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ZELAYA_SD - 35
Author: Matthew
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By now, you are familiar with Pastor Melvin and his lovely wife Carol Zelaya. Sometime I will blog about how God placed them in our paths, but I wanted to tell you about their recent visit to San Diego! Melvin and Carol are tireless servants of the Lord, who embody what I’ve read about in Ted Tripp’s book Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer. The Zelayas are gifted teachers of Scripture, but have also have taught Jennifer and I a lot about pastoral ministry. Melvin is constantly in homes, hospitals, radio stations, and other places seeking out people who need to hear of Christ in a moment of crisis. This work is non-stop and knows no days off. For that reason, it was our family’s please to bring Melvin and Carol up to see us and take a forced vacation.
Despite Melvin’s prowess behind the steering wheel of his trusty old pick-up truck traversing the rugged mountains of Honduras, he didn’t want to take on the challenges of 85MPH navigation of Southern California’s superhighways. As such, the Zelayas humbly submitted to our plans for them to enjoy 10 days with us. We enjoyed taking them to the world famous San Diego zoo, for hikes at Torrey Pines, and to walk by the ocean at Sunset cliffs. We expanded their culinary horizons with meals like In-n-Out burger, the California burrito, and Indian food. Of course, Carol made sure that meals and conversations included Coca-Cola. (Melvin likes to refer to Coke as the agua negra del imperialismo yankee).
It was really special to get to share our present context with Melvin and Carol. On many wonderful occasions, we have visitors come down to Honduras, but this was a first for us to fellowship with Melvin and Carol on this side of the border.
It was a joy to introduce them to friends at Pacific Hope Church and others who God has placed in our lives. They were glad to greet the Jensen family and introduce their newest family member into the world. Our visit was full of talking about the friends we share with them in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, and Honduras. We prayed for lots of peeps by name and smiled as we see how God has truly woven together His Church in Honduras with His Church in the U.S.
Hope you enjoy a few photo highlights in this gallery:

http://divineadventure.net/blog/portfolio/the-zelayas-visit-the-big-sd/

22 Apr / Bring back the blog

Author: Matthew
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In recent weeks, I’ve decided to renew our divine adventure website. My pal Henry Happ has helped me piece together the digital skeleton of a site, and slowly we will be breathing new life into it. This site has served to allow our family to share about ministry joys and challenges during stages of life we have enjoyed in Costa Rica, Illinois, Honduras, and California. Our life has been full of changes, and full of people that God has sovereignly placed in our path to build us up in one way or another. I personally have enjoyed using this website as a way to share news with you.
Frankly, I am not sure who among our friends kept up with us on the previous site, but I feel an obligation of sorts to bear witness to the sanctifying hand of God leading us through this divine adventure of life.
I love how David declares His compulsion to sing God’s praises. As He asks the Lord for healing he tells God that he wants to use his life to praise God. Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? – Psalm 6:4-5. While I have life, I must sign his praises whether that be in my actions, my conversations with others, or on this little corner of cyberspace.
Likewise, Jesus said in Luke 19:40, that if His disciples did not proclaim His praises that the very stones would cry out. So, this little blog will be a vehicle for me to sing God’s praises! I pray that my words here would honor God, encourage you, and paint a picture of what He wants our lives to look like.  Stay tuned…

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Author: Matthew
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Here’s a little trivia about yours truly: I am passionate about knowing God’s Word, caring for my family, and am addicted to cycling! I love riding my bike, and have explored so many mountains, trails, and desolate roads during my Mondays off here in Honduras. The past two years, I have participated in an international race called the Trifinio Trinacional Montecristo organized by Guatemalan Carlos Lopez. The first day of the three-day stage race begins near the Mayan Ruins in Western Honduras and continues to Esquipulas, Guatemala – an area rich in history and culture. Racers stay the night in Guatemala and ride across the border back in to Honduras for day 2. Then, day 3, we struggle up a rugged range of mountains through Central America’s largest Starbucks coffee farm and then descend into warm, tropical El Salvador.

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Since arriving in Honduras, I have managed a Web site called Cabra Rides.com aimed at promoting mountain biking and eco-tourism. Through this site, several friends have accepted our invitation to come down and do some epic adventures via mountain bike. I’ve also managed to recruit local businesses to sponsor our race team for the past two years. This year, I’m going really big. Some friends from a Christian biking club in Indiana (2nd Mile Adventures) are coming down to race across these three countries with me.

 

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This race fits into our big picture in several ways. The drive to the western extreme of the country has allowed Pastor Melvin to come along as our professional driver, and he visits radio stations while my friends and I pedal to our heart’s content (and sometimes well past contentment). Likewise, I have to opportunity to interact with and share my faith with cyclists from El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. This year, we are “sponsored” by El Camino de La Vida and hope to use this race to raise funds for a much needed new ministry vehicle for Pastor Melvin.

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I would like to invite you to consider sponsoring me in this race:

  • Sponsor our ride in El Salvador: $250 sponsorship
  • Sponsor our ride in Guatemala: $500 sponsorship
  • Sponsor our ride in Honduras: $1,000 sponsorship
  • Sponsor the whole race!: $2,000

As a very small token of appreciation for your generous sponsorship, I will arrange to send you a bag of coffee from the country (or countries) that you sponsor!

This amount will be used by the radio ministry to purchase a new vehicle to be used for serving the 4 congregations here in Honduras, and also to promote the Gospel via radio throughout the region, including into El Salvador and Nicaragua.

All donations should be sent to Spanish World Ministries (El Camino de La Vida) and are tax deductible.
Give on-line or via snail mail: Spanish World Ministries
P.O. Box 542
Winona Lake, Indiana46590

Please note that your gift is for Honduras Vehicle.

Take a look at this Flikr site if you’d like to see pictures from the previous race. Also, drop by Cabrarides.com to get inspired to come ride with us.

 

 

 

16 Nov / Pastoral training in the South

Author: Matthew
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I just returned from a weekend in the south, where I stayed at the lovely Hotel Renuevo. Aside from the variety of wildlife sightings, the stay was great! I travelled south with Ernesto and Pastor Melvin to spend some time investing in the workers of El Camino de La Vida. In attendance was Pedro Calderón (famous leather artisan!), Luis Ochoa, and Nixon Lopez. This time of teaching was focus on a return to the basics of the Gospel, and looking at some practical pointers on preaching. We shared lists of things to avoid, and practices to employ to clearly present God’s Word to His people. During the time there, I had the opportunity to preach Ezekiel 18 at El Renuevo during the Saturday night service. Then, on Sunday morning I drove Melvin, Nixon, and Nixon’s sister Kenia up to Teguicigalpita for morning service. It was a unique service during which Melvin preached on I Thessalonians 4:1-8 and dealt with the prevalent issue of sexual immorality. Issues like this are all too frequently ignored from the pulpit, and the result is a church with 40 women, 3 times as many children, and practically no men. I prayed the whole time that Melvin preached that the children of that church would understand the call to purity and the need to view marriage as paramount.

 

During this service, Melvin also invited Pastor Nixon and his “friend” Joselyn to come forward to be prayed for. They are now officially beginning a courtship relationship and are praying towards the goal of committing to one another in marriage. Nixon also shared with the congregation that November 16th marked his 3 year anniversary of having moved to the south to begin his pastoral ministry. He has grown a great deal as a preacher, and has learned first hand the challenges of provided pastoral care to Christ’s chosen but broken children.

After this weekend, God has renewed opened my eyes wide to see how He has worked in the lives of Luis and Nixon, and how He has used us (that means you!!!) to be a part of building up His Church. I saw construction projects undertaken by friends, building improvements at El Renuevo made by our church, women who have come to the Lord through evangelistic events organized by sisters in Christ from Ohio, and two faithful men who are able to preach and provide for their families because of offerings of generous friends and churches way north of here. I am thankful to see how this investments are directly related to activities that are producing fruit.

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Author: Matthew
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Each month, the congregation of ECDLV Tegucigalpa makes a payment of $230 towards paying of a small piece of land on the southern edge of the capital city. We have been praying to be able to begin taking steps towards building on the land and subsequently have the ability to do more mid-week ministry, reach an unchurched neighborhood, and have space to grow the church family.

In December 2013, we were richly blessed by friends at Central Christian Church in Beloit, Wisconsin. As part of their Christmas offering, they generously shared a sum of money with ECDVL allowing the first steps to be taken to be taken to begin construction. This blog will give you a quick overview of all that God is doing in this construction project. As we have begin to work, we are building relationships with the neighbors, and striving to honor Christ with each conversation we have.

Here’s a look at some of big accomplishments so far, as we as a link to a photo gallery that I will be continually updating on FaceBook.

1. 56 hours of backhoe rental- Well, the terrain in Honduras could best be described as ‘rugged’. As such, the church land needed to be dug, leveled, and terraced to allow for construction.
2. preparation of an access road and installation of a steel gate at the entrance
3. leveling of an upper parking area
4. purchase of a 20 feet container to securely store construction materials
5. construction of the lower (1 of 3) retaining walls

Right now, some bi-vocational pastor friends are hard at work digging the footer for the lower retaining wall, which is the first critical step in protecting the investment that was made in earth-moving. Our prayer is that God will provide the funds to build the second and most costly retaining wall, which will serve as the back wall of the church building itself. Stay tuned to see how God is working, using His people to accomplish His work.

Also, today, Melvin Harold and I will be starting a Wednesday night Bible study in the new neighborhood, examining the Gospel of John. Please pray for us to be able to connect with and share the Gospel with our new neighbors.