Wellspring of Life NEWSLETTER
This will undoubtedly be a different newsletter than it started to be two weeks ago. If there is one thing we’ve learned living in a 3rd-world country is that life changes on a dime and you have to be prepared to change with it. You have to be ready to get up and go at a moment’s notice and you have to learn to be patient and wait for long periods. Two weeks ago we were beginning to get settled into our school routine after relearning how to do school during a pandemic. We have been moving forward with projects at school, with our current project of building a kitchen and covered area as we anticipate returning to in-person classes in 2021 and desperately need the space for all the students we serve. We have also been busy with significant rebuilding projects on the ranch. We had planned to welcome a team this week who would be helping us renovate a church building that has tons of potential but needs work! It is a project we are so excited about having completed as this will serve our community in so many ways. However, Hurricane Eta has taken a harsh toll. For a week we dealt with steady rain and then she unleashed her fury with 35+ inches of rain causing massive flooding and mudslides. The devastation was concentrated on the department of Cortes to the communities and villages surrounding San Pedro Sula. We spent two days attempting to prepare for floodwaters by digging ditches and trying to divert water away from homes. For the most part in our immediate community, this made a huge difference even though our major roads in and out of the village became impassable with the torrential amount of water and then the cavernous holes it left once the waters receded. In the surrounding communities, the rain would have its way and filled thousands of peoples homes with water, layers upon layers of mud and sewage. For several days there was no way to make contact via phone or the internet and many people were desperate to find out about family members. The past three days we have as a ministry been able to distribute over 1000lbs of rice and beans to our community who have had no way of receiving or buying food, as well as cooking approx 300 meals of beans, rice, and our ranch-raised pork for those who were fleeing floodwaters and searching for dry ground. Thousands have lost everything and have only the clothes on their backs and if they are lucky, a pair of mismatched shoes. The needs have been overwhelming but even in it all, you can see the hand of God. There have been days when we have looked at one another with a feeling of helplessness of where to even start when the needs are so great. We pray for wisdom, direction, and strength multiple times a day and we feel the prayers of the church are being answered on our behalf. We do what we can where we can. Through our teachers at the school and the ranch staff who have hearts to serve as the hands and feet of the ministry, we have been able to reach farther than we would have ever been able to on our own. In a way, it has been the reward of our labor here to see them equipped and ready to serve.
Some unexpected ways we have been able to serve is to provide refuge for multiple ranchers’ cattle, sheep, and horses since the ranch is on high ground and did not flood. These animals would have surely drowned otherwise and several more families would have lost their livelihoods. We believe now more than ever that the ranch, this unexpected gift that we never anticipated when we accepted the call to move to Honduras, will be used in greater and mightier ways as a beacon, a haven in ways that we cannot yet fully comprehend. We will continue to assist with meeting immediate needs and continue to move forward in preparing for the future. We feel so very blessed to have so much support from the Church. The Lord has brought so many alongside us through this year of trials to support the ministry by volunteering or by using their gifts and talents to make this ministry stronger moving forward. We stepped into this role as a family being obedient to the clear call God had put on our lives to do things that we were not equipped physically or financially to do. When you step out in obedience God is always faithful. He makes a way and we have the extreme privilege of watching God at work. There is no other option, there is no other security net, only God; and there is no sweeter or stronger security net anywhere...ever.
As we approach the end of the year, I will plan to recap the year in some way as so much has happened. For now, I wanted to give an update on the current situation as many have expressed concern and a desire to help.
We are currently in the process of some administration changes. We are so thankful for our Board member Martina Buchanan who has graciously filled in as our bookkeeper stateside to process donations for the past two years. As we have grown and learned more about being a non-profit, God answered our prayers and brought alongside us Mike Smith, a CPA from Knoxville who can bring in his knowledge and expertise to assist in moving us forward in this area. This allows us to focus our time and energies on where our gifts and talents lie. We will be having our donation mail forwarded to the new mailing address and the mailing address will be changed if you are currently mailing in donations. In all transparency, we are currently having to refile our 503(c)3 paperwork to maintain our non-profit status, as part of our learning curve as well as changing the ministry administration two years ago we recently were notified some of the needed filings did not take place and we are in the process of making sure all I’s are dotted and T’s crossed to make sure all donations will be tax-deductible. We are praying that the IRS will allow the paperwork to be retroactive so that all donations made since May of this year will be tax-deductible. I know for most of our donors this is not an issue but for those who maybe be donating for tax-deduction purposes, it potentially could be. In all assurance, we are a ministry in good standing and feel we can be completely transparent. I cannot express enough how much your support and prayers mean to this community and this ministry, now more than ever.
I know many are wanting to know how to help. First, prayers, prayers, prayers. We are a praying people because we KNOW God hears and answers the prayers of His people. Secondly, financial donations are what continues to allow us to meet the needs of others. We will need to provide 20 more scholarships to students who have lost everything in the flood, as well as help continue to meet physical needs. And Finally, we love having teams come alongside us, it puts wind in our sails. We have missed having others serve with us during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the airport near us suffered tremendous flooding and it is uncertain at what point it will be able to reopen. If it is on your heart to bring a team or be part of a team please reach out and we will see what we can do, hopefully soon.
Blessings to you our brothers and sisters in Christ!
New mailing address: PO Box 682 Alcoa, TN 37701-0682