Home Is Where the Heart Is

It has been an eventful couple of months!

At the end of March, we traveled to Guatemala for a week to work with a group of 51 high school seniors from the Dallas area. They came to help Daren and Heidi Walker build desks, paint, and put on programs for three schools in Guatemala City. These students blessed the kids and school administrators and many of the seniors’ lives were changed by how God moved at the school programs.

We were also able to further develop plans for the launch of a brand-new missionary internship program, Project One, which we plan to begin immediately upon our arrival to Guatemala.  Throughout the week we obtained video footage of the work that was being done in the projects as well as personal interviews with a number of the Dallas students on how the experience was impacting their lives.

Our initial concern with this quick trip to Guatemala for our “pre-term” field preparation was that we might go for a week…and hate it.  What if our nostalgia of a past trip was distorted by time and it turned out to be a prelude to our first term of just struggle after struggle.  The truth was the opposite.  From our arrival through the end of the week, we worked hard, sweated, were covered in paint, were stretched beyond our comfort zones and we were reminded that Guatemala is exactly where we are called and exactly where we desire to be.  We are seeing that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, the desires of our heart align with His desire for us.

guat

We were also able to check a HUGE milestone off of our to-do list. Our goal was to put our house on the market by May 15th. Amazingly, by May 13th, our house was already under contract! Praise God! The way things are looking, we will close on our house on June 5th. We are just blown away by how quickly this process has gone. So, now we will be living with family until we move to Costa Rica for language school. We are so blessed to have family that stand with us and will take us in.

Since our house has gone under contract, we have been busy selling our things and moving out. It has been fast and furious. It has also been very emotional, but through this, God has been showing us that four walls do not make a home. We find home where our loved ones are close and when and where we’re following God’s direction.

On June 5th after we close on our house, we will immediately leave to head toward Springfield, Missouri for our 3 week-long missionary training. We are looking forward to this time and we’re excited for all that we will be learning in these sessions. Although we will be away, we will still be booking services for the coming months. We are actively looking to share with churches on these following Sunday – AM or PM services:

July 30th

Aug 6th

Aug 27th

September 24th

As always, we are willing to meet on Wednesdays, with your youth groups or weeknights with small groups!

Fundraising update - May 29

Our fundraising is coming along! We are still in need of more partners to join in on this journey with us.

If you would like to invest in this ministry >>>>>> GIVE NOW!

If you want to know more of what we’re doing in Guatemala >>>>>> TAKE A LOOK!

What is Project One? >>>>>> CHECK IT OUT!

Thank you so much to all of our faithful supporters and prayer warriors! We love you and pray God does mighty things because of your obedience.

Guat’s Up with The Hortons?

Friends!

We have had a BUSY month!

We have been to SIX churches so far this month and made countless connections with such wonderful people!

Since we have been so busy, I didn’t have time to write a full blog post, but I wanted to give an update on our fundraising, extend our thanks, and share news and prayer requests.

First of all, I have been blown away be the generosity and kindness of those we have met on this journey. It has blessed us so much to be welcomed into your churches and shown love and hospitality. Thank you all!!

Also, we have seen a boost in our monthly support, and we cannot thank you enough! Your long-term support means so much to us and also, to the ministry and families in Guatemala. Because of your generosity,  we will be able to continue the diligent work in Guatemala of providing clean water, medical supplies, food, education, and the hope of Jesus Christ to children in this beautiful country. You are making such a difference!!

If you would like to become one of our monthly supporters, shoot us an email (kenny.horton@ma.agmd.org), call or text (254-485-3197), or you can follow the giving link on our homepage.

Our budget is coming along at a nice pace.

Fundraising update - March 17

An unofficial estimate, as of March 25th, 2017.

 

Also, we are looking to book Sunday services for April 16th, May 7th (Preferably in the Western – Central Oklahoma area) and May 14th. Wednesdays are also great evenings for us – most of ours are currently open! We would even love to meet with your small groups or meetings during the week.

This Sunday, we will be headed to Guatemala to work with Daren and Heidi Walker with a large group of high school seniors that will be ministering to the children and working on projects in various areas of the country. Be in prayer with us that doors and hearts are open, that the students stay energized and well, and that many children experience the hope and love of Jesus!

While we are in Guatemala, we will also be helping set the ground work for Project1 – the missions internship program for recent high school grads. We are excited to get this program launched and look forward to seeing what God does in lives through this program.

We love you all!

 

 

A Very Good Place to Start

 

Starting this process of itineration has been a roller coaster ride! We are incredibly thankful to our families and all of the churches we have visited so far, for being so giving of their support and hospitality. The love and generosity that we’ve received from our family and the strangers that have become friends, helps to keep us going!

fundraising-update

One of my goals through this blog is to be transparent about this process. We are in a unique place to showcase how God remains faithful in times of doubt, insecurity, and fear.

FEAR

I have heard a lot of stories from missionaries through the years and so many of their beginning stories include a “calling” from a young age or some moment that was pivotal and beautiful that lead them to give up their American lifestyle to take on an amazing mission. It all seemed so self-less to me. I romanticized their stories to the point that I thought that if I ever found myself making the same decision, that it would be a perfect moment, without fear or doubt.

I remember a conversation that Kenny and I had about a year and a half ago. We both felt a shift on the horizon. After talking late one night, we found ourselves at a crossroad. My heart was aching to adopt a child and his heart was leading him to the mission field. We were in two different places and decided to pray about it and revisit the conversation later. I’ve wanted to adopt for a very long time, but I was TERRIFIED of being a missionary. Five years ago, I would have left for another country pretty easily, but having a kid changed me.

Not many people know this, but I dealt with a lot of anxiety and fear after having Layla. I want to protect her with everything I have, but sometimes the burden of that would weigh too heavy. The thought that I may not always be able to protect her left me paralyzed with grief and fear. Just the idea of taking Layla to a foreign country made me sick.

I didn’t expect this. I have always been independent and extremely willing to follow whatever path God had for me. I never thought that I would want to say “No” to missions. I never thought this “calling” would be so… human.

I never thought this “calling” would be so… human.

I fought fear and anxiety (and probably some post-pregnancy hormones, too) for quite some time. I prayed every day that God would guard my heart from fear – that He would instill boldness into my spirit. For weeks, I played the song “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music EVERY DAY.

I do not want fear to drive my life.

I do not want fear to pressure me into disobedience.

Around the end of 2015 (I think), I saw a post on Facebook from Daren and Heidi Walker. They were looking for missionary associates to work with Latin America Child Care, now ChildHope. I saw it and knew immediately that we needed to apply. God really knows how to get us where we need to be at the right moment, huh? I mentioned the post to Kenny and He saw the same post. He put in our application and we agreed that we would walk through every open door during the application process.

This was the biggest step of faith that either of us have ever taken. We had been youth pastors together since 2010 and Kenny by himself, since 2006. We have loved most every moment of it! We saw ourselves being youth pastors for a very long time. It was so hard knowing that we wouldn’t be with our kids every week. We love Dublin and we love the kids of Dublin very much. That will never change. Heidi Walker, one of the missionaries we’ll be working with in Guatemala, gave us some incredible wisdom. She said that one of the best things we could do for our youth, is to show them what obedience looks like.

One of the best things we could do for our youth, is to show them what obedience looks like.

She was right.

We thought it would be hard saying goodbye to our youth kids, and it has been, but one of the most difficult adjustments has been being away from our church family on Sundays.

Don’t get me wrong, we love visiting churches and building partnerships! But we greatly miss our home base.

We are certain of what God wants us to do, but every day Kenny and I face insecurity about this next phase. In the midst of it all, we choose to trust that his plan is greater than our doubts and fears.

Kenny and I are so eager to get to Guatemala! But we need your prayers even now, as we itinerate!

 

Please pray with us that:

  • We are encouraged and strengthened during this itineration time
  • Individuals and churches will recognize the need in Guatemala and will support us financially and in prayer
  • God will lead 10 (at least) people to sponsor children through ChildHope while we itinerate
  • Layla will get well soon – Poor baby has been sick for almost two weeks!
  • God uses the new government leadership in Guatemala to positively affect the people
  • Opportunities will arise to connect national schools in Guatemala with ChildHope