I wanted to let you know about an exciting event that I’m going to be a part of soon. On Saturday, August 25th, FOCUS Group Ministries is having their annual Walk-a-Thon and I’m asking you to pledge your support for my Walking Team. The 1.5 mile course begins at 10:30am at Victor Ashe Park off Bradshaw Rd.
FOCUS is a 501c3 non-denominational Christian Ministry located in Knoxville. As a FOCUS teammate, I’ve witnessed firsthand God doing incredible work in the lives of youth, women, and men in the East Tennessee Criminal Justice System. The purpose of this year’s event is to highlight how FOCUS helps restore families who have been affected by incarceration. On August 25th a FOCUS family member (student, former student, volunteer, etc.) will join my family as we walk, getting to know each other and celebrating how God builds His kingdom in such powerful ways!!
I hope you can see that I’m excited to support this ministry in their “Changing FOCUS, Changing FAMILIES Walk-A-Thon” – we believe it’s worth the walk!
Every single night we all walk away from the church service thinking that nothing can top what we just experienced, but tonight the Holy Spirit roared into the church we were at in Comayagua. No amount of words can explain the power that I felt surging through the church last night. Pastor DuPont had each person stand around the edges of the church in pairs of two. We prayed and then everyone marched around the church 7 times praying and truly having time to think about God. On the 7th time, everyone cheered and praised God for all He has done. There is no way to explain through this blog how the rain came and went during the powerful moments of the service. As the story of Jericho was being told the rain would pour down like you have never heard before. Then as the people would pray harder and harder, the rain would fall even harder. Once the service was over the rain just stopped. It was an indescribable experience! It was so awesome to see people jumping up and down for Our Lord. Before coming on this trip, I seemed to be so worried about the language differences, but I have come to find out that God’s glory and power overcomes any language barriers that we might encounter. As Pastor Terry called the congregation to the front for prayer you could just feel the Holy Spirit’s presence fill the place. We prayed over the people for a long time, it is so awesome to know that all the way here in Comayagua that we serve the same God. Three people gave thier lives to Christ that night! One memory that we will never forget is the one little girl that clung to Shaylee. She wouldn’t let go, she just prayed and prayed. We called her our little prayer warrior. Shaylee said that she was praying but she just felt God tell her to be still and let the little girl do the praying. Even though she had no idea what was being said , she could just feel the Holy Spirit at work.
Leaving this service tonight, my heart was shattered and my eyes were opened as I watched two faithful churchgoers, a mom and her 2 year old daughter, walk out of the church. As the little girl took a step out of the church, her foot completely sunk down into mud from how hard it had been raining. Then it hit me that I was about to get into a dry, warm van and be able to drive back to a house with running water, electricity, and a hot meal. However, for this mother and her little daughter, this was probably not the case. On the ride home I kept picturing this family walking back through the muddy dirt roads of Comayagua and entering a home where they would definitely not be able to enjoy these luxuries. For the 15 minute drive back home, I cried the entire way. God has truly opened my eyes here in Honduras. I have not only been able to experience people’s souls being saved and the Holy Spirit moving in me like I never have before, but I have also come to realize how blessed I truly am and what all I take for granted. I will never forget this mother and daughter. Just continue to pray for our team here in Honduras. Pray that a revival will spread like a wild fire and that we can continue to use our gifts and spread the word of God to the people of Comayagua!
– Lauren Murphy & Kelsey Shreve
Today is Tuesday, August 7. The devotional focus for the day was not to be lax in doing the Lord’s work, coming out of Jeremiah 48:10 and Jeremiah 23:23-32.
The Faith Promise mission team here in Honduras continues to reach out and love on the children of Comayagua through Vacation Bible School. Today it was 80 2nd graders of Inmaculada Concepcion. As our leaders told stories, played, prayed, and made crafts with the children, there were many who raised their hands to say they accepted Christ into their hearts for the first time. Smiles, high-fives and hugs from the kids, then we were off to lunch and to do door-to-door evangelism for the first time.
As we entered each house of the neighborhood and began sharing the message of Christ with the residents, we were pitted against several challenges: Mormonism, Catholicism, “I’m not ready,” “Go away,” etc. But despite all that, we still returned in a short 2 hours with over 20 decisions for Christ. Some of them were young men, teenage girls, and elder women all the same. The seeds have been planted!
The night service, too, was filled with particular vigor. We picked up a drummer! He is the brother of the Pastor of CCI. He played with the Faith Promise band for the first time tonight and certainly elevated our worship because of his passion for the Lord. The Holy Spirit filled the church—El Camino de la Palabara (The Way of the Word)—we worshipped with the people of Comayagua, and were refueled by the presence of the Holy Spirit. “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength!”
At the end of Matthew Christ gives a statement. A statement that should not be taken lightly. He says to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He also tells them to teach them the commands that Jesus has taught them.” This is a statement that he gives us to live out everyday. This statement should be our lives. One of the things I have realized this week is that we get so caught up in the next thing in our lives: What College am i going to, when am i going to get a promotion, what vacation are we going on next summer. We get so caught up in the world, and we miss what God has for us. We miss that there are people out in this world, and even in America who don’t know who Christ is, and they don’t have clothes, and don’t know when they are going to have their next meal. The truth is that we don’t have to go to another country to do missions. We don’t have to spend all day in a airport and on a airplane to do missions. We can do missions right across the street where we live. We went to feed children today. Most of the kids we served the meal to today is the only meal they would have.
“Recibe toda la gloria
Recibe toda la honra
Precioso hijo de Dios.”
Today we truly experienced that God’s Holy Spirit, His love, and His compassion transcends all languages. The trip started off with a free christian concert (performed by Faith Promise) followed by a short message. Three people openly gave their lives to Christ that morning! After the service we began to pass out food to all who came and you could see the smiles on their face because they were so thankful, without this food they may not have eaten that day.
Last night we went to perform at CCI church down the road. It was a much bigger service than we had put on that morning. Worship was absolutely amazing. You could sense the Holy Spirit in that room. Hands were raised and tears were pouring as we sang. When asked who accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts for the first time, one man probably in his mid twenties stepped out boldly to come and talk to Pastor Dupont. There was just something about this man and his presence that brought tears to the eyes of many. You could tell that in that moment he was in completely humbled and in awe of the Holy Spirit moving through him. At the end of the service, we were asked to come to the front of the church as all of the congregation prayed over us. Even though we didn’t have slightest clue what everyone was saying as they prayed. I know it was one of the most powerful experiences that many of us have ever had. It is truly remarkable how we all serve the same God; no matter where or who we are. He understands and loves us all.
We are so blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus this week, we appreciate all of your prayers!
Tonight is our last night in Haiti. We are staying at a beautiful resort called Wahoo Bay. Today has been pretty rough. I have leaved so much about myself and love of my heavenly Father.
Today as we were all sitting on a beautiful beach, it hit me that we were enjoying a resort that most Haitians have never even see. It is hard for me to write about the things that I have seen and heard without sobbing. While talking to Blunt, the translator for our trip, I heard the pain in his heart and a cry for help. Blunt is only 30 and he has a story that will absolutely break your heart. See, because he knows English so well he had to deliver news to people that had lost loved ones. Because of this people blamed him, hated him and even discontinued friendships with him. He lived in total darkness and fear for ten days until the USA showed up with relief. People still have not been found and the violence is worst it has ever been. People starve everyday and others wonder when they will eat next or have a meal for their children. There are no jobs and because so many people sell the same baked goods the average person may not sell anything for days. Again and I have said this before, you cannot believe how these people must live just to survive another day.
At this point in my week I am emotional, mentally and physically drained. So many thoughts go through your mind about how you can fix this broken part of the world. How you can show the love of Christ in a country who has no love for itself or it’s people? How you can push through the language barrier and preach to the children who have no one physically but have an amazing heavenly Father that loves them unconditionally and has given them grace and mercy?
Pray that there is a complete, total and radical change through the love of our Lord and Savior. For as we know he is the only one who can truly change and save this country. Pray not only for Faith Promise Missions but missionaries who come in and out daily. Pray that we all have a light that is so bright that God’s love is undeniable.
Thank you all so much for following our team and praying for us daily.