By now some of you already know that our night watchman was killed while working on the clinic property Friday night. Unfortunately it is common here for watchman like this to be killed...because the people doing the killing want the weapon the watchman is carrying. They were not interested in his cash (Oscar had just paid him) nor the keys to the clinic. While these things might be frequent in Honduras, it still hit us hard. We are dealing with that...in both the physical and the spiritual.
The safety of our staff and groups is as it has been...we have not had any issues in that regard, and while these latest incidents are concerning...it is not stopping the clinic work...they were all there Monday morning as usual. We have visitors, a visiting OD, her husband and one year old son as well as her parents, that are with us for a week. But I am sure by sharing this news...some people might be uneasy about coming in groups, but I would rather be honest and especially as it pertains to asking for prayer for us, for his family, and for help in finishing the wall we need to really keep the property...and that which is inside it, safe rather than start hiding things that are happening here.
During the day, and inside the mission house and the man cave, we have not had any problems...the same now as in the past. Now that there are protective barriers on the inside of the clinic...we are not having problems there either, for the last several weeks. Here is a picture of what those look like installed. Basically if someone tries to pry off the bars on the outside of the windows...they also have to break through this other “window” on the inside of the windows. We also installed the motion sensor alarm, have the cameras working...and a few other measures I won’t list here to add to a safer work environment.
Most of this spiritual warfare that is attacking has been just that...trying to get us off balance, trying to get us to doubt or change what we are doing as a ministry, stop or give up.
Someone asked me when I was in the US after listing a few of the difficulties that she remembered we had gone through how many times we had thought about packing up and leaving. It hit me as I answered “none”...and seeing the surprise in her at hearing that... that what she was asking made some logical sense...from a human point of view. I can only credit the prayers of so many for strength, peace and wisdom that are actually working for our ability to keep doing what we are doing and ignoring the human fears and worries and instead...staying in His plan for us, which after all is the safest place on Earth we could be. If God is calling you on a short term trip here...or to go to a "bad neighborhood" where you live to serve, drive an old car, or whatever the case might be...the same goes for all of us, and is something we all need to remember and be reminded of on a regular basis.
Case in point: We have still had problems getting the plates for the buses done so we could get them turned over for use with the Church. While we have been fixing some of the minor body issues...adults and youth during the day, afternoon, and night, have been disturbing our peace of mind with violence against those buses...both stealing whatever they can off them, to also just destroying what they can just for “fun” (they broke off the gear selector lever for no apparent reason...stole the fan for the driver, tried to steal the inside mirrors, radio...you name it. You can also see they stole a few of the lights off the front of the bus) We have tried to be proactive in removing that which can be stolen, and hope to get them finished soon, but it again is something attacking our peace of mind, but not our peace of Spirit.
We were aiming all our fundraising efforts at the new Church construction, a project we really need to start and finish before this time next year...but the persistent dangers, problems, and thefts are requiring us to invest some money into finishing the fence and securing it with serpentine wire to prevent people from jumping the fence, etc. A brother in Indiana has raised $3,800 to this end, but to actually get to where we need to be, to be done and secure, we will likely end up needing up to $15,000 more. We will be working on this with a group arriving at the end of the December, and as well with local staff as soon as we have enough funds in place to get started.
So...we pray that we will get where we need to be, and as soon as possible....and that we get there continuing to trust in Him for all our needs, and to praise and glorify Him in all circumstances.