Greetings, Ministry Partners!
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 1:2 (NIV)
Well, September has come to an end. We are currently registering students for the next term. All of my current students who were in class last week have signed up for the 6-week term. This is great! We will complete registration this week. The next term will be short, and we have much to learn during those weeks, but I know my students will work hard. They are learning, or have already learned, that they need to practice to improve, and the perfect place to practice is in the classroom.
Last week, one of my students and another teen helped me install the cable modem and router in another classroom so that my classroom would get a better wireless signal and there would still be a good signal in the church office. Counting my trip down the street to get some cable clips, it took about two hours. Now, my teaching netbook at the front of my classroom gets four or five bars on the signal strength meter, compared to the no signal or one bar it used to get. This means that not only will I have a reliable signal when I want to use tools like Google Translator in class, but also, my students will be able to get a good signal on the class netbooks.
I have been updating the software on the classroom netbooks and preparing them to be on the Internet safely. The next task is to see if we can change the router’s DNS server settings so that we can use a service that controls which websites a system can connect to. We obviously don’t want people to click a link in their search results and get redirected to a malicious or pornographic site.
I was speaking with a fellow missionary this morning about the beauracracy that sometimes exists within mission agencies or church mission programs, along with an emphasis on “the bottom line.” I am so glad that God enabled me to come to Honduras free of that beauracracy. I serve at the direction of the Holy Spirit, as He leads Moises and the elders of the Iglesia Misionera de Cristo. I think that’s appropriate, since they know the needs of the congregation far better than anyone in the U.S. The Foundation reliably passes on donations they receive for me, and they are available if I need advice or assistance, but they leave the day-to-day operations of my ministry to me, as I’m led by the Spirit. I thank God for the way He worked this out!
For one who is goal-oriented, standards of measurement imposed by someone else aren’t really necessary. When Moises tells me that he’s received the regular school grades of my students and they have improved in their English classes, I know that my classes are having an impact on their academic performance. More important to me, though, is when I see my students in church on Sunday mornings, following along with a Scripture reading in the bilingual New Testaments they received in my classes. I intentionally gave them bilingual editions so that they could read the Scriptures in their native language and could use them in all of their church activities. Just a few days ago, some teens were sitting out in the sport court area when I came out of my classroom. As I walked past two of my students, I noticed that one of them had a Spanish Bible in his lap, and the other had the bilingual New Testament I gave him in class last year. He had his New Testament open and there was highlighting on the pages! That warmed my heart. For some of my students, the bilingual New Testament they get in my class is the first copy of the Scriptures that is their own, which, of course, means they can read it anytime they choose.
Starting at week nine of the first trimester, each class session begins with the students and I reading aloud a passage from the Gospel of Matthew. Although we don’t “study” the passage, I review all of the verbs with them, along with any other words that I know we haven’t yet covered in class and any words they ask about. When we start a new passage, we begin by silently reading the passage in Spanish. Several of the students who started classes with me last year are surprisingly fluent readers. Of course, they stumble over new words periodically, but I’ve been very impressed with their progress. I firmly believe that even though we are not doing a “Bible study,” God’s Word will not return void. As my students become more and more able to express their thoughts in English, we will be able to have some good biblical discussions. I look forward to those discussions. I will have to study, too!
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
I don’t have any exciting classroom pictures to show you, but here are some pictures that are far more exciting than any classroom photos. On September 1, seven women from Ana and Oscar’s home group in San Buenaventura were baptized in the river at Malalaja! I rode along with Moises and his oldest son, Eliezer. This has nothing to do with my ministry, but rather with God’s work through Ana and Oscar in the lives of these women. Praise be to God! (Ana and Oscar were my landlords last year.)
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” -Acts 2:38-39 (NIV)
Support and Prayer Requests
I thank each of you very much for your continuing support. Thank you for your emails, Facebook messages, prayers, housing, and financial contributions. If God leads you to be a part of His provision for me, you can make a tax-deductible financial contribution online through The Foundation, or, if you don’t need the deduction, you can make a non-deductible donation directly to me (send me a note and I’ll tell you how; this would be non-deductible for you and non-taxable for me).
I will begin planning for an April-May 2014 trip to the U.S. in December. I will need help with food, lodging, transportation, medical, insurance, and other expenses. This trip is currently unfunded, except for two one-way plane tickets (one of which will require an overnight hotel stay, probably in Dallas) for my Honduras to San Antonio and return flights, plus a $300 credit towards the roundtrip ticket I’ll need to go visit my mother and brother in North Dakota. Please ask God how He wants you to participate in meeting these needs.
I’ve been experiencing some chest congestion during the last couple of days, so I went searching for Robitussin DM yesterday. The four pharmacies I went to, including the one where I had previously purchased Robitussin, were all out of it. Today, I went to two pharmacies at the mall. Neither of them had it in stock, but the second one had a product containing both dextromethorphan and guifenesin, which is what Robitussin has. I got the only bottle they had in stock. After I got home, I discovered it also contains sodium saccharin–not what I wanted to see, but it’ll be OK for this one bottle. Hopefully, I’ll find some Robitussin (which does not contain saccharin) soon. I would appreciate your prayers for a speedy recovery.
Please continue to pray with me that it will be safe to walk between my home and the church building by July of next year (one year after One Nation One Day and six months after the new president takes office), that the areas considered to be hazardous will become safe for everyone.
Please remember when you shop online that if you buy through the links on my website, you’ll be supporting my ministry. Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com both pay me a small fee for purchases made through my links.
If you would like to be one of my prayer partners and haven’t signed up for my prayer partners’ mailing list, please do so here: http://eepurl.com/wVcB5.
Please keep praying!
With love from Honduras,
If you would like to partner with me financially, you can make a tax-deductible contribution through The Foundation at www.tfofsp.org. The Foundation will pass on 100% of your contributions to me. Please enter “Star Ferdinand” in the Comments box.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. -Psalm 18:1