I’m Hannah, and for those who don’t know our family, I’m the oldest in the family. I’ve been asked to give a brief update from my perspective of life here.
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (Ecc. 11:1)
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Cor. 3:6)
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Is. 55:11)
These three verses have become a theme of sorts over the past years. I’ve just finished my 15th year of teaching. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that many years already. I started teaching when I was 17 and it’s been interesting to pause and look back over the years…remembering students, challenges faced and conquered, lessons taught and learned. At times it’s tempting to wonder if what we do as teachers actually makes a difference. Sometimes we face the same struggles with the same students and just can’t seem to see a difference no matter what we try. Daily we pour into the lives of our students, sometimes we see that we’re making a difference, sometimes it seems all in vain. Over and over, I have gone back to these verses. My job, my mission, is to cast the bread, to plant those seeds, to speak the truth. I may never see the harvest, I may never know the difference I had in this child’s life, but I have the promise that it is never in vain.
We were just ready to start our third year of school here at our church school when the 2020 lock-down happened. We had one day of school before lock-down. After some time had passed, we started having school again although it was split between two locations. As time passed, the teachers we had needed to leave for one reason or another, and I slowly inherited more and more students. We ended up with Evelyn teaching three students in Villa Alicia and I had the rest up here. It was a weird year, and things were a mess.
The next year, 2021, we couldn’t find any teachers. I started out the year with 12 students, 9 grades. It was a stretch to say the least. I had a sister from church helping me with some to the younger grades in Spanish, but I still spent 11 to 12 hours a day at school trying to stay on top of everything. Things were just made more complicated coming from the mess of the year before. Nine weeks into school three of the students left. It was heart-breaking. With such a small school, the hole they left was big! Although we missed them immensely, it did ease my work load a bit. I was down to 9 students, 8 grades. Nine weeks later, the sister who was helping me also left. I think I can honestly say that 2021 was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced. Seeing members of our church family choose to turn their backs on God, watching the children struggle because of their parents’ decisions…It was hard! I kept crying out to God, “Why?? Why?! Why are we here? What’s the point? Where are you? Why bring us this far if you plan to just abandon us here? How do we keep going? Are we doing anyone any good?” The battle was fierce as I struggled to understand. And then once again God brought to mind the verses I shared at the beginning. It isn’t my job to understand all the whys. God’s Word is never spoken in vain. Serving Him is always worth it. Even if I don’t see results, I need to keep planting. My response needs to be to trust. So then my challenge became, “How much do I trust God?” Do I trust Him to make a way where there is no way? During this time, I came across the verse in Proverbs 8:30, “Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: And I was daily his delight, Rejoicing always before him.” Another version says it like this:
“Then I was constantly at his side (as a child). I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence.” I have a little side-kick, Esther, who ‘delights’ to be in my presence. She feels utterly heartbroken if I leave her behind. So this verse gave me a mental picture of a carefree child skipping alongside a parent, chatting and laughing and delighted to be spending time with them – complete trust in knowing that they haven’t a care in the world. I wanted that kind of trust in God. Complete rest in knowing that God is in control, and I can delight in walking through life by His side. Do I wish to go through another year like 2021? No. But I can look back now and say I’m thankful for the lessons God taught me that year.
This year we found a teacher!!! I was incredibly grateful that Jaleesa Henderson decided to join our team this year! We worked hard to try to catch up after two hard years. Some sub- jects had gotten neglected, concepts that were missed had to be retaught, bad study habits had to be worked on. But overall, it was a great year, and it feels awesome to have the students back on track.
God has been answering prayers! First off Rina’s choice to make things right with God…It was incredibly special to hear her testimony and to see the change in her life. Please pray for her! The devil isn’t happy with her decision, and she has many battles to fight. Another answered prayer is that we already have teachers for next year! Lord willing, Jaleesa will be coming back to teach again next year, and Cintia Sanchez will be joining the team. I will get a long-awaited break from teaching! I got the news on my birthday, and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift.
I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing this coming year. I’ll still be involved in school, but not on a daily basis necessarily. I also would like to work on paperwork for some of the children. We’re hoping to get custody papers for Kensi and Erick which will hopefully allow us to get visas for them and travel with them. I’d also like to personally adopt little Esther and possibly Sindy. Any paperwork here takes a long time and lots of lawyer visits, so it will require many hours spent in offices trying to push it through.
I’d like to thank each one of you for your support, both with funds and with your prayers! We desperately need your prayers! Life here has taught me that it’s a bit of a paradox. It’s hard, it’s painful at times, and sometimes it’s lonely, but I wouldn’t trade it! It’s also fulfilling, and joyful, and rewarding. It’s all wrapped up together in a beautiful life. But we can’t do it alone! Prayer is powerful and we are immensely thankful for your prayers!
One more note here. A recent highlight was a visit from Daniel and Marlene Brenneman. Daniel is a deacon in Jaleesa’s church in Virginia Beach. She was very happy to have visitors from home, and we very much enjoyed getting to know them! Following is a letter from them about their visit here.
Blessings to all,
My wife and I arrived in Honduras on Wed, Nov. 2nd to visit Jaleesa Henderson and the ministry she is serving with. After arriving in a strange and new country and going through customs, my first observation was noticing a tall man, who stood above the average Honduran. This man was David Yoder who had come to pick us up, and the connection was made easy since he was so outstanding. Seriously, as I spent time with David and his family, he became more out- standing to me than by his stature alone. I appreciate the sincere heart that he has for the lost and for those in his care. We enjoyed visiting and interacting with the family and we treasure our time spent with them. They blessed us in so many ways.
We really enjoyed the mountainous beauty and the friendly smiles of the people. I appreciate the value the people placed on relationships, and we enjoyed interacting with them. I especially enjoyed working with Erick and Thomas, and a visiting cousin Elder. We were surrounded by fresh fruit and learned how to enjoy eating oranges sprinkled with salt, introduced to us by Sindy.
We were privileged to attend the annual school program and interact with more community people, which was a highlight. The language barrier was sometimes frustrating, but I usually got along okay by communicating with signs and wonders. I would sign, and they would wonder. But we always had willing interpreters to assist us if we needed it.
Another special highlight was spending several hours with Alicia to observe (and the opportunity to help a little bit) her baking the sweet rolls that she sells. It was very interesting and educational to see the process of using the outdoor bake oven. The end result of the golden baked rolls was enjoyed by us all!
The culture in Honduras is ripe for the work of a God of reconciliation. And as David so aptly stated “We are on the front lines of the battlefield.” We were encouraged and blessed to see the work and the vision of the mission, accompanied by faithful selfless sacrifice. Let’s pray for these laborers in the vineyard and also pray that the Lord would send forth more laborers into His vineyard. Specifically a family and/or young stable man to assist at the mission there.
And to those on the front line, I want to encourage you in faithfulness. Others may never see or understand the sacrifice of your labor of love, but God sees and notices. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Heb. 6:10 May God’s kingdom come and His will be done in Honduras, as it is in Heaven. – Daniel Brenneman
A few more prayer requests from David –
Randy – is an American who has been living in Honduras for the past 7 1/2 years. He said he was “saved” as a child, but while attending college he started drinking, and had a serious problem with alcohol for 40 years. He heard about a mission trip to Honduras and wanted to come, so he re- quested prayer for his drinking problem and 3 days later his desire for alcohol left him, and he came to HN with a mission team. He liked it here and was soon back to stay. Since living in HN he met David Bercot and started reading his books. About a month ago he called me to see if I could baptize his friend, Pedro, who several months earlier had committed his life to God, and may not live long because of health issues. Loren Ebersole from the Pilgrim church went with me to visit them. When we got to Randy’s house we saw stacks of books by David Bercot, others about the Anabaptists, and Waldensians, and many more inspirational books. He shared his testimony of how he came to see that just praying the sinner’s prayer is not enough to get us to heaven, but that God also expects obedience. He has been attending our services every Sunday, but Pedro had not yet been able to come.
Pedro – (Randy’s friend) is a young Honduran who is on dialysis and also has heart problems, so he has been in the hospital most of the time since we met him. Pray that God would have his will in Pedro’s life and would also give us direction concerning his baptism.
Juan Carlos – is a friend who, because of alcohol and family problems, decided to end his life last week by taking poison. The family was able to get him to the hospital and he survived. Last Sun- day Sarah and I went to visit him, and he committed his life to God. I talked to him later in the week and he said he wants to come to the service today, but then he didn’t come today, so let’s pray that he would allow God to be Lord of his life.
Rina and her daughters: Luz, Briana & Astrid – Enrique & Anita – Don Beto – the Youth, all need our continued prayers as well as those in the Church. I would also appreciate your prayers as I leave on Tue. for a quick trip to MS, to visit & load some farm equipment to send to HN, returning next week.
Thank you & may God bless each one,
Financial Opportunities: Fund Details are included in the 11/11/22 email report.
Construction Fund – Still lacks $35,000 to allow us to complete the projects that we hope to finish in 2023.
Volunteer workers are also welcome especially for March—May dry season!
Mission Fund – We welcome monthly pledges as this is an ongoing opportunity/challenge. (This fund does not include the Personal Household & Farm expenses.)
By Amos Beiler – secretary – firstname.lastname@example.org 540-487-7873
Please make any donations payable to Deed & Truth Ministries, PO Box 318, Etowah, TN 37331
A tax deductible receipt will be provided – preferably by email if you provide your address. Important: All checks must be itemized “For Honduras” – as Deed & Truth also receives funds for other missions. If you want it to be used for one of the specific funds above – please note that also.