My name is Hannah Williamson. I am from Fort Worth, Texas and I am currently finishing up my first year of teaching at Abundant Life Christian School in Honduras. Next year I am excited to join the 61Isaiah team as their Field Logistics Coordinator. I was first introduced to 61Isaiah after my junior year of college when I served as a summer missionary. Since then I’ve graduated college and served as an on campus missionary at Howard Payne University for a year until I moved to Honduras. Being a teacher has been challenging and growing in multiple ways and I’m thankful to have had this opportunity. Next year I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store as I begin full time ministry with 61Isaiah.
Hello all, my name is Spencer Wolverton. I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian home. I accepted Christ at a young age because of love. My parents modeled Christ to me in the way that they loved me. John 13:35 says, “By this everyone will know that you are mine by how you love one another.” After accepting Christ, I became aware of two different types of love. One that is restrictive, dependent on accomplishments, and expectation. The other is vast, deep, and never ending. It is patient, kind, and does not envy. It does not boast, and it is not proud. It does not insist on its own way, nor is it irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 2:19). I wanted that kind of love, and so my mother sat me down and made sure that I understood the decision I was making. She told me that all had fallen short of the glory of God, and that God did not send His son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
Throughout the next several years of my life the Lord taught me many things and continuously guided my path by opening and shutting doors. Eventually the Lord lead me to Howard Payne University, where many other hard lessons were learned. It was at Howard Payne that I became aware of 61 Isaiah. Shannon approached me in October about working for the organization, but I shrugged the conversation away. I had already made up my mind on what my future would look like, and Honduras wasn’t it. However, God kept bringing up Honduras which led to many conversations with Him about obedience and having joy in my obedience. This next year I am looking forward to working for 61 Isaiah as the Communications, Promotion, and Marketing Director (CPM). My purpose will be to communicate what God is doing and invite others around the globe to participate in what the Lord is doing in and through the core values and strategy of 61 Isaiah Ministries. I ask that you would be praying for me as I follow God in obedience, that He would give me the words to communicate throughout this job. Pray that these words would be filled with love and not manipulation. For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this; that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Corinthians 4:10).
Sometimes being in the ministry can feel fruitless but this week was anything but. I watch yesterday as “my kids” stepped up to be the leaders that God has called them to be. There are very few words that describe this so I am posting these pictures with how God used them. Enjoy and rejoice with me!
We would like to introduce you to our newest team member, Joshua Dykes. He is 22 years- old and originates from Mount Pleasant, Texas where he grew up with his awesome parents (Chris and Martha) and his younger brother (Brandon). Josh grew up attending First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant along with his family and his relationship with Christ started when he was 9 years-old and asked his parents, “If Jesus is perfect and I am not, then why would He die for me?” To which they responded, “Because He loves you.” From that moment onward, Joshua started the crazy and fulfilling adventure that we call being a Christian. Josh continued to learn about God’s will for his life and when he was 16 years-old he felt a call to ministry. He followed this call to Howard Payne University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry, Public Policy (from the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy), and a minor in Spanish. He has worked in youth ministry for the past 4 years and believes that his time in ministry has prepared him to work in adaptive innovative ways. Joshua came to Gracias for the first time on a short-term mission with Southside Church and returned again the next year. It was after this second stay in Honduras that Joshua joined the missions team. This is how Joshua explains his call to Honduras in his own words, “After I left from serving alongside 61 Isaiah Ministries for the first time, I knew I had to come back. I knew God was calling me to Honduras at this point. I cannot explain why I have grown up with such a desire for learning Spanish and understanding Latin American culture, but I know now that it has been God preparing me for an opportunity just like this one. I see glimpses of Honduras in every day and I cannot wait to Walk With the people of Honduras and serve with 61 Isaiah Ministries.” Please be in prayer for Josh as he begins his preparations to move here.
I’m not a fan of stuffed animals. I don’t really have a good reason other than that they seem to always be in the way. I’ve even been known to pass them off to other kids when my own children weren’t looking (don’t judge, I know you have done it too.) So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when I brought home a giant teddy bear. You know, the kind you see in movies, that is as big as a person. What would posses me to go against this uncalled for dislike of stuffed animals? My child needed it. And like any mom, we will do anything to help our children. When Isabella came to our home 4 and half years ago she rarely cried. If she was scared, hurt or upset, she would retreat into a little shell of a person showing no emotion and not moving for hours on end. I longed for the day that she would cry and tell us what was wrong. Months and months later, when those tears and anger came, I would wish for the silence again because boy can she cry… for hours. And then the anger began less frequent but more extreme. Little scratches on her face, pinching her legs, banging her head. It was hard to watch. And so, the giant bear was introduced and given the original name of “Feelings Bear.” He was placed on a mat in her room where she was free to express her anger. He is great at taking the beating. Isabella would sit in his lap and rage until she was ready to do her deep breathing exercises. Sometimes after hearing crying for two consistent hours, I wondered if this “phase” would ever end or if we would hear fits for the rest of her life. But yesterday, she asked if she could give Feelings Bear away. The time has come that she doesn’t rage as often, although we still see tears a little more frequently than most 7 year olds. She no longer needs to hit something to get her anger out, or pull the bear’s fur. Isabella always expresses her emotions loudly. She laughs big, she hugs hard, she cries with her bottom lip sticking out and she wants everyone to know when she is angry. This may never change. I am not sure we want it to. It’s part of who she is. But just as God continues to mold me, as her mother, He is molding her into his character. He is using us to teach her appropriate times for anger and good ways to express this. Correction is never an easy process and we never seem to learn quickly but progress is so sweet when the journey has seemed long.