Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Family Update - October

The seasons change, and you change, but your Lord abides evermore the
same, and the streams of His love are as deep, as broad, and as full as ever.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

October was a very busy month for our family with multiple ministry opportunities to our students, our local community, and an evangelism outreach event too (you can read about those in other posts below). Our weekdays are busy too with youth band practice on Monday nights, Knitted Together (a ladies fellowship started by Abbey) on Tuesday nights, we both teach a class on Wednesday nights, Nursing Home Ministry on Thursdays, and on Fridays we try to spend time with the kids and do something as a family. Of course, Saturdays are often filled with ministry activities and we both teach on Sundays. Oh, and we homeschool in the midst of all that and the kids recently started mixed martial arts classes two days a week to learn self-defense too!

You may be thinking "busy" but BLESSED is what we call it. Blessed to have the opportunity to be so active and involved in our church, our community, and in the spread of the gospel in this

We have some fun moments that we've been blessed to share recently too. 
 Wyatt found a live eel at the beach! We got pictures of it and then moved away.
The kids all got good reports at their yearly checkups.
Alabama beat Texas A&M Texas! (ROLL TIDE)

We watched the entire super moon lunar eclipse from start to finish.

We thank God for our faithful family and friends who are “holding the rope for us through both prayer and financial partnerships.  We could not be here doing what we are called to do without each of you who so faithfully lift us up in prayers and give financially to our family.  We thank God for each of you everyday in our family worship time!  

Trip to Honduras

Our kids finally have their passports! 

For several months, we had been praying about a door that was opened to us to take a trip to Roatan, Honduras. The kids did not have their passports and honestly, we just didn’t have the funds to make that trip for a family of 5. We told our pastor that we would pray about it and seek God's will for this matter.  In late July, we received an unexpected call that we had been given a monetary gift through an organization and that we could use this money toward a mission trip or missions project. We had not told anyone about this trip because honestly we didn't know if it would work out and we didn't want to get everyone all hyped up for nothing if it didn't come to pass.  So receiving this phone call and this donation was nothing but the Lord answering our prayers!
Mrs. Rhonda, us, and Mrs. Norma (not pictured is our pastor)

So January 23-30, our entire family will be going to Roatan along with our pastor and his wife, and our friend Mrs. Rhonda from our church here who grew up in Roatan. We will be working specifically with the Oak Ridge First Baptist Church there and we are doing a mini-VBS for about 30 kids in the area and David will be teaching the “Follow Me” by David Platt curriculum. We will also have the opportunity to lead worship and David will preach on Sunday night. 
Roatan, Hondruas is one of the Bay Islands of the Carribbean.  It has cruise ship ports on both ends of the islands but once you leave the resort areas, the majority of the island is not as well-to-do or have such wonderful amenities.  It is like many of the other cruise destinations of the Carribbean.  Approximately 65,000 people live on the island and there is an extremely high poverty rate on the island.  
The area we are going to has a church but they have no pastor, the people there are in
great need of discipleship and Biblical training (hermeneutics), and they are asking for a missionary family to come work on the island and work with the church. 

We ask you to join us in prayer in 2 ways regarding this trip. It is a two-fold trip for us as we will be going to serve the people there and share the love and joy of Jesus with them but also it will be a scouting trip for us to see if this is a place the Lord would have us serve long-term as missionaries. Will you please join us in prayer over not only what the Lord will have us do while we are there that week but also for possible long-term work in this area of Honduras?  We would appreciate that greatly!  

Community Fall Festival

 This year, the city of Los Fresnos hosted a Community Fall Festival at the local park. It was open to anyone in the community and our church hosted 4 game booths at this event. We dressed up as clowns and hosted the bean bag toss and the duck pond. 
It is always so much fun to get out and have fun with kids and families in our local community and share the joy found in Jesus with them. We had a great time with the kids and families who came to play the games, we gave away over 2,500 pieces of candy, and we handed out 200 LifeBooks with our church information on them too. 
Of course, our kids wanted to dress up for Halloween too.  Abbey was a "time traveler" from Doctor Who, Sidney was a "loveable monster", and Wyatt was a "mutated gorilla".  They got to go around and get candy and play games at the Fall Festival.  Then Wyatt and Sidney went to a friends house (whose backyard connects to the local park) and played with their kids and Abbey helped us run the game booths.  Since Dia de Los Muertos is highly celebrated by many in our area it was nice to be part of a family-friendly alternative for people on Halloween and participate in the community Fall Festival.  

Praise on the Hill 2015

As the remnants of Hurricane Patricia moved into our area, we were scheduled to take our youth group to “Praise on the Hill”, a free Christian music concert in a town about an hour away. The
weather was less than stellar on the day of the event.  It had rained for about 24 hours constantly and in our area it floods easily.  Despite the torrential rains, some flooding, and winds, we headed to this concert with had 7 students go with us. At one point, we were driving 25 mph on the freeway (speed limit is 75mph on this road normally) because of standing water and horrible visibility due to rain.  Some of the exits off the freeway were blocked and closed due to flooding. It was c-r-a-z-y!  When we finally got to the location, the parking lot had a lot of water in it too and we were a little concerned it might be worse when the concert would be over 6 hours later.  We got drenched getting from the parking lot to the arena but we made it safely and the kids were excited to see all the performers.  
There were several worship bands from local churches that did worship experiences prior to the headline shows. It was fun to get to worship with them and see their different styles of worship too.  The headline performers at this event were both popular Christian artists that are played on the local Christian radio station. We got to see Moriah Peters & her "fierce female band" first and they were great! Then the last performance was by the very popular group, For King & Country and they put on a phenomenal night of worship.  At one point, one of the lead singers walked through the stadium and he came and stood on the bleacher right in front of Wyatt and sang for about a minute right in front of us!  
(Moriah Peters)

(For King & Country) 

We especially loved how both Moriah Peters and For King & Country shared testimonies and encouraged those in attendance to remain pure until marriage and that love was worth waiting for. That is such a powerful lesson that students just don’t hear often enough from people other than their parents.  King & Country even taught the students that they were "priceless" and they even have a necklace you can buy for your child to remind them that they are "priceless" in God's eyes.  

We left the concert around 10:15pm and drove home and thankfully the rain had stopped about 3 hours into the concert so it was a much nicer ride home.  We got home around 11:15pm and were very exhausted but had a great time.  We praise God for His hand of protection over us while we traveled and for the opportunity to take our students to this great evening of worship.

The remnants of hurricane Patricia continued to roar through our area throughout the night and at one point during the night David & I woke up because we kept hearing a "bumping" noise but we never could figure out where it was coming from.  The next morning, we found the large tree at the end of our house had fell during the night from the winds.  The Lord truly had His hand of protection over our home and our children because the tree fell just in front of the house.  The branches were laying up on the kids bedroom (which is probably the bumping we had heard during the night..the wind blowing the branches around against the window).  If the tree had landed on the house it would have been right on the kids bedroom.  In the picture below you can see how it fell and the window you see is the kids bedroom window!  We live in the church's missions house for missionaries and it is SUCH a blessing for us and we thank God for how he spared our home and spared us any damage too.  God is good...and all the time...God is good!  

Laureles Outreach

On October 17, we hosted an evangelism outreach in the nearby area of Laureles.  This was one of the locations of the VBS when the mission team from Decatur, AL was here in the summer.  Members of our church are opening a panaderia (bakery) here and they have graciously offered their facilities for our use in evangelism outreach.

We gave away 250 hotdogs and drinks, we handed out Spanish and English Bibles and gospel tracts, we gave out invitations to our church, and we had an area set up where we helped kids make gospel beaded bracelets (which gave us the opportunity to share the gospel with them). We had such a great turnout that we ended up being there an hour longer than we had planned!

The Lord blessed us with the opportunity to share the gospel with several adults while we were there too and we trust God that those seeds that were planted will continue to grow in their lives.  Of course, we could not have done this event alone and we thank God for the 3 other couples who gave up part of their Saturday to come join us.  We also had a few of our students come help as well!

Please continue to pray for the outreach we are doing in the area of Laureles.  Pray that the gospel will go forth in this area.

Fields of Faith 2015

We were blessed to be able to join the high school FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and participate in Fields of Faith.  David has been helping facilitate the "Coaches Outreach" at the high school on Monday mornings.  This is a weekly Bible study with the high school coaches and he has enjoyed getting to know them and this has given him a great opportunity to be in the school system sharing Jesus too.

Fields of Faith is a night open to anyone in the community where they can come to the local high school football stadium and take part in a praise and worship service.  This service is unique because it is led entirely by students at the high school who are part of the FCA.  One of our favorite parts of the evening is listening to the kids share their testimonies and hear them tell their peers the stories of their salvation, what God is doing in their lives, etc.

David & I served as counselors at the end of the event for any student who wanted to talk to someone or wanted prayer.  It is always such a gift to get to serve in this capacity and be part of encouraging and possibly even praying with someone as they receive Christ as their Savior.  We also had a table set up where we gave out Bibles (in English or Spanish) and we gave out LifeBooks ( to anyone who wanted them.

We praise God for such beautiful weather that evening and for the great turnout as well.  It was a joy to be able to be out in the community helping with this wonderful event.
Wyatt enjoyed getting to play football on the field with some of his 
friends from the community

This was the sweet folks who helped us at Fields of Faith

Ready for a night of student-led worship!