Sunday, December 28, 2014

Keeping in Touch . . . tell us how to do it better . . .

Things have been changing in my life, a lot, in the past couple of years. Two years ago I was a busy homeschooling mom, caring for and educating four children in my household. Suddenly I find myself an almost empty-nester . . . and a grandmother! 

Rachel is married, and Gus is in college in the US. Ben still lives at home, but he is now enrolled in an excellent bilingual school in our area, and will start attending classes there in January, so he won't be around the house much now. Boo has one foot out the door. She's finishing up some high school studies, but she's been mostly independent in her schooling for years now, and she's traveling quite a bit right now. She just spent a couple of weeks on the north coast, visiting friends at the Loma de Luz Hospital, and now she's in the capital, Tegucigalpa, spending the rest of the holidays with Rachel and Brandy. She takes her school books with her, and manages "homeschooling" on the road!

It's been a challenge for me to adjust to these changes. I'm delighted to find that I still enjoy spending time alone with my husband, and I'm renewing some of my long-lost hobbies, even playing the piano and sketching again. I have less laundry to do, of course, but there are also fewer minions to help with all of the housework, so that's become more work for me. I'm trying to rethink the whole process of keeping house, now that so much has changed.

I also want to be more efficient and purposeful in the part of the ministry work that generally has been my responsibility . . . which is communicating with our friends and supporters. Over the years, I've found this to be a continually changing challenge for me. At first I wrote a monthly newsletter, which went out by email and regular mail. Then we set up a website, and tried to keep that updated, so that people would have access to more info and pictures, in a more up-to-date format. 
In 2007 I discovered the blogosphere, and started blogging regularly. The newsletters, became "occasional" instead of "monthly," as it became hard for me to find things to share that I hadn't already posted on the blog. Gradually, instead of newsletters, we substituted short emails, for extremely important news . . . like kidnappings, etc. 

Only a few years ago I succumbed to the world of Facebook,
and I haven't been extremely successful at balancing Facebook, blogging, emails, and personal communications. I really have tried, though.

While I'm still struggling with all of that, there are also Twitter (yes, I have a twitter account, but I still don't really know what to do with it) and Google +, and Facetime, and Skype, and Instagram, and . . . 

I haven't updated the website in quite a while, because the program I was using became obsolete, and I haven't found the time to learn a new program, so that I can edit the site! I'm getting kind of old and tired . . . and technology is definitely changing faster than I can keep up!

At the same time, Allen pretty regularly takes time to make phone calls and connect with people that way.

I'll be honest here. We work hard at this stuff, and still people remark to us that they haven't heard anything from us in a while! Generally I assume this is because they are only watching one or another of these communications outlets, and our time and energy is being spread between a bunch of them. If a person only reads my emails, or only catches me when one of my FB posts hits their feed, or just reads the blog, I'm sure it looks like we've cut back on communications, because they are only seeing a fraction of what we're putting out there.

In order to help me do my job better, I'd like to ask for your input on this. Tell me where you currently see or hear the most information from us. Tell me which communication method you would most likely see and pay attention to. Is there a different method of communicating that you would like to recommend to me? Give me your honest thoughts on how I can do a better job here - because, really, I can use the help! 

You know we are just one part of this ministry . . . without knowledgeable partners praying and supporting us we can't accomplish much of anything!

Thanks so much for helping me with this! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Right Person, in the Right Place, at the Right Time

We recently sent out a newsletter, and many people mentioned that they enjoyed reading this one, so I thought I'd share it here, as well:

Dear Friends,

Recently, our daughter Rachel and her husband Brandy received a phone call, in the middle of the night, with the news that Brandy’s father had been hospitalized and wasn't expected to live much longer. They rushed to his side, and for the rest of the night, Brandy and his brother took turns holding their father in a sitting position on his bed, because sitting upright allowed him to breathe, and the beds at the small local hospital weren't adjustable.

The family was able to arrange for their father to be transported by plane to a better equipped hospital, in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, the next morning - but sadly, Brandy’s father did not survive the trip.

During those precious last hours together, Brandy was able to share the gospel with his father at a time when his father was ready to listen - and because of this Brandy has the hope of seeing his father again in heaven!

Brandy was the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

As missionaries, we work to share the good news of the redemption which is available to us all through Christ, with the people of western Honduras . . . but we can only be in one place at a time. By assisting the indigenous Honduran pastors, missionaries and evangelists in their work, we've had the honor of being part of spreading the good news to hundreds of villages in the remotest parts of the mountains in all directions around Gracias Lempira.

With your assistance, we’re helping the right people be in these villages, at the right times:

-   when a pastor is able to plant a church in a village that previously had no church, because he received the gift of a horse or motorcycle

-   when a pastor is able to share the message more effectively because he has attended the pastor training school

-   when a parent brings their malnourished child to one of our pastor-run feeding centers

-   when Bibles, Bible study materials, and Sunday School curriculum are available to these communities locally, at prices they can afford

-   when children in remote locations and living in poverty get the opportunity to receive an education at a Christian school

-   when a pastor is encouraged in his work through receiving a Gifts for Gracias package

Much interest has been expressed in our bridge construction projects recently, because they are physically large and impressive. We build those bridges because people need them to have access to places they need to go, and people they need to see. The work we do supporting pastors is an even more important type of bridge building. We help the indigenous pastors to reach people in need of God, in remote mountain villages, so that those people can see and experience Christ’s love, shared through his followers: the pastors (unsung heroes in this story), our family (working to get the resources to the pastors as needed), and YOU (supporting us through your prayers and gifts).

Thanks so much for being a part of this ministry. We hope you have a joyful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Newsletter - are you on the list? Do you want to be?

I mailed out an email newsletter this morning. If you think you should be on the list, but you didn't receive an email from us, please let me know! Earlier this year I had a computer die on me, and I lost my most updated copy of the list.

Also, if you weren't on the list, but you'd like to be, let me know that, too! We'd be more than happy to add you. (If you send me a name and email address through the comments section, I'll receive it, but I'll make sure your info isn't posted publicly, as all comments are monitored before they are posted.)

Thanks so much, to everyone who supports us with prayer and giving!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


In spite of various obstacles, we have now re-entered the twenty-first century with an internet connection right in our home!!!!!

This is not a fabulous or fast connection, but it is sufficient for our basic communication needs for personal and ministry use. We're not streaming anything - certainly not movies - but we can watch the cute short videos people link on Facebook . . . once in a while . . .

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging now. Thanks for your patience!