It all started with an invitation. We invited one of my tenth-grade students, Rolando, to come to church with us one Sunday night at a church called Rio de Dios. After the service he asked when we would be back and said he wanted to go where we go. A short time later we returned to Rio de Dios and Rolando was there waiting for us. Since then, he has gone with us to some other church services and has decided he wants to know God more and share God with others. More recently, Rolando consistently attends Rio do Dios and helps us with the Church Identity study we are doing with them on Tuesday nights. The first night we started this study, we quickly realized a few of the people attending could not read. Rolando decided that he is going to make sure they learn how to read because he wants them to be able to read the Bible for themselves, so he goes to a man named Manuel’s house every weekend to help him learn and practice reading. This is a cool story about a teenager who is willing to be used by God, but wait, it gets even better! Now, Manuel is a guy that has been on our radar for a while. The last time we did baptisms with Rio de Dios Manuel was asking good questions and expressed interest in being a Christian. Rolando has invited other classmates to walk with him in helping teach Manuel how to read and they practice by reading the Bible together. Rolando’s willingness to go to Manuel’s house every weekend shows Manuel the importance of reading the Bible, but it also shows Manuel the Christ’s love expands outside the walls of the church. Not only is Manuel learning to read, he is asking more good questions. We have seen a significant change in Manuel, both in his demeanor and his reading ability. It is awesome how God collides stories like this if we are willing to be used by Him. Our motto “Come Walk With Us” is not just a catchy phrase we say here at 61 Isaiah, this is how we live. We walk with Rolando who walks with his friends who all walk with Manuel who walks with his girlfriend and two sons. It all starts with an invitation, then a challenge, and then God does amazing things when we submit to doing His work. So who is walking with you? Watch what happens when you and your church invite others to “Come Walk With Us”.
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!
Our first team of summer missionaries arrived in Gracias last night! Please be in prayer for them as they serve the next three weeks. Take a peek below to find out more about them!!!
My name is Javier. I’m 19 years old and this is my 4th year working with 61 Isaiah. I was a senior at Abundant Life a year ago, and I will start my sophomore year at Harding University in Arkansas in the fall. I’m double majoring in Finance and International Business. Eventually, I’m planning to get involve into politics and help my country. I’m very excited to be a summer missionary and help my people.
Hi!! My name is Courtney Weaver! I’m 18 years old and live in Zavalla, Texas! I am attending Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall to pursue a major in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Spanish! I hope to become a Kindergarten teacher and am praying about where God would have me to do that! I have always had a heart for missions, and I feel that it is possible that God is calling me to teach in a mission field!
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.