John and I joined Builders International in 2009, after serving with MAPS Constuction. I never thought our missions work would involve construction as a ministry. Up until then our work had primarily consisted of pastoring and evangelizing as missionaries in the country of Guatemala. Today I can say without hesitation, how amazing it has been to be a part of Builders and grow with the development of this ministry.
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1 Corinthians 2:9
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him.
THE LOWER AMAZON RIVER . . . When I hear the stories told by teams returning from the Amazon, I am amazed at what is being accomplished along the banks of this enormous river. Many of you may have heard of the movie that captures the majesty of the Montana wilderness called, A River Runs Through It. While the lower Amazon River does not display such beauty, it has an amazing uniqueness of its own. Outside of Manaus, the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes converge forming the lower Amazon. Along its banks are villages full of families, linked to 300 unreached ethnic tribes nestled deep in the dense jungles. The river people make their home on the riverbanks like in the photo above.
The teams going join missionary Mark Lemos and board the blue vessel (river boat) in route to the villages along the riverbanks. They’re ready to work and build churches that will help village pastors reach further into the jungle. The teams are equipped with water filters, building supplies, medical, and most of all ready to share the love of Christ.
“The spiritual rivers run dark among people unaware of God’s grace. But as the stream of God’s workers flows into the region, there will be a meeting of the waters.” – Andy Raatz
Check out this video of the journey into the Amazon! https://vimeo.com/313546141
At Builders International we believe everyone deserves a place to find HOPE. The Amazon river is a place where we are striving to bring that HOPE, where there is sickness, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, murder and suicide.
There are more projects bringing HOPE through the construction ministry with the help of many appreciated volunteers and donors. It is our joy and privileged to be a part of this work and effort.
And you can be too!
Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are two groups of islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas, northwest of Puerto Rico and north of Haiti. They’re are eight main islands and 299 smaller islands. TCI is a part of the Commonwealth of England so, when you arrive you will find everyone driving on the wrong side of the road.😊 The extreme beauty of the islands has brought a rapid growth in tourism.
On the island of Providenciales, many migrant workers have come from the surrounding countries in the Caribbean in search of work. Many Haitian’s came at the time of the 2010 earthquake. Pastor Bradley of Community Fellowship Center had a vision and a plan to see the people coming to the shores of Turks and Caicos Islands reached for Christ.
The family roots of Pastor Bradley go back for generations in the TCI. If you travel with him, it’s not long before you realize everybody on the island knows him. His influence has helped establish the civil laws for the TCI and brought education opportunities. When you hear the testimony of how God moved in his father’s life, it’s evident God began something years ago to establish him in a key place of bringing hope to many nations in the islands.
The Sunday we shared with Community Fellow Center, thirteen countries were recognized and celebrated as a part of the church. We had the privilege of tasting authentic food from every nation so proudly represented! We were honored to pray with the first appointed female governess (Premier) over Turks and Caicos.
Monday morning the work began as the team laid block for the new bathrooms that will serve the 200 children in the elementary school and the Caribbean School of Theology.
Hurricane Harvey did its damage throughout the islands in August of 2017. We finished painting the main sanctuary ceiling of the new roof. Additional plans where then made to complete the new Creole church currently reaching out to 200 members. Many of these families arrived in Providenciales in search of relief and hope, leaving loved ones behind. I am grateful to have been a small part of this trip in helping further the work of Community Fellowship Center.
MY TESTIMONY – It’d been some time sense I’d had the opportunity to travel on a work team with John. I wasn’t sure what I would be useful for. To my amazement the opportunities to serve were endless. Meal prep, painting, serving water, shoveling mortar, moving chairs, playing with children, praying with and encouraging ladies, and much more. But even in the midst of the sweet fellowship and team work, God lets you know He see the troubles you carry deep in your heart. One day I’d finished preparing the lunch with Pastor Rachael. I said good-bye and left, only to realize I’d left my backpack in the school lunch room. When I returned, Pastor Rachael responded with enthusiasm. She asked about my health and said God had told her to pray for me. We shared a great time of prayer and dreams. God always knows!
- NORTH TEXAS TEAM – Three churches joined together to make up a team of four pastors and wives, a plumber, general contractor, two teachers and a military veteran.
- THANKFUL – We are so thankful for everyone of them. They made a difference!
- AND. . . one photographer/videographer!
The moment finally came to celebrate the beginning of Ethan and Meghan’s journey to becoming husband and wife. An enchanting moment when a man and a woman become one. It was a moment we all met with great anticipation!
John was given the honor of performing the wedding vows! I fought tears of joy, with a heart full of gratitude, memories of the past, and dreams for the future. It was time to share a son, but to also gain a daughter!
We have prayed over the years for both sons, that God would bring them HIS choice for a spouse. July 2 our prayers were answered as Meghan walked down the aisle to meet Ethan.
I DO . . . I DO!
THE WEDDING PARTY!
I had my moment too!
And they had their dance!!!!!
THE END of the celebration and the beginning of a journey of marriage and love!
How did we come to this blessed day? As John and I pursued the calling God placed in our hearts years ago, never did we imagen the plans He had to include into our family two amazing women, Stephanie (Nate’s wife) and Meghan (Ethan’s) wife. I am so grateful for every miracle God has done in my health. I am so grateful for my sons, who love God first and then their families. Most of all I am grateful for my husband who has walked life’s journey with me through better or worse, richer or poor, and sickness or health. He as continually loved me! He has faithfully loved the Lord! And here is OUR FAMILY!
In 2003, while pursuing a call to full-time missions work, I received terrifying news. I froze and seemed to lose all sense of hearing, as the doctor proceeded to tell me I had advanced lung cancer. I was given a 3% chance of survival. At that moment nothing made sense. Fear gripped my heart to the point I felt that I could not breathe. The only thing that kept me was knowing that my God loved me and had a plan for my future.
My journey took me to MD Anderson Cancer Center where I began a battle for my life. For 11 years I passed through the hallways. But, I did not walk alone. Not only was my life filled with tremendous people, including my husband, but the Lord walked with me. Even when I was too sick to know, He held my heart and faith.
At the end of this battle, I look back and marvel at how much He was there! God provided a way for John and I to continue our work in missions with greater passion and knowledge of who He is.
Last week I sat with the doctors once again, but this time received good news! All reports were clear! Tumor gone! No reoccurring disease! A miracle! It’s taken time for John and I to arrive at this place of victory and witness the miraculous work of God in my life!
Today I am convince more than ever that God is. . . for us . . . with us. . . in us. . . around us. . . in front of us. . . behind us. . . loving us. . . and fighting for us. We just need to choose HIM!
HE REIGNS OVER ALL THE EARTH. . . and over ALL my life! I surrender all to HIM!
The gospel is being heard around the world and in some cases for the first time! We’ve been given a great opportunity on this journey to be a part of introducing others to Christ worldwide. John and I have committed our days and efforts to being a part of a ministry that is doing just that, introducing people to Christ!
Thank you for being one of those who have fought the fight with us thorough prayer and support! Love to you!