Saturday, December 5, 2015

A New Routine

I am getting used to the routine of my life here in Siguatepeque.  While I am not a person who loves structure, I am finding a certain amount of comfort and normalicy in having a weekly routine.

On Sundays I attend both services at my church and this takes most of my day, except for a couple hours in the afternoon which is a great time to rest or talk to family through Google Hangout (it's a lot like Skype).

Monday-Friday I have class for 4 hours in the afternoon.  It's sounds like a long time to sit in the same class but the teachers are great about having a variety of activities and topics.  Sometimes class is not even in the classroom.  One of my vocabulary lessons involved taking a walk around the neighborhood with my teacher so that she could show me various types of building materials and vocabulary associated with giving directions.  This coming week I will have another teacher is going to come and teach me the vocabulary associated with jewelry making and we are going to actually make some jewelry!  In the mornings and evenings I study, work on reports/newsletters/etc, do laundry and hang out with my host family.
On Tuesdays I stay at school for a Bible study (in English) and a potluck meal.  Most of the people who come to the study are fellow students, but there are some area missionaries who come as well.  On Wednesdays my church has a service which I try to make it to (although it's more complicated because it starts after dark, but early enough that I am not necessarily done eating supper, so I don't always make it to that service.

On Saturdays I go downtown, poke around little shops, get a few groceries and other things I need and eat lunch out.  Sometimes I go alone, sometimes with friends.  Today I went with two other students from the school and we had a great time running errands, getting things we needed, and finishing up at a favorite outdoor restaurant that serves a very yummy Italian panini.

The lady who I live with is a very good cook and she cooks all three meals for me every day except for Sunday when I cook for myself (or eat leftovers from Saturday's lunch!).   I have a room to myself, and I share the upstairs bathroom with any other student who might be living in the house at the time (there is a second upstairs bedroom).  The living room of the house is also upstairs, and for the most part we are the only ones who use it).

Life here is quite different from my life in the States, and while there are elements of my life in Oklahoma that I miss, I am enjoying my life here as well.  I am so grateful for the way God has provided for me here and for the peace and comfort only He can give in the middle of transition!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord

On a Spring Break trip to Mexico in 2008 I learned the words to "Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord" in Spanish.  It was on this trip that I first began to feel a call to missions.  I was with my college campus group, and it was a memorable time for many reasons- from funny things that happened to the gratitude of the church we helped that week.  However, what I remember most is that I was sitting outside the church, talking with a friend, and suddenly I felt God calling.  I didn't know where, when, or for how long, but I knew that I was being called.

This Sunday, over seven years later I stood in church and sang "Abre los Ojos de mi Alma" (Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord"), and I just about started crying.  So much has happened since then in reguards to my calling to missions and God has taken my life in a direction that I never would have suspected my Junior year of college, and I am so very thankful.

On Tuesday nights there is a Bible study at the school, and we meet for a meal, Bible study, and worship.  One of the songs we sang was "Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord".  As I sang the song in English, the words sunk in.  I thought of the words in a way I hadn't before.  Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to see all that you have done and are doing for me.  Open the eyes of my heart to see Your presence is the world.  Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to the needs around me and how You would have me serve.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see You.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's Already Been a Month

It's both hard and easy to believe that I have been in Honduras for a month now.  I am settling into life here nicely.  Currently I am living in Siguatepeque and studying Spanish.  I live with a lady named Nary, and her niece, Vanessa, who is about my age.  I spend spend the afternoons taken Spanish classes, and the evenings, mornings, and weekends studying, practicing Spanish (communicating with the people around me!) and going to church.

A couple weeks ago something (I am not sure what) happened to my back and I was laid up for a few days.  It was painful and a little scary, but God was with me and he blessed me in the form of people who were here to help me.  I went to the doctor, got a lot of rest, and my back is much better and feels normal unless I try to do too much.

Siguatepeque is a very nice place to be!  It's pretty quiet and safe and it's up in the mountains so it's cooler than many other places. The past couple of Saturdays I've gone downtown and explored and done some shopping for things that couldn't quite fit in my suitcases.  It's nice to feel like I know my way around a bit.

There is so much more I could say, but a newsletter will be coming shortly, so I will save it for that!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I have had quite the week!  In the last week I arrived in Honduras, went to Ladies' Retreat in Catacamas, and have now started language school in Siguatepeque!  It's a lot to take in and process, but it's good.  I am so excited to be here and see first hand how God is at work!  Someday I will do a longer post, but right now I have a lot of studying and reading, so I will leave you with a panorama of the view from the balcony of the house where I am staying.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Well, it's been a long two days of travel, but I've made it!  It's hard to believe that I am in Tegucigalpa, ready to start a challenging, but exciting new chapter in my life.  It's hard to take in how much my life is changing with this move.

I won't write much because I am tired and still processing everything, but I am excited to be here and I wanted to let ya'll know I got her alright (and so did my bags, praise God!)

This was taken 5 years ago about a month or two after I first got to Honduras...I was already in love with this beautiful country!

Maleta: Suitcase (noun)
Viajar: Travel (verb)
Viaje:  Trip (noun)
Vuelo: Flight (noun)
Descansar: Rest (verb)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

6 Days to Go!

A week from now I will be in Honduras!  Crazy!  Here is an update on how I am doing on my list of 30 things to do before leaving.

1) Drink a cherry limeade.
2) Go for a walk in a park.
3) Eat pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting
4) Watch TV
5) Spend with Alle and Keri.
6) Enjoy the amazing selection at Walmart.
7) Go to Hobby Lobby.
8) Eat at Sonic.
9) Take Pictures with Friends.
10) Have my traditional Christmas morning breakfast- Monkey Bread!
11) Do a craft with my mom.
12) Have coffee with Bev.
13) Girls night with Camille and Stevy.
14) Window Shop in Utica Square.
15) Eat at Arby's.
16) Buy a frozen Pizza.

17) Hold a kitten.
18) Eat at Chick-fil-A.
19) Walk on wall-to-wall carpeting.
20) Enjoy the goodness of Olive Garden.
21) Sleep in air conditioning.
22) Worship at my home church.
23) Make Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam.
Here is the recipe we use: Almost Famous Swedish Meatballs.  You can find Lingonberry jam at Ikea, World Market, and Sprouts or substitute current jelly (but I didn't like it nearly as well).

24) Enjoy Fall foliage
25) Take a bath
Bathtubs are not common in Honduras.  I will be taking showers unless I happen to stay somewhere that has a bathtub, but that is unlikely. While I usually prefer showers to baths, I do love a nice, hot bath to relax!
26) Eat a donut.
27) Drink root beer.
Root beer is occasionally found in Honduras, but not very often, and is sometimes put in the beer section.  I imagine there have been some confused costumers.
28) Eat biscuits and gravy.
29) Wear fall clothing.
30) Drink hot chocolate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

14 days to Go!

Well, I had intended to update this every day...but two weeks later, here is an update on how I am doing my 30 days to do before I leave!

1) Drink a cherry limeade.

2) Go for a walk in a park.
3) Eat pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

I celebrated my birthday a month early with a delicious pumpkin-y cake!
4) Watch TV
You can watch TV in Honduras, but I don't plan on having a TV or paying for cable

5) Spend with Alle and Keri.
Had a fun day together in Tulsa.  I am going to miss these two!
(I am not sure why I am not looking at the camera!)
6) Enjoy the amazing selection at Walmart.
7) Go to Hobby Lobby.
8) Eat at Sonic.
9) Take Pictures with Friends.

10) Have my traditional Christmas morning breakfast- Monkey Bread!
11) Do a craft with my mom.
12) Have coffee with Bev.
(This also satisfied "drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte")
13) Girls night with Camille and Stevy.
14) Window Shop in Utica Square.
15) Eat at Arby's.
16) Buy a frozen Pizza.
17) Hold a kitten.
It seems like there aren't as many cats in Honduras.  At least not as many tame ones.
18) Eat at Chick-fil-A.
19) Walk on wall-to-wall carpeting.
Floors in Honduras are almost always tiled.
20) Enjoy the goodness of Olive Garden.
21) Sleep in air conditioning.
22) Worship at my home church.
23) Make Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam.
24) Enjoy Fall foliage
25) Take a bath
26) Eat a donut.
27) Drink root beer.
28) Eat biscuits and gravy.
29) Wear fall clothing.
30) Drink hot chocolate.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

30 Days to Go!

30 days from now I will be in Honduras!  It's crazy how fast the days are flying by.  I've compiled a list of things I want to do over the next 30 days.  These are things that I won't be able to do (or do often) when i get to Honduras!

Day 30
Drink a Cherry Limeade!
I will be posting a list of the all 30 things in a day or so, but until then I wanted to start the countdown!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Counting Down the Days

The time for my departure is getting closer all the time, and I am starting to count down the actual days!  There are a lot of things I am excited to do once I get to Honduras (such as eat a baleada), but there are also things I will be "saying goodbye to" for the next 18 months.  Things like the changing of seasons, American holidays (or the ways we celebrate certain holidays), favorite restaurants, etc...

So I am coming up with a list of 30 things to enjoy during my last 30 days here.  Here area  few I have thought of, can you help me think of some others:

Eat pumpkin bread
Enjoy the amazing amount of choices at Walmart
Go for a walk in a park
Eat at Chili's
Take pictures with friends
Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Watch Netflix

These are all things that I won't get to do in Honduras, or at least definitely less often as they are harder to come by.  So...I need some help with the list.  What can you think of?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Next Few Months

In case you missed it:
Yes, that's right!  I will be leaving for Honduras on October 13th!  I am so blessed by God's provision and the faithfulness and generosity of those who have come alongside me! 

The next weeks until I live will be a lot of packing and saying goodbye!  Since I will be gone for 18 months I have a lot to plan for!  I will be shopping for things that are easier to get here and trying to make sure I don't don't leave out anything important :-)  I also am saying goodbye to friends and family, although I am sure we will still connect and Facebook and Skype.

Where will I be when I get there?

A couple days after I arrive in Honduras I will be going out to El Sembrador in Catacamas for Ladies' Retreat, which will be a great way to catch up with and get to know some of the missionary ladies who are on the field.
After that I will start language school in Siguatepeque, Honduras!  I will be there for 4 months, take 4 hours of language classes a day and living with a Honduran family.  (If you know Adria Stamm or Heidi Buell, this is the same school they studied at).  Here is a link to the school's website:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Guest Blog: From the Perspective of a Friend

A friend of mine wrote this very special article as a guest post for my blog.

From A Friend's Perspective

James 4:13-15
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

This verse has always been a challenge for me. I like to plan. I like to micromanage, I like to be in control, and I LOATHE change of plans. Over the years and from various sources, God has been teaching me to let Him be in control, and change my imperfect human plans. It always turns out better than anything I could have ever dreamed.

I had a less-than-perfect relationship in high school that led me to decide that I probably wouldn't get married. God had different plans. Just 8 months after graduating high school, I met my husband. He was tailor-made for me. I thank God daily for this change in plans.

After getting married, I began to have an increase in some health problems that were previously just slightly annoying. I was told by various doctors that I may have trouble having children. One doctor told me he didn't think I would ever have children. So we decided we were probably never going to have them.

When my husband and I had been married for just three years, we felt called to the mission field. It was something neither of us had seriously considered in our adult lives, but we had become heavily involved in our church Mission Team and the stories of reaching the lost tugged at our hearts. We had meaningful friendships with the international students at our local college, and we felt especially burdened for the Japanese people. We began to study Japanese and looked into what it would take to get to Japan.

The thing was, the paths we had chosen in our lives so far made leaving the country very difficult. My husband was in the middle of a doctorate program that increased our student debt by thousands every month. And the degree he would graduate with would not allow him to work in Japan. We still felt such a burden, that we continued to try to make the puzzle-piece of our lives fill a spot that it didn't seem to fit.

In December 2010, a year and a half before my husband would graduate, we received shocking news: we were going to have a baby. Praise God for this change in plans. This added another, wonderful corner to our puzzle-piece that made it even harder to move to Japan. When our son was less than a year old, we finally concluded that Japan was not in our future, at least, not at the moment.

Our hearts were still so burdened for the lost all over the world. We couldn't help but feel like we failed just a little. But God began to show us that we could make a difference right where we were. My husband may not be able to work in Japan, but he can work in the U.S., and God blessed us with a higher salary than either of us had ever experienced. We began to see that we had a unique situation. We could give to missions more than most.

All the while that God was changing my plans into a beautiful picture I could never have created myself, my long-time best friend Sarah Larson was going through her own journey. She went on short-term mission trips and went to Bible college. My husband and I prayed for her throughout this time, and we both felt called to help support her when she decided to commit her life to long-term missions. She has blessed my life in so many ways, and I am thrilled that I can allow God to bless her through me. Not only that, but because of our close friendship, I will be able to have a real connection with the people she ministers to in Honduras. I am amazed to look back on my life and see the awesome pattern that has begun to emerge. I am so excited to be a part of Sarah's journey as she gives herself fully to the will of our Savior. I know He has such big plans for her and so many people for her to reach.

I have learned, and I am still learning, that God's plan is better than mine. I still try to fight it sometimes; I try to micromanage and take control. But He is gently teaching me to hand over the reigns to Him and enjoy the ride. I'm just so thankful that He is allowing me to reach the lost, even though it's not the way I planned.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

3 Things I Learned in Honduras

I realized that I haven't been posting much on here, and I don't have time to write an update for a few days, so I decided to re-post something I wrote a couple of years ago.

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 be gone for 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?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Role to Play

Yesterday I sat down with a friend to begin plans for some lessons I will teach on missions at a youth camp.  She and I talked about what subjects I should cover and how to divide the information into four sessions.  We talked about what kinds of things teenagers(the target audience) should know about missions.  One of the things we discussed was how important it is to know about all the different roles that are played in missions.

Not every missionary is a pastor or Sunday school teachers.  Some are doctors and nurses; others are accountants and office workers.  Some missionaries work with their hands as mechanics, electricians, and farmers.  Some teach English or other subjects in schools and training programs.

One of the roles I will play is in communications.  Even as a photography intern in Honduras I didn't grasp all the ways that communications is important in missions.  I probably still don't.  My area is mostly visual (photography and graphic design), and a little in written.  Others are great at making videos, spoken communications, and are fantastic writers.  It's used in ministry in the countries we work in.  Maybe it's putting together a Bible study, making a video to portray Biblical principles, or helping publicize an outreach.

But one thing I've realized over the last year or two is how communications can be used to share what is doing in Honduras (or wherever!) with the people back home!  This is really important because those of you who live in the US are such an important part of our team.  While I am here raising funds in the US, it's so wonderful to get updates and receive communication from Honduras because it connects me to the ministry there.  It reminds me to pray for it, helps me know how to pray, and helps me when I share with others about the work God is doing in Honduras.  It lets me be part of the team even when I am not there.

That's one of my goals- to use the gifts God has given in communication to help connect you with the ministry in Honduras! If you have any ideas of how I can keep you better updated, please let me know!

(Sorry I have not written in a while, it's been a very busy month with travelling and some illness, fortunately I am feeling better and I have a few weeks at home to get reorganized!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Glad It Wasn't in a Covered Wagon!

Well...I made it to Oregon.  Fortunately for me it was in an airplane flying high above the mountains and rivers rather than in a covered wagon over the Oregon Trail.  I arrived Saturday evening, and I spoke at Woodburn Evangelical Church on Sunday (I had a short time of sharing in the morning service and I shared my full presentation in the evening service).  The church was wonderful and welcoming and I have enjoyed getting to know my hosts!

Yesterday my hosts for most of time here took me to see Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Fish Hatchery, which are both beautiful and interesting places!

The weeks before this have been quite hectic (hence the lack of blog posts), and I am grateful to have a relaxing week.  On Sunday I will be sharing at Happy Valley Evangelical Church.  Then on Thursday I will be sharing with Jennings Lodge Prayer Fellowship, and Saturday I will be sharing with the Men With Vision group at Oregon City Evangelical Church. I am so grateful for the opportunities to share as well as meet some wonderful people!

During this time I am working on plans to visit Pennsylvania and Kentucky this summer.  I would really like to add some more meetings to each trip, so I appreciate you prayers (and if you know anyone out there who could be a contact for me that would be a huge help as well!).

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Did You Know?

What do you think of when you think about Saint Patrick? A day of green, shamrocks, and leprechauns?  Did you know that he that he was a missionary?

Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat, in Roman Britain sometime around the 5th century.   He was from a nominally Christian family.  At 16 years of age he was captured by Irish pirate and forced to work as a slave.  During his captivity he turned to Christ, and his time as a slave was important for his spiritual development.  Working as a shepherd, he devoted a lot of time to prayer.  After six years of slavery he felt that God was telling him that it was his time to escape.  He successfully escaped to England, where he studied more about Christianity. 

During this time he took the name of Patrick.After several years of study Patrick headed God's call and returned to Ireland as a missionary.  He was not welcomed initially, but he didn't give up.  According to records he baptised thousands, converted the sons and daughters of kings, started churches, and set up church leadership.

"In the light, therefore, of our faith in the Trinity I must make this choice, regardless of danger I must make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, without fear and frankly I must spread everywhere the name of God so that after my decease I may leave a bequest to my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord—so many thousands of people." - Patrick

(Sorry the text is highlighted in this post...I wasn't sure how to undo it!)

(sources and

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sometimes Community Is a Lemon

                                                    (Lemons in Honduras are green...not my pic)

Community can be as simple as the gift of  a lemon.  I was a recent college graduate, serving as a volunteer in Honduras.  My roommate (another recent college grad) and I both liked to cook, but one night she and I had run out of ideas of what to make.  All the meal ideas we had involved ingredients we that were miles away in town.  

Not knowing what to do, we decided to put off making dinner, and walked the hundred or so yards to the house of a fellow missionary.  She welcomed us with glasses of ice-cold zuko (it's like Kool-aide), and we sat down to chat about how our weeks were going.  Somewhere in conversation, she found out that were out of new recipe ideas.  She asked a couple of questions about what we had on hand, got up, and handed us a recipe and a lemon (the only ingredient we lacked).

I experienced a lot of community that year, but the gift of the recipe and lemon was really symbolic to me.  We could have found the recipe on the internet, and there was actually a lemon tree in our yard, but it was the friendship, not the lemon chicken that turned a discouraging evening around.  A few days later we paid her back with an egg she needed to make cookies.

 If I had to boil community down to one word it would be sharing.  Sharing our time, talents, possessions.  Sharing our lives, both the big events and the day to day joys and struggles.  Sharing our thoughts, hopes, and what is on our hearts.  Sharing our lemons.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Fun Facts about Honduras

1)  Christopher Columbus discovered Honduras.  In fact, he gave it it's name.  When he arrived in Honduras, he said "Thank God we found these great depths!"  Honduras means "great depths"

2) Not all Honduras speak Spanish as their first language, or even speak Spanish at all.  On the islands and on the Atlantic coast Garifuna is spoken widely.  In La Moskitia,  it's Miskito.  There are other languages of smaller indigenous groups as well.  The speakers of these languages do not always speak Spanish.

3) If you are buying fruit such as bananas or pineapple, it may very well have grown in Honduras.

4) Honduras is second only to Austrailia in number of coral reefs.  The reefs make it a great destination for snorkeling and  scuba diving.

5)  The Mayan ruins in Honduras are not particularly large, but they are particularly artistic and most of what is known about Mayan hieroglyphics comes from Copan. The ruins of Copan date back over 1000 years ago.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The "In Between": Encouragement from the book of Ruth

Have you ever wondered where God was when you were in an “in between” time? I certainly do. This Sunday in church (I went to Church of the Shepherd in Grove) the pastor spoke on Ruth 2. It was part of a sermon series he is doing on the book of Ruth called “Unseen Redeemer”.

In chapter one of Ruth we get the background story. A man named Elimelech and his wife Naomi left Israel with their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion because of famine. They went to Moab, where they settled down, and their sons married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. The Moabite people were related to the Israelites through Lot. The Moabites followed some of the Jewish traditions and had some of the same holidays, but they worshiped Chemosh the “fish god”.
Then Naomi's life went from bad to worse. Her husband died, followed by her two sons. The grief caused Naomi to changer name to Mara, which means “bitter”. Left alone in a foreign land, Naomi resolved to return to Israel.

Her two daughters-in-law didn't want to leave Naomi alone, so they started to go with her. Naomi stopped them, telling them to stay with their families. At Naomi's urging, Orpah returned to her family. Ruth, however, wouldn't budge. She decided to stick with Naomi, and resolved, “Your people will be my people, your God will be my God.” We don't know if Ruth had started following Jewish religious practices when she married into Naomi's family or not. However, this seems to be her moment of real decision.

Chapter two begins with the two of them having reached Israel. They are very poor, and women in those days women had very few options. Rather than begging or becoming a prostitute Ruth resolved to glean wheat. Gleaning is picking up wheat left behind by harvesters. It's hard work and could be dangerous. Ruth, however was determined to do what work she could. She decided to glean in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi's late husband Elimelech.

Boaz noticed how hard Ruth was working and he made sure she was safe and protected. He ordered his men to drop some of the wheat intentionally. And he invited her to join him and his workers for their mid-deal meal. She was curious why he took notice of her, an impoverished foreigner.

When she returned home that night Naomi was curious about how Ruth had managed to glean so much wheat. When Ruth told her about her day Naomi seems to have her first spark of hope in quite some time. She tells Ruth to continue working in Boaz's fields.

So...that's half-way through the book of Ruth. The first chapter was a lot of bad news. In the second chapter we see that Ruth is a hard worker and Boaz is a nice guy who was taken notice of her. Where is God in this story? Is He at work? He is...but we have to wait to see it.

Are you in an “in between” time? Are you waiting for God to move? Waiting to see Him at work? Read the book of Ruth. When you read how the story ends you realize that God was with them and working for them the whole time.     Updates to come :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Financial FAQs

From time to time I get questions about the financial aspect of being a missionary.  Here are some of the questions and answers.

Which do you need more: one time gifts or monthly giving?
Both are wonderful!  Right now my greatest need is monthly giving, but one time gifts are also very helpful.

Do you currently receive a stipend/salary?
No, I do not. I've been fortunate enough to be able to keep my living expenses quite low by living with my parents, and use money I had saves previously.  I am currently working full-time at a temporary job which will give a boost to those savings.  When I return again for HMA I will receive a stipend.

Do you get money to help with ministry expenses?
Yes.  I can be reimbursed for expenses that are specifically ministry related.  For instance I can be reimbursed for travel expenses when I got to speak at a church.  When I do a prayer letter I get reimbursed for the cost of printing and postage.  I look for ways to keep these expenses down (sending prayer letters through email, staying with people when travel, etc).

What happens to monthly gifts given right now?
Monthly gifts given now add up just like one time gifts do.  This money helps with ministry expenses, one time needs (plane ticket, visa, language school), and can be divided up and added to monthly giving to meet my monthly needs when I get to Honduras. 

How are you doing on your one time cash needs? 
Really well!  Thanks to your generosity I have enough to cover my one time needs. However, one time gifts are still needed as they help cover current ministry expenses, fund future ministry expenses, and can be divided up and added to monthly giving.

What kinds of things does your monthly needs go toward once you get to Honduras?
Well, there are the really obvious needs (food, housing, phone, internet, etc).  Other basic expenses include things like insurance and paying into Social Security.  Of course it also helps with ministry needs.  It goes a variety of places, but every cent goes toward making ministry possible!

Do you have a copy of your budget?
Yes, I do.  If you would like to see it, let me know, and I can send it to you as well as answer any questions about it that you may have.  Also, I'd be happy to expand upon any of these answers or answer any additional questions that you have.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Pray for Missionaries

     Have you ever promised to pray for a missionary and then not known what to pray for?  It's especially hard if you don't know the missionary very well.  However, I have some suggestions!

5 Things Every Missionary Needs Prayer For

1) Pray for the missionary's spiritual life.  Just like you, missionaries sometimes struggle to find time for prayer and Bible study, see areas where they need to grow, go through stressful difficult times, experience tragedies, etc. If someone was to pray for your spiritual life, what would they pray? Pray the same thing for missionaries! 

2) Pray for their relationships.  Pray for their relationships with their friends, family, and fellow missionaries,  Pray for their relationships with people back in the States.  And pray for their relationships with the people they are ministering to and with.  Healthy relationships are SO important!

3) Pray for the country they minister in.  I wrote a blog post about this last year with some resources to help you do this:

4) Pray for the ministries they work with to flourish.  Pray for the church(es) and ministries they work with.  Pray for the leadership of the ministies, and for the people who they minister to.  Pray for unity, purpose, direction.

5) Pray for others to come alongside them. Missions isn't just about the people living in another country or in a particular neighborhood.  They can't do what they do without those of you who support them (both financially and in PRAYER).  These partnerships are absolutely essential!

Find Out More
     Send the missionary a note.  We love to hear from you!  Tell us what is happening in your lives, and share with us what is on your heart.  Ask us questions about what we do and how you can pray for us.
      It's great to have really specific things to pray for.  Have you signed up to receive their prayer letters?  Do they send out additional prayer request updates?  Give them a call or send them an email. If you don't have any contact information for them, then contact their mission agency, who should be able to get them in contact with the missionary.
     I sent out prayer letters about every two months, and I do additional prayer updates about once a week.  I do the prayer updates through a private Facebook group, and I would be happy to add you to the group if you message me.  I can send you the weekly prayer updates through email if you don't have Facebook.

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Kinda Like the Hobbit

     This post may not make much sense if you are not familiar with the books the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (by J.R.R. Tolkien) and/or the movies based on them.  However, I just had to share my thoughts for those of you who are familiar.
     Both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are stories about long journeys, full of adventures and acts of bravery.  When I think of adventures, I think of fun, and I think that sometimes its easy to gloss over how hard adventures can be.  I picture an adventure being someone running over a grassy field with a backpack on and a clear destination in mind.  That is often how adventures start, after all.  And the next thing I picture is the end of the story where the adventurer is standing victorious over the body of the slain dragon, and all is right with the world again.
     It's easy to forget all that happens in between.  How about the trolls who almost ate Bilbo?  Or the giant spiders?  Or having to escape from Thranduil in barrels floating in the river?  Ok...maybe the barrel thing sounds fun, but it would still be scary to actually do!  As amazing as the adventures sounds, it's easy to gloss over all it takes to get to the destination.  To forget that it's not easy, and sometimes the hero must feel kind of lost.

Thankfully my journey to Honduras is completely devoid of trolls, goblins, and narrow escapes in barrels.  But when I first started out I don't think I realized just how hard this adventure would be.  I didn't necessarily think it would be easy, but I didn't fully realize what I was taking on.  But like Bilbo (and Frodo), the journey is teaching me some amazing things.

1) I'm not alone.  Neither Bilbo nor Frodo traveled alone.  Bilbo went with Gandalf and the Dwarves.  Frodo had the Fellowship.  I am blessed to have partners who pray for me, connect me to others interested in missions, and contribute financially.  I have a great group of people in Honduras, both missionaries and Hondurans who I will be working with.  I'm definitely not alone.

2) I'm really NOT ALONE.  Tolkien doesn't mention God in the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, but He is there, much the same way as He is with us.  He doesn't come down and kill Smaug in the Hobbit nor does he take the ring to Mount Doom Himself in LOTR.  But he's there, helping, guiding, encouraging. The best example I can think of is from the Return of the King, when darkness had been over the land for days.  Frodo and Sam saw an old, crumbling statue of a king.  The king's head had fallen to the ground, and the statue had orc graffiti on it. It was the last thing a despairing Frodo needed to see.  But then a ray of light broke the darkness and illuminated the head.  Flowers had grown up unto it and had re-crowned the king.  Those flowers and that light were a reminder.  May we always be reminded of God's presence when we are discouraged!

3) Yes, it's worth fighting for!  It's kind of a constant theme in the Lord of the Rings that even in difficult times we must remember why we fight! My recent visit to Honduras was a great reminder to me of that truth.  It refreshed me in the knowledge of God's call on my life.  And reminded me that it's so very worth it.

My adventure continues as I begin 2015. Thank you to all who are partner with me.  If you would like to find out more about how you can be a partner or how you can take your partnership a step farther, please contact me!  Write it in a comment or go to my facebook page and send me a message: