Project Ezra School end our 37th Year!
Our 2023 academic year has ended for our Project Ezra schools o
n the Coco River in N.E. Nicaragua. We manage the most remote school district in Nicaragua where just getting to our villages is a major effort.
This completes our 37th year educating Miskito Indian children, which we formally began in 1986. Thanks to all you who contributed to teacher salaries, school supplies, and fuel this past year. Well Done!
We have exciting plans for 2024- to begin a Christian education program for all our downriver students living in Waspam, as well as a translation project– The Book of Proverbs– in the Miskito language.
Pray with us please! Stay tuned for details.
At this point in life, I seek out moments of peace, joy and love. Peace within myself that I am being and doing the right thing in a moment knowing each breath I take is a gift from above. I look for moments of nature to delight my soul and cause thanksgiving and gratitude to erupt from within. I delight in dance and the ability to relate with joy to those I am dancing with. It is a new way of relationship building for me which has led to the fruit of getting to know some women in my community who I would not have known otherwise. I enjoy watching my Creator build on my moments of connection with new friends . Love God. Love my neighbor as myself. These two factors of loving can keep one busy from the time the sun rises to the time the sun sets. Much of my more loving moments have been found in praying for myself and those around me.
Today I will attend a memorial service. My friend called me on Saturday and left me a message saying to please call her and that it wasn’t about doing her hair. I cut her hair on occasion. When I called her, I was in the middle of preparing a space for another friend coming to visit us. I sat in the Ohana unit and called her. She calmly told me that her husband did not wake up that morning. He was healthy and they had a great time the night before, going on a nice date. Previously they had discussed how nice it would be to be able to leave this planet and go be with Jesus in a calm gentle quick way. There have been a few of my close friends who have gone on to their heavenly home. One minute here and the next minute in the presence of our Creator. These moments make me want to LIVE in a manner worthy of my calling for the purposes of which I have been designed for.
I miss my mom and dad who have left and think of them daily. I take note as I look up in the beautiful sky of Vero Beach and see soaring birds above me or butterflies. A sign of freedom and no cares of this world. Just fluttering about doing God’s bidding. I have been asking God to heighten my hearing of His still small voice so all that I do and am is in peace and in His way. It is a way of calm and gentle. It is an intentional moment of lining myself up with God who is Love being embodied within me to serve Him, and others. It is drowning out all the other voices and distractions and zeroing in on just One Voice. When I hear and obey, I get to soar in the power of His might and will for my life receiving peace and depth of satisfaction. I am His and can only do His design best. Time is of the essence. It doesn’t belong to me but is owned by and given to us by the Creator God of eternity. When I think I own it or allow anyone or thing to distract me from God and his word, it goes awry. From dust I came, to dust I will go and the only two things that really matter is my relationship with God and to those around me.
These I will have and hold for eternity. How will I intentionally take a hold of and feed this destiny? One meaningful moment at a time. God has been clearing out my cobwebs, blockages to his flow, and road blocks that push me around. I want to be crucified with Christ so that He will live and not I . By faith I want to hear and proceed with love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Help me Lord. I am heavily into the self-control of word, deed and lots and lots of meditative prayer to the One who truly controls it all and is the Victor in this life and into the next. With this in mind, it is indeed a Merry Christmas every moment I receive breath to the One who gave it all so freely. Laura
An Extraordinary Story
Its Christmas, when we celebrate the coming to Earth of God in the form of a man named Jesus.
Church of the Nativity- the cave home where Jesus was born
What an extraordinary thought- that the Creator would Himself become one of us, live among us, work hard as a constructor, earn His living expenses, pay taxes, experience an oppressive government, be rejected by religious people, and finally be executed on a trumped-up charge. In so many ways, the God-Man has shared our life experiences! He knows what life on Earth is like.
His arrival was foretold in detail by the Hebrew prophets- that God would come as reign as a king, in a kingdom that would last forever, that He would be Wisdom personified, bring Justice to all levels of society, and restore the Earth to its original condition. This is an extraordinary life, giving us an extraordinary hope.
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7
The Hebrews looked often to this promise, especially as the Roman government curtained their rights, levied heavy taxes, and imprisoned and killed any who protested. They longed for this king to come and throw off the heavy Roman yoke and reestablish the Jewish Kingdom.
Like every great baseball pitcher facing a power slugger with the count 3-2, when we are expecting the fastball, God gave us an extraordinary pitch- a sinking curveball- that the first time the God-Man comes to Earth would be to resolve the sin issue, that the relationship between God and man would be restored by the God Man becoming the perfect sacrifice to remove our sins.
“I am going to bring in My servant the Branch…,”declares the LORD of hosts, “and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.’” Zechariah 3:8-9
One day- Passover Friday, the God-Man on the cross, dying on the day that the Passover lamb was slaughter and blood place over the doors in Ancient Egypt, which provided a covering for the Angel of Death who passed through the land slaying every Egyptian first born. An extraordinary event in world history.
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13
Most of the religious and elite swung and missed that sinking curveball, but many took a second, adjusted their stance, and knocked the ball out of the park. These power hitters were humble people, traitorous tax collectors, immoral prostitutes, smelly shepherds and fishermen, dirty famers, as well as many in the upper classes of wealth and power.
Bethlehem Church of the Nativity
When the God-Man arrived, it was through an extraordinary impregnation by the Holy spirit of a virgin named Mary, betrothed to a man name Joseph. This was a scandalous event that followed these two for the rest of their lives. Interesting how God identified with so many caught up in the scandals of life.
His birth was in the humblest of dwellings, a cave home in Bethlehem, in the back room where the sheep and goats normally lived in the winter, providing cheap heat for the cave home. But it was springtime or summer, and the flocks were grazing out in the fields around Bethlehem, and the baby God-Man was placed in a feeding trough. Imagine the chickens jumping across the place where they often found grain to eat, only to see a baby lying there. Imagine the thoughts of the God-Man as these chickens perched on the edge, wondering if they were going to deposit anything on his head.
His parents named him Jesus, which means “God Saves.”
Just four miles away was the Herodian, a man made cone shaped hill with a palace-fortress of King Herod, brightly lit up this night, where Herod and his friends lived in opulence. What a contrast between the King by Might. and the King by Right!
The Palace of Herod at the Herodian,
where recently his tomb was discovered.
The angels announced the birth of Jesus in an extraordinary display to the shepherds in the fields, seven miles from the Temple in Jerusalem. The priests all knew that the prophet Micah foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, yet none of them came to see the God-Man.
The Shephard's Fields
The shepherds did, as well as astrologers from far away who knew the Hebrew prophecies and saw the conjunction of planets that created a bright ‘star’ in the southern sky. They provided an extraordinary provision- gold and other precious things- which allowed Joseph to take his family to Egypt when Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill every baby.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth, spent three years proclaiming the Good News- that God was forgiving the sins of His people though his own sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was publicly executed by the Roman in Jerusalem, but a few days later was alive again, eating meals with his friends. He stayed for a while longer, telling his disciples to go and spread this Good News, and that He would return and restore Earth to its original condition where everything was in God’s Order.
It's an extraordinary story, with an extraordinary offer- eternal life with God, with Jesus as our King.
As a historian, I can saw agree with Harvard law professor Simon Greenleaf who said “There is more historical-legal evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus than any other event in history.” All we have to do is believe. Michael