Friday, February 1, 2013

and then there was a Church Plant

Well February is officially here and things are really starting to pick up. As most of you know we recently went to Costa Rica and Panama for our visa run/mini vacation. Spending time with Dan and Carole Kaylor in Panama opened our eyes to the things that are happening there and the way people are being blessed. This was a very special time for us and we needed it. On the way home we visited with DeLynn and Gloria Hoover, who were able to put us up for a couple nights. We love them, I wish we would have had more time with them too, but we had to come home.
When we returned home we hit the ground running. I don't think we've ever been this busy before. It's like the mini vacation was the calm before the storm. We started getting things together for i-61. For those of you who don't know about i-61 here is a link, Tri and Nancy Robinson and the Boise Vineyard are leasing a house in Las Palmas and will be getting in tonight to start work on it. We have been working close with them to try and get things ready for them on the Nicaraguan side while they are State side preparing to come. Preston and I know for a fact that we will have a very close relationship with the people working with and through i-61. We have had many conversations with Tri and are so excited that God has given him the same vision He has given us. We are also excited that Keyla and Nathan Crevier, from Louisiana, and Sarah and Sam Burns, from Idaho, will be coming to stay in the house as missionaries. I see a game night in my near future. This month Tri and the team start on the construction of the building...fixing it up and making it into a working team house. Preston will be showing them where to buy things like beds, dishes, tables...home furnishings. These tasks aren't as fast and simple as they can be in the States.
Other things happening this month? Preston is officially English Director over a Public High School and Elementary School. He does not get a pay raise, it's still $50 a month when they have it, but he will be working more. We think this is great because it gives the people who come to Isaiah House a place to plug in easily. I mean who wouldn't want to help Preston teach beautiful little Nicaraguan children English...right? These two things I just listed were enough for us, to keep us busy for quite some time, but apparently the Lord had other plans.
The Lord let us know that it is time to plant a church. He started stirring our hearts more when we were in Panama and Costa Rica. When we got home we started praying about it together and alone. It's time, there's no doubt in our minds. So, this Sunday will be our last Sunday at La Vina Norte and the following Sunday we will be having bilingual services starting at 3pm. We have 3 leaders
Marlon
Luis
Zeneyda
We are so excited that they have agreed to follow a calling and walk with us in it.
This is a step of faith since some people are afraid to come to our house. We know for sure that this is the house we are supposed to be in, but there have been some issues. Like the first night of Homegroup, there was a rock/knife fight in front of our house. A couple weeks ago a guy came to beg, Preston and I prayed for him and he would not leave. Things like this scare the people who come to homegroup sometimes. Like there being a gang fight at the bus stop that the people who come to our homegroup have to use to get home. So, we have talked to Tri and we will be using the i-61 house for church services.
It seems like all of a sudden everything is happening. Our pastor Eugenio, the partnership and the Conroe Vineyard are all very excited about what the Lord is doing. It's also nice to have the full support of our partents. We are ready, excited and nerveous. We are yet again stepping out in faith knowing that we could end up looking foolish, but isn't that what we are here to do? Look foolish for our Father? Since we received the news that the time has come to plant a church, a wave of attacks has followed. Like the kids breaking a water pipe which is making things more difficult. The most prominent attack lately happened the other day when someone walked into our house while we were all home and stole my purse. The things I miss most are my glasses (I can't read without them and I'm doing an in depth bible study) and my camera (which I was going to use to take pictures of our last day at church). It also had my bank card, make up, some medicine...all of which can be replaced. However, we did receive a donation that covered the cost of new glasses. Which was a reminder of how much He is there for us. I don't expect these attacks to stop any time soon so we ask for continued prayer.
I'll leave you with a word I got one day while Preston and I were praying...
"You are my daughter, continue walking. Turn your stress to me. Turn your life to me. Keep your eyes on me. Every day the path gets clearer and the time shorter. You have arrived because you will never arrive. There are many more seeds to plant, too many for just one man. You will spend your life planting and see little fruit. The fruit will be there, but you will be in another barron orchard. This is the job I have for you. You will provide rain in the drought and light in the darkness. You will produce from soil which every other farmer has passed. You will be ridiculed and made fun of for believing your seeds will take. But they will take and produce the prettiest, juiciest fruit in all the land. You will hear of it's greatness, while you are working in similar soil in a dry and barron land. This is my plan for you. Continue, with heartache comes love and grace. Keep your eyes on Me ONLY and you will prosper. Your work is just beginning and it will NEVER end."
Anything can be done through the Lord our God. All I have to do is look at my life which is a living testament of His love and grace for His people. The wife of one of our leaders asked me, "Carrie, what type of church will this be?" and I responded, "I have a vision of a church where the goal is to follow our Father. All of us. I see different people prostitutes, beggars, middle class, drug dealers, upper class, gang members...it shouldn't matter what we are, what matters is that we follow Jesus Christ. We all have sin in our lives, and although it may look different it is sin. I know what the Father has asked of me personally, he has asked me to reach out to those in need and the way I see it...we are all in need. I pray for a church where the judgment is left to the Father and we are there to serve."