Archives for August 2016
Please read the note below from BWM Board Member Joe Jarvis regarding the passing of a good friend and mission partner from the Moravian Church in Cuba.
It is with sad news that our dear friend and brother in Christ Yonai Gonzalez passed away this afternoon. I know that most of you did not know him, but I would just like to share a few things about our friend.
Yonai lived in a village in Australia, Matanzas, Cuba with his wife and 2 young pre teen children. He had been battling colon cancer for several years. Yonai had a farm close by in Quemado Grande where he took much pride in raising his crops. Fruit and produce from the farm not only helped support his family, but he also would give much away to the church and needy in the community. Yonai had more faith in his little finger than most of us have in our entire body.
He had been working on a thatched hut on his farm to serve as a place of worship for the church in the community. He completed it this past year without any financial support other than his own. We visited with him this past June and even though he was suffering with much pain he wanted to show his farm to the ones on our team that was there for the first time.
Yonai taught many people about life and faith (including me). He will be missed by many.
Please keep his family in your prayers as they go through this trying time.
Yonai is the young man with the gray shirt and hat.
RIP my good friend.
As an elementary teacher, I have many opportunities to help my students and fulfill their needs. Between tying shoes, giving permission to use the bathroom, offering small group instruction, and learning about students’ home lives, I hope that I make some small difference in their lives. For Moravians, a mission is the goal of fulfilling a fundamental need in the life of another person.
Moravians in mission have been fulfilling needs since 1732, when the first Moravian missionaries, Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschman, sailed to the Caribbean island of St. Thomas to bring the gospel to the slaves on the sugar plantations. This first Moravian mission sparked the Moravian passion for mission during the past 284 years.
The region of La Mosquitía in Honduras is an area with many needs, including medical care. In 1946, Moravians established “Clínica Evangélica Morava,” a medical clinic in the village of Ahuas, to serve the medical needs of the people of the region. Last year, Rachel Schachter and I visited the clinic in order to film interviews and footage of the life of the clinic. We were so touched by the work of God that was being done at the clinic that we decided to return this summer with a work crew.
Our eleven-person group was diverse in age, location and gifts. The members included Velma Burcham, Pamela Heisey, Christine Hitzel, Connie Kinsey, Jessica Kinsey, Mary Jordan Johnson, Abby Poindexter, Rachel Schachter, Kim Shollenberger, Pamela Thierolf, and me.
On Monday, June 13, 2015, our group left the airport in Charlotte, NC to fly to Houston, then San Pedro Sula, and then drive to La Ceiba. After a quick sleep, we then flew from La Ceiba, briefly landed in Puerto Lempira, and finally arrived in Ahuas, Honduras. It took over two days for many of us to finally reach Ahuas.
Due to the diversity of our group, we had many projects at the clinic. Our veterinarian, Jessica, was able to vaccinate and de-worm many cattle, horses, and dogs. This was the first time these animals had contact with a veterinarian. It was a blessing for the people, because they depend on the cattle for milk and beef, and the horses for transportation.
Many members of our group also helped with more immediate needs around the grounds of the clinic. The bathrooms were painted, the tool shed was organized, and patient files were alphabetized. Since these projects require a lot of time and effort, much of the work will be continued by other work groups.
The clinic is close to a local high school, and since we had a few teachers in our group, we were able to teach a few English lessons. When we arrived, we realized that the students had a lower level of English than we had anticipated, so we sang many renditions of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” At least they now know a few body parts in English.
While we were in Ahuas, the clinic celebrated its 70th anniversary! The entire community seemed to attend the celebration. There was a special ceremony with singing, speeches, and scripture. Our group sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Rachel shared a song that she had composed, and I read a letter from Nora Adams. Nora worked at the clinic in the 1970s with her husband, the late Reverend Lorez Adams. After the service, we ate a meal together with the community. It was a blessing to share such a special experience.
When we left Ahuas on June 20, we were sad to leave, but many members of our group were filled with a desire to return. There is a definite need in La Mosquitía for material items, but also for a sense of connection with the global Moravian community. While we were working in Ahuas, we began many meaningful relationships with the people doing God’s work. We are excited to return.
Jamie Lynne Dease
Please add Ceci to your prayer list. She is going to have laparoscopic knee surgery on Saturday, August 6. They are going to clean up the knee and repair it. She has had more pain. She will go in for surgery on Friday and come home on Monday. Michael called his mother, Donna Tesh, on August 1 from his home. A cell tower has been installed close by. Yea!!! Electricity is just a week away with just one more line to run. God is so good!