We praise God and lift you up in Thanksgiving for allowing us to have another great year here in Honduras!
2011 was full to the brim with wonderful work in God’s kingdom – it was indeed, a very good year. We started the year in the US and enjoyed visiting not only our precious family but also, most of the congregations and people who support us here. We loved the fellowship of God’s family and as a special bonus, got to enjoy at least 3 hefty, beautiful snowfalls! We knew we had to raise additional support in order to come back to Santa Rosa to continue our work here – at the 11th hour this was accomplished and we were able to return!
We arrived back to full-scale busyness in January with first an area-wide preachers’ meeting and then the first medical brigade. The folks from V-COM University in Virginia had everything planned out. They’ve done medical clinics before and knew what they were doing. The month ended with a great seminar on Conflict Resolution.
In February we had a wonderful church bonfire up on a mountain near our house and were also able to attend a wedding in San Marcos for a couple dear to the church here. Our house stayed pretty busy with young people coming over and the usual small group meetings. We ended the month with a 4-day medical/dental/vision clinic – hundreds of people were blessed in this mountain village of Yarushin with many people walked in from the countryside – the love of Jesus was overflowing!
March was busy again with youth gatherings, small group and the newly marrieds meeting at the house but also, there was a very productive church planting seminar that was conducted by brothers René Rosa and Joshué Molina. Wonderful spiritual growth was evident in our local congregation and the fathers were honored in a Father’s Day program put on by the children – it was precious! We also had our first Let’s Start Talking team of teachers come in – what a terrific ministry!
In April, Angie and Karol started the D.E.S.E.O. program (teaching values and principles and basic good health) at 3 of the local elementary schools; Jeremias, Harrison, Lowell, Jorge or Jose usually start the day with a joint devotional for the kiddos. We witnessed 25 graduates from the L.S.T. Program – and a good number of these continued into a Monday night Bible study conducted in English. The month ended with Jake attending a congregational encampment – fun for all ages! Lowell and Robin spent four days meeting with some brothers and sisters in 3 different congregations in the San Pedro Sula area with Bob and Leah Davis and Nathaniel Green. It was good to hear the various things these churches are doing in their communities and its always great to make new friends – Gringos and Hondurans.
May began with a 4-day regional conference pretty much conducted by René and Joshué. The themes centered around the church opening her eyes and heart to its community and begin making an impact on the social and cultural ills in this country. Lowell was responsible for some of the morning devotionals in local schools, besides preaching at Santa Rosa once for the congregation. Also, 21 ladies came to our house for a great ladies study plus. There was a wonderful Mothers’ Day celebration to honor the ladies of the church. Our crowds were getting larger at our services (up to 192) so there was a day for an ‘usher workshop’ and in addition, a good number of our men were able to attend the Lectureship at Baxter Institute.
April into May saw Lilian Molina and Robin conducting sewing classes “Cosiendo Para Cristo”. During the 5 weeks we studied some great Bible lessons and each of the 6 girls made a dress for themselves, and an additional 3 were made for neighborhood children.
June began with two different planning sessions with the youth of the church – there are great activities in store for them. Lowell was put in charge of and began an educational program with the men teaching the children on our Tuesday evenings. There was a second congregational bonfire that turned into a deluge. It was fun while it lasted. Folks came from W. Virginia and Colorado giving new glasses to kids who need them at the schools where DESEO is taught. The month ended with over 900 people in La Jigua being served by a group from Ft. Worth.
Robin and Jake were in the States for a month June 18 – July 18 with Jake being able to attend Carolina Bible Camp and spend time in VA with friends. Robin was able to enjoy time with all 3 big kids and families. Mean-while, Lowell stayed busy with brigades with medical students from VCOM (Virginia). Baxter students came and held an evangelistic campaign. A good number of brothers and sisters were added to the Body.
Life on the mission field is filled with ups and downs and sometimes – at the very same time they are moments of excellence intertwined with times of grief and sadness – June was such a time … we learned of the death of Lowell’s brother, Wendell.
July saw Terry Reeves’ TORCH intern group conducting a great VBS and too, our sponsoring church from Wilkesboro along with a group from Burnt Hickory, Georgia came down to join us in an eyeglasses clinic – what a terrific, blessed time! Near the end of the month, 21 men met for an all-day, week-long “boot-camp” course in the Bible. Another way to prepare men to be leaders in their respective congregations. There were also two more Lets Start Talking groups here in July.
August saw Lowell continuing with morning devotionals. We had a church building dedication ceremony in Las Crucitas. Lowell and Josue had some good studies in Ojo de Agua, a future church plant. There were five couples who had a ceremony to legalize their marriages – very beautiful and meaningful! And Glorisel, a student from the LST ministry, was baptized. Robin had a group of 14 ladies into the home for a wonderful study/workshop on prayer.
In September we helped paint the building in Yarushin with others on the team and some of the members from there – it was a fun day! Continued with Bible studies here and there and the youth group was able to attend the annual Youth Conference at Baxter Institute. Also, a new LST group came in continuing that good work.
October was a busy month with our regular activities, Lowell helping with home Bible studies in the neighboring villages and busy too, with getting our 90 day extensions – Robin and Jake to El Salvador and Lowell to Guatemala. It was Jake’s birthday month – the big 18 – and we also did an over-night trip to San Pedro Sula for him to be able to take the ACT exam.
November began with a three-day seminar on HIV/AIDS. Lots of information given to about twenty-two of the preachers and leaders of churches of Christ in western Honduras. Mid-month, the church had an amazing youth retreat … we had a guest speaker come in from Mexico with his family; the time was filled with the best of all that could have been hoped for. Great singing, prayers, excellent lessons – tears, laughter, and newly made convictions. The best part – 8 new Christian brothers and sisters!
We started our December with twenty-seven men who came for 6 1/2 days of intensive study on the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5 – 7 – they left refreshed, renewed and with enough material for a year’s worth of lessons and sermons! Went straight into a week-long fabulous Upward Basketball Clinic put on by some men from the States – Lowell had a blast helping with that! Robin had weekly holiday crafts for the kids in our neighborhood and had so much fun they want to continue it on an on-going basis with 7-8 boys and girls. Had a nice Christmas Eve get-together at church. Kids sang some songs, adults put on a play and about 225 of us ate chicken, rice and salad. The 3 of us headed to Belize for our 90-day extensions and enjoyed a few delightful days coming back in time for bringing in the New Year here at home.
Wow! It was indeed a full, rewarding year’s work for the Lord. Please continue to pray for all the new Christians, for the various ministries that are touching and changing so many lives and for our part in all of it.
We are grateful to each of you for your prayers and financial support. We pray for each of you as well, that the Father will shower you with blessings, and adventure during this new year of 2012!
– Lowell, Robin and Jacob White