Newsletter- January 2005
We would like to thank you for your prayers during our return trip to Honduras. Many of you have asked how Regina is doing. The mobility of her left arm is slowly improving. We ask you to please continue to remember her.
After seventeen days on the road, it was good to get back. We spent two weeks repairing and cleaning the house. As a family, we traveled to el Progreso and shared our experience in Guatemala with them.
Shortly after this trip, Chuck became sick. We found out that he had an E. Coli. bacterial infection. Our family was invited to a new mission to share, but could not go due to Chuck’s illness.
Christina, our second oldest daughter, has had stomach problems for some time. Several tests were done in the States, but nothing could be found. We had some tests done here in Siguatepeque and found out she has a helicobacterpylori bacterial infection. Both of these infections are due to the unsanitary conditions that exist in here in Latin America. Please pray for their complete recovery.
We enjoyed our trip down with Dave and Debbie Newman. We met them in Texas and traveled to
Oaxaca together. We had a 3-day wait at the Mexican border, which proved to be interesting. The Mexican government took our stove and some personal clothing that we needed for the trip. On the climb to Oaxaca, the truck overheated several times. You go from sea level to 9,000 feet in about four hours. We finally made it to Oaxaca where we had the radiator repaired. That did not solve the problem though. Our stay there with Frank and Patty Frye was one of the highlights of our trip. We enjoyed being able to share with the people in Mitla and look forward to being able to do it again.
After staying three days in Oaxaca, we continued on to Guatemala. The truck overheated a number of times after we got to the Pacific Coast. When we arrived at Xela in Guatemala we had the thermostat taken out. That still didn’t solve the problem. Three days were spent in Xela visiting with Rolando and Nora Herrera and waiting on our promised police escort through Guatemala. We had some good talks with
Rolando and Nora. Please pray for this family. Pray that they will have a desire to pick up the Scriptures and read them. Ask that the Holy Spirit will teach them. The church they attend does a lot of praying, but very little Scripture study.
After three days of waiting, we left Xela with a police escort. At the boundary of each political region, we had a different police escort from the region we were entering. When we passed the site of the attack, we gave thanks to the Lord for His mercy. The region past the area where we were attacked did not send any escort. From there, we were on our own. So much for promises of the Guatemalan police. We were content knowing that we had a Someone greater that was providing us with an escort though.
When we crossed the border into Honduras, we thanked the Lord that we were back. After seventeen days of travel, we were home. It was good to see our brothers and sisters in Christ here again. They shared their concerns for us when they heard of the attack.
While we were gone, someone tried to break into our house. We had to replace a door. We had hired two guards, but they did not take their work very seriously. One of them worked during the day in town and left the house alone. This is a common problem here. Very few individuals or companies are trustworthy. We were very thankful that although the thieves broke the lock on the door and part of the doorframe, they were not able to break through the security lock that Chuck had added on the door. Four of our goats died. Some friends of ours told us that they figured that the guards were selling the goat, dog, and cat food. That is why they ran out of food. The guards also stole about 30 gallons of diesel fuel that we had in barrels for the vehicles. We were still glad to get back, though sometimes we wonder if our bi-ennial trip to the States is worth all the trouble.
The church in Honduras will be having a family camp the 17-19 of December. We are looking forward to the fellowship. Please pray for this camp. In the last six months, there have been three new missions opened and three men ordained to the priesthood. As the work here continues, we look forward to what the Lord will do with His people. May the Lord bless you. Have a wonderful Holiday season. Think about us when you are gathering with your families. Most of all pray for the work, as the Lord is moving among people all over the world to join His Army. (Eph. 6:13)
Your friends in Christ,
Chuck & Regina Sperry and family (written Nov. 8, 2004)
Dear friends and family,
How is everyone doing? We pray that each of you are in good health. We have had a lot of sickness these last few months. Most of the church families here in Siguatepeque have also been sick. Chuck and Christina are the two in our family that we would ask your prayers for. Both have bacterial infections that are difficult to get rid of. They look healthy, but are bothered by these microbes.
We have spent the last few weeks preparing for the church camp that will take place the 17, 18, and 19 of December. Regina has been given the responsibility of finding teachers for the children’s classes. There are four teachers that will be helping with these classes. Chuck is in charge of the camp. This year the camp will not be in our home. The church has worked to earn money for the camp and will have it at a campsite that is centrally located for all of the congregations. This is an exciting time for everyone. Our congregation is looking forward to having this family camp. We would ask your prayers for it. Camps are always a time for individuals to consider baptism. This is the only time of year that people have the opportunity to meet other brothers and sisters from all the other congregations in Honduras.
Regina is continuing her therapy. She has gained some movement with her arm. Just keep praying for her. She will keep exercising until mid-April. The doctor said that the movement she has in April will be the most she will gain. We realize that all things are in the Lord’s timing.
It is probable that Chuck will be traveling to Guatemala the first week in January. A church family in el
Progreso has a daughter that has moved to Guatemala City. She and her husband have asked for a visit. From Guatemala City, Chuck will be going to Xela to visit some people there. We ask you to please pray for this trip.
We will include in our newsletter for January more information about family camp. We look back at the events of this year and give honor and praise to the Lord for His goodness. When we think of the attack in Guatemala and how the Lord delivered us, it is so awesome. All we can say is that we are here by His grace. Our sole purpose is to serve Him. We pray that all of us will be able to say, “Here am I Lord, send me”. Let us be ready to serve the Lord. Can we not give something t o Him? After all, He has given everything to us.
God bless each of you,
Chuck & Regina Sperry and family (written Dec. 16, 2004)
Congregations: Boquita, Concepcion, Conchas, Horcones, Mogote, Ocoman, Ocote, Jardines, San Nicolas, Siguatepeque, Sta. Cruz, Taulabe
Missions: Camalote, Cana Veral, Choluteca, Meambar, Progreso,Villa Napoles, la Union
by Jon Tandy
The following tidbit of history shows an instance of "family missions" in the early church. Elder Parley P.
Pratt's family apparently accompanied him on his mission to England, allowing him to remain longer in the mission field. On September 5, 1840, Brigham Young and Willard Richards wrote to the First Presidency concerning several subjects, including the question, "Are we doing right in staying here & leaving our fami-lies to be a burden to the Church?" On December 15, Joseph wrote back in answer to their questions. Part of his response follows:
"Being requested to give my advice respecting the propriety of your returning in the spring, I will do so will-ingly. I have reflected on the subject some time and am of the opinion that it would be wisdom in you to make preparations to leave the scene of your labors in the spring. Having carried the testimony to that land, and numbers having received it, consequently the leaven can now spread, without your being obliged to stay. . . .
"If Elder Parley Pratt should wish to remain in England for some time longer than the rest of the Twelve, he will feel himself at liberty to do so; as he [sic] his family are with him consequently his circumstances are somewhat different to the rest, and likewise it is necessary that someone should remain who is conversant with the rules, regulations &c & of the church and continue the paper which is published; consequently, tak-ing all these things into consideration I would not press upon Brother Pratt to return in the spring."
"To the Twelve, December 15, 1840," Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, compiled and edited by Dean C. Jessee (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1984) 481-483.
Newsletter- July 2005
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you in the holy name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have been very busy for the last few months. In March of this year I traveled to the States for the Elders’ Conference with my daughter Tikva. Both of us stayed in the States for about 2 months to take care of some medical problems.
Tikva has had some type of gastro-intestinal infection for the past year and a half. She has seen a number of doctors here, but no one could really figure out what the problem was. Some said that it was a helicobacter pylori infection and others said that it was something else. Even after seeing a couple of doctors in the States, we are still not quite sure what she has. She is gradually getting better though, for which we are thankful.
I had a very bad urinary tract infection back in October of 2004 which was resistant to all the antibiotics that I took. The doctors finally found an antibiotic to which the bacteria was only somewhat resistant- ciprofloxacin. I took it 4 different times for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, but it still didn’t get rid of the infection. As a result of the prolonged infection, my prostate became infected. I saw various doctors while in the States. The final prognosis was that I would need to take a natural antibiotic, querecitin, for 8 months to a year because none of the others seemed to be working.
During our stay in the Independence area, Brother Charles Zerr introduced us a Cuban émigré who had been imprisoned by Castro for preaching about Jesus Christ. He and his family were expelled from Cuba after he was released from prison and now live in northeast Kansas City. He is pastoring a non-denominational church there. We were able to share with him and his family about some of our experiences as missionaries in Latin America. As a result, he invited us to come and share in his church. It went very well. A few days later, he invited Arturo Gomez to share in his church also. Please pray for him, his family and Brother Zerr who is continuing to visit with them on a regular basis.
Visit to Guatemala
During Elders’ Conference, I visited with Arturo Gomez from Belize about our contacts in Xela. While we were talking, he mentioned that he had been invited to visit an evangelical pastor in a town in central Guatemala. He told me that the name of the town was Almolonga. When I heard the name of the town, I was surprised. It is where all the pastors in the town came together in prayer and fasting asking the Lord to clean up their town. Now, about 10 years later, they don’t have any cantinas Almolonga is only about 5 minutes from Xela. We decided that we would meet in Almolonga on the 17th of June and do some joint missionary work there and also in Xela for the next week. I arrived in Xela on the 16th of June and found a place to stay in a hostel run by a Lutheran pastor. On the 17th, I took a bus to Almolonga. During the short ride, I met a man who lived in Almolonga and attended one of the evangelical churches there. I asked him how many churches there were in Almolonga. He told me there were basically 9 main churches
Translation of the Inspired Version
After my trip to Guatemala, Phil and Cheri Tandy invited me to return to the States to help in the translation of the Inspired Version. They were gracious enough to pay for my plane ticket so that I could be there. Those involved in the translation process during the week were: David Cromwell, Phil and Cheri Tandy, Gary Metzger, Mara and Dalia Castillo, and myself. We worked from 8 to 6 every day revising a preliminary translation made by Mara and Dalia Castillo and Phil and Cheri Tandy. The preliminary translation was based on previous work done by Ron Quick, Frank Frye, and others. The final translation will include, but not be limited to Genesis, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Isaiah 29. We are continuing the translation and review process by email during the next 10 to 12 months. Sometime at the beginning of the summer of 2006 we will be meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico to finish the translation process. We would like to be able to begin printing the Inspired Version addition to the spanish Bible sometime toward the end of 2006. If there is anyone who would like to help defray the printing costs or help in some other way in the translation process, please contact Phil and Cheri Tandy.
Newsletter- September 2005