When I was 29 I went back to college. As part of the enrollment I had to take a math assessment test. I did horrible. They placed me in Math 95 which meant I had to take Math 95, 97, 98 and 99 before actually taking a college level math and getting credit for it. I remember sitting in that first class and feeling kind of humiliated at my age being in a class with high school running start students. At that point I made a goal to be “one of the smart kids.” In high school I remembered the “smart kids” took calculus so I made a goal that I was going to take calculus.
Over the next couple of years I remained focused on my goal and I got straight A’s in all my math classes. I was consistently on the dean’s list and honor roll. Finally I made it to calculus. What a sense of accomplishment I had sitting in that class knowing where I had started and where I had come.
Calculus is hard. Very hard. I really struggled through that quarter and I think I ended up finishing the class with a C+, which killed the high GPA I was hoping to graduate with. But the experience taught me some very valuable lessons. One lesson was the value of setting a goal. I still take great pride in the fact that I accomplished that goal. I had a long road to get there but I did it and for that I am proud. But I also realized that taking calculus was probably not the right goal. I didn’t need it for my degree. It wasn’t required. And it hurt my GPA. I should have changed my goal along the way and focused on the dreams that had been developing as I had worked my way through my college courses.
When we came to Honduras we had a dream. We had seen so much need and wanted to help however we could. And we did it. With your help we left everything and moved down here and poured out our lives for the people of Honduras. It has been an amazing three years. We have accomplished a lot and along the way God has been shaping us and molding us. When we came to Honduras we didn’t know how long we would be here. We only knew that it was where God was leading. When someone asked how long we would be here I always said that I didn’t know we would be called here and I don’t know how long we will stay. Now that question has been answered. Sometime in June we will be moving back to the US.
This has been a very difficult and emotional decision for us. It is one we have been working through and praying about for a long time. We have actually tried to come up with any way that we could to stay in Honduras. Our prayer was that if it really was time to move back that God would make it obvious, and we feel like he has. It would be impossible to share all the details in one newsletter but there are a few main reasons why we believe now is the right time.
Returning to Honduras with a new baby has been a very difficult transition, especially for Trina. We don’t have any help here. No family or friends that can watch the kids or give any kind of break. It means Trina really can’t be meaningfully involved in the ministry. And if I am gone she is stuck in the house all day every day. If you know Trina you can imagine how difficult that is for her.
Another major consideration is the security situation here in Honduras. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world and Tegucigalpa is consistently listed as the 2nd most dangerous city in the world. Corruption is everywhere. While we have only ever had minor incidences, every time we leave the house it is weight that I carry. It is always in the back of your mind, “Is this the time where someone puts a gun to my head and robs me of everything?” If it happens to me, fine – but not my wife and kids.
This also makes it very difficult to raise a family, especially a very high energy 3 year old boy. There aren’t safe parks for him to play in, safe places for him to ride bike, pre-school to attend, or friends to play with. Trina and I have really seen Asher suffering and there is nothing we can do about it. Trina and I believe that our family has to be a priority and that means doing what we believe is best for Asher and Levi. At least for now, we believe the best thing is to return home for a season.
The final major consideration is the work that I (Chad) do. God has opened some doors where I believe I can actually be of more use back in the States than I can be in Honduras. Part of my work here has been overseeing a child sponsorship program. The program really needed a database tool for managing the program but there was nothing available. As a web programmer I decided to build my own. I figured there are other ministries who have the same needs so I set up a website and made the program available to other ministries. We currently have over 60 ministries around the world that we are helping with their child sponsorship program. We are literally helping thousands of children all over the world. When we get back to the States I will be going back to work as a web developer with my cousin Geoff. I believe I can use my skills to help many other missionaries in their work. I’ve seen needs first hand and now I know how I can help others.
We will also continue the work of our non-profit organization, Extended Hands. With the contacts and relationships we have in place we can continue to do great work.
As I said, this has been a difficult decision and will continue to be a difficult transition. Sometimes dreams change. Sometimes God leads us in new directions. It is almost always unexpected.
We are eternally grateful for your prayers and financial support. If you feel led to give to help us with our return it would be a blessing. Anything we receive that we don’t need will go directly to the work in Honduras. If you are sending an automatic donation online please let us know whether you would like to continue or if you would like us to cancel the donation. The money will continue to go to the work in Honduras.
Thank you again for all your support over these last three years. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Chad and Trina