HIS ORIGINAL DESIGN :: Missionaries serving in Texas, Louisiana & Guatemala

Thursday, March 20, 2014

His Original Design

 Restoring The Foundations Ministry

Greetings from Houston, Texas, ya’ll!!  Everything is big in Texas…. including God’s plans!! 

We have been invited to attend a worldwide ministry school  . . .  and we are asking you to partner with us! 

Fatherheart Ministries (www.fatherheart.net), based in Taupo, New Zealand, has invited us to attend a special four-week ministry school for a select group of 26 ministers from around the world.  We believe this ministry school is God’s plan to take our ministry and us to a new level.

2014 marks the seventh year we have been serving as full-time missionaries; five years in Guatemala and now two years in the United States.  Since 2009, we have been ministering God’s miraculous healing of the heart through Restoring The Foundations Ministry (RTF) (www.restoringyourlife.org).  We are missionaries who believe heavily on relationship-based support and do not receive a salary of any kind for what we are doing. 

We know God is in the midst of our ministry and our call to this ministry school.  He has shown us that, if we ask, it will be done.  So we are asking.  And we are seeking.  Will you invest in us through a tax-deductible donation?

We need $7,000 for the month-long school in Taupo, New Zealand, which includes the school fees, food, lodging and local transportation and we also need approximately $3,000 for the round-trip airfare.  We invite you to join us by partnering with us financially and in prayer. 

To make a tax-deductible contribution, click the DONATE Paypal button to the right on this page.  (We are in the process of updating our blog and creating a web site.)

Our hearts are full of gratitude, thanksgiving and love for you!   Thank you so much for your love for us! 

Abundant love + blessings,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Threshing Floor 
by Joanna Goodwin

When you hear someone talking about a threshing floor, what do you think of? Threshing floors were used at harvest time to separate the grain from the chaff; they were vital to the harvesting process and the life of the people. They were of high value and were subject to attack. Similarly, through the RTF process, lies get separated out and truth is received, transforming and changing us as God wants to do, from one degree of glory to another. 

Looking at this analogy as both ministers and ministry receivers, if we are practicing what we teach, we will be continually using the tools to go forward with God. Separating out the curses from the blessings, the lies from the truth and allowing God to change hurts to healings and oppression to freedom. That can be an uneasy and uncomfortable process. However, for the relatively small amount of time it takes, it’s worth it to receive freedom! It takes effort on everyone’s part along with the Holy Spirit blowing through like the breeze, highlighting areas God wants to target and heal. 

As Christians, we talk about a mountain-top experience or a face-to-face encounter with God. It is more of a face to feet experience, a place of total vulnerability. At the threshing floor, most people in the Bible – Ruth, Gideon, David, Isaac –recognized the sovereignty of God. Without Him, we are and can be nothing but miserable, lost, fearful, etc. 

Our personal threshing floor becomes a landmark experience in our lives and in the lives of our receivers. It is a moment marked in time. It also makes us subject to attack. That’s why it’s so important, for us as ministers and our receivers, to walk out our healing. Are you currently working on some GB’s? Do you regularly take those little hurts to God for healing? Do you command the enemy to go or allow him a foothold? Maybe ask yourself, "How am I doing right now?" If we don’t have the experience, we won’t reap the blessing. 

Through ministry, we come to meet with Christ regardless of whether our plan is to be an RTF minister, or as a receiver, we want a deeper relationship with Christ. That’s what the process is about, to meet with and deepen our relationship with God and recognize each other. It’s no coincidence that Ruth went to the threshing floor to meet Boaz. Boaz represents Christ, and Ruth, the Bride of Christ, who as ministers we long to see without spot or wrinkle. This reminds us again, that the meaning of the threshing floor is a place where the Bride and Bridegroom meet and recognize one another. 

Keep coming to the threshing floor. Allow God to blow the chaff away. You will be cleansed and sanctified by the washing of His word, full of His mercy, truth, humility, forgiveness, love, peace, and grace as Colossians tells us. That’s what the process will do! Then, as written Isaiah 61, we can put on a garment of praise! Amen!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The clock...

I'm watching the clock on the wall...the second hand sweeps around silently, relentlessly.  I realize what's ahead of that second hand is still to come...and what's behind it has gone by. Makes me think. I want to have what's gone by be good and fruitful...and that only comes by being fruitful in what is still to come. Now is the time...to make a difference...that second just keeps on moving...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Great Rain...

We love Houston.  We love Texas.  We love rain.  Last night we were in the midst of all three.  And we learned that our "cute, little" town home is not waterproof.  We had a gullywasher hit just as we were going to bed...lightening, wind and sheets of rain.  Very hurricanesque, actually.  We got out of bed and looked out into the storm, glad we were safe, secure and dry.  Yes, well...  Come this morning, Denny goes downstairs to start the coffee maker and discovers that our "cute, little" deck had flooded.  The little drain in the middle was just too small for the deluge...so the water crested the 6" sills at the doors into the living room, office and garage, soaking the rugs and threatening our electronics in the office.
Now...we have all the fans on...drying out.  But we still love it here...and we love what we're doing, and the people we commune with on a weekly basis.  God is good...all the time...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Father's Handy Work . . . .

Four years ago today, on September 13, 2007, we boarded a plane in Denver with six bags, headed for Guatemala and whatever the Lord had in store for us.  Wow! 

Some people say they would like to know what God has planned for them.  The unknown bothers them or even frightens them.  When we look back over the past four years, we see why Father tells us to just think about today…that today holds all we need to think about.  Had we even a glimpse of what Father had in store for us in Guatemala, we would have known for sure He had the wrong people.   We were wounded, unqualified, unprepared, unequipped, weak, unsure, isolated and more.   In other words, we were perfectly qualified by God’s standards. We were imperfect, raw lumps of clay in the Master’s hands, ready and willing to be molded on the Potter’s wheel.

Copyrighted photo used w/permission from Jon Arrowood
(In His Image Photography) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonarrowood/
He’s done exactly as He said He would.   The Lord has grown us, stretched us, taught us, introduced us to some amazing people, exposed us to some once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and led us into an amazing ministry that allows us to work together as husband and wife.  He has given us a deeper and growing understanding of Him that continues to heal and brings joy into our lives.  God has protected us and provided all we’ve needed.   And He has now given us a new mission field, full of challenges that we can only accomplish through Him.   We look forward to our next “season” in the U.S.

Copyrighted photo used w/permission from Jon Arrowood
(In His Image Photography) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonarrowood/

We look forward to spending time with our friends back in the States as our new season unfolds, and we are so grateful for the family God gave us in Guatemala.  

The Potter’s wheel is still turning!   We are work in progress….continuing to be molded and formed in His hands.  The fine, detailed work is yet to be completed as we continue to be shaped into His Original Design.  

Please hang on. . . .this ride is about to begin!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Season ...... New Beginning .....

The first phase of our transition from the mission field in Guatemala to our mission field in the United States is completed.  We sent out the announcement…and are responding to those who have so graciously responded to this shift in our lives. 

At the same time, we are beginning preparations for moving  - taking inventory of what we have and praying for someone to come to Guatemala who wants to move into a lovely, furnished home – and is willing to pay a fair price for the furnishings. 

As we enter the short, transition period between now and our return to the United States, we will try to keep you updated on our progress, what’s happening here, and just some thoughts we have as we move into our new season of ministry up there.  This is the first of those updates…

The news of our leaving Guatemala has now pretty much spread throughout the entire missionary community down here.  Everyone is excited for us….for the new mission field we are going to…but they are also sad to see us go.  We’ve done a lot here.  Several of our friends have mentioned all that we’ve been able to do in just a few short years…how many different missions we have worked with; how many missions are still using some of the tools we helped create for them .  Of course all of this was because of the Lord’s leading…and all the praise, glory and honor go to Him. 

As He’s led us, we’ve helped a mission that has a school for special needs Guatemalan children; we’ve produced videos missionaries use in churches and bible study groups to help raise funds when they go back to the states; we’ve helped a mission that builds, refurbishes and provides wheelchairs for Guatemalan children with physical handicaps (some of these children grew up crawling around in the dirt because they didn’t have a wheelchair); we’ve helped a missionary who, weekly for 18 years, provides fresh fruits, vegetables and the word of God to a poor village near Guatemala City; we’ve worked with missions who serve in some of the most dangerous ghettos in Central America – La Limonada, Peronia, and populations who live on the dumps in Guatemala City and Sumpango. 

We’ve helped with the construction of homes in villages; helped build and install water filters and high-efficiency stoves in Guatemalan’s homes in poor villages; we’ve helped assemble bunk beds in children’s homes and for a local YWAM base; we’ve used the little truck God provided for us to haul provisions to and help missionaries move, and haul 30 mattresses to the local YWAM base; we’ve provided financial support to missionaries who need gas for their vehicle, minutes in their phone, or cash to cover costs until their support check clears.  We’ve produced  signage and placed ads in local publications to help our local church increase awareness throughout the mission community, and we weekly upload the sermons onto the internet which are then used to teach in the church’s rehabilitation center in Nicaragua. 

We’ve helped children’s homes feed the children; we’ve held babies who are awaiting surgeries in a charity hospital.  We’ve provided emotional support and emotional & spiritual healing ministry to more than 50 missionaries, pastors and some of their family members, some of whom live in extremely dangerous parts of Guatemala, where the Mexican drug cartels are trying to gain a foothold in Guatemala. 

We continue to meet with and provide spiritual support and insight with many of the missionaries who have no one else with whom they can confidentially share their feelings and thoughts.  We’ve helped with dozens of mission teams who come here to serve.  When we stop and think about it, we have done a lot in just a few years.  Through it all, we have learned a lot…and we’ll be using all we’ve learned to continue our mission after we return to the states.

The bigger question is..... what has Father done in our lives???

 - stay tuned.... more in future posts....  :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Treasures In the Dump

When I was growing up – eons ago – we had very little trash.  Or, as some call it, garbage.  Coming through the Depression Era, my parents used everything until things just seemed to vanish.  For instance, we’d use a food colander until it was too rusty.  Then we’d use it to sift dirt we put into planters.  Food scraps, if any after feeding seven, went to the dogs, cats, hogs, chickens or ducks.  Ducks will eat anything, incidentally.  And I couldn’t count the mason jars my dad had filled with bent nails, rusted bolts and nuts.  What we couldn’t salvage, went on the “burn pile.” Whatever little survived all that went to the dump.  Trips to the dump were few and far between, but us kids would always find a treasure to take home – broken toys, wheels of any variety, anything our imaginations could put to a good use. 

Today, things are different.  Today, almost everything is disposable.  In the university town I lived in, divers made a killing at the end of each school year, finding everything from good furniture to functioning laptops. Recently, university made campus dumpsters off-limits for “safety reasons.” Now, all that stuff is now going to the landfill.  But, unlike my childhood days, “recycling” from the dump is now prohibited – also for “safety reasons.”  Probably a good thing.  Dumps are dangerous and dirty places.  But in Guatemala, dump recycling is not just for kids.  It is an industry for thousands of people; generations of men, women and children have turned trash into business that allows them to survive in a very tough world.  They have a name for what they do, and they will tell you if you ask.  “I am a Scavenger.”

The Guatemala City dump is one of the largest in Central America.  Every day, millions of tons of trash is dumped there.  And every day, hundreds of Scavengers claw through it, searching for anything that has value – plastics, steel, glass, cardboard, electronics, wires, rope, clothing, car parts, toy parts and more.  And over the years, a community of tens-of-thousands has grown up around the dump – men, women and children.  Originally, they lived in what they scavenged – dirt-floor homes with cardboard walls and plastic tarps or a piece of scrap tin for a roof; sleeping on filthy, discarded mattresses; sitting on broken plastic stools.   Today, their lot has improved somewhat.  Small, concrete block homes are being constructed with support from ministries like one we recently visited – Potter’s House.

Potter’s House has been serving the Guatemala City dump population for nearly 25 years.  Their 25th year celebration will be this Christmas.  It was on Christmas Eve in 1986 when a group of missionaries decided to provide a Christmas meal for those who lived and worked on the city’s dump.  The good works of Potter’s House has grown exponentially since then.  The objective of Potter’s House is not to try to change the culture of those who live there, but to bring a better life to them.  Out of their center just a few blocks from the dump – and smack in the middle of the dump community – the Potter’s House staff and volunteers provide feeding programs, life skills training, tutoring for children, English language and computer classes, and basic medical, dental and pharmacy services.  Mission teams come several times a year bringing supplies, helping construct homes in the community – clearly identified by their blue and yellow paint – the official colors of the Potter’s House ministry.  Medical and dental teams provide as much primary care as they can to as many as possible in the short time they are here. 

Because of the large population, representatives from within the dump community have been selected to help coordinate the services Potter’s House provides.  These representatives meet with Potter’s House staff every few weeks to coordinate services including home construction, medical services and social and safety issues.  Even with all Potter’s House is able to do, the physical needs here are barely touched.  But there is one need being addressed that is making radical differences in the community – the need to be valued.
Because of where they live, what they do, where they were born and where they are raised – on the dump – they begin to take on the belief that they, like what they scavenge, are trash, garbage, waste.  Too often, that belief is reinforced by others who, although desperately poor also, see themselves as better than the scavengers. 

But those who work in the community through Potter’s House see them as God sees them, and to Him, they are Treasures to be loved, appreciated and honored as His children.   Treasures.  Indeed they are.  They may be poor in possessions, but they are rich in spirit, and willing to share it with others.  


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Flowers

The Beautiful Colors of Antigua!!!

Pillas near Hermano Pedro Hospital

Add caption

Chicken Bus -  Sumpango-Antigua

San Francisco Cathedral Entrance

Arch Street

Catholic Church in Main Square

Grandkids ARE THE BEST!!!

Reagan - playing Hide & Seek!!!
Parker - Dinner time!!
Reagan - Playing

Reagan, Sharon (Mommy), Parker
Reagan & Eat Mor Chikin Cowz (Chick-Fil-A)

Parker & Mommy
Reagan - Playing

Reagan & Papa making silly faces!!

What's For Dinner Parker?  Hot Dogs!!!

Reagan @ The Denver Zoo

Play overdose!!!

Thank You!!!

Thanks to all of you who continue to support our mission here.  
You are a blessing not only to us…but to those to whom we minister. 

Training in Guatemala!!

In April, we participated in a Healing and Deliverance seminar and an RTF Issue-Focused Activation with a team of trainers from Restoring the Foundations headquarters in North Carolina. 

Sherry & Joanna

Our participation was the first step in our training that will, eventually, allow us to conduct Issue-Focused Activations on our own.  Thanks to Joanna Goodwin and Sherry Douglas for this opportunity. 

Phyllis, Denny, Joanna, Sherry - Roach Coach Tacos!!!  Yummmmmmmm