A Financial Update and Needs

Returning from our January survey, here are the needs brought to our attention for the 2020 year:

4 houses (4 families are living in stick huts that would like to be turned into concrete homes. We celebrate that 3 houses have been provided for! Praise God!

Marta – A kindergarten teacher who works for free in Cebu. Government restrictions only allow one teacher for every 40 students. So although Marta works for a high volume of students, it does not qualify as enough students for her to be paid by the government. A typical teaching wage in the village is about $200-$230 per month.

Fátima – Similar situation as Marta, but in another village, Evenecer. Fátima was being supported by a grant given by an Advent supporter, but those funds will be exhausted at the end of this month. A typical teaching wage in the village is about $200-$230 per month.

Scholarship Students – Advent partners with a school in Honduras called “Ponce” (pon-say) and provides scholarships for students. Scholarships provide money for food, travel, and school supplies. Steve Herriman is the point person for this ministry.

Bibles – Spanish Bibles, preferably the NTV (Nueva Traducción Viviente) or NVI (Nueva Versión Internacional). The NTV is comparable to the New Living Translation, and the NVI is comparable to the New International Version. Larger print is helpful since many have poor vision and/or literary skills. Paperback is fine.

Bridge – Another small bridge is needed at another point in Cebu to cross over high flooding and sewage. We do not currently have an estimate on the price.

We always appreciate the support each of you provide for this mission. We want you to know that the provisions you give are an answer to prayer and a constant sign of God’s grace. Please know that these provisions are not a means to an end in themselves. That is, the Good News is the center of each ministry, whether that’s building projects, or education. You can learn more about that in some of our other blog posts.

January Survey Completed: A Polemic

We learned a lot on this most recent survey. Our relationship runs deep and strong with our brothers and sisters in Honduras. The needs are as great as ever: more houses, roofs, financial assistance, education, pastoral needs, etc.

It’s easy to feel as though these projects are an endless abyss that simply lead to more needs. As Robert Frost once put it, “…way leads to way.” That is, one open door only leads to more open doors. This is why the Church cannot consider missions simply as what we can do to help them, while God is left somewhere on the outskirts. This mindset can lead to eternal endeavors without creating eternal change. As North Americans with financial resources, we must always be careful to provide for emergency needs while not promoting an American Dream that says, “With more money and things you will be happy, so keep trying to earn more to buy more!” In that strategy is a black hole; the cycle of consuming and spending never ends. Happiness research in the United States continually reveals that having lots of money and constant consumerism do not lead to happiness. There must be something more.

Some might ask, “So you’re saying it’s a waste of time to build houses and provide education for the poorest of the poor? Are you one of those groups that would never give the hungry something to eat without first having them attend a church service?” Missions and missionaries are always scrutinized by this question. My response is an absolute “No!” This scrutiny comes from a type of old school North American Gnosticism that says, “The goal of life is to go to heaven when you die, so get saved before it’s too late!” No doubt, there will be a coming judgment when the Lord will judge the living and the dead, but for centuries the Church has always held that Christians mature and produce spiritually relevant fruit throughout their lives. This is a sign that a person is a child of God and sealed by the Holy Spirit. This means that life is more than just trying to get into heaven and avoiding hell. It means that everyday life is important. It also means that missions cannot separate “spiritual endeavors” such as discipleship, bible study, prayer, etc, from everyday matters such as what the poorest of the poor are going to eat for the day, what job they will find, and where they will sleep. We cannot separate the two. So how can we move forward?

Integration.

We cannot think of evangelism over here, and construction projects over there. We live on the Good News everyday. If our lives in Christ matter today and not just when we die, then we must learn to see how Christ provides the narrative for our lives in our daily lives. As missionaries, this means showing how Jesus is in the center of everything. It means showing how we must rely on Him more than any other thing. If we provide education, we must show how Jesus can help us learn and not place our identity in our grades, for example. We must show that education can make a person more hire-able and skillful, and that reliance on God in prayer for a job will lead one to find God’s will and provision. So many other examples abound, but you get the point. We need integration. No more Jesus + missions projects, but Jesus in the center of it all, at every turn.

In 10 years from now, I would want my brothers and sisters to be closer to the Lord, fully restored human beings in the image of God, living in the power of the Holy Spirit and bearing fruit as a result, all the while helping their communities, building and living in excellent conditions, and getting a high school education. But heaven forbid everyone gets an education and a new home, without ever having Jesus at the center of their lives. Missionaries must integrate and not separate the two!

January Survey

We are pleased to announce a small team from Advent will be going to the villages in Honduras!

We have quite a few objectives: many scholarship students whom Advent supports have just graduated high school, and we can’t wait to see them! A new internet project has been initiated in one of the schools by one of our very own, so that will be inspected and training will be provided. Project planning for the summer will be discussed with the pastors, and more stories will be penned. Some interview training and resume formation will take place for those students entering the workforce.

Please pray for this team and for our Honduran friends that God’s will be done, and that He moves us all closer to being the people He’s created us to be.

Honduras 5k

We celebrate a wonderful 5k fundraiser that raised money to build another home in Honduras! It was a wonderful time filled with runners and volunteers, food and awards! We are blessed by God’s blessings in and through every participant. We can’t wait to see what God does in our partnership with our Honduran brothers and sisters!

Here’s a link to a video recapping the race. Credit to Corey Eubanks and her great videography!

https://youtu.be/ZF_5oMvUZTM

Pray Away Dengue

Honduras only has two seasons: dry and wet. The wet season is from May to October. Sometimes – and due to the higher influx of rainwater – dengue fever outbreaks occur. Mosquitoes thrive in wet environments, especially in standing water.

This disease is spread by mosquito bites and has affected a great deal of our Honduran brothers and sisters. The symptoms are usually severe body aches and pains, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. In villages where work, food, and lack of medical supplies are scarce, this disease only increases day-to-day stress. Please pray for our friends. Pray away dengue!

How it All Began

Advent has been involved with at least one village, Cebu, in Honduras since 2009. The journey began when a woman (we call her “Saint Georgia”) from Advent felt the need to build a house. She wasn’t sure where, but sensed with great force the need to do so. After scouting different places and connections for a time, she and another woman traveled to Honduras. It was there that they were to build a house.

A summer had passed before construction began. Concrete block after concrete block was laid in the hot sun. Soon, what was once a stack of grey blocks was now a house, which was then inhabited by a widow, which then made a house a home. Alejandraia was so thankful for her new abode. She cried out, “Thank you for building me a house! I knew you would come! I have been praying to God for two years to please send someone to build me a house. He did. And now you all are here.” It was at that point that one of the ladies from Advent’s team exclaimed to Saint Georgia, “It’s been two years since you started saying we were supposed to build a house somewhere. Could it really be!?” Then the team cried tears of joy together. 

Alejandraia was able to live in that house for a year before she died from an illness. Her son, Concepción, now lives there with the memories of his mother and Advent. But more than a memory, Advent is able to continue in relationship and ministry there. As a matter of fact, Advent can be found in those humid, green mountains every year. Praise God!

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