We are excited to announce that we have begun our "Bright Beginnings Club". We are about to embark on our 3 week journey back to the USA soon. We have already been approved to receive children into our home when we return to Honduras. While we do not yet know the exact age, gender, or story of the children we will receive, we have been able to estimate a budget for various ages based on our experience of raising children, the input from other ministries, and shopping for various items (formula, diaper, etc.) here in Honduras. For every infant that is still on formula, the cost is $150 - $200 per month. For toddlers that are no longer on formula, the cost drops to $80 - $130 per month. In addition to their basic care, due to undernourishment or neglect, many of these children will have chronic medical needs and the routine visits for these needs are included in this budget. Unless there are unusual circumstances (siblings, etc.), we will begin with children under the age of 2. The "Bright Beginnings Club" is your opportunity to sow directly into the lives of these children. We are not looking for full sponsors of individual children, but we do want you to have an opportunity to invest anywhere from $5 per month to $50 per month, or any other amount God lays on your heart to help make it possible for us to meet the physical needs of these children. When you join the Bright Beginnings Club you will be invited to a private Facebook Group that we have to keep you updated on the progress of the children as we cannot publicly post details about them or pictures of them.
Thursday was the first day that Ben (and Austin) went to the mountain villages to study with pastors without some of the other missionaries that had been studying with them. Okay, we cheated a little in that Melyssa went with us as a translator, but we are also working on getting a translator for us to be able to take so we can all spend more time with more pastors in more places. We had a great time of study and fellowship with Pastor Servio and Pastor Eleuterio in El Barrio, Lempira. After studying with them about 2 1/2 hours, they fed us an awesome lunch prepared by Eleuterio's wife and daughter. Pastor Eleuterio was also showing us his memory stick where he has recorded every major spiritual marker since his salvation.
Studying in El Barrio
Pastor Eleuterio with memory stick
Recognition of years of service
Our meal in El Barrio
Time of Fellowship over a meal
I went to Mercedes with a translator and studied, had fellowship and dinner, and worshiped with the pastors for 8 hours yesterday. We didn't need as much study time as we had allocated for the afternoon because the pastors were so prepared, so we had more time for fellowship before worship. I spent hours in the homes of Melvin and his father Israel. Israel is the supervisor of 26 churches and is using the main church here in Mercedes as a place to train his pastors and equip them better for ministry. We were able to talk about his vision for his church and some possible ways that we can partner a U.S. church with them to help bring about that vision. I absolutely love how valuable fellowship is to the people here in Honduras. I was invited to bring the message during worship.
Studying in Mercedes
Worship in Mercedes
Our speaking schedule in the USA for May is pretty full at this time. I am listing the public speaking forums below along with their locations if any of you live near these places and would like to get an in-person update. If you would like Austin and Taylor to come share in your Church, Sunday School, Women's group, etc., in one of the slots listed as "available", please contact them directly to schedule. We are grateful for friends who will stay in our home in Honduras to keep an eye on things while we are travelling.