Tag Archives: freed-hardeman

July 2011 Newsletter

Let me get the negative part out of the way first. I (Lowell) have been sick with some kind of bronchial problem for two weeks. If a person could cough their head off, I would have. I’m ready to be well. I’m on the mend but I told Robin the other day that I’ll be glad when I’m back to 100 percent. Robin got it too but she’s tougher than me so she’s recuperating a lot faster.

Two Baxter Married Couples with Lowell

The team has tried to follow up on the new Christians who were baptized during the Baxter Institute campaign. The thing that most of you would have a hard time understanding is that practically no one here has an address. There is no postal service here, so I guess city planners never figured there was a need. I have noticed that some of the streets close to the office have street names but I wonder if anyone even knows they are named. So, when trying to find someone’s home the address is something like: Colonia Osorio, five blocks in front of the Continental Bank on the first road down from the Stop Light. That’s the address of our church building. Imagine trying to find the homes of new Christians with those kind of directions. Several of the team members have lived here for awhile so I think the follow-up is going well. We’re also trying to include everyone in the small groups that meet throughout the city.

Paul and the Jailer

Terry Reeves, who was at FH-U at the same time Robin and I were, has led short-term mission teams here to Honduras for several years. He brought his interns to Santa Rosa toward the end of their time in Honduras and they did a great job holding a VBS out at Los Angeles, one of the schools where the DESEO project is going on. They were really good. The kids were excited that the interns were all dressed up in clothes from Bible times. They used three days to teach about Saul/Paul, his conversion and some of his life. The group had great actors, great singers and a whole lot of enthusiasm. The kids loved it and it was another wonderful way to reach into one of the communities we continue to try to impact.

Between the Baxter campaign, the VBS and the work DESEO is doing in the schools we’ve had a pretty good impact in that area. Enough are coming that we have a bus running a route there for Sundays. I haven’t counted how many are riding the bus as we ride on a different one but there seems to be a good group coming from Los Angeles. Some of our long-time church members live out there, too, so having a bus come to their area is a real blessing. (You may be asking, “Where did they get the money for two buses? Phil Waldron is raising money constantly for the projects that go on here. Other than providing office space for me and a bus we can catch to church, it doesn’t help us directly. We still have to raise our own funds to pay our bills and hopefully, some day to get enough to buy a vehicle).

There were two more Lets Start Talking groups here in July. One was an older group and the other was two ladies and a group of teens. The first group had a basic English class that I taught for a week after they left and then when Robin returned from the States, she taught the next week. As soon as we finished there was another group here to continue the work. We suspended the Monday night classes as its hard to get the students to come to two things in one day. Their lives are busy. Most of them have jobs and see English as something that will help them advance in their careers. Our desire is still to reach them with the gospel. That became even more clear to us when one of the students, a man around my age, was found shot to death one night. One never knows when this life will end and it just reminds us of the importance of sharing the gospel with people when we have the chance. And no, we have no idea who killed him or why. One of the teen girls had ‘read’ with him that day and she and the rest of the group were pretty disheartened that this happened to someone they had grown to know and like. We’ll start the Monday night classes back up when the present group leaves with a renewed determination to reach them with the gospel.

Eating Lunch at the Officer's Mess Hall

Every missionary longs for his sponsoring church and his supporters to visit him or her on the field. Toward the middle of July seven people from Wilkesboro, our sponsoring church, made a trip here to hold some eyeglass brigades. They were probably a little surprised at what Donna had in store for them but I think everyone enjoyed the trip. I’ve mentioned that the commanding officer of the local army battalion has supplied us with military transport vehicles and soldiers when we go out for medical and dental brigades. This has been a big help to us and we wanted to help them in some way, so we and the Wilkesboro group plus three folks from Georgia traveled to two battalions and checked their eyes and fitted those who needed them with glasses. We even got to eat in the officer’s quarters at one place.

Little Girl Excited about Her New Glasses

The next two days we rode the bus for about an hour to Flor de Copán. There is a new church plant there and we wanted the community to know that the Church of Christ cares about them. We held an eyeglass brigade in a local school and had lots of people come through including students of the schools in town. One thing that was funny was that the students were typically disappointed if they did not need glasses. I guess they thought it was cool to be able to wear a pair. It was a joy, though to all of us to see some of the older folks get excited because they were going to be able to read their Bibles again. That’s what its about.

Wilkesboro Group at the Mayan Copán Ruins

Wilkesboro and the Georgians ended their trip with a visit to the Mayan Copán Ruins. I went with them. Several of the groups had been there through the summer but I had never gone. It was an interesting tour and an encouragement to know that we serve a loving, patient, sensible God who loved us enough to send his son to die for us. A great ending to a great summer.

Notes from Robin

Jacob and I went to the States especially for him to be able to go to Carolina Bible Camp – it was an agreement we had made with Jake before moving to Honduras – that he could continue the summer tradition of camp and then a week in Virginia with his best buds. It turned out that I went as well and spent time with all 3 of our ‘big kids’ – it was a needed and blessed time for each of us. I additionally got some business items taken care of that can only be done ‘face-to-face’. We are ‘back in the saddle’ as far as life in Santa Rosa. I am finally feeling better, Jacob starts back into school really soon, and our lives are filled with blessings of the work here.

– 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.

P.S. – You can still see updates and sometimes pictures posted on our fan page on Facebook. Just search for ROAD TO HONDURAS and that should bring up our page. God bless.


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Adjustments – September Newsletter

September was a time of re-adjustment. We did a lot of adjusting to make ourselves useful in Santa Ana, then in a whirlwind, we made the move to Santa Rosa de Copán. We only saw two houses in SRC on our visit that were for rent. One was much too small, the other was bigger than what we thought we needed. It turns out we made a good decision by choosing the larger one as we now have an intern who will be using one of the bedrooms for the next two months. In November we hope to have the rest of his family here with us. And if God is good to us, we will have some of you who read this come and visit. You don’t, of course, have to stay with us. There is a hotel in town the Waldrons have used when groups come for short-term mission trips. But we just want you to know you are welcome.

Two of the things that have been big adjustments are the amount of activity going on with the church and the way we get to each activity. We don’t have a vehicle to use here as we did in Santa Ana so we are learning our way around. It’s about a twenty minute walk to the church building. There is a church bus that runs for some of the activities. So we are able to make a twelve minute walk and catch the bus. The only problem is when its raining. We were quite a sight the other night as Jacob and I had umbrellas and Robin had a hooded blue rain coat and polka dotted rain boots. We did get stared at a little but we are used to that after having lived in Nigeria.

The neatest thing going on at our house is our Friday night Bible studies. We’ve had four so far. We had nine people here the first time and the second time we had eleven adults and three children. The third time there were fourteen adults and three children. The fourth time there were twelve adults and two children. We’ve invited other neighbors and we’re pretty confident some will come but they have to get over their shyness I guess. I (Lowell) am teaching the class. Selvin, one of the young men who attends, is good about helping me correctly pronounce Spanish words. One or two of the C.R.E.O. students have been here each time as well. Fortunately they and Selvin can lead the Spanish songs. We usually sing a couple in English just because they like to hear them. We are all looking forward to seeing new Christians born out of these studies.

I was able to sit in on an inspiring meeting recently. There are three couples here who are taking the lead to be legally married. I mentioned in our previous newsletter what a cultural difficulty it is to get couples to make that important commitment to each other before God. All the team members along with some of the members joined together in a day of fasting and prayer (and a 2nd day recently). We met together at the church building and sang and prayed for over an hour. Not long after this three couples made the decision to be legally married. Later another couple joined them. The meeting I sat in on was a time of planning and setting of a date for the big day. More on this next month but note this quote from Mission Upreach’s newsletter: “Looks like we will be having a joint wedding for four couples who have decided to legalize their union and please God on October 26th. This resulted after much fasting and prayer by the church in Santa Rosa. Just got word that 6 or 7 more will do the same in our church plant in El Porvenir. God is good!”

Before we made our move here we knew that the son of some friends of ours at the Wilkesboro Church of Christ wanted to come here and work for a couple months. Daniel is the son of Dale and Michelle Isom. Dale is one of the elders at our sponsoring congregation. Daniel has fit right into the family. He and Jacob hit it off instantly and they are doing lots of things together – even playing soccer with the Hondurans. Daniel will be involved in a variety of things while here. He is a sort of guinea pig for us as we’ve not had an intern before. The Waldrons have, so they are helping us. Daniel will be rebuilding our web site, working with the children and youth at the church and helping everyone sing better as he has a lot of experience in chorus and leading singing.

One of our main projects has begun. Our plan is to produce a series of classes that will encourage the young people in Honduras to make the decision to remain sexually pure until they marry. Robin and I are reviewing some videos that have been used in the States. We will outline the messages, then have them translated into Spanish. Next we’ll brainstorm ways to make them better and consider the best way to present them to this culture. We have a good team here and hope to get these onto video so they can be distributed to other congregations throughout Honduras. Part of the package will be a series of lessons to help the parents communicate with their children especially in the area of sexual purity. This is a tremendous amount of work. It needs to be done while Harrison, the Waldron’s son, is here because he is our “producer/technical guy.” He’ll be off to university next year so we have to get things moving fast.

Another project is one to help the marriages that already exist become better ones. First on our list is to begin meeting with the couples mentioned above who are to be wed in October. We will invite them to our home for a time of fellowship and fun, then teach them some important lessons that married couples need to know. We’ll be using some material by Gary Smalley that fortunately is already translated into Spanish.

A third project is similar to the first one above but will concentrate on helping married couples improve their marriages. We want to create lessons with a Honduran “flavor” that will appeal to the people here and help their marriages improve. The fourth project has to do with helping marriages that are in a crisis – in danger of ending. We have some good resources for all of this but if any of you have suggestions please send us an e-mail. We are always open to good ideas.

Robin had her first speaking engagement last Thursday night as she spoke (in Spanish) to the ladies. According to some of the ladies, she did great. I told one sister she’ll do even better once she can speak Spanish better.

Our wish list (I thought I would include this here so you would know our needs): another $1000/ month support, a vehicle, $3,200 for our 5 year residency papers which would keep us from having to travel out of the country every four months and some Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles for our shoes until we get the vehicle. I’m just kidding about the insoles. Probably the most important of these is the money for residency papers. This is the best price we’ve seen on this and we need to jump on it before it goes up.

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 (Lowell’s cell)

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.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

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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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