There and Then
Here and Now
We are a missions school, but missions begins at home. So we use the opportunities locally to teach skills that can be used globally. We use day-to-day, real-life situations, not scenarios out of a textbook, to teach skills and principles that can be used in any tongue, in any culture.
God weaves a tapestry of lives, of opportunities, of dreams, and destinies. As he wove his will in our hearts for the Latin people, he brought us from Arkansas to Mexico, then to Guatemala, and then finally to Honduras 20 years ago. At first it all seemed so random. But God in his eternal dance never misses a step, and so it was for us, and it will also be with you. Soon after our arrival in Honduras with our little car filled with all of our belongings, including a three-year-old Mariah, we discovered a mission in our back yard.
You have to realize that Honduras has been a mission field for more than a century. Unfortunately, we missionaries have done a great job of convincing them of that, which is what has made our job difficult. We have convinced Hondurans that they are poor, that they are needy, that they need us, that they are the mission field. But today they are a growing thriving body of believers eager to find their own place in God’s kingdom. Meanwhile in the midst of this changing wind, tucked back into the remote areas of the Central Highlands is a people who time seemed to forget, as well as everyone else, the Lenca Indians in remote villages of the Opalaca Mountains. But God never forgot them.
Lost and Forgotten of Honduras they were called in one local newspaper in 1993. We were compelled to go. We found ourselves at the end of the road, more than once finding ourselves lost en route, finally arriving in the small village of Yamaranguila. It was small, and it was native, but it was not unreached. There we found three churches.
We enthusiastically gathered the pastors and leaders. We proposed a plan to go into the more remote and yet unreached villages with love and gifts and the word of God. The church leaders looked at us in silence. It had never been suggested that they go. And so they refused. My fiery excitement scorched everyone there, indignation and the conviction that we must do something. It was the realization that we must teach them to go, and we must go ourselves and take them along. It was the birth of the outreach to the Lenca Indians of the Opalaca Mountains.
We began our journey in missions 24 years ago in a single engine, six passenger vintage Cessna. I was seated in the back, with my flight bag in my firm grip. My future wife was the copilot. No, she was no pilot, but that is the seat she occupied. She, too was a novice flyer. When we walked out onto the tarmac, we both gasped inwardly as we saw the plane sitting before us, so small, so old, so seemingly fragile, yet it would carry its human cargo, all six of us, 10,000 ft for the next ten hours, over the Altiplano and the Sierra Madre Mountains of northern Mexico into the small city of Matehuala. We survived.
You will, too. And so, as our journey began seemingly so long ago, when we were young and foolish, and yet full of desire to love people as much as we loved God, and to serve and sacrifice, we fell more in love with missions the longer we stayed. We are still here. Join us, and we will share our lives and our work with you, as you share yours with us.
God will teach you lessons you did not know existed. And we will learn from you, from your own story, unfolding before you, the story God wrote many years ago, as he wove your being together in the depths of his thoughts. He planned you, and he planned the path you should walk in, and we want you to discover what that path may be and what adventures He has planned for you.