Happy in Honduras // April 2019

¡Hola, amigos! ¿Cómo están?
Our God has been so good to us in the last several weeks. As always, I love sharing about what is happening here with my team that helps to make it possible. Happy reading!


Vertical 2019

Praise Jesus for safe travels and an amazing time of growth at Great Commission Latin America’s (our church network) annual holy week conference, Vertical! We woke up super early on April 17th to start the eight hour drive to San Pedro Sula, Honduras and arrived in time to rest before the conference started that night. Over a thousand people from countries across Latin America came together to praise God together and share in community as GCLA as a whole. 

The theme for the conference this year was “Retro: Uniendo Generaciones” or “Retro: Uniting Generations”. The leaders that shared during the three-day conference reminded us of the importance that each age group holds in fulfilling the Great Commission. Although youth may be strong physically and have more energy and time to devote to ministry, they still lack the wisdom and experience that the older generations have gained over time (and vice-versa). That being said, every one of us has a place in God’s plan and has a responsibility to love others better and tell people about Jesus for the sake of the Kingdom.

After we got back to El Salvador, Chepe told me, “Vertical always makes me proud to be a part of GCLA”, and I totally agree! It was great to connect with friends that are serving God in their own communities and to learn more about GCLA’s history.

Moriah and Daniel (pictured below), were our road trip buddies for the week! Moriah is from Iowa and served with us in San Salvador for six months in 2017 and arrived on April 1st for another 6-8 month period. Moriah is the first missionary (other than myself) to be working with us long-term since this time last year. Through her, God has reminded me that He provides what we need, because we are definitely making good use of  her help and support!

Daniel started attending our church two years ago after Chepe and I evangelized to him at a local park with a group of missionaries from Rock City! A couple weeks after we met him, he showed up to Sunday church service and shortly afterward began serving. Chepe has been mentoring Daniel and it’s been amazing to see the ways God has worked in his life in these two years. For both Moriah and Daniel, it was their first trip to Honduras and first time at Vertical! It was great getting to share that experience with them.

Nine people of the small group that Chepe leads on Saturdays also attended the conference–that’s over half! You may remember that we sold brownies and pupusas to help raise money to alleviate the cost of the conference, and we were able to surpass our goal and raised over $350. When you put your mind to it, selling brownies at 50 cents a piece really adds up! This small group has been a huge blessing for us this year. Not only do we get to spend extra time in fellowship with some great friends, but though this group God is giving us the opportunity to see more ways that He transforms lives for His glory.

Between our churches in San Salvador and Soyapango, over 85 people made the trip to the conference! This is way more than average, so it was really exciting to see so many people taking the big step to plan and save to be able to go. Please pray that what we learned at Vertical 2019 will help to shape this year and motivate all of us to be a little bit more like Jesus every day.

I couldn’t talk about the conference without saying THANK YOU to all that show me continued support financially and in prayer! That support makes it possible for me to be a part of Vertical, GCLA and all of what God is doing to change lives in San Salvador through the local church, medical and dental clinics and Children’s Development Centers. 


 

Life Update

A couple of you have asked how/if Chepe and I getting married this year will affect my role in ministry. Well, I’m happy to clarify that my role as a missionary here will remain the same!

Chepe and I both feel strongly that God is asking us to remain in El Salvador for the time being and focus on the ministry that He has already placed us in! For me, that means continuing to serve as Missions Coordinator and Child Sponsorship Coordinator as well as assisting with international communication. Chepe will continue in his role as the leader for Sunday service production and social media and as support with mission teams and to Pastor Victor.

As part of Chepe’s expanding role in the church, he has joined my world of earning a support-based salary! This transition has allowed him to quit one of the three jobs he was previously working to serve full-time for the church. He’s been a rockstar in raising financial support (directly through GCLA), and is only $275 in monthly support away from being fully-funded! I am currently $264 in monthly support away from also being fully-funded. Please pray for us over the next couple of months as we look to close this $539 gap.

If you or someone you know are interested in giving towards this deficit, please email me at ali.howard12@gmail.com or Chepe at avarela211@gmail.com for more information! 

After reaching 100%, we will create a new support budget and raise additional support that will be needed once we start our new life together (with increased expenses) in October. We aren’t sure how much that will be, but hope to have a better idea soon when we start looking for an apartment. This will be the first experience for both of us in looking for housing in El Salvador because he has always lived with family and I’ve always lived with the Turcios family. With that in mind, please pray for God to bring peace to us in this process and that we would be sensitive to His leading in where he wants us to live. 


 

I can’t imagine what this life would look like without God’s plan in bringing me to serve Him in San Salvador and without each one of my supporters that got me here and help to keep me here.

Bendiciones,
Ali

Prayer Requests

  • For what we learned at Vertical to become habit as we strive to love better and live more intentionally for God’s glory each day
  • For God to close the $539 gap in recurring, monthly support towards our salaries
  • For peace and wisdom as we start making plans for married life! This includes where to live, creating our new budget and growing in our relationship with Christ as we grow closer to each other

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