I know I said it a couple weeks ago, but we are getting very close to launching the new Louder Than Words Ministries website. We are working out some last minute kinks, but the hope is that it will be up and running by the end of this week. For now, below is a sneak preview . . .
As of today (08/16/2011) the Louder Than Words Ministries website is undergoing a major upgrade. For now, this blog will serve as a landing spot for the LTW website. If you have questions about upcoming Honduras mission trips please contact us by email at info [at] louderthanwords.org.
In a word, incredible. Incredibly difficult! Incredibly rewarding! Incredibly difficult to put into words! Its been two weeks since our Honduras backpacking trip and I’m still struggle to put the trip into words. Actually, I’ve not even talked much about it in the past two weeks. Not because I don’t want to talk about it, but its just so difficult to capture the experience in words.
With that said, I posted this “teaser” for those of you who keep checking the blog for an update. I’ll have more this coming week . . . I promise!
In 2001 Amy and I started Louder Than Words Mission Adventures. We left our church job and set out on a new journey to mobilize people to be strategically involved in international missions. Our primary missions focus over these past 10 years has been Honduras. The name “Louder Than Words” came from Matthew 5:16. The “missions adventures” came from the fact that our mission trips have at times been a little adventurous.
In a few days, LTW will take our name to a new level. We will set out from the small village of San Nicolas, Intibuca, Honduras (basically at the end of the road) with a group of 13 North Americans on a journey that will take us into 5 unreached Lenca villages. A little over half of the team members are college students from Mars Hill College (my alma mater). The remainder of the adults are from North Point Baptist in Weaverville, NC and Bethlehem Church in Gastonia, NC. This trip is a part of an ongoing LTW strategy to connect churches with approx. 200 Lenca villages in Honduars. You can read more about this particular trip in an older post here.
Since 2011 I have led about 50 mission teams to Honduras, but this one has to be the most adventurous. Not only is it the sense of the unknown, but the fact that we have trusted our national Honduran missionary partners with lining up all of the details. Yes, I’ve been on mission trips to Honduras where our national partners did all the pre-logistics, but we were going to one place and staying for the week. On this trip we will be going to places with whom we don’t have relationship and we’ll be sleeping in a new village each day. The trust factor is a great thing for LTW and for our national ministry partners, but I confess it has left me feeling a bit out of control. I guess that is a big part of the “adventure” and the faith building journey of leading this ministry.
If you have read this far, thanks for your time and interest in this missions adventure. If you are the praying type, I would invite you to join us on this journey through your prayers. The overarching goal of this trip is to share the Good News of Jesus with the Lenca people. We would be honored if you took the time to lift up the prayer points below:
- Pray for physical stamina. We will be hiking several hours each day in elevations over 5,000 ft. (I’m a little concerned because I’m the oldest team member and probably the most “out-of-shape” . . . even though I did lose over 20 lbs.)
- Pray for the team members by name: Mark, Chris, Vollie, Ben, Andy, Jonathan, Brady, Caroline, Megan, Rachael, Matt, Jon & Gerald. Many of these are college students as well as first time missionaries.
- Pray for our Honduran missionary team by name: Erick, Daniel, Armando, Jorge & Roy
- Pray for the villages of Piedra Rayada, El Naranjo, El Venado, La Chorrera & Santa Ana to be open to the Gospel
- Pray for our housing each night in each of the villages. We have plans to stay in the local schools.
- Pray for our families in NC while we are in Honduras.
- Pray that the enemy’s roadblocks would be leveled by the power of God and that the Truth of the Gospel would be shared with boldness.
We plan to send out updates from the trail periodically. If you would like to follow along you can do so here. Thanks in advance for your prayers for our team and the Lenca people. I’ll certainly update when we return.
You may have been one that visited my blog in the past couple days and noticed a strange “front page” with some vulgar language. I’m sure if you did, you knew it wasn’t something I was promoting. Believe it or not, my blog was attacked by a hacker (I think from a foreign country).
Why this blog? Why me? Its not like this blog has made any alltop list. The reality is that I have about 4 readers a day! Why would someone arbitrarily hack my blog? I don’t know the answer to that other than to to say, “we are under attack . . . ”
Yes, we are under attack. I’m not one to flippantly say, “that’s the devil,” but as followers of Christ we do have an enemy. Now I’m not saying that the devil hacked my blog, but it has to be a little demonic to randomly attack a person in a way like this unknown person did. So, what’s the bottom line? I apologize to the 4 of you who may have seen what was put up on my blog. Maybe this will cause me to be a better blogger and pay more attention to my blog.
Wow, I’m a terrible blogger! With that said, It should go without saying that, “it’s time that I update this blog”. I know some of you have been following Marlon’s story with us so I’ll use him as my first blog post of 2011.
Marlon has had his hearing aids for four months and there is not a day that passes that he is not excited about hearing. This past week as we were leaving church he told us that he could hear very little. When we returned home and put in new batteries the smile that came across his face would have lit up the Staples Center!
He has been attending pre-school with Mariah for the past couple months. He is in the four year old class, but is not much taller than they are! His teacher is fluent in sign language and is teaching him sign language and helping him learn to use words as well. It’s funny around our house to see Mariah using a few signs with Marlon. She uses words with her other brothers and sisters, but with him she uses words and signs. She is very attached to him. I think she may sense a “kinship” with their Latin heritage and their disabilities.
I know the main question for those of you who have followed his story is, “How long will he here in the States?” That’s a hard question to answer. We have petitioned the U.S. State Department for a visa extension through at least June. His current visa has expired, but with the extension petition he is still “legal” here until they give us an answer. We continue to seek God for answers to how our family fits into his long-term care. The reality is that if he is going to develop a language (or our hope – languages) his best chance is to remain in the States.
Since my last update he has been able to experience several U.S. holidays . . . Halloween, with more candy than even he could consume. Thanksgiving, with more Turkey than he wanted to consume. And Christmas, with more presents than he could imagine! He has even gotten to experience his first snow. Life has really been like a whirlwind for this ten year old!!
Finally, for those of you who read this blog and are inclined to talk with God on a regular basis we would appreciate your prayers on Marlon’s behalf. The bottom line is that we want what is best for him and we know God is on his side even more than us.
Louder Than Words Ministries is looking for a few dedicated, hardworking, driven, passionate, spirit-filled young people to join our LTW summer ministry family. Each summer we take summer staff to Honduras with us to help with a variety of task with our summer mission teams. This is an opportunity to explore God’s call on your life through an extended international missions experience.
Summer staff member Alex says about her experience . . .
“God has once again been able to change my life through Louder Than Words. Throughout the summer in Hondruas I was able to learn so many things about who God is in my life. I also was able to see first hand how God loves every orphan, every widow, every village, and every single person He created. I found out that to love like Christ loved looks like humbling yourself and serving others. I learned sometimes you get dirty while serving God. I learned that loving like Christ loved is hard and sometimes you want to give up, but that’s when I learned to love more.
I can say that every place our feet, van and buses went, we were blessed so much more than we could bless the Honduran people. In short, my summer in Honduras was AMAZING!”
We are in the process of taking applications and filling positions for the summer of 2011. If you are interested or know someone who may be interested in an experience like this please send an inquiry email to info [at] louderthanwords.org. Let your light shine before men so that they see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matt. 5:16
I’ve been thinking about March all day. Why would I think about March when October is my favorite month of the year? I’m thinking about March because it’s going to be a big month in the ministry of Louder Than Words Ministries. In March, we will be taking our first ever backpacking mission trip. If there is anyone besides me reading this post your reaction is certainly one of two things, “Oh wow, now that sounds exciting” or “Oh my, that doesn’t sound like fun”.
For me, it’s been a dream of mine for many years to lead a mission trip to villages that are not accessible by roads. Now granted, in the area of La Esperanza, Intibuca many of the “roads” are not really roads at all. The above picture was from a mission trip we did there this summer. It had rained so much that our bus could not make it out of the village. We had to get out and fill the muddy road with big rocks so that the bus could get some traction.
This spring, we will be going where there are no roads, but most importantly where there are NO evangelical churches of any denomination! Our team will be made of predominantly of college students and young people from Western North Carolina. We will go to the “end of the road” and start walking. Our plan is to visit four different villages in four days. We will do children’s ministry, sports ministry and show the movie “The Hope” each evening. We will spend the night in the village and get up the next day and hike about 3 hours into the next village.
We will be taking along with us some young Honduran church planters who will soon go back into these villages to start evangelical churches among these Lenca villages. These young men have committed their lives to taking the Gospel of Jesus to the Lenca – the largest unreached people group in Honduras. We are currently seeking churches that will partner with us to take the Gospel to these beautiful people in Honduras. If you or your church would be interested you can reply to this post and I’ll get you more information.
Now, back to October . . . if I’m going to hike in the mountains of Intibuca, Honduras, where the elevation is at least a mile, I’ve got to lose some weight and get in shape! I’ve actually started my “pre-training” for this trip. My goal is to lose 30 lbs. before Christmas! More on my progress in some later posts. . . .
This past week, while enjoying a family vacation in Florida, I had the privilege of shooting Bailee’s senior portraits. I have known Bailee for a number of years as her and her family have been a part of several of our Honduras mission teams. It’s always fun for me to shoot students that I’ve known for a while. It was also a treat to shoot in the quaint little town of Apalachicola, FL. Here is a little sneak peek of Bailee’s session . . .
Seniorzrock photography is gearing up for a great fall senior portrait season. We’ve booked more senior sessions this fall than we had in all of 2009. Today I got a great compliment through an email inquiry. The mother of a graduating senior said, “We’ve been looking everywhere for a ‘NOT SO ORDINARY’ photographer . . .”
There is still time for you to get your senior portraits. We’ll get the ball rolling on some “rockin” senior portraits! Send us an email at info(at)seniorzrock dot com.
Below are a few pics from Camie’s senior portrait storybook that went to print this week . . .