Well We've been in Tegucigalpa now almost a week and it's been...HOT! We walk around without sweaters at night and people like one of our waitresses think we're cold, but not compared to La Esperanza!
We've had a great time. Today we went to the US Embassy to turn in all of Beto's papers for his US Residency. it took us about an hour to get there this morning instead of 30 minutes because of traffic but we made it on time, found a free place to park! And then waited about an hour. We went to the window and submitted our papers and then went to pay, where we had to wait almost another hour but we saw a gringo friend who was renewing his passport so we passed the time quickly by catching up. the hours for Citizen services is only about two hours int he morning which is when they decided to schedule a meeting. go figure! So we paid and then waited another hour for the paperwork to come back down from being reviewed in the Consular office. We will get a call within the month to go back and have an interview. First stage done!
this past Friday I Laura had the wonderful opportunity to go to a women's retreat. My ex roomate in Teguc Amber had gone to one in October that was hosted by a women's ministry in Ohio called Women of Purpose. I didn't get to go but Amber just raaaaaaaaaved about it so I had to go this time. The US women didn't come but some missionaries here in Teguc hosted it and it was awesome. The theme was basically "Seasons". Each missionary is either bone dry, on fire, or somewhere in between. We're in the desert or the harvest. All in all we all have the same struggles and basic experiences. I feel so alone sometimes in the mountains and feel like our struggles are exclusive to our lives, but they're not! It was so good to find unity. there were about 80 women and many of us were so surprised at how many missionary women there are just in Teguc alone and we all knew of many women who couldn't even come! God is doing amazing works here in Honduras!
We were encouraged by two teaching videos of Angela Thomas mainly teaching about how Jesus is the only One who can fill us, and all we have to do is place ourselves under His stream of living water and we will overflow, but we don't stay filled after one trip to the source! We must keep returning and returning because of the demands of everyday life: family, ministry, etc. We all have a need to have a "secret life": giving in secret, fasting in secret, and praying/communing with Jesus in secret. It's such a strong teaching from Jesus in Matthew 6, His sermon on the mount, that we can't ignore it: the spiritual disciplines. but how does a mother/missionary/wife/teacher, etc? have any time daily for a secret life with Jesus? Even if we have to go lay down in our closet for five minutes and the kids still find us, we gotta do it! We are much nicer people that our kids like to be around and even if they do interrupt us they are left with that mental image in their minds of their mother communing with Jesus.
I know I left feeling refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated, etc. and I praise God for the women who planned, and for the Holy Spirit for ministering to us through each other, through prayer, praise,and worship.
the last day of the retreat was spent at worship stations. One was a circle of pillows for prayer, another was a large bucket of water to "wash" ourselves of all the pressures, stress, expectations,etc. we have as missionaries, and another was a place to write a letter to God and come face to face, literally, with the Truth about who we are in Christ. There were two large mirrors leaning up against the wall next to each other. One was covered with written names of who we are in Jesus: Loved, Daughter, Chosen, Worthy, Graced, etc. and the other mirror was blank, but we filled it with the lies Satan tells about about who we are, and there was a definate theme throughout, showing us that we arent' the only ones struggling with the lies that Satan throws at us. Finally we finished with the leaders washing all of our feet, as Jesus did for His disciples, as a symbol of how we are loved by God.
What a powerful weekend and I hope that this blog at least gives a good glimpse of what happened. It's impossible to fully show what was experienced and felt and learnt.