August 2021 Conchshell Chronicles
River Relief Efforts
This month we are transporting more supplies downriver. This time it is desks, which are sorely needed in all of our nine schools. We hope this will be the first of many boatloads over these next months.
As you can see, this is just one boatload of student desks. We have over 1700 students this year. Hopefully we will be making many trips with desks in these next weeks.
We recently hired a new administrator- Myga Cunningham.
Myga is the daughter of Truman and Mirna, and I have known her since her birth, which occurred in 1987 while we were all living together in Auka Honduras during the war years. We watched her grow up to be a very responsible adult, who went to university and became the head of the Nicaraguan Immigration office in Puerto Cabeza, overseeing a large government agency. Due to political changes, Myga returned to Waspam, and has been assisting her mother Mirna, and volunteering to help Danilo as his administrative assistant, at no salary.
Earlier this year, the requirements of the government reporting changed, and we are now required to travel to Managua each month and submit our reports in person. That is a very time consuming trip, and that is when I suggested to Danilo that we hire her to take over that responsibility. Since Myga knows how the government systems work, she is the ideal choice to represent us. We are all thankful for her service.
Below of the first photo I have of Myga, being held by her mom Mirna, with her brother Danilo on the left side, Jasper with the big smile, sisters Celia and Leskia, and brother Rodolio. That’s Sophia Borst and Augusto Vicente standing next to Myga and Mirna. Truman is playing guitar on the left. Memories!
The year has been full of re-focusing and gaining new vision and hope along with countless opportunities to SURRENDER my self and will over and again for higher purposes. When I have decided to simply seek God’s thoughts, design, purposes and ways, I have found myself coming out of whatever I am feeling or thinking in a much better state of being.
To TRUST in moments of confusion and wondering and to relinquish my self and will upon the undisputable wisdom of God has been most valuable to me during this time of turmoil.
We all have things happening all the time which would land in the arena of basic inconveniences, misfortune, and just plain negative annoyances.
How do we fare in our thoughts, attitudes and actions? My human nature takes over many a moment and I don’t consider even surrendering my will or self for that moment…I go with the ugly flow of my heart and the result is often just one more pile to have to clean up after all is said and done.
Then there are some brilliant moments where I willfully and definitely choose to SURRENDER myself to God and His Perfect all knowing ways. I consider what He may think about me and my situation…
I am in a Bible study group with a bunch of quality people who are all trying to live a life of surrender to the Lord. My friend Beth comes up with the breaking down of words that produce more power by her breaking them down. This word SURRENDER came up and due to her encouragement I looked it up:
SURRENDER: The action of yielding one’s person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
“SUR” means: Over and above.
“RENDER” is to make, cause to be, to simplify, beautify.
So when I surrender my will for the will of my heavenly Father, I receive a “rendering” of a result that is over and above the result of just doing it my own way with my own will. Victory, peace and joy wait on the other side of my Surrender. It has been a powerful process to experience an array of challenges that allowed me the opportunity to decide to go above and beyond by laying myself down at the feet of Jesus trusting in Him and His plan for my life rather than doing it my way. So thankful for this option of Surrender! Over and again I gain the peace of the Lord.
Peace for me has been such a song of Victory in my heart and life. The indescribable peace that surpasses all comprehension standing guard over, within and around me entirely. A true form of victory that adds so much Life and Living to my very soul. It fills me and feeds me enough to have the sense of abundance that allows me the energy to give, serve and be others centered. Only because of God and my surrender to Him and His Majesty, will and Greatness. Nothing that can be credited to me or any other human, circumstance or gift. God does what no other can ever achieve and my vision and hope rests in Him alone. How Great is our God!!!!
Pray for us as we take time to go see my father and family in Hawaii. Michael will also be teaching at Hope Chapel Kihei in August….Our adult children will join us for a few days on Maui and Oahu. We hope to see many of you! Laura
Good News on the Doorstep
One of the iconic songs of my youth was Don McLean’s “American Pie” which was a lyrical commentary on the music and political scene of the 1960’s. References were made to John F. Kennedy, Buddy Holly, Mick Jagger and “the three men I admire the most, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who caught the last train to the coast, the day the music died.”
There is a line from the song that has been echoing in my mind all week:
“But February made me quiver, with every paper I delivered.
Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step.”
I try to make my first reading of each day be from the Bible, and specifically from the book of Proverbs. Then I wander through the news. Indeed, its bad news on the doorstep, which is a reference to the morning newspaper being thrown by that faithful paperboy tossing that rubberbanded rolled up newspaper from a moving bike with amazing accuracy onto the front porch. My brother and I became proficient in this skill during our paper route days in Texas.
Bad News on the doorstep? Yes, it appears that the world is moving away from common sense, principles of individual freedom, and a Biblical morality to an unguided free for all with everyone doing what pleases them.
But I have to remind myself of the Good News of the Gospel, and that God has not lost control. Indeed everything is going to His plan for the redemption of the world.
What is this Good News?
Ephesian chapter 1 tells me that I have been chosen by God to be part of His family. Jesus has redeemed me, and God is showering his continual kindness on me. He has revealed the plan at the right time, all things in Heaven and on Earth will be brought together under the authority of Christ, and He will set all things in order. He has given me an inheritance in Heaven, and eternal life. Death has no power over me.
He has also given me His Holy Spirit as a down payment to the promises that He has made me.
Ephesian 2 tells me that God has assigned specific parts of His plan to me to accomplish, and that in future ages we will be viewed as trophies of God’s Grace by those rebellious angelic beings.
1 Corinthians 6 tells me that one day I will be part of judging the world, and judging angels, and Revelation tells me that when Christ comes back to set up his administration of the renewed world, I will be part of that administration.
In the meantime, He tells me not to be fearful or anxious for anything, and that He will always be with me, provide for me and my family, and the Holy Spirit will guide me through the decisions and experiences of the day.
Now I am to direct my time and resources that He has given me to build community, inviting many into the family of God. I’ll do this through treating others with respect and care, showing them the love that God has shown me, and speaking words of life to them at the appropriate time.
I am to pray for the people that God brings across my path, and give of my resources when called upon. I am to help those who are oppressed, and stand up for liberty and freedom for all.
So should I let those tiding of bad news that I hear daily affect my attitudes and actions? Definitely not. This is our time to shine friends, and He is wanting to brilliantly shine through each one of us. Michael
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
Quantity Discounts Every Day
Did you know that we have Quantity Discounts available every day for your purchase of Rio Coco Beans coffee?
We like to provide high altitude, hand picked, slow roasted specialty coffee to our loyal friends who enjoy helping us educate our 1700 students in Nicaragua while enjoying a quality cup of coffee. Buying in bulk allows us to offer a lower price per bag.
So we would like to offer you all a 12% discount when you purchase four or more 12 oz bags of our coffee.
Here are the three discounts that you will find on our webstore 365 days a year:
1) Americas Coffee: Purchase four or more bags of any of our Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Papa Jack, Los Dos, or It's Morning coffees and enter the code AMERICA4BAG at checkout. You will receive 12% off the total retail price.
2) Pacific Coffees: Purchase four or more bags of any of our Timor, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, or Java Jake coffee and enter the code PACIFIC4BAG at check out to receive the 12% discount.
3) Ethiopia Coffees: Purchase four or more bags of any of our Yirgacheffe Light, Natural Guji, or Yirgacheffe Medium and enter the code ETHIOPIA4BAG at check out.
These codes are posted at the top of our home page for your convenience. Use them. We appreciate loyalty in our friends and like to give what we think is the very best price for the very best coffee on the web.
Seek The Lamb Giving
Please consider making a gift this month to help us rebuild our school project after the damages suffered during the hurricanes of November 2020. We are in need of many cans of paint, new desks and chairs, and student and teacher supplies.
We have a staff that needs your prayers and support for the work in Nicaragua and the Cafe ministry.
This month please join us in prayer:
1) God will send us four more teammates for the Rio Coco Cafe ministry. We are looking for those who want to serve in building community;
2) Healing for Danilo's wife Roxy, who just had gall bladder surgery;
3) Good health for Laura's dad Ronald, who just turned 83;
4) Good health for Laura and Michael as they walk out these next years;
5) A little house on the Utila cafe property for a full time Miskito cafe manager.
Thanks for joining us in firing our spiritual arrows into the Heavenlies.
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