"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mission: Honduras


TIME: 7-14 AUGUST 2011




DEBRIEFING: God has been doing some amazing things in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, namely within the ranks of military and police personnel. He is raising up leaders who are passionate for him and who are willing and excited and ready to share His name. Be prepared to see His mighty hand at work.

I had the great privilege of travel to Honduras this past week to mostly observe what the FamilyLife team is up to in Central America. My travel buddy was Gabe Buchholtz, who I met a few weeks ago at the Cru staff conference in Colorado. He spent 29 years in the US Air Force and has been on the global team at FamilyLife for the past 10 years. He has been a wonderful example, mentor, and friend this entire week. He is also responsible for bringing the P90X dvds and setting us up with a great workout each morning! We met the rest of our team at our hotel in Tegucigalpa. Leonel and Miriam Motto have been on staff with Cru for over 40 years and currently reside in Miami with the focus on ministering to families in Latin America. General Rodolfo Interiano and his wife Eva served are retired from the Honduras military and are now using their experience and influence to reach out to military families. Last, but by no means least, we met John and Shirley Wind, who lived in Honduras for 20 years as missionaries and have been in Mexico for the last 12. Let me just say that I am extremely blessed to have been surrounded by such experience and wisdom.
Below is a photo tour of our week, to give you a taste of what I saw:

My home for the week at Hotel Plaza San Martin.

Tuesday during the day was “A Day to Remember” seminar, which is similar to FamilyLife’s “A Weekend to Remember,” only condensed to a day. This was at the Air Force base and 40 couples attended from the Air Force, Army and Navy. 51 people committed their lives to Christ!!

Gabe and I, with General Espinoza, one of the Christian military leaders, I spoke of earlier, who invited us to do the military talks! For those who are familiar with the US military, his position would be comparable to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.

Tuesday night was the beginning of a four evening training session. These people are military and civilian couples who are passionate about Jesus and desire to share his truths about marriage and family. This was Movement Makers III training which taught them how to be effective speakers. Many of them already completed levels I and II and were officially certified at the end of the week. They are now equipped to host their own events and seminars and they are very eager to do so.

Wednesday we went to the National Police Academy in Tegucigalpa and held another “A Day to Remember” seminar. The crowd of 25 couples was a younger crowd with newer marriages. 10 attendees prayed to receive Christ that day! We met one couple who was fighting through the husband’s infidelity. God working through this painful day for them, brought about a repentant heart for him and the beginnings of forgiveness for her. They have a tough road ahead, with lots of work, but praise God they are moving the right direction!

Thursday was back at the Air Force Base for a short session about Family Relationships. Gabe got to share part of his own testimony of marriage and raising a family. Leonel translated into Spanish for him.

Friday night after training was complete, General Espinoza surprised us with a separate graduation reception, consisting of ceremony and a fabulous spread of hors d’oeuvres.

One of the most exciting parts of the entire week was Saturday morning. This morning was an optional breakfast for any of the couples that wanted to be part of the Honduras team. We were expecting 3 or 4 couples…..10 came!!! They were all eager to volunteer for positions and Tegucigalpa is now equipped with a team ready to reach their community for Christ!

I was beyond blessed to be a part of this trip and see first hand what God is up to in Honduras!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mike + Kenzie

I've known Kenz since 7th grade when we became instant best friends. We were pretty much inseparable & knew everything there was to know about each other. Kenzie is one of those people you can completely be yourself around and know you are loved without end. I think we could compile a book from the hundreds of "notes" we used to write each other during class. I still find them when I go through my old stuff & they make me smile at how silly we used to be! We've been through some of the hardest things together & some of the best things together. We were roommates in college & knew each other almost better than ourselves. All it would take was a certain look from her & I would burst into tears or start laughing hysterically. Those are some of my best memories. I am so blessed to have such an amazing friend & sister in Christ. The moment I met Mike, I loved him. I could see why God put these two together. They have such a sweet but fun love for each other. We had an awesome day celebrating their marriage! The wedding was awesome & the reception was gorgeous!

Here's some pictures of the weekend:

                                                                          Mike & Kenz

                                                             Me, Kenz, Mart (baby huber)

                                                                     Kenz & me

                                                               The BEAUTIFUL bride!!

                                                         Eric & Mart & Baby Huber

                                                                      Gorgeous head table!

                                                             My beautiful mom & me

                                                                   My awesome parents :)

                                                We are sooooo blessed by this awesome couple!

Friday, August 5, 2011

whirlwinds & blessings.

Whew! What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! Sorry I haven’t updated our blog recently- I’m ready to get back in the saddle with this blogging thoughJ! I’m trying to decide where to begin? Let me start with a brief overview of recently & then go further in depth- here’s our lives lately: July 15-17th we headed to Kentucky to visit the Creation Museum with our dear potluck group as a last ‘hurrah’ before Ryan & Alys left for med school and we were living in Little Rock. July 18th-27th we were at “CSU”, which is the biennial Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as ‘cru’) conference held on the campus of Colorado State University. July 28-31st we were back in Illinois for a few short days spent with family & of course the beautiful wedding of Mike & Kenzie- which I was beyond honored to be a part of. This week we have been re-adjusting & on Sunday Seth leaves for Honduras, working with FamilyLife, through the 14th. The 16-18th is mission training. We both leave for Costa Rica as part of FamilyLife on the 21st & return the 28th. Whew! I think that just about covers it! Now for the details…..
Creation Museum: We had been talking about this as a potluck for sometime. A while back we officially set the date & made the reservations. We all met at the hotel on Friday night and went to the creation museum on Saturday. Words can’t describe how thankful wear for these dear and precious friends. They have been one of the sweetest things we’ve known. I knew going into the weekend it was going to be so bittersweet. Sweet because we were able to spend a whole weekend with these awesome friends- but bitter because I knew it would be the last time in a long time we’d all be together. I think that mixed with the emotions of just recently moving (4 days earlier) and the unknowns ahead made it an emotional mix of feelings. We did have a blast, though! We will miss them so so much but will cherish the times we’ve had and the hopes of the future times we’ll have!

CSU: I have been debating of how to even put this week into words. I don’t know if I can. I wish I could because I want so badly for you to understand it & feel it & experience it with me. I’ll start by saying, this waaaay exceeded any expectation we had. This is a conference held every other summer on the campus of CSU (hence why we call the conference ‘csu’). All US Campus Crusade (now Cru) staff attends. There were about 5,000+ people in attendance. We were so beyond blessed to be a part of something so awesome & special. I’ll try to break it down:
     The drive out: on the way back from Kentucky we stopped at my parents hours for a quick supper & got to see my little brother, Chad, for a bit. He told us about this truck stop on I-80 that we couldn’t miss. We decided to drive to somewhere in Iowa that night & spend the night. On the way we’re looking for this truck stop when all of a sudden a “WORLDS LARGEST TRUCKSTOP” sign appears- I yelp “We have to stop!” & so we did. I imagine the looks on our faces when we walked in the front door looked something comparable to the movie “willy wonka & the chocolate factory”- when the winners of the contest walked into the chocolate paradise- haha! This place is amazing- it has a dentist, a barber, restaurants, showers, a museum, everything! Very well worth the stop. My suggestion- if you haven’t been there & you’re planning a trip on I-80 out in Iowa- stop there. It’s worth your time J. Anyways, we stop at a hotel that night & hit the road again in the morning. Somewhere in the middle of  nowhere, Nebraska I notice our air conditioning is actually blowing hot air, not cold air like it’s created to do. We ignore it for a bit & about 5 minutes later- it’s getting hotter. Hmmm. We decide it’s broken & that’s not a good thing considering it’s 95+ outside. Seth calls to a repair shop (found from our handy gps) and we head that way- Sidney, Nebraksa. As soon as we get on the off ramp I exclaim “What is that smell? Is that us?!” Seth replies “I could be, I’m not sure” (trying as hard as he can to keep his frantic wife calm by not telling the whole truth!) Again I exclaim “what’s that sound?! Is that us?! Are we going to explode?!” Seth replies “I don’t know what that sound is, but it doesn’t sound good”. I exclaim “but are we going to blow up?!?!” (I’ve watched too many movies I guess). Seth looks at me “No, baby, we’re not going to blow up. I want you to remember the memories we are going to make from this.” I know I tend toward the dramatic side, however when you’re in the middle of NOWHERE and don’t know ANYONE and it’s 95+ degrees and your car is sounding like a marching band with a nice hot rubber/metal smell- making memories are the last thing on my mind! We pull into Sidney & it literally looks like we are in an old wild west movie. We pull into the auto repair shop & a very very nice man takes a look at our car and tells us it looks pretty bad. Great- just what I love to hear! We tell him we are headed to Ft. Collins & ask if it would be safe to drive it there. He said it should be safe to drive but we CANNOT use the air conditioning no matter what (I won’t got into technical auto mechanic terms because you might laugh @ my attempt to explain what was wrong with our vehicle). So with a quick change of clothes into some shorts & the windows down we made our nice, warm, breezy drive to Colorado & made it safely- or so we thought! The next morning seth gets up to take our car to a local Honda dealer & they tell us we are “lucky” we made it. Apparently there was more wrong than we knew. Let’s attribute that to the hand of God’s goodness & provision! Amazingly, the Honda dealers gave us a rental car for no charge while they fixed our little problem car. God provided abundantly what we needed & safely!
     The Conference: If I could sum our time up in one word it would be AMAZING. But since I’m a girl of many words I’ll explain. Tuesday morning we registered & walked into moby (this is csu’s arena where met everyday). Boom- all around us there are people. People laughing, talking, catching up. People who really really love Jesus. 5000+ of them, all in the same room. We took our seats & all of a sudden some of the most beautiful worship we’ve ever experienced began. And thus began our week. That morning Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God, & Erasing Hell) spoke to us. He also spoke to us the next morning (Wednesday). I’m not even going to try to explain the talks at this time because I can’t do justice to the power of the Spirit & how mighty & alive & active God was working. Here is the link to watch any of the main sessions we heard during the week, if you want to listen to them- http://www.ccci.org/csu/index.htm. It’s hard to try to describe the week without going into detail- at the same time, this is a blog post not a book & I want to try to summarize. We spent our mornings worshipping & listening to speaks & in the afternoon there would usually be a list of seminars you could choose from to attend. Then we would meet back at moby in the evenings for more worship & a speaker. Usually after the evening session we had some form of “entertainment”. For example we got to see Tenth Avenue North, Tim Hawkins, David Crowder Band, the movie ‘Courageous’- which comes out in theatres in September (You should go to see it opening weekend- this determines how long it stays in theatres!!). We also heard talks from Dan Allender, IJM, and tons more! Seth & I were able to meet a lot of FamilyLife staff- which was great since we hadn’t met too many yet. We had a free day on Thursday & Seth & I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park & hiked. I forget how beautiful the mountains are until you are actually in them. We packed a lunch and hiked for a day & then drove to grand lake for dinner. The week ended with an incredibaly powerful-Spirit led- talk from David Platt (author of Radical) & some beautifully, powerful worship. I wish I could explain it better- but it into more vivid detail, but I’m not sure how. We were so so blessed with such an amazing week!  Here's some pictures of our day spent hiking:

I think I’ll end this post here. Next time I’ll talk about the beautiful wedding of Mike & Kenzie. I’ll also update on how things are & once we get our house ready- I’ll post pictures of it J!
 In the mean time, please pray for Seth’s trip to Honduras this next week. (This is a huge God story if you want to hear it, I’ll explain it sometime). Originally we both were going to go but with life being so crazy & us still being in boxes we decided it would be best for me to stay home & settle this place & for Seth to go. Seth will be traveling with another FamilyLife missionary named Gabe. Gabe has overseen Latin America for sometime & has been leading trainings in different countries there. Pray for their trainings- pray for those are being trained how to start a marriage & family ministry in their churches/small groups/neighbors & pray for the team that is going to be leading these trainings. Pray as God prompts you to pray for them. Also pray for me as I’m back in our new home by myself. I’m planning on keeping busy & possibly plan to visit my family in texas at the end of the week (since they are only a short 6 hour drive away now!). Pray for our marriage- that God will use this time & distance to unify & grow us- not isolate us in business.
Until next time here’s a new favorite song of ours:
“The Goodness of God”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrpJoM3L4Qs
Love you all!!!