Sunday, January 25, 2015

Amor (Love)

One of the prayers I have been praying for myself is that God would increase the understanding of His love in me, and that I would be able to share that love with others around me. On Wednesday, God gave me the opportunity to talk to and pray with two of the 9th grade girls who had gotten themselves into some trouble. It was awesome that they were willing to share with me, and I definitely felt like God gave me the words to share with them in return, but one thing I was able to remind them of was how much God loved them, so much that He chose them to be His. And His love, and our response to that love, is what really matters. 

I've also been reading through the book of 1 Corinthians, and the next night I happened to be in chapter 13, "The Love Chapter." My Spanish/English Honduras Bible is the King James Version, so I felt prompted to write this chapter down "in my own words" seeing what God would speak. Anyways, here's what I came up with:

1 Elegant words mean nothing without love.
2 Spiritual gifts mean nothing without love.
3 Generosity means nothing if it does not come from love.
4 Love is walking alongside people. Love is encouraging and builds people up. Love is content. Love serves others rather than itself, and sees itself as lowly, the worst of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
5 Love is careful to act right. Love gives generously to others. Love is calm and level-headed. Love thinks pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
6 Love does not find joy in wrongdoing, injustice, and sin, but finds its joy in open honestly.
7 Love shares burdens (Galatians 6:2). Love always thinks the best of people. Love is positive and optimistic. Love is there for you no matter what.
8 Love is the one thing that will always remain.
9 We only have a part of the picture right now.
10 When Jesus comes, we will have the whole picture, and everything will be made complete.
11 We were all at one time immature in faith, but we are being made mature in love.
12 Now we can see only a hazy vision of God and His plan, but soon we will see clearly. We do not understand all of who God is now, but He understands all of who we are, and we will soon know Him fully.
13 To love is even greater than to have hope or faith because God is love and love comes from God (1 John 4:7-8).

And so for all of you, I pray with Paul in Ephesians 3:19: "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cosas Nuevas (New Things)

Parcial Two is now complete! We gave exams this week, and spent basically all our free time grading, recording points on a spreadsheet for the government, and filling out report cards. With three classes, two of which are one-on-one oral exams that take all week and the other being a class I did not teach the material on before the test, it has been a busy week! 

Sury, one of my 1st graders

But we have all survived (I think) and I am ready to jump head first into this new partial. Isaiah 43:19 says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." God is definitely doing some new things here at Destino. Teaching high school is new for me, but God is giving me the wisdom and the strength. Even if some of the kids seem unreceptive right now, He can make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert!

And speaking of new things, they're happening at home in the States, too. After a long week, I got the exciting news Saturday evening that my brother had proposed to his girlfriend at Passion! I am so excited for them, and I know they will have an incredible, God-centered marriage. 

I hope you are all having a fantastic first month of this new year, and that God is doing new things for all of you as well!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Confianza (Trust)

So first week back in Honduras after the two week break at home has been CRAZY! Sunday night, Jenna and I spent the night out at Destino and got to hang out with the kids in her home shooting fireworks and watching them play soccer. Give 18 kids a small fire and some little fireworks and they go WILD, but it was a fun night and I enjoyed spending the time out there. 

Monday all the teachers came to the church for a spiritual conference. Rhonda shared with us the whole story of how Destino del Reino came about, and how God provided every step of the way, which was really cool to hear, and the pastors shared some time of teaching to renew and encourage us before we went back to school on Tuesday and had to start pouring back into the kids.

And then it was Tuesday. Time to go back to school. Time to see my prepa and first grade babies again. And time to tackle a new challenge: teaching 9th grade. I know that God put this new challenge on my plate to stretch me and grow me and make me depend on Him even more this year, and I was nervous going into the first day, but throughout this week, all my fears have been squashed. On the second day of class, I asked the kids if they had any prayer requests before I prayed, and after a few moments of silence, a couple students actually shared some serious requests. Then the next day, even more shared. It was so encouraging to have them be so open and honest with me from the start.

In class this week, I asked them to write three paragraphs about their lives, just for me to see their writing. A lot of them wrote about their testimonies and home lives, and when I read over a couple in class I almost started to cry. Some of these students have been through a lot, but reading about how they trusted God through it all was overwhelming. And the fact that they trusted me with these stories after only four days of class was incredible as well.

I can already tell this is going to be a great new year. God is moving, and He is going to do some mighty things, and I am blessed to be a part of it!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Vivir con Alegría (Living with Joy)

Feliz año nuevo! I returned to Honduras last night after two great weeks of being home with family and friends, and getting to talk about my experiences in Honduras. Last year flew by, and it's hard to believe it's already time to remember to write 2015 instead of 2014! 2014 held many wonderful things for me, from Student Teaching, to graduating, to moving to Honduras to teach English, and I can't wait to see what 2015 holds!

Some of you may have heard of "My One Word," where instead of creating a bunch of New Years Resolutions, you choose one word to be your focus for the year. I had never done that before, though I've heard of people who have, and in December God started placing it on my heart to find a word for 2015. I started with making a list of one word qualities that I want and God wants to develop in my life. I was surprised at how many words I came up with, and started praying that God would make one stand out for me. After that, the word JOY just kept popping up in my devotions and Bible readings, like in the Christmas story in Luke 2:10: "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great JOY for all the people.' " And in Philippians 2:18 where it says, "You also should be happy and full of JOY with me." We even talked at church at home about how good news brings great JOY, and if you have that JOY, you shouldn't be able to keep quiet about it!

So that is my one word resolution for this year. To live joyfully, and hopefully that will inspire others to do the same. Have any of you chosen a word for the new year? I'd love to hear about it! If you want to learn more about choosing a word, check out this website

I hope you all have a blessed new year!