Mathew 9:35-38 describes a time that Jesus was speaking to crowd and had compassion on them because they did not have anyone to lead them. He tells his disciples to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” It is from this verse that the 9:38 prayer initiative was started. Many of you have joined us in this prayer initiative and prayers are being answered. God has brought workers from the US starting with Frank and Melyssa, 9 summer missionaries, 10 teachers and several hundred people on short-term mission trips. But God didn’t call just North Americans. He is rising up people here like Dr. Melissa. He is rising up pastors in many villages to shepherd their flocks like Nicolas, Juan, Mauricio, Trini and Manuel. He is also rising up teenagers to lead their country. Teenagers like Edith who will join our team in a couple weeks and the 10 translators that have ask to serve Him this summer. He is a mighty God who is sending out laborers into HIS harvest here in Honduras. For those of you who have not yet joined this initiative, set your alarms to 9:38 and pray daily for Shannon and I, Frank, Melyssa, Dr. Melissa, Edith, our translators, summer missionaries, summer mission teams, pastors, teachers and those who have not yet answered the call. Pray that pastors and leaders will rise up and lead this beautiful country to the feet of the God Almighty.
People say that Isabella is blessed to have been adopted but make no mistake, it us who has been blessed and gifted with this child. As I sit here watching my beautiful child sleep and worrying about our final appointment with the embassy tomorrow, I have peace. I have peace not that the appointment will go well (because it likely won’t) but a peace that only God can give. I have peace that there are hundreds of people praying for us right now. And I have peace that no matter what paperwork the embassy requires, this is my child, chosen and protected by God until he gave her to us almost 3 years ago. I knew it the moment I saw her. My child, with her wild hair in ponytails and her easy smile. My child, with the mischief in her eyes even when she is not causing mischief. My child with a squeal of laughter that all the neighbors can hear. My child with unmatched stubbornness. This child that God has blessed me with.
It is us who has been blessed and not the other way around. It has been said that adoption is the only trauma in the world where it’s victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful. This is true of my child also. Isabella has lost two mothers in her short little life. She has a birthmother who cared enough about her to know that she couldn’t give her the best life. A women who wrapped her in a quilt before giving her up. A second mom who rocked her, feed her, wiped her tears and loved her for 3 years. She lost those moms and she never knew a dad existed before coming to our family. No, she has not been blessed but has lived through more tragedy than she deserves. But as I watch at my beautiful child, I am reminded of God’s greatness. He too has felt the tragedy she has lived through. He too felt her pain. And then he gave her to us to help her heal and to love her just as any mom loves. Regardless of how many more meeting we must go to our how much more paperwork we must get, I am her mom and am so very, very blessed to have this title.
Someone asked me last week why have this pile of petrified rocks and I thought I would take a moment to explain to anyone who has wondered. This pile of rocks was given to me by a very special friend and demonstrates the heart of the Honduran people that I love so much. This friend is a single mom with 6 kids and 2 grandkids. We are able to provide her food through funding provided by Texas Baptist Hunger Offering and at other times when she is hungry we are able to provide food from our house. Sometimes, she has asked for money for medicine for herself or one of her kids. However, it has been rare in the 5 years that I have known her for her to ask for anything, even when her needs are great. But in those times, where she has humbled herself to ask for help, she has always repaid me. She doesn’t repay me in the traditional way but instead with this beautiful petrified wood, flowers she has grown from seeds or with fruit she picks. Never has she asked for anything without repaying me. It’s not that she has a collection of rocks lying around and gives me the castoffs. No, she hikes up a mountain to collect some as a payment, many times while she is sick needing money for medicine. Every time I look at this little pile, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God is uses me to help his children. I am truly honored to be able to help when she needs it and even more honored to call her my friend.
A friend and coworker asked me last week if I could spend time with her this summer, showing her how to get organized. I was flattered and shocked at the same time. Me? Organized? While I do have a certain amount of Type A in me but I would not have thought I was organized enough that others noticed. This gave me pause as to what others see in me. Am I role model? Not just in organization but in my life? The answer is yes. So are you. People are watching and deciding whether they should be like you or whether they should learn from your mistakes.
I witnessed this in its simplest form on the playground. The high school girls were practicing a dance routine and my little ones lined the fence in awe. They watched for a while, deciding whether they should be like these girls…. And then they started mimicking them. Not perfectly, not exactly but they wanted to copy what they saw in these more mature girls.
I ask then, are we mature role models that lead others to Christ? Do we shine like the stars in the heavens in this world of darkness? Can others follow us; not perfectly, but enough that they will begin to become mature in Christ themselves? I assure you that even though you think no one is watching, someone is. Someone is noticing whether you are organized, whether you are doing a dancing or whether you are leading a life that mimics Christ.
And just for kicks, enjoy the video of the dancing…
We are happy and blessed to have 8 summer missionaries working with us this summer. Please pray for them as they walk with us this summer and serve the teams coming.
McCayla Fleming is 22 years old and a senior at Dallas Baptist University. She desires to learn about people and to help people, which is why she is studying Psychology. She has been to Gracias, Honduras twice with the Avenue Church and Her love for the country grew through those experiences. She desires to spread the good news and for them to understand the incredible love of Christ.
My name is Hannah and I am from Fort Worth. I am currently studying Spanish Education at Howard Payne University. I have served as an intern with Super Summer for the past 2 summers and that’s how I came to know Shannon and heard about his ministry. I am super excited to be serving in Honduras this summer! Even though I’m a Spanish major I am not fluent in Spanish… I’m hoping this summer will help.
I am from Traverse City, Michigan. I graduated with a degree in elementary education and taught at ALCS for three years. Last summer, I moved back to Michigan where I am currently teaching at a small Christian school. It has been a huge blessing to be closer to friends and family this year after having lived so far away for quite a while. I have missed Honduras though and am looking forward to serving with 61 Isaiah Ministries this summer.
I’m Gatlin Dollar, I attend First Baptist Red Oak and am the freshman boys youth leader for the youth group. I just recently graduated I the year 2015 from Lifeschool Red Oak, currently I am working full time in order to save up money for college next fall. The college I will be attending is Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’ll be studying for an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies, Biblical Education will be my major. I am also in the process of becoming a Chaplains Assistant in the Texas Civil Defense. I’m super excited to have this opportunity to go serve in Honduras, because what I eventually want to do is to become a full time missionary. I also can’t wait to see what God has in store for this experience, I’m sure he will make a bigger impact than any of us could ever imagine possible. Lastly, please be praying for all of us who will be going to Honduras this summer. Thank you so much and God bless.
My name is Brooke Johnson and I’m from West, Tx. I’m currently a senior and I’ll be graduating in just a few short weeks! In the fall, I’ll be attending Dallas Baptist University to pursue a degree in psychology. I’ve been on two short trips to Honduras with my church and I absolutely loved it! I’ll be in Honduras for two weeks this summer and I’m so excited. God’s doing big things through 61 Isaiah and I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of it! I can’t wait!
Hello my name is Kailey Stiles and I am from Burleson, TX. I will be graduating this spring from Baylor with a Biology degree with hopes to attend medical school. I have been to Honduras with FBC West the past two years. I am super excited to see what God has planned for this summer!
My name is Caroline Alexander and I am 19 from Waxahachie, Texas. I attend college here in my home town where I am getting my basics and I plan to attend Mary Hardin Baylor next spring! I go to The Avenue Church where I will be interning this summer before I leave for Honduras.
I have been to Guatemala the past two summers with my church and I loved it, but I completely feel in love with the people and vision in Honduras.
I am so excited to get to know each of you and can not wait to see how God is going to work in each of our lives!!!
Shelby Wines is the daughter of David and Anna Wines. She is from West,Tx and has been an active member of First Baptist Church of West her whole life. After high school she started attending McLennan Community College where she is taking her basics. She plans on transferring to Hardin-Simmons University where she plans on majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in Christian Ministries. Shelby has always had a big heart for mission and was so happy when she got the opportunity to go to Honduras for the first time in 2014, and has been in love with it ever since. She is so glad she has the opportunity to serve with 61 Isaiah this summer, and cant wait to see what God has in store for her.