It was the day after Christmas, 1986, and I was on a flight from Miami to Tegucigalpa Honduras. I was seated next to a young lady. After takeoff I asked her: “Why are you going to Honduras?” With the war going on in Nicaragua, and the refugee situation, Honduras was not a normal tourist destination. “I’m going scuba diving in Roatan. What about you?” she replied.
I thought for a moment. I had just experienced a year of God doing some pretty amazing things- cargo had been shipped from Houston to Tegucigalpa free of charge, an Eastern airline pilot brought his twin engine Piper Seneca to Honduras and delivered our cargo to the most remote corner of the region, and he paid for the fuel, and we had helped Augusto and Sofia start a school in Sawa. How can I make my reply interesting? Then I blurted out:
“Well I work there.”
“What do you do?”
“I work for a company headed by the smartest and wisest guy!
He knows everything”
“Yes, and He gives us everything we need to do the job.”
“That must be nice.”
“But the best part is that our retirement plan is out of this world.”
“That sounds like the company that I should be working for.”
“Funny you should say that. We are taking applications now!”
“You are? Tell me.”
I laughed and began to tell her of my adventure that began 13 months earlier when I arrived in Honduras the day after Thanksgiving, and how we managed to move a container of relief cargo to from Houston to the Miskitia, and all the
details of the plan that God put in place. She was amazed, and I am too each time I remember those events.
Some things have changed since those early days. My brown hair is gone replaced by slate gray, and I have four adult children and a getting-more-beautiful wife. Our students from the 89’s and 90’s are teaching our classes in the same nine villages along the Rio Coco. Truman’s sons Danilo and Rodolio are managing the school project, and I have become a volunteer at a coffee shop in Vero Beach and Utila Honduras. I’m thankful to be able to run a mile in less than 10 minutes.
But one thing has not- I still work for the same Boss, who continues to lead me on into an even more exciting adventure.
I hear many conversations in the modern church about “grace” and the “law”, and other theological points. But I
rarely hear discussions about this grand adventure that Laura and I have experience ever since that day that we decided to call Jesus our Lord. Many of our modern churches seem content to only ask us to show up an hour or two each week, listen to a talk on being good, or how our theology is correct, or how its all about love. And of course they ask us to give some money to support the club functions, and that’s it.
I was talking with a friend last week about the post Christian culture that we Americans seem to be in now. “How did the church of our youth lose its influence with our generation and the current one?” We concluded that it was because we were offered a watered down, unexciting version of what the Body of Christ should be, or at least what we see portrayed in the Bible, especially the Book of Acts. The dynamic, Spirit-led
group of followers of Jesus grew from a small band to a significant portion of the Roman Empire in less than 300 years. We spread to North Africa, to all parts of Europe, some parts of Asia, and eventually all of North and South America. They were adventurers, willing to take courageous risks to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Their success has shaped Western Civilization.
Adventure is defined as
“A risky undertaking; a remarkable experience”.
Most modern-day Christians have never experienced the adventure that God offers all who call Him Lord, which in the Greek Bible is the word Kurios – Maximum Leader. When Laura and I decided to call Jesus our Maximum
Leader, we turned control of our lives over to Him, and we almost always were willing to follow His leading into the personal adventure that He designed for us long ago.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
The Adventure Lifestyle is addicting. Has God said it is going to happen? Then all we do is lean into what He is doing, and proceed with faith, wisdom, and anticipation of Him showing up. I am thankful that I had leaders early in my Christian Life that modeled this for me: Craig Englert, Jason Spence, Kean Salzer, Ralph Moore, Jack Dyer, Keith Larkin and others. The Christian Adventure is normative, not exceptional. We should all be participating in it!
In 1989, we had 20 teachers that we were paying $50 a month. One month, we didn’t have the money to pay our teachers. We were living in Auka, the most remote corner of Honduras. We prayed that God
would provide. Within a few days an airplane landed at our airstrip. Out stepped a man from Australia, Ned Blasko, who ask if there were refugees from Nicaragua nearby. I pointed to the huts nearby. He spent three days with us, and when the airplane came to pick him up, he climbed in, shut the door, and then suddenly opened it again. “Here Mike, I almost forgot to give you this” as he handed me an envelope. When I got back to the house I opened it. There were ten $100 bills inside. Just enough to pay our teachers. If God can send a man from Australia to pay our teachers, I don’t have to worry…..
This is the Boss who knows all, who gives us what we need to do the job, and who has a retirement plan that is out of this world. I start this New Year as I have the past 36 New Years– by following His lead.
Here I am enjoying the first shot of espresso from our new café in Downtown Vero Beach. It will open in a few weeks. The adventure continues!
Join us for our study tour to Israel this coming May. We will have much fun and learn so much about experiencing God. Michael
I Love to stretch! Especially looking at God’s creation. He stretches me often.
When God does something, He does it big, bold and usually way outside of the ordinary to the place of making me,
a mere mortal, very very uncomfortable. It makes my stomach turn with anticipation, nervousness, excitement and a keen sense of awareness that I am about to go on another round of adventurous experiences of unending possibilities that demand my trust and faith in SOMEONE infinitely beyond my own limitations and mortality. It requires faith that Someone much greater has it all under control and is more than able to pull it off with all that is needed. The God that never disappoints, never fails and always does it all with flying colors perfectly and on time.
Today I had the whim of going by the café to get my dad his favorite breakfast sandwich before I headed home. This was not my original plan, but Arielle assured me that grandpa was fine with her at home and that it was ok for me to be at the café.
When I walked into the cafe, Moselle was at the counter engaging this couple about their travels throughout the United States and how they (Nate and Heather) would take off during the winter months and just travel without a real structured plan. We recognized that these were our kind of people.
We sat and shared an espresso con panna (shots of espresso with whipped cream on top). I sensed while talking to them that our meeting could be something special, but was not sure what so I asked them what they did … “We run a café on the beach in Massachusetts called Ground Swell and we just purchased an ice cream/candy shop and while we close our Café during the winter we are now able to place our workers in the ice cream/candy shop and serve coffee in there. We close the Café because it is too cold in the winter and most of our seating is outside on the beach.”
“OH, so you travel during the winter months?”, I inquire.
“Yes and we were thinking about heading south next travel season to maybe Nicaragua….”, they offer.
“Well, we have been praying about staffing our Café on Utila for the winter months…asking God to provide for us more workers who are seasoned in travel and varied experiences and don’t mind cold showers, hot weather and bugs.”, I say.
Heather adds, “This is so strange because Nate and I were just talking about how we wanted to do our travels with more purpose and when we look around at what you do, we see that you are doing so much good for your community and for your people in Nicaragua…”
I said, “Sometimes God answers my prayers so fast!!!
She said, “Yes, we just talked about this about 24 hours ago! And then we came here…not to toot our own horns but we know how to run a café. We believe in growing community.”
We exchanged numbers and will see them again to talk more. I left feeling like I had just walked into one of God’s amazing providential times of intervention. I am giddy with excitement even if it turns out to be having two more like minded people to enjoy in our lives.
I love feeling God interject himself in the middle of ordinary and making it extraordinary. Love it when that happens….In lives given over to this Awesome Creator….it happens all the time. We look for it and expect it. Life is an adventure ! And it continues….
Thanks to many of you who have been a big part of this adventure! Laura
Israel Study Tour
May 5-16 2018
We have been traveling to Israel since 1997, and have made trips with all our children. The visits to the Biblical sites has impacted all of the Bagby Kids, and has helped them better understand the Scriptures.
We want to share this experience with you. We are planning our next study tour with Dr. Randy Smith in May of this year. There is nobody better to go to Israel than our dear friend Randy! For many years he trained all the tour guides for the Ministry of Tourism in Israel. As a renown archeologist, Randy has been personally involved in many of the “digs” and has participated in many significant discoveries. You can see him on his Y-Tube channel “One Hour One Book”.
Join us for this significant experience! We have a lot of fun, but the experiencing the presence of God is worth all the effort. Here is the link to our page where there is all the information and registration forms.
Please pray that God will:
1) Touch Laura’s Dad Ronald and strengthen his health;
2) Bring more ministers to our Rio Coco Café team. “The fields are white for harvest…”
We appreciate your prayers. They Change Everything!
How Can You Help This Month?
1) Pray for us!
2) Purchase Rio Coco Bean coffee. Click Here!
3) Support one of our missionaries;
4) Help us buy school supplies.
You may donate online at
Thanks for spending your time with us this month.
Michael for all the team.