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December 2014 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

It’s New Year’s Eve. Wow! 2014 will be over in just a few hours, and we’ll be starting a new year. I am grateful to God for this past year and am excited to see what He’ll do with this new year.

The new year of English classes starts on Saturday. I know I’ll have some new students, but I don’t know yet which classes they’ll be in. Hopefully, they’ll all have completed the registration form by Friday afternoon.

My continuing students will continue with the course “God Loves the Outcast.” They will complete that course during this trimester. The new students will be the first students to use the curriculum I have been working on off-and-on for the past year. It’ll be interesting to see which pieces work well and which need to be altered. Hopefully, we’ll end the year with a good curriculum for beginners in Latin America.

Please join me in praying for all of my students as we prepare for another year of study. May God guide each of us as we seek to follow the path He lays before us.

Thank you for your faithfulness throughout 2014.

With love from Honduras,

Star

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.-Romans 15:13 (NIV)

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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November 2014 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

The highlight of the month of November was the International Conference on Missions in Columbus, OH. I attended the pre-conference that was exclusively for missionaries, as well as the general conference. The conference theme was “Vertical.” What does that mean? If we strengthen our vertical relationship (with God), it will overflow into our horizontal relationships (our ministries). The conference came at a great time for me, as I really needed to refocus. I still have much to think and pray about as a result of the many workshops I attended. I am very grateful for God’s provision in making my attendance possible!

One of many workshops

One of many workshops

An ICOM main session

An ICOM main session

The Wall of Unreached People Groups

The Wall of Unreached People Groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veronica and Star

Veronica and Sta

After the conference ended, my hostess took me to Parkersburg, WV where I was well-taken-care-of by several Women of Purpose (WOP) team members. I had dinner with several of them the first night, lunch with Terri the next day, and dinner with Kay that night.All the meals I had in Parkersburg were excellent. I had steak twice and grilled salmon once. At the first dinner, I met Veronica, whose incredible story I shared on Facebook. If you missed it on Facebook, you can read it here.

Terri also took me to Wal-Mart and the Family Christian Store. Kay took me to Books-a-Million. I greatly enjoyed my day and a half in Parkersburg.

Those women really know how to take care of missionaries, something I first discovered at the retreat they conducted in Honduras in November of 2012. So far, that’s the only one I’ve been able to attend, but it is an annual event for women missionaries in Honduras. They had somewhere around 115 or 120 missionaries attend this year.

Star and Jo Ann

Star and Jo Ann

My hostess in Reynoldsburg/Columbus was Jo Ann, whom I met for the first time when she picked me up at the airport in Columbus. However, we had been Facebook friends since 2012, when she sponsored me to attend the WOP retreat in Honduras. Jo Ann, her husband Mike, and their dog Sami were great hosts.

The night before my return to Honduras, I gave a presentation at the Reynoldsburg Church of Christ, where Mike and Jo Ann attend. I enjoyed doing the presentation and it went well, until we ran into one technical issue with the presentation software. That was resolved and I continued. There were several questions afterwards, and the people seemed to be genuinely interested.

I was very blessed by all the people God put in my path during those two weeks (and the months leading up to them) in the States. I have discovered over the years that I really do have family everywhere I go. I thank God for each brother and sister He arranges to cross my path!

The rest of the month was occupied with more English classes. We are approaching the Christmas break, and the teens are out of school until the second week or so of February. This is their equivalent of the summer break in the U.S. We will have about 13 days off from English classes and then we’ll start the first trimester of 2015!

Brother Moises is currently in the process of interviewing and selecting new students. I have many lessons to prepare for next year, but I am looking forward to the new year and working with both my current students and my new students.

Praises

  1. Great conference
  2. Successful presentation
  3. New friends and contacts made at the conference

Prayer Requests

  1. For God to bring the students to my classes whom He wants in my classes.
  2. That my current students will continue their good work and keep pressing on to the end of the term.

As you do your online shopping, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com both pay me a small fee for purchases made through my links.

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.

Thank you so much for your continuing prayers!

I hope each of you has a wonderful, joyful, and peaceful Christmas season as we all celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

With love from Honduras,

Star

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

 

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October 2014 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

Yet another month has flown by, so it’s time for another short update.

Missionary Day Apart

Missionary Day Apart

The highlight of this month had nothing to do with my classes or my students. This past Wednesday, Schools of Hope and The Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries co-sponsored the second annual “Missionary Day Apart” here in Tegucigalpa. It was a day of fun, teaching, encouragement, fellowship, and prayer. Several missionaries said they felt as if one or more of the messages were specifically for them.

I took pictures throughout the day, but I was still able to enjoy myself, get encouraged, meet some new people, and get some food for thought. The day ended with a powerful time of prayer for each missionary individually.

As I look forward to the International Conference on Missions in November, I anticipate a lot more encouragement, new friends, food for thought, and powerful prayer times. I also expect to be challenged.

One other high point in October occurred as I was waiting at the church gate for my taxi one afternoon. A young Honduran man was walking by and stopped to talk to me. He spoke fairly good English. In our three or four minute conversation, he thanked me three times for being here. It was a nice end to the day!

English classes continued this month as scheduled, with the exception of a few days when my teen students couldn’t come because of school activities. I used that time to work on a presention I will be doing in November. We didn’t have any exams this month, but I know the students are making progress. Next month, we will have exams and again in December.

As this year quickly approaches it’s close, please pray for my students and me to finish strong!

Praise Reports

Thank you all for praying for rain. One of the two main reservoirs for the city was full last week and the second was almost full. We’ve had more rain since then, so I would guess that both are now full. This is wonderful, since we will be transitioning into the dry season during the month of November. Hopefully, the water we have now will be enough to make additional water rationing unnecessary.

Prayer Requests

  • That God will bring me the right students for new classes in January.
  • That God will continue to guide me as I prepare new English lessons and my mission presentation for November.
  • That He will help my students to finish this school year strong.
  • That God will continue to provide for my financial needs.
  • That I will hear whatever God wants me to hear during my time at the International Conference on Missions and will respond accordingly.

As you do your online shopping, please be sure to use the links on my website to support my ministry through your Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com purchases. Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com both pay me a small fee for purchases made through my links.

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.

Thank you so much for your continuing prayers!

With love from Honduras,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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September 2014 Update

My dear ministry supporters,

September has passed already! Wow! This year is certainly going by quickly.

We successfully completed our second trimester on September 13. During the one-week break between terms, I focused on preparing the presentation I will do in November. I have more work to do on this. God has graciously given me ideas and a great story to tell.

On September 22, our final term of the year started. Several students chose not to continue with classes this term. This is a voluntary program for all of the students, so I know some students will dropout along the way, for a variety of reasons. We will start enrolling new students in December for classes that will begin in January.

I’m continuing to work on lessons for the new beginning students. I have made good progress, but there is much more to do. I still hope to finish by Christmas, but it’s going to be difficult.

We had more rain in September than we’ve seen in many months. Still, we are very short on water. Please pray for more rain.

The highlight of the month was September 28, when eight teens and two adults were baptized in the river at San Matias. It was a great day. The teens and children enjoyed the chance to swim or play in the water. I enjoyed the chance to be out of the city and to take pictures. Photography used to be a hobby for me, but it’s been years since I’ve had any time for it. Hopefully, I’ll have another opportunity in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy this sample from the baptisms:

 

Prayer Requests

  • That God will bring me the right students for the new classes.
  • That God will continue to guide me as I prepare new English lessons and my mission presentation for November.
  • That God will send us more rain.
  • That He will help my students to finish this school year strong.
  • That God will continue to provide for my financial needs.

If you shop at Amazon.com or Christianbook,com, please be sure to use 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.

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.

Thank you so much for your continuing prayers! I miss you and look forward to seeing you all soon.

With love from Honduras,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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August 2014 Update

Dear Ministry Partners,

August was a fairly routine month. Classes continued as scheduled, and I made significant progress in developing the new beginners’ course.

We had a few days at the end of August when it rained in the evenings. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of the drought that has taken a severe toll on many crops across the country, resulting in higher prices at the supermarket, as well as shortages.

The highlight of the month was the dedication of the house we built in July with the mission team from Texas, Florida, and Tegucigalpa. I had not seen the house with the door and shutters installed, so it was nice to see the finished product.

Our World Race team of seven women arrived the afternoon of August 31. They will be participating in many of the church’s ministries throughout the month of September. If you’d like to read about the team members and follow their blogs, please check out the World Race website.

Prayer Requests

  • For my students to maintain their focus as we approach the end of this term.
  • For the rains to continue.
  • For the health and safety of the World Race team and Spirit-led ministry throughout September.
  • For the Lord’s guidance as I prepare a presentation for my November trip.

 

Remember, 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.

Also, 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.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Thank you so much for continuing to pray!

With love from Honduras,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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January 2014 Update

Dear ministry partners,

Another month is about to end! Today, the teens in my morning class had an opportunity to tell me the first two stories in our “God Loves the Outcast” course, recite Deuteronomy 7:9 in Spanish, and answer the question “Who is Jesus?” from the paper “Elements of the Gospel.” They need to continue their practice, but they did very well. The first two stories in the course are “God Created Everything” (from Genesis 1:1-2:3) and “God Created People” (from Genesis 1:27-2:25). Today, we started on “The People Disobey God” from Genesis 3. The last story for this term will be “David Becomes King” from 1 Samuel 16 and 2 Samuel 7:10-16.

Most of my students go back to school on Monday. They’ve been on vacation since the end of November. This is their “summer” break. The public schools follow a February-November schedule. The private schools are split between this schedule and an August-May/June schedule.

Mauricio

Mauricio

Junior

Junior

A lamp for the desk

A lamp for the desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, Mauricio and Junior helped me reconfigure the Internet cables so that we now have wired connections to each of the computers in my classroom. This not only provides a faster connection to the Internet, but also reduces the students’ exposure to the radiation generated by wireless devices. We moved the router and cable modem out of the nursery, since younger children are particularly sensitive to the cumulative effects of the radiation. While we’ll all continue to be exposed to low levels of radiation through the normal course of our lives, this change will help a tiny bit and was not expensive.

I was also able to purchase a desk lamp for each of the three computers at the back of the room. The overhead lights don’t light that area very well. Now, the students can easily see the keyboard and their notes.

Computer lab

Computer lab

 

It is my plan to continue to make the computers available to the students during designated lab times so they can use Duolingo and Anki to review vocabulary and grammar, and practice their listening skills. I also hope that next fall I will be able to offer some short courses on special topics during December and January when the students are out of school.

 

 

We are currently in the first week of our Scripture Memory Challenge. Except for the three students who were absent on the day their classmates signed up to participate, 100% of the students are participating! This will be a great help to them in learning English, but more importantly, will help grow spiritually. They will be thinking about the verses and hiding them in their hearts. The Holy Spirit will bring these verses to mind weeks, months, or years from now when the students find themselves in a situation where they need these words, either for themselves or for someone they are trying to encourage or comfort. We are not just learning the verses in English, though. This is a bilingual challenge! We are learning the verses in both Spanish and English. I say “we” because I am doing this, too. In addition, at least one person in Oklahoma and Jason Pagel’s youth group at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Brentwood (Nashville), TN, is also participating. We just might have to work in a little competition when Jason brings two teams from the youth group down here in June! 🙂

The verses we will be learning are from set 1 of the Fighter Verses. If you want to participate with us, it’s not too late to start! Just go to the Scripture Memory page and start memorizing! Don’t worry about not knowing Spanish. The links on the Scripture Memory page will take you to BibleGateway.com, where you can hear the verses in both English and Spanish.

Juan Orlando Hernández was sworn in as president of the Republic of Honduras this past Monday, January 27. I was able to watch some of the ceremony on the Internet between classes. Everything went well. I heard that evening that there had been a protest march, but the marchers weren’t able to get close to the National Stadium, so there was no disruption of the festivities.

As I said last month, 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 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.

I have made good progress on my “to do” list last month an continuing through this month, but there is still much to do. I have made all the necessary reservations for my spring trip. I’m very grateful that I was approved to lease a car from the Grace Corporation in Max, ND. Including the extra travel costs involved with leasing a car so far from San Antonio, I will still save about 50% of what it would cost me to rent a car in San Antonio. I also have confirmed reservations with all of the families who will host me during my trip. This is wonderful!

I have openings on my schedule yet to speak to your groups, large or small, during my time in Texas (April 10-May 18). Please let me know soon if you want to get on my schedule. Fridays, in particular, fill up quickly.

Please continue to pray with me that it will be safe to walk between my home and the church building by this July (one year after One Nation One Day and six months under the new administration), that the areas considered to be hazardous will become safe for everyone.

This month, I am thanking God for seven years of productive and fruitful life following my lumpectomy for breast cancer on January 23, 2007. I trust that He will continue to guide me in His ways and on His path! Thank you, Lord!

I am very grateful for the way God has provided for me during these past 32 months, first in Costa Rica and now in Honduras, through my financial and prayer partners in several states and by protecting my investment accounts from major declines. My accounts are not doing well this month, but I am trusting that God will continue to provide for me as He sees fit in the years to come, wherever He sends me.

If you would like to partner with me financially, please read “Become a Ministry Partner” for details on how to make a deductible or non-deductible gift to help pay for my monthly expenses. Although I am using my retirement accounts to pay many of my expenses in Honduras, I still need to raise an additional $500 a month for my monthly living expenses.

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 patient and joyous spirit as you wait for springtime and especially as you wait in anticipation of Jesus’ return. In all things, to God be the glory. Amen!

Please keep praying!

With love from Honduras,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Scriptures, Updates

 

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2013 Year-end Update

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.

Nancy's baptism

Nancy’s baptism

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,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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October 2013 Update

Greetings, Ministry Partners!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 1:2 (NIV)

While most adults focus on the upcoming national elections, my students completed one term of study and started another during October. This short term will end December 2.

The seven teens who have been studying with me since August of last year completed parts one and two of the curriculum we purchased. We are now studying some additional grammar and vocabulary, as well as studying the Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the Parable of the Lost Son/Compassionate Father). We are working on reading comprehension and expressing thoughts orally. It’s difficult for them, but they are making progress!

My other students are continuing to work through the 40 lessons of the purchased curriculum. As each class completes the lessons, they will move into the new curriculum I’ve outlined, starting with the present perfect tense and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The adults will begin with this module in January, while the two teen classes will begin a course called “Called Loves the Outcast.” This course uses Bible stories as part of the instructional material. I’m eager to see how the students “take” to this approach.

The Iglesia Misionera de Cristo continues to help teens and children to get an education, to be involved in church activities, to hear the Gospel, to commit their lives to Jesus. While this is all part of the church’s calling to love one another, this also helps keep the young people out of the gangs. I am honored and grateful to have a tiny part in accomplishing this mission. I love my students. Please join me in praying for them!

With the beginning of this current term, I began using a private taxi service. Although their prices exceed my budget, this is a safe and reliable service. I currently have no other viable option. So, my budget for 2014 has been increased to cover this taxi service.

Support and Prayer Requests

I want to 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). If you would like to see a copy of my budget for 2014, please let me know. I will be happy to send it to you.

Right now, people are very focused on the national election, scheduled for November 24. This is a crucial time in the country’s history. Please ask God to intercede on behalf of His people in Honduras, and to give them mercy. They are desperate and need His help.

Next month, I will begin planning for an April-May 2014 trip to the U.S. 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 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.

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,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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September 2013 Update

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,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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August 2013 Update

Greetings, Ministry Partners!

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:11, NLT)

Another month has flown by. August is over!

The World Race

We had a team of seven World Racers here from August 1-26. I got to spend a little bit of time with them, but mostly I was teaching or working on lessons. If you know anyone between the ages of 21 and 35 who has a heart for missions, be sure to have them check out The World Race at www.theworldrace.org. It’s a life-changing 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries. The work is different in every country, depending on the needs of the particular church or ministry organization the team is partnering with for the month.

During their month here, Team MannaFest participated in many of the church’s ministries, including, construction, food distribution, home visits, cooking for the children’s nutrition program, helping with the Compassion International project, leading worship, visiting with teens, helping Moises with the teen Bible classes, and helping Oscar and Ana with their home group in San Buenaventura. They demonstrated the love of Christ to many people, but they were also the recipients of His love through the people of the IMC. I was very touched to hear how the people gave of their meager means to bless Team MannaFest. It reminded me of the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12 and also illustrates how Jesus could send out the twelve disciples in Matthew 10 and tell them not to take any money or extra clothes. Team MannaFest is now serving at an orphanage in Nicaragua before they transition to Asia.

English Classes

Four more weeks of English classes completed this month means that we have completed the first half of this trimester, which ends on October 12. The students are doing well, including my new students, some of whom are only 11 years old. I think the real test for them will be the second half of November and all of January when they don’t have regular classes, but we’ll be having English classes. If they still come then, there’s a good possibility they’ll stick with it and eventually become fluent speakers of English.

New Curriculum Development

I have completed the first draft of the scope and sequence chart for the first level of the new English curriculum. I will create a chart for each level before developing the actual lesson materials so that I can make sure the lessons will progress in a logical manner and will include the necessary grammar and vocabulary for each level. I’ve talked with a few people about my vision for the curriculum and they all like the idea. Hopefully, with God’s help, what we think will work actually will.

The two classes of teens that started with me last August will complete the first level of the current curriculum in October, so I need to start the new lesson development at their level and then simultaneously work forward and backward. I don’t want to pay for the printing of any more books for the current curriculum, so as each class completes the workbook they currently have, I want to have the new lessons ready for them. Of course, I might need to include a couple of transition lessons to bring them up to speed with the new curriculum.

Curriculum and Schedule Transition

In order to transition both to the new curriculum and to a new yearly schedule, the next term will only be six weeks long. Then, during the month of December, there won’t be any classes. All the students should enjoy that because their regular school classes will be out, too. I will be spending the month working on the new curriculum and preparing for the teen’s first term of the year. That term will be different for the teens, as they will probably be working through The HOPE Story ESL Curriculum. If we don’t do that, we’ll do something similar.

Starting in 2014, classes will run from about the first week of January through the first week of April, the middle of May through the third week of August, and the first week of October through the third week of December. This will give us three 11- or 12-week trimesters, after adjusting for holidays and mission teams, each year. This also gives me the opportunity to go to the U.S. either in April or September without interfering with the class schedule.

U.S. Travel

Speaking of U.S. travel, although I would like to spend the month of December in Texas, I’ll be staying here. I can only make one trip, and I need to be in Texas in April for medical and dental appointments. So, I expect my next trip to the U.S. will be at the beginning of April, 2014. That sounds like a long time from now, but I know the time will go by quickly.

Support and Prayer Requests

I thank each of you so much for your continuing support. Thank you for your emails, Facebook messages, prayers, housing, and financial contributions. This is definitely a different lifestyle than I became accustomed to in the U.S. Thanks to God, I have adapted well. However, I am still not used to budgeting so carefully because there is no savings account or “next paycheck” to cover any excess spending. I always knew that God provided my paycheck, and I depended on Him to do that, but that dependence on His provision is much deeper now. 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).

Another thing I’m not used to is not being able to freely walk where I choose because it’s not safe. I’ve asked before that you pray with me about this issue. I ask you again to please pray with me that it will be safe to walk between my home and the church building by July of next year, 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,

Star

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

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Honduras, Prayer Requests, Updates

 

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