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Good Things

There’s been some very good things going on here …

like:

The medical brigade with the Burnt Hickory folks in Yarushin. Over 800 people were served over the four days. There are always moving stories at our clinics – and you know some stand out more than others. This time there was a lady who had lived years with a mysterious bacterial infection that now has an answer and ‘remedy’ of sorts (and definitely a better life), and a number of small children were seen that had serious anemia problems. One little girl was even taken to the hospital in Santa Rosa and had to have blood transfusions. Thank God, some of the visiting folks were not only the right blood type but were willing to share their blood so this little one could get a new lease on life. We truly saw the fingerprints of the Father in these life stories.

And, last week, Scott and Tim returned (from Atlanta) for yet another basketball clinic and this time, guess what? among others, it included kiddos from our neighborhood! yay! Remember our post on Basketball – it’s not just a game? Well, from when this started “(Lowell) Got drafted into the NBA – Niños Basketball Association. Will be helping teach basketball skills to 9 – 12 year olds but interspersing Biblical teaching. Should be fun and its always good to guide kids to the Bible.” until now, there’s been almost weekly basketball activity with at least 5 different schools. The kids are learning valuable lessons about not only sportsmanship but also, pertinent lessons from the Bible and the value and necessity of prayer. The kids are growing in valuable ways that they can take into their everyday lives.

Also,t this week, with a little different twist, a group has gone back up to Ojos de Agua (where we’d had a medical/vision clinic a month ago) and a team of young folks from CO and Atlanta are holding basketball clinic in this mountain village. Fun times, encouraging moments and definitely great contacts for the Lord’s church in that area.

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Changes … can be fun, and a little unusual … :/

When Jacob left here a number of things had to change – at least for me (Robin).

One thing was inevitable – I would no longer be walking everywhere as before. Daytime journeys out to the pulperias (little grocery stores) could still happen but not in the extent as they did with Jake around – the loads are just too heavy for me to carry on my own.  Taxis are available sometimes but not always when you need it and as often as not, we would walk all the way home with our cargo.  And too, just having a male presence made things more comfortable. There’s so much construction going on and the cat-calls and remarks (a way of life here) are a little harder to deal with on my own.  Also, I am more cautious by myself  even here at the house … for example, locking the front gate and the doors when I’m not downstairs.

Walking to church gatherings on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings is out … in the past, generally speaking, Jake and I walked by ourselves and met Lowell at the building. Well, I don’t walk anywhere by myself after dark and have kind of lost confidence even in daylight to go far afield. For example, the usual way I used to go to the building changed because of road construction.  A couple of times of being really spooked ended that a while back.

So, what has happened is this:   A month or so before Jacob left Lowell got a motorcycle (exactly 46 days ago- he just had the 45-day-check-up) . The purchase of the bike was due to the generosity of 2 very special families and he got it when he needed it the most – he had developed Plantar Fasciitis and was suffering with severe foot pain. The pain has greatly reduced since he’s been able to give his feet a break from all the walking. On the motorcycle Lowell was pretty much solo while Jake was here but now, I’ve hopped on board.

My rule is: if it is a combination of dark and rainy, I stay home. Otherwise, my wardrobe choice has drastically altered – this lady who has worn skirts or dresses probably 70% of the time for years and years now dons her jeans or pants for trips out.  We discovered mighty fast that side-saddle riding may have been fine on the long, straight roads of Nigeria but here on these rut-filled steep hills it is just not feasible or safe. (although… I have learned what long, full skirts I can get by with on a Sunday night – you know for riding astride yet modestly ).

Oh, just fyi, I always feel safe with Lowell’s driving and I trust his every move … not necessarily the other guy though! So anyways, we just glide along, bumpity-bumpity- BUMP, glide, slide bumpity-bumpity-BUMP, GLIDE  and move in, out and around these Honduran roads. If you’ve never rode a motorcycle on a cobblestone street, you should try it sometime!

Our helmets are bright red … we’ve been told they look happy (thanks, Richard) and like they look like ripe tomatoes. They put me in mind of the veggie tale character, Bob, the Tomato. I call us the ‘tomato heads.  Even with the bright tomato-red helmet, I think Lowell looks pretty cool on his motorcycle.

Not bad for a pair of old fogies, huh?

Blessings every one … we’re outahere!!

Zoom-, bumpity-bumpity- BUMP, glide, slide bumpity-bumpity-BUMP, GLIDE … zzooooommmmm

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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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Whites End of Year 2011 Honduras Newsletter

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

 

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PowerPoint About Our Work

Robin, with a little help from Lowell, put together a PowerPoint explaining our specific project here in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras. Take a look and tell us what you think. Share it with others. If you got too dizzy watching Lowell’s “Prezi” you’ll like this a lot better.

Building Strong Families

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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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April/May 2011 Newsletter

When I think that June and July are going to be busy with brigades coming and going I get overwhelmed. We’ve been busy without any brigades here. Brigades are great though. We look forward to working with the folks that come down from the USA to help the people here by providing medical and dental services and providing eyeglasses for those who need them.

Some of you have heard of Let’s Start Talking. We had two retired couples who came in March /April to teach English classes using the Bible. That’s what LST does. There were 29 students who graduated from the classes and we are continuing to follow up with them. I (Lowell) called each of them this past week-end to invite them to a Bible study we’ll be having on Monday nights. It will be in English and will help them with the language and since we’ll be using the Bible we’ll be teaching them the gospel as well. Several of them had some nice comments for the LST teachers that they really enjoyed studying the Bible and learning English at the same time. We’re hoping they will find our Monday night classes helpful, too. There are two or three more groups of LST teachers coming in the next three months so hopefully this will continue to grow.

Graduates of LST course

LST graduates show off their certificates

I had an opportunity to preach in April. I gave the lesson in English and René Rosa translated. This also is an encouragement for the folks who are learning English as it gives them more practice listening and then the translation helps them. I’m scheduled to preach again in June. I hope several of them will come.

Robin, Jacob and I traveled out of the country in mid May. It was a lot easier than our trip to Belize last year. We just got on a bus here in Santa Rosa de Copán, rode for two hours to the border, walked across into El Salvador, hopped on another bus for ten minutes and arrived in San Ignacio. Then we walked ten minutes to a hotel/resort and stayed for two days. When we returned we had another 90 days permission to stay in Honduras. Doesn’t that sound easy? You can read more and see some pictures later on this blog.

the heavens declare

Watching the sunset in San Ignacio, El Salvador

The congregation had a retreat planned for the week of Semana Santa (Easter week). Robin and I didn’t go because we were asked to help with a couple who had come from a S.C. church to visit some preachers they were supporting. Bob and Leah Davis were a joy to be around as was Nathaniel, who was with them. We were able to visit three families with them in three different locations close to San Pedro Sula, the largest city in our area. We also met the new couple who just started working with one of the congregations. These families are committed to the cause of Christ even though they live in some pretty difficult situations. One congregation has lost three church members recently from violent crime. One of the daughter’s of one of the preachers was accosted on her way home from school but escaped. Another of the preachers runs a bus ministry and picks up 40 – 50 neighborhood kids and brings them to church. They bring problems with them but he and his family are committed to changing their lives for the better.  Click here to read more.

Our team held a two-day seminar for the leaders of the Occidente region in which we live. We were also asked to teach two classes at the lectureship at Baxter Institute in Tegucigalpa. Both were well attended and there were great comments during and after the classes. René and Josúe did most of the teaching. Their teamwork is incredible to watch. There is always a lot of action going on in their classes. No one has an opportunity to get sleepy. And the way they include everyone in discussion makes for a much better class than just hearing a lecture.

Lowell directing the Zacchaeus story.

Lowell directs Zacchaeus as he climbs the "tree" to see Jesus

Another of my opportunities I’d like to mention is going with Angie and Karol to one of the elementary schools where I started the school day with a devotional. Angie and Karol teach a program called DESEO at four different schools. Their goal is to teach the children to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. We men on the team take turns teaching a devotional before the children start classes. I was given the character Zacchaeus. I had a script and got the children to act out the story. We had fun with it. I made the point that Jesus can change our lives as he did Zacchaeus’. The secondary point was that he may have been a “wee, little man” because he didn’t eat right when he was a child. Angie and Karol then used that to teach their classes on nutrition. I’m not sure how much the kids learned though. I noticed when they had recess a lot of them went and bought chips and pop (Coke for you southerners). Angie and Karol do a great job. Parents are asking the teachers at school why their kids are now praying at home before meals. Little by little they are learning.

I have been put in charge of Tuesday night Bible study for the children. Our goal is to get the men of the congregation involved in teaching the kids as we usually leave this to the women. We’ve had some training sessions so far and the first group of men will start this Tuesday night. We are using the same curriculum as the DESEO program uses. We figure these kids at church need to learn the same things. The other thing we are trying to accomplish is to get positive, Christian male figures into the lives of the children. Many of them live in families where the dad has abandoned them.

Notes from Robin

I stay busy with the regular activities in our home and with Jacob finishing up his Junior year of high school. We continue with the Friday and Saturday evening Bible studies and the random group of young people, also, different ones come over for meals. I am on the May schedule to teach in our Sunday school – I work as co-teacher with the 5 – 7th grades. Last Sunday there were 24 students in this class!

We’ve added a Thursday afternoon activity. For the month of May Liliana Molina and I are teaching sewing classes to neighborhood girls. The course is called “Sewing For Christ” and the time begins with a lesson from the Bible and moves into how to sew. We meet from 2 until 5 in the afternoon. The sewing class will continue after this course (designed with 4 classes) but with older girls next time. Also, May 7thsaw 18 ladies from the congregation gathered at our home for an evening of study, fellowship, and fun. This was the initiation of a new program that will carry the ladies through the year with a quarterly class to touch base – something like “Secret Sisters” but there are no secrets … just new buddies. I am also working on a series of Bible lessons for women and the children in our sewing class. A young lady from the congregation, Dineth, helps me with translation and Zonia Rosa helps me with the final editing. This is proving to be quite a job but very rewarding. You can read more about these activities in our blog later as Robin posts them.

Cutting out dress patterns

Lili and Cecilia help Diana cut out a dress pattern

– 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. If you would like to help Jacob attend Carolina Bible Camp this June please contribute as above. If there is enough money, Robin will go with him to visit our grandchildren and children.

Jacob and a tree

Jacob under a tree in El Salvador

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