God Has Called Us...

November 3, 2015

God did not call us to convert Catholics.

God did not call us to convert Catholics, but God has called us to follow His example. He has not called us to convert Buddhists, Muslims, Baptists, atheists, Mormons, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists, agnostics, or Hindus. God has called us to Central America to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. My desire is to preach good news to the poor and to proclaim liberty to the captives. I have the greatest treasure in Christ, and I want others to know that hope as well.

Jesus Christ’s great commission to the church to make disciples of himself, is a commission to all those who put their faith in him. This is the call God has predestined for all of his saints, whether they follow Him to a foreign land or not, whether they are students, doctors, stay-at-home moms, lawyers, pastors, accountants, teachers, missionaries, engineers, businessmen, politicians, waiters/waitresses, etc…. As was Paul’s ambition in Philippians 3:14, let us also “…press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Look to Jesus and be changed this week.

Ministry Update

October 27, 2015

It has been one week since we returned to Central America to continue our study of the Spanish language, and we’ve already taken advantage of many opportunities the Lord has given us to be on mission for Him where we are now. We are in class 20 hrs per week, learning one-on-one with local Spanish teachers. There is a great, Bible-believing church near our apartment that we’ve gotten plugged in to. They’ve provided us with most of the Spanish materials we’ve used for ministry since we’ve been here. When we aren’t studying Spanish, including homework assignments, we’re able to put what we’ve learned into practice as we navigate the local market for our necessities and as we serve in the community. This past week, we were blessed to serve in a birth center, an orphanage, and visit in the home of a local Mayan family. Israel has loved spending time with his grandma Cathy, as she was able to travel down with us to spend a week as we’re transitioning back.

Please keep the following prayer needs in mind as you go before the Father:

• That the political instability and violence of the region would be such that we could make the transition effectively.

• National and local elections – that God would put authorities in place who would honor the Word of God and His people

• Prison and gang ministry. Many of the men in Central America are in custody for gang involvement, leaving the gangs themselves as the primary influence of many children, especially young boys, who, sadly, tend to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. By God’s grace and the prayers and fasting of his people, this deadly cycle can be broken and this land healed.

We are deeply grateful for the love, prayers and support we’ve received. Thank you for being our friends and our partners in the faith.

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Recipe: Sweet and Sour Rice

October 21, 2015

Hey yall, 
  Here is a recipe for sweet and sour rice we made tonight. I found a similar recipe online and adapted it to what I had. Here's how we make it. 

Sweet and Sour Rice

Rice:
3 tazas de agua (3 cups of water) 
1 1/2 tazas de arroz (1 1/2 cups dry rice) 

Sauté:
3 pechugas de pollo (3 chicken breasts)
2 chile pimientos (2 bell peppers)
1 cebolla (1 onion) 
1 taza de agua (1 cup water) 
2 tazas piña de la carreta (2 cups or one 15.5 oz can pineapple)
Optional: 1-2 manzanas (1-2 apples) 

Sauce:
8 limones pequeñas (juice of 8 key limes, or 1/3 cup lime juice) 
2 tazas de agua (2 cups water) 
1 taza de azúcar (1 cup sugar) 
1/3 taza salsa de soja (1/3 cup soy sauce)

Hot sauce (optional)

Directions: 
Rice: Boil water for rice then add rice and cook on low heat for 20 min. 
Sauté: Dice and sauté chicken, peppers, onion, pineapple and apples with water. 
Sauce: Heat lime juice, water, soy sauce and sugar. Add sauce to sautéed veggies and chicken. Serve over rice. 
Add hot sauce for added spice (optional). 

Preparation time!

On the stove!

Derick loves it!

And baby Israel is just happy to be here!

Happy Columbus Day

October 12, 2015

Today we celebrate the day Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas. It may be no surprise that 523 years later, these two continents look very different, in more ways than one. I am grateful, however, that we serve a God who never changes. One common fallacy in this “post-Christian” American movement is that the Bible and Christianity is a passing fad from a culture of yesteryear, and that we, in our postmodern thinking, have to look beyond an ancient book if we ever hope to progress as a society. And that is the very thing that any perceived enemy of God (the Bible calls him Satan), whose nature is the very opposite of God (e.g. deceptive, a thief, a murderer, prideful, a destroyer, etc…) would have the American people to believe. The truth is that someone or something cannot change if it’s already perfect. That is, God and his word have always been and will always be the same, not for ignorance or lack of progress, but rather because any change would mean regression from perfection. I am not saying that Christ followers are perfect; we are far from it. But once someone makes the decision to follow Christ, the process of sanctification begins, meaning that God will put him or her on the right path, to look more like Jesus. Christianity, in its essence, is progress, in both a person’s life and in the life of a nation.

This past week, I read Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”. I love this verse. It hung on my dorm room wall while I was a student at Oklahoma State University. This verse is just one example of the many truths of the Bible. I had seen this verse so many times during my time in college, yet it had such a unique, profound impact on me when I read it years later. The variable wasn’t the scripture itself*, but was my own life. We all walk through different seasons of life, and it’s amazing how God continues to speak to us by the same truths. If you really want to discover something amazing (in keeping with the spirit of Columbus Day), open a copy of God’s word and prepare to have your mind blown**.

*Hebrews 13:8

**Hebrews 4:12