Category Archives: Family

here or there – we are family

The Truth Is … I Lied :/

by: Robin Lynn

Well, I didn’t lie about anything really big and it was just to my big kids so, I think we’ll all get over it. You see I shared with them rather recently, and probably more than once, that it was going to be years before I ever went on a hike or long walk just for the ‘fun of it’. Moderate hiking in our Stateside National State Parks is something our family has always enjoyed. However, after living here and walking cardiovascular challenging hills on a daily basis it is not high on my list of leisurely past-times – until this week. What was I thinking?????

It all happened because of Jake – he keeps us young. I’m hoping after he flies away from the nest Lowell and I still have these fun adventures but, in the meantime I know it’s because he drives us … and I’m glad.  We chose to go back to Guatemala for our ‘time-out’ (90 day stamp renewal for our passports). The guys had already been but now I was along for the ride and this time we decided to include a visit to a nearby tourist site – Ipala Volcano, Crater Lake outside Chiquimula, Guatemala. According to the hotel owners, people at the desk and anyone else we mentioned the possibility of going to, well,  the walk to the top was “vale el esfuerzo” or, worth the effort. (I now really, really appreciate this expression!)

First of all let me clue you in on the transportation we used in Guatemala … all our travel from La Entrada, Honduras and throughout Guatemala was via rapidito vans – some of them supposedly can seat up to 21 but on one, we were truly loaded with 48 people  – ridiculous! We were always moderately comfortable and never felt endangered – but yes, crowded as all get-out! So, for this day … March 29, 2012 – we headed to Ipala in a rapidito, changed to another in a little town up the highway to get to the base of the mountain and then caught a ride in the back of a truck to the tiny village below the actual trail.

Oh my! Let me say here that labeling this as a rigorous walk is an understatement! We started climbing up this long, hot, rocky, dry & dusty trail – and it took an hour and a half and it was a long, hard trek.

This is Ipala Volcano from the highway.

Lowell in back of truck we headed up in.

The trail is dusty and

rocky and hot and steep

But, the there were million dollar views 🙂

We're at the top and first view of the lake!!

Love it!

Jake at Crater Lake

Crystal blue loveliness! Isn't this amazing! Lowell and Jake took this from up on the edge ...

after a good fun time it was all about getting down .... ugh!!

Here are some cool, interesting links about Ipala Volcano and Crater Lake and people even camping there – we felt safe and of course, there were oodles of people there because, even though it was a Thursday, school groups had come because of being close to vacation time and their Easter holidays – everyone is up for an outing. I think there were only 2 others that actually swam but they played ball and had a good time – like us …

Yep, another adventure under our belts and it was definitely “vale el esfuerzo”.

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Here We Go Again…

Here we go again – another Friday already? Time is just scooting by! Every Friday we gear up for the next 2 evenings. Lowell studies and prepares lessons and Jake and I get house and food ready. Small group gathers on Friday and newly marrieds on Saturday. We love these folks. There’s no way to even count how many times they’ve been in our home over the last year+. They are like family … and they are: the children of God – each of us adopted into His amazing spiritual family.

I don’t want to ‘count my chickens before they’ve hatched’ but we’ve visited with several of our regulars this week and we should have 2 – 3 visitors tonight. And not only that but tomorrow night we are expecting 2 new couples – this is huge – we’ve been inviting this one couple for months and months and now they say they are not only coming but bringing friends! And the guys in our group got together and said they wanted to bring the food tomorrow night! Wow, such wonderful initiative and growth. God is moving among us – His fingerprints are all over the work here in Santa Ana and story after story will become better and better as various ones come to know Him in wonderful ways.

We want to highlight this little family now and ask you to pray for them:

Selvin and Julie have been in our home almost weekly – 2x per week – since the first week we arrived in Santa Rosa (and other odd times just to hang out or come for a real meal). And as they are our nearest church family – neighbors 2 blocks up – we ride the bus together and walk to and from the bus stop week-in and week-out (that is a lot of conversation!) They are both cute as can be and smart as the dickens – they can readily discuss scripture, ideas and new concepts. They are bright and eager to do right. They are the parents of precocious, wonderful Jonathan. Also soon to be parents of another – due in December. It is not unusual for Selvin and Julie to have friends or family along with them either here to our house or to the services at church. Julie is a stay at home wife/mommy. Selvin is a barber – has worked in a barber shop on the main road in town for years (1/2 of his earnings go to the owner). He will open his own shop very soon – it’s located on a side-street but near a popular restaurant so it still gets traffic. Please pray for him as he ventures out on his own. He has a great reputation and a good clientele that will be following him but it is a huge step. Pray for Julie in her pregnancy and future delivery. Pray for Jonathan as he is being raised in the Lord. We are so proud of this precious family – we’re seeing Jesus!

Here is a little slide show from over the last year plus … Selvin and Julie are now ‘legally and scripturally’ married, Jonathan is such a big boy,  Julie is pregnant with #2, and Selvin will soon be owner/proprietor of  own shop! What  a difference a year can make.

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Sisters

I love the body of Christ. I love Christ’s design and intention for His church. I love that in the best of times we generally transcend cultural, economic, and racial barriers. I know there is and always will be imperfections in our relationships throughout the brotherhood but I also know, for certain, that Christ is alive and well in Christians all over the world. I have had the privilege of being in the middle of ladies Bible classes/devotionals on four continents and an island – probably over a hundred various congregations. Women from all walks of life and backgrounds but sharing the common bond of Jesus – being touched and cleansed by His blood and all of our lives being transformed by His incredible hand in our own stories.

That being said, I want to share about the ladies Bible study I had in our home the other evening. It was a precious time. I directed the class but the ladies, these sweet sisters of mine, taught the lesson. I centered the time on prayer – the communication that the Father craves from us and the power of prayer. Verse by verse we discussed, shared laughter, tears and wisdom as only women can do. There were 14 of us around 2 tables pushed together. First we shared a prayer, a meal, singing, then study, handwork activities, dessert and more prayer. Far too soon the time was over and all of us were off to our busy lives and loves – the real world – but strengthened and renewed to face the challenges of life in this world.

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Sisters – in the faith – a sweet reminder that God is good and has given us many blessings as we await that heavenly home when we can talk face to face with Him through all the ages. In the meantime: prayer – how awesome and powerful.

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
(A.P. Bland – A.S. Bridgewater)

We read of a place that’s called heaven
It’s made for the pure and the free
These truths  in God’s words he had given
How beautiful heaven must be.

How beautiful heaven must be
Sweet home of the happy and free
A  haven of rest for the weary
How beautiful heaven must be.

In heaven no drooping nor pining
No wishing for elsewhere to be
God’s light it’s forever there shining
How beautiful heaven must be.

How beautiful heaven must be
Sweet home of the happy and free
A  haven of rest for the weary
How beautiful heaven must be.

 

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March 2011 Newsletter

The newsletter is a little different this month. In order to let you see what we are working on, I am including the latest work that we’ve done with Joshúa here in Santa Rosa de Copán. This is a draft of the kinds of ideas we are coming up with to accomplish what God desires of the families in Honduras.

Construjendo Familias Fuertes (CFF)

Building Strong Families

Goal: Build strong families by preparing young people for future marriage and strengthen existing marriages by helping couples be successful marriage partners and great parents.

Results:

Teach youth to prepare for a successful future marriage by abstaining from sexual relations until marriage and teaching them to search for a godly spouse.

Rescue troubled marriages, make good marriages even better and teach new couples how to build a strong marriage.

Develop strong families by teaching parenting skills in order to raise up children who follow God’s way and by developing relational skills to model the life of Jesus for each other.

Products:

  1. Youth
    1. Youth who maintain their chastity and purity before God.
    2. Youth who are prepared integrally for their future marriage before God.
  2. Marriage
    1. Couples who are sufficiently prepared emotionally and spiritually for a legal marriage.
    2. Couples who continually better their marriage.
    3. Couples with broken marriages who will commit again to their marriage vows.
  3. Families
    1. Families who model what a Christ-centered family should be.

      Parents who have the skills to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

      Children who obey their parents in the Lord, respect their elders and honor God.

Activities:

  1. Youth
    1. Video series on sexual abstinence.
    2. Classes in church gatherings
      1. Chastity
      2. Preparation for marriage
    3. Classes during youth rallies.
    4. Classes for parents to help youth say “no” to sexual pressure.
  2. Marriage
    1. Pre-marital counseling for couples.
    2. Wedding arrangements for couples to wed.
      1. Legal documents
      2. Place for wedding
      3. Reception
    3. Marriage retreats for (legally) married couples.
    4. Marriage conferences to strengthen marriages.
    5. Classes for specific areas of marriage.
      1. Finances
      2. Communication
      3. Parenting
      4. Extended family
      5. Sex – a Gift From God
      6. Following Jesus
      7. Male Spritual Leadership
    6. Retrouvaille program
    7. Divorce Busters (Michelle Weiner Davis program)
  3. Families
    1. S.T.E.P. (for parents of children 6-12 years old.)
      1. For church members
      2. Use as outreach
    2. Family retreats with classes
    3. Sermons
    4. Conferences
    5. Classes

Basic necesities:

  1. Place for private counseling

  2. Place for public teaching

  3. Projector

  4. Drama team

  5. Couples trained to lead or participate in conferences and retreats

  6. Place to hold retreats

  7. Place to hold conferences

Pray for us as we continue to work out the details of each of these and other programs to further the cause of Christ in this country.

– Lowell, Robin and Jacob White

Our phone number: 011-504-9491-6485 (Lowell’s cell) 615-752-2986 (MagicJack number)

Remember to send any contributions to:

Wilkesboro Church of Christ

P.O. Box 81

Wilkesboro, NC 28697-0081

Make the check out to Wilkesboro Church of Christ, put Honduras on the “for” line on your check and enclose a note that it’s for the Lowell White family. Also, tell us if its for something particular.

 

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Whites Honduras Newsletter February 2011

One year and counting!

We arrived in Honduras a year ago in February. What have we accomplished and what does the future hold? Let’s look back on the year and see. Let me mention, first of all, that nothing would have been accomplished had you not partnered with us in the work here. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to make our stay here possible.

We began our work in Santa Ana not really knowing what we would be doing particularly especially when short-term mission groups weren’t around. This pretty much continued the whole time we were there as we rarely knew what the next day would involve until it arrived. Robin made a place for herself at the children’s home and helped out there until the arrival of another worker from the States and then she was needed less and found other things to do. Jacob and I showed up where we were asked to go and did what we could to help. Once the missions groups started arriving we were on the go seven days a week helping them. Throughout our time in Santa Ana we helped build over forty wood “houses” and three block ones. We mixed lots of concrete for the little soccer field at the children’s home and more for those block houses I mentioned. We were at the city dump feeding people almost every Wednesday whether there were mission groups there or not. We helped distribute food, clothing and assisted during medical clinics. Robin was involved in most of this as well (except for mixing concrete) despite the fact that she was sick for several weeks. She also led most of the groups to the children’s hospital. Which may have been where she picked up the bug that made her lose thirty pounds.

We met some great people during the summer. One of the sad things about moving to Santa Rosa de Copán was knowing that we would not likely see any of those folks again. We also hated saying goodbye to the children at Casa de Esperanza and other friends we had made in the church in Santa Ana. But we just weren’t satisfied with what we were doing there and so, we moved west.

Since we’ve moved here we have made more friends. We continue to have a Bible study in our home each Friday night. Last Friday we had two new young ladies who attended. I struggle through the lesson with my Spanish and they all continue to be patient with me. Selvin helps a lot and there is always good discussion during the lessons. Saturday nights have been a little harder to get cranked up again. All the newly married couples have work, kids and family to keep them busy and sometimes its hard to get them to break away and come. Hopefully, we’ll get everyone coming soon. Selvin, Julie, Elder and Brenda were there last Saturday night and all of us had a good study and time of fellowship.

One of the brigades the team will host this year was here in February. Thirty-seven people from Longview, Texas held a four-day medical/dental/eyeglass clinic. We saw 781 people from four or five villages, lots of teeth were pulled and a whole lot of people can now see more clearly. Plus, a bunch of kids are happier because there were sunglasses to be given away. The entire team worked well together. The military loaned us a troop carrier vehicle to use plus five soldiers were with us the entire time just to make sure there were no problems. I noticed that each of the soldiers gathered around as we began each day with songs and prayers. It was exhausting work but very satisfying that so many were helped. The evangelism team (made up our Honduran team members and CREO men) worked both with those who came to the clinic and in the village where the clinic was set up. There was another part of the team working on construction on a church building as well. They were able to build the foundation and erect some of the support columns. There is still lots of work to be done on that but it will progress through the year. There are at least three more brigades scheduled to come in the summer.

Our project for the youth dealing with sexual abstinence/lives of purity is coming along and is so needed. One of the things that continues to bother Robin and me is the realization that, at any time, one of our young girls who is in the church or is attending our Bible studies could show up pregnant. We had a long conversation last night with one of the couples on the team and it lays heavy on their hearts as well. I know this is the same concern every youth minister, elder, preacher and their wives has and all I can do is ask that you continue to pray for us that we are able to change lives before this happens. And if anyone has any ideas that will help us reach them, please share.

We are still working on planning different things to do to strengthen families. We want to build strong families by preparing young people for future marriage and strengthen present marriages by helping couples be successful marriage partners and great parents. That’s our theme. We’ll soon begin a series of sermons about elders/shepherds and deacons. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that what I discussed above and finding men to serve as deacons and shepherds ties in closely with one another. Shepherds can’t be chosen to shepherd a church if they haven’t shown the ability to shepherd their own family.

Jacob continues to be busy with the young people. There is a small group of them who come over every other Wednesday night. Although by the noise they make one wouldn’t think it was small. He plays soccer on a minifield every Monday night with church members. He’s even scored some goals lately. He is trying to catch up on his homeschooling and his Spanish continues to improve at a rapid pace.

Robin is working on her blogs again. You ladies need to follow her writings. She does a great job and is very uplifting in her musings. Here’s one of them: http://roadtoabundance.net/

Our wish list (I thought I would include this here so you would know our needs): $900.00 to pay for Jacob’s trip to the ER when we were in the States (his temp was 105).

May God continue to bless each of you as you seek for and find the will of God for your life – Lowell, Robin and Jacob White

Our phone number: 011-504-9491-6485 (Lowell’s cell) 615-752-2986 (MagicJack number)

Remember to send any contributions to:

Wilkesboro Church of Christ P.O. Box 81 Wilkesboro, NC 28697-0081 Make the check out to Wilkesboro Church of Christ, put Honduras on the “for” line on your check and enclose a note that it’s for the Lowell White family. Also, tell us if its for something particular.

I preached last Sunday and used as my opening text this verse: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 ESV)

P.S. There were over twenty visitors at the most recent Sunday worship. Most were from the Friday night studies.

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Whites Honduras Newsletter January 2011

Bring in the New!

Our new year started off in the States. It was a multipurpose trip and we must say that it was successful on all counts!

  • We enjoyed quality time with children, granddaughters, and family. Our three big kids sacrificed time and money to arrange their schedules to come to NC so we could all be together for a little over a week. The Rawleys opened their home and hearts to us for a ‘home-base’ for which we are very grateful.
  • We experienced precious moments with our church families at Yadkinville, Piedmont, Wilkesboro, and Archdale. We were surrounded by brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family with genuine interest in us and our work here. We were able to tell stories, answer questions, be prayed over and most of all be loved in the Lord.
  • We were blessed by all of you in raising much of the necessary funds to extend our work here in Santa Rosa. We were given the gift of trust and confidence by those of you who are taking an active part monetarily in our work here. We are so humbled and grateful and look forward to being accountable to how this support is used.
  • We loved being in the thick of winter and got to experience the best of snowfalls – more than once! The weather is mild and temperate here in Santa Rosa – we love it but, it was great getting a taste of real winter and at least for a little while seeing God’s beauty in the changing seasons. We even delighted in a day of sledding with all the kids!
  • We were blessed with traveling mercies in every way and we praise God for his love and protection.

The second half of January saw us settling back into our home and the crazy, wonderful busyness of our life here began immediately!

  • Lowell is in the middle of his projects, was able to be a part of 3 great meetings – the first with the local church, then the area-wide congregational planning meeting, and finally the Mission Upreach team and it looks like a wonderful year of the Lord for this area of Occidente!
  • Jacob got right back into his school work, started hanging out with friends – here at the house and of course, futbol (soccer) in the park. Also, youth nights at the church building are every Saturday. A good group came over Wednesday for popcorn and Wii.
  • Our home has had people coming and going and that means the usual for Robin – making them feel at home with coffee, cookies or whatever is on hand. When someone comes to your home you prepare to relax because they’ve come to stay for awhile. The cake she made last Monday came in handy a few times plus she baked cookies for six of the neighborhood girls that came over to spend an afternoon.
  • Then together, we have started painting our extra rooms – a bedroom and a bathroom – anticipating guests! Also, we got to help clean the building Sunday morning – that was very special because two of our older sisters in the church, Olympia 1 and Olympia 2, were there to help and they were an absolute inspiration to be around. Then too, we got to be a part of the medical brigade at La Lima where a church was newly planted. We rode the bus with our teammates and the Honduras translators and the whole day was great. (6:30 am – 5:30 when we finally got home.) A couple of hundred people were seen by doctors. We also attended a three day seminar on “Conflict Resolution” taught by Fernando Nesmyth. It was offered by the church as an outreach to our community.

*~*~*~*

Lowell’s thoughts: I asked Robin to write the newsletter this month. Sometimes she has a better and/or different perspective on things. This year is going to be a very busy one. The Friday night small groups are starting back up as are the disciples classes on Thursday nights and the Saturday night get-together’s at our house with the newly married couples. There is a medical brigade getting ready to come later this month. I rode a couple of hours away last week with three members of the team to meet with a couple of preachers in the area. It was a difficult meeting but needed to be done. Not all is nice weather and roses unfortunately.

The church in Santa Rosa continues to be an inspiration. We have another good song leader that has joined the team. Jose is one of those guys who can sing bass, tenor or the lead equally well. Another family moved in who are alumni of Baxter Institute. We continue to meet neighbors and are always hopeful that they will soon be brothers and sisters in the church. I go for walks around town and inevitably see members of the church. Two sisters from the church sell whatever fruit is in season out of the back of a truck so I usually buy something from them.

Our prayer is that the Lord will bless each of you in this new year. We could not continue this work without you. And we know that you cannot continue to help us unless you are blessed with prosperity. So, our prayers may be a little selfish but we’ll continue to pray anyway. May 2011 be one of the best years ever. Who knows, it may be the year God tells Jesus, “Its time, go gather them all home.”

Our wish list (I thought I would include this here so you would know our needs): More monthly supporters.

May God continue to bless each of you as you seek for and find the will of God for your life

– Lowell, Robin and Jacob White

Our phone number: 011-504-9491-6485 (Lowell’s cell) 615-752-2986 (MagicJack number)

Remember to send any contributions to:

Wilkesboro Church of Christ

P.O. Box 81

Wilkesboro, NC 28697-0081

Make the check out to Wilkesboro Church of Christ, put Honduras on the “for” line on your check and enclose a note that it’s for the Lowell White family. Also, tell us if its for something particular.

Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News.

(Philippians 1:27 ERV)

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Whites Honduras Newsletter December 2010

It hasn’t even been one year since we moved to Honduras and so much has happened already. It has not been the easiest year of our lives by any means but we look back on it and rejoice that we got to be a part of some great things. At the top of the list is always the joy we experience when we see someone make a decision to follow Christ. The second would be seeing the kids at Casa de Esperanza being taken care of and growing in the love of the Lord. The numbers begin to blur after the top two but seeing the church members in Santa Rosa de Copán grow spiritually has to be up there. Watching brides walk down the aisle and hearing those vows being said has been inspiring in that we can see that there are people who are willing to make these life-changing decisions to follow Jesus in the right way. During the seminar in November we heard preachers discussing the need to build self-supporting churches. It will be a joy to see them as they develop these congregations over the next few years.

One of the last things we were able to attend before we traveled back to the States was the wedding of Elder and Brenda. They are two young people who entered life as one just as God intended. It was a beautiful ceremony and it is a treat to see them sitting together during our worship assemblies. Both are excellent examples to the young people. Pray for them that temptations to be otherwise will be defeated. What they have done is what we are striving for as we encourage young people to remain sexually pure until they enter marriage. It can be done. God desires it and he will give anyone who asks the control it takes to wait. We just have to convince the young people that it is God’s command and He has the power to see them through. This is one of our “missions” during this year of 2011.

We had a great time distributing the Magi boxes we received from Healing Hands International. It takes a tremendous amount of coordination to gather these in the States, get them shipped and have them distributed to different points around the globe. I have no idea how they pull it off but we enjoyed four occasions where we were able to give the boxes to school children and finally to children who attend the congregation in Santa Rosa. The thing I like about this Mission Upreach team is that they make sure that seeds are being planted that will eventually lead these children and their parents to Christ. The places where we distributed the boxes will be targeted in the coming year to have the gospel preached. We may even be able to arrange transportation to get some of these children and their parents to church services. Follow up will be done at the schools to teach classes in values and morals and, of course, will be Bible-based. You can do that here unlike in the USA. (see a video here)

Plans are being made for 2011. The discipleship classes will begin again in February. These are classes held at the church building on Thursday nights to help us learn more about the basic teachings of the Bible. The Friday night classes will begin as well in different homes throughout the city, ours included. Pray that we can get more of our neighbors to attend. Our praise and worship night on Tuesdays has continued throughout the holidays and, of course, Sunday worship assembly continues to be a time to teach and worship. The newly married couples will also be joining us in our home on Saturday nights for lessons on marriage and parenting. We have enjoyed the fellowship during these meetings.

There are plans being made for short-term mission trips in 2011. Already some brigades are lined up to go into the poorer areas of western Honduras with medical and dental supplies and personnel. There will also be some who are giving out glasses. We can’t wait to experience the joy of helping people see again. Each of these brigades will be done so as to lead people to Christ as well. We are not ashamed to let people know these are being done by Christians who would love to see the patients become followers of Jesus. The church is established in the area and will be ready to follow up on anyone expressing interest. There will also be a group of Let’s Start Talking workers in our city. These groups will make good contacts who can be led to Christ and become a part of God’s family.

We have enjoyed being in North Carolina for a couple of weeks of family time. Thanks to all of you who made this possible by helping pay for our tickets here. Although we spent part of the time passing around a virus to 18 of the 21 family members who were here we still managed to have fun, eat plenty of food and shop and open some presents together. We even managed to go bowling as we have for many years (in memory of Jonell, Robin’s Down Syndrome sister who always loved to go). It was hard to say goodbye to the children and our two granddaughters not knowing when we will see them all next but maybe it won’t be too long.

We have a favor to ask. If you plan to continue helping us in 2011, please let us know. If you have contacts who might help support us please send us their address and make contact with them and tell them to be expecting a letter from us. I have put a support letter at the following internet address. http://bit.ly/eTOS9i Please download it and send it to any churches or individuals you know. Every little bit of support makes a difference as we found out this past year.

Our wish list –

More monthly supporters no matter the amount.

May God continue to bless each of you as you seek for and find the will of God for your life
– Lowell, Robin and Jacob White

Remember to send any contributions to:

Wilkesboro Church of Christ

P.O. Box 81

Wilkesboro, NC 28697-0081

Make the check out to Wilkesboro Church of Christ, put Honduras on the “for” line on your check and enclose a note that it’s for the Lowell White family. Also, tell us if its for something particular.

 

 

 

 

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