Honduras Mission Trip January 2023 January 22-29, 2023
Team Members: Kathie Phillips, Bill Phillips, Meredith Kronz, Karen Stine, Bill Stine, Linda Okey, Janina Cushman, Rob Cushman, Hannah McVey, Barbara Wolf, Mike Anhalt, K.C. Murphy, Sarah Brighton, Caroline O’Brien, Vanessa Treacy and Emma George.
Please pray for us as we travel to Honduras to minister alongside our missionaries, Betsy Hake and Elvia Forgas, at Jericho Villas. Pray for protection as we travel and for “Divine Appointments” along the way and while we are there. Pray for unity among the Team, and that God would use us to touch the lives of the abused and abandoned children who reside at Jericho Villas.
We begin each morning with Team Devotions. Please feel free to follow along with us and pray for and with us each day.
•Sunday, January 22 – Travel Day (Pray for our safety as we travel to Honduras)
•Monday, January 23 – Devotion One
•Tuesday, January 24– Devotion Two
• Wednesday , January 25 – Devotion Three
• Thursday, January 26 – Devotion Four
• Friday, January 27 – Devotion Five
•Saturday, January 28 – Devotion Six
• Sunday, January 29 – Travel Day (Pray for our safety as we travel Home)
St. Luke’s Church, Hilton Head Island, SC Honduras Short Term Mission Trip Devotions January 22 – 29, 2023
There are a total of seventeen of us going to Honduras this year. As we have talked about in our team meetings, God is totally in charge of this trip (as He is in charge of everything that touches us no matter where we are or what we are doing). Things may happen that we don’t like or that we didn’t plan to have happen but let us all remember that God wants us to be changed into His image and that cannot happen if we always get our own way. He often puts us in situations in which we find that we are totally out of control! Get ready for an adventure! Our prayer is that we all come away with a new understanding of discipleship and of God’s great grace and mercy to us and that we begin to learn what it means to follow Him wherever He leads. Please read the next couple of pages carefully.
You will see on the next sheet that each of us has been assigned a day to facilitate our morning devotions. You will be doing them in teams. We will be starting out talking about the sovereignty of God in our lives. What does it mean? What is God teaching us and where is He leading us? In the schedule of who is doing the devotions when, the first name is the leader for the day.
As you read the Scripture this week, please try reading it the following way: We have been taught to read in a very culturally specific way that puts us in control of what we read. If we are reading something that does not engage us in the way we have been programmed to like, then we often put the book we are reading down, never to pick it up again. Have any of you ever done that? That type of reading is not helpful as we seek to read Scripture with God in control. Our reading is usually to gather information, even if we are reading a novel, and we are in control of the information we find within the pages of a book. This week let’s try a different type of reading. To keep it simple:
1. First priority: to listen to God. Listen for God to speak in and through, around and under and over, within, behind and in front of everything we read. Keep asking what God is saying to you specifically in the particular Scripture you are reading. 2. Respond to the text with heart and spirit and not with our normal, rational, cognitive intellects. We want to let Jesus go deeper into the areas of our hearts that have been closed because we have been in control. 3. Let our response take place in the deeper levels of our being. Ask how do I feel about what is being said? How do I react? How do I respond deep within? What is stirring deep in my spirit? Then ask the same questions with why instead of what and how. Maybe jot some of the answers down in the journal at the back of the devotions.
You are receiving two copies of these devotions, one for you and one for your prayer partner. Choosing your prayer partner is one of the most important parts of this experience. Knowing that someone back home is doing the devotions with you and is praying can be very comforting and very up lifting…especially as we step into the unknown of what God has for us in Honduras. Ask someone close to you who you know will be in constant prayer for you while you are on the trip. When you get home, take some time to share about the trip with your prayer partner.
Our devotional time is the first thing after breakfast to gird us up for the day. We expect we will meet in the dining room. We will bring a few extra copies for anyone who should care to join us.
Pages have been added for journaling at the end of the devotions. You are strongly encouraged to journal, even if you have never done it before. If you don’t know what to write, just stop and pray and ask the Lord to speak to you…and then write down whatever comes to your mind in the next few minutes. Write down your reflections of what you have experienced during each day. Then, at some point in the future when God brings this journal to mind, go back and read it and let Him speak to you afresh about discipleship and His call on your life.
May God richly bless each and every one of us as we take off into unknown territory. God has something new for each of us (and for our Prayer Partners) during this time in Honduras. Let’s open our hearts and spirits to hear and see what He has for us.
With His love for us all, Kathie
Monday, January 23, 2023 Meredith, Karen and Linda
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 Bill P., Mike and Bill S.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Kathie, KC and Barbara
Thursday, January 26, 2023 Sarah, Vanessa and Caroline
Friday, January 27, 2023 Emma and Hannah
Saturday, January 28, 2023 Rob and Bill P.
Read this before we begin on Monday morning. What is the Sovereignty of God?
Scripture: John 6:65; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Kings 8:39; Revelation 21:6,7; Colossians 1:16,17; Jeremiah 32:17; Psalm 103:19 John MacArthur writes, “No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for their salvation.”
God is omniscient: knowing everything God is Omnipotent: having unlimited power; able to do anything God is omnipresent: present everywhere at the same time
There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. (Chip Ingram)
Let’s talk about how the sovereignty of God affects us. It is simply mind boggling that God knew before time began that we would be sitting here, after breakfast on January 23, 2023, talking about His sovereignty!
It is very difficult, especially for North Americans, to fully grasp this topic. We so like to think that we can do something under our own power...that somehow God needs our help. But this can bring more questions than answers. God wants us to seek Him first above everything else. How often do we seek other people, other answers when we have problems or come up against a stone wall? How many times do we seek God last? He has given us brains to use...hasn’t He? But, if we really believe He is sovereign, shouldn’t we go to Him first?
Getting a grasp on His sovereignty is a part of our Spiritual transformation. And it is HIS job to transform us into His image. This is why He came….to transform us, to give us new life so that we may be in fellowship with Him. God cannot have fellowship with sin, and it is His desire to free us from the bonds of sin. It is His great desire and plan that we should be transformed.
How does God’s sovereignty affect us: our faith, our daily lives, and our trust?
Prayer: Dear Lord, during this time away from the stresses and strains of our daily lives, please grant us ears to hear and hearts willing to follow where you are leading. Please give us an extra measure of your grace as we grapple with your sovereignty and give us grace to understand what you are saying to us in this. In your precious name, we pray. AMEN. Monday, January 23: What is God saying to us in Ephesians about His sovereignty, Spiritual formation, and our transformation?
Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-14
Let’s get ready to really delve into what God is saying to us through Paul’s words.
The introduction in the NLT says, “Paul began his lofty message with an overview of God’s work in the past, where God worked out His plans for the world. Paul then moved to the present, where God was saving and transforming those who believed in Christ.” As we study Ephesians, let’s keep this in mind.
Read the first 14 verses of the first chapter through at least a couple of times and underline or make notes in your Bible when the words jump out at you. What is God saying to YOU in these words?
Do we really want to be like Jesus? If we do, let’s take these words into our hearts and let’s cooperate with God as He works to transform us and bring us into an ever closer relationship with Him.
Let’s think and talk about this...what is God wanting to teach you. Why?
Notes: Prayer: Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for what you are teaching us. Work so in our hears that we want to know you more, serve you more, and most of all….love you more. Please send your Spirit to help us digest what it is that you are saying to us in these scriptures. And Lord, please open our ears to hear you as you lead and guide us today. In the name of Jesus, AMEN. Tuesday, January 24: In this section Paul talks about wisdom and power…do we really understand God’s wisdom and His power?
This is a short section of scripture…but it is packed full. As we read it and pray about what God is saying to each of us, spend some time thinking about wisdom and power…if you have a device that works here, you might look up the definitions of wisdom and power, especially spiritual wisdom and spiritual power.
Notes: Lord Jesus, we thank you for what we have learned this morning. Throughout today, please show us examples of your wisdom and your power. Show us how to recognize that it is your wisdom and power we need. Man’s wisdom and attempt at power always end up in disaster. Give us grace to see you clearly in the next days as we seek to serve you by serving those around us. In your name we pray, AMEN. Wednesday, January 25: How does Paul say we are being transformed?
Before we meet on Wednesday morning, please read the second chapter of Ephesians several times. Don’t forget to mark up your Bible with insights.
Search your heart this week. We are all being transformed by either the Holy Spirit or the unholy spirit. So take time, listen to God’s voice, and listen to how you are being transformed. There is such richness in these words…only most of us do not take the time to really listen.
Notes: Prayer: Father, we thank you for your gift of salvation. Give us grace to be obedient, to do the things you planned for us so very long ago. We love you; Lord and we thank you for loving us. In the name of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. AMEN Thursday, January 26: Have you ever thought much about God’s mysterious plan?
The same again…read and read and read again! Make notes and mark up your Bible!
Just think, Paul had no clue we would be reading this devotion on a Thursday morning at Jericho Villas in 2023, over 2000 years after he wrote these words to the Ephesians, but God did! He knew. Think about it...doesn’t it just blow you away? We have been doing a lot of praying asking God to move in powerful ways during this trip. The enemy has been throwing his darts, but God has it all worked out and it is going to be so exciting to see what He does. Keep in mind that this is a part of His plan that He put into place. None of us are here by accident.
Notes: Prayer: Lord, we come to you in awe of your greatness and your power that put together your mysterious plan. By the power of your Holy Spirit, we ask you to guide us as we live into the plans you have for us; that you have had for us since before time began. In your Holy Name we pray. AMEN Friday, January 27: This is where the rubber hits the road!
Ephesians 4 is full of how God would have us live. We are called to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (ESV) As we read and discuss this, what is God saying to you about how you live your life? It is very easy to get self-righteous here, but be very honest with yourself. God knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. He knew us before time began; we were/are a part of His plan. He has a plan for our lives and that plan is for us to follow Him and allow Him to shape us into His image. In our culture it is so easy to go along with the crowd...the wrong crowd. Let’s go through these 16 verses, verse by verse to see and hear what God has for us today.
Notes: Prayer: Lord, Jesus Christ, living in Unity in the Spirit is not an easy task. It is one many of us would like to shake off sometimes. Please give us an extra measure of Your grace as we seek to be so transformed that we obey out of love for all You have created us to be. Thank you Lord, for all we have shared in You and may all we do be to your Glory now and forever. AMEN Saturday, January 28: Without God’s grace...this would be impossible!
Once again, let’s go through this verse by verse. These verses are chuck full of things God, through Paul, tells us He wants us to do, and there are some things He doesn’t want us doing. It is only be His grace that we can begin to be obedient, but as we allow Him to transform us….it happens!
Notes: Prayer: Oh, Lord, This is a tough one….but not impossible for with Your grace all things are possible. Speak to our hearts and quicken them when we are about to speak words of sarcasm, or anger; let encouragement flow out of our mouths instead. We thank you and praise You for Your grace and for Your incredible love that has given us Paul’s words. Please give us expectant hearts as we seek to allow you to transform us into Your image. In Your precious Name we pray, AMEN Now, How do we become transformed?
Going home….do you need to make a plan?
Here Paul goes a little deeper into just what it looks like to be “Living in the Light”. Do you strive to live in the Spirit’s power? What is it that pleases God? There are some things in this chapter that are difficult to deal with….so many things come into our lives. What about the slightly off color jokes that come to your email or that people tell in front of you? That’s just one example of what Paul is talking about. How do we live in the light….the light of Jesus 24/7?
Notes: Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is so easy for us to get this mixed up, and we will blow it time and time again. We thank you for your patience with us and for your love, mercy and most of all your forgiveness. Draw us ever closer to You as You continue to transform us so we can have deeper fellowship with you. AMEN Notes/Journaling: