Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thrill Ride

Some of you may remember my post last year after our vacation in California and how the roller coaster California Screamin was my favorite.  I have often thought how that ride is a perfect analogy for this life God has called us to in Honduras. 

California Screamin is a fairly large coaster with twists, turns, a loop, and a 108 foot drop.  It goes from 0 -55 mph in 4 seconds.  (I know there are other coasters out there that are bigger and badder, but I haven't had the chance to ride them so this is my best point of reference.) In order to ride the coaster the first thing you have to do is get over your fear and say yes.  You then climb the stairs to the loading platform and sit in one of the cars.  The safety harness comes down over the top of you and secures you to the seat and when everyone is ready the car slowly moves out onto a short, straight segment of track and stops.  Music plays with a tick tock tick tock and you hear "Are you ready screamers?  5-4-3-2-1!" taking off like a rocket.  55 mph may not sound like much but when you are over 100 feet in the air on two tiny metal rails, twisting left and right, looping upside down, dropping straight down, it seems really fast.  We were all screaming, both scared and exhilirated, white knuckles and all.  On our first ride Michael Anthony screamed at one point "don't you ever make me do this again!"  Notice I said our first time, a couple of days later he was ready to go again and had a blast.

We said yes 3 years ago then began preparing to go.  We spent a year in discipleship, another year working with a team of Godly men and women helping us with every aspect we could think of so that we would be safe and secure, both spiritually and physically, and then waited until it was time to leave.  The first 3 months on the ground were the build up, the anticipation for things to come, much like the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown.  Then things took off like a rocket.  The ideas for the implementation of the welding school were birthed and born in two weeks and two months later the program is bursting at the seams with 10 guys from the barrio, 4 of the older Micah guys, and 4 new students who have been attending AFE, the school Micah started across from the dump several years ago.  These guys work in the dump in the morning to scrape together enough money to survive then head into the city, change into the Micah Tech uniform and dive head first into welding classes.  15-20 men from the barrio (10 in the program and 5 others) attend discipleship classes every Monday night where Brian and John Bell teach and encourage them through scripture to put the trappings of this world aside and to strive hard in following Christ.  These are criminals, thugs, gang bangers, whatever you want to call them and Jesus is taking what the the world considers garbage and "recycling" it into a thing of great value! 

Yesterday the materials arrived to begin building the carpentry classrooms with plans for the course to begin in August.  Another 10-20 young men that the world has written off will have the chance to change their lives by learning how God has greater things planned for them and gaining a skill that can earn them an honest living. 

Over the last couple of weeks Brian has been meeting with Simon Kafie, the head of the YPO organization, working out the details for a reception to introduce Micah to the YPO members.  On May 10th some of the most influential people in Honduras, business owners, and the Mayor of Tegucigalpa, will tour Micah, see the technical school in action, walk with us where we minister in the streets, and visit Villa Linda Miller and AFE.  Following the tour there will be a reception at Simon's house where we will have the opportunity to share the vision God has given us for Micah and how they can partner with us to change this generation and the course of Hondruas.  They will learn about the 80% success rate that Micah has in taking young men off the streets, teaching them how to be Godly men, and giving them an education to begin to break the cycle of poverty.  The will learn how their willingness to provide employment to graduates of the technical school will make a difference not only in the lives of each young man, but in the lives of their families, their barrios, their cities, and eventually their country.  They will see how God has blessed them and put them into a position to be His hands and feet for the future of this nation.

Brian has also been meeting with Frederic Quiros over the last couple of months to move the automotive program forward.  Frederic owns a large percentage of the car dealerships in Central America and during a meeting a couple of weeks ago asked Brian to come back today with a "Christmas list" of what he would like to get the auto school off the ground.  Brian boldly wrote out a list that would essentially completely equip the entire school and met with Frederic this morning.  Mr. Quiros has offered a building near the airport (formerly a lubrication center) for the school as well as training cars, transmissions, motors, electrical harness, and more.  He also wants Brian to work as a consultant with his dealerships to "tune up" the service departments and wants to get the school going as soon as possible.

We arrived in Tegucigalpa just 5 months ago and find ourselves frantically vascilating between gripping the safety bar with white knuckles and letting go, hands raised high in the air, surrendering to the thrill of the ride.  Yesterday we received via e-mail the invitation to the May 10th reception, being held at the house of Simon Kafie, Consulate to the Kingdom of Norway...huh?  We sat there in stunned silence with our mouths gaping open and closed like a couple of dying fish.  Here we are, a couple of middle class working stiffs from the Pacific Northwest, both having very "colorful" pasts, standing smack dab in the middle of this increasingly amazing plan of God.  I guess we are in good company with the prostitutes and criminals that fulfilled God's purposes throughout scripture! 

Please be praying for us over the next two weeks before we leave for our time back in the states.  Pray that God will move powerfully in the hearts of those with influence and power that will be attending the reception, that they will be willing to be used by God to chart a new course for those we work with and the future of Honduras. 

We love and appreciate all of your support, prayers and encouragement.  May God bless you all as you remain faithful to the call He has on each of your lives.



carol said...

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride!” [Tim Hansel]

Natasha said...

Carol, you're awesome. I love that quote! One of my favorites.

Niffer said...

I'm covered in goose-bumps! Our God is amazing! I'm looking forward to hearing about everything in greater detail in a few weeks when you're back in P-town.

J D C said...

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