Monday, November 15, 2010

AFE's U.S. Tour

By Rey Diaz

For the past two week, Pastor Jeony Ordonez and I have been in the United States visiting the home churches and organizations of various AFE supporters. AFE's "US Tour" includes stops at: Dallas, Texas, Portland, Oregon, Redmond, Washington, and Couer d'Alene, Idaho. In each city, we have encountered warm hospitality from our friends and extended family of God.

In Dallas, Jeony was able to share God’s work at 121 Community Church at 3 different services. We were also able to catch up with many of the students who had visited Honduras earlier this year with a family mission team. One notable young man we met was in Dallas was named Noe. He is busy making wallets out of duct tape and selling them to make money for AFE. Noe also puts a AFE business card in the wallets and shares his experience with the potential buyers. God is still using children to spread his good news.

Jeony and I also shared at the Orphan Outreach Board meeting.

After Dallas, we visited Portland, Oregon to meet up with Jack and Pat O’Neil of Hope Teams International. Jeony was the keynote speaker at the Bridges to Hope Banquet. Jeony delivered a powerful message of Hope to the Hopeless. The next day, Jeony again shared about AFE at Oregon City Evangelical Church where Pastor Tom and his church were celebrating Orphan Sunday.

In the Seattle area we shared at Washington Cathedral and updated the Board of Together for Transformation about how God is rescuing children from the garbage dump. Currently, Pastor Jeony and I are in Idaho visiting Lake City Community Church. On Saturday we will return to Tegucigalpa and relieve our wives of the business of filling our positions in our absence!

In all of our stops, Col 1:13-14 has been the theme verse: "For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of his beloved son, who purchased our freedoms and forgave our sins."

Thank to our wonderful friends and hosts in the United States! It has been such a blessing to share with you!

Monday, November 8, 2010

121 Mission Team Connects Deeply at AFE

By Elise White Diaz

I remember my first mission trip very well. I was seventeen years old and our job was to paint a school for needy children in Guatemala. I started a paint fight then later that evening climbed over the wall to sneak into the boys’ room. Needless to say, I don’t think I quite got the point of the mission trip.

It wasn’t until I was able to connect deeply with a native from the country I was visiting that I really began to consider how blessed I was to be born in the United States. Yolanda was nineteen years old like me but worked as a maid in Mexico while I was studying in a university. I couldn’t speak much Spanish at the time but we communicated with charades and lots of laughter. Yolanda is the reason I serve the poor in Honduras today.

Ricky and Milagros compare hand sizes.

My greatest hope for mission trips is that the participants would have the opportunity to connect deeply with native Honduras, and not just experience the trip as a one-time service project or an opportunity for adventure (as I did in my youth).

Because of the language barrier, it is often difficult to create opportunities for deeper connection between American teams and Hondurans. Yet, under Bob Beams’ leadership the group from 121 Church in Texas did just that. Bob scheduled some sharing time just between the teachers and the team. We worshipped together, shared our testimonies (with translators), and then prayed together, holding hands in a circle of unity that bonded two nations and two cultures together.

Tears were shed as people got open and vulnerable. Commitments to long-term prayer made. And my heart soared as I’m sure the Father’s did in heaven.

In addition to Vacation Bible School activities,
the group from 121 Church in Texas build a garbage facility at AFE so that we do not need to burn
garbage right underneath the classrooms and pollute
the air as the children study.