Like much of the rest of the world, COVID cases in Honduras continue to climb in accordance with increased testing. The more relevant mortality rate has remained at around 2.5 – 3.1%. Whatever the biological and clinical reality of COVID turns out to be, the economic fallout is wreaking havoc in the cities here. Thank God we are not in a city. At this time we are allowed out to buy food in the city once every 15 days. For the most part, we eat, rice, eggs, beans, and bananas.
The good news is that at the time of this writing, the uber strict nationwide lockdown has started to ease. A lot of Hondurans are convinced the whole thing is a power grab and are ignoring the lockdown anyway. Of course, that could change at any moment.
We still don’t want to catch COVID in Honduras.
Thy Will Be Done!
I’ll be honest, it has been hard at times. I really don’t like to admit that. I’ve never really experienced anxiety over God’s provision before. The havoc that has been wrought upon the global economy means money is tight for everyone and our personal support has dwindled. Lately, I’ve been wondering if God isn’t going to take us to that place that so many other missionaries like Hudson Taylor have described, of being down to their very last dollar or dime or piece of bread only to be lead by God to give it away. At the end of the day, being a missionary isn’t about being some kind of world-changing superhero as so many imagine. It’s about growing in dependence upon Him. That always involves a shaking and a breaking. There’s a lot of that going on today. Heb 12:25-28 While James 1:4 “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” is my official mission motto, I know a breaking is taking place when I sit in our river and cry and can’t for the life of me explain why. As Cathy recently wrote, this is an ongoing daily call to surrender even if it means
“living like this for the rest of my life – if it is your will, God.”
Thank God, we have each other. Even so, we miss our friends both here in Honduras and in the US, not to mention our family. Some times the enemy plays mind games and we wonder if anyone cares or if we’ll ever even see anyone again. These are the days when we lay it down even more. Other days we wrestle with the feelings of utter uselessness and futility. Cathy just presses harder into the Lord when this happens. “Where there is no vision people perish…” Proverbs 29:18 is a bigger struggle for me. The men in my family keep going until their purpose is gone. Then they die. My sympathetic nervous system responds to a lack of purpose as a life-threatening event. Of course, the struggle is not for a lack of knowledge. We both have the words we would and have given to those whom we counseled through the years. In any case, I’m sure we are not unique. So…
Cathy made her own prayer closet in the old coffee mill / guest house in our yard.
In any case, we both spend a huge amount of time in God’s word. While I’m not the least bit prophetic, I keep hearing the word “preserved”. The other day Cathy mentioned the fact that Abraham waited 25 years, Moses 40, Joseph 13, David 22, Jesus 30, and Paul waited on the Lord for 14 years. Any genuine word that one of us receives is always confirmed by the other. One thing we have learned. If you don’t know how to wait,
don’t even think about doing full time missions.
Hope In Time Ministries
We are still working to get Hope In Time off the ground. Unfortunately, Josh is still in the US and Paulet lives in another village. She’s definitely got her hands full there right now. Initially, we had envisioned getting scholarships to get kids into school, showing the Jesus film in remote villages and doing discipleship with people an families struggling with substance abuse. We thought we’d be providing solar power to families without electricity and concrete floors. We could blame it on the enemy but it is the Lord who is saying otherwise. Again, sometimes roadblocks are for our growth and protection. Proverbs 14:12
In any case, Cathy and I have built many relationships over the years. We wanted to let people know where we are at without speaking on behalf of the ministry as a whole. That’s why we are doing this update on our website rather than on Hope In Time’s. God willing Josh will back in the next month or two and the next update will be a formal Hope In Time newsletter.
If you’ve been following Hope In Time Ministries posts then you’ve seen our Hope In Time outreach videos where we delivered six thousand pounds of food to Lenca Indians.
We had to jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops to pull it off but it happened. This is the same village in which we have been slowly building relationships for several years.
We still struggle with the language. But the soul to soul encounters we’ve experienced sometimes makes me think that words are overrated.
And true gratitude is often better seen than heard.
I wonder what you all see when you look in their eyes?
Of course, we had to quarantine inside our home for 15 days when we finished.
Then COVID came to Bacadia, the village where Paulet lives about three miles down the road. Normally we could walk there. But the leaders of Cerro Azul locked us in.
We didn’t really want to walk three miles to return a vacuum cleaner anyway. JK. That’s actually Cathy’s idea of a good time.
In the meantime, Cathy and I continue to look for opportunities to build relationships and share the gospel anyway we can.
As it turns out, landslides are a relationship catalyst. Especially when you own your own ax and shovel.
“Why are you helping us? We can’t pay you.” is a great conversation starter.
The village has a school but many of the children still don’t read.
So we started a children’s library.
Carmen (in light blue) reads a little. Valerie reads a little more. Even so, Carmen has excellent taste in literature.
Green Eggs and Ham es mi favorito!
Carmen and Valerie are a bit intimidated by Cassie and Daisy who read really well. They declined to participate when they came to the door and saw the other two girls sitting at the table. Turns out girl drama is cross-cultural. We’re working on it. In any case, we gave them a children’s bible and we hope to create questions in their minds that will lead to ongoing discipleship.
A worker is worth his wages 1 Tim 5:18
We promised you’d be hearing more about Alfonzo.
He spent some time working in the United States then returned to Honduras where he was attacked by a man with a machete during a robbery. Today He has one hand, one ear, and one eye.
This is his coffee and yucca and Malanga farm.
It’ a hard one hour walk through the mountains and rain forest just to get there. Alfonzo walks it alone every day and carries what he needs. This day he carried I tree he wanted to plant.
The locals here know a lot about natural medicines. This bark “is good for your stomach”. “Some people get drunk on it,” he said.
Alfonzo has his challenges but he never complains, he is always grateful, always joyful.
and he loves the Lord.
He’s also a former Honduran Marine which probably explains his ability to adapt and overcome.
His coffee is nearly ready to harvest.
He nets $3 for every hundred pounds of raw cherries he picks. If he’s lucky he’ll bring in $90 this year.
How much do Americans pay for a cup of coffee at the highly WOKE Starbucks?
We are researching coffee and the coffee industry in hopes of creating a coop and finding a way to get these farmers fair market value for their coffee and their labor.
That said, we are not experienced entrepreneurs.
If you or someone you know is knowledgeable in this area and would like to help or advise us we’d sure appreciate it.
In the meantime, we keep pushing deeper into the mountains above our village on foot.
and leads to some pretty amazing views
On this day we were looking for a boy named Manuel and his family. Manuel had come to our door to sell plantains one day and he invited us to his house. We finally found them. Manuel is in the rear.
This was our first visit so naturally, we wanted to honor them and didn’t take many pictures. Like so many Hondurans their house has a dirt floor and everyone sleeps in the same room. They may be cash poor but they are rich in love. Norma the mom looks like she might be pregnant but Cathy didn’t want to ask. A low protein, high carb diet often consisting of nothing but corn results in an odd combination of malnourishment and weight gain in women here. The whole family seems to be nearsighted and needs glasses. It would be great to have a small medical brigade visit here one day. Anyway, we stumbled through a conversation with our not so good Spanish, and played some worship music over which the girls were mesmerized. We prayed for the whole family and invited them to visit us. We look forward to a growing friendship.
We think this is an abandoned baby “?”
Manuel found him and was caring for it. He tried to give it to Cathy.
We spent some time with our friend Jose on the way. He’s another hard-working farmer who also spent time in the USA.
Jose works hard and is very proud of his farm. He has a fair amount of land but is only able to work seven to ten acres by himself. He grows beans, corn, and coffee. Everything is done by hand.
Jose says he likes to hunt raccoons when he has time.
There is so much to learn each time we venture out. We are constantly amazed by the ingenuity and resilience of these people. There is so much we’d like to do to help. At the same time, we have seen the damage that Western materialism has wrought in the lives of indigenous people. We want to honor them as brothers and sisters in Christ, equals in the the light of Imago Dei and not as props in a missions drama that supports our own sense of purpose and significance. They have survived and thrived here for generations.
We wouldn’t last a week by ourselves.
Growing down never ends.
Thank you for your prayers.