December 2022 Conchshell Chronicles
God's Promises Never End!
Double Rainbow Vero Beach November 2022
Project Ezra 36th School Year Ends
Our 2022 academic year has ended for our Project Ezra schools on the Coco River in N.E. Nicaragua. We finished with 1409 students completing their classes and advancing to the next grade.
We manage the most remote school district in Nicaragua where just getting to our villages is a major effort. Our first school began informally in 1985 when Augusto Vicente, a Miskito Indian refugee asked us for help in starting a school in Sawa, on the Honduras side of the Rio Coco. Augusto and 60,000 other residents of the Nicaraguan side of the Coco River had been driven from their homes by Cuban and Sandinista soldiers who had "relocated" 104 communities along the border with Honduras into "camps" called "Tasba Prei" (Free Land) and others. In the process many homes were burned, cattle shot, and fruit trees cut. Many people died. Other villages asked us for help in starting schools and in 1986 we formally launched our primary education project in four more communities.
Kiwastara School 1997
Our school district is in the most remote corner of Central America
We named our schools after a famous Biblical refugee named Ezra, who lead many Israelites back from Babylon to their homeland during the reign of Persian King Artaxerxes in 485 BC. Ezra knew that a knowledge of the Bible, God's Word, would be important in rebuilding the nation.
For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10
We felt the same about the Nicaraguan refugees returning to their homeland after 13 years of Marxist Sandinista rule and a bloody civil war.
This completes our 36th year educating Miskito Indian children. Thanks to all you who contributed to teacher salaries, school supplies, and fuel this past year.
Year 37 begins in February 2023.
We are Celebrating Christmas
God comes to Earth in the form of a baby, born into poverty, with his first cradle a feeding trough. How strange!
Angels show up in the fields outside Bethlehem and announce to the shepherds (they didn’t go to the Temple seven miles north and make this strategic announcement– think about that for a moment):
Behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:10-14
A Savior? The Christ, the Messiah? The Lord of the Universe?
What could this message mean?
The shepherds went into Bethlehem and found the baby in the back room of one of the many cave homes, wrapped in cloths and lying in a trough used to feed the sheep and goats who in the winter spent their days in this innermost room of the cave home to provide a cheap heating of the home. Since the animals were out in the fields, it was probably spring or summer when this all occurred.
Arielle and Friends in the Cave Home
in Bethlehem where Jesus was born.
John and Moselle at the spot in the Cave Home where Jesus was born
The Baby grew up in Nazareth, learned the trade of a “tekton” (a constructor), working with stone and wood, a rough job. At age 30 he began his ministry, gathering a group of disciples, and traveling throughout Galilee and Judea teaching and performing miracles: turning water into fine wine, healing lepers, paralytics, and even raising some from the dead. His teaching was different than the formal rabbis, as it was about the “Kingdom of God” and his place as the King, but more importantly his mission to clear up the issue of sin between God and mankind. He told the head Pharisee Nicodemus that we all must be “born from above” and that he himself was the “Son of Man” that the prophet Daniel had spoken about (Dan 7:13-14), and that:
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:13-18
Nicodemus understood the account in Numbers 21 where the people had sinned and God had sent snakes into the camp, and people were being bitten and dying.
And Moses interceded for the people. 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” 9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. Numbers 21:7-9
It was a signpost that God provided for the Jewish people to show how he would later resolve the separation that sin caused between mankind and God resulting in death. But Nicodemus and the Disciples didn’t understand this, even after Jesus spoke very plainly to them as they were headed to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” Matthew 20:18-19
It all happened as Jesus predicted. He was arrested and crucified on Passover Friday, the day in ancient Egypt where the angel of death killed every firstborn person and animal in Egypt except for Hebrew homes that had the blood of a lamb sprinkled over the door. Another signpost God provided to show how He would resolve the issue of sin, only He Himself would be that sacrifice.
The Edicule inside the Holy Sepluchre church Jerusalem where Jesus resurrected from the dead.
Jesus did rise from his tomb and spent the next four weeks with his family, disciples and friends, and was seen by over 500 people. All that he said was confirmed by his resurrection. He was worshiped as Yahweh- the One True God, in a human body. In the next few years, thousands of religious Jews, who were taught to worship only one god, worshipped Jesus as the human manifestation of God.
These witnesses declared this message in the form of a historical proclamation- a Gospel- of what had been accomplished.
God has taken care of the sin issue Himself and welcomes you into his family and now gives you standing as a precious child of his, an escape from death, and an eternity with Him.
This message spread like wildfire throughout the Roman Empire in the next three centuries, and eventually became the predominate worldview of most of its inhabitants. It continued into Europe, Africa and Asia, eventually became the predominate worldview of the North and South American continents, and continues to be the fastest growing world view today.
It all started in the birth of Christ the Lord, in a cave home in Bethlehem, which we celebrate this month of December.
What are we celebrating? The beginning of the process where God granted us eternal life, membership in His Family, and a very personal relationship with Him.
What a Gift! What a reason to celebrate! I’m reminded of His first miracle– turning water into fine wine at the wedding a Cana.
Apparently He loves to celebrate, and celebrate with us.
Merry Christmas from the Bagby Family and all of our families along the Rio Coco in Nicaragua.
We have been gifted every moment by the Creator of the universe. Our very breath is completely dependent upon the Maker of heaven and earth. The Giver of Life establishes us in love and free will to live out a destiny of meaning, purpose and ultimate victory over all evil, sorrow and pain. We get to choose how we will manage our own existence. We get to decide our time management and the manner we express the many talents we have to offer to one another and how we will offer ourselves back to our Maker.
with Lukas, Arielle, Ronald, Laura, Moselle, and Jean.
I had a great relationship with my dad, the late Ronald Uyeda. The lessons of life keep coming back to me. He would remind me at times,
“There’s only one Boss . There can only be One and you are not IT.”
We would laugh about our many shortcomings or get mad about how we get stuck in it. When things got really bad, we would remind ourselves how it’s never up to us to decide our beginning and end but how we will live out in between here on this planet.
We would remind ourselves of God having the ultimate plan and purpose for our lives and it is when He says it is done that our time here on earth will end and we get to go be with God, Maker of heaven and earth and everything in it. We are not in control but have choices to make with each moment.
It is up to us how we express our “HI’s, byes, please and thank you’s with each moment we are given. It is up to us how we greet our reality and give of ourselves in time, talent, and choices of words and deeds. The Boss wants to be involved in our moments but we choose our level of engagement by our attitudes and acknowledgement of trust and the thankfulness of being given the gift of our very breath.
We take Life for granted , but it is truly a gift of our loving personal Creator that knows well the creation made for eternal purposes . Only this magnificent One can give us the heads up on how it is all supposed to work best and the many individual steps we can choose to make it happen . I have experienced an existence without that Divine input, and it is meaningless and hopeless.
I desire meaning, purpose, and the Constance of the loving presence of My Father God, Maker of heaven and Earth .
I submit myself to this all knowing, seeing and Caring Boss . I trust him with all my heart and lean not on my own limited understanding. In all my ways, I acknowledge Him and He directs my path .
Since the passing of my mom, my dad , Michael’s parents , Mabel and Forrest ,sister Glinda and many other close friends and relatives , I find that my view of eternity has become clearer . I am confident that they are with Jesus paving the way for us and this earthly life is just a mere blip on the screen of life in view of eternity. I will see them all again and we will celebrate.
Aunt Polly, Ronald & Jean Uyeds, Keith & Cynthia Larkin, Forrest & Mabel,
with Mikaela, Laura, Lukas and Michael
For now, I choose my Boss each moment of the day because serving my own thoughts, wishes and desires only lead me down a dead end hopeless , helpless road of unrest and confusion . I am in a moment-by-moment consultation program with the King of the universe. Once I get my marching orders, I can soar effortlessly gliding into action like the eagles I have been seeing daily soaring overhead with grace and power. I also get to marvel at all the butterflies fluttering freely in my yard on a daily basis. They remind me to keep living and dancing around. Life is a brief gift. How are we are going to spend it, invest it and use our time, talent and choice?
Merry Christmas! Laura
Seek The Lamb Gift Giving
We are already preparing for our new school year to begin in February 2023. Many notebooks, pencils, and teacher supplies need to be purchased; some school building need repair. Teachers need to be paid.
Please consider an end of year gift to Seek The Lamb to help us kick off 2023 as well as support our missionaries working the project.
Here is the link to make a donation:
Thank you !
Rio Coco Beans Coffee
Our online store is sending out many boxes of coffee this season.
Order yours here:
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