Where to even begin? That question is one of the things that has held me back from updating in the format of a blog. It’s amazing to me how we can so easily justify things due to our circumstance. I’ll be honest I have not updated in this format for almost two years, I have fallen victim to the very easy format of Facebook. Knowing that not all our supporters use Facebook, I have decided it best to give a wide brush update of the past two years. I am going to attach a lot of photos to be able to give a visual of what all has went on, mainly because I am not at all a very talented writer. Honestly it’s one of the other reasons that I don’t update in this format.
So I am going to attempt to upload the photos in order from past to present. Meaning this is going to take us back to late 2016. Sometimes I feel as I have not accomplished very much in my 5 years on the field, with that being said looking back through the pictures I have proved myself wrong. The small House that was pictured was built for a young woman in Nueva Capital, a very dangerous area inside the city. It was the first complete gringo style house that I had built in Honduras. I remember the looks we got as we were building this home, many of the folks that passed by had never seen a home built like this. At first I thought that this could be a very viable option for a form of ministry for the men’s construction teams to do, it only took us 4 days to complete and at a cost of $1,000. Upon returning to the home a few weeks later to find the door chained shut and no further progress made on the home, the homeowner nowhere to be found I tried to give the process the benefit of the doubt. It was probably a month or two later when I returned and found that no one had attempted to complete the few things left to do on the home, and the homeowner had apparently left the area to live somewhere else according to neighbors. This really caused me to become aware that I was going to need to really be cautious in how we go about deciding how to accomplish our outreach.
It was a short time after that an opportunity arose, Pastor Freddy was about to get married, and living at the mission house was no longer an option. God had laid it on my heart to find a way for our pastors to be better connected with their congregations. That is when I started to look into how much land our churches had left around it. I found that all of our churches had bit of land left, so naturally building a pastors home would kill two birds with a single stone. Our pastor would have a place to live and in-turn bring them closer to their congregation. I shared the idea with my home church pastor, they raised the money and three men from my home church came and helped me build the home. It was an awesome opportunity to get the men of the Piliguin church involved. With their help, pastor Freddy was able to do all the ground work needed for us to pour the concrete pad. While the gringos were here we framed, roofed, hung all the exterior panels and installed all the windows and doors. A member of the church and I ran all the electrical and roughed in the plumbing. The landlord of our first home here had lived in Miami and had worked in drywall, so this gave me an opportunity to love on him and share the love of Christ with him in the process. I spoke with Freddy and we agreed that though it would not be easy, but it would be best for the church to finish the home, not only the labor but also the financial burden as well. Looking back now I know the Lord was in the whole process and everyone involved in some way.
Our last team that year was a youth team that mainly focused on VBS, this is something that I am not usually involved in. This team did allow me to be useful at least for one day, playsets are not my specialty but I have to admit this one turned out pretty good. Being the last team of the year it afforded me the time to move on to start the next pastors home. Pastor David had been faithfully serving the villages of Buena Vista and Guyabo for 5 years. The church from the states that supports David was ready to build a church, but they were also at a crossroads financially with continuing support for David. God laid it on my heart to suggest that they go forward with the church, but instead of a building a building that will be used a couple of days a week, why not build a home for David and his family and in that home have a room large enough to host the church. They were 100% on board with the idea. A member of the church sold a piece of land for a very reasonable price, and we broke ground. I had never dug out a house site for a 1600sqft house by hand. This house taught me so many lessons, Hondurans are machines that is why they don’t use them ha-ha, working 10 hour days and driving 4 hours on top of that can only be sustained for so long before your body says no. Luckily our furlough fell in between this job so I was able to get a little R&R and a lot of chiropractic help. The best part of it was that while I was gone David continued work with members of his church. My men’s group from the states comes every year in February and is usually my second or third construction team of the year. They love doing roof and floor projects in villages, assisting the poorest people with a physical need they have. Knowing the skills these guys bring and there passion I knew that if they were willing to help we could really make some headway on the home. Being the servants they are, they had no objection to helping and we did just that. We went from the studded walls and a roof to the interior and exterior ready for paint in just 5 days. If you have never been on a mission trip and especially a construction one, I would advise you to reach out to me and let’s get you on the books, because the Holy Spirit always shows up in a big way and literal miracles happen. I have done construction for a long time and having all the modern tools and tech, we seem to always complete more here than I would have back in the States. We finished out Pastor David’s house church out in March of last year and I’m excited to announce they have basically reached capacity, 6 to 36 members in just little over a year and a half! That is multiplication folks.
While I was consumed with building Pastor David’s house, Ruben and German two men that I have been discipling, had started building the foundation atop the footers that my men’s group had laid the previous year. At the end of their week instead of doing the typical tourist day they opted to help the ministry once again achieve a need we had, by jumping in after a long week and pouring the concrete slab on our first dorm. I truly believe that their sacrifice of the feel good trip really set up what was to come, as far as me reaching out to the other construction teams slated for the year, and asking them to help us reach our goal financially and labor on the dorm. Not all of them were on board with the idea of changing course, but God did give us the help need to complete the majority of our first dorm. After a few meetings with Sam and Peggy, I was able to convince them to change the building material from block to a more gringo approach. The change to metal framing, drywall interior and fiber cement exterior, allowed our teams to have more of a role in the building process. It also afforded me the opportunity to teach the local men something new. Of course there were multiple learning curves and setbacks, due to lack of availability and weather, but with all that said glory be to the Lord we succeeded.
A lot was going on for the ministry at this point as well not only were we beginning the dorm, and starting to get into the throws of team season, the ministry also made the move from El Hatillo where it had been based out of from the start of Ignite, to the area in which we had purchased the property to build our own facilities. The ministry had located two houses just 5 minutes down the mountain from the property. Much like the previous Mission House there were multiple modifications that needed to be made to make this property suitable for us to work teams out of. First was a roof over a large patio to where we could create an area for our teams to dine. My in laws liked the idea of a rustic feel to the area, and the property had some large slabs of wood from taking down a few trees. So I used my Alaskan mill to down beams, rafters and purlins. Then we laid all 1500 terra cotta tiles, these roofs may look good, but they are very labor intensive and I’m prayerful never to do it again. Another and possibly more challenging need was, a roof over an area for deep freezers, refrigerators, dry good pantry and outdoor grilling area. The Catch to this roof was it had to be placed above/around 3 different roof pitches and 2 walls. Morgan and I also relocated our home at this time to be closer to the mission and the property for me to start the building process. We had moved on a Saturday between teams and had decide to stay at the mission house with my men’s group and unpack and organize our things after they left. Well somewhere in the week someone had entered the house with a key and stole about $4,000 worth of our belongings. It was honestly a tough blow to the both of us and we really questioned the Lords intent in allowing such an event to take place. In the short side of the event we communicated the loss with our supporters and in less than 24 hours we had received sufficient donations to replace all that was stolen. Although with Morgan expecting our first child it left me very uneasy and I found it hard to leave her alone at the house and to sleep there at night. I prayed and prayed over the situation and one day when I was out at the property, I was looking at all these large blocks of wood I had milled up the previous year and the Lord was like I gave you the talent and material.
So I began the process of our home, much of these events are overlapping and the house was a little by little when I had free time event. Although the robbery and the expecting of my firstborn really drove me to find a way. I spoke with some of my supporters about the idea of building our home. I had went over the numbers multiple times and continued to come up with around $15,000. One night after speaking to a dear supporter and fellow brother, he said “Coy you would be a fool not to build, you will spend that money in two to three years in rent and have nothing to show for it.” It was settled we picked a little hill on the mission property and broke ground. I took it literal when the Lord said build your house on a rock, because I’m not sure a rockier place exists on the earth ha-ha. Ruben, German and I were pulling rocks out of this ground that were the size of a small car and solid it could not be cracked. With the amount of rock we removed we have since filled the footers on my house, footers and backfill for our water tank, two patios, footers for our septic, walls for a horse stable, a retaining wall that is about 50ft long and goes from ground level to 6ft high, a stacked rock wall that is 2ftx2ft and 400ft long, huge boulders that line our drive way about 20 of them, filled the footers for our second dorm and we have a pile at the mission property of about 10 dump truck loads. Ruben and German began the block foundation and pier columns and I found a man here who had a mobile saw mill. I gathered the list of boards needed to build our ranch style home, and in less than two weeks we had all the wood milled stacked and drying in the bodega. I was still doing construction teams that were working on both the dorm and village ministry projects at the same time. The process was a little daunting being that it was a conventional wood framed home in a country that everything is made out of concrete and metal, it also threw people for a loop because it sits on a crawlspace which no one had ever seen. I laid the seal plates, pier post, floor beams and joist by myself one Saturday, and the next day after church my father-in-law helped me spray it all down with a wood preservative. Pastor Freddy and pastor Donaldo helped me lay the subfloor, which was a struggle due to the fact that I was accustomed to using Advantech tongue and groove my whole life, so this had to be cut spaced and blocked at the joints. Freddy put in a few days to help me frame the walls, I’m pretty sure he enjoyed using a nail gun and being his first time he did an amazing job. We framed and stood all the walls in 3 days. Then the bad news came, I had contacted my metal supplier about getting the material for the roof and also going ahead and buying the 2 dorm roof packages. He responded that it was going to be at least 3 weeks out, this came at the worse time because a soon as I started the floor system it began to rain nightly, and here that is like 4” to 6” daily. I was in complete panic trying to figure out a way to keep the subfloor from delaminating and the wood from just being saturated and growing mold. During that time there was a team here from Hendersonville TN. they are a great group of guys I had worked with a few times, they have a baseball ministry called full count, and when they got back to our mission house they came up and prayed over the house and wrote scriptures and encouraging messages all over the framing. The material for the roof finally came and Pastor David came and help me weld up all the rafters and purlins for my house and the dorm. In 3 very long days we had manufactured the rafters, purlins, and beams for the dorm raised it all up and roofed my house. From there the stress went down drastically as I was able to get some local men I had been working with to help me hang the fiber cement panels to dry the house in. The house sat for a few weeks as I hosted the teams that helped frame the walls, run the electrical, the plumbing and hand the drywall for the dorm. Then the Lord truly blessed my family with some amazing men of God. A good friend of mine Brad Levi of Levi plumbing came down and roughed in all the plumbing, ran the grey water and septic lines, help dig the ditches and backfill and laid out the plans for the septic system and leech field. A few days later three men from my men’s bible study back home that had already been on the February trip returned for a second week to bless my family. Andrew Sprague, Chris Donaldson and Jacob Bell came and roughed in the electrical, helped finish the exterior gable panels, set the windows and doors, hung all the drywall and taped and mudded it. My in-laws painted the house for us and my old boss Justin Kleep sent down floor staples and floor gun and my father-in-law and I laid the floor. One of his friends Brent Culbertson was visiting and was kind enough to lay our tile for us. My home church pastor and dear friend Jeremy Hieny which also happens to be an amazing trim carpenter, came and helped me trim the whole house, set all the doors and built out or pantry and closets, he also built my wife a beautiful farmhouse table. Lastly a faithful supporter and friend Bob Wilcox raised all the money, bought, brought and installed our purified water system, which allows my family to drink water from the tap in our home. If you are not familiar with the third world issues water is #1. He also helped me move into our new home starting at 6pm and went until 3am on his last day in the country. It was a long 5 months, but it was full of blessing upon blessing, the end result being a 1400sqft home with little to no labor cost involved costing $15,500. This year when we returned from furlough coming back to our home was such a huge blessing, we will never be able to pay back the men and women that sacrificed so much for us.
In the mix of all this was construction teams. Once all the ministry buildings are completed this will be my main form of ministry. This is an area in which I would like you, the reader to pray about a way to be involved in the ministry. Prayer is always needed and is easiest enough for anyone to participate in, other forms are involved as well. Physical help or coming on a team, this helps in the obvious of having people to labor, but it also exposes folks to the needs and connects them in a real way. In turn producing a common vision in the group and this in turn produces financial supporters. This is where the rubber meets the road without the funding none of these things can take place, and me returning stateside and sharing pictures and stories never compares to when someone experiences for themselves. I say the perfect construction team is between 5 & 10 men, basically what will fit in one or two trucks, due to the fact that most the projects we do are in the more rural places. A floor or roof can usually be completed in one day, and cost somewhere from $400-$600 each. I encourage my men’s teams to raise their support for the trip instead of just writing a check, I believe this helps them better understand the struggles of raising support to live full time on the mission field. To not become the local Santa Clause I have a Pastor of ours or a group leader find and vet the possible projects. Then, I will go with them meet the family, take measurements, explain to the family the expectations that we have from the family that this is not a free hand out that they will need to do leg work beforehand whether it be leveling the floor, hauling in the materials or removing the old roof. Then we will set a date in which I follow up a few days before hand to make sure they are holding up their end of the deal, then the team will arrive and we will do a project a day or two depending on team size and skill set. The purpose of these projects is not just to merely meet a physical need, it is more importantly a very easy way for us to open up doors for our pastors and leadership to begin relationship with these folks. If you have a men’s group this is an awesome way to not only serve the Lord, but truly strengthen your group in a way that leaves a lasting result.
Another thing I have been blessed to be a part of and host, is a dear friend David Nerud founder of cornerstone ministries, has made multiple trips over the last few years to do welding trainings. Having learned to weld over the course of our projects it has been awesome to jump in and help David fulfill his calling to equip men to be men by sharing with them what God has called them to be, but also to see them learn a skill that will benefit their lives. I am prayerful that we can host many more of these trainings, and also move on from basics to structural welding that could really allow a career path for these men.
This year has not been without its struggles. Last November Honduras held its presidential election, where there was no lack of controversy over the legitimacy of the incumbent president changing laws and remaining in office. This sparked rioting, looting and widespread civil unrest. So much so that majority of government offices were closed along with our embassy, making the process to get my sons passport to leave for furlough a very difficult process. There was a two week period that we could not even make it into the city, causing us to have to drive 2 hours the opposite way to buy essentials. This unrest in turn caused the US government to issue a travel advisory to Honduras, a lot of ministries including ours saw a huge drop in teams. This gave us more one on one in our individual ministries, but also made resources very scarce.
I hosted a few construction teams early in the year, one of which was my men’s group they were back to doing projects in the villages and like usual on their last day we poured the slab to the second dorm. We had a welding training in March, which was hosted by our two churches in the north.
Shortly after that trip I was invited to Costa Rica to be the hands on construction piece to a water project, it was a blessing due to the fact that we need to get Houston’s SSN in order to complete our taxes and our options were go to the states or the embassy in Costa Rica. The entire trip was covered by the team doing the water project and the family that I lived with why I was in language school put me up for the days while I was waiting for my appointment. Upon returning from that trip I was blessed with news from my wife that we were going to have another child.
At the end of April we were blessed by the Wicker family that flew us up to Houston, and treated us so kindly with a little mini vacation. While there we got a very freighting call, Morgan’s father had been in a very serious 4 wheeler accident where he fell 30ft into a dry rocky creek bed breaking his pelvis and all the ribs on the left side of his body. Naturally we were very concerned for his safety, luckily he was life flighted to safety and had a successful surgery. Due to the fact that he and my mother-in-law make up half the missionary staff, I knew the rest of the year was going to be busy and little more stressful. Immediately I had to take on VBS/youth teams that he typically does and also manage our staff, which my mother-in-law handles typically. The farther a long Morgan got in her pregnancy and the more mobile my son became it was more difficult for her to help with teams. The blessing in disguise was the downturn in teams due to the unsure political landscape, in 2017 we had 21 teams this year only 13 booked and 2 canceled of those. The summer months were full of construction teams that really helped me knock out a huge part of the second dorm. These teams made the sacrifice of an experience to make themselves feel good about putting a roof or a floor in a house, to help a very tired missionary accomplish a huge need.
This year Ignite hosted a marriage conference for missionaries here, I had helped with two previous ones my first years here, but this was the first I got to attend as a married man. I have to say that it was a real blessing. The Wilcox family came and blessed our socks off once again, thru Teressa bringing all the councilors, their youngest two daughters came and babysat our son and Bob brought more water filters for our home and was good conversation.
Right after this event a very tragic event happened to us, on our way one evening to meet some friend’s newborn son. A 9 year old little girl ran across the road in front of us without looking, I was doing about 55mph and saw her but was not able to completely swerve out of the way due to oncoming traffic. Her face caught our passenger mirror and she bounced down the side of our car. I feared the worst that this little girl is dead and I am going to a Honduran prison, as I exited the car I remember hearing her blood curdling screams, she was alive and appeared to have only cut her lip down to her chin. Giving the situation I was amazed, we flagged a police truck down and took her to private hospital (which probably is why she did not die). I stayed there for about 6 hours. Finally the administration came looking for payment, because here you only get treatment if you have money at a private hospital otherwise you go to a public facility and wait in a very long line. As I was coming down the stairs from the administration office, I locked eyes with an angry looking man. I knew instantly this was the girl’s father, I approached him and extended my hand and so began an hour and half conversation with this man. Over the course of the next week I was able to share the love of Christ with this man, through the worst situation imaginable hope was being found. The little girl pulled threw and is doing fine, I have spoken with the father a few times and he shared thru this experience it has brought him back into his daughter’s life. WOW! Praise the Father. In the last few months work has continued on the Ignite property, where I have done more of a sub-contracting role, but was able to be involved in some of it.
Recently we finished off team season with another welding training, this one was special because it involved a lot of men that I have been working with and have been following up with.
Last week was a true blessing, my mom and aunt came and visited us for the first time, something about hometown folks breathes a breath of fresh air into you. It was such a blessing how much stuff they brought for our babies, and to watch them love on my little boy. As I write this my son is 14 months old and on the verge of walking and Morgan is less than a month away to giving birth to our daughter Harper Elizabeth. It has been a very wet season and making it hard to get anything accomplished. I am staying at home due to the fact that we live so remote and Morgan is nearing a bedrest state, with my in-laws gone we have no help with our son. I am asking for your prayers in this season, we are weary and unsure of the future. We are prayerful for a safe delivery and speedy passport process, so we can come join our family and friends for the holidays.
Our biggest needs at this point, always guard my family in your prayers, as we grow as a family so does our needs. God has never let my family go without, and that is because of you we have such amazing supporters. With that being said I am still responsible to share the needs we have, there is no gift too small and monthly continual support helps us better gauge our abilities to meet needs here on the ground. I would love to host more men’s teams, they are various in forms to name a few construction, and vocational training and veterinary teams all really help to reach the men of the villages I work in. On this website you can see the list of tools I still are trying to obtain, so that is a need that can be met as well. Last but not least advocates to what we are doing, whether it be sharing this blog post or Facebook post or simply sharing our needs with your circle of influences. We are only in the states a very short period of time and now with two little ones we do not have the flexibility to travel and fundraise as we did in the past. Also if you are from one of our home towns and would like to host a meet and greet event to help us share our vision please contact Morgan or I. As always we are so thankful for your support and love of our family, this ministry does not happen without your faithful support, may the Lord bless your sacrifice greatly.