Sunday, June 25, 2017

What Happens When . . .



On Monday evening what we thought was an emergency appendectomy turned into something so much bigger.  When I woke up from my surgery.  The first thing I saw was my nurse.  The second thing I saw was a huge clock in the room.  When I saw the time on the clock I knew something had not gone according to plans.  I knew my surgery was only supposed to be a 30 -50 minute procedure, and that even with a 1 - 2 hour wake up window, that I was well past that time frame.  It was no surprise when I saw my sweet husband in the room, that he turned to me with tears in his eyes and said that I had not had an appendectomy.  The doctor had found a healthy appendix, but that he had taken biopsies from 3 different areas in my body one of which was a mass.  

The very first words I spoke to my husband were these, "This does not change our calling to Honduras."  And it will not.  We have a mission to fulfill in Gracias.  It is just having a slight delay.



So what happens your world gets turned upside down?  
I'll tell you what I did.  I cried, and spoke the truth of the moment--we are still called to Honduras.  But in the stillness of the night in the dark hospital room, I did let fear creep in--I started wrestling with Satan mentally.  I started going through the what ifs. Questioning things.  I had to wake up my husband so we could sit there together and speak the truth about the situation.

Since then I have had so many friends and family call, email, and text with words of encouragement, daily devotions, and scriptures. What a testimony to friendship and family--so very grateful.

So here is what you need to know.  After much prayer and discussion with our doctors here and other medical professionals in the states, we have decided to take a leave of absence from Honduras to get treatment in the states.  Ben and myself plan to fly back this next weekend if our doctor gives us medical clearance to fly.  We plan to seek medical care in Jacksonville, FL.

Let me tell you what amazing details God has worked out over the last 6 days.  

       1- I was supposed to fly back home for a weekend with my WooHoo girls for our annual beach trip, and now that ticket is being used to help fly me home for treatment. Some other donations are coming in for our tickets to fly home!

       2- My bloodwork back in February when we were getting certified to be a foster family was normal, so the doctor thinks that we are catching it early.

       3- Some of our board of directors were here in Gracias with us when this happened.  They just jumped right in and ministered to our littles and continued to fix many issues for us.  We now have a cistern and a dryer that works.  Huge differences!

        4- Our partners, Legacy of Hope, have a couple of options for our sweeties--Maria and Josue.  Please pray that they will transition  easily through this loss of our home.

        5- We have been blessed with a place to stay at my cousin's house.

        6- We have been blessed with a vehicle to use for as long as we need.

        7- Another missionary family has agreed to house sit for us while we are gone and will also continue to run the bookstore here in Gracias.

        8- A "GoFund Me" page is being created for us to help meet the medical expenses.


This morning as Ben and I were praying in bed before we got up, we prayed that this situation would bring Glory to the Lord!  We prayed for lives to be changed in salvation, we prayed for our lives to be transformed by God, and we prayed that God will show us the "Joy" in this journey. 

Here are some of our prayer needs:

      1- Pray as we seek out medical care, and doctors in the states.

       2-  Pray for our doctor visit on Wednesday when we get our diagnosis. (Another huge praise--when Dr. Maria visited with us on Thursday, she volunteered to go with us to translate to make sure we understand the diagnosis.)

      3- Pray for us as we seek a few venues to help figure out medical costs.  We do not have insurance in the states.

      4- Pray for Austin and Taylor as they stay with our girls and get things ready for change when we leave for the states.  They are planning to bring them to the states in August.

      5- Pray that God will provide opportunities for us to share about New Beginnings ministry while we are in the states.

Again, we love you all!  Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and phone calls.

And to my family who is here with us in Honduras, I can't think you enough for stepping up and meeting the needs of our little ones.  AND for helping me.  I've been told my job is to heal--and they are doing everything to make that possible.

In HIM who IS ABLE,

Julie


Sunday, June 18, 2017

MK Youth Retreat

Saturday June 10th 3 Agee's, 2 Robinson's, 2 Spanglers, and a whole pile of luggage packed up early and headed to Campamento Converge outside of Tegucigalpa for a week long youth retreat for MKs(Missionary Kids).

This past week I was a part of the Retreat Staff where I was involved in several different activities which include, but not limited too; being a chaperone in 1 of the boys rooms for the week, being in charge of daily game time, operating the projector with the words for worship, leading small group discussions, and other various tasks.  It was really good to be a part of this past week, and to take the time to invest time into these youths lives.

Leighanne and Hannah were blessed with the opportunity to go on this trip, and I would like to allow them a chance for them to tell you about their experience.

The MK Retreat was a great opportunity to make new friends who were just like me. To go into more detail, I was spending most of my time with people who were going through the same obstacles and struggles that I was going through at some point. Not only that but, I had this amazing time playing guitar with Ella and Mr. Jim on stage for the worship time. In addition, we had an amazing speaker who was nailing everything about my life at that moment. To clarify, it made me realize that I wasn't the only one that was going through that struggle and how God worked it out in her life. In the end, it was such a relaxing retreat that made me notice that the other MK's go through many struggles also and that God will work all of them out.


The MK retreat was fun.  My favorite parts were crafts and worship.  I really enjoyed the speaker, she was very open with us.  I liked being away from the normal every day life, and having this time to just have fun, and not have responsibilities.  I can't wait until next year!

Here is a video the recaps the week that I made, I hope you enjoy it!

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Also Happy Father's Day!!!

In Him,
Austin


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Oh the Words we Say



For the last two weeks we have had many words come out of our mouths, some that we have not said for many years.

Words like ...

"I need a bottle" (necesito una botella)

"in a moment" (un momento)

"wait please" (esperar por favor)

"no - no"

"who has the dirty diaper" (que tiene el panal sucio)

But my all time favorite of the week was when we were going to bed, and Ben turned back the covers and asked, "Who peed in our bed?"  Obviously, one of our sweet peas christened our bed sometime that previous night during a diaper change and we were clueless.

These words are precious to me because we wouldn't be saying them if we didn't have three extra little ones in our household right now.  We are right in the middle of getting to love on the very ones that God has brought to us. All of them were abandoned in one way or another.   We don't know for how long we will get to be their "new" family, but God does.  He knows the exact amount of time we will get to love on them.

And we are going to speak good words over them, words of blessings, words to encourage them and build them up.  Words of love and correction, words that will help them become the Godly men and women they are supposed to become.  Men and women that God can use to make a difference in Honduras.

Most importantly we will tell them about the"Word".  We will tell them about Jesus who was, is and will always be the "Word".  They will learn about how Jesus came to the Earth to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven.  They will get to hear words about being "obedient to God",  "having faith", and "serving God with our whole heart".

The words we speak are so very important.

What words will you speak this week?


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Welcome Home!!!

We are back home....


We want to give a special thanks to all the churches that allowed us to speak. We want to thank our supporters for sacrificially giving financially. Thank you for letting God use you to bless the ministry. We thank you! We want to take some time to thank our Bright Beginning Sponsors. Your money is already at work. It has allowed us to purchase formula, diapers, wipes, and doctor visits.  We are greatly appreciative.

It was such a nice visit to the states. We really enjoyed our time spent with friends and family. We are thankful to everyone that made time to see us.  Here are some pictures from our stay...

Tired baby from all the travel 

  

Emma's flight back home

Vicki's wedding

Play time 


Beach time 
Emma had a great time visiting family. She did excellent on the plane rides. Enjoyed the beach (the sand not the water). Her family loved spending time with her.  

We are glad to be back home to our "normal".  Our "normal" has changed since we have been gone. If you don't know we have a total of 4 children under the age of 2 in the house. We have baby T who is 3 months, baby M who is 5 months, baby Emma who is 5.5 months, baby J who is 2 years old. You can image we have our hands full, but there is always room for more. Baby M and J are brother and sister and were abandoned. We are blessed to have them in our home they are amazing kids. We love them dearly.


Baby M meeting Baby Emma 

Baby J playing 
In him,

Taylor

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Here is Your Chance......

We have had several people ask us to please let them know when we are ready to start receiving short-term ministry teams.  We are now at the point to where we not only are ready, but want to start scheduling teams.  We already have 3 teams coming between now and September and have a few specific other opportunities listed below.  If you are interested in any of these opportunities or have other ideas you would like to discuss, please visit our "Contact Us" and "Join Us in Honduras" pages to learn how plan a visit and then let's talk about the details.

Outdoor Playground Team

Our "yard" is 100% concrete from wall to wall, which is not a good place for toddlers to play.  We are raising funds to purchase indoor/outdoor rubber to put on the concrete to give a safe place for the children to play and fall.  We are also raising funds to purchase a sunscreen to put over the area to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun.  Finally, we need various outdoor play equipment and toys.  After we have the funds (and we will because God will provide them at just the right time), we would like a team to come and install everything.  This would be a great opportunity for a small group or family to come and fellowship with us and bless us with putting all this together for us.
*As a fun bonus we would love it if someone would paint a fun mural on a large 8' x 15' canvas for us to hang in the outdoor play ground area.  So if you have some artistic abilities and a passport--we'd love to have you come visit.
 



Landscaping/Yard Garden Team

We get a lot of sun and dust as a result of not having plants around.  We would like to strategically plant in planters to put in key places to server multiple purposes: (1) to make the house and yard more appealing, (2) to provide some shade, (3) to catch and filter some of the dust, (4) to repel bugs (mint, basil, rosemary, etc.), and (5) to provide herbs and food for us to use.  Understand that we know nothing about what to plant, how much sun and/or water to give it, how much/how often/what kind of fertilize to use, how to trim to keep the plants healthy, etc.  We need a small team or family to come and go with us to the greenhouses to find the best plants to meet most of our goals, to help us plant them, and to teach us how to properly care for them.  Obviously, one of the people on the team needs to have a pretty good understanding of various plants to help make the right decisions as well.

Small Construction Teams

We have several items that need repair or installation that we have had a difficult time getting someone here who knows how to do the work or is available.  Some of the items we currently need (there is always something if we get these done before you can come) are as follows:
  • Build some type of canopy over some of the windows to keep sun and rain out (rain is currently blowing into some of the windows even when closed).
  • Connect our cistern
  • Run an electrical wire for dryer
  • Run wire for doorbell

Pastor Partnership Teams

We already have one team coming to help with pastor training and to evaluate a possible church-to-church partnership.  We would love to have more partnerships like these to strengthen and equip the local churches to do the work of the ministry.

"Uncles" and "Aunts" and Respite

We will be getting our first baby on Monday and there is a possibility of us receiving two more children in the near future.  We would like some small ministry teams (1 or 2 people or a family) come and be part of our extended family for a few days and help with the children, love on them, and play with them in the same way a close uncle or aunt or cousins would do.  It would be awesome if some of these teams could come back in the future to provide respite for us when we have to go back to the USA for a visit or just need a short break away in country.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's a Boy!

We've been preparing for this moment for months.  

All along we've been thinking that we would "get the call" for our first placement after we got home from our visit to the states.




But instead--

We got an email from Legacy of Hope about Baby T this past week.   Baby T is a preemie baby who weighed not quite 4 lbs. at birth.  After some medical emergencies, he is beginning to make up for some time and is gaining weight.

In less then a week we will get to meet Baby T and begin the transition from his current caregivers to our family.

A very special friend said it just right this week.

She told me that Baby T will be our "first fruits".  That he will be first of many that we get to love on, pray over, and share Jesus with.

How can you help share, love and care for Baby T and the next little ones that join our family?

You can join the "Bright Beginnings Club".  No matter the amount you will be giving a child a bright future by giving them a healthy beginning.  All of the money given towards the "Bright Beginnings Club" will go towards diapers, wipes, formula, medical expenses, and any other expenses specific to the children in our care.  Click Here to learn more about the "Bright Beginnings Club" and how you can join.

We are not allowed to reveal the names or faces of the children in our care on our website.  However, we do have a private Facebook Group that you can join to get updates on the progress of our children.  You can click here and request to join the private Facebook Group.








Sunday, May 14, 2017

Stateside!

Hello everybody, thank you all for tuning in to today'so blog. I want to give a quick update; Taylor, Emma, and I arrived safely this past Friday, and have already dove straight into the busy schedule.  Ben, Julie, Leighanne, and Hannah, have already been pedal to the metal, full steam ahead, and nonstop action the short time they have been here.  We are all traveling around and meeting with various individuals and churches to share about the work that God has been doing in our lives in Honduras.  So continue to be in prayer for us as we continue this time here in the states.

As we all know today is Mother's Day.  The one day every year that is set aside specifically for our mothers.  A day where we recognize all they have done for us, to make us who we are.  So, with that being said, HAPPY MOTHER'SAID DAY!

Ino Him,
Austin