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“The missionary heart: Care more than some think is wise. Risk more than some think is safe. Dream more than some think is practical. Expect more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or success but to obedience….There is no joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving him.”
—Karen Watson, martyr, March 15, 2004
"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
◄ Isaiah 61:3 ►
Our family has now been in Honduras for 12 days. We have been getting settled in and becoming acquainted with our new town and with some really great new families.
Each time we have traveled to Honduras over the past 10 years we have been in awe of the natural beauty as well as the beauty in the love and the grace that surely abounds here.
We have chosen to focus on the beauty and not the ashes. There are families here serving others, there are business leaders improving the community, and there are churches concerned with outreach and not just warehousing believers.
Yes, there is still crime and hurt and disease but there is also peace, and love and good people willing to do what it takes for light to defeat darkness.
Our intention here is to highlight the good going on in this community and embrace solutions rather than dwell on the problems.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we integrate with this community and pray that we would be successful in our pursuit to exchange beauty for ashes.
The Mendoza Family will be spending 2015 in La Ceiba Honduras as a part of the Connect Global Connected Community Initiative.
Myself, Danielle and Saige will be living in La Ceiba Honduras to aid in implementing a new plan for bringing sustainable solutions to the city. We have many friends and partners in the area and look forward to meeting and making acquaintance with several more this year.
The overview of Connected Community is structured around helping and supporting
four main groups within the community: Churches, Schools, Local Business, and Children's Homes. We believe that each of these community entities holds
the key to unlocking exponential positive change and growth for La Ceiba. This community will be a shining example of what can happen when we all choose to work together and focus on sustainable solutions.
We are Currently recruiting high caliber Church leaders, Educators, Medical Professionals and Business leaders to come volunteer alongside us in this initiative. We need you to serve by sharing your skills and talents with the Community.
Come be the answer to a prayer you didn’t even know someone was praying.
This is from a blog series by Travis Moffitt entitled "Why Honduras". Travis Moffitt is Co Founder, President, and CEO of Connect Global.
Price: $1800 + A changed Life
Over the last ten years I have had great opportunities to both lead and attend numerous short- term mission trips. Each with their own specific purpose, style, location and price. I've been a part of mission trips going to locations with the US borders and as far out as Western Europe. With projects ranging from VBS events, to construction projects, to medical relief. And with price tags from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Variety iIs certainly the name of the game when it comes to short-term mission trips.
Repeatedly I have found myself in the great nation of Honduras. For many reasons I have found this location to be an excellent destination for short-term trips. One such advantage is simply the trip price. At Connect Global we offer a 6 day missional adventure for the low price of $1800 + Your Life.
Let's break that down. $1800 covers your international airfare from your preferred US airport, all ground transportation, lodging, food and trip insurance. Comparatively, that's a pretty low cost threshold when it comes to a short-term mission trip.
The "Changed Life" cost calculates a little differently. At Connect Global we are very intentional about engaging each team member at a heart level. We do not hide the reality that a short-term mission trip is more than an international visit. I can promise you that through a trip of this nature your heart will be stretched and opened up to a whole new world. While we will bring you home alive and well, we will also return you to your family and friends as an entirely new person. The life perspective you once had will be all together exchanged for a new, missional world-view.
A recent study by the research organization, Barna Group, reports that 75% of short-term mission trip team members state that the trip "changed their life in some way." (http://goo.gl/ 7Zn7L8) Many of our experiences have some impact on us but very few could actually be described as "life-changing." Yet that is the most common description of a short-term mission trip.
We believe this equates to an enormous cost with an even greater return. The exchange of the old for the gift of the new. Life, that is. While most of us would say that our lives are great, imagine the fulfillment of an even great life. A change in a more positive direction. Greater clarity of purpose. More awareness of others. A enlarged perspective of the world around you. More sensitivity to the struggle of others and clearer perspective of your ability to actually lessen those struggles.
At Connect Global we say it this way: GO | SERVE | CHANGE.
As you go and serve someone else. Your life, as well as their's, is changed forever.
Our next international journey to Honduras is in April 2015. You can join us for the low cost $1800 + Your Life and receive the incredible life changing benefits. Find out more and sign up at www.goservechange.com/trips.
The label "life-changing" is pasted on many things, but the description fits most short-term service trips. Only one-quarter of those who have participated on such a trip said it was "just an experience," while a majority said it changed their life in some way. The most common areas of personal growth that people recall - even years later - include becoming more aware of other people’s struggles (25%), learning more about poverty, justice, or the world (16%), increasing compassion (11%), deepening or enriching their faith (9%), broadening their spiritual understanding (9%), and boosting their financial generosity (5%). Others mentioned the experience helped them feel more fulfilled, become more grateful, develop new friends, and pray more. Source: Barna Group
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
Ten years! That's how long Javier Mendoza and I have been working in Cusuna, Honduras.
Some times it seems like we took our ﬁrst trip only yesterday. I still remember the ﬁrst time a seven year old Julio put his little hand in mine. I remember sitting behind Jorge Amador on the 8+ school bus ride getting my Spanish lessons. I remember the ﬁrst time the children ran along side the bus as we drove into town.
The memories are fresh and clear and now coupled with the new memories of a 17 year old Julio lifting me up on his shoulders. Or watching Pastor Adonis (a 12 year child on our ﬁrst trip) now pastor the Church of God in Cusuna. To see the children of my once young friends now serving God and full of the same Garifuna joy is simply amazing.
Not only amazing but also fulﬁlling. It is literally the fulﬁllment of 10 years of hard work. On this last trip we witnessed 2 especially amazing events. First, we watched as Pastor Adonis lead this outstanding congregation in worship. This is so signiﬁcant because Adonis is the ﬁrst Garifuna pastor at this church. Cusuna has been called the center of the Garifuna world.
The Church of God is the only evangelical church in Cusuna. So for this congregation to now have a Garifuna pastor is the fulﬁllment of a long-term dream. And the results are evident. You can see the new sense of life and joy in each church member and leader as they are being lead by one of their own people. I'm certain the exponential impact into the Garifuna people will be felt for decades to come.
Secondly, we installed solar panels and a battery system on the Aquaponic system. After three years of building Aquaponic systems in the most remote places it was truly a profound moment to simply watch the sun move the water. Solar power has become the new equalizer in the developing world and we are quickly taking advantage of this sustainable power source.
Today, this food producing system is now even more efﬁcient and productive thanks to the power of the sun. It was a miracle to behold.
A ﬁnal thought on these last ten years is how humbled we are to have not walked this out alone.
While Javier and I have been the ones physically going, we have had such amazing friends and family partnering with us every step of the way. From our amazing wives to our ever supportive parents to the friends who have spent countless hours praying for us and those who have put their hard earned financial resources to work on our behalf. We have never been alone.
I am proud to say that we have not given up and as promised, we are reaping a harvest. And that harvest fuels us for the next ten years and more to come.
Billy Chrzan in Honduras has about 10 or so watermelons growing in an Aquaponic system and will be ready shortly.
Aquaponics is an amazing tool for food production. We have several projects coming up to install new aquaponic growing systems in Honduras and Brazil.
We are very excited about the life change possible through aquaponics.
Love what's happening in the food growing world here in Honduras.
Smaller plant is April 8th and the bigger is April 28th. 15 flower buds as of this morning...going to have lots of watermelon.
This is only 20 days of growth. Imagine what we could do with more.
Join us in our quest to train and feed every hungry person in Northern Honduras
*Update Via Billy Chrzan in Honduras