Dear ministry partners,
It’s December 12, 2013. Two years ago, I was on my fourth day in my new home, a land with which I was somewhat familiar, but to which I was still very much a stranger. Eight-and-a-half weeks later, I was on my way to another foreign land, Costa Rica. My few months there studying the Spanish language were busy and very worthwhile. Then, in May of 2012, I was back in my new home, scurrying around to find the best prices on the essentials for making an unfurnished apartment “furnished.” Finally, in August, I began teaching English classes, mostly to teenagers, but also to a few adults.
Just a few days ago, the first group of teens completed their first series of lessons with me. In January, we will embark on a new adventure as we work through a course titled “God Loves the Outcast.” In this course, we will learn several Bible stories well enough to tell them to others. Although the students will tell them to me and their classmates in English, they will certainly be able to tell them to others in Spanish. They will continue to learn more English grammar and vocabulary, and we will spend some time working on reading comprehension. I am looking forward to this new course and what the students will gain from it as they learn more of God’s love for them and how to tell others of that love. The purpose of these classes is to teach the students to understand, speak, read, and write the English language, but along the way, I want them to become more firmly grounded in their faith as we read and discuss various passages from the Bible.
In addition to the regular school year and our English classes winding up for the year in November, this was also the month of the general elections in Honduras. This event captured the attention of the nation and was reported on around the world. There was great uncertainty during the days immediately preceeding and following the November 24th voting. Many who were here during the aftermath of the removal of the president in 2009 were fearful that violence might break out once again in this very poor and very young democracy. So, the church prayed. Spanish-speaking and English-speaking church members around the country, as well as missionary supporters in other countries prayed for peace and non-violence, for fair and free elections. I don’t think anyone doubted that the elections would be preceeded by corruption. Hondurans will tell you that is the way politics are here. Unfortunately, they expect it, and in many cases, accept it. Still, there was hope that they could cast their votes in a secret ballot and that the will of the majority would prevail.
Today, it is widely accepted that Juan Orlando Hernandez of the National Party will be the next president. However, two of the losing parties filed protests. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has until December 24th to resolve all disputes. It seems unlikely they will overturn the results. It is very uncertain whether the LIBRE party will accept the ruling of the Tribunal and begin to work peacefully to solve the innumerable problems of this small nation. What I have found surprising, and can only attribute to God’s intervention, is the lack of violent protests. There was a small demonstration the day after the election, in which tear gas and billy clubs were used by the police, but since then–nothing.
Every day of peace is a day of thanksgiving for lives saved and another chance to share God’s love with these beautiful and desperate people. Please pray that the peace continues, that the innauguration of the new president goes smoothly, and all parties will come together in a spirit of unity and reconciliation to begin a united attack on the source of the poverty and violence that grips this nation.
The day before the election, November 23rd, we celebrated the baptisms of six people, including one of my students! The Kingdom is still advancing here!
This month, I am working on a lengthy list of “to-dos,” beginning with planning a trip to the U.S. at the end of March. What I thought in October that trip was going to look like is not at all the way it’s turning out. I am confident that God has great things in store for me during this altered trip. I am waiting to hear whether I’ve been approved for a car lease before completing the rest of my plan. If the lease is approved, I plan to be in North Dakota for a few days at the end of March and again near the end of May. The remainder of the time will be spent traveling to and from Texas and in the San Antonio area. I expect to be in the San Antonio area from April 9 until about May 18th. I will be happy to speak to your groups, large or small, during my time in Texas and North Dakota. I am currently working on housing arrangements for April 9th to May 18th. If you’d like to add your name to my “potential hosts” list, please email me your name and the dates you would be able to host me. I’m very grateful for the way God has worked out these arrangements in the past and know that He will continue to do that.
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.
As the end of this year approaches, I am very grateful for the way God has provided for me this year through my financial and prayer partners in several states and by protecting my investment accounts from major declines. I am trusting that He will continue to provide as He sees fit in the years to come, wherever He sends me.
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.
Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. May He grant you the desires of your heart as you seek His desires for you. May God grant you a joyous Christmas season as you wait patiently for Jesus’ return. In all things, to God be the glory. Amen!
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. You can make non-deductible contributions directly to me.
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