November 2019 Conchshell Chronicles

Rainy Season

It’s Rainy Season on the Coco River these past weeks. Flooding, Bugs & Mud. 

Kids play “mud soccer”.

Travel through the region  is very difficult in this season.   I remember a trip we made in 1987 (during the war years). We lived in a refugee village in Auka Honduras, which was located on the Kruta River, only seven miles by air from the Coco River. During the rainy season the trail was impassable. Instead we had to travel down the Kruta River in our mahogany canoe to a village called Tikiraya, where we slept in our tents. A stream joined the Kruta here, and we drove up this steam to a place called “Alligator Springs”. There we unloaded our boat and rented horses from a local guy to haul our 25 hp motor, school supplies, and gasoline on a seven-mile trail through the jungle to Utlamatha, which is on the Coco River.

Normally this trip on foot took an hour during the dry season or up to four hours during the rain time. Once in Utlamatha, we loaded our other boat and headed upriver to our house in Sawa, which was then located on the Honduran side of the river.

I remember this particular trip because on the return from Utlamatha, our friend Trano would not rent us his horses to  carry our outboard motor. The trail was too muddy and he feared for his horses. Truman, Ron (one of the founders of the ministry) and I decided to cut a bamboo pole and carry the motor to Alligator Springs. It was only 125 lbs. 

Photo: A drawing of Ron and Michael carrying the outboard motor.

Within a few minutes of entering the bush we found ourselves in mud over our ankles. We pressed on. Soon we were in mud up to mid-calf. Finally, we got stuck in mud up to our knees. The motor was swaying on that bamboo pole, and the bugs were eating us up. Truman and  a friend named Jim came and rescued us, and they carried the motor for five minutes before getting bogged down. We switched off. After about an hour we were exhausted, and stopped for rest, but the bugs were so intense! We agreed to have two on each end, and it took us another two hours to make it to Alligator Springs. It was one of the most physical challenging events of my life!

I was so dirty that I flopped into the brackish water not    regarding why the place was named “Alligator Springs”, but made the mistake of immersing my head in that black water. That resulted in a severe ear infection two days later!

These monthly trips during the rainy season from Auka to Sawa were always major effort, with the mud, dirty water, and bugs. I praise Truman, Tom and our team for their endurance to such hardships.

Photo: Laura, Danilo & Augusto crossing

a foot bridge in Boom during Rainy Time.

Speaking of the bugs, I was sitting on Truman’s porch in Auka one night talking, with my handkerchief in hand swatting the bugs that were swarming around me. Biting mosquitoes. I noticed that Truman was unaffected by the bugs. They were concentrating on me.

So I asked him, “Truman, why are these bug not bothering you?”

With a straight face he said, “Because these are my friends.”

“So I must make friends with these insects?”   

He nodded “Yes”.

It was about five years later that Truman and I were downriver sitting on the porch of one of our teachers, and the bugs were chewing Truman up. He was constantly swinging his handkerchief and slapping the critters which were  sucking blood through his shirtsleeves and back.

I looked at him and said, “Truman, these insects are not your friends?”

He looked puzzled for a moment, and then remembered.

With his BIG smile he said: No they are not. They are from another village!”

We laughed and laughed for years on that moment.

Photo: Michael & Truman in Tegucigalpa in 1986.

Thankfully we have our “Bus” now that is taking our students and teachers from Sawa, Uran, and Sih to our high school in Living Creek. It is a small mahogany canoe with a 15 hp motor that our motorista Guido drives each school day, picking up students and teachers for the trip to the high school. Without this valuable vehicle, our students would not be attending classes on many of these rainy days.

We are entering our final month of classes, and it will soon be time for final exams. Amazingly, even though our school district is in the MOST remote location in all of Nicaragua, our students score final grades that are comparable with the rest of the country. This is undoubtedly because of the prayers of many of you, along with the regular visit of our supervisors Danilo, Tom & Nutie encouraging and equipping our teachers for the difficult task of managing 1678     students, in eight communities. It helps that we have been able to purchase the needed school supplies, and the gasoline each month to make the trips down river. Thanks to you who are making your gifts to this project! Without you it would be impossible.

Imagine thinking in 1986 when we began Project Ezra that it would be still be doing this 33 years later! We never had that in mind.

Photo: Truman, Danilo, Sofia, Michael & Augusto 2012

The Plans of God are often astounding to us when we look back and see where He has directed us day by day, year by year.    Michael



Lamb Bleatings

I am feeling great Gratitude for those of you who have reached out to us via prayers, support and words that have encouraged us beyond what you can imagine.  Thank you for your input into our lives!  We continue to live by faith and do only what God leads us to moment by moment.  It has been an adventure of faith from start to present. We continue onward with many endeavors to reach our world.

As I reflect on the fact that we have been serving God along the Rio Coco for 30 plus years with a people group that are  largely ignored by the world who still live with no running water, electricity or any other modernization that we are accustomed to… I marvel and thank God and YOU.  We would not, could not and even should not be able to do anything without you and our ALL POWERFUL GOD.  Yet here we all are. 

Thank you for being in our lives and we ask the Lord to continue to move you in    obedience to all that He has yet to bring about for His glory and Namesake.  Please pray with us as we carry on His good and   perfect will…there is so much going on and we need His power, might, provision and wisdom as we go about His business.

I have been contemplating a few things about life, death, growth, relationships, and mostly God and his input into my heart and actions. I have also been contemplating why I get so angry about some things that hit me like a slap upside the head. 

I heard it said, “Always respond, never just react.” 

I think I can safely say that I am a very emotional reactionary type person especially if I take the reins off my mouth, not think twice and lose control over myself.  The results are absolutely 100% never good, but still I venture into this realm of stupidity repetitively.    When I even start thinking and/or judging those around me with, “If they would only.... why aren’t they.... hmmm what’s up with that ?”  I am an idiot when I venture down that path and don’t consider my own big fat Log stuck in my eye that is blind and can’t even see.  I disappoint myself when I go into this mode and begin to understand clearly why the Bible says to “Pray without ceasing. And in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus”.  When I stop talking to my Source of inspiration and thinking ungrateful thoughts, I go into a mode that is counterproductive to all that I believe in and am .... crazy how easily I can be distracted in this way which usually begins with me opening up my mouth which should have remained shut.   With prayers, self-control and gratitude absent, I let loose.

Takes a long time to recover from my waywardness for myself and those I actually say I love and cherish. I feel like an idiot and the price is too high to pay in good sustainable relationships.  My reactions never help with sustainability and goodness in the important things of life.

I have been learning hard lessons of the power of words in speaking Life or death through experience with my reckless tongue wagging detriment or being on the receiving end of thoughtless expressions that breathe death and discouragement. 

I am choosing to muzzle my mouth more. I am trying to choose to be a more effective source of encouragement and life rather than breathing out negativities which are already running rampant in our world today. 

A couple of weeks ago I tried to go on a negativity fast -- Note “tried”.   I really thought myself to be a quite positive person as a whole until I did this “fast” of no negative words.  I was a failure.  I realized how easy it was and is for unnecessary thoughts were to slip out and pollute the air.

We notice who we are by our judgement on others.  Take note. Judge not lest you be judged….the same measure is applied both ways…and that Law of the harvest…the ever present power of sowing and reaping…good begets good and well evil begets evil. 

My discipline of going back to my Heavenly Source of power, right thinking, feeling, love and emotional stability is key for me.  God my Father has been my best Psycho Therapist. I am trying to take every thought, word, Emotion and deed...
captive to the obedience of Christ ... it a conscious decision and discipline. 
Thank you again to many of you who pray for us.  We need it.  The battle is real, but so is our Victorious Eternal King…To Him be the glory!              Laura


Coffee Sale

This month, we are offering   $ 3.00 off our 12 oz Nicaraguan bags of coffee!

Light or Dark Roast. 

Simply go to and enter NOVEMBERSALE at checkout. 

Remember that the profits from these sales help us fund the school project in Nicaragua!    Drink Up!


Let’s Give Thanks!

1) For the opportunity to get a new leg for Augusto!

2) That 1678 children are receiving education each week!

3) That we could pay our teachers this month!

 If you want to help out this month, donate online at     


Fire Your Spiritual Arrows

Please pray that God would

1)  Allow the parts for Augusto’s leg to pass through customs on the 18th! The others are being held up in customs awaiting a payment of $$$.

2)  Provide for all the financial needs of our missionaries in Nicaragua, Florida & Utila.

3) Safe travels for Michael & Laura this month as they return to Utila.                  Thanks for your prayers!


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