Tag Archives: Santa Rosa de Copan

On the Terrace …

…or terraza as the case may be.

Because things got busy as they sometimes tend to do around here I ended up stashing this note in ‘drafts’ and forgot about it. I saw the title and questioned ‘what is that?’ … it was an evening out  with ‘our’ young married couples and it is from way back but it’s worth mentioning and so, I digress to the past – like Saturday May 5th!

For well over a year and half Lowell and I have opened our home to several of the young married couples of the church here.  We’ve read books together, studied great lesson series, watched and participated in the Fireproof movie and lessons, and just had some wonderful fellowship including cook-outs around the campfire and meals around the table. In all, there’s seven couples that have participated. Now to get us all together … that’s a rare occurrence … but each have been  in and out of our home numerous times. Juan Jose and Claudia are neighbors and friends of Juan Jose and Mirty. They  were regulars at church services and our home even before they had become Christians – what a day of rejoicing when they made the decision to be baptized!

So, this Saturday night mentioned above was really very, very special –  we all gathered at the home of Juan Jose and Claudia and they and Juan Jose and Mirty hosted an asado (cook-out) on their terraza! Wow! there’s was some delicious food – chicken, beef and sausages grilled out and the usual ‘sides’ of Honduras – churros (chips), beans, grilled tortillas, and chismol  (fresh salsa). It was so neat to be sitting up on their ‘roof’ and it was the night of the ‘super moon’ with an actual break in the typical cloud coverage so we could see it! We laughed and visited and just had a perfect time – as good friends should and do. One neat thing too is that neighbors were invited that are regular attendees of the Friday night small group that meets in Juan Jose’s and Mirty’s home.

Let me say, this is a good group of folks – they are a valuable part of the church in Santa Rosa. The men are beginning to be active in worship participating in prayers and Lord’s supper and represent the future deacons and elders of the church here. The ladies – four of which have children – are wonderful Mommies and wives – they will be teaching children and ladies in years to come. Each of these couples are getting in on the ‘ground-rules’ of what makes a marriage great and are understanding the hard work, daily, that it takes. The discussions have been thought-provoking and valuable.

I love this family of God!

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2012 Support Letter

Robin, Jacob and I began working with Phil and Donna Waldron and René Rosa in September of 2010.  We moved to Santa Rosa de Copán in the western part of Honduras after having worked in Santa Ana for seven months.  We are excited about what is being done here and we feel our prayers have been answered that an offer was made to us about joining this team.

We are working with a team of fourteen. We are three North American couples and the rest Latino couples or singles plus two single North American interns. Most of us attend and work in conjunction with the church at Santa Rosa de Copán.  This team has vision, excitement and they have a PLAN!  That plan is to plant churches and teach them to plant more churches with an emphasis on the six “states” in western Honduras called “Occidente.”  The movement that begins here may very well continue throughout Honduras.  At least, this is the dream and prayer.

These are not just dreams, though, the team has worked together to plan how this will happen.  There is now a strong and active church in Santa Rosa.  We have worshiped with them for a year now.  The church has caught the same vision as the team.  We haven’t seen a church more excited about what God is going to accomplish than this one is.  There is something going on four or five nights of the week.  They are growing and reaching out to others with the gospel.  There are regularly 185 in attendance any given Sunday.

Part of the strategy involves C.R.E.O., a school to train men to carry the gospel and the vision back to their home congregations.  Seven young men attend at present.  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.

Another method to train preachers and leaders is intensive weeks – a time when Christians from rural areas come and attend classes for six straight days. The most recent one was a study of the Sermon on the Mount. There are six sessions planned for this year. This has been shown to be an excellent method of preparing leaders for rural congregations.

The following is one area in which 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 team 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.

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 feel we have the experience and knowledge, with the help of the team, 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.

Let me quickly share some of the other things we and the team are doing. I (Lowell) am in charge of the Tuesday night children’s classes. The men teach these classes – something out of the ordinary in the Latino context.  Robin teaches a children’s class almost every Sunday. She and I have a weekly Bible study in our home on Friday. Each Saturday night the couples who have been recently legally married attend a class and discussion on marriage issues in our home. Most recently we’ve been studying lessons based on the Fireproof movie. Tuesday nights we attend praise and worship. Thursday nights we attend disciples classes. Saturday nights Jacob, our son, attends youth meetings. Robin has a group of children in our home on Wednesdays to work on crafts. Every other Monday night is a men’s meeting with the brothers of the congregation.

The team works with short-term missions groups who come to hold medical, dental and eyeglass brigades. Some brigades will work on other projects like painting a kindergarten, painting murals, holding volleyball clinics and conducting VBS. We expect over two hundred people here this year. And to give an example of what they accomplish, there were 900 people seen at a medical, dental and eyeglass clinic this month. Plus, we try to hold these in villages where we plan to plant a church soon or where one already exists. Donna Waldron is the coordinator for these but she enlists the help of most of the team. It’s a big effort.

The team also has a work called DESEO. This is an effort to enter primary schools and teach classes with the goal to “impact the children in a way that forms their character and helps develop an intimate relationship with their creator”. Last year there were team members working in four schools. This year several more schools will be added. In conjunction with this the team is starting a program based on the Upward basketball program in the States which also works on developing character and a relationship with God, but in addition, works to impact the parents as well. We’ve already had one training camp and a brother is returning this week to continue the training of those who will be involved.

Did I mention that the team would like to plant 12 new congregations this year? I’m not as optimistic as others on the team about the possibilities of accomplishing that but even if we are able to do half and instill in them the desire to plant other churches, the year will end well.

We believe the work in Santa Rosa fits our gifts, personalities and experiences because there is:

A Team – A group of missionaries and Latinos with one goal.

A Vision – A restoration-type movement concentrating on the six states of western Honduras.

A Plan – To plant churches and 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

If you would like to help, please contact me at lowellwhite@post.com

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Good Byes Don’t Come Easy …

I’ve (Robin) been through my fair share of  ‘good-byes’ – well, actually probably more than my fair share. The daughter of a preacher ‘nomad’, wife of a preacher/missionary has seen me move a ton of times. No matter how many times one says it – ‘it’s’ never any easier – at least not for me. And, usually it’s me, or us, doing the leaving but this time it was a little different.

Josué Molina and family have moved to San Marcos. Josué is still a part of the “team” but in a different role now and he and Lili will be working with church planting in that area.

This is big to me. You see, the very first week we moved to Santa Rosa I started co-teaching with Josué wife, Lilian. Lili and I were not only sisters in the Lord, co-teachers but very soon realized we were kindred spirits and thus became forever friends. This isn’t to say Lili and I are alike. Lili has a very strong personality, is passionate, boisterous and gregarious. I think of myself as strong for sure, with more of a subdued personality and quiet strength. But our love for our Lord, the Word, love of singing, and the love we have for own family is powerful and a definite common bond. We taught sewing classes for girls in my neighborhood. We visited others together. We got together just to have coffee and talk – her house or mine. You see, Lili has her struggles (and I do too) and sometimes one just needs that listening heart to hear, commiserate and understand. We did that for and with each other. One of the best things is, that  Josué and Lowell were close too – they could spend time together and just be ‘on the same page’ about tasks to be done, souls to be prayed over, and just life. The four of us had just enough time together to fall in love and want more. And their little ones – Genesis and Joshua – I love those two! They loved being in our home and felt at home with us. And then, there is Charlene, Lili’s older daughter that was/is ‘at home’ in our home too – she has stayed here in Santa Rosa – having been hired by MissionUpreach to work with their team. (this was not an easy decision for her to make) I think she is my new assistant teacher – and if that has worked out, she starts with me this Sunday.

Well, the bright side of this is …. San Marcos is not that far away – about a hour and 1/2 drive – of course, without a car, we’ll go by way of bus probably to visit. We are making tentative plans to go and have working activities – Lowell and Josué working with marriage classes and me and Lili working with more sewing classes as an outreach. Also, they have asked and we have invited them to use our home as ‘base’ anytime they are in Santa Rosa – mutually satisfying.

All of us are excited about the Molina’s new work in the San Marcos area but life is just hard sometimes, y’know? With all these dadgum good-byes that pull at the heartstrings. Someday, glory hallelujah, there will be no more good-byes – just a lovely welcome into our forever home.

Praise the Lord and Amen!

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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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So Much Good

Our world is a troubled place. There’s abuse, promiscuity, lying, stealing, gossiping, substance abuse, cheating, disease and dying all around us. Day in, day out we, each one of us, are affected by Satan and his hold on the world – his hold on us and people we know. It’s enough to drag a person down to the pit of despair! Satan would have us wallow there – stay in the dark and believe the worst. But,

The truth is: There’s so much good going on. It’s called “Good News”. It is what changes our night into day, our mourning into gladness.

From the youth retreat, to a wife being baptized recently, to new folks showing up at small group studies all over town, friends and neighbors attending church services for the first time, to babies being born into homes where both parents are now Christians, kids visiting in homes where they see Christ, people being visited and prayed over, men being taught radical and life-changing truths to now, this week more lives being impacted by the on-going (Christ-centered) basketball camp … there’s enough good going on to fill a book or two!

We thank God every day that we can be in the middle of this work.

Christ is the reason for this season but more than that, He’s the reason for living – and He is the Hope for all of us.

Praying your Season is blessed with Brightness and Light that comes only from Him!

 

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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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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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