Today

The Importance of One (2-25-17)

The Bible  teaches  us about the importance of the individual.  Its base being that we have all been created in the image of our Creator God.  Being a creation designed by a Divine God gives us great worth.  Our societies increasingly over the years  have tried to degrade us into merely an accident that occurred by acts of “nature” over millions and millions of years and at the same time secular cultures teache us that our lives don’t have any great significance apart from what we ourselves might achieve.  This is shown today by the violence and lack of respect many show to each other.

The Church attempts to reinforce our importance to its members but often times tradition and bureaucracy gets in the way.  However, the Church it does teach the importance of reaching out to that one individual who might need a helping hand, an encouraging word or they might need to understand more fully the grace of our loving Creator God.  The Church has faithfully done this through its various mission’s programs over the centuries.

This concept is so clearly shown to us in Luke chapter 15 where three parables or stories are told about the importance of one individual.  The first is about a lost sheep, the second about a lost coin and the third about a lost son.  All three begin with grief and pain at the loss then express great joy in the finding of the lost sheep, coin and son.  So it is with us as we seek to help those who’ve lost their way, we do so by helping them to find love, acceptance and forgiveness.

In two of the churches with whom we work, we have offered to help them procure additional seating by purchasing chairs for these two churches.  Each chair costs $15 and I have agreed in faith to provide 60 chairs.  These two churches are being also being encouraged to evangelize and to invite in those who will occupy these chairs so as to be able to hear about faith, love, acceptance and forgiveness from our loving Creator God through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Your partnership with us will help us to provide 60 chairs for these two churches.  You can help us with your donation here by g oing to donate now and following the prompts.  You can donate under “Where needed” You can also go to the heading contact us now to find how to donate using PayPal or mailing a donation to our office listed in contact us.

Blessings to Each one of You!

Terry

 

 

 

 

Seeds of Righteousness 2016/2017  List of Needs: (December 28, 2016)

  1. We help children stay in school by buying uniforms and school supplies. In January we will need to purchase school uniforms and school supplies for over 21 students that we help. $75.00 will outfit one student for the school year that ends in December 2017. This falls under the category of Mercy.
  2. We’re starting another house in January and we hire local labor in Honduras to work on these projects. You can hire an unemployed brick layer for a week for $125 and help his family and the local economy as well. We need 3 brick masons for 3 weeks and 1 helper at $100/week for 3 weeks. Please help if you can.  $200 has been donated to date. Under the heading of construction.
  3. We still need additional cement building blocks for the house we’re starting in January. If you want to partner with us you can buy 1, 10 or a 100 cement blocks @ $0.75 each. You can multiply this number by any amount you wish and donate this amount to our ministry under the heading of construction.
  4. If you have a year horizon as well as seeing the power of education to change lives, we need sponsors for some of these 21 student. By partnering for $40 monthly can keep your child in school for a year beginning in February 2017 through November 2017. This is an excellent way to personally help a student stay in school as well as receive an extra portion of food at home from time to time.Under the heading of Mercy
  5. $200 can fund a single mother with a micro enterprise 0% loan. This can be donated on a monthly basis or a one-time to help a woman to start their own small home business.Under the heading of Mercy
  6. You can help Alexandra by donating $12 to buy a large package of diapers for her ministry at the hospital to mothers and their babies. $15 buys a tin of formula for a young mother and $10 can fund one visit to the orphanage for Alexandra as she provides treats and teaching materials for the children.Under the heading of Justice

All of these items can be funded through our online e-giving here by clicking on Donate now or through PayPal at sormission@gmail.com or at our mailing address: 702 Kentucky St., Suite 200, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Thanks for your partnership in helping us to help others.

 

 

The modern day tale of don Jorge and the Rich Man. (8-23-16)

eOn this morning’s walk I stopped to talk to don Jorge like I usually do for a few minutes.  Sometimes I put some “bread” in his cup as he’s on the street leaning on his cane asking for help.  He’s a 92+ year old retired man who’s outlived his family so he doesn’t have much more than a small pension of maybe $110 dollars a month.  He says he gets by with the help of the passerby’s who drop coins in his cup.

Today, it was an interesting conversation because as I approached him he was talking to a well-dressed older man.  Upon approaching don Jorge the man left and smiled as he passed by me.

I asked don Jorge who he was and he said that he was a man of substantial means in the city who owned a number of properties and was from a good family.  I mentioned to don Jorge in passing that this man must be a large blessing to don Jorge as he had the means to help on a regular basis this very poor older man.  His answer surprised me!

In looking up at me he said that rarely this man gave him anything and only every other month or so he might give him a pound of dried beans.  I was saddened by the look in don Jorge’s face as he shared this with me.

I looked down as I thought of myself that very morning as I had approached don Jorge.  I only had paper money in my wallet and no coins to share so I had had the thought of stopping before and changing one bill for smaller coins.  God spoke to me and said not to withhold from those that needed my help so after he shared about the rich man’s story I gave him the bill and asked that God bless his day.

 I left the richest of the three for in giving to the poor we are lending to the Lord.  See Proverbs 19:17.  In closing another Bible story came to mind.  Click here to read about the rich man and Lazarus.

We at SOR Mission are doing what we can to help those like don Jorge and on a daily basis we reach out to others just like don Jorge.  Thanks for your partnership in helping us to help people like don Jorge.

How one person is making a difference (August 5, 2016)

The theme “Missions” encompasses many things and has many varied facets.  Today there are a lot of people in the church who are focused on mission and what they should be doing to reach out to those who haven’t heard of about Jesus and the forgiveness, grace and loving acceptance that he offers those who come to him.  See Matthew 11:28-29.

For some they realize, that because of family responsibilities, commitments at home, financial debt and many other reasons that they are not able to go and be a cross cultural missionary and to serve in another culture not their own.

We at SOR Mission work extensively in the Central American Republics of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica where we share the light of Jesus through hospital visitation, home Biblestudies, discipleship, micro enterprise projects, home construction, child sponsorship and many other areas where we lift up the importance of each individual with who we work.  To God every life matters.  Every life!

We are excited to have mission partners at home where they share some of  their time in promoting our various mission projects.  One such person is Mike who runs a food cart and is known as the Dog Father.  His dogs are the best and he offers a nice menu of various types of hotdogs as well as some great toppings. He can be found around Whatcom County, WA as well as on Facebook at Street Dogz  by clicking here.

You can catch him this weekend, Friday, August 05 at the showing of: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE which is featuring a vintage VW show from local group, Kulshan Kombis on the rooftop of downtown parking garage in B’ham.
The Academy Award winning film that follows the quirky Hoover family on an 800-mile journey in their yellow Volkswagen Van to a beauty pageant in California. Mark your calendars for two more Friday nights this summer: August 5 and August 19 and join us on the rooftop of the Parkade at 1300 Commercial St. The movies start at dusk.

Saturday, August 6th at Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema, Bellingham, WA is where you’ll find Mike tomorrow night offering Bellingham’s best dogs from his food cart. 

Bellingham’s summer outdoor movie series is the Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema Presented by old friend from Habitat for Humanity, Ben Kinney & Keller Williams Realty.  Weekly events feature outdoor entertainment and big screen movies in the park. 2016 is the seventeenth season of the Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema.  This summer’s events run on Saturday evenings throughout the rest of August 2016 at the Fairhaven Village Green on the corner of 10th St. and Mill Ave. in Bellingham, WA.

Talk to Mike and let him know you heard about his work with SOR Mission in helping us to build affordable and safe housing and micro finance projects for the poor in Honduras and Nicaragua as well as our SOR Mission  “Mother Teresa” Justice program at local hospitals in Costa Rica. Ask him for a flier that he carries and promotes to those who frequent his stand.

You can give him some cash or a check for our mission’s work  directly to him and he’ll get it to us.  Thanks for your interest and support of missions!

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND.

The Art of Simplicity and Contentment (7-3-16)

Geraldo the Car WatcherIn taking my morning walk/run I often meet some interesting people and as a result I learn of their life story and their culture.  On my walking route I stop most days to greet my friend Gerald  who I met one day on my morning walk.  He kind of guards the cars that park on the street on the block that he watches over. Most people leave him a few Costa Rican “colones” for “guarding” their car while they leave it parked on the city street.  You will probably never see this in Canada or the USA, but it’s common here in Central America and it’s a way for some of these people to survive.  Gerald, for instance, is a retired man of about 75 who receives a pension of about $140USD/month.  Obviously this is not enough to support his wife and himself.  He says he makes between $15-$18/day working from about 9 to 6:30 six days a week.  He radiates good health and his smile is warm and friendly.  He has a zest for life and accepts himself having to work each day as a guard to being able to survive.  He sees this as enjoyable and it gives him a reason to get up every morning.  He says that it’s his calling.  He thanks God each morning he say for giving him the energy and health to head downtown to  guard cars.

For those of us living in or from countries where the standard of living is much  higher we wonder how a person like Gerald can make it.  Well, he doesn’t have a car, doesn’t have a house of 100 meters2, or takes vacations outside of his immediate city.  This is the only way he can make it.

In meeting Gerald and getting to know him a bit I see a lot of  contentment in him and it reminds me of the verse in the Bible that states, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.”  Philippians 4:11.  He thanks God for the circumstances that God has put in his life and he sees it as a reason to get up every morning after 75 years of life and go out to do what he sees as his calling.

Lastly, the Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:5 to Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,   “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Indeed this speaks of Gerald as he is content with what little he has and he knows that God will never forsake him.  He is a thankful person as he sees the Lord as his provider.  It states that God will never leave nor forsake us.

Let’s make today a day of thanksgiving for what we have and how God has taken care of us.  To God be the glory for the things he has done.

 

On Sunday, June 19th, Father’s Day is celebrated in Canada, USA, Mexico and Costa Rica (6-18-16)

Fathers_Day_Centennial_2010On Sunday, June 19th, we will celebrate 116th Father’s Day in the US. It is also celebrated on the same day in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Great Britain. In 1909 a Spokane, WA woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910 while Marion E. Hay was the 7th Governor of Washington State.
It’s a day to visit our fathers or to recollect some thoughts and memories about our fathers and the roles they played in shaping our lives over the years. For some, Father’s Day is not an overly joyous day as some haven’t had a good relationship with their father. Several other friends have mentioned that they hardly recall much about their dads as they were gone so much from home they really never really got to know them. Others like me lost their father while I was fairly young and thus never had a chance to establish a strong relationship with him as an adult.
However, no matter what our past has been like, I would like to share a few characteristics of what I see that my father had. I see some of these characteristics also in my Heavenly Father who has loved me since I was formed in my mother’s womb. Psalms139. My loving Heavenly Father hasn’t stopped loving and encouraging me to continue on doing what I’m doing as a missionary in Central America.
My father made a few mistakes through the years but he was gentle in correcting mine. He would listen to me and encouraged me to talk to him about things unlike myJohn Deere 60 Father's Day favorite uncle who at times only wanted me to listen. From my father I learned the early steps to living a positive life and being a good example to others. My father never put me down by calling me stupid or dumb even though I wasn’t able to figure out some of the things he tried to explain to me about crop cycles and our John Deere equipment.
So what have my kids learned from their father? It might show me what was important to me during the time they were being raised in the family home. What did your father stress to you as being so important? My friend Marlin, when we’re together, and I talk about the work ethic that our fathers left us. That too is something I remember.
We never had much concerning this world’s possessions but *never once did he say to Wood Pile Father's Dayme that we were poor and underprivileged even though I had to chop the wood to feed the stove we used to heat the entire house during those cold northeaster nights. *Even today, in working with so many people who have very limited opportunities, I still find the key to helping them to make changes in their lives is to show them that they are not poor but just have limited resources. We teach them to be creative. Those without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ are the true poor.
My dad wanted me to be an engineer rather than a fun loving artist as a youth or a missionary as I matured. He taught me to read the signs of the seasons and when to “feel” when it was the proper time to plant the crops. He did so without too many lengthy conversations. He never seemed to carry any bitterness from his past nor about not being able to finish university because of having to help support some of his family. He did teach me that I should attend church but he never went himself. After a difficult time during my youth and young adulthood, I finally came to know my wonderful loving and caring Heavenly Father. My earthly father brought me a great distance but I had to walk across the starting line on my own to initiate this walk of faith that I have embarked on.
How was your childhood? Did you have a father present? Was he there for you when you needed that support? Did he teach you the things you needed to know? Maybe you’re one who is now saying that he wasn’t there for you and you still feel the pain from his absence, his abuse or his manner of putting you down.
If you are feeling pain I gently ask you to talk with our Heavenly Father who wants toProdigal Son by Rembrandt listen to you and help you to forgive your earthly father for the pain he caused you. I also know that it’s hard to talk with your Heavenly Father knowing you couldn’t trust your earthly father; however, forgiving your father will be so freeing. To not forgive him is like a cancer that only consumes our strength and one day will destroy us if we do nothing. This picture by Rembrandt expresses the pain/relief of the prodigal son’s return home.
If he is still alive and you’re able to contact him, I would encourage you to do so. Give him a call this weekend to say hello. If that’s too difficult you can send him an email or a text message thanking him for a few good things he might have done for you. This will help to restore the relationship that you both need. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring so doing it now is a great choice.
I’ve heard several people that I know who have commented to me about the intense pain they have felt knowing their father died before they could express their forgiveness. Life is too short to carry bitterness with us all the way to our grave. Let God help you to forgive him and to restore you and fill you with the joy he wants to do as your loving Heavenly Father.

 

Saint Thomas the Apostle to IndiaThomas putting finger in Jesus side by Caravaggio

April 6, 2016 is called the Sunday of St. Thomas, named after one of Jesus’  Apostles.  When Jesus manifested himself to the disciples in Jerusalem for the first time on Easter Sunday after his bodily resurrection Thomas was not present. Read here  John 20 about the resurrection and then go to our Today page to read the full story that was written about it.

Thomas had said to his fellow disciples that in order for him to believe that Jesus had indeed been resurrected from the dead, he needed to see the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and feet and to thrust his hand into the wound made by the Roman spear. He truly was a man who needed to be shown and convinced as to the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The account goes on to say that after seeing Jesus scars, as the Italian painter Caravaggio depicted in his 1602 painting shown here, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”

One might ask, “Does the resurrection really matter”? Why is it important to me as a believer to Empty tombmake it so important in my life? It’s because our thoughts concerning the resurrection will influence how live my life here. Paul tells us in Romans 8:5 that those who live according to their human desires think only about their current life here but those who live according to God’s way of thinking, that is, according to the Power of the Resurrection, don’t concentrate their thinking on today but rather their emphasis is on the life to come. This emphasis will influence their daily decisions in life. The desire of their heart will be to glorify God with their lives. They will often think that what their friends need most is be reconciled with Jesus our Savior and Lord. Much like Thomas, our life will reflect what Thomas said so many years ago, “My Lord and my God”!

After Thomas exclaimed that he was in the presence of God, let’s look at what happened afterwards to Thomas when Jesus was caught up into heaven after his earthly work was completed. We see in Thomas’s actions that the Resurrection does determine what you do with your life. What did Thomas do afterwards with his? Did he continue on doubting and making excuses as to why he did nothing?

Eusebius_of_CaesareaEusebius of Caesarea, who undertook to write a history of the early Church lived between the years 260-340 AD. He wrote a detailed history of the early church and because of it he’s thought of as the father of church history, however, he was as much a maker of history as a recorder of it.
In his history of the church he quotes Origin who wrote about Thomas around 215 AD, that Thomas was the apostle to the people of India. Tradition says that the apostle Thomas died a martyr by the thrust of a non-believers spear rather than denounce his faith in the risen Christ.

This is why we state that your belief in the resurrection really does determine what you do.
I ask, if Thomas had not seen Jesus in his resurrected body and not touched him, would he have gone to India preaching something that he knew wasn’t true?

Believe! and let the power of the resurrected Christ empower you to live your life fully for Him. If you haven’t been reconciled with God through Jesus Christ, you can pray now for Christ to reconcile you to fellowship with him so that he can send you the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to lead and direct you in the path of doing what’s right.

This path of righteousness is where we’ll find peace, joy and a deep sense of knowing that we’ve connected with the Eternal God manifested in Jesus Christ our Savior. He’s the way the truth and the life. No one comes to God without going through Jesus Christ.

 Seeds of Righteousness Christmas Wish List 2015

1. We help children stay in school. In January we will need to purchase school uniforms and school supplies for each student we help. $75.00 will outfit one student for the school year that ends in December 2016. This falls under the category of Mercy.

2. We hire local labor in Honduras to work on our projects. You can hireJuan & Humberto get the project staarted an unemployed brick layer for a week for $125 and help his family as well as the local economy as well as his tithe to the church.

3. If building is your fancy, then $0.75 buys one cement building block. You can multiply this number by any amount you wish and donate this to our ministry of construction.

4. If you have a year horizon, we need sponsors for a student to stay in school. $35 monthly can keep your child in school for a year until December 2016. We can send pictures and keep you in touch with your child.

5. Alexandra’s Christmas party for children is next week. She needs an additional $100 to fund this IMAG2508event.

6. $20 can buy office supplies for the SOR Mission office for a month. This would be a blessing.

7. $200 can fund a single mother with a micro enterprise 0% loan. This can be donated on a monthly basis to help a woman such as Silvia or can be given over time to start someone in their own small home business.

8. $10 can fund one visit to the orphanage for Alexandra as she provides treats and teaching materials for the children.

All of these items can be funded through our online e-giving at www.sormission.org or through PayPal at sormission@gmail.com or at our mailing address: 177 Suite #200 Kentucky St. Bellingham, WA 98225

So what is our responsibility and what should I do? (8-1-15)

Bestia Train heading northFrom what I see in northern Central America,  there are two primary reasons why people leave for the United States. This forces a question! Why do so many youth and adults place themselves in harm’s way in trying to get to the States?

Crime and poverty at home and the perceived leniency once they make it across the border have inspired many in Central America to risk the trip. Shown here is the train called, The Beast” that runs from southern Mexico north.  Many Central Americans board trains like these heading  north with hopes for a better life up north in “Los United”  Unfortunately, some who board these trains never make it to the land of promise nor do they ever return home.  They merely become another unknown sad statistic!

In addition the poverty that so many live under in these countries is also forcing them to make the trip out of sheerAlmighty $ dominates desperation. One question I leave with you is, What can we do as Christians to help those who are our brothers and sisters in the faith to help them to so that they can  improve their lives”? 

If you should choose to help be a part of the solution rather than being a part of the silent majority not doing nearly enough you can  go directly to our online secure giving site. You can Click here!

As Isaiah said, “here am I Lord, send me” Isaiah 6:8.  

The UN listed Honduras as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. The latest reports say there is a homicide rate of 90 killings per 100,000 residents. El Salvador has 41 per 100,000 residents. The United States, in comparison, has about 4.7 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Costa Rica has 8.5 and Canada is very low at 1.6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

I quote all of this to say that our solution can’t merely be to build a higher fence or place more guards at the southernBorder Fence borders of the USA to keep everyone out but rather we as the Church need to be made aware of our neighbors living situations where because of corruption and injustices many will never be able to achieve any semblance of what we call the “dream’ that for many in North America is assumed.

Christ of the breadline Fritz EichenburgI believe that Jesus, here shown in an etching by Fritz Eichenburg waiting in a bread line, wants us to be his person to the hurting of the world where they will see Jesus in us. Our hands of mercy reaching out to the poor and our encouragement along with our financial help to provide situations, such as affordable housing or micro enterprise, that can help them rise above their current level of poverty is what God calls us to do. Jesus says in John 12:24-26 that whoever serves him (a true disciple) must follow him and where Jesus would hang out, that’s where he wants us to hang out. John 12:24-26.

What is God calling you to do? Where is your ministry and outreach? Is God calling you to live more simply so as to be able to help others? How do I live more simply?  When we find our calling we will indeed be, as musicians often times say, “in the pocket” where our ministry, work, recreation and live is viewed as one item and our identity is wrapped up in all of them.

 

What can we learn from 5 de Mayo? ~Other than eating some delicious Mexican food today? (5-5-2015)

Puebla battlefield 5-5-1862On May 5th 1862 the Mexican Army attacked an advancing French force in a town called Puebla, Mexico and even though they were greatly outnumbered and were taking on a well trained French Army of superior strength they were still able to win the battle. The year before, France, England and Spain had formed a Tripartite Force to require Mexico to repay the large debt owed to these European countries. This practice continues to the present day with rich nations exacting payments and trade treaties from the poorer nations around the globe. We continue to see the negative effects of this even today in Central America with the nightmarish demands that came from the United Fruit Company and others.

It was discovered that Napoleon of France not only wanted to have the French debt repaid, but he also wanted to setCinco de Mayo Battle of Puebla up a puppet government in Mexico because at the time the US forces were waging a long and gruesome Civil War. He thought that seeing the US attention was diverted to this war he could take advantage of the American distraction and extend the French empire to Mexico under Maximilian as Emperor.
Interestingly enough later on, even though the Mexican forces well outnumbered the French forces, the French were able to march on Mexico City where they set up the puppet government placing Maximilian as Emperor on April 10, 1864. He was later executed by the legitimate National Mexican Government on June 19, 1867.
Cinco de Mayo Chavez posterSo why do we celebrate 5 de Mayo in the US more so than what it’s celebrated in Mexico where the events occurred? It was promoted by various Chicano’s, including Cesar Chavez (United Farm Workers), living in the USA as a way to recognize the large and important impact Mexican labour was having on the US market. It was a way of showing to North Americans that Mexico has played an important part in the formation of a great nation.
Today however Cinco de Mayo is another way to celebrate with some great Mexican food and beverages. There are several pictures posted on this page as to menu ideas to serve or make for this day of celebration. Refried beans with cheese quesadillas or below some Cinco de Mayo Guacamoledelicious guacamole with avocado, green chilies and onion or lastly a delicious glass of horchata (agua de arroz) that will make anyone want to come back for more. *Note* keep the avocado seeds in the guacamole after preparing it as this prevents the avocado from turning black after opening the fruit or storing the “leftovers” in the frig overnight!!!
So what is the Christian perspective of this story? At times in our lives we’re tempted to give up or choose an easier way to reach our goal because we also see an opposing force that we think is superior to what we are able to do. The task seems so impossible even though we’ve been directed by the LORD to march in and achieve the goal. The circumstances appear larger than our abilities or the “reality” that we see around us. This reminds me of the 10 spies that Moses sent out to look over the promised land before the conquest. It was only Caleb and Joshua that came back with a positive report. The others reported that there were giants in the land and they were like grasshoppers compared to the people living there.
Cinco de Mayo beansWhen the Mexican force under a young 33 year old general, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín, attacked they were going against a superior French well trained force and odds were not in their favour to win. We too need to remember that greater is the faith that Jesus gives us than the circumstances we see with our eyes. By faith we as Christians can and do inherit the promises of God in all their fullness. I believe God wants us to step out now in faith to overcome that obstacle that is in our path today. Cinco de Mayo Orchata
Our website readership is wide and extensive including people from Nairobi, Kenya to Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada to Paris, France and all those the other countries in between. Consider the claims of Christ today and find a Bible in your first language and begin by reading in the book of Saint John, chapter 1, in the New Testament. It will change your life as you humbly pray for God to reveal the truth of his inspired word to you today.

Is the Accumulation of wealth an indication of happiness (2-18-2015)

John D. RockefellerIn the early 1900’s John D. Rockefeller of the USA company Standard Oil had an estimated self worth of one billion dollars. In today’s world that would make him the world’s richest man of modern times. ($365 Billion in 2007 dollars) I’ll never forget hearing the story about one time when he was asked by a young news reporter how much money he would consider as having enough? His reply was just a little bit more!
I wonder if any of us will ever have enough money to think we’ve arrived? I wonder if havingMasai Tribesman more money makes a person happier or does it have the opposite effect? In working with the poor as we do at SOR Mission, I see an abundance of happiness in spite of their economic stress from lack of resources.
A Forbes 400 richest list study found the same happiness quotient with the Masai tribe of rural Kenya as those of the Forbes richest list. The Masai people have no electricity or running water and still they ranked equal as being happy or content with what they had.
New Years Eve @ Gloria'sFurther research has shown that spending your expendable income on experiences (short term mission project) and/or on helping others such as we do at SOR Mission, gives a higher sense of satisfaction than spending the equivalent on your personal purchases.
So what are we involved in at SOR Mission? Helping young mothers at various hospitals, visiting the poor, helping children to get an education, helping families obtain a small affordable house that they can make into a home. This all takes money of which there is plenty around to finance these projects. We have to realize where our happiness and our treasures are…in helping others who are unable to help themselves at this point in their lives. Our satisfaction quotient will soar to new heights.

Gallo Pinto recipe de SOR Mission(1-29-2015)

Gallo Pinto2 tbs. oil (olive oil or canola oil)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cooked white or brown rice
2 cups cooked black beans, drained
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2-3 tbs Lizano Sauce  (see below)
1 small tomato diced into squares (if desired)
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro

 

Mangos in all their gloryHeat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
Add onion and sauté until they just begin to soften and turns color
Then add garlic and sauté for an additional 5 minutes or until both are golden.
Add spices and Salsa Lizano (see picture below), and stir into the onions & garlic.
Next, add the beans and then the rice. Add diced tomatoes (if desired)

Combine the rice and beans evenly and cook until mixture is heated    Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.  Garnish with some chopped cilantro or green onions if you prefer.

Remember the Lizano Sauce can be purchased now in a good number Latin American Groceries or on-line.  It adds agallo pinto 3 great dimension.  If unavailable you can add Worcestershire Sause if Lizano Sauce is unavailable.   You can add a tropical to add additional nutrients to your meal by purchasing several tropical mango’s shown above for your meal.

As you enjoy your Gallo pinto, think and pray over the mission work of SOR Mission to Central America.  If you really loved the recipe you can go to donate now and partner withthe mission with a donation of $5.00 or more for the joy this recipe brought you today.  If you are interested in receiving our monthly email updates please reply below and your name can be added.  We do not spam nor sell our lists to anyone.  Blessings!

Some thoughts on New Year Resolutions and life changes (1-15-15)

Editor: Sorry I have no corresponding pictures to dress up this article this evening.  I trust that for the serious student who wants to learn about making changes in their life, this should be interesting reading.

Over the years, having done a fresh set of goals each year, I have come to see several important factors that have helped me to actually incorporate some of these resolutions into my actual life habits that have taken me to new heights in my personal development.

I set down for you as a Christian, that is, one who acknowledges that we are created beings by a Prime Creator God – Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and was resurrected the third day. He always has our best in store for us as we seek him.

1. A new challenge in 2015 requires us to develop a new set of fresh perspectives. Each year presents new challenges and also new ways of achieving these goals. (See Philippians 3:13)

2. Let faith construct your new perspectives. The Bible says that man without God’s direction merely moves on sight and not on the reality of what is. As we live our lives in faith (See definition) we realize that our perspectives change for the better as we begin to see a new reality built on faith in the Almighty God. (See Hebrews 11:3)

3. Faith & hard work go hand in hand. Often times we sit back “in faith” waiting for the results to pop up on the flat screen before us. Our time on the “couch” hasn’t brought us closer to the new reality. I have found that faith must be accompanied by active works that are directed by the faith that our compass has been set by. (See James 2:14-18)
4. Let God give you the final results. Rather than manipulating results, we rest in the Almighty to provide the results that he wants us to have. The Bible tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

5. God is seldom early but never late. Many years ago as started believing in God for new perspectives and goals for my new Christian life often times I thought that where was God and if he was going to make a fool of me for believing something that was impossible or difficult. However, listen closely, God is more concerned about you building faith in your life than you looking good or foolish to others. The Christian life is one of faith. I have truly found that God is seldom early so that my faith grows but never late so that I can continue growing and walking in this life of faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Alexandra and Mateo’s Christmas Wish List for SOR Mission(12-18-14)

1. Alexandra is involved with a local church’s Sunday school program to help them to reach out to the local children of the barrio. Each Sunday she spends $10 for materials or approximately $40.00 per month. A $10.00 stocking stuffer will be appreciated.
2. Mateo is looking for two people to sponsor two students to complete their year of high school starting in February. Monthly expenses are $40.00 per child for the 10 month school year beginning in February and running through November.
3. Alexandra and Hannah teach 5 weekly Bible studies in various homes throughout San Ramon. They bring a few “treats” along with something to drinks. Each week costs them about $20.00. You could sponsor a week or a month of their Biblestudies. Go to donate now and scroll down to Mercy.
4. A Honduran family in need of housing. Three people who can commit to $50.00 per month for a year will help Mateo get this family of 4 into a 450 sq. ft. home with a 0% interest loan. If you have an interest in helping, please send Mateo an email or give him a call.
5. Alexandra’s hospital ministry is a deep blessing to the ladies of San Ramon. Her ministry extends beyond the hospital walls and your stocking stuffer of $25.00 will help cover some of her miscellaneous expenses for her Justice Ministry. In 2015 maybe you might consider making a commitment to be a monthly online partner. This will be a huge blessing for Alexandra. Go to donate now and scroll down to Justice. Send Alex an email after.
6. The downtown church in Tegucigalpa has been “roughed in” for occupancy where Mateo preached a dedication service for the new sanctuary on December 7th. To pay off the mission’s commitment for materials that we have purchased to date we need an additional $1500 to pay in full the sanctuary rough in cost. A $10, $25, $50 or even a $100 donation for blocks, tile, sand or grout will be appreciated as we look ahead to put on the finishing touches on the sanctuary.
7. We work under the direction of Seeds of Righteousness Mission as faith missionaries. God has been faithful this past year in meeting our expenses. We will end 2014 with a $1400 balance in our personal account. As we look ahead to 2015 we pray that God will provide additional monthly partners that can support us personally SOR Mission pays our out of pocket expenses for ministry as well as gives each of us a small salary. Any designated funds that we receive at SOR Mission are used only for the designated purpose. Our personal expense must come to us directly. Thank you for giving us all together a wonderful year as we have seen people born into the kingdom, disciples made and people’s personal lives changed due to the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ that you have helped us to present.
Joyfully submitted for your consideration,

Mateo & Alexandra

Do we help or do we enable those in need around us ? (10-27-2014)

San RamonAt Seeds of Righteousness Mission (SOR Mission) we face daily the question…”are we helping or are we enabling the poor we work with”? This question gives us all  something to think about and respond to. Is our financial assistance through food, clothing or paying a utility bill helping someone to leave their poverty behind or are we merely enabling them to become dependent on us to help them. This excludes of course situations that are of immediate need and requiring our attention to help someone who simply cannot help themselves at that moment.

Does our assistance teach them a new way of thinking or does our help allow them to remain in the prison of their old way of thinking. If this occurs it allows them to remain in their mental poverty even though they have been helped and shown ways to escape their situation.
So what is the difference between helping and enabling, or is there really a difference? What is enabling? What are the causes and effects of thisHonduras Trip 018behavior on both the “enabler” and the person being “helped”? Helping is doing something for someone else that they are unable to do for themselves such as buying a basket of food when they are without work. Enabling is doing something for them that they can and should be doing for themselves such as looking for work if they are unemployed. So why do we continue to be confused between the two?

At SOR Mission we have daily opportunities to help those around us. I would like to share two situations that have similarities but our response has been different. This might give you an insight into what it means to help verses what it means to enable dependence.
Alexandra met “Carla” a week ago and found out that she is a 27 year old pregnant female with 3 children. She has no means of support and Alex was not sure as to how much if any, did the 2-3 different fathers help with the support of the children. She asked Alex for assistance and after talking with our Costa Rican pastor decided the following course of action.

Little girl from barrioWe would help with paying one of the two past due electricity bills that she had. This was immediate assistance. We would go with her and we would pay the bill at the store. We would then invite her to join us at our community church where she could become acquainted with a loving community of people who would be willing to help her as they could. If she came to our church we would, through the church, help her with some food and counseling concerning getting the men to step up to the plate to support their children. We would also help her with a 0% loan to buy material that she could use to make figurines that she could sell to begin helping herself. It all depends on her to make a step towards assistance after we make the initial step.  We believe in her case to just pay her bills, give her family food to eat and take them under our wing so to speak will only enable her to continue asking and building a dependence on our giving. This is what we do not want to do.

The second case involves helping a family with a 0% loan to start a small business in their home.  In this case the family is motivated to pursue

this plan. Once the business in up and running they will make monthly payments to SOR Mission to repay the loan we give them for their business. In the past they have been very responsible in smaller matters thus proving to us their willingness to partner with SOR Mission in this business enterprise. We believe we are helping this family to help themselves.

We still need $450 to fully fund this project that will cost SOR Mission $750. They will repay at $32/month until paid off.  By your partnership and giving your gift continues to give as they repay the mission, the money can be reused to assist another family with a 0% interest loan for a small business enterprise.

Please consider

So what is life without a life (10-14-14)

???????????????????????????????Recently while I was in Honduras I ran across this graffiti along one of the busy streets.  If you’ve ever been in Tegucigalpa, you would know that it takes a daily dose of heavy prayer and driving like a maniac like everyone else so you can reach your destination.  Can you imagine that I was in the middle of the street on the yellow line trying to get this picture because it says exactly what I have believed all my life.  I thought, as cars raced by, that just maybe the first part of this saying might come true….death!  However the second line really explained why I was in the middle of that busy street dodging all the cars taking this photo.  I was living a life that was being lived.  That’s been my life statement.

So what does the graffiti say in English?  It says that I don’t fear death but rather I fear a life that’s not being lived”. Jesus said that the thief had come to rob, steal and destroy, but that  he had come to give us life in all its fullnessJohn 10:10.

So why do so many of us live in fear of dying or simply fear of not living?  I’ve heard it said that a life consisting of  safe routines is like aMeres Leaving behind my heart. cemetery with lights.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t have basic routines in our lives.  We all do and we depend on these routines to get us through the day.  However, I am saying that over stressing a life of only safe routines can prevent us from living an abundant life that’s full of meaning and deep purpose as we’re led by God’s Spirit  each day.  It’s like the guy I knew who strongly disliked his job but sadly he said to me a few weeks before I left my position moving on to something else, “In only 20 more years I can retire with a great pension!”  Can you imagine going to work for 5,280 more days and dislikng what you’re doing for all that time.  Is that living a life of abundance or working in a cemetery with lights?

I have often pondered this as I see so many people in various cultures living this kind of a life.  Maybe you too have seen people like this.  It says in 1 John 4:18 that one who is fearful has not been made perfect in God’s love.  I believe that as we allow God’s love to overshadow us as well as indwell us, we will find that the life we begin living doesn’t have a lot of room for the various suitcases of fear that some of us carry around with us each day.   Perfect love casts out fear because in reality what’s worse, a life never lived or living life to its fullest as we’re led by God’s Spirit.

I want to encourage you to seek the Lord in the Scriptures and read what the prophets of old have to say about Yahweh and the love that he has for each of us.  I personally love the book of Isaiah. 

Have your steps been directed lately? (9-24-14)

ArrivalIn returning recently from Honduras I had an interesting experience at the airport in Costa Rica passing through immigration. God seems to place us at the right place at the right time even though at times we’re not very happy to be at that precise spot.
Upon returning to CR I was questioned by immigration why I didn’t have a return ticket back to Honduras seeing that I was a resident of that country. The official said that my options were to either go back to Honduras or buy a one-way ticket out of Costa Rica. I think by now you are getting the full picture as to how I was beginning to feel. I had entered every month seeing I had applied for residency and as a result I had never had a problem. Why now and why the big deal? My frustration was growing by the minute with visions of paying double for a one way ticket out of Costa Rica. Suddenly an interesting thought entered my mind!!!!!
“Just maybe this was a divine encounter moment that God provided for me to share with someone he wanted me to share with” I thought! God Cloudsbegan by bringing alongside a wonderful guy from immigration who helped me through the problem and in so doing, he confided in me that the agent that had refused me entry into Costa Rica had gone through some very deep loses in his family through a traffic accident.
Once we were able to obtain a one-way no cost paper commitment to fly out of CR within 45 days, I returned to the agent to have my passport stamped and once there I shared with him the deep loss experienced by Alexandra in losing three family members in three weeks.
Passport stampsHe politely listened and then, looking directly at him, I said that my return to his booth was a divine encounter orchestrated by God so that I could share with him the hope we have in Jesus Christ and further as it states in 2 Corinthian 1:3-4, to give him the comfort that he needed. He listened to me very intensely when I said that the only lasting solution to his grief was opening his life and heart to the healing that only God can give.
Once the conversation was over and my passport stamped I shook his hand and thanked him for allowing me to share a few thoughts. It then hit me just how precise is the timing of our Creator God. It’s a joy to serve him in this capacity as an ambassador of reconciliation.

 

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15″

Fathers_Day_Centennial_2010On Sunday, June 15th, we will celebrate 114th Father’s Day in the US. It is also celebrated on the same day in Canada, Costa Rica and Great Britain. In 1909 a Spokane, WA woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910 while Marion E. Hay was the 7th Governor of Washington State.
It’s a day to visit our fathers or to recollect some thoughts and memories about our fathers and the roles they played in shaping our lives over the years. For some, Father’s Day is not an overly joyous day as some haven’t had a good relationship with their father. Several other friends have mentioned that they hardly recall much about their dads as they were gone so much from home they really never really got to know them. Others like me lost their father while I was fairly young and thus never had a chance to establish a strong relationship with him as an adult.
However, no matter what our past has been like, I would like to share a few characteristics of what I see that my father had. I see some of these characteristics also in my Heavenly Father who has loved me since I was formed in my mother’s womb. Psalms139. My loving Heavenly Father hasn’t stopped loving and encouraging me to continue on doing what I’m doing as a missionary in Central America.
My father made a few mistakes through the years but he was gentle in correcting mine. He would listen to me and encouraged me to talk to him about things unlike myJohn Deere 60 Father's Day favorite uncle who at times only wanted me to listen. From my father I learned the early steps to living a positive life and being a good example to others. My father never put me down by calling me stupid or dumb even though I wasn’t able to figure out some of the things he tried to explain to me about crop cycles and our John Deere equipment.
So what have my kids learned from their father? It might show me what was important to me during the time they were being raised in the family home. What did your father stress to you as being so important? My friend Marlin, when we’re together, and I talk about the work ethic that our fathers left us. That too is something I remember.
We never had much concerning this world’s possessions but *never once did he say to Wood Pile Father's Dayme that we were poor and underprivileged even though I had to chop the wood to feed the stove we used to heat the entire house during those cold northeaster nights. *Even today, in working with so many people who have very limited opportunities, I still find the key to helping them to make changes in their lives is to show them that they are not poor but just have limited resources. We teach them to be creative. Those without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ are the true poor.
My dad wanted me to be an engineer rather than a fun loving artist as a youth or a missionary as I matured. He taught me to read the signs of the seasons and when to “feel” when it was the proper time to plant the crops. He did so without too many lengthy conversations. He never seemed to carry any bitterness from his past nor about not being able to finish university because of having to help support some of his family. He did teach me that I should attend church but he never went himself. After a difficult time during my youth and young adulthood, I finally came to know my wonderful loving and caring Heavenly Father. My earthly father brought me a great distance but I had to walk across the starting line on my own to initiate this walk of faith that I have embarked on.
How was your childhood? Did you have a father present? Was he there for you when you needed that support? Did he teach you the things you needed to know? Maybe you’re one who is now saying that he wasn’t there for you and you still feel the pain from his absence, his abuse or his manner of putting you down.
If you are feeling pain I gently ask you to talk with our Heavenly Father who wants toProdigal Son by Rembrandt listen to you and help you to forgive your earthly father for the pain he caused you. I also know that it’s hard to talk with your Heavenly Father knowing you couldn’t trust your earthly father; however, forgiving your father will be so freeing. To not forgive him is like a cancer that only consumes our strength and one day will destroy us if we do nothing. This picture by Rembrandt expresses the pain/relief of the prodigal son’s return home.
If he is still alive and you’re able to contact him, I would encourage you to do so. Give him a call this weekend to say hello. If that’s too difficult you can send him an email or a text message thanking him for a few good things he might have done for you. This will help to restore the relationship that you both need. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring so doing it now is a great choice.
I’ve heard several people that I know who have commented to me about the intense pain they have felt knowing their father died before they could express their forgiveness. Life is too short to carry bitterness with us all the way to our grave. Let God help you to forgive him and to restore you and fill you with the joy he wants to do as your loving Heavenly Father.

Do we turn the other cheek or do we retaliate? (6-8-2014)

Jesus, during his earthly ministry, taught extensively about forgiveness and also the power that forgiveness can give to all of us if we would follow his commands. The Bible is full of examples of kindness that was shown to those who normally wouldn’t have expected to receive kindness.
Good SamaritanOne example of kindness and forgiveness is the Good Samaritan who stopped by to render aid to the Jewish man who had been set upon by robbers. Other Jews had passed by without stopping but he stopped even though the Samaritans were hatred by the Jews. How easy it would have been to merely justify not stopping by the thought of the national hatred one group of people have for another. In today’s world there are so many examples of national hatreds that our world is so full of hate and Jesus’ teaching of love and forgiveness has been forgotten. The Samaritan did a true act of kindness of the type that Jesus was teaching. Read the account here.
Some months ago I was set upon by robbers as well and thanks to God’s grace and wisdom I was able to get out of that situation with no long lasting effects. However afterwards I felt a sadness for the young men whose lives reflected such an emptiness. The sadness I felt for them was much stronger than the dislike that one might normally feel. I had no strong desire that justice be done.
Recently I was able to help our local church near where the assault took place with helping those on the street with the purchase of food that the church could prepare and offer to those who were hungry. This group of the poor and hungry included the young men who had assaulted me.
What a joy to know that I had an opportunity to live out Jesus command to turn the other cheek and to go a step further showing kindness to those who had evil intentions.
I thank God that I had the opportunity to bless those who assaulted me rather than being consumed with the desire for Justice.
If you would like to help us with another Sunday’s food purchase for feeding those on the street you can partner with us in a variety of ways. Here online via Egiving or you can go to our Contact us page for other options. May God give us all a spirit of sharing that breaks down the walls that resentment, misunderstandings and the lack of forgiveness have built up over the years.

Why is an abundant heart so contagious? (5-29-14)

 

Sunrise on eastern mts near our homeThis morning I was awakened by the sun streaming in my window from on high. It was if the Prime Mover was saying to me, “Rise up and face the new day that I’ve made for you”! As I awoke and was making my early morning cup of Chai tea, I heard the church bells ringing in the distance as I was standing in the patio door with the sun beginning its day over the world around me. Does life get any better than this?

This mornings devotion revealed some thoughts of David in Psalms 66:16 that says, “Come and hear, all you who fear God and I will declare what He has done for my soul”. As I stood there in the doorway reflecting on this verse of Scripture, I was moved to just thank God for indeed he has done so much for my soul. My soul is plump and well fed thanks to the goodness of our God. And because of this fullness of soul, I want to declare what He has done for me.

This declaration of God’s goodness in my soul is evangelism. So often evangelism is thought of as something one should do as a Christian but yet the average Christian dreads doing so. Shouldn’t telling someone that I go to church on Sundays suffice in telling others that Jesus is my Lord? However, I believe this verse goes so much further than that in explaining to us just what evangelism is. When David speaks of the fullness of his soul, just what is he telling us?

Matthew speaks in his gospel that “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”! (Luke 6:45) I believe that David’s Psalm and Matthew’s quote

of Jesus go hand in hand. What Matthew is saying is that what we place in our soul, i.e. what’s important to us, will come out of our mouths. Just spend a little time with someone listening to them as they talk and it won’t take long to decipher just what is in their soul because you can hear them talking about it. This verse in David’s Psalm then tells us a lot about David and his walk with God.

David says to come and listen to what I have to say because you are going to hear what God has done and IS doing in his life. His soul was full of God events that had impacted his life. This is what I would call extreme evangelism! Evangelism at its most powerful moment where the believer relates to the unbeliever what God is currently doing in their life.

We often think that a community so self sufficient doesn’t have an interest in God’s presence in their life. Just look around and you can see the emptiness in the lives of people who are not disciples of Jesus. Mastercard and the access to credit and more materialism will never satisfy the deep longing of the human soul.

cloudsToday, I want to encourage all of us to allow God to have the opportunity to do amazing things in our lives; where we allow God to do impossible “acts of grace” in our lives so that our witness and testimony is magnified. Allowing God to work in our life by putting us in difficult situations allows him to work out these acts of grace where my soul will magnify his name.
Depending on our gifts and God’s calling for our lives, God has placed me in Central America, namely Honduras and Costa Rica where I am forced to depend on him for direction, safety and support.  Looking for safety somewhere does not force me to have to  call out for more of his grace to bring me through the situation. I love where I work and share the passion that God has placed in my heart.  Continue to pray for SOR Mission’s work in Costa Rica and Honduras.  Your prayers, your volunteer time in coming to help and donations allow us to be your hands extended here in this needy part of the world.  Check out our other pages on this site.  Direct donations can be made with our online Egiving site.

The Queen of the Night (5-1-2014)

I am writing to mention another item that I wanted to bring to your attention today. I had one of the brothers at our church figure out a budget for us to put in a ceiling in a part of a lady’s home. Her name is Flower and her little house is located in San Ramon, Costa Rica. Starting May 11th, Caleb, Lorenzo, a member of a team coming down and I will be working on putting in this ceiling.

Various Costa Rica 218You might be wondering why the title of this article is Queen of the Night.  Well there is this beautiful plant that grows in the tropical climate of Costa Rica and one plants grows near Flower’s house.  It is called the Queen of the night because of the absolutely wonderful smell of the flowers of this shrub.  The flowers only smell at night and its very deceptive as the beautiful odor is only masked by the fact that this bush and flowers contain several very toxic chemicals that are used in pesticides.  Don’t smell too long or you can become a victim.

Flower, however is to us a real queen as she has been a faithful lady at the church for many years, cooking, cleaning & helping where she could but now suffers horribly from Fibromyalgia which is heightened by the cold that comes in at night from her exposed tin laminate roof. One of the causes, interestingly, is linked to fatigue as she has over the years as a single mother worked both for herself and faithfully at the church.

We would like to help her and I believe we’re God’s agents to do so. We need $266.00 to put in a ceiling in her bedroom, the bath, kitchenVarious Costa Rica 174 and living room. The room of her two kids will not be repaired. See what you can do and I believe one way or another God will help us to help her when the team arrives. All the materials are available in San Ramon except maybe a tool or two that I will look for elsewhere.
If you should choose to help at this time you could do so in a variety of ways. Prayer for the Lord to use our time to bless her is most important. Donate here on our website or go to our Contact us page for using Paypal or to obtain our mailing address for sending in a check to our mission.

“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness,and your night will become like the noonday.. Isaiah 58:10

To Believe or Not Believe, That is the Resurrection (4-27-14)

Jesus & Thomas 1602 by CaravaggioThomas said to his fellow disciples that in order to believe he needed to see the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and feet and to thrust his hand into the wound made by the Roman spear. He truly was a man who needed to shown and convinced as to the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
The account goes on to say that after seeing Jesus, as the Italian painter Caravaggio depicted in his painting done in 1602, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
One might ask, “Does the resurrection really matter”? Why is it important to me as a believer to make it so important in my life? It’s because the Resurrection determines how we think. Paul tells us in Romans 8:5 that those who live according to their human desires think only about their current life but those who live according to God’s way of thinking, that is, according to the Power of the Resurrection, don’t concentrate their thinking on today but their emphasis is about the life to come. The desire of their heart is to glorify God with their lives. They often think that what their friends need most is to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Much like Thomas when he said, “My Lord and my God”!
After Thomas exclaimed that he was in the presence of God, let’s look at what happened afterwards when Jesus was caught up into heaven after his earthly work was completed. We see in Thomas’s actions that the Resurrection determines what you do with your life. What did Thomas do afterwards? Did he continue on doubting and making excuses as to why he did nothing?

Eusebius of Caesarea, who undertook to write a history of the early Church lived between the years 260-340 AD. He wrote a detailed historyEusibius of the early church. For this ten-volume work about the church after the resurrection Eusebius is known as the father of church history, however, he was as much a maker of history as a recorder of it.
In his history of the church he quotes Origin who wrote about Thomas around 215 AD that Thomas was the apostle to the people of India. Tradition says that the apostle Thomas died a martyr by the thrust of a non-believers spear rather than denounce his faith in the risen Christ. This is why we state that your belief in the resurrection really does determine what you do.
I ask, if Thomas had not seen Jesus in his resurrected body and not touched him, would he have gone to India preaching something that he knew wasn’t true? Believe my friend and let the power of the resurrected Savior empower you to live your life fully for Him. If you haven’t believe you can pray now for Christ to forgive your sin and for Him to send you the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to lead and direct you in paths of righteousness. The path of righteousness is where we’ll find peace, joy and a deep sense of that we’ve connected with the Eternal God manifested in Jesus Christ our Savior. He’s the way the truth and the life. No one comes to God without going through Jesus Christ.

Easter 2014 -The Reality of Eternal Life

Jesus Christ's Empty TombAs we celebrate Easter 2014, 1,981 years after the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we remember a German named Dietrich Bonhoeffer who seriously put his faith in Jesus Christ and believed that because of the resurrection he had nothing to fear in this life.
When he could have stayed in the USA during WWII to lead a congregation of believers, he returned to his native Germany during the early days of WWII to battle against the evil empire that was raging at that time in Germany. Adolph Hitler was born 125 years ago today, April 20, 1889.  April 20, 1945, was going to be his last birthday celebration that he was going to have  with his close friends in his bunker under Berlin after having Bonhoeffer put to death just 11 days prior. It had been discovered that Bonhoeffer was involved in a plot to kill him and in his rage had Bonhoeffer hanged April 9, 1945 at the Flossenburg Concentration Camp.
Bonhoeffer was a brilliant young pastor and a theologian, whose deep faith in God led him to get involved in the plot to kill Hitler because heDietrich Bonhoeffer wanted to help stop the terrible carnage against the Jews that Hitler had named their “final solution”. Major injustices should motivate all of us as Christians to action against such evil that we see in the world. By all accounts, Bonhoeffer went to his death with the peace of God, with no regrets. How can that be? Just before he died, Bonhoeffer told a fellow prisoner, “This is the end. But for me, the beginning of life.”
Amazon SmileYou can go to Amazon Smile to purchase the book he wrote that is a classic today, “The Cost of Discipleship”  Just mention Seeds of Righteousness and a small portion will be sent to us.  Amazon Smile is the same as Amazon but Amazon Smile helps non profits such as ours with a small donation for your regular purchases.
Bonhoeffer believed the Easter story. He actually believed the extraordinary story of God’s coming to Earth and dying and then rising from the dead to defeat death forever. He believed that because this was true, he need never fear death. All he needed to worry about was doing the right thing and trusting God with the results.
Because Bonhoeffer believed these things he had the courage to do what almost no one else around him could do. He stood up for the Jews of Europe and today he is remembered because of it. We too need to stand up against the injustice we see happening around us in the world today.

Excerpts taken from “The man who defeated Adolf Hitler” by Eric Metaxas, Published April 21, 2012.

The Nature of  “that which appears” (3-28-2014)

ArroganceOf sins that the Bible mentions, perhaps the most self-destructive is the sin of being arrogant. This type involves not only a pattern of contempt for what the other person is, but also is a response to the demands of a materialistic culture, such as is in Canada, The United States or Brazil. The proud have pride and an inordinate desire of being preferred more than others. We find that behind this personality hides fear. It’s a fear that motivates each act of arrogance– the fear of not being accepted, considered, respected or loved.

The word in its Latin origin means “that which appears” or in other words “that which appears as more than it is”  such arrogantas arrogance and  haughtiness . The definition is then the “inordinate desire of one’s own excellence.”  Being arrogant is basically the desire to rise above others. However, let’s not confuse this with ones desire to improve their basic life position or their abilities.  Study carefully the definition.  It’s a desire that puts others down so that you can rise above those who are then below you.

  • The Apostle James says that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6) .
  • Jesus Christ was quoted as saying, “If anyone wishes to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
  • Today let’s find ways to serve others instead of looking for ways that others can serve us. Let’s look at how we can be servants rather than demanding that others serve us or  that we are always right.  Let’s let God be glorified in our lives.
  • This is what we teach and attempt to exemplify with those we work with at SOR Mission.  You can do it where you are today as well, whether it be Brazil, Canada, Honduras or the United States.  Wherever we are God expects us to be his servant in serving those who are around us. Those who need an encouraging word, a hand up in life or a basket of basic food commodities.  Let’s all lend a hand to those who need to be served today.

Mango Season in the Tropics and other thoughts (3-6-14)

Mangos in SeasonIt’s the beginning of the local mango season in Costa Rica and Honduras.  They are still a bit green and those early ripe ones are a bit expensive for our budget but we’re buying a few to get ready for the days when they will be selling for three for $1 in the farmers markets around Costa Rica.

Now for those of you accustomed to eating mangos that have been picked green and shipped a few thousand miles north, you might not realize the absolute joy of biting into a tree ripe mango and enjoying the tropical flavours that come alive with each bite.  This is what make the tropics so alluring to those of us born in the Northern Hemisphere.

While working in Thailand as a missionary some years ago I learned to enjoy the mango season with a bit of “sticky rice” and Mangos and Sticky Ricecoconut milk.  Sticky rice is glutinous rice that once cooked becomes quite sticky and forms into a nice shape that you can serve  along with fresh sliced mango’s accompanied with coconut milk poured over the rice.  Once you’ve had it you’re hooked.  The combination is delightful.  You must try it if you have a chance.

These delicious treats are a sharp contrast to the desperateness of the life of the poor in Costa Rica and Honduras.  These people are simply without options and often without any food to eat in the house because of the lack of work and opportunity.

Little girl from barrioEach week we meet and visit with people that need so much help.  We try to coordinate with the local churches we work with in Honduras and Costa Rica.  We purchase a basket of basic food supplies for the family and while visiting we will read a Scripture passage as well as praying for God’s grace to be evident in this home.  We invite them out to the local church if they do not presently attend a church of their own.  These “Click for St. Nick” type baskets of basic food items cost us about $35 each. Maybe you might want to buy one.  If so go to donate now and there scroll down to Mercy and there make your donation for the purchase of one basket.

The diet of a family such as these is quite basic and it doesn’t have much variety to it; basically it’s beans, rice and spaghetti along with “masa” for making some tortillas.  Their diet doesn’t include many mango’s but they do get a chance to enjoy  some of these  cheap and delicious mango’s from time to time.


How do we deal with Loss (1-21-14)

The Good Shepard CroppedWe all must consider our humanity knowing that each one of us will  face the inevitable day when we ourselves or someone near to us will pass on to Eternity. Our work at Seeds is to enable those we work with to fully understand how one can be assured of living in Eternity in the presence of God.  For those of us left behind, how do we deal with this loss of those near and dear to us who pass on to face Eternity.  There is a wonderful passage in John that talks about this.  

One of our missionaries at Seeds recently faced a tremendous loss in their life.  They lost their grandmother, mother and older sister all within a matter of 20 days.  How would you face such a loss?  Can meaning and purpose still remain for the person who has faced such a deep loss?

Our faith must be deep in Jesus Christ to help face this deep crisis.  Only he can put our life back together again after such a traumatic loss as this person faced recently.  Counseling and therapy all help but without deep faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and  thus for us as well, it would be very difficult to mend all these broken pieces.  You can partner with us to pray for our missionary partner who is passing through the valley of the “Shadow of Death”Read the passage in Psalms 23 here.

So what does a mushroom have to do with “Sticks and Stones breaking my bones”  (10-15-2013)

Mushroom Chanterelles in woodsSo just what is a saprophyte and what does it have to do sticks and stones from the above rhyme?  In Ephesians 4:29 the Apostle Paul tells us to not allow any “saprophytic or decayed speech” to come out of our mouths.  Wow, what’s he saying anyway?  To understand Paul’s command to us we need to understand just what a saprophyte is and what its characteristics are.

First of all, a saprophyte is a mushroom  or fungus that get its nourishment from dead or decaying organic Mushroom Sulfur or Chickenmatter such as the leaves and dead material on the forest floor.  They can’t produce their own nutrients within themselves so they are forced to look elsewhere for their life support.

To apply the above we’re told to not use foul or abusive language. Let everything we say be good and helpful, so that our words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. This thought was taken from Ephesians 4:29. (NLT)

The application of all the above would be to not make it our habit or custom to use words that destroy or tear down those who hear us speak.  Our words should not discourage those around us but rather encourage them to excel and become better people because of our encouragement.

Yelling pictureWhen we hear words that really put us down we might respond by saying laughingly, “sticks and stones can break by bones, but words will never hurt me” Do we really believe this?

Our words, as a Christian, should be an encouragement; words that bring life to those who hear them.  Our words need to edify others and cause them to want to become better people after hearing our positive words.  This is especially true with our children.  They need a daily dose of honest positive affirmation rather than our cruel and damaging remarks that tend to put them down.

Friends from Tegus 043With those we work with in Tegucigalpa, this is so needed because so many have lived their entire lives listening to negative comments and put downs by those around them.  To love them as Jesus sees them is our work here in Central America.  We see outward results but there is no higher compliment than to know from someone near you that you are loved of God and by the person telling you so.

If you would like to help we can always use a helping hand to help us do what we’re called to do.  Go to contact us page to see how you can be a part of this ministry or simply go to donate now to give us a boost to help others here with life support.

Maracuyá – Passion Fruit from the Tropics (10-8-2013)

Maracuyá or Passion Fruit – Characteristics

This delicious tropical fruit, according to Mateo, like the picture shows is a yellow (in Central America) round fruit that is quite edible howbeit quite acidic and tart; reflecting it high Vitamin C content (71mg/serving).  The black crunchy seeds are enveloped by an orange coloured liquid which is as I mentioned above is quite tart and sour.  In some parts of the Tropics they are called granadillas but in Central America I’ve always known them as maracuyá.

 

The fruit consists primarily of water which accounts for almost a third of its weight.  Don’t lose faith Maracuyá cross sectionthough as this liquid is very high in minerals such as Potassium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. In addition it contains more than your daily dose of vitamin C (71mgs) and on top of all that it has vitamin A and Beta carotene’s to boot.  It also is very high in fiber (24.5grams/serving) and I personally love to munch the seeds as I consume my tropical treat.  For me as a vegetarian, the iron in maracuyá helps me to consume a daily minimum of iron.  I do so with a healthy diet of broccoli and beets, both as well are high in plant based non-heme iron.  Come visit and we’ll offer you a nice drink of maracuyá!

Visit our other pages on our website to see just what one can do if they set their heart on helping others.  You can too.  Please communicate with us if you have a chance.  Go to our contact us now page to find our email address. We invite you to become a frequent visitor to our site to read our weekly updates and encouraging messages from the Scriptures and the heart of Mateo who expresses clearly what God has to say through him to those needing an encouraging word.  Follow us and like us also at SOR Mission At Work on Facebook.

 

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Friendship (9-15-2013)

6Having just returned from a trip to the US and Canada I wanted to reflect on the theme of friendship and the value it hold for those of us blessed with having friends.  My time north was made interesting, fun and supportive by all the encouragement, coffee breaks and meals we were able to enjoy from many of you!

I felt your level of caring by what you did and it encouraged  me greatly to return to continue our ministry to those needing love and encouragement. There’s a time for words but there’s also much more time needed for actions like you did for us while home.  I want to encourage all of us to continue to reaching out to someone that we suspect is in need or simply spending lots of time alone.  Our words and actions can make a large difference in their lives.   Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”  If you would like to leave a comment for me please scroll down to the bottom of the page to do so.  I also enjoy an encouraging word.

Joyfully

Mateo

“Live Free or Die”   (8-20-13)

The State Motto of New Hampshire is “Live Free or Die” written by General John Stark, 31 July 1809.  It was the 1945 Legislature that gave New Hampshire its official motto as World War II approached a successful end for the Allies.

The motto was part of a volunteer toast which General Stark sent to his wartime comrades, in which he declined an invitation to head up a 32nd anniversary reunion of the 1777 Battle of Bennington, Vermont, because of poor health. The toast said in full: Live Free or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils.”

Galatians 5:1 Christ has made us really free. So, stay free! Do not let yourselves be made slaves again.

Jesus called the crowd and his students together and told them:

“If you want to be my follower, you’ll have to put your willingness to be executed for treason against your overlords ahead of your own concerns to follow me. If you’re concerned with saving your own skin, you’re as good as dead. But whoever dies for me and for the sake of this mission will really live. What’s it worth to have the whole world if you’re dead? Really, what will you trade your life away for? Whoever is embarrassed by their association with me and what I say because you want to fit in with all the cheating and corruption going on – the chosen one will consider them embarrassments when that one comes with the splendor of God commanding heaven’s legions.”  Mark 8:34-38

Taking up your cross is not putting up with your kids’ mess nor is it having to chair the church supper committee because no one else will do it. Jesus isn’t talking here about these small concerns.  His focus is on something greater and far more important – the eternal state of all humankind.

The cross was a punishment reserved by the Roman Empire for a very specific crime: Treason against the empire by a non-citizen. In other words, for rebels convicted of trying to take down the empire. This was what Jesus was convicted of, and Jesus’ sentence: rebellion.

In that context what he has to say about “taking up a cross” makes sense in the same way as New Hampshire’s state motto coined during the American Revolution: Live free or die.

What’s there in living as a slave if you can’t be who you are really meant to be? That’s Jesus’ question. Having lots of stuff doesn’t change the basic equation of life. People who have tons of stuff you’d think would be overwhelmingly happy but in fact many have led lonely and addicted lives. Michael Jackson. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Seattle’s Jimi Hendrixs, Rap star Lil Snupe, actors Charlie Sheen and Marilyn Monroe. Even superstar Elvis Presley died a tragic death.  The list goes on and on. The whole world was eating out of the palm of their hands but they were as good as dead. They weren’t living free!

On the other hand, there are others who didn’t have much money or education but they attempted to change the world for the Gospel sake. Many of us might not recognize their names. They didn’t tend to call much attention to themselves because they knew it wasn’t about them. But every now and then we learn of their names: Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Oscar Romero, Eric Liddell, Mother Teresa and Nate Saint.

What are we willing to give our life for?  We can’t hold on to our physical life forever so what will we do with the years we have? What meaning will our short span of years have on those who survive us?  Jesus says that to follow him we can’t just go through the motions, but rather we have to live the life of Jesus daily.  We are called to live free in Him and it’s only us who can make that decision.  We are called to make a difference.  At times this means making some people uncomfortable – people who want us to play church, occupy ourselves with trivial pursuits and stay in our place and be quiet and don’t rock the boat so to speak.  They want our silence and they offer us rejection if we speak up too much.

Please scroll to bottom of page to leave your comment.  Thanks

Our choice is to live free or die.
Jesus reaffirms it by telling us to live for Him and die to ourselves.

Meeting with our Women’s Barrette Making Project (8-10-2013)

Today was a wonderful day of ministry.  We met with the “Polygon Ministry -Ministero Polígono” and encouraged them in their work of The Polygon Group making bowsmaking barrettes for sale and working to support their families.  We talked today from John 10:10. Jesus said that he had come to give us life and to give it abundantly.  Seems kind of funny doesn’t it for these women to say they have an abundant life living where they do. Several shared that last night’s heavy rains flooded their homes and filled them with mud that they had to clean up this morning…

This barrio is also suffering from a high incidence of Dengue Fever.   Each one shared that knowing Jesus and having a deep sense of his presence in their lives gives them that peace and sense of an abundant life.  Several shared that living a life containing suffering now meant that they would share even more in the glory that is to come in eternity.  How true and strong is their faith.  As North American’s many of us think that an abundant life has lots of exotic experiences and more cash than days in the month as abundance.  Here’s it’s just the opposite.  More Bible based I believe!

The Children in WorshipLater after spending time with the children at the Saturday afternoon mission and greeting many of them with smiles and hugs we got back into the truck once again for the trip off the mountain with the 4×4 engaged for the trip down over difficult terrain.  Here we don’t 4×4 for fun but as missionaries it’s for ministry and necessity.  In getting back to paved roads again I broke the front suspension due to amazing ups and downs over boulders and ravines dug out from last night’s downpours.  The truck began pulling sharply to the right.

I stopped thinking it was a flat tire but realized then that the suspension was damaged on the roads and we had stopped in a very dangerous area.  I couldn’t wait there so we prayed and drove off for a safer location.  Once arriving I thanked God that he brought me and my 3 passengers safely to a place where I could park the truck and call some friends for assistance.

I called my dear Catholic mechanic friend Dago who came out to see what he could do.   He left saying that he’d be back before a “long hour” was FC #2, FC #1 and Bow ladies 042up with tools to see what he could do.  Moments like this are moments that one shouldn’t stress out but rather see the hand of God in all of this.  Dago returned and the truck suspension got fixed and we were able to return home later.

It was interesting as we stood and watched Dago do his “magic” with his trained hands on the front suspension of the truck.  As we stood there we realized how different things are here compared to Canada and the US.  He came out from home to help us on a Saturday night.  Secondly, he did it in the parking lot of a local mall and thirdly while there standing we realized how vulnerable we were to danger as the sun set and the night sky began spreading over the earth.  Lastly we shared with Dago that his work as a mechanic helping us and Alex’s as Mother Teresa at the Intercity and mine with the outlying barrios all shared equally in the Master’s rewards.

It truly was an interesting day but I wouldn’t have exchanged it for anything more sedate or uneventful.  Putting our faith on the front line gives us a certain sense of being in the presence of Jesus as He in reality was here in Spirit with us today as we ministered.  What a joy ruled in my heart today.

Thoughts of a recent Volunteer with SOR Mission.(7-18-13)

Today at FC2 with children, Eric's shoes & women's crafts 009Since I was a girl, I have dreamed of being a missionary. The lofty plan I developed was that I would go to college and become a doctor, a teacher and a wildlife biologist. My ultimate goal was to live and work in the bush of Africa, loving people and animals and sharing God’s Word. I didn’t settle into a career as a missionary, yet throughout my adult life I still have had the stirrings to do mission work. Whenever I looked at traditional “mission calls” none fit who I was or the skills I had to offer. In time and with God’s leading, I realized I didn’t need to be a doctor, a nurse, an administrator or any other profession that typically fits right into a “mission call”. The only thing I had to do was honor the passions and talents that God created me with and have a heart to share His love while impacting the lives of others. Out of my passions, I founded My Will To Survive – Personal Safety/Survival Training, a not for profit, that provides personal safety and survival training to women both in the States, in Haiti, and now in Honduras. It’s amazing to me how when we are faithful and trust in God’s timing, he opens doors and provides opportunity for us to serve. As doors in Haiti closed for 2013, a partnership with Seeds of Righteousness Mission sparked and I was lead to Honduras.
In all my travels, in all the Personal Safety/Survival Trainings I have conducted, I have found that women truly are wonderfully and beautifully made.  Although we all come in different packages, possess a variety of interests and are stirred by different issues, we all have a similar spirit and heart. God created women as the pinnacle of His creation. Unfortunately often is the case that society lies and demeans our value. Sadder yet, we believe these lies. My goal in coming to Honduras was to love women and remind them of their value and to offer them skills that could be used to defend themselves from physical attack.
While in Honduras I taught a group of women in the city a 90 minute class on Personal Safety/Survival Skills. Something that always intrigues Tegus in April through May Team 2 026me is how quiet and timid women are when they first come to a training. I’m not sure if it’s out of uncertainty or pure fear of what the class will contain, but there is always tension in the air. This was true of the women of Tegucigalpa. But as I taught, I watched as one by one every woman’s body posture relaxed, she began nodding her head in agreement to information I offered, she smiled back at me, and even offered a thought or a personal story. At the point in the training when we were to get active and practice physical skills, the women excitedly jumped up and listened intently for information that they knew had the potential to save their life. Except for the fact that this training was in Spanish, I could have easily been training a group of women in the States or in Haiti. We laughed together. We trusted each other with our vulnerabilities and fears. We were open about the reality of violence. Every woman left our 90 minutes together feeling stronger and more confident in her ability and right to defend herself. Most importantly, we removed the lie that this world tells about our value and beauty. Each of us are created in God’s image. We are designed uniquely for His purpose that only we can fulfill. Many of the women nodded intently and even offered a few “Amens!” to these facts. But based on reactions, this may have been the first time some heard that they are beautiful. That they have value. That they are worth fighting for. To God be the glory!
Submitted by Erin our June Volunteer
Note: Go to our Get Involved Page and it you are being called to a short term mission project much like Erin was involved in, please let us know.  Our email addresses are available at our Contact us now page.  If you are moved to donate to help this ministry please go to Donate now and after putting in your personal data scroll down to the area of your choice.  In addition we offer you the opportunity to donate through PayPal using our email address located on the Contact us now page.
Thanks
Webpage Editor

What constitutes a meaningful existence? (6-27-13)

                                         “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so,people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” Eccl 3:11

Recently after  in depth conversations with a few people that the Almighty had brought me in contact with,  I  thought over a number of things that I had heard during these conversations. Just now have I been able to express them and place them here and on Facebook at SOR Mission At Work.  In talking with these friends of mine I was taken back and kind of amazed as to how much importance and energy some people can place on today and its daily routine.  This focus on the material existence of life with its passing fashions, customs and latest trends in fact had a rather unsettling effect on my spirit.  The result it had was to encourage me to return to a time in my life where I too attempted to live, without success,  this kind of life that was so devoid of deep meaning and purpose.

I  found that  these thoughts about living merely a life of materialism and acquisition led me to even more deeply desire a future that includes Eternity as its leading front edge.  It led me to the above verse that says that it was God Himself who led me to seek the Eternal as He had placed Eternity in my heart at my conception.  (See Psalms 139:16)

This leads me to deeply desire to live today with my eyes on the future when God will lead me into Eternity that God gives to those who humbly ask.

Sowing Seeds of righteousness in my friend and brother Hermano Franklin (6-15-13)

Franklin & IIt was two years ago that I came to Honduras to do a short term mission trip to help rebuild the walls of a feeding centre in the hills overlooking Tegucigalpa. On one of the Sundays that I preached in the downtown church I prayed for a young man to receive Christ as his Savior.  I prayed for this man to receive Christ and had almost forgotten about that evening when his life changed 100%. (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Several weeks ago he reminded me that he was one of the people I had prayed for to receive Jesus as his Savior.  That evening together with his two friends Victor and Carlos, Franklin and I celebrated the moment and smiled together as we talked about the new life in Christ that he now enjoyed with his two friends.

Now two years later what’s happened in the life of Franklin that makes me so proud of him?  To start he has grown in the Lord and I see evidence of this in his Christian walk.  He was married recently to the women he has a child with and here in Honduras that is a big step both spiritually as well as financially.

Over the last few months, Franklin and I have met a few times with these two friends of his from work that he’s been talking to about the Lord Victor, Carlos & Iand now we meet fairly often to talk about the Bible and the Christian walk of faith.

I have friendships with a few other men here in Tegus and I am so proud of each one as they grow and mature in Jesus Christ as disciples.  I have seen some of them develop more Godly character and over time they have gotten more involved in the work of the Lord here in Tegus.  These are the moments that make a missionary so joyful knowing these men are sowing seeds of righteousness that have an eternal benefit.

 

 

What we did Yesterday (5-29-2013)

Today I’m headed out to purchase and distribute three basic food packages ($37 each) for three families who are hurting and beyond being desperate.  They have mouths to feed and no employment for the last month and nothing appearing on the horizon for the parents. One mother needs a pair of shoes for her 13 year old son to attend classes.  He’s been warned twice and he will not be allowed back in with flips.

Merlin in B & WThese families are faithful in the church and one of the three families has two adult children with learning disabilities.  These children are so wonderful and every time we meet up “Kevin” gives me a big hug and smile.  These are the ones we’re called to serve alongside to help in ways available to us as missionaries.

This particular family was one that we helped last Christmas through our “Click for St. Nick” program that we used to put basic food baskets into the hands of the very poorest of the poor that we work with on a daily basis.

Like this little girl in the picture wearing my baseball hat, she will receive a pair of flips and her mother some food to help them for a time. It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.

I have heard the argument that why give them food because they will just be hungry again before too long.  We’re  just giving help that will be continuously needed so to speak.  One can certainly think like that but then again to think like that really runs contrary to what the parable of the Good Samaritan on the road to Jericho is all about. (Luke 10:25-37 English) (Luke 10 in Spanish)

Likewise, helping like we do doesn’t take into account the possibility that this might be a temporary situation until they find steady work or other means of income.  Our prayers for them can have a huge impact on their lives as they dedicate themselves more fully to the Lord.  Our God does answer prayer!

On the “flipside” of this is the story of how one team member from our recent group that came to Honduras brought with her materials to use in the making of bows for girls and women’s hair.  We all thought that it was an excellent idea for a home business where any amount of money the mothers can make will help tremendously the family to survive.  We hope to have two mother trained in the making of the bows with one Honduran lady teaching them the “how to” in making them.  We will encourage them in the selling and distribution of their products.

These are the small success stories that we love to pass on to you for your encouragement as you give to help this ministry.  Thank you for your involvement with Seeds, as every person we help together is a person blessed by the Lord through your hands reaching down the continent to Central America.

 Team Report from Tegucigalpa, Honduras (5-25-2013)

May I present you.....Our May team consisting of LeAnne, Elizabeth, Melissa and Danielle have returned to their respective homes but they left a large impact on the women and children with whom they ministered to while with the Seeds team working in Tegucigalpa.   Their days were focused on ministry with those they came to serve.  Both mornings and afternoons were spent sharing their love, the clothing that they brought with them or their testimony with those they were sharing with.  In summary they had a large impact on those they ministered to and we are looking forward to hosting this team again when they are able to return to Honduras.
Teams such as theirs have a large impact upon the local community as they share from their hearts what God has done, what He is doing and what they expect in faith that He will continue to do in their lives for them.
You too might pray about forming a mission team to come join us for a week of ministry.  If you happen to know these people you might talk with them to gain insight and encouragement to continue on the path towards holiness and service.
Additional pictures of their ministry here are located on the picture page of our website.
Joyfully in Service,
Mateo

Serving the Children of Honduras (5-18-2013)

Team visiting Derling on his birthdayToday the first activity of the team was to visit a young boy for his birthday and to have a little celebration of this event.  The team accompanied by Alexandra had a nice visit with this young boy and the team was able to gain a bit more insight into the lives of the average Honduran.

This afternoon the team led the afternoon children’s meeting at one of the local churches we help out at.  It was great to see all the children again and to introduce them to the team.  As we discussed later, things are so different in Honduras as compared  to the US.  The level of need in Honduras is so acute as compared to the States.  There is no safety net in this area. Our help is so appreciated – and needed!

There was a family mentioned today to us that the children and family don’t have anything to eat nor do they have adequate clothing to wear.  This FC#2 Children waiting for church to startwould come as a shock to many living in a developed nation but here its not so uncommon.  The situation for so many is desperate and they simply don’t know where to turn as there is no work and no network provided by the government to help them through these difficult times. It can complicate our work in that where does one direct the assistance we can give.  We depend on God daily to lead and direct us to helping those with great need.  Your financial help is also so appreciated.  You can click on donate now or you can go to our contact us page to see other options available to help us to help others.

Women Serving other Women (5-17-13)

Group in Front of altar at BasilicaToday a team of women arrived to help our mission to help the women of Honduras.  This team is comprised of Elizabeth, LeAnne, Melissa and Danielle.  These four women have come to help make a difference in the lives of other women that Seeds is working with.  As our mission is so named, Seeds of Righteousness,  they are here to plant seeds of righteousness and hope.  As Hosea 10:12 states, they are here to sow seeds of righteousness in the lives of the women that they have come to serve.  As Jesus said in John 12:24 unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  Those people who die to self and come to serve others in whatever way God chooses, are indeed going to produce an abundant harvest.  These ladies are here to do just that.   You can see some pictures of the days activities at our Picture Page on this website.  If you are challenged by what we are doing to help, you can contact us about doing a short term mission and also you can leave a donation through various means that we have provided.  See Donate Now or go to our Contact us page.

Joyfully,Mateo

May Day – May 1, 2013

labor-dayMay 1st is known as Labour Day in many countries around the world including Honduras where it is called the “Day of the Worker”.  It is celebrated as a national holiday in Honduras.  This day is not generally celebrated as a day of organized labour in Canada or the United States.

The most generally accepted origin of May 1st as the day of the worker came from some socialistic countries commemorating the actions by a group of Chicago, IL, USA workers who organized a general strike for May 1, 1886 to demand an eight (8) hour workday.  The strike in Haymarket Square on that day ended in violence after a dynamite bomb was thrown at Chicago police officers with the result of one officer killed in line of duty.  As a result of this and other factors, the US chose to celebrate this day in September instead.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mateo

 

The Dewey Difference (4-22-2013)

FC#2 and Deweys Testamony 015This evening Dewey gave a great presentation on having success in marriage based on his 40+ years of marriage.  He talked using scripture from I Corinthians 13 as well as Ephesians 5 and I Peter 2.  The church well received his teaching and the evening ended with the church asking questions of Dewey as to his success with his marriage.

Many questions were asked about topics ranging from an unbelieving husband, dealing with a marriage without love, husband or wife not having any interest in keeping the marriage going as well as dealing with a “macho” husband unwilling to bend.

The study was translated by Mateo and Alexandra from SOR Mission for the mission speaker.

Afterwards coffee and conversation followed.  A nice evening was had and the Biblical truth of marriage, love and respect was well discussed.  If you are having problems in your marriage seek counsel from a trusted friend or seek the counsel of your pastor or priest.  If you don’t attend church and don’t know of anyone nearby, drop an email and we will help you to find help.

Tomorrow is being Prepared Today (4-20-2013)

Tomorrow  is just around the corner and as it has been said many times before that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow as it won’t change the day any and we should instead focus our attention on today so as to get the most from it.

Bunk Bed, FC#2 Build 055Tomorrow I will take the men’s team up to the worksite to work in the morning as we attempt to keep on tract for the construction project and while there we’ll be sharing during the work day our thoughts on the evening message that we’ll be presenting at one of the local churches where I teach and disciple a number of people.

We have learned so many insights into tomorrow’s message from the worksite and hope to share them with the brothers and sisters at the church.  Tonight we’ll rest assured that God’s message will help us to learn to set aside the rocks and debris that gets in our way as we live today for His highest purpose.

Keep your eyes on the goal and not on the ruts in the road and it makes for a more pleasant drive!

Mateo

“Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 NLT 

(4-9-2013)

Flight #1540 with the “red button” –  The Complete Article

It all began good enough as we left Houston flying to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  We were leaving on a morning flight that would get us into our home city before lunch.  We even began to discuss what we might buy at the market to have at home for lunch after our friend Chad picked us up from Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa.  Take off was smooth in our Boeing 737 and as we reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 ft. I hauled out my computer to work on some paperwork before arriving home from a very busy time in Washington state.

Alexandra adelante avionAfter the announcement came on that we would begin our descent in approximately 10 minutes into the Tegucigalpa  Tocontin Airport I began to put away my laptop and prepare myself for going through immigration and customs.  That’s when the PA came on and the captain’s calming voice said that a red light had come on and they needed to do a prudent landing in San Pedro Sula, Honduras instead of directly into our destination city.  They said it was only precautionary move and after fixing the problem we would soon be on our way once again to our destination.  Well that’s what he had said would happen!

We waited on board for a fairly long time while they worked away on the red light and the engine problem it addressed  before being told we should take our carry on bags with us into the airport because they wanted us to wait in the boarding area for our flight.  This should have been a tip off but…..

As we waited in the boarding area for the news we looked around to see what, if anything was available for eating as it was now past lunch and we hadn’t eaten for nearly 5 hours.  I saw one place offering the typical junk food such as white bread cheese sandwich, soda and chips and to cap it off a processed chocolate chip cookie guaranteed to last for 5 years without refrigeration.  Now that sounded delicious but instead I decided on a cup of coffee to hold me over until we reached our destination.

A short time later a loudspeaker came on that sounded like a person who had their hands over the microphone saying that for our safety and comfort the red light was a little harder to fix than previously thought and it might be some time before take off once again  and they that needed to do a test flight before loading us on board again.  They were saying they needed  more testing and  so they needed to …….(here you can insert your own reason!) In other words, don’t expect to see that plane anytime soon.  As it turned out, the postings kept coming delaying our arrival in Tocontín by 30-45 minutes each time.

As more time passed, Alex and I were tempted to be lulled to sleep in the warm small waiting area that we were in; suddenly there was a rush of people passing by in front of us with their bags heading to some destination outside of our full view.  In recognizing one older lady from our flight who had her carry on in one hand with her pull behind suitcase smoking from the high velocity of speed that she was obtaining in hopes of beating out men and women half her age to wherever she was going.  Alex commented that she didn’t ever want to get in front of that lady as she might become a stampede victim at some later hour that day.

Check in CounterWe got up with all our 6 bags on a cart designed for 2 and followed the crowd.  We were only able to get within 30 feet or so of the check in counter for another airline (One of maybe 5-6 that fly into this airport).  There we watched an interesting scene of people trying to yell at the Airline Representatives about this unfolding event.  They were either trying to get close to her physically or yell louder than the person next to them so as to get her attention.  As I fought my way forward with my camera in hand and ready I though the people might think I was the press and would give me room to move forward  but rather an airline representative looked at me sternly and yelled that if I didn’t put away my camera they would call the police and have me arrested.  I kind of smiled and wondered how it would look on this site to report “Missionary arrested attempting to talk with Airline Representative”.   I retreated back to the protection of the cart that by this time was feeling its age from the rust brought on by the tropical heat and humidity.

After 30 minutes of waiting we realized after talking to another airline representative that they were going to fly us on to our destination and our bags were going to be checked back in for this flight. Therefore, as “typical happy passengers” of this airline, we patiently waited for this to occur.

Sometime later we noticed that people were making space for us to move up in the line and I thought that actual progress was being made.  A short time later Alexandra said to me that I should look behind us and there the people were forming a new line near the exit doors of the airport to the street.  So being an inquisitive fellow I decided to ask once again what the airlines plan was now.  Upon asking I was told by a happier airline representative that we were all going to be transported by an “executive bus service” to the airport that we were supposed to land at some 4 hours prior.  Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone has to add adjectives to the name of something, it kind of makes me nervous.  So in my mind I had it second guessed correctly as the Non Executive, Executive Bus Service”.

Seeing that by this time we were both getting quite hungry Alex went in search of something that we could take on the “Executive Bus” to eat as they said it would be a four hour bus ride to the airport we had planned on landing at.  It was at this precise moment that one of the “lemmings” 
 
Noun
  1. A small, short-tailed, thickset rodent (Lemmus, Dicrostonyx, and other genera, family Muridae) found in the Arctic tundra. The Norway…
  2. A person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, esp. a headlong rush to destruction

decided to make a mad dash towards where the buses were going to appear and as a result I got crushed in the squeeze of the people rushing to be the first in line in an attempt to beat the older lady who had her steely grey eyes fixed on the door of the now present bus to beat everyone there.

Bus Ride and other shots since 4-2-13 360When Alexandra returned she found me in the rear of the line with our tired cart of 5 bags plus me pulling the sixth one behind me in an attempt to make it to the bus.  Upon getting near I was told, “Sorry! This bus is full”.   Later the second bus arrived and thanks to a very helpful local Honduran man we obtained seats behind the driver of the second bus.    These are commonly called here “suicide seats” because in an accident these are commonly the people killed in an accident on Central American highways.  Oh well, at least we had seats.

After finding our seats, we were graciously offered a white bread sandwich with “something” in between and a drink such as coke laced with 14 teaspoons of sugar.  We declined their health food suggestion and chose to eat what Alex had scrounged from somewhere else.  They brought us water seeing we didn’t want the coke but the lid I noticed wasn’t sealed and I didn’t know who had been drinking from it before us or what the water source really was, so we declined their offer.

Our bus ride on the “Non Executive – Executive Service bus” was a four hour trip in the dark arriving some 9 hours after our expected arrival time.  During the evening we were amused by the driver’s short conversations on his cell phone.

At 8:00 something in the evening we arrived after a grueling 9 hour experience after the Red Light changed our afternoon that day.  I report Little Stinkerthat we did make it safely home even though  we arrived in our city after dark with the airport closed with us on outside with our 6 bags in the dark.  One shouldn’t do that here and thankfully our friend Chad with a smile from cheek to cheek pulled up to take us home just after a local cop told me to get my bags out of the traffic NOW or he would confiscate them.  I did learn some patience and looking back at this day, it was an experience that one can look at now and smile and see how God’s hand was at work in all these events to show us really what is important in life.  I pray that we passed God’s examination that day.

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts so please post away below to say what’s on your mind.

Joyfully (Now)

Mateo

The Poor Shall Hear and Be Glad! (3-3-13)

(Why do the Poor consider the Gospel the Good News?)

Children the heart of Jesus

I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.  The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God, let your heart revive.  For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.” Psalms 69:30-32

I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation.  Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him.  Everything within me wants to pay tribute to Him.  Whenever the poor and humble hear of His greatness, they will celebrate too!  Psalms 34:1-2

When that day comes, the deaf will be able to hear a book being read aloud, and the blind, who have been living in darkness, will open their eyes and see. Poor and humble people will once again find the happiness which the Lord, the holy God of Israel, gives. It will be the end of those who oppress others and show contempt for God.  Isaiah 29:18-20

I’ve often asked myself the question while visiting various churches in the USA, why can the  Gospel of Jesus Christ  be such a stumbling block to so many who profess to be followers of the Way?   I will attempt to post more of my thoughts and study on this theme in the days ahead.  It has been an interesting study.  More to follow……

Joyfully

Mateo

“I aborted my baby and every day I regret what I did” (2-16-13) 


Female blank imageI was a young girl like any other, full of dreams and goals until I turned 16 and my entire life turned upside down.  When I was 16 I met “J” and he began to fill my life with love and purpose.  To me, he was the perfect guy, but later my happiness turned to disappointment.
The common phrase ‘if you love me, show me that you do” was something that I heard often in our relationship. Seeing that our relationship was so different,  so special and knowing so well that  he would never hurt me, I didn’t wait long to give myself to him without thinking. We started having unprotected sex. Our sexual relationship became more and more frequent until the day I got pregnant

I remember his face when I told him.  He surprised me by his cold hard reaction to my comments when I asked him crying loudly what we were going to do; he replied that there was nothing that we could really do except to find a way to get an abortion.  He had said that we were too young to have a baby and we weren’t prepared for this.
I stood my ground defending myself in wanting to have my baby but he told me that if I did keep the baby he would leave me and that I would never see him again.  I would have to live alone the rest of my life without him.  I cried and cried trying to think of what to say to him. However, in the end his love was stronger than how my parents had raised me and our countries social pressure against having an abortion; furthermore, I couldn’t imagine raising a baby seeing that I had only begun my secondary studies at school.  Sadly to say, I ended up having the abortion without my parents finding out but my physical appearance began betraying me. I began to feel tired, withdrawn and couldn’t handle the weight of my conscience.
Today, I tell young women that my life was never the same afterwards as my conscience would never leave me alone.  Time passed and I continued seeing J… as now he was saying that he loved me even more for what I had done; however, we continued to act irresponsibly and I became pregnant once again.

This time, more aware of what I had done before and also being a little bit older, I demanded that he should be responsible and marry me, but he refused!   He responded with almost a fear in his eyes and said he didn’t want to.  I remembered how much that I had suffered with the first abortion and I did not want to undergo the second, so I decided to confront him once again but this time with the support of my mom.  After talking with him again, I realized that J’s love wasn’t as great as I had thought and that he had only wanted to have fun without any commitment, but I had had enough and I decided to keep the baby.
Sadly after the baby was born I noticed that it had been born with physical problems that needed extra medical care.  I struggled with the thoughts that maybe God was punishing me for aborting my first baby but upon talking with a few older Christian friends of my family I realized that God had forgiven me completely but that sin always has consequence.  However, I live with the consequences of my actions but now with a faith and a joy that only Jesus can give.  Still, every time I see my little baby I cry a lot remembering what had happened.  However through all of this I thank God for allowing me to become a mother to raise this precious little life that sleeps next to me at night.
My child requires a lot of my time and because of that I have not been able to continue my studies.  Now I have to work to support my child because my mother is not able to do so.  I also have to help my mother with the cost of living with her.  I know that if  I had spoken with my mom when I was going through this the first time my conscience would not be speaking to me so much now about depriving a human being the opportunity of having life. I know it was a sin and every day I regret that. With my little child I’m repairing some of the damage that I did when I felt helpless to say no to J…  In closing guess what happened to my ex-boyfriend?  He got married to someone he met after me and now they are married and they are expecting their first child.

If you’re reading this and find yourself in the same situation, please contact someone whom you can trust or even leave a message below.  They will keep it private and it won’t be published on this website.  It can help you to seek some support so you won’t suffer all that I have.  If just one girl like you is helped, then maybe what I went through is not totally in vain. If by my suffering someone can be helped it will make me feel a bit better inside.

Editors Note:  You can help us to help girls like E by making your donation on this page.  Mark the category Mercy and we will use it to further this area of our ministry

Thanks for your prayers and concerns!

Alexandra

The movie, “Night of the Iguana” is not to be confused with this article entitled,

“The Afternoon of the Iguana”  (1-30-2013)

 

In thinking about Iguanas I found online details of a 1964 movie with the title “Night of the Iguana” that starred Rich Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr.  It was based on a play of the same name written in 1948 by the playwright Tennessee Williams.  The movie, in reading the script, didn’t really capture my attention but the idea of looking at the character of the Iguana did indeed capture my attention seeing it is such a common reptile in Central America.

Afternoon of the IguanaThey say that the Iguana needs to feel safe in their environment and if they do, that is the key to having a “happy” iguana.  Their character develops through the first five years of their life and if they don’t develop a trust (i.e., faith in their safety) they will be miserable and unhappy.  Can you remember the last time you saw an iguana that was miserable and/or unhappy?   They say that if you get to close to one who’s in a foul mood, they might even get aggressive with you much like some dogs do when you invade their territory.

Now, knowing that I am mostly a vegetarian, I did however in my past eat some Iguana and once I was asked what it was like?   I just gave the standard answer that it tasted like chicken.  You know the other white meat. It wasn’t bad and I ate it in a dish in Nicaragua and I think they called it “garrobo” which is the Spanish name for Iguana in Nicaragua.  This was much better than the monkey I ate on another occasion at a rural ranch in Nicaragua. Some of you know the end of that story and how it ended.

I find this fear thing rather interesting because it says that if the Iguana doesn’t overcome their fears, it will dominate their personality and they will allow their fear to interfere with their perception of the world.

How does this tie in with you and I?  What in the world do I have in common with an Iguana that lives in a cage or glass aquarium in my house or the local zoo.  Well actually quite a bit because I find that we as humans allow fear to dominate our thinking change our views of reality and the world around us.  As a result we buy a myriad of insurance products, guns, alarms, gated communities, car alarms, etc to “make us secure”.  The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18) and that it further says that one who fears is not made perfect in love.

So how do we perfect the love that Jesus wants to use to drive out the fears that dominate some of our lives?  Jesus said that if we know the truth, this truth will set us free. (John 8:32) He further said that he alone is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) He further stated that no one could come to the Father except by coming through him.  Jesus is the one who can set us free from the fears that dominate our thought life and all those worries that dominate our lives throughout the day.  We need to give our fears to him as our only Savior and let him fill us with his love that in turn will drive out the fear that wants to cripple us just like the Iguana that we discussed in the earlier part of this paper. Remember that perfect love drives out all fear!

Humbly submitted,

Mateo

THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE PEN OF MATEO CONCERNING HIS THOUGHTS – 1-24-2013

“Then Jesus said to all the people: If any of you want to be my followers,

you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me.”

Lucas 9: 23

 

Recently in preparation for a discipleship class I was teaching on maturity in the Christian Faith I was researching this above mentioned verse out of the gospel of Luke.  This verse certainly captures our attention in that Jesus tells us that if we truly want to be one of his followers or disciples  we must take up our cross and follow him.

I have read many papers concerning this and have heard many expositors of the Scriptures explaining this verse.  For many, the focus has been on what we must give up to be a follower of the Messiah.  From listening to many of these messages I became almost negative as to my definition of what it meant to follow Jesus in taking up my cross and following him.

Recently, in preparation for my class on being a disciple of the LORD, it hit me that I should not focus on what it means to give up but rather what it means in DOING  for the gospel.  The verse above states it so well…..we must forget about ourselves…..and that is the key.

Cross PictureThe cross was the instrument that was used for our salvation.  The death of the Savior and his shed blood assured us of our salvation if we believe in faith that he did in fact die for us.  It says that “without the shedding of blood there is no redemption (freedom) from sin”.  Hebrews 9:22. Jesus is the World’s Savior because he is the only one who could pay the complete penalty for our sins by shedding (i.e. voluntarily giving up) his blood as a personal sacrifice.  His divine nature in human flesh (that is, being 100% fully God and 100% fully man <Philippians 2:6-8>) assured us of our salvation from sin.  This point, if we can capture it, frees us from the weight and pressure of our sin.

Now with all that said, I would like to explain the meaning as I see it of the cross in regards to the above text in Luke 9:23.  The cross speaks of four (4) important elements of the Christian walk concerning us taking up our cross daily to follow him.  The cross has four points as the picture reveals. The four points of the cross are:

1.  The point of the Cross above is the Word.  A disciple of the Way must spend time in the word reading and listening to the Master.  The word gives us direction as to how to follow the LORD in our daily walk. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.

2.  The point of the Cross below is Prayer.  Without prayer the disciple will have no contact with God.  Our daily lives are so encumbered with the pressures of life that we need this time to seek God and his direction.  It says in James 5:16 that, “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”

3. The point to the left is the point is “fellowship”.  The disciple must care for the needs of others and, in addition to his own family, the family of God. Galatians 6:10 states, “therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

4. The point to the right is our giving of a tenth of our monthly income to the LORD.  Malachi the Old Testament Prophet and Jesus in Matthew 23 spoke very clearly of the importance of the Tithe. Malachi states in 3:10 that, “I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.” Then Jesus reinforces the tithe theme when he said in Matthew 23:23 that, “you give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either.”

When we give God the first 10% of our income we are stating that we acknowledge his greatness and majesty.  In Hebrews 7 we see the greatness of the High Priest Melchizedek, whose name means King of Righteousness and King of Peace. Abraham, our father of faith gave him 10% of his possessions as an acknowledgement of his greatness.  In the same way we also acknowledge God’s greatness when we give our first 10% of our gain to him.  By giving God the first 10% we allow him to bless us with more than what we gave.  Put him to the test he states so that he can show us that he will pour out a blessing so great that we won’t be able to stand.  Other verses that reinforce this theme are found in Proverbs 3: 9-10 as well as Luke 6:38.

Conclusion:  As we take up the cross to follow Jesus our Savior we begin our journey with a commitment to follow him through the daily regular reading and study of his Divine Word.  Then as we pray we find God revealing his nature and plan to us so that we may be fully prepared to take the next step.  In so doing this, God wants us to fellowship and help his family and also those who aren’t of the Household of Faith. Lastly, we acknowledge his Supremacy over our lives and possessions by giving him the first of what we gain each day.  By giving to him our “first harvest” we acknowledge that everything that we own belongs to him and we are merely stewards.  This helps us to fight the subtle fight of materialism that is deceiving the American culture and people today.

Humbly submitted,

Mateo

The Japanese Ambassador

The other day, after recovering from the worst of a bout with the Latin Flu, I took Alexandra for a meal at a nice place in town to celebrate Thanksgiving that we observe in the USA.  Little did I know that what was ahead would stimulate me to write this article about being an Ambassador and what their role actually is for this country.

I had gone out to the car in the parking lot for an errand while we were eating  and upon returning I saw a man stumbling to my left and without thinking I offered my arm for him to steady himself so he wouldn’t fall to the pavement below.  After recovering his balance, I was able to look around and saw that he was Japanese and was surrounded by a group of men in suits who were looking at me with quite seriously. He bowed as he offered me his thanks as he said to me in a slight broken accent, “Gracias”!

He was shuffled with speed into the waiting black town car and along with his entourage of fellow Japanese  drove off but to my surprise suddenly an unmarked car in front and another in back followed this car out of the parking lot.

After I was able to look around the restaurant entrance, I realized I was surrounded by Honduran police with automatic weapons looking this gringo over.   I approached one of the high ranking police officials who appeared in charge and asked him who the man was that I had helped from falling to the pavement.  He replied to me, “That man was the Japanese Ambassador who you helped!”

This caused me to think and because of this I came up with some thoughts from the Bible concerning this event.

I began thinking that I too am an ambassador and in my case I am an ambassador of Christ as quoted by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20.  In as much as the man who I had helped was the government of Japan’s representative in Honduras, I too am Christ’s ambassador to Honduras representing his Kingdom.  As Philippians 3:20 says, my citizenship is with God’s Government and not the government of the USA or Honduras.

No doubt the Japanese Ambassador to Honduras had a commissioning from the Prime Minister and the government of Japan to serve the people and government of Honduras.  Like the Ambassador we too have been commissioned by Christ for the ministry of reconciliation so we will reconcile people and God’s creation to God once again.  Our main task is to share Christ with others through words and actions  and to be ambassadors sowing seeds of peace, hope, justice and righteousness with others (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

To be an ambassador of God’s Kingdom we need to maintain the lines of communication open with our ‘government” not allowing any interference to impede this communication.  The official dispatch given to us from our King is clearly revealed in his sent document which is the Bible.  In this document we discover the method and strategies that God has chosen to reach the entire world with his good news.

 

Lastly, we represent Christ and his church.  People will form their opinions about Jesus and his Gospel by what they see and hear from us.  If we promote our own agenda and message the people will receive a distorted message of His church.  (2 Corinthians 4:5) I pray that the message we share with those we love in Honduras will never be suppressed by us as missionaries.

 

 DRIVING EXAMS AND BUMPER CARS  12-7-12

As Alex & I sat and listened yesterday to the lecturebefore taking our test for our driver’s licenses I was reminded of bumper cars.The lecture was enjoyable and informative and we anticipated taking our first “Honduran Exam” in order that we would be able to have issued a Honduran drivers license.  The Exam Instructor did an excellent job of informing us of some of the joys of driving a “bumper car” in Tegucigalpa.

The reason I believe it’s like driving bumper cars is that you might have a boulevard with two lanes in each direction but actually at congestion points they become a  highway with 3 or more lines of cars all jockeying for the lead position while motor bikes of all sizes maneuver on your left or right to get to the head of the line.  I think that maybe the person who is in the front when the light turns green wins a small prize of some type.  That is, if the lights are working and the power is not interrupted.  When the lights turn it like being at a disorganized Indy 500 as no one really wants you to beat them to the next light or to the parking space they are heading to this evening.  I have learned that the bigger and heavier the vehicle, the more aggressive they drive.

Lastly, I am so glad that our 2000 Dodge Caravan has dings in every quarter panel as well as the doors and rear lift door.  This way it kind of makes me feel like I really don’t have much to lose as I too have learned to drive like a “Catracho” in Tegucigalpa.  It’s actually kind of fun to learn a whole new way to drive.  I’ll need to slow down when I return to the states for a furlough.   By the way, when they changed the coolant in the van, they just let most of it run down the street.  That’s how it’s done here I guess!

We learned that you have to have a copy of the traffic code in your car at all times, but you have to buy it at a book store that might happen to have it.  .  I guess that is to review to see what you’re doing wrong or what the other guy did wrong at the scene of the fender bender.  That is if he isn’t armed and in a bad mood.  Also we learned that you can take a free right turn at a stop sign but he cautioned us that many have been stolen for the metal content.  In other words take a right turn at your own risk I guess!  Since they made it unlawful for two men to be on a bike at the same time the crime and homicide rate has dropped seeing the passenger no longer can do the shooting or whatever.  However of late, they allow a man to drive with a woman sitting behind, but if a woman drives with a man behind, well that is an infraction of the law.  That nasty guy on the back can do his bad stuff I guess.

I was surprised to see that I was the first person done with the exam and he smiled as I left. Alex soon joined me and after a cafe we were informed of the results.  Yes!  We can now drive starting next week with a Honduran driver’s license.

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