather than explain it myself, here is a link to the official description given by WGM (don't worry, it's a short one):

I am exited to go to return to the WGM headquarters in Marion, Indiana in Mid July for CMS (Champion Migration Strategy) training.  It should be a great time of meeting other missionaries and staff and getting to see those I have met before.

I would love to put you on my prayer team.  If you would like to be on it please contact me.  You can contact me via facebook or email (  Please send me your email address in the note so that  I can send you prayer letters.  I will be getting a WGM email account soon, but for now my gmail account is a great way to get a hold of me.  I also would love to be praying for you, so please let me know if you have prayer requests.

If you have any questions about missions or would like to learn more about going, giving, and praying.  I don't know that I would know all the answers to your questions, but I can help direct you to resources and people who can tell you more.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

La Vida HondureƱa

I've felt called to missions for a few years now.  I've spent a year in Honduras working with WGM.  I came back and tried to "live a normal life" (i.e. have a decent job, be involved in church, but not focus on the mission field.  It didn't last long as God gave me a couple of strong nudges.  I headed off to Seminary at Columbia International University in South Carolina.  I spent a wonderful year there of growth and learning and fellowship.  And now I am back in the Midwest and ready to see what God has in store for me.

 I have been checking out mission boards, talking to them, reviewing their web pages, praying, etc. and I feel I am getting close to making a decision.  Hopefully.  Because I don't have a mission yet I can't say where I'll be.  I love the country of Honduras and that's where I hope to return.  I feel called to somewhere in Latin America, probably in Central America.  If you are like I was before I went to Honduras I had a bit of trouble finding it, so here's a map to help:
It's the darker purple country under Mexico.

Why Honduras?  Why Latin America?  Well, I think God knows the answer to that question better than I do.  He's the One who has put it on my heart to go.  Many experts in missions are heralding the call to go to unreached people groups.  These groups are primarily in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  I agree with the experts that it is hugely important to focus on those groups!  However, I don't think that this means abandoning all parts of the world that have a certain percentage of evangelicals (And I don't think the experts would say this either).  It's been noted that once the people group has been "reached" there is no longer "missions" there, rather "ministry".  Perhaps "ministry" would be a more correct way of saying what I feel God is calling me to, but for this post at least I'll stick to "missions" as it is perhaps more commonly used to describe this kind of work.

The missionaries who came before have done excellent work in evangelizing and discipling.  The success of the Gospel in Latin America has been overwhelming. There are churches everywhere.  Many businesses have Bible verses printed somewhere in their stores.  And in Honduras (at least) there is a national "Day of the Bible".  So why do missions there?  Because there still is need.  The presence of churches and Bible verse signs can be deceiving.  Many people are professing Catholics who have mixed Catholicism with animism and superstition.  Much like the US, there are people whose lives have been so hard it's difficult for them to imagine a loving God and I believe that God desires His people to be the hands and feet of Jesus in order to love and care for them in order that they may understand God's love.  Of course there are Hondurans who have the heart to do these things for them, but not all of them have the resources or training.  Resources are much harder to come by there, and taking time away from work to get more education might seem impossible.  Latin Americans are being called to become missionaries to other people groups both in their own countries and on the other side of the globe.  If you would like a better explanation I would be happy to talk to you one on one or in a small group.  It's a lot easier to talk about in person -or even in a phone call or personal email or Facebook chat!

I am not sure of God's exact purpose in calling me to Latin America.  I just know that I should not argue.  I've spent a lot of time in prayer about it.  I've asked God if I should go minister to unreached people groups in India or Southeast Asia, but the answer was that God wants me in Latin America.   I think that God has been, is, and will continue to do exciting things in Latin America.

Currently, I'm taking "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" and it's excellent. I highly recommend it.  The first week we talked about how we are blessed to be a blessing (that is we are saved so that we can glorify God and bring others to Him so that they can also glorify Him).  We are currently studying the Bible so that we can see God's mission purpose in every part--and let me tell you it's mind-blowing.  The Old Testament is full of missionary purpose that I never really noticed before.  God has been working in the world to make His name know to all peoples from the very beginning.

As Christians none of us are exempt from God's plan to bring the Glory of his name to the peoples of the earth.  Some are called to unreached people groups.  Some, like myself, to continue a work started by others.  And many are called to be lights in their own communities and partners with those who are in foreign countries.  

Partners are hugely important to the success of missions and ministry both foreign and domestic.  There is the obvious need for funds, but even more important is the need for prayer and encouragement.  The word "supporters" is often used for those who give to missions and ministry, but the word "partners" is more fully descriptive of the relationship.  

I won't be able to go without financial support, but I won't be able to continue without prayer and encouragement.  When you pray for a missionary you are a vital part of that ministry.  There is a lot of spiritual warfare and difficult situations and loneliness and homesickness, not to mention the need for prayer for the people missionaries come in contact with.  I can't tell you how much it means when you send letters and emails or maybe even come to visit.  And partnerships are two way streets. I would love to pray for you and keep in contact!  Please let me know if you have any prayer requests.

I hope that you will consider partnering with me as I follow God. It's going to be an adventure. Good thing God gave me a love for adventure!