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HONDURAN HORIZON News, Stories, and Tales from Tegucigalpa

I was driving up the mountain recently and found myself behind this overstuffed truck. If you look close, you can see a mother, daughter, and young child nestled in there amongst their belongings. They are leaving what was behind and barreling on toward what is ahead.

A lw ay s W e lc o m e H o m e

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suppose it comes as no surprise, if the wealth of wanderlust in which my generation boasts is any indication, that home is a strange, slippery concept.

We picture the “good old days” as snapshots of an ancient past, where sons and daughters settled next to mothers and fathers on heart-warmed homesteads. Today, our “home” address changes more frequently than presidential election years (and as a result is prompting political strategists to get even more creative about luring my age group to cast votes). So, without a geographical understanding of home as a place where you both grow up and grow old, we might more easily relate to the nomadic life of biblical figures such as Abraham. Roads, fields, and boundaries are familiar, but the “house that’s been in the family” for 100 years is getting harder to find.

Unlike Abraham, our transient lives are less about following the call of God and more about following our own independent ambitions. Like Abraham, we have to search for roots deeper than physical brick and mortar to grab at the idea of home. As much as we try to present ourselves as confident, independent, and empowered individuals, in our honest moments as 20somethings, we will all say community is something we cannot do without. Though our luggage is always packed, we search for some version of a welcome mat inviting us in to scuff the dust (or snow) off our shoes and dump our troubles at the door. Where is that place we feel most loved, accepted, and cared for, if not at this physical location called home? Though I am the first to say I’m thankful for my physical childhood country home, I am more thankful for the seed planted in my soul that my (cont. on page 2)

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deep breath “Deep breathe in... and now breath out.” You know when the doctor is taking your heartbeat and these are the instructions? Well, I should really get my heartbeat taken more often. I need to be reminded my perspective is limited by physical sight, but God always holds eternity in view. I need to be reminded, just as the servant of Elisha needed his eyes opened to God’s power and protection, that God’s purposes extend far beyond what my eyes can see.

new winter memories baking baking baking Christmas Eve dinner at midnight costume party traveling to El Salvador laying out in the sun watching a newspaper-stuffed man blow up to bring in the new year • decorating a gingerbread man • playing NERTZ, NERTZ, NERTZ • • • • • •

vision Love God. Love others. My heart is to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love other (Deuteronomy 6 and Mark 12).


all in a day’s work St u den t Sp o t l igh t (S ) Maybe it was a good first impression or exemplary classroom work or perhaps a good conversation... whatever it was, the students featured in this section stand out. I wish I could dedicate a whole section about this endeavor. There are so many reasons why these students stand out and, for that reason, have received some discouraging attention. After reading the testimonies of each of these students, I know God was working something special in their hearts. Though it may make no sense to their

MISSION TRIP parents, these students are willing to give up a week of their lives to serve people they normally would never meet. If it makes no sense to their parents, it makes even less to their friends and still we press on. My heart is heavy with gratefulness for this group. Too much gratitude, really, for this post.

Alwa ys Welcome Home true home is elsewhere and eternally established.

In a different sermon, a pastor explained God’s response to our prayers by saying, “When God answers The only thing steady in the life of any “No” to a prayer, it means He is saying well-grounded nomad is this idea in the “Yes” to something greater we cannot conclusion to a recent sermon from see.” John Piper, “Feet on the Ground, Heart Rising to God.” The sermon, I was processing this with a friend, who based on the Lord’s prayer, reminded asked, “How can we look in the face of me of the need to balance the power suffering on earth and talk about a and magnificence of God with the greater Yes? How can we look at a everyday-ness of my humanity. starving child and say the “No” makes sense?” I think finding “home” is something like this balance. We must have our I thought about this for a moment and feet planted firmly on the ground then I said, “You know, I think it’s exactly in the community in which we because heaven is the greatest of Yes physically live, while believing we also (es)! God may look down at suffering have an eternal address. We may be now and say “No” to relief, but He camped as outsiders and foreigners like holds out an eternal “Yes” that will the Israelites in Jeremiah, but we will relieve suffering forever.” camp there with purpose because we That’s the balance I cling to - knowing believe in God’s greater global will, we are always welcome home in the kingdom, and His Holy name. most eternal and established sense.

I READ... THAT’S WHATtrying to learn $om those faithful who have gone before In the memoir, “The God I Love,” by Joni Eareckson Tada, she writes about a meaningful exchange in the movie Shawshank Redemption. This is the scene: “The old man unfolds the letter and reads, “...Remember Red, Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” Red reflects upon the letter and te's himself, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

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guidance counselor it’s all about people So much has happened in the guidance offices recently! We recognized our students who earned a spot on the Honor Roll, established a incident reporting process, presented workshops to each class/ grade on bullying, and are planning parents seminars. We are also putting together a comprehensive guide to guidance as a resource.

service coordinator Hands and Feet We are undergoing some leadership changes in Hands and Feet, but I am excited to see some underclassmen take more responsibility and ownership in the life of this little organization.

mentor Bible Study/Discipleship This is the month of LOVE and I’m busy at work planning the Sweet Dinner, which will be February 10. My heart is almost daily broken and lifted by these lives.

servant mission trip If I could pinpoint the greatest temptation for anxiety, it would be this upcoming mission trip. This is the second year, but it seems every wheel squeaks and I have no grease. The students are absolutely amazing, but we’ve had many roadblocks, including fundraising. I am praying with them and believing God will not only provide funds, but also soft hearts to do ministry through and to. I have already witnessed literal changed lives. Even if I just came to Honduras to see one set of dull eyes jump with life, it is in every way worth it. I can’t say this too boldly.


special: MISSION TRIP

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photo galleries

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Instead of the bullet points that have started to fill this space, I am excited to share some of the pictures that capture the last month. As you can probably tell, life usually includes a lot of baking, laughing, joking, and community. That’s pretty much what life is like, I suppose!

photo ga'ery for december & january


photo galleries

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Instead of the bullet points that have started to fill this space, I am excited to share some of the pictures that capture the last month. As you can probably tell, life usually includes a lot of baking, laughing, joking, and community. That’s pretty much what life is like, I suppose!

photo ga'ery for december & january


prayers and praises PRAYERS AND PRAISES ...bringing requests before God

• PRAISE for the excitement and energy of the mission team. Please pray we will have confidence in the direction the Lord is leading and that we would be surrounded with support. • PRAISE for beautiful community. I have allowed friends and Christian accountability to be lacking in the past, but recently have discovered so many blessings in this area! • PRAY for growing mentor relationships with my girls! • PRAY for the conferences I have daily with students who have family problems - affairs, divorces, secrets, abuse, and loneliness. • Continue to PRAY with me for Alejandra (who recently lost her grandmother). Her heart grows more beautiful every day. She is talking to her grandpa about spiritual things and so excited to think he might open his heart to Christ. She is also passionate about stepping out and reaching her closest (and most resistant) friends with the Gospel. I cannot explain how difficult this is for her, but she can be a great light - pray strength into her!! FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS REPORT Here I wi' publish what I’ve raised and how it is spent. The numbers are rounded because of exchange rates, but should give you an idea of what your contributions have been used for this month. I know it might be confusing, but it is easiest for me to explain my income in this way: with the salary given by the school, I am able to make payments on my school loans and pay for very basic living expenses. In making those payments, it is impossible to be involved in life and ministry. For this reason, I am ever-grateful for your support. Da t e

R ai se d

12/1/10 - 1/1/10

$900

Dec/Jan December

$1,000

S pe n t

Ca te gory donations from Evangelical Free

$200

gas, oil, fluids

$,1000

(special from E. Free) Micah Project donation

December

$500

$500

(special from E. Free) mission trip

1/10/10

$150

dentist

Dec/Jan

$300

supplies/materials for outreach

End Balance

$350

contact info Caroline Nichols Academia Los Pinares Apartado 3250 Tegucigalpa, Honduras Email: caroline.m.nichols@gmail.com Twitter: care_oh_line Blog: www.musingsinmontage.wordpress.com Check the blog for frequent posts - I try to write something daily or at least on a regular basis.

If you want to send mail, send it by Airmail and packages MUST be under 4 pounds. Packages over 4 lbs. can be sent by private carrier.

If you feel God leading you to support me financia'y, you can make a check out to Evangelical Free Church with my name in the memo line. If you feel led to support me through prayer, there are prayer cards available at the church or also by mail (please email me if you are interested). If you feel led to support me through the ministry of mail, please see the address above! Address: Evangelical Free Church East 22nd Street Atlantic, Iowa 50022

Profile for Caroline Nichols

Honduran Horizon January/February edition  

This is the January/February edition of the Honduran Horizon, a publication chronicling my time as counselor, mentor, and missionary in Tegu...

Honduran Horizon January/February edition  

This is the January/February edition of the Honduran Horizon, a publication chronicling my time as counselor, mentor, and missionary in Tegu...

Profile for cnichols
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