Category Archives: Fingerprints of the Father

Hither, Thither and Yon part 1

Literally that means ‘all over the place’ – which aptly describes our wanderings the last few weeks, or even months.

Lowell, Jacob and I wander from here to there mostly because we have brigades come in to work with us and they’re from all over the US. If I’m counting correctly I guess we’ve had at the minimum six different groups come down already this year meaning that we’ve had medical brigades, work details, seminars and great times mingling with all these super people. Honduran lives have been touched and changed in incredible ways because of these people with servant hearts.

You see, we’re (Lowell, Jacob and I) the privileged ones – more often than not, we get to participate not only in the initial encounter, the work but then too, get to see and experience the follow-up. I like that – I really like to see the impact that a short-term mission trip has on an area. We’ve been to any number of little villages – up to 3 hours away and each has its own story of people and interactions that lead to great things being accomplished for the kingdom. There’s some really cool stories going on!

For example: Las Sandias (a little village 45 or so minutes out of Santa Rosa) … we first went to hold a medical brigade with Pine Tree folks back in February. A couple of weeks later, their Youth group came back and painted the schools where that medical brigade was held, and then a little later we were able to go back and do scenery painting on that Kinder and Primary school. This was all done by so many different people!! But the connecting fiber was Jesus Christ and right now, there is some great evangelism happening in this village. A couple of the men are close ones to responding to the gospel call. Their families are being studied with on a regular basis. Their feeling after all these weeks is that ‘they matter’ – in this world, in the eyes of God …  they feel they matter because it was demonstrated by folks who are acting as the feet and hands of Jesus Christ.

I see the fingerprints of the Father all through these wonderful days …

here’s a taste of our days with Las Sandias:

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Just Let Me Say …

I have one more thing that needs to be mentioned under “Thankfulness”. In reality I know this list could go on and on if I open my eyes every day and register my many blessings. However, this one more thing is this … our very special time with Daniel Isom.

Don’t you love the providence of God and how it works in our lives? The fingerprints of  the Father are a very good thing. We are grateful that in the scheme of our events, it worked out that Daniel came and was a part of our lives here in Santa Rosa. He came not even 2 weeks after we made the move, so, basically we only know living here with Daniel in the house and in the middle of our doings – he was family.

love this!

Things are already different – like this evening, Jake went to youth drama practice and then will go on to the men’s weekly futbol game. But he was usually joined by Daniel at the game and then they’d walk home together. I know Daniel will be missed at the game. I am determined not to worry about Jake walking home on his own. Something will work out and I know he’ll be safe.

Last night at church any number of people came up and asked about Daniel … ‘he’s gone, right?’. And the men’s part of the praise team was definitely lacking.

And Daniel’s chair is empty at the dining room table. 😦

Daniel did a lot while he was here – he helped with our Thursday night children’s classes, worked with and was a part of the chorus and praise team, helped Lowell with his projects, participated with the youth program, was a part of our evangelistic outings, volunteered 3 days a week at the Hector Emilio Medina Bilingual School (Jake co-taught w/ him) and was an active part of our Friday night small group studies. And he helped with the re-write and editing of our intern packets and videos. I know I am leaving out something … well, just being Daniel was pretty special – he made quick friends with the Honduran folks and everyone misses him.

We enjoyed lots of special times with Daniel. A highlight of the time he was here was our trip to Belize. That was an adventure of a lifetime even for us well-seasoned missionaries and Daniel took to it like a trooper!

No complaints – ever. Even when, in reality, there is probably a lot to complain about. You’re here, things are different, more difficult, but either you decide to go with it or you really have a bad time. I believe Daniel had a good time.

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Blessings …  we’re grateful for gift of time we got to have Daniel amongst us. We pray God will continue to be glorified in his life and that he will be blessed as he blesses others.

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How God Has Prepared Us For This

Robin and I have been asked by the Mission Upreach team in Santa Rosa de Copan to put our minds and hearts into the task of developing methods to build loving couples into strong marriages and families in the church.  Both the Waldrons, the Honduran team members and we have understood that the growth of the church in Honduras is greatly hindered by the lack of leadership partly due to their being few strong family units in each congregation.  There must be some way to change this.  We have been given the task of developing seminars, retreats, counseling, sermons or whatever it takes to get couples married and help them stay married for life.   Not an easy task in any culture.  The question I want to consider is this: how has God prepared us for such a task as this?

First, I want to give some credit to our parents.  I can remember celebrating with both sets of parents their fiftieth wedding anniversaries.  Robin’s parents asked me to perform a repeat of their wedding ceremony, so, in the little, old white church building in Howard, Pennsylvania I did just that.  Their three daughters were there, along with two sons-in-law and nine grandchildren.  It was a beautiful time of celebration.  My parent’s children rented the community center in Addison, Alabama.  All five children were there plus a whole slew of grandchildren and some great-grandchildren.  It, too, was a great time of celebration.  Neither marriage was perfect in every way but I’m convinced that having parents who stayed together made a difference in mine and Robin’s marriage.

When we were planning to get married as students at Freed-Hardeman University both of us went to the library and read several books about marriage.  Both of us had taken the Marriage and the Family course offered.  Once we married, one of the things that we loved to do was start each day by reading a chapter in a marriage book.  Books like Night Light by James Dobson and Love and Respect by Emerson Eggeriches, which we are re-reading now, come to mind.  There were many of them.  Those books helped shape who we are and will be used to help shape this ministry.  Its interesting to me that of all the books I had on my shelves, the books on marriage were the ones I packed to bring with me.  This before even knowing we would be given this task.

Another thing that has prepared us was a class I was assigned to teach in Nigeria when we lived there.  I was asked to teach a course on counseling to the third year students.  I didn’t really feel qualified to do so but with the help of a book by Gary R. Collins entitled Christian Counseling I took on the class.  The students learned a lot.  It was something foreign to them – the idea of counseling.  I learned a lot about the culture in which they lived and in the process learned that not everyone in the world goes through the same thinking process as I do.  Robin and I had many discussions about things I had learned about the Nigerian culture in that classroom.

I have, of course, counseled with couples preparing for marriage.  Both Robin and I have tried to help couples who were struggling in their marriages.  We dedicated one year at Archdale Church of Christ, where I preached for nine years, to teaching classes every Sunday morning on marriage.  I was asked to teach a topic at a marriage seminar held in Charlotte on the simple subject, “Sex in the Marriage.”  Not so simple when one has to talk about it in front of a group of people.  After all, I am a bit shy.

All of this to explain how God has prepared us for this task.  We’ve been married thirty-one years.  We, like most couples, have been through trying times.  Our marriage still isn’t perfect but we believe God has allowed us to experience just the right things to bring us to this point in our life.  We covet your prayers as we take on this responsibility.  May it make an eternal difference to the lives of the Hondurans and may it strengthen the Lord’s church here.

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News of Our Move to Santa Rosa de Copan

Robin, Jacob and I just returned from a visit with Phil and Donna Waldron and their two children, Harrison and Laura, in Santa Rosa de Copan in the western part of Honduras.  We are extremely excited about what we saw there and have been praying about an offer that was made to us about joining the work.

The Waldrons spent several successful years in Mexico.  Many people are familiar with the work they did there.  Among other things there were five hundred baptisms during the five years they were a part of that work.  Now they are working with a team of three Honduran couples, a young man, and the church at Santa Rosa de Copan.  They have vision, they have excitement and they have a PLAN!  They are going to plant churches and teach them to plant churches with an emphasis on the six “states” in western Honduras called “Occidente.”  The movement they are beginning may very well continue throughout Honduras.  At least, this is their dream and prayer.

These are not just dreams, though, they have worked together to plan how this will happen.  There is now a strong and active church in Santa Rosa.  We worshiped with them the Sunday we were there.  The church has caught the same vision as the team.  We have not seen a church more excited about what God is going to accomplish than this one is.  The singing at this congregation was the best we’ve heard here in Honduras and was better than many places we’ve attended in the USA.  They are on fire!  There is something going on four or five nights of the week.  They are growing and reaching out to others with the gospel.

We were also able to attend the inauguration of CREO, a school to train men to carry the gospel and the vision back to their home congregations.  Ten men started their two year and three month studies during our visit.  They will attend classes during the week but are expected to return to their home congregation each weekend.  This is done for two reasons – to help the local church but also to encourage the student to return to his home when he graduates.

Phil and I visited one of these local congregations on Sunday.  We met in the front room of someone’s home and it was packed to overflowing.  A year ago there were only a handful of people that met here.  Now the congregation is excited about the possibilities of impacting their community with the gospel.  On one of the Saturdays we also visited another congregation again meeting in the home of one of the members.  Church members from several congregations came to canvas the community and invite people to become a part of this growing church.  There are several of these congregations in existence and I’m sure each has the same excitement I saw at these two.

The following is where we, the Whites, fit into this plan.  Robin and I noticed even before we moved to Honduras what a terrible problem exists here in relation to marriages.  There are very few people married.  The culture has developed into a mentality that living together without marriage is normal.  Men do not want to make the commitment and women don’t expect them to do so.  Infidelity is rampant.  The Waldrons and we understand what an impediment this is to the maturity and growth of the church.  Add to that the promiscuity of the youth and you have a recipe for failure as far as the church is concerned.  Our task, not an easy one, is to begin a program of teaching to change this.  We will concentrate on teaching the church membership but hopefully will branch out to those not yet in the church.  We will teach the sanctity of marriage through the use of preaching, seminars, pre-marital counseling sessions and any other means which proves valuable.  We will begin teaching the youth about abstinence and how it is a means of glorifying God by keeping oneself pure until marriage.

Phil and Donna have already identified a couple of programs that have been successful elsewhere that they believe can be adapted and translated into the Latino context.  Robin and I have read many books on marriage.  We’ve been married for thirty-one years.  We have counseled couples with marriage problems.  We feel we have the experience and knowledge, with the help of the Waldrons, to build several programs that will bring glory to God by changing the minds and hearts of both young and old in Honduras.  We do not presume to think it will be an easy task.  We are daunted by the thought of making it happen and have not made the decision easily because we understand how difficult it will be to change a culture of thinking that has been molded by the world and the evil one who influences it.  But it must be done if the church is going to successfully grow in this country and we believe the Lord will be leading us and supporting us and helping us all along the way.

So, having been given the invitation by the Waldrons and the UPREACH (MISIÓN HACIA ARRIBA) team to spearhead this ministry, we have made the decision to move to Santa Rosa de Copan as soon as we are able.  We need more support.  We need a vehicle.  But most of all we need your prayers to do whatever needs to be done to help people here understand the beauty of pure lives and consecrated marriages.

Some may ask why we are moving so soon (after six months) to a new location.  My answer is that although the work here in Tegucigalpa has been a wonderful learning experience, we believe the work in Santa Rosa fits our gifts, personalities and experiences better because there is:

A Team – A group of missionaries and Hondurans with one goal.
A Vision – A restoration-type movement concentrating on the six states of western Honduras.
A Plan – Plant churches, grow mature Christians who want to plant churches.
An Excitement – Young people and old, new converts and older Christians are filled with excitement.
A Need – Our purpose will be to build Godly marriages and encourage lives of purity to make the churches strong.

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: 011-504-3341-5864

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.

Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.       Malachi 3:10

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Dr. John, You Were An Answer to Prayer!

So, many of you who know a little of our story know we came to Honduras with pets. Mark T. had gotten his Skillet here so, no problem-o, we could get ours here too. Well, the long and short of that story is – it sure wasn’t easy but God’s hand was surely in the middle of it.

We came knowing our 9 year old, Sharpei/Golden Retriever, Izzy, had a cyst right below her left hip. Her stateside Vet. assured us her gut instinct was that it was a benign cyst and very removable and no rush. Once we got here our budget was tighter than we thought it would be and seeking out a Honduran Vet, and the whole surgery aspect seemed harder and harder to get done. Well, as the weeks passed we realized the cyst was growing little by little but then this summer, within a 2 week period, wow, it like doubled in size! Worry set in and the knowledge that this had to be taken care of.

I prayed hard about it and knew God would have a hand in it. In fact, I dreamed Stacey and some mystery person actually performed the surgery on our dining room table. Stacey is here for a year working at Casa with the kids and in her stateside life was a veterinarian assistant for 7 years – she had been keeping close check on Izzy and assured me she would help with the surgery when ever but would not dream of attempting it on her own. Okay, so we have an assistant – how cool is that?

Well, here is where it gets even better. Our dear friend and sister in the faith, Maria Phillips, came again this year but also with her came an amazing group from Jacksonville, Illinois. The first day as I am meandering around meeting people I hear – “hello Robin, you probably don’t remember me but I met you when you and your son brought your load for the shipment to Jacksonville…” so, I sit down and get re-acquainted with Dr. John Bourn, who just happened to be a Veterinarian! Lowell, Dr. John and I make casual conversation about his practice, about John Herriot books and we learn his practice includes all animals – farm and domestic. He actually brought surgical equipment with him and all he needed (anesthesia, syringes, etc) in case he was called upon. I proceed to tell him about Izzy and after coming to the house to take a look at her he agrees to spend his Sunday afternoon and take care of her surgery!

Also in the Jacksonville group is Maria’s daughter, Emily, who is in nursing school and has just finished up working in emergency – she along with Stacey will be assisting him.

So, on a Sunday afternoon after church services in Santa Ana we had Maria, her girls, Amanda and Emily, John, and our dear friend and brother, Dave Arny, over for lunch – and then spent the next few hours taking care of Izzy. Maria and I actually enjoyed sitting on the upper veranda while the surgery took place on the lower – they did indeed use the dining room table – just moved it outside and covered it with a tarp. Dr. John had figured it would all take a couple of hours which is exactly how it was. We were doing the surgery outside because of the lighting would be better – however the ever-present clouds rolled in and we supplemented with Jacob’s desk light – otherwise, every thing went superbly!

Well, some may say God really doesn’t take into the account the details of our life – much less down to taking care of our pets but I know every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. I know I prayed with the confidence that we would get Izzy taken care of. Therefore, I believe he brought these amazing people to our house! In fellowship, in one of life fortuitous stories – we were apart of the unfolding of the providence of God – all to take care of a dog.

John, Stacey, Emily – you were an answer to prayers – and of course, Maria, Amanda, Dave, Richard and Yesinia, Lowell, Jacob and I completed the script and we saw the Fingerprints of the Father!

Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man cares for the needs of his
animal

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Fingerprints of the Father

Fingerprints of the Father …

“God’s fingerprints are everywhere …

Just to show how much He cares”

This series is to share where we have seen the Father’s hand in the circumstances of our lives. I like to think of our lives as a story … we each have amazing, interesting, sometimes unbelievable scripts that are being written day by day. I believe when we let the Father have his way, let him lead us, then that’s when the story gets to the incredible parts! That’s when find yourself reacting with thoughts like: No way, can you believe that just worked out! Wow, did you see how that unfolded? Oh, heavens! Can you even believe that just happened?!?!

So, even though this song is generally used to teach the concept of creation to a young audience, it was brought to my attention recently when we had the groups here. Marc led it as a “good morning, time to wake up” song … the fingerprints of God is what I want to concentrate on and the fact that we not just see God’s hand in the physical creation around us but that He is continuing to create … through us … the very fabric of our lives are interwoven with the threads from our Father’s fingers.

HIP HIP HOORAY Writer – Mary Rice Hopkins

Lyrics:

In the beginning God made the sea

And the forest filled with trees

He made the mountains up so high

On the very top He placed the sky

Chorus:

Hip hip hip hippopotamus

Hip hip hooray, God made all of us

Hip hip hip hippopotamus

Hip hip hooray, He made all of us

God’s fingerprints are everywhere

Just to show how much He cares

But in between He had loads of fun

He made a hippo who weighs a ton

(Repeat Chorus)

God made the ground to stand upon

To hold the water in the ponds

Many kinds, He made everyone

But some things He just made for fun

(Repeat Chorus)

Creation sings of His praise

The sparrow and the tiny babe

We can sing and say well done

But some things He just made for fun

(Repeat Chorus)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

It’s especially exciting when you find out God’s has been guiding you and someone else’s path or story to intertwine and you realize … You are an answer to someone’s prayer!

It’s true, it’s undeniable and I have seen in over and over in our life. I believe if you ask, even plead, for the Lord’s intervention and/or guidance then in one way or another, you are in for a heaven-sent surprise. Life may not turn out as you anticipated in your own dreams but, when led and directed by the Father – then, wow, watch out – you could be in for an awe-inspiring story!

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