Garrigans In Flight – A Different Kind of Christmas

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Dear Partners in Ministry,

This Valentine’s Day we are thankful that God loved the world so much that He gave His Son. We are privileged to be witnesses to this Good News of eternal life made available through Jesus. We feel so encouraged by your prayers and gifts that allow us to share this Good News with people near and far. We pray that Christ’s love settles deeper into your own heart each and every day.

A different kind of Christmas

One of the events we were looking forward to the most during our stay in Honduras was spending Christmas in Rus Rus with our teammates and then to lead the MAG’s annual VBS in la Mosquitia. Christmas was quite simple this year without a tree or many decorations, but we enjoyed rich fellowship and were able to think in a new way about Jesus’ incarnation and how He gave up the glory of heaven to live a simple life as a man on the earth. Any sacrifice of ours seems so small in comparison. God provided a screen and projector for our teammates living in Rus Rus so they will be able to show the Jesus Film, The Chosen, and some other Christian films to the remote villages of the Mosquitia. They planned a special movie night for the Village as something special for Christmas. In this region it is rare for a family to have electricity, so watching a movie on a big screen was a real treat. We enjoyed being with the community under an amazing canopy of stars.

Ready to fly to Rus Rus from La Ceiba
Traveling to Rus Rus in small spaces
Movie night in Rus Rus on Dec 25th
Movie night in Rus Rus on Dec 25th
Christmas Day lunch with our teammates
Swim time in the Rus Rus river
Our kids playing with the other missionary kids
The Coco River and Nicaragua on the other side

Our coworkers the Crothers just completed their move to Rus Rus less than 24 hours before our arrival. We were glad to be able help them get settled in to their new home as we helped with some painting and furniture assembly. This is a video they put together of their first couple of weeks in Rus Rus. If you watch carefully you will see some scenes that include us. They were present with us in Siguatepeque for the first few months of our time in Honduras as they finished language school. We miss their presence here but we are so glad after many years of preparation that they are settling in well in their field of service.

Our kids LOVED their time in Rus Rus- doing homeschool in the morning, then running around and climbing trees with their friends until the sun went down. We were thankful they avoided any snake encounters. Though once they were making leaf boats with their friends to sail in the creek. Little did we know there was something in those plants that caused their hands to burn. Thankfully that only lasted 24 hours.

After many years of talking with our children about the kids of Rus Rus and surrounding villages, we were so glad for our kids to participate in VBS with them and find ways they could lead too. Lilly helped out with a skit in Spanish and loved helping with the crafts. This year’s theme was the Kingdom of God.

Time of VBS in Rus Rus
Time of games during VBS in Suhi
Craft time during VBS
Children in Mabitah

Carmen taught about what our God the King is like (His incommunicable attributes) and who we become as His children (communicable attributes). This year we led VBS in 3 villages (Rus Rus, Suhi, and Mahbitah) and we also had a youth night in Rus Rus for the teens. Making crowns was the favorite craft for the kids and the highlight for the youth night was playing capture the flag with glow bracelets. It is SO dark there at night and was fantastic to see the different colored bracelets running in so many directions.
Enjoy this video with some pictures from VBS. A flock of Scarlet Macaws greeted us in Mahbitah.

Simple apartment in Rus Rus

While we were in Rus Rus Carmen had the opportunity to preach a couple of times. When we have visited in the past, we stayed in the mission homes. But now those are now housing our teammates who are living there long term- we are thankful! So we lodged in the apartments adjacent to the clinic.
Our three weeks felt a bit like camping with limited electricity and managing the water tower supply for ourselves, the clinic, and village. But we did better living in one room together than we thought- we praise God for the grace He gave us.

Transitions Ahead

We are thankful for the mix of language learning and ministry the Lord has given us back in Siguatepeque.  Here is a picture of Lilly packing back-to-school kits for under-resourced kids. While the US school year starts in August, Honduras schools begin their new year in February. For 2 years, many children in Honduras have not been in a classroom and have received little education as rural children have no access internet, computers, or other distance education necessities.  We are glad we could help with this need.

Dia de la Mujer in Sigua at the language institute
Lilly helping assemble children’s backpacks in Sigua

We are also starting to have some anticipatory grief of our time in Honduras coming to a close. As many of you know when we said yes to MAG we had been hoping for a field position, but said yes to the greater need for us to be at headquarters in NC to launch the pilot apprenticeship training program. Over the years we have seen God’s wisdom in that. We feel that same tension again. In many ways we’d rather stay in Honduras, but as we welcome another family into the apprenticeship program at the end of summer, the need for us in NC is still clear. And so we know the Lord is with us as we continue that work of raising up more pilot/mechanics for the mission field when our “reverse furlough” comes to an end for this season. Meanwhile, we are still working on behind the scenes MAG HQ work such as Sean is revising our AOM (Aircraft Operations Manual) and Carmen is working with the member care team to develop a good strategies for the long term emotional and spiritual health of our missionaries.

Enjoying some fresh coconut water after VBS in Mabitah
Flying back to La Ceiba, rare circle rainbow with the airplanes shadow in the middle
Unexpected friends crossing the road
A double rainbow above the apartments in Rus Rus

Your partnership is such a blessing to us! We thank God for your role in the ministry set before us!

In Christ’s Love,