Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lighthouse Church Team Video - get a glimpse of one team's trip

From August 6th through 13th, the team from Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie Maryland visited us, and worked alongside us.

They presented a VBS program in three different schools in Crucitas, over the course of several days. In Honduras, their work will be followed up by local pastors, who are starting to teach weekly Bible classes in each of these schools (and two others in that area).

This is actually a new kind of sponsorship/feeding center program we've started doing. The pastors continue to participate as an outreach ministry of their church, but the gatherings, the Bible lessons, and the feedings take place at the public schools - where the children already gather regularly for classes.

The team from Lighthouse will be returning home with a lot of enthusiasm to get these children sponsored. On Sunday, August 20th, Allen and Kim Hall will be at the morning services there at Lighthouse, to registers sponsors for the children of Crucitas through their new sister church sponsorship program!

We're super excited about this new partnership. We know the pastors in the Crucitas area are excited about this new ministry opportunity. The children and their families are excited about the meals, school shoes, and school supplies they will receive through the program. The team members are excited about being able to stay in contact, through correspondence, with the children they met during their week.

Here's a glimpse of what their week included:



- posted by Trish

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Transitions for MK Camp

When that great philosopher, Dave Barry, said, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business,” he obviously wasn’t talking about MK Camp. Having spoken to both staffers and campers, it doesn’t seem like they would trade the experience for a week at a Hilton. (Though they would probably appreciate some mints on their pillows!)


MK Camp looks a little different than it has in past years. That’s because for many missionaries in Honduras, this year has been a time of transition. Some missionaries have left the mission field. Some other missionaries have arrived. Several of the teenagers who attended camp in the past have grown up and returned to North America for college or to begin their careers. It’s the sort of transition that might leave some people a little melancholy. But not the Sowers family! As Russell described the differences between this year and camps of the past, he eagerly said, “It was a great opportunity to have new campers!”




There have been sixty-nine campers this year. Staff members bring the number up to more than ninety individuals who have enjoyed a break from their daily lives. In the past, camp has been limited to missionary families in Honduras. This year, some MKs whose families are missionaries in El Salvador joined in on the fun. They heard great things about the camp and asked to be included. Theirs aren’t the only new faces, however. For almost half of all campers and staffers, this was their first (though likely not last) MK Camp.


Russell handed the phone off the Lindsey, who served as camp music leader. Like so many others, this was Lindsey’s first time at MK Camp, though she has been in Honduras for four years. She spent three years teaching at an international school before becoming a full-time missionary. Lindsey’s dream is to open a coffee shop in Honduras, called Cafe Koinonia. Since koinonia means “fellowship,” it’s the ideal name for a coffee shop whose mission will be to “bring people together and provide a way to open doors to sharing the gospel while providing jobs to the area.”


Describing camp, Lindsey said, “Camp has been so much fun! I was not the sort of person who grew up going to camp every year. I counseled at camp a couple of times, but this is different.”
As worship leader, Lindsey is in a position where she’s not sleeping in a cabin with a group of girls. Yet she still gets to see the kids interacting with each other.


Lindsey described the importance of the campers getting to interact in English and hear messages in English. She said, “The camp is very well run. Teens get to be counselors for the younger kids, but they are also still campers. They have teen programs in the evenings, which are just for them, while the younger kids have ‘Radio Hour’. (They’ve been listening to Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  It’s a nice way to serve a large age range. All of the teens have great attitudes. They do goofy things with the younger kids, but they also have their own programs.


When asked about her thoughts as worship leader, Lindsey said, “I’m impressed with how the kids have been opening up and engaged in worship. There’s a difference between singing and worshipping. We’re not just singing to the sky! It’s been great to see them begin to engage and not be ashamed to sing out. I think it started with about four kids. Each night and day, they get louder. More people are engaging because a few people have been willing. They’re like sixteen-years-old and to see them not be ashamed is great. They’re seeing they have the opportunity to influence their environment rather than be influenced by their environment.”

With experiences like that, who needs mints on a pillow?

- posted by Christi

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Filling in the Blanks

Generally speaking, fill in the blank tests are easier than essay questions, but more difficult than true/false, multiple choice, and matching tests. As Russell said, “It’s another week of fill in the blank scheduling,” as the Sowers family tries to catch up on everything that didn't get done during the summer weeks of team visits. During our most recent phone call, he was able to fill in some of those blanks. I took notes so you don’t have to.

The new members of the team will be documenting the ministry work through
photos and videos, as well as helping with the work itself

Allen and Russell recently hired two more guys to help with the sponsorship program. Currently, Melvin and Russell are working with them to be sure they understand what they need to do.


Handmade doors arriving on site!
Russell and Iris’s new house is getting closer to completion. This week, workers are doing a final smoothing of the walls so they will be ready for paint soon. Russell’s father-in-law is finishing and installing the doors and windows he made in his carpentry shop. One can only hope RJ has his own tool belt and will be on hand to supervise.

The crew is preparing to plant the new coffee plants. Doesn’t it seem like they just did that? At any rate, it’s time to do it again.


This coming week is MK Camp, so right now is filled with prep work. They are gathering coolers, cooking supplies, and everything else needed to make sure things run smoothly and everyone is fed. Russell said between 75-80 kids are expected to attend this year’s camp.


The Sowers are prepping for a mission team, which will be arriving the second week in August. They will be doing VBS at three schools associated with their sister church. They will also be painting their sister church. Because the team wants to do something to help out the Sowers, they will even be helping to paint Russell and Iris’ house. The team will be staying from Sunday-Sunday.


Another great photo by Danny, our ministry photographer!
Shortly after that, Allen will be leaving for the U.S. That means he and Russell will have a few short days to be sure nothing falls through the cracks in Allen’s absence. That’s pretty much code for PAPERWORK!


Trish will be joining Allen in the States sometime in September. But first things first: she will be spending two weeks with a very pregnant Rachel. The hope is she will be there for the birth. If not, she’ll still enjoy time with Rachel. Still… She really, REALLY wants to spend time with the newest grandchild.


That sums up the notes for this week. One of these weeks, we’ll have to try a true/false test! - posted by Christi

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Bridge to Turturupe

The existing unsafe bridge, on the road to Turturupe
The Sowers have had teams or someone on the ground with them for almost all of May, June, and July. The same will hold true for August. That is on top of their regular responsibilities with Pastors’ Training School, registering kids for the feeding centers, and working the coffee farm. It’s also in addition to bonus projects like getting ready to build a road on their property to make it easier to access the coffee. And, of course, there’s the seemingly never-ending project of working on their house in their spare time. How does it all get done? It’s all about a willingness to be flexible, my friends!


Last week, one team left and, the following day, a team flew into Honduras through another organization. If you think that would have nothing to do with the Sowers, but you would be wrong! The incoming team was interested in building a bridge, and Allen and Russell are the go-to guys for teams wishing to build a bridge. So, the go-to guys drove 4 hours from one airport to the other, met up with the team, and then they all drove two hours and then walked an hour to the bridge site. Two of the team members were from Puerto Rico and two were from Florida. The whole group went into the mountains to look at a community of about 500 people. Well, actually, that population is made up of three different communities. It takes about an hour to walk to the first one, two hours to walk to the second one, and (You guessed it!) three hours to walk to the third one.


Erosion at the entrance to the bridge.
While the bridge is still usable by pedestrians
and motorcycles, it is no longer safe for
larger vehicles
What the go-to Sowers guys discovered was that the lack of a road is a much bigger problem than the lack of a bridge. There is already an old, damaged bridge, not strong enough for vehicles, which is only impassable to pedestrians about fifteen days a year, when the river floods to an extra-high level. The group high-tailed it to see the mayor and were told there is no money for building a road. Plus, there’s the fact that not one person in the area owns a vehicle.


Flexibility kicked in and the group decided to promote a micro-enterprise idea, which can provide a better source of income for the area’s inhabitants. Currently, people in the area survive by gathering sap from pine trees, which is used for glue, firestarter, and a turpentine-like substance. The process of tapping the pine trees is very damaging and it kills the trees after a few years. It’s an entirely unsustainable practice.


The group decided to find ten families in the church, who will each begin coffee farming on a half acre of land. Three pastors will work together to choose which ten families are the hardest working and most likely to succeed. The families will receive help to buy seeds, bags, fertilizer, and pesticides. They will have no labor costs, as each family should have enough people to do the necessary work. If the families are successful, the group will partner with them again and look at expanding it to other families.


The road to Turturupe
As Allen said, “The proof is in the pudding.” Or, in this case, the proof is in the coffee.


In case you’re wondering, the supervising pastor will receive the funds, and he will be the one to purchase supplies. Some of the people have experience working on coffee farms, and a few even have small coffee farms of their own, but have not had the resources to fertilize it. Allen stressed, “They have the capacity, but not the resources.”


This is definitely one of those instances when someone thought they could help, but helping in the way they had originally planned was simply not the best, most practical way. A bridge and road project would cost around $60,000-$70,000, whereas, this innovative idea will cost around $250 per family. The hope is that these families will tithe on their earnings, thus helping to provide for the community.

Flexibility can be a beautiful thing. - posted by Christi

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Benefits of Short-Term Missions

When Kim Hall’s most recent team visited Honduras, Allen had the opportunity to speak to a couple of the women who were interested in getting churches and other groups in their areas to fill backpacks with school supplies. Those women may have gotten more than they bargained for! Asking Allen for details on how to fill backpacks is like asking Bob Ross how to paint happy little trees. It’s just in his nature.


Bunches of Backpacks


That’s why, when we last spoke, Trish was about to send out bunches of backpacks to the women’s hometowns in Colorado and Western Pennsylvania. 506 backpacks for each location, to be exact! She was also sending out 506 backpacks to a church in Kansas, who recently sent a visiting team.


Boxes of empty backpacks
delivered to Western Pennsylvania
There are differing schools of thought and much ongoing discussion about whether or not short-term mission teams are a good idea. You’ve probably already heard both sides of the debate, so there’s no need to rehash that. But those backpacks going out to be filled by churches and other organizations represent 1518 reasons the Sowers see short-term mission teams as a good idea!


Anyone who has ever scrolled through some pages of this blog already knows about the opportunity to fill backpacks with school supplies and have them shipped to Honduras. People already know those backpacks represent the opportunity for children to show up at school equipped with the necessary materials for learning. However, there’s something about getting personally involved during a mission trip to motivate people to take the next step.


The Bigger Picture


Collection of filled backpacks
at Edgewater Alliance Church in Florida!


Trish said, “We definitely think short-term teams are one part of the bigger missions’ strategy. They should never replace long-term workers (both native and foreign), but they help complete the bigger picture.”







Notebooks, to be used to
fill backpacks, collect
in Pennsylvania


That “bigger picture” has been all over my Facebook feed lately. Folks like Michelle Spanos, Megan Prence, and Jim & Denise Cofer are in the middle of receiving and storing the supplies, which will eventually be loaded onto shipping containers and make their way to Honduras. It’s exciting stuff!

Don’t miss out on a chance to be a part this. It’s like being a happy little tree in the big picture of missions.



- posted by Christi

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Short Term Missionary with the Extended Stay

It seems like ages ago since the most recent team from Edgewater Alliance Church was in Honduras. In reality, it hasn’t been that long at all. It’s simply that the Sowers can pack a whole lot of excitement into a short amount of time.  As I wrote in the May 19th blog post, “The team will be led by Pauli, an enthusiastic volunteer who will be staying on for three extra weeks, putting that enthusiasm to good use.” The team was in the middle of its visit when Allen had heart surgery and, for a while, I sort of forgot about enthusiastic Pauli and her extended stay. Fortunately, Trish reminded me and I was able to schedule a phone call with Pauli to hear about her month long mission trip. She described her month as, “filled, but good.”


When asked what she would say to people who may be on the fence about committing to a mission trip, Pauli said, “It is lifechanging! Just the impact the Sowers family makes in that area is amazing. It was great to see them in action--to see them helping people, not just in one area like the sponsorship program, but in a broad area.”


She and the original team of ten additional members visited four schools, which are part of Edgewater Alliance’s sister church sponsorship. 270 children are a part of their sponsorship area. While one part of the team worked on a construction project, Pauli’s half of the team visited four schools, spending a full day at each school. They taught Bible lessons, English classes, and handed out toothbrushes. The kids were most impressed by the stomp rockets a team member who is a NASA employee donated.


After the team left, Pauli spent the following two weeks staying with Russell and Iris. She helped register 270 children in the sponsorship program for a church in Maryland. She also helped out in the kitchen at Pastors’ Training School. She worked with two other women in the kitchen. They didn’t speak English and Pauli doesn’t speak Spanish, but they managed to communicate. The other women also got a good laugh at Pauli’s first attempts at cutting plantains!


She was able to go on a home visit to a little boy sponsored by someone at Edgewater Alliance. The boy’s mother died last year and he and his younger brother are being raised by their grandmother. The village visited has no electricity, but the house has a solar panel. The enterprising grandmother of the house earns money by collecting a fee from people to charge their cell phones.


Pauli prayed with the woman. She said she prayed for a couple of minutes and then the grandmother prayed for at least ten minutes. She said, “Of course, it was in Spanish and I didn’t understand it, but it was powerful!”



Later, Pauli and Russell went back to the village to register kindergarteners in the sponsorship program. The grandmother with the powerful prayer was there to register her younger grandson. Pauli quickly told Russell, “I want him.”


Pauli said, “The grandmother was so thankful for our help and what we’re doing for the community. It was great to be able to take people to see their sponsored kids. Most of my team members from the first week already had sponsored kids. They ended up sponsoring an additional nine kids.”


Pauli spent her last week serving as a counselor at MK Retreat. She had the opportunity to lead small group discussions and she helped out at the canteen. She joked that she was very well received because she was the lady who sold them junk food! At the end of each day, she slept in a room with some of the girls. Pauli had a little extra adventure when she found a bat in her bed. It seems a group of boys pranked the wrong room and the bat was placed in Pauli’s bed in error. Oops!

“I believe everyone should take a mission trip. I wish teenagers were required to go on a trip before graduating high school. It’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus. And, as far as the sponsorships go… For $15 a month, that’s nothing,” Pauli said thoughtfully.

- posted by Christi

Friday, July 14, 2017

Russell's Birthday Week Adventures

Russell really knows how to celebrate his birthday week! He started his actual birthday with a phone call to me. What a party animal!


Russell dropped off the Hall family and their team on Sunday. The three following days were the first ones in two months the Sowers haven’t had someone visiting Honduras. As much as they enjoy guests and visiting teams, they had a lot of catching up to do!


On Monday, Allen, Trish, and Russell all had the task of getting their drivers licenses renewed. Fun, fun, fun! I hear the Honduran version of the DMV is every bit as enjoyable as the U.S. version! Russell got to go back on Tuesday to get his motorcycle license. Did I mention what a party animal he is?


Following the fun time at the DMV on Monday, they picked up some coffee from the roaster and then drove an hour to drop a truck off at a mechanic. With so many visiting teams, they haven’t had a chance to do routine vehicle maintenance in a while.


This is Pastors’ Training School week. Melvin did the shopping and the other local missionaries are taking care of the school duties.


Meanwhile, the Sowers are finishing up the paperwork for the 2nd quarter of the year. Receipts and paperwork will be sent back to their mission foundation to satisfy IRS requirements.


Russell is also catching up on things around the farm. Of course, farm work goes on even when the Sowers are with a team, but there are some things Russell needs to supervise. He was able to sit down with Carlos to determine farming priorities for the next several weeks. They are getting ready to plant for next year at the end of July. That means they need to fertilize, apply pesticide, and do a fair amount of chopping and hoeing.


A team is arriving on Thursday for a week long vision trip. The visiting pastor has been encouraged by his mother-in-law to check out Sowers4Pastors’ ministry. His mother-in-law has been down a number of times as part of Manna 4 Lempira. The team will consist of the pastor, his wife, another couple, and the pastor’s enthusiastic mother-in-law. The team will be visiting Pastors’ Training School, seeing a church they may want to help and get involved with, and seeing some projects Sowers4Pastors has done in the past.


Now, if you’re thinking Russell’s birthday week filled with the DMV, IRS paperwork, farm work, and going over details for this blog post don’t sound all that festive, don’t worry. R.J. came to the rescue. When asked how he thought they should celebrate Russell’s birthday, R.J. decided they needed a piñata! So, Russell had plans to take R.J. to pick out a piñata. In case you’re wondering, R.J.’s love of piñatas isn’t even about the candy. He loves whacking them with sticks! Russell laughed and said, “The other kids will get the candy and take it inside and R.J. will keep hitting it for about fifteen minutes!” Feliz Cumpleaños, Russell!

- posted by Christi

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Two Perspectives on the Same Trip

It’s always fun to get two perspectives on the same events. Kim Hall was able to give me her unique take on her family’s three week adventure in Honduras and Russell was able to tell me how this affects the Sowers’ daily schedules.


Kim shared about having teams join them to give medical checkups, update information for children enrolled in the sponsorship program, and hand out shoes. Russell shared that this venture requires eleven team members, two Sowers, and numerous translators, photographers, and drivers. The first week with the team required five translators. When six additional people arrived from the States on Saturday, the number of required translators increased to ten. General workers from the Sowers’ crew are also needed to move stuff, fill out necessary forms, etc…


The Halls arrived with letters from sponsors and solar lamps to be handed out as gifts to the children in the Manna 4 Lempira program. Kim spoke about how they have a better idea of what gifts will be appreciated. Umbrellas are appreciated because they are used for both rain and sun. Hammocks are great gifts because people will sleep in them if there’s no room in their house. The group is also handing out shoes brought down by the Edgewater Alliance team.   


They are updating sponsorship forms with new pictures and preferences. As Russell said, “Maybe they've decided they want to be something else when they grow up. Maybe their favorite color has changed.”


Russell said the group is trying to visit around 100 kids out of the 1000 or so in the sponsorship program. As Kim noted, they will be taking many kids to swim at the hot water springs. That means taking about thirty different kids on each of three different days. The team will spend alternate days between house visits and swimming trips.


Several members of the teams sponsor large numbers of children. They are excited to spend time visiting “their” children. This trip is largely about building relationships with the children and demonstrating God’s love for them. That’s exciting stuff no matter whose point of view it’s from!

- posted by Christi

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Journey With Three Legs

Kim, at Hotel Guancascos, being
phone-interviewed by Christi
Kim Hall, of Manna 4 Lempira, is back in Honduras for her longest visit to date. This time she and her family are there for a whopping three weeks. Graciously, she agreed to take time to chat with me before heading out for another busy day full of showing love to the children in the sponsorship program. As you’re about to read, neither rain nor grasshoppers nor swarming bees nor weird toads stays the Hall family from its appointed routes!

First Leg

The first leg of the Hall’s trip centered around spending time with a family they first met through another child sponsorship program. Then they went to Gracias, where they spent days visiting the children they currently sponsor. With so many trips to Honduras under their belts, the family is feeling more confident in their ability to do some things on their own. Kim is also pleased her Spanish has improved.

This is the second time Kim has been in Honduras during a “grasshopper year” (the giant grasshoppers come every three years). Fortunately, most of the ones they’ve seen have been dead. She quipped, “We had to buy umbrellas for rain. They work against grasshoppers, too!”

Kim and family crossed
this bridge that Sowers4Pastors
did NOT build
Traveling with children always brings unique challenges. This time, one Hall offspring was swarmed by bees when he ventured off while visiting a pastor who is a beekeeper. Fortunately  he only received three stings, but it could have been much worse. Another Hall child picked up a random toad and had a reaction after rubbing her eyes. She suffered from blurry vision for about a half hour. Kim said the takeaway lessons were: “Don’t touch wild animals. Don’t go on a roof with bees.” Good advice!

Second Leg

A team arrived from the U.S. to join them after their initial week. This first team consists of four people whose main focus is doing medical checkups. The group is also re-registering the children in the sponsorship program--updating information and making videos of kids who are still waiting for sponsors. Kim said, “Most of them are boys who have been waiting about nine months for a sponsor. We’re working hard on that. I think they like making the videos.”  And Kim likes having the opportunity to talk to the children and call them by name. From the way she said it, I could sense the burden she feels to find a sponsor for each child. (This link takes you to our favorite of these videos.)

Kim got to deliver good news to one little boy who had been waiting nine months for a sponsor. She described his smile and the delight he felt over receiving a letter and photo from his sponsor. She said, “It’s cool to have the privilege to tell a kid in person he has a sponsor. The letter and photo make it real to them.”

Third Leg

A second team, consisting of six people, joined the first team on Saturday. The second group will be staying for one week. They will be doing home visits, school visits, and doing VBS activities. They will also be taking three different groups of sponsored children to a swimming pool in Gracias. Kim excitedly said, “Most of the kids have never been to a real pool. The place we’re taking them has a lake, animals, and a swimming pool. I only hope it warms up a little before then!”

Something tells me the kids won’t care if it’s cold!

- posted by Christi

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Manna 4 Lempira - VIDEOS

This summer we have three, back-to-back-to-back weeks of Manna 4 Lempira teams! And there's plenty of work to keep them all busy. Here are videos of the work the teams did while here . . . I will add more as they are created.




Working at the Tablon sponsorship center





Working at the Betania sponsorship center





Working at the Mercedes sponsorship center

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Enjoying the Views at MK Retreat

Note: Christi wrote this last week, while the camp was happening. I (Trish) waited until now to post it, so that I would have some pictures to share. Enjoy!


---------------------------------------------------------


Break out the sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and marshmallows! It’s MK Teen Retreat time! This morning, Allen called from a campground about 45 minutes from Tegucigalpa, with a view he says is reminiscent of the Smoky Mountains. That wasn’t the most important view to him, though. Allen said, “Everywhere you look, there are groups of missionary kids hanging out--spending time with each other--groups of kids just enjoying their time together.”



From our vantage point, it may seem like the time has flown since last year’s MK Teen Retreat. To the young people who have looked forward to it, the year has likely seemed much longer. As Allen stressed, “Their parents decided to make the sacrifice to become missionaries, but their kids sacrifice, too. They struggle with not fitting into either culture. Even when they are able to visit North America, they are no longer truly North Americans.”

Crafts!
Of course, they aren’t Hondurans, either, which is precisely why they need a special camp to spend time with other teens in their same position. Allen pointed out, “For 50 or 51 weeks a year, they are expected to help with their parents’ ministry. They need this time.”

In case this all seems like a “rerun” from previous years, Allen reminds us, “A lot of times what you do in ministry is a recap or repeat of what you’ve done before. It’s the same old thing, but still very important.”

At least two things are different about this year’s retreat: 1) This year there are more boys than girls, and 2) Rachel is more than six months pregnant--meaning other people have needed to step up to the plate. One of those people cannot be Russell, since he is home helping Kim Hall with Manna 4 Lempira activities.


Games!

This year’s retreat features a lot of new faces.  According to Allen, about half of the people at the retreat have only been on the mission field for two years or less. He said there has been a lot of changes to their missionary community, with a lot of new people moving to Honduras.

Worship!
If you remember the posts about last year’s retreat, many of the attendees were graduating and getting ready to attend college in the U.S. One of those people, Ella, traveled from the States to lead Praise and Worship at the retreat! Her three siblings are in attendance, and her mother is doing the cooking (which Allen says is top notch, with “lots of yummy stuff”).

Crafts are a big hit, as always, particularly with the girls. Some of this year’s crafts include using metal stamps on dog tags, wood burning pictures onto disks cut from tree branches, and string art.

Games are also popular. Teens who seldom see any game other than soccer are enjoying things like capture the flag and dodgeball.

Thirty-four teens and ten staff members are at the 2017 MK Retreat, which started on Sunday the 11th and will end on Friday the 16th. Many people traveled seven or eight hours to be a part of this event, with as many as eight people arriving in one car. Please remember to pray for their safe travels as they return home and begin the countdown to NEXT year’s MK Retreat!



- posted by Christi

Monday, June 12, 2017

Prayer Mail

Recently, Trish wrote a blog post entitled “The (Almost) Lost Art of Letter Writing”, in which she talked about the letters Kim Hall has been posting on the Manna 4 Lempira Facebook Page from children waiting to be matched with sponsors through the Manna program. It seems Honduran kids love to write and receive letters.

Earlier in the month, Kim posted the sweetest of letters from a girl named Lilian, who is currently awaiting a sponsor. (Fortunately, Kim wrote an English translation of the letter, since I barely passed Spanish II in college and my translation skills are sketchy at best.)

Here’s what Kim wrote:

One of the things I know I can never repay to my sponsored children is the time they spend in prayer for me. What a gift!
I am humbled by each letter we receive, filled with prayers that are repeated each night on behalf of our family. I am often comforted in hard times by the knowledge that someone precious to the heart of God is lifting me and my family up by name!
I came across this letter from Lilian, a child waiting for a sponsor through Manna 4 Lempira, and was touched by her earnest prayer for her future sponsor. Dear one, Lilian is already praying for you, even before she knows your name!
"In the first place I thank God for having chosen people like you of a good heart. For the support you have brought to each one of us we give much thanks, from the bottom of our hearts--eternally thankful.
I ask God to guard you wherever you go and each day give you more health. May he bless your lives and home. I give thanks for sending me those lovely gifts.
May God bless you and guide your steps each day. May He clear your doubts and fill you with courage from His Spirit, and overflow blessings in your home and in your life.
May God fill today with blessings--
Lilian "

Think hard. What was the last piece of handwritten snail mail you received? What was the last piece of handwritten, uplifting snail mail, expertly decorated with butterflies and flowers, in which the author asked God to richly bless you with health and courage? Lilian has now been sponsored, but there are more children waiting for sponsorship . . . waiting and praying for you, perhaps?


For $15 a month, you can provide a child with two nutritious meals per week, school shoes, a backpack filled with school supplies, and Bible lessons. It’s an opportunity to bless and be blessed by some sweet letter writer. Think of it as Prayer Mail! More information on the Manna 4 Lempira Sponsorship program, and how you can be a part of it, is available here! - posted by Christi

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sister Churches in ACTION!

This is what happens, when people come up with an idea and, together, we run with it! 

Kim Hall had an idea: start a sponsorship program through the Sowers4Pastors ministry, which would offer the benefits of other sponsorship programs and also help fund the larger feeding program (the majority of the 14,000 children fed by Sowers4Pastors are in locations where the sponsorship program is not available).

Eric Linden had an idea: offer churches in the US a chance to sponsor, as a body, all of the children in one, specific, church-run feeding center in Honduras, setting up a "Sister Church" relationship between the two churches.
Edgewater Alliance Church team

Edgewater Alliance Church in New Smyrna Beach, FL had an idea: help their sister church with a major construction project. The sister church, in Guacutao Lempira, Honduras, had planted a daughter church in a nearby village, and that new church was in need of a building.

In May, a team from Edgewater Alliance came for a week, helped add a roof and a floor to the new church's building, and also spent several days working with children in Guacutao.  This team, with the help of translators and teachers at the school, taught Bible lessons at the public schools around Guacutao!

Maybe YOU have an idea, we could run with?????



Above is the highlights video from the Edgewater Alliance team's week. Don't be looking for Allen in this video - it was during this team's stay that Allen ended up in the hospital. 

 - posted by Trish