New Year, New Life

March 4, 2014
Wow. Its been two months since I wrote. And there is two months worth of stuff to write! I’ll begin with where I left off.

I didn’t go to GYC in Orlando this year. Bummer, but its okay, I’ve had a wonderful past two months in Honduras to make up for it! On the 9th of January, my class from Matteson Mission School showed up to complete our mission internship, and take some leadership classes offered here at Instituto Biblico Centroamericano.

And thats where things started happening:

1.We were told that our practical work assignment while we are here is to make ten thousand bricks for a building project.
-Bricks. Ha. Your mind is going right to those red 3x5x10 bricks that you built your chimney out of. Nope. We are talking 1 foot by 2 feet by 6 inches.
-Ten thousand. We found we could make an average of 70 of these bricks a day. This includes going into a weed covered field, mow everything down to the bare dirt with machetes and hoes, using a pick-hoe to dig down four inches into the dirt, using a hoe to break the clumps into fine soft dirt, pile it up and soak it with water, stick our feet in and mix it with pine needles until its ready to put into wooden forms that make eighty pound bricks.
-The number was later revised, and we only have to make three thousand to complete the building.

2. As a class we decided to go through the “40 Days Prayer and Devotions” book, and unite as a class to pray.
-We split up into pairs, and each chose five people to pray for, either within our group, or others that we knew back home. We started praying, and if a book were to be written about all the answers to prayer each person experienced, it would be larger than the “40 Days” book.
-Through this prayer time, I personally experienced a wonderful new relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of the prayer times, I chose to face some personal issues in my life and leave them at the cross of Jesus. I have never felt so free and clear.

3. Leadership classes are a unique characteristic of Instituto Biblico Centroamericano, and Matteson utilizes the time we spend here to take the basic Leadership course. Matteson seeks to prepare its students to go out and start ministries to finish the work of God, and this is our jump-start and ministry building. We had a week for each class.
-Leadership Principles took us through biblical and logical principles of servant leadership, and how one has to step down to step up. I have never had such a practical, useful class before. Joseph Nally, former director of IBC, has spent much time studying and learning what Christian Leadership is all about, and it has been a humbling, but edifying experience for him, which he can now use to teach others.
-Human Resource Management was a very interesting, practical class that showed us how to apply Christian principles in managing people in a ministry. Different people taught each day, using their own experience and knowledge to give examples of how to best provide for, and support the human resources of a ministry.
-Total Quality, a unique study/class developed by José Suazo, the director and founder of VIDA internacional and Instituto Biblico Centroamericano, focuses on the need for excellence and high standards in operating and managing ministries. It shows how previous ministries have succeeded and failed, and explains why, then uses those examples to help design the best environment for a ministry that honors and glorifies God.
-Financial Management goes through a very basic overview of accounting, remuneration, and expenses in a ministry. This was taught by Eliazar Moro, the business manager of VIDA internacional.

4. Mission Excursions are a neat way to experience the local culture, and do frontline mission work.
-Part of the Matteson group hiked up a tall mountain behind the village of El Suyatal, where VIDA internacional is located. When we reached the top, we found a small community where people from El Suyatal move to for three months to harvest coffee, which is then cleaned and sent to large industries to be processed and exported. There, we camped out in a house made of wood and mud, and shared our worship service with the community people, and also went and visited individual families to give out free literature, sing, and pray with them.
-Three weeks later, the other half of the group went up the mountain to again share with the community, and both occasions were a wonderful blessing to the people and to us.
5. Mission Internships gave each of us to serve in different areas of VIDA’s ministry. Some worked in the community teaching English, one helped a girl with Spina bifida, another helped to teach in the bilingual elementary school operated by VIDA, some helped prepare and teach a Kid’s Health Week in town for the public elementary school, and I and one other person worked in Public Relations, designing a promotional video IBC, and designing and preparing other ministry documents.

Overall, the two months, which are coming to a close this week, have been a fulfilling missionary experience, and encourage me to continue in the Lord’s work.