Thursday, November 6, 2014
More Transitions and Transformation
Time seems to be passing at record speed. Does it feel that way in your part of the world? I feel as though time is this speeding roller coaster going faster and faster and I am hanging on with a white knuckled grip.
Though time is barreling ahead, life has been wrought with more and more transitions and transformations. I have officially resigned from my service with Hospital Loma de Luz having spent nearly a third of my life under their leadership. God clearly told me when I left for Honduras almost nine years ago that this starting place would be a training ground. It has trained me well.
I am still a foster mom and substitute family with child welfare here in Honduras. I have had boys in my home for three years now. God continues to lead and grow this vision of a family style home where children can live and grow in a loving Christian environment, receive an education and learn life skills and a trade, and return to wherever God will send them as strong Christian adult leaders.
As most of you reading this already know, our official name was taken from the Pool of Bethesda in the Bible. This place like the Pool of Bethesda is and has been a place of healing, mercy, and restoration. Here at Bethesda Home for Boys, I have watched discarded children transformed out of poverty and darkness into His glorious Light. They are changed. They have a hunger for His word. They are learning God’s word and they believe it and they act upon it. Their powerful prayers continually undo me and when we study the Bible and pray together each night…His presence is always there in a powerful way.
What has brought transformation to these ones? I started seeing tangible change when we implemented nightly Bible study and prayer. No plan. No agenda or formal teaching material. God laid it on my heart to open His word, read it together, and talk about it. His word is living, and active, and sharper than a two edged sword. I’ve seen His word bring conviction and correction. I’ve seen His word demonstrate love in a time of great need. I’ve seen His word bring comfort to these boy’s lives. It truly has been a healing balm and a light for this new road He has brought them to. They know He is their source and their hope and that with Him all things are possible.
After each of us take turns reading from a chapter in the Bible each night, we share which verses spoke to us, or which verses we like and why. Hearing their thoughts each night is a great measuring rod of how deep God has taken them. I love it when one of the boys will randomly come looking for me with their Bible in hand to share a verse of Scripture that has just leapt off the page to him.
Next to unconditional love, giving these boys boundaries and responsibilities has brought about transformation. They work diligently in our home doing their daily chores and also help with the farm work. We do everything from planting, to harvesting, to shucking corn and shelling our own beans.
I am humbled and honored to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of these boys he has brought to this home. He is about restoration here. He has surely made something beautiful out of brokenness. I know that God is going to use these boys to shake this nation. Instead of Honduras being the most violent nation in the world, we will see it turned upside down and full of His peace, love, and presence.
Bethesda Farm Project:
Our farm continues to grow and expand. We have planted another 400 and some odd cacao trees (cocoa) bringing our total to over 1,600 trees. We are harvesting a little at present but once the trees grow more and more we hope that this will help sustain our home. We have just planted 40 pounds of frijoles (beans) and 20 pounds of corn. We also use this to help feed us. The beans will be a huge blessing as they are currently hard to find and when you do find them they are really expensive. Beans are a staple here.
Before the rainy season set in we would daily go up to our farm and work or sometimes just to watch the monkeys and toucans play. There is such a sense of peace there. We also enjoy running through the orchards and picking oranges, mangoes, or pineapples and eating them on the spot.
We are waiting for God to provide the funding and laborers to finish our house on the mountain…All in His perfect time. We are blessed by the workers who care for our land and help maintain all that He has given us.
*So far the road that was built up to our new farm and property is holding up well under frequent torrential rains.
*We have been blessed by a year full of teams and individuals that God has sent to serve with us.
*God has surrounded us with a community of friends with servant’s hearts who encourage us and walk this ministry out with us.
*Bethesda Home for Boys has received it’s federal non profit status but we are awaiting final approval for the state exemption.
*Our boys are finishing up the school year. All are excelling in their studies. We are thankful for the people who lead them in Bible studies and who mentor them.
*Students from the agricultural college in La Ceiba will be mentoring and teaching our boys how to plant a garden and how to maintain it. We are so grateful for this opportunity.
*The current downpour of rain reminds me of God’s goodness in holding back the water and clearly keeps it from passing our gate.
*Continued safety and spiritual growth of our boys.
*Full time longer term volunteers for our home. Areas of need are Mentorship/Leadership, Administrative, Maintenance, and Construction.
*Newer reliable vehicle. Roads here are rough and harsh on vehicles.
*Additional monthly supporters. If you would like to sow into the lives of one of our boys, we could use your help in praying for them, in providing food, electricity, education, clothing, etc. for them. I am amazed at how God continues to provide for us!
*Small work teams: To help with shoring up our new property (by putting in retaining walls and culverts) and finishing the unfinished house on our farm.
How to Reach Us:
Lisa Bradley’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Lisa Graham Bradley or like our page at Bethesda Home for Boys.
How to Support Us:
Financial donations can be made payable and sent to my mission board, International Gospel Outreach. Please be sure to include a note that states your gift is for “Lisa Bradley” or “Bethesda Home for Boys”:
International Gospel Outreach
PO Box 1008
Semmes, AL 36575