For our first Thanksgiving back in the US we celebrated with Mike’s family. It takes being separated from such experiences to truly appreciate them. For ten-years we missed countless weddings, holidays, and family events. It is a price of missions few comprehend until they go through it.
This Thanksgiving Erin was able to do what she loves, and that is cook for others. We spent the day with Mike’s brother and sister-in-law, Mike’s niece and her family. It was small by US standards: six adults and two kids. But, the time with family is so sweet to us, having missed so much of it.
On Thursday Erin’s dad, Don Brumm, died unexpectedly. Don, who was 79-years-old, lived in San Jose, California. It is thrilling to know Don is with Christ, yet we morn the passing of someone so close to us.
In November of 2011 Don’s wife of over 40-years died. A few short months later, at the age of 75-years, Don became a Christian and started attending Grace Presbyterian Church. Don lived 75 years without Christ, but thrust his life into study, service and worship of Jesus his final four years.
Friday morning we flew from Georgia to California to meet with family, organize Don’s estate and hold a memorial service. On Sunday afternoon the memorial service took place and was attended by his family and his church friends from Grace Pres.
Don was an Army veteran, a computer technician, an avid 2nd Amendment advocate, a loving father and grand-father and an on-fire Christian. He was philanthropic all his life and volunteered and donated to many service organizations. The final four years of his life he began supporting our missions work and several other Christian missionaries. He even visited Honduras three times and served by our sides.
We love you Don and we’ll see you soon.
English Church for Team Honduras has grown into an amazing church-like worship service. Ten months ago Team Honduras welcomed Seth and Renee McLaughlin. Seth is the first real live, ordained pastor (Teaching Elder for you PCA people) our team has ever had. Seth took over what used to be called Gringo Church and raised the quality and depth of worship.
When Gringo Church started back in 2008 it was just our family of three worshiping together. As we added teammates it got bigger. For years we hosted Gringo Church in our home every week. Two years ago our team got too big to host Gringo Church in our home and we moved it to the dorms. At that point we also added kid’s Sunday school. It was a wonderful way for our team to worship in our heart language. Mike lead most of the studies over the years and the music has been done by a rotating cast of characters. Our team did a great job for a bunch of lay leaders.
Today, the new and improved English Church feels like a real church service. The liturgy, responsive readings, catechism, and Seth’s preaching have all been a massive improvement from the past. Seth, being ordained, also allowed Team Honduras to add the Lord’s Super. It is such a great blessing for our team to be able to worship like this.
Gringo Church used to be good, but English Church is now so much more. Thank you God for this amazing weekly blessing.
For six years our team has been meeting every Sunday morning for English language worship, or Gringo Church as we call it. This allows us to worship the Lord in our heart language in the morning and then in Spanish in the evening. In the past year the number of young kids on our team has exploded from four to 11. To accommodate the increase our team recently added a kid’s Sunday school to our weekly Gringo Church.
Our Gringo Church begins at 9:00am with worship music. Shannon leads the team through several worship songs, then we enter into a time of prayer. John guides our weekly team prayer. Mike then reviews the previous two-weeks’ worth of memory verses with the kids. Each week Mike gives a short lesson on the new Bible verse for the week, and then walks around to all the kids and asks them to receipt the verse from memory. The kids are then dismissed to Sunday school where they continue studying the same verse. Mike then leads the adults through a study.
Each week a different member of Team Honduras leads the kids Sunday school where the kids hear a story and do a craft related to their verse. The verse memorization and Sunday school are in English, which provides extra language study for the five Honduran kids who are part of Team Honduras.
Team Honduras currently consists of 11 members over 18-years-old and 11 members under 15-years-old. This division of kids and adults in Gringo Church allows us all benefit from age appropriate Bible studies each week.
Please pray for the continued spiritual nourishment of our missionaries ages three through 46.
During each summer our entire team is busy in a lot of areas. One of the jobs that keeps Mike busiest is teaching Scripture and analyzing the Word. Each week Mike leads our team and our visiting missionaries in studies and devotionals.
During Gringo Church each Sunday Mike leads our team and any visiting short-term missionaries in a study of Scripture. For the majority of the year we have been studying the Old Testament. Mike is leading the team through a study on the early history of Israel. We are finding Christ in the Old Testament and seeing our own sin in the sins committed by Israel. In addition the kids from our team are memorizing Bible verses and reciting them during Gringo Church.
Three evenings each week the short-term missionaries hear a devotional on the topic of missions. The three devotionals are “Why missions,” “Why you,” and “Why here.” Created by our team, these devotionals direct our short-term missionaries to think about the Great Commission and our role as Christians. It is part of our effort to try to benefit the ministry of home churches.
It is important to our team to remain focused on the Word. Mike is not a gifted or trained theologian or preacher, but he is passionate about glorifying the Lord.