Agents of Change

“God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.” – John Piper –

When I got a call from Jorge Sosa, TerraMica’s Country Manager in Honduras, about translating for a women’s team coming to serve Honduran women here, I was quickly on board! The purpose of the trip was to love on others!

After an hour of driving and reconnecting with the other translators, we met the team! I saw 6 great women, ready to meet others and love on them well!!! God made it evident from the start He was assembling this team, and we were all here to carry out His agenda, His purpose, for HIS Glory!

As we got to the clinic the next morning we find an amazing team of doctors, nurses, and other staff already pumped up and ready to roll with the activities for the day!

As we jumped into action, somehow I took a step back and was just in awe. Read more

“I Have No Value”

Every time I go on a service trip I am amazed at how God works.  I suppose I shouldn’t be.  Each trip is unique in that the group of volunteers is different, locations may vary, but God’s fingerprints are always all over each and every trip.  This trip proved this to be true in a big way.

I remember specifically the drive from the airport to our hotel.  The white king cab truck with the TerraMica logo on its side was filled with all six of us women and Jorge Sosa (sweet, brave man that he is).  We were crushed and crowded, tired from our travel, but amazingly all very excited.  It was an exciting trip given that it was an all women volunteer team that was going to specifically serve Honduran women. I was sitting in the front seat with Pam Apffel and we were discussing the treatment of rural women in Honduras and their specific challenges. Pam looked at me and said, “We are here to show each woman how valued she is by God and to show His love through our service.”  Mind you, we had discussed this being the goal of this particular trip multiple times before but at that moment, Read more

My Life as a Coffee Seed

I am confident you know exactly what I am talking about when I say: there are good seasons and hard seasons.

The tougher the season, the greater propensity we have to become discouraged. We lose sleep, we fret, we get anxious, our emotions are unreliable, and we just want to quit.

I’m in one of those tough seasons … my personality is to lean into it and keep pushing forward. Constantly observing, listening, adjusting, with the occasional “screw this, I’m quitting attitude” thrown in to boot.

Well, I had one of those “screw this” attitudes the other day. Here’s what went down. Read more

In Fear and In Faith

Fear is a very real emotion, an everyday experience felt by millions of people. Fear of going to the dentist, fear for a loved one, fear of skydiving, and the list goes on! My fear was going to another country and serving impoverished men, women, and children. The fear started from the minute I said, “Yes!” At first was the gripping fear: “Was I going to be in danger?” “Would I get sick?” “What was I to expect being in another country known to have unrest?” I knew God wanted me to go when my amazing husband was super excited for me. So, it was two months of reserved excitement interrupted by moments of complete doubt. My faith was definitely being tested and I finally decided that if it was God’s will all would go through, and as usual, He was faithful and I landed in Honduras April 19th, 2018.

It is what happened next that I did not expect! Read more

Hearing A Call To Work For TerraMica

 

 

God speaks to me often. But it wasn’t until I was completely broken and had fully leaned into Him that I started really listening. I was there only a few weeks ago. Thinking I had the answers. I had my dream job. I had it all. Until I didn’t….

After weeks of prayer and healing, I heard the Lord, clear as day, telling me to use my skills to serve Him and for no other purpose. With this on my heart, I reached out to TerraMica. Only looking for advice as to where to start, I was stunned to tears when I received their response. They had been praying for someone to step in and take over parts of TerraMica that fit exactly into what I was in search of. You see, God shut the door to MY dream job, and so faithfully opened the door to HIS dream job for me. Serving Him.

So here I am.  Starting to work for an incredible organization as the social media/ content manager. Mother of 3 children. Wife to an incredible man supporting my work. My passion is photography. Capturing God’s beauty has called me since I was very young. For 5 years I’ve taken portraits of newborns and families. In studio and out. I have worked for various small businesses and magazines photographing products and events. Anytime I have my camera in hand, I find my love for photography grows. Which brings me here doing work that will be fulfilling in a way that I have never experienced. I will be traveling with TerraMica in the near future and will be there to document the incredible work being done. And I’m so excited to be sharing in serving the communities that so desperately need us to come along side of them and lift them up. Helping provide hope for their future. Christ calls us to put on hearts of compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness.

“Let us not love with words but with actions and truth”- 1 John 3:18

I am so blessed and excited to start this new journey with TerraMica! My hope is to not only serve with this wonderful organization to care for our global neighbors, but also encourage those closer to home to get out and truly care for people. It is my passion to train up my children in caring for others. I want the next generation to show compassion where the world needs it most. The only way to accomplish this is to be the example for them to see. So join me on my journey and let’s continue to heal and share the love of Christ.

 

 

by Jessica Contreras, Social Media/Content Manager, TerraMica 

Treasures in a Wasteland

out of the ashes rises hope ….

It was mid-morning, yet the heat from the sun was already intense. From over the hill, smoke was rising up and blowing north with the smell of rotting and decaying earth. Vultures circled overhead, patiently waiting as Job drove towards the smoke and ash, turning onto the dirt road that led him to a discovery of immeasurable value. At first glance it appeared there was only fire, smoke, and mountains of destroyed and discarded waste in the city dump, but as Job gazed thought the haze, he saw children scouring the smoldering heaps, looking for something of value to take home. As he watched, his heart grew heavy, knowing these kids were seeking anything to make life better for their families … even the possibility of food that might still be suitable for the dinner table. Wondering where these children lived and if he could help them, Job decided to follow them home.

He was led to a community wrestling with the effects of poverty. A number of the families had little more to eat than red beans and tortillas, and many of the children appeared malnourished. His heart moved, Job was convinced that he and his wife, Adria, could affect positive change within this community. Read more

It Starts with Kids

There are no paved roads, sewage systems, landscaped thoroughfares, or places of commerce as you drive into Purna. The compelling story is the reality of the families struggling to keep their heads from slipping under the suffocating waves of extreme poverty.

Each day, the families in this enclave wrestle with the rigors of working from sunrise to sunset, living with hunger as a constant companion. There are the telltale signs in full bloom Read more

Connecting Across Cultures

In September of this year, Ed Apffel of TerraMica spent a number of days in Thessaloniki, Greece speaking to refugees and Independently Displaced Peoples from a number of Arab countries about business ethics and entrepreneurship. He incorporated biblical principles into the business presentation, speaking to Muslim men and women who are learning how to make a living in a new country and culture… and he had a number of incredible interactions after the seminar and the following days. Here is one of the most moving:

One global narrative would have you believe that Mohammad and I should not be holding hands and praying together. For you see, I am a Christian from the West and he is a Muslim from the Middle East. Yet, I firmly believe Mohammad, his wife, and daughter were created by and made to reflect the image of God. Mohammad was blinded after a bombing raid destroyed his house in Aleppo. He and his family fled Syria for their lives, leaving everything behind. I am thankful to have spent that Sunday, in Thessaloniki with Mohammad, quietly listening about his journey and his aspirations and hope for his family. During our long conversation, I realized his belief was that Allah was not a relational god, but distant and demanding god. I asked if I could share my experience of who God is, and afterwards asked if we could to pray together for he and his family. I was humbled that he agreed and said yes. Together, we held hands firmly and I asked for God to pour His love upon Mohammad and his family. I then asked God to pour out His wisdom and reveal His Truth to Mohammad and lead him throughout the remaining days of Mohammad’s life. Afterwards, we sat there silently, a Muslim and a Christian holding hands.

It was Mohammad (blind), who eventually broke the silence and said, “I sense God’s love here and in you.” I confess, it is ONLY because of God’s immeasurable love for me that I was able to love Mohammad, my neighbor, as myself. The two greatest commandments ever are “love God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” When we finally turn our focus from ourselves to knowing and loving God, that is when we can truly begin to love our neighbor as ourselves. ~Ed Apffel~

Ed with Mohammed and his family, post-seminar

Oaxaca Earthquake Relief

Patrick & Stephanie Aguirre are passionate about the people of Oaxaca, and spearheaded a fundraising effort for humanitarian aid and relief for the people of southern Mexico most impacted by the recent devastating earthquakes, followed by huge storms. They spent time in Oaxaca evaluating the needs, determining best options, and returned to oversee distribution of funds, to pray and minister to those who were negatively impacted by this situation. TerraMica was honored and blessed to support the Aguirre’s compassion project! Here’s their story:

 

A phone call at 1:00 in the morning is never good …

Sure enough, on September 7 that phone call brought news of the Earthquake centered off the coast of Chiapas and its devastation!
As we listened to our friends and ministry partners in Mexico recount the terror of that first earthquake and all the others that followed, we comforted them, encouraged them, and prayed over them.  And all the while, thinking how we could send help.
So we did what anyone would do, we got on Facebook!
Social Media definitely has its benefits, and publishing the personal stories of tragedy and long lists of needs for the victims in Oaxaca is what we did.
The response was overwhelming! Between generous individuals, TerraMica, and Whittier Area Community Church, a total of almost $14,000 was raised for the needs of the Oaxacan people!
So we went to work!
We visited the most devastated areas, like the town of Juchitan and as we spoke with the people and were able to see the damage firsthand, we decided that the funds would be well utilized in buying cots for the people to use as beds.

After meeting with local craftsmen, we were able to order 400 cots!  This had a two-fold benefit, not only did the people not have to sleep on the wet floors (since, the torrential rains had also come) but also it bolstered the local economy which always has a far-reaching benefit in rehabilitating an area.

It is so often said that one does not have the words to describe what it feels like to bless another person … well it’s true!  Words that come to mind are: grateful, humbled, happy, humbled, fulfilled, humbled ( you get the picture!)

We were very deliberate in handing the cots out to those that seemed forgotten … we partnered with local church members so that they would take us to the elderly and the widowed first.  We walked down long alleys and hidden areas to find them, and the joy on their faces is life changing!

kids sitting on donated cots!

The work continues first and always in prayer for them, their needs and their knowledge of Jesus as the One who loves them and also continuing to be a part of their lives as a source of help in their time of distress!

Read more

Building a Dream

He is a passionate man – passionate about his family, his home, his work, his coffee. Isabel Ramos Mejia is a coffee farmer in Honduras, devoted to his wife, Sofia, their seven children, and three grandchildren. Living for decades in a two-room adobe house, he dreams of improving the quality of life for his family.

Isabel and Sofia in front of their houses – new on the left, old on the right.

 

 

Working hard on his farm, he diligently tends to the trees that provide for their living, and he has little spare time. The coffee cherries grown on his coffee trees are harvested and processed, then sold, providing an annual income. Though they have just enough to make ends meet, Isabel continues day by day Read more