April 2, 2009
An April Fools Day Joke…a day late
I had every intention to write a Journey on Wednesday.
But good intentions---have to give into reality! A couple of projects---unexpected interruptions---and before you know it your day is gone!
Wednesday began with our prayer time and devotional…it was during that meeting that Robbie announced to the staff…that April Fools Day…marked the beginning of my work at BHCC. It was April 1st 1984 that I began my ministry at BHCC. Barbara and I had been members since 1978…but on that Sunday morning---Frank McCreary made the announcement---and our work began…now some 25 years later---our Journey…has covered many miles---going in many different directions.
The announcement by Robbie…put Fawn and Sarah to work…sending emails, putting up old pictures of me on the web and through-out the building! I got several calls and emails of congrats! Thanks to everyone. It is hard to believe it has been 25 years.
Fawn and Sarah told me they were barely talking when I began…then Sarah figured out…she was just 6 months old when I began my work!
I understand you have been at BHCC twenty- five years today. THAT IS A QUARTER OF A CENTURY! Many will wish to congratulate you I am sure - saints and sinners alike from across this nation. Me? I just wonder how long you will need to stay there till you learn the compassion and humility needed to lovingly help others and defend those who need your help.
We'll I need to call and see if my yard got moved...I mean MOWED...today. You get back to all those "meetings" I read about.
Way to go really old guy!
Tommy , I am still learning. Maybe someday I will learn! I had more meetings the last two days than you can shake a stick at! You should have spent the day with me…you would have enjoyed!
From Jeanette Hammel…
Congrats Jonathan on your 25th Anniversary of service at Brentwood Hills...I know everyone there is blessed to have you, Barbara, and your family there.
The elders were very appreciative during the elder’s meeting last night. Dr. Tom Whitfield…brought some Sparkling Grape Juice…and led the elders in a Toast for my years of service! We laughed and had a good time. Many of my Wednesday nights are spent with this group of men…and last night they spend 2 ½ hours sharing and praying about our family at Brentwood Hills. We are blessed to have a group of men who care about us…and spend countless hours caring and praying for us all! Thank you.
Thank you for your devotion to the Lord and service to the congregation at Brentwood Hills. Your steady hand of leadership, enormous worth ethic, and humble spirit have been a primary factor for growth and harmony at BHCC. You have an exemplary family and possess the heart of a servant. I am pleased to work with you and grateful for the privilege of learning from you.
Congratulations on your 25th milestone of service at BHCC! I look forward to working with you during this exciting period in the history of BHCC. I’m eager to witness the unfolding of the Lord’s plan and to participate with our brothers and sisters as the Father uses BHCC for His glory in our corporate Journey to the Son.
The Kingdom Trust
I got this update from Ronald Millon yesterday….
Dear hermano , sorry for no write before.. Problems with Internet. Yesterday I came to Jovenes . I traveled five hours from choluteca to be here in Zamorano. In he afternoon i had my firts meeting with the Directors Marta and Israel. Israel a Mexican preacher. He came to Honduras in 1980 , he works at La Ceiba church for several years , then he returned with his wife Marta to Mexico and then he went to work to Houstn , Texas with a hispanic congregation. Two years ago Israel and Marta stared a new job in Smirna Church of Christ i Nashville Tn. They are a great couple. I know Israel for long time. He worked at La voz Eterna magazine with me and Arnoldo Mejia.
For now i am under the direction of this beautiful couple. Ronald….
And then today…Chad Hedgepath…sent me this update on Ronald’s little girl---Caroline---who has a heart problem.
If found out officially that Ronald's daughter has a heart murmur. Just wanted to let you know what it is.
Let Your Light Shine!
Chad J Hedgepath
Please pray for Ronald as he begins his new work at Jovenes En Camino and for their daughter. Meanwhile, I want to keep you updated on the work in Mission Lazarus. Jarrod Brown…has taken on the task to keep us informed…..
I know that Ronald was faithful in keeping you all updated on what was going on at Mission Lazarus so I thought I’ll try to do as good of a job has he did! I hope that it’s beginning to warm up around Tennessee. Now that March comes to an end so do the very cool nights that we enjoy during January, February and part of March. Lows in the mountains where we live can dip down to the mid 40’s. We are now in the final stretch of the dry season and the hottest months of the year. Off the mountain in the jungle where so much of our work is concentrated highs are already around 105 degrees. By the end of April they can sometimes reach 115.
Life in the third world is nothing but ordinary. Yesterday 2 earthquakes, 4.3 and 4.7 on the Richter scale rocked Choluteca. No damage has been reported but it’s an eerie feeling. I was working in my office at the ranch when the entire house started shaking.
We have been really busy this month taking advantage of groups from the US to help us build many important projects. We now have a total of 6 homes at the ranch for abandoned, orphaned, and neglected children. During March alone groups from Greenwood Park church of Christ, First Colony church of Christ, Maple Hill church of Christ and West 7th church of Christ blessed the work with their construction skills or in some cases their great smile!!
Also this month 3 new brick homes have been built for needy families, 2 new adobe mud brick homes have been built for needy families, 2 water filtration systems have been installed at the children’s home and our clinic, hundreds of food sacks have been delivered directly to the homes of needy folks throughout Choluteca, and Americans have gone door to door evangelizing with our local preachers. A unique group of students also prepared and taught a basic accounting and Excel seminar to all of the 15 preachers working with us. This will serve them well in preparing their own family budgets, church budgets, and reports. Groups from the Auburn church of Christ student center, UT church of Christ student center, Friendship Christian School, Harding University, and Abilene Christian University focused on these efforts.
In March we began to bless hundreds of families throughout this region with a new program called, “Gift of a Blessing.” The Western Hills church of Christ in Temple, Texas was the catalyst for this new program. They offered their members the opportunity to give a Christmas gift of livestock for a needy family in Honduras. So far over 200 laying hens have been distributed and just yesterday, March 31, some 85 sheep were delivered to my house. Preachers will be arriving today to collect the sheep that they have solicited for some of the church members in their villages. After the sheep are all handed out we’ll start handing out calves. This project will provide a great way for needy families to provide more income and nutrition for their homes.
I have spent many hours in the jungle villages around Choluteca this month visiting with the locals. Sharing the Good News with them, and just letting them know that we love them and God loves them. Some of the images that I have encountered this month are still vivid in my mind. I have attached a few of them to this note. When the day comes that these images don’t touch my heart I will know that it’s time for me to reconnect with God and or leave Honduras. The plight of the common peasant in Honduras can’t be ignored by Christians. We HAVE to continue to be God’s hands to provide for them and fulfill Christ’s words in the sermon on the mount, Matt 6:28-34 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The 4 schools that we operate, the Early Childhood Development Centers, have definitely been a blessing this year. With our attendance up nearly 100% over last year our budget has been strained, to the point of considering turning children away. However, we continue to lean on God and recognize that we are about His business, and with that we have faith that He’ll continue to provide what we need to educate and nourish these 600 children every day.
With the world’s economic situation in mind this year we decided to do a bit more to provide for ourselves. We already have our cattle operation and coffee operation providing extra income but to that we have added a tomato crop. Our plants have now been in the ground not quite a month, all 25,000 of them. The return on our efforts is not a guarantee, we could have a net profit of $3,000 - $30,000 come June. It all depends on the harvests around other parts of Central America. We do however feel confident that God will bless this effort as we see in Matt 25:20-21
20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' 21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
Satan is alive and well, wishing to destroy the great work the God is making possible through some amazing local servants here in Honduras. Thank you so much for supporting us. Please continue to keep our work and all of the local men and women working with us in your prayers. Hope you enjoy the attached pictures. (Clck on Photo Galleries and go to Journey 2009 Mission Lazarus to view the pictures.)
Jarrod W. Brown
Mission Lazarus Inc.
Note…. Jarrod thanks for keeping us informed about the work at Mission Lazarus. We love the information.
Speaking of information…here is an update on Coach Meyer:
First of all, thank you for your prayers. I just got off the phone with Mom – the surgery went well!!! The plastic surgeon cut ½ inch of the bone and was pleased with the closure. Little Buddy will have a drain for 1 week and the sutures will be removed in 3 weeks. After approximately 4-6 weeks of healing, we are hopeful that the prosthesis process will begin.
• Praise and thanksgiving
• Continued healing
• No infection
• Effective pain management
Thank you for sharing this journey that began almost 7 months ago… we are currently on the rejoicing stretch!!! God is good.
Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
Don’t forget that Coach Meyer will be coming to Nashville---to the Lipscomb Campus to speak on Tuesday April 28th.
A lot of storms this afternoon…I picked up Bethany and Nathan Dickerson from school at about 3:45 and on our way back to church…we came through some of the hardest rain that I have ever driven through. Tornado watches, warnings…and we think a touchdown on Murfreesboro road….still a possibility of more rain and even more storms tonight.
Have a great Journey….
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583