Sunday, September 25, 2016

17 Days, 5 Hours, and some change...

So it has officially been 17 days, 5 hours, and some change since we have landed in Honduras, but who is counting?  This has been the longest time that Taylor or I have been out of the U-S-of-A.  It has been an exciting adventure so far, never really a dull moment.  9 of the 17 days has been filled with language school, and the time not in class has been spent studying, and getting out to explore this beautiful country.  In our classes our teachers have been really pushing us hard.  They tell us that we are moving along at a great pace, and that before we know it we wont be able to remember English...LOL. We should also be finished with the beginner workbook level this week!  We are able to read and kinda write much better than we are able to speak or hear it, but it takes time, and we will get it little by little by little(that's what they tell us).  We go to school Monday through Friday from 8 am to 12 pm, so you can imagine the amount of vocabulary, verbs, etc that we have learned.

Here is an extremely small sample of what we have been learning:

Austin being silly at school on break:

We took our first trip to Gracias this past weekend for our doctor appointment.  We met up with Russel Sowers(a missionary living in Gracias) just inside the city limits, to follow him to the doctors office.  On Friday at 4 we met the doctor that will be doing our monthly appointments and delivering Emma.  We had an ultrasound done, and she said that everything looks good.  Baby looks healthy, and Taylor looks healthy.  She was able to look at Taylor's medical history and understand most of it, this gave her a good basis of where we are at in the pregnancy.  She wanted us to go to the lab to get blood work done for a glucose test, so we did that the following day on Saturday.  Taylor says that when she got the blood drawn the lady doing it did better than most other times she has had it done in the states.  The doctor was also telling us that once a month a Specialists comes in with better equipment for ultrasounds than she has, and recommended that we use him,so either October 1st or 8th, so we will be making another visit to Gracias then.  

Also while in Gracias we got to talk a lot with Russel about some of the many questions we have.  Got to talk about things such as getting drivers licenses, passport for Emma, citizenship for Emma, bank accounts, renting houses, and many many other things.  We also got to meet Russel's mom Trish, and one of his brothers, Ben, and eat pizza hut with them! (that was a nice treat)  

We can't wait to move to Gracias and begin to work with the people their.  We are so thankful for this opportunity we have to be God's hands and feet.  We are extremely grateful for all of the prayer warriors back home, none of this could be possible without prayer.  Speaking of prayer, I have been doing a bible study based off of Psalm 91 about Gods promise of protection.  What a powerful Psalm it is.  I really urge you to read and study Psalm 91, it will change the way you pray.  Get into the bible daily and study God's word, but DO NOT stop must apply His word.  If you decide you want to do an in depth study of this Psalm I would like to suggest the book: "Psalm 91: Real-Life Stories of God's Shield of Protection And What This Psalm Means for You & Those You Love."  Get yourself a copy of this book, but don't replace the bible with this book.   

 [Side note: I want to give a huge shout out to Russel for all he has done for us, He has gone out of his way to help us and translate for us, we are extremely thankful for you and your family.]

***Meanwhile in the States***

Ben and Julie have sold my black car, and are continuing to downsize in preparations to make the big move. 

Ben and Julie have purchased a Honda Pilot in Honduras.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


[Psa 145:1-7 NLT] 1 A psalm of praise of David. I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. 2 I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. 3 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. 4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. 5 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. 6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. 7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

On our way to church this morning we began a discussion of all the ways God has been at work to move our family to Honduras.  We don't want to be guilty of taking credit for these accomplishments, because we know that it has been God working behind the scenes, and sometimes right before us working things out.  Today we are going to put God's "awe-inspiring deeds" out there.  Here we go:

  • Our van sold on Thursday to a first year teacher.  Now we are down to 2 cars.
  • Last week we got tickets to fly out on October 22nd.  But what most of you don't know is that I (Julie) have been having to have diagnostic mammograms for the past 2 years.  Every 6 months I've been having to get rechecked because something didn't appear correct in my screening.  Every time I've had to have additional scans and ultrasounds--and thankfully they have always eventually proven to be nothing to worry about.  So last week when I went back, I was given a clean bill of health right after the first screening--no ultrasounds, no visit with the radiologist.  AND--they even cleared me to go back to yearly check-ups!  
  • Our 501 (c) 3 was approved about 2 weeks ago!
  • Ben has a contract to do part-time consulting which is allowing us to leave in October now instead of December.
  • We have been invited to speak at several churches and share about what God is doing and about to do in Honduras.
  • People have been responding to partner with us as prayer partners and financially!
  • We have some awesome volunteers that are working behind the scenes to handle the financial/clerical duties here in the states so that we can function in Honduras.
  • Our son Zach has moved to his new home--My sister Karen's upstairs bonus room.
  • We were able to purchase health insurance for Jordan at a reasonable cost for his last year in college since he will not have any when Ben no longer works full time.
And the list could go on and on.  But the important thing is for us to not forget the good things God does in our lives.  Remember them, tell them to your children and grand children.  Spend time giving praise to the God who created you. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bienvenidos a Honduras

We are here!!! In Copan Honduras! 

We have had many mixed emotions since we landed; overwhelmed, excited, tired, sad, happy… pretty much almost any emotion you can think of we have had. While we were waiting in line to go through customs it hit us that this is our new home. That our lives would now consist of diligently learning Spanish, making connections with almost everyone we meet, and fully relying on God to meet our every need. It seemed overwhelming at first but as we have settled in and made new friends it is getting easier. Don't get me wrong it will still be really hard (we haven't even started language school yet... that starts tomorrow), but we are getting the hang of life in Honduras. 

We are thankful for the prayers for safe travel. The flights were easy and smooth, all our luggage made it to Honduras, and Austin did great his first time driving in country. God is Good!

The drive to Copan was simple to navigate we just followed the road signs. The hardest thing about the drive was the pot holes. The sizes ranged from a basketball to the size of a large dog, and the depth was anywhere from 6 inches to 18 inches. Austin did great at maneuvering around them. The views as we were driving were breath taking. We saw mountain landscapes and lush fields full of crops. Honduras is a beautiful country. Another thing to get used to is the driving; its not like in the states here speed limits seem optional, most driving laws are not enforced (you can imagine the chaos), people pass whenever they want (most of the time on 2 lane roads while going around a sharp turn), and they like to use their horns a lot. While we were driving we went through 2 or 3 Honduran events on the side of the road. People were waving Honduran flags and at one of the stops we saw what looked like an award ceremony going on (all on the road side). As we drove through we noticed the car in front of us had their hazard lights on and the car behind us did the same, so not wanting to be the crazy Gringos we turned our hazards on as well. haha We still don't know what it was all about, but it gave us a good laugh. 

Once in Copan we meet our host family and tried to get settled into what will be our home for the next 3 months. The room we are in has its own bathroom and kitchen area. There are 2 double size beds (yes we are sleeping separate, we like to stretch out and it is cooler). The shower has a Widow Maker (which heats up the water) but the cold water is refreshing. It will be a difficult 3 months with adjusting to different living conditions. With not being able to brush our teeth with the sink water, not being able to open our eyes in the shower, and adjusting to life with no AC. All this will get easier and it will become second nature as time goes on.
Carla, Taylor, Austin 

Our host family is really nice. Carla is our host mom she is married and has 2 sons. Carla is also known for her excellent skills in the kitchen. She loves to cook and prepares food to sell in town. We have enjoyed every meal so far. She even made us pancakes on Saturday morning (a nice treat). Let’s just say we are blessed and will not go hungry. We also found out that there is a pizza place in town that is run by a man from Texas so we can have a taste of the states when we need it. There is also a cafe (Welches Cafe) about a block from us that has excellent coffee and sweets (I saw what looked like different cheesecakes) we plan on treating ourselves to some before the 3 months is over. 

We also met up with Tim (Tio ((Uncle)) Tim), a local missionary here in Copan. He showed us around the town, gave us great info about the markets and good places to eat, and he also took us to a lookout point where we saw gorgeous views. It was helpful to be able to talk with him and to know that if we need anything he is there to help us out.

Taylor, Tio Tim, Austin 
Tres Amigos

Saturday we went with Tio Tim to a festival for Dia del Nino (Day of the Child, it is a day were they celebrate the children). We enjoyed meeting many kids, watching the clowns entertain the children, eating, and watching the kids smash a pinata. 

God has been so good to us this far. He is answering prayers and laying the foundation for his work. Thank you for your support through prayer, we greatly appreciate it. Please continue to pray for us as we will be starting school on Monday. Pray that our ears will understand and our months will speak fluent Spanish. Pray for our host family that we can be a light to them and that God will use us to bless them like they are blessing us. Also pray for Tio Tim as he is doing God’s work in Copan that God would continue to use him in many ways.

We would love to answer any questions that you may have about our journey so far. You can message us through Facebook or our emails. 

****Meanwhile In the States****

Ben and Julie have ordered their plane tickets. Ben, Julie, Leighanne, and Hannah will fly out October 22th and start language school October 24th. 

We are now officially and fully a 501(c)3 public charity. Meaning we are officially a Non Profit organization and the IRS has approved everything.  Praise the Lord!

In Him, 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ring Ring.....

WOW Where has the time gone?  It has been just over a little year since my wife came home from a short term mission trip from Honduras.  During this trip she was asked to pray about getting more involved in ministry work in Honduras.  She came home asking me what I thought about moving to Honduras, and my first reaction was to laugh it off, until I realized she was serious.  The Sunday they returned to the states a guest pastor was preaching out of Luke 5, about becoming fishers of men and casting into deeper waters.  From this message I felt God might be calling Taylor and I to be fulltime missionaries in Honduras.  So for the next month (which would be September of 2015) Taylor and I took 2 days out of the week at lunchtime to individually fast and pray and study Gods word searching for an answer.  Through this time period I flipped the bible to Jeremiah and read 1:4-10 which says;

4 The Lord gave me this message: 5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.  Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet of the nations."  6 "O Sovereign Lord, I said, I can't speak for you! I'm too young!"  7 The Lord replied, "Don't say, I'm too young, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.  8 And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken! 9 Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, "Look I have put my words in your mouth!  10 Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms.  Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow.  Others you must build up and plant."

After reading this I felt I had a pretty clear answer that God was calling us to be full time missionaries in Honduras. 

Man, that's some good stuff.  These are such comforting words.  Its awesome to know that even before we were born God has a perfect plan for our lives.  It doesn't matter how young or old you are what your level of education is, what color your skin is, whether male or female, God has a calling for each and every one of us.

The same day of reading this passage from Jeremiah I saw a quote on Facebook saying: "God doesn't always called the qualified, he qualifies the called, so what are you waiting on, pick up the phone and answer."

So, I challenge you to see what it is that God would have you do.  How can you get involved for the advancement of the kingdom of God?  The phone is ringing, God is calling, how are you going to answer?