Sunday, February 22, 2015

Semana de Cumpleaños (Birthday Week)

This has been the perfect birthday week. Rhonda's niece Bethany and her husband Matt, who is a pastor, and kids were visiting from the States, and he preached Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night at Church, so I was blessed by TWO English sermons! We had a short week at school, too. 9th grade had the day off on Monday and school was out Thursday and Friday. Matt and Bethany did a purity conference on Monday for the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, and talked about their value in the Lord. 

Thursday, Matt and Pastor Pablo did a spiritual life conference for the 9th and 10th graders about making disciples and being a disciple. They had some good points that challenged even me, and encouraged the kids to find someone older to disciple them, and someone younger who they could disciple. I pray they take all this information to heart!

Friday morning, Bethany, Jenna, and I took a bus out to Tela to spend our long weekend at the beach. It was a little cloudy and chilly, so we went for a walk, did some reading, and met some interesting people.

Saturday was sunny and perfect. We read on the beach, played in the ocean, went walking all over, and even danced with some Garifunas who were playing the drums outside our hotel. 

I was blessed beyond measure with an incredible birthday and awesome people to spend it with, and I can't wait to see what year 23 holds for me!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

El Día de Amor y Amistad (The Day of Love and Friendship)

While all of you in the States were celebrating Valentines Day yesterday, here in Honduras we were celebrating "The Day of Love and Friendship." (Love that they throw in that friendship part. Makes us single people feel good.) But anyways, we had a great V Day here.

On Friday I made Valentines crafts with all my classes. Here are some of my precious Prepa students:

They had way too much fun gluing little pieces of paper onto their hearts!

On Saturday, Jenna made us delicious caramel apple cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and we all set to work baking for our Destino English teachers Bible study/Valentines party. Of course, it wouldn't be a party without my Pinterest-fail cupcakes. (I'll spare you the pictures, but they were still delicious!) We enjoyed an afternoon of eating, fellowship, and Ephesians 4. I couldn't have chosen a better way to spend this day, or better people to spend it with.

So I will leave you with the words of Paul from Ephesians 4:1-3: "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace."


Saturday, February 7, 2015

El Futuro (The Future)

The future can be a scary thing. Sometimes I get caught up in daydreaming about what I want my future to look like, and other times I daydream about what God wants my future to look like. In the past, these day dreams usually led to the same feeling though: fear. Fear that my dreams would never be realized, and fear of what God would call me to do.

I felt that fear when I first realized God was calling me to Honduras. That was never in my plan. I was in college, I was getting my teaching degree, and then I was going to find a job...somewhere. Sure, I prayed and asked God where He would want me to teach, but I didn't mean another country! But as we know, God's plans are greater than our own, and after some silent wrestling I chose to step out on the water "the great unknown, where feet may fail" and follow God's plan. (By the way, that's a line from Hillsong's "Oceans," a song that was an awesome encouragement to me as I prepared to leave for Honduras.)

So recently, the question on many people's minds, including my own, has been, "What will you do next year?" For a while, I thought I didn't have an answer, but the truth is I did. I was just, out of fear, ignoring that answer because I wasn't sure if it was the one I wanted. I was running, maybe not as drastically as Jonah ran from God's call to Nineveh, but running just the same. 

This Friday at Destino Church we had a special Communion Worship Service, or as I've started calling it, the "Holy Dinner" (literally "Santa Cena" in Spanish. My English words have started to fail me!) I started really thinking about the Lord's Supper, and how we should examine ourselves before we enter into this time. And I thought about the passage in Matthew 5 where Jesus tells us if we are leaving our gift at the alter and remember a brother or sister has something against us, we should leave our gift, go and be reconciled, and then come back to offer our gift. 

And I realized that Someone did have something against me, and that Someone was God. I was refusing to acknowledge and respond to the call He was placing on my life for the next year, and that thought was really humbling. I repented of that, and on Thursday I talked to Rhonda and told her I felt God calling me to stay another year. Friday I entered into the Lord's Supper ready to offer my gift at the alter, the gift of all my future plans. I know this is something I will continually have to lay down everyday, but John 8:29 says, "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."

I am still working on the "always" part, but God knows my heart, and He knows that I do desire to please Him. Thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, and will continue to support me though the next, in financial support and in prayer and encouraging words. Your emails and responses mean so much to me. Please continue to pray for me the rest of this year, for the money I will raise for next year, and all the future plans that God has. Love you all!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Manos Fuertes (Strong Hands)

Ugh, this week. The discipline problems seem to never end. In prepa and first grade, it's usually just talking in class, or not paying attention, and so I write their name on the sad face and take away some recess. In colegio it is so much different. There have been school rule violations and cheating and conferences and detentions. So needless to say, some of the kids aren't very happy with me right now. But I am holding on to the promise of Hebrews 12:11, "No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it." I know these students may think I hate them right now and I'm just being a mean teacher, but I do love them, and want to see them grow and do what is right. And sometimes that means doing the hard thing, especially for someone like me who hates conflict and confrontation. But hey, I'm getting better at it! I guess God is teaching us all lessons through this week, I just wish these lessons were easier to learn! 

"But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded." 2 Chronicles 15:7

Praying for strong hands this week!