November 2015 Conchshell Chronicles
We have a lot to be thankful for this year! Yes we have lost some dear friends, whom we will see later, but we have also gained many others this past year. The café ministry has opened up many doors for friendships that are long term.
Chris is a friend from Australia who we met in Utila. We invited him to visit us in Florida when he headed to Canada for his winter job as a snowboard instructor. He came for a few days, and stayed for a month. Chris had never been inside a church building before he came to Vero Beach. While he was here, he went to church and attended some of our Bible studies. The last week, someone gave him a Bible, and Chris seems excited for a new chapter in his life.
We all love him, and really enjoyed his company. He is seen above on a trip to St Augustine with Lukas, Arielle, Moselle, & Martin.
Jake and Scotty are two Australians who play Australian Football for a team in Southern California- The Orange County Bombers. We spent over a month with them on Utila, and grew to really love them both. We all traveled to Austin Texas for the National Australian Football Tournament in mid-October. It was a full five days there where we stayed with our friends Angie and John who live there and on Maui. The Bombers won every game except the final championship game. They played their hearts out, and Jake and Scotty were among the most valuable players on the field.
Our family wanted to let Scotty and Jake know that we cared for them. We all agreed that it was a good gesture of love that we were all willing to pay for. While we were there we met with three other friends from Utila, Mandy, J.P. and Jose, whomwe spent time with last summer. It was such quality time and we had deep conversations with them.
Today an Irish girl Therese from Utila stopped in to see us at the Vero Café. We served her every day this summer and for the past three years. That makes seven from Utila who have dropped by to see us since we returned. We are thankful for the friendships that we have built with new friends from all corners of the world. May we be sensitive to what God wants to do in their lives. May we know how to really love them.
We just finished our series “The Vision Behind The Verses” at the Saturday Morning Symposium in Vero Beach. Since September, we have been studying the cultural and historical background to the Bible. Many have attended, and lights have gone on. This is exactly what we should be doing at the Rio Coco Cafes. In January we will begin a study on Discipleship, which is the theme of the new book soon to be available on Amazon called “Echoes Into Eternity. We are thankful for these opportunities that the Lord has given to us. May we be worthy.
We are in a season of bearing fruit in the café ministry, as well as in our schools along the Rio Coco. Next week, Arielle and I will be traveling there to meet with our team and attend a teachers conference. I think it is because many of you have been praying for us, and for our friends in Honduras and Nicaragua, and you have been generous with your financial gifts as well. For this we are really thankful.
May this be a season for you of realizing God’s provision and blessing in your lives. The founders of the United States recognized God’s hand in all that allowed us to become an independent country, and in the prosperity that we have enjoyed. May our leaders take a turn back to God during this season as well.
When people pass from this life into the next, we remember the significant moments that we might have shared…moments that somehow impressed us in a funny, emotional , or meaningful way.
We have had the divine privilege of meeting some of the most inspirational people who have left impressions upon us that have taught us how to live, respond, and be better in this life and the one to come.
Michael just finished up the last of the details on his book he is publishing, “Echoes into Eternity.” (On Amazon…thank you Ralph Moore for your tips and inspiration) .We realize that there are only two things that will send Echoes into Eternity… ”Relationship with God and Relationship with People.” It is all about the relationship. Yet it is what takes most time, energy, efforts, grace, sacrifice, commitment and Love. Relationships on most levels is hard work .
Yes it has the potential for much enjoyment and effective eternal work being accomplished, but it is the most difficult to navigate. Relationships….I have heard people say that it would be easier if we didn’t have to deal with people. Unfortunately people are what create this eternal combustion and likewise people also keep other people from even wanting to explore the eternal due to misguided thoughts on what is actually eternally important in God’s heart and eyes. We are all given to bad behavior, attitudes, thoughts and actions especially when we are not given over to the same driving Force.
When God is in charge and dominating lives, there is the possibility of great unity, peace and miraculous eternal combustion occurring. The opposite holds true when the driving “self” is in charge of each life and disorder, chaos and strife will follow and that life and the lives that are put together.
I have two friends that just passed into eternity within the last few months. I mourn their loss and pray for their families, like my mom I know they are in a happier place, comforted and rejoicing in the presence of our Lord. They are actually with the One that I proclaim to be my all in all …the Heroes of all super Heroes…my God, Savior, Heavenly Father. They get to greet Him earlier than I and soon enough I will join them. For now I live with these beautiful memories they have all left me…Memories that often inspire me in different ways in my own daily existence.
My friend Sandy influenced many lives in taking them to deeper places of healing and freedom. She was masterful at being with people and talking them through. I loved our chats we had with one another and couldn’t get enough. She had great insight and discernment and a heart to help. I will miss her. She leaves a husband and two grown kids (both married) and countless others who are stronger, deeper and freer because of her life.
My friend Marianne just passed into glory yesterday. We talked with her husband Ray Saturday who told us she was suddenly diagnosed with stage four cancer and given two weeks to live. Ray told us that Marianne simply said to him when they found out, “ Well this is the way that I wanted to go…still with my mind in tact”.
Ray and Marianne Bodie travelled to Waspam twice and helped us do the electrical work on our team house and the Waspam Discipleship Center. They were both in their mid-70’s and still willing to be missionaries in remote corners of the world! And they did an incredible job on our building and in the hearts of our entire team. Marianne taught my girls how to play “Kings Corner” and when we visited them in Indiana, Ray showed us how to make caramel popcorn. They were inspirational in their service and we grew to really love them.
Two weeks ago we had the privilege of being with our very dear friends and inspirational mentors Craig and Kathy Englert for a few days in New Orleans.
They loved us up as usual and made us feel the rewards of serving our King and one another. They are the epitome of natural Lovers of God and people…so real and full of life and wisdom. We are so grateful to have the quality of life that we do because of Who our God is to us and how He connects us to the world and people around us.
We will be receiving my father and brother Ryan from Oahu. They will be coming with our friend and ministry partner Kevin Cyr. We are all excited and looking forward to what God will do during this time. Maybe Moselle, the newly permitted car driver will be able to drive with Grandpa who will probably be the most calming teacher at this point. Lukas is preparing Ryan’s house in ways that will breed life for them. Mikaela thinks of jobs for her grandpa to do in the Café and this will be good. Arielle makes sure that everyone doesn’t get too lazy and won’t just let grandpa sit around. Michael has served as the general inspiration that breeds hope for anyone that may be feeling sorry for themselves. I am excited for this time and opportunity to love on them and have been asking God to please do what God does in our midst. I know God to be a miracle Worker.
Pray for us all. In between all of these things, we are running a successful Café ministry/business that is gaining in reputation and busyness. We are meeting more people and building more relationships and growing in many ways. Arielle and Michael will be leaving for Nicaragua on the 19th of November. Mikaela, Lukas and Arielle will be involved in a Crossfit Competition here in Vero and Michael , Moselle and I will be volunteering for this big community event. We are excited. We love having your prayers. Laura
How Can You Help This Month?
- Pray for us! Check out this month’s Spiritual Arrows
- Sponsor one of our Seek The Lamb missionaries ;
- Become a school sponsor. We have seven schools that need help.
You may donate online at seekthelamb.com—”Give”. Thanks!
Spiritual Arrows: Your Prayer are Powerful!
Please pray for:
1) Safe travels to Nicaragua for Arielle & Michael this week.
2) More Seek The Lamb missionaries for the café ministry for 2016. We need four more to fully staff our cafes.
3) Heal Laura’s dad Ronald, and Jackie, our friend on Maui, as well as good health for the Bagby Family.
We appreciate all your prayers.
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
We are roasting some fine coffee in Vero Beach, and you can help us with the school project in Nicaragua by enjoying our coffee right in your home anywhere in the United States. We ship it right to your door, and we usually ship our coffee that was roasted only a few days before!
Visit our online store and check out a few bags! www.riococobeans.com
P.O. Box 2151 Vero Beach Florida 32961
firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 772-226-5760