“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” 1 Timothy 2:1
“Prayer is our most important work.” Our COO (Chief Operation Officer) Steve loves to say this to remind us what is our foundation in our labor for the Lord. This reality was especially evident in our recent trip to Honduras. Bringing a focused children’s ministry to the region around our Honduras base has become a yearly endeavor for Carmen. This year was a special joy for both Carmen and Sean to serve together as a couple in Honduras alongside their friends Jack and Jenn McComas from Dayton Ohio. They are founders and directors of the Dayton Student House of Prayer (SHOP) and Carmen serves on their board. Their full time ministry is as intercessory missionaries. Planning for this particular trip started over 2 and a half years ago when God showed Jenn an additional assignment emerging for her ministry-not only teaching those in Dayton to pray, but that her ministry would spread to children of many nations. Carmen thought, “I’d love for the precious children we serve in Honduras to be recipients of Jenn’s ministry” and so the invitation was extended. 2019 emerged as the right time for this mutual endeavor to take place. Jenn was excited to take this next step of going to the nations to begin with good friends and we were excited to help pave the way.
It is easy in ministry to want to “do” for the Lord and busy ourselves in tasks that have obvious visual rewards. Feeding the hungry, providing dental & medical care, putting a roof on a school. And these are all good things to do. But sometimes there is a battle going on that we forget to engage. Apostle Paul reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). If we don’t exercise our authority in Christ in the spiritual battle, we won’t see lasting fruit in our other ministries. We were glad to work with Jesus to gain victory in these behind the scenes battles in Rus Rus so that the community and ministry there can thrive.
The more “visible” ministry we did involved VBS in Rus Rus with children from that community and a neighboring village called Mahbita. Once again we went to Suhi (another village about an hour and a half away on our Kia truck) with our VBS program as well. Our theme verse this year was John 10:14 “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” Jenn’s teaching focused on helping children live into this reality through 4 points of prayer:
- Start your heart
- Look to See
- Stop and listen
- Agree with me
In additional to Biblical teaching, the lesson was reinforced with activities, crafts, and practice topped off with outside play time which could include baseball, dodge ball and jump rope. This year, as in other years, we invited local teenagers to be a part of our ministry team. We spent more time preparing them for their ministry assignment so they could lead small groups with the children. It was so precious to spend time with our cohort of teen girls each afternoon and help them grow in their prayer lives and ministry skills.
There are truly more big and little ways that God showed up and moved during this ministry trip than we could recount here. But a few highlights include:
- Sean getting an official check out flying into our Rus Rus airstrip.
- Carmen preaching in the village of Mahbita. This village is a macaw sanctuary as well and such a lovely place to be.
- Readying the base to receive the large medical brigade which is currently happening. Sean received the affectionate nick name “Fix it Felix” as he fixed a long list of items including the bobcat, changed locks and restored the satellite internet.
- Getting to know the new pastor in Rus Rus named Omar and his wife Adolinda. We were able to join them in prayer often and saw God move in mighty ways. We were wowed by Pastor Omar’s commitment to greet the dawn with prayer each and every day from 5-6am and accepted his invitation to join him several days. We sense that Pastor Omar will be a great partner in ministry there for years to come.
- Carmen did even more interpreting work. With a smaller stateside team there were fewer English/Spanish speakers. When Carlos, our Country Director, was engaged in other tasks Carmen was the go to gal.
- The construction project for this trip to was to build a replacement water tower for the mission base. Sand was dug from the river beach, the concrete mixed by shovel and carried to the top in a bucket!
- Two of the teenage girls helping our team decided to take the next step of faith in their life with Jesus and were baptized in the Rus Rus River. What joy!
Video above: Building a water tower
We have lots to share on the pilot training front as well, but we will save that news for another edition.
Thank you for being our faithful partners in ministry!
In Christ’s love,
Sean and Carmen GarriganVideo above: Another way to get to church