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Category Archives: Updates

January-March 2017 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

View from my apartment

View from my apartment

Well, another trimester is over. The timeclock is moving very fast. I will only be here for one more trimester! Then, I’ll be returning to the U.S. to help immigrants.

This was a fairly routine trimester. Everyone is continuing to learn more vocabulary and expressions, and improving their listening comprehension and speaking fluency. It’s difficult for them, due to the lack of practice opportunities, but I still see improvement.

During the trimester break, I will be in the U.S. I hope to gather information about apartments and try to determine what general location I should live in, at least for my first few months. I also want to sit in a few cars that are on my shopping list, so I can eliminate any models that don’t seem to fit me well.

In addition, I’m looking for some books for my students, so they’ll have something in hard copy to use after I leave. Hopefully, I’ll either find something in stock in San Antonio, or will be able to get something shipped from Amazon in time to arrive and get packed before I return to Honduras.

As you may recall, my website was hacked several weeks ago. I have restored everything, but if it happens again, you can always read my updates on the Foundation for Missions blog.

Please continue praying for my students, me, and the people of Honduras. Thank you for your never-failing support!

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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October-December 2016 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

As we come to the end of this year, I just want to give you all a quick update to let you know that we completed our final trimester of 2016 in December. The classes went well, although some Saturday students continue to struggle to make it to class every week. They are learning that as your responsibilities increase, you have to make choices and set priorities for how you will spend your time. Some have had to choose between attending a church activity and coming to class. One is usually late because she works Saturday mornings. These are just typical life challenges the students have to deal with. When they are able to come to class, they are very attentive and participative.

October and December were pretty routine months, but November was special for two reasons: we had a mission team come from Nashville and we had a baptism service.

Carrying the tin for the roof

Tin for the roof

Maneuvering the tin inside the gate

Getting tin inside gate

Good safety practice

Good safety practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting the roof on

Putting the roof on

View from outside the fence

Outside the fence

 

The mission team added a kitchen and dining room to the church building in Mala Laha, a village not far from the city. This new feeding center will be used for a feeding program for the undernourished children in the area.

 

 

Remembering his baptism

Remembering

Thanking God

Thanking God

While the mission team was here, we had a baptism service for five teens in the river at the water park. I always love the baptism services, but what was most striking to me this time was what happened before the service. That morning, Jason (from Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Brentwood, TN) had preached about the significance of baptism, and he asked us to think back and remember our own baptism. Then, that afternoon, when an elderly man walked down to the river, knelt down, wet his head with river water, and lifted his hands and voice to God, I knew what he was doing. He was remembering that moment when he had become a new creation in Christ. It was a unique application of a sermon.

Pre-baptism message

Pre-baptism message

Teen baptism

Teen baptism

First communion

First communion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your continuing prayers. Please pray for my students and me as we continue to learn more English and develop individual learning plans for use now and after my departure in July. Please also continue praying for the people of Honduras. Thank you so much!

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn”t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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August-September 2016 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

Marlon reading from the Bible

Marlon reading from the Bible

Another trimester has ended! Time continues to march on. Let me just give you a quick update. We completed the second trimester of 2016 last Saturday. On Monday, we’ll start the final trimester of the year.

One class will complete level 2 in the curriculum early in the trimester and then begin, at the students’ request, a study of prayer. Two other classes will probably complete level 2 at the end of the term. The level 1 class should finish level 1 at the end of the term.

With only three trimesters left before I leave Honduras, all of my classes will be working hard to learn as much as they can during each trimester. Before I leave, the goal for each student is to have a personal plan for continuing to improve their English skills, even if they don’t have a native English-speaking teacher in residence to help them.

Please pray for my students and me as we work through this year’s final term. We need to stay focused on our lessons and helping each other.

Please also continue praying for the people of Honduras. Thank you so much!

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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April-July 2016 Update

After a 10-week trip to the U.S., I returned to Honduras in the middle of June. During my time in the States, I visited family and friends, and talked with various people about possibilities for future ministry in the U.S. I really enjoyed my time in the States, but it was good to get back home.

I returned in time to meet some new friends from Nashville and renew acquaintanceships with others from the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. It was an enjoyable time for me and it gave my students another opportunity to practice their spoken English. They always enjoy opportunities like this. In addition to the usual construction, food and clothing distribution, soccer tournament, and youth rally, for the first time, water filters were distributed to several rural families.

Building a new room

Building a new room

Installing a water filter

Installing a water filter

Water filters ready for distribution

Water filters ready for distribution

Sorting clothes for distribution

Sorting clothes for distribution

Youth rally

Youth rally

Soccer tournament

Soccer tournament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began our second trimester of English classes during the last week of June. Two weeks later, the mission team from Sunset Ridge Church of Christ in San Antonio arrived, and we dismissed classes for the week.

This time, we rebuilt a house that had burned down about 15 months ago and also conducted medical and dental clinics at the church. It was another great week of mission work.

Dental clinic

Dental clinic

The new house

The new house

Inside the new house

Inside the new house

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, we are back to our regular class routine. We will continue working with the English for Life curriculum, along with supplemental materials from multiple sources.

Please continue praying for my students, the people of Honduras, and me. Thank you so much!

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2016 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

November 2015 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

You may be tired of me saying that time sure flies, but I’m saying it again. The older I get, the faster it seems to go. So, here we are. November has come and gone. The end of another year is speeding toward us. Before it gets here, I want to update you about November.

I made a quick trip back to Texas for two weeks at the end of the month. I really enjoyed my time there. It was a true vacation, as I completed my lesson preps before I left. It was wonderful.

During the rest of the month, we continued our English classes. The students are continuing to make progress. The Level 1 students learned house vocabulary, how to describe the rooms in their houses, the parts of the body, and how to tell a doctor what body part hurts, what kind of pain it is, and when the pain started. The Level 2 students continued expanding their vocabulary for weather and clothing and practiced talking about the weather and what kind of clothing one should wear in different weather situations.

In December, we will wrap up the final modules for the year. Level 1 students will finish the “Body” module and then do some review activities. Level 2 students will do a “Leisure Activities” module, in which they will expand their vocabulary and practice talking about what they like or don’t like to do in their free time.

How to write a paragraph

How to write a paragraph

In addition, from December 3-February 3, we will have an extra course for the teens. We will spend two hours each week just working on understanding and writing paragraphs. Hopefully, this will help them to not only write better paragraphs in English, but also in Spanish. We will be working our way through a book from Scholastic Publishing that was written by some teachers who created and tested the lessons in their own classrooms. The book is written completely in English, so we will go through it together.

We will begin our new English school year in January. I don’t know yet if I will have any new students. Several people asked about classes during this year, but that doesn’t mean they’ll actually sign up and attend. I’ll have to wait until January to find that out.

Please pray for my students and me as this year comes to a close. We need to stay focused on our lessons and helping each other.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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October 2015 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

It’s difficult to believe it’s November already! Another year is fast approaching its end. So, I want to give you a brief update.

How to write a paragraph

How to write a paragraph

The English classes have been in full swing since September 24. My Level 1 students are making good progress in learning basic vocabulary, and asking and answering questions. I discovered that they have not learned to write paragraphs in their regular classes. Consequently, they don’t know how to write a paragraph in English.

I was not expecting this, but I have a plan for improving the situation. From December 3 through February 4, each class session will be two hours instead of one. During the extra hour, we will work through the lessons in the book “Paragraph Writing Made Easy!” The Honduran school year runs from February through November, so my students will be able to come to the extra classes. I’m hoping this works out well. If they can write a good paragraph in English, they’ll be able to do so in Spanish. Paragraph writing is a skill that will benefit my students throughout their university careers and beyond.

My Level 1 students will begin Level 2 in January. My current Level 2 students should complete that level at the end of March and will begin Level 3 in July.

That’s all for now. Please continue to keep my students and me in your prayers as we complete this year of study.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

September 2015 Update: English Classes and Dengue Fever

Dear Ministry Partners,

Let me catch you up on a few things that have happened since my last update.

We completed the second trimester of English classes for this year. After our week off, we will continue with the third trimester, ending a few days before Christmas. Please pray for my students and me, that we will finish the year strong.

The A/C works!

The A/C works!

After a few weeks without it, we have a working air conditioner again! Apparently, a hose sprung a leak after it got kinked during preparations for replacing the roof. We really need the A/C because we have to keep the door closed when there are children playing outside the classroom. The fan we have just doesn’t do a good enough job. So, it’s a great blessing to have the A/C working again!

The last big thing that happened was my bout with a mild case of Dengue Fever. My adult students, Moises, and I all thought I had Chikungunya, which has similar symptoms. The CBC showed I had leucopenia (reduced white blood cell count), which is a hallmark of Dengue, not Chikungunya. So, my doctor told me to continue taking acetaminophen, drinking lots of liquids, and resting at home. That did the trick, and I am now ready to resume classes tomorrow. I am still tired, but otherwise feeling fine.

I think that’s all for now. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying your fall weather.

Thank you so much for your continuing support. Please remember us in your prayers. We have had some rain this week, but we still need more so the reservoirs will be filled before the dry season comes in December.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

Many blessings to you all!

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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July 2015 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

July was another good month here. In addition to the English classes, which are going well, we also had a mission team here from San Antonio. Some of our teens and young adults joined in on different days as we built a house and painted three classrooms.

Raising a side wall

Raising a side wall

 

Because of the location, we had to build this side wall first and then lift it into place. This was also necessary for the back wall.

Building an interior wall

Building an interior wall

The family

The family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have English classes during this week, and some of the teens had the week off from high school, so they were able to work with us for part of the week. It was great to have them with us, including a few of my students.

A grandmother, her daughter, and two granddaughters will live in the new house. They were very happy and excited.

The house

The house

We completed the building, painting, and wiring of the house in three days.

On Friday, we painted the three classrooms that had been remodeled in June. Each of the classrooms is now about two feet wider and have one new wall and a new ceiling. A little more work still needs to be done in my classroom, hopefully before the end of August.

Overall, it was a very good week, and I really enjoyed seeing my Texas friends again.

We resumed English classes and will continue for the rest of the trimester with, I think, only one interruption on a Saturday in August so that I can attend a conference in Tegus.

Thank you so much for your continuing support. Please remember us in your prayers. The weekly demonstrations against the president are continuing. Please pray that these demonstrations continue to be peaceful. We still need more rain so the reservoirs will be filled before the dry season comes in December.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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June 2015 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

After a very productive trip to the U.S. during April and May, we resumed English classes on June 2. I really enjoyed seeing my students again and getting back to the task of helping them to learn English.

We are now using the English for Life curriculum that was developed by a former missionary. I like the curriculum and I think the students will, too. My newest students are working on Level 1 while my Saturday students are on Level 2. This is a five-level curriculum, so we have plenty to work on.

Charles Holton

Charles Holton

Charles Holton, an elder at the Cole Mill Road Church of Christ in Durham, NC, visited us during the second week of June. He was in town on business, but spent several hours visiting with Moises and participants in the education and nutrition programs that have been important projects for him over the past many years. On Sunday, he talked about Luke 2:52 as the basis for the nutrition, education, and discipleship programs. At the end of the service, he presented awards to three students who had been selected by ministry leaders as the three students who best exemplified the qualities of Luke 2:52 as shown by their academic performance, service in the church and community, and spiritual development. I’ve been privileged to have two of those students in my English classes since we started in August 2012!

 

Working on the roof

Working on the roof

Loading the old wood

Loading the old wood

Teamwork

Teamwork

A little bubble blowing

A little bubble blowing

Long-time friends

Long-time friends

Soccer is essential

Soccer is essential

I dismissed classes for the last two weeks of June while the mission teams from the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ Youth Group were here. Some of my students  were in a testing week at their high schools, so they were able to help with the work and practice their English while the first team was here. I spent that week with the team, too. Mostly, I took pictures, but I did get a little bit of physical exercise carrying building materials and cleaning up debris. I also suffered my first injury as a sports photographer (I’m fine now).

The projects for the first week included replacing rotting or termite-infested rafters, studs, and siding in three classrooms (including mine), as well as tearing down a house that the second group would build, beginning some work on the site where the San Antonio team will build a house in July, and painting the inside and outside of a rural church building. Of course, the Sunday afternoon soccer games are an essential part of every trip.

The youth rally Sunday evening was led by our teens. One of my students was the emcee, his brother led the opening prayer, and another of my students presented a lesson that Moises interpreted. The second message was presented by one of the Harpeth Hills students and was also interpreted by Moises.

After the San Antonio team leaves in July, we plan to follow our regular schedule for the remainder of the trimester, which runs through the first week of September.

Thank you so much for your continuing support. Please remember my students, the people of Honduras, and me in your prayers. Currently, there are weekly demonstrations against the president on Friday evenings. Tens of thousands of people are demanding his resignation. Please pray that these demonstrations continue to be peaceful. Please also pray for some more rain. This is the rainy season, but we sure haven’t had much rain. We need to get the reservoirs filled before the dry season comes.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small advertising fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

March 2015 Update

March 2015 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

Another trimester has come to an end. It’s hard to believe that time can go by so quickly. I once heard someone say that time seems to go by as fast as we are old, so that at age 10, time seems to move at 10 miles per hour; and at age 50, it seems to move at 50 miles per hour. That really seems to be true.

Classes went well this month. My students are improving, step by step. I have some new things to try during the next trimester for both levels of students. I’m looking forward to seeing what works well. My goal is to arrive at a curriculum that a non-native English speaker could teach without an on-site native speaker and get good results. With today’s technology, I think we can do that. Earlier this month, I received all the materials for a curriculum that was successfully implemented in Brazil by a team of native and non-native English speakers. I’m hoping to be able to make that the foundation of our curriculum and integrate into it a few of the things we’ve been doing.

We had a group of visitors from San Antonio here for a few days this month. It was great to see Paula and Mike again, and to meet Todd, Nathan, and Wade (sure hope I got those names right)! It was the first time I heard Mike’s story as he preached at the IMC on March 8. The sound of the “asherah poles” breaking around the room was pretty cool as people decided that even though their asherah poles may have shaped their past, they would not shape their future as they live their new life in Christ.

The highlight of the month, though, came two weeks later, as 11 more people, including one of my students, were baptized at the water park. It was a wonderful afternoon!

Choosing to break the asherah pole and live his new life in Christ

Choosing to break the asherah pole and live his new life in Christ

Praying for the baptismal candidates

Praying for the baptismal candidates

Marlon

Marlon being baptized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am currently packing and tying up loose ends here in preparation for spending April and most of May in the U.S. Please pray for a restful and renewing time for me. If you want to get together and you’ll be in the San Antonio area between April 26 and May 16, send me an email or Facebook message. I’d love to see as many of you as I can!

Thank you so much for your continuing support. Please remember my students, the people of Honduras, and me in your prayers.

If you shop online, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Both sites pay me a small referral fee for purchases made through my links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, if you would like to partner with me financially, read “Become a Ministry Partner” to get the details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses.

With love from Honduras,

Star

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” -Psalm 12:5

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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