Monday, February 9, 2015

Younger Update 2015

Our family has been honored to make some wonderful memories serving at the Jungle Hospital with Dr. Martin and Wendy Williams over the past several years. Mark and I spent our first years of marriage there, our son Wild Will was born there, and we established deep roots in the country of Honduras through our relationship with the Williams Family and the staff at the Jungle Hospital. Now that we have returned to the USA, we have that same opportunity to make new and wonderful memories with our family and friends right here in Louisiana. You can read more about how God has lead us back to the USA in our last post here.

We returned to the States right before Christmas in 2014. We had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends, and then began the process of establishing a home for our family in Addis, LA. We shipped most of our belongings from Honduras to the USA, since it was much more cost efficient than purchasing everything all over again. They say moving internationally is one of the most stressful things you can ever do...and we would definitely agree with that statement! BUT...God is good, and he directed us to some wonderful people to help us make the move as easy as possible. The container arrived in Addis on December 23rd, and we began unpacking and setting up the house on Christmas day! It was such a relief to have everything arrive and be officially done with the move.

It has been six weeks now, and it is really starting to feel like we live here again. There has been a lot of adjustments to take in, relationships to maintain and rebuild, and new things to learn. Mark and I jumped right into our new roles in taking over the family business Younger Wholesale Growers from Mark's parents. We are still connected to the Jungle Hospital and are helping them in new and different ways from the USA. My sister and I are even hosting a fundraising event in March for the hospital, check out the event page on Facebook!

We are learning a lot, laughing a lot, and thanking God every day for his faithfulness to our family. We are so grateful to all of those who have supported us through prayer and finances while we were on the mission field, and we are also grateful to all of those who are supporting us spiritually and relationally during this transition for our family. If you are interested in continuing to support the Jungle Hospital and their amazing volunteer staff please visit the About Us page of their website to learn more.

We plan to take some time out to visit all of our friends and supporters this year, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Future Plans for Our Family

As you all know, for the past few years Mark and I have been serving with Dr. Martin and Wendy Williams, founders of Healing Hands Global and the Jungle Hospital, in the village of Rio Viejo, Honduras. It has been our obedience to God, along with your kind words, committed prayers and financial gifts that have kept us secure on the mission field.
January 2015 will mark the 5th and final year of our original commitment to HHGlobal. Since last August, Mark and I have been intentionally praying about whether God would have us extend our commitment to HHGlobal or bring closure to this season of our lives. Before our trip to the states this year, we met with Dr. Martin and Wendy and shared our hearts with them and asked that they too be in prayer with us for direction from God. We also met with our leadership at Healing Place Church and spoke with key people in our lives to ask for their prayers. It is with mixed emotions that we write to inform you that we feel God is leading our family to return to the USA. Although, we are excited about the new things God has for our family, and are confident that this is His plan for us, we are also heavy hearted to leave our missionary friends and family in Honduras.
We feel that God has been preparing our hearts to return in order for Mark to take on a major role in his parent's business as they approach retirement. We hope to continue to advance the Kingdom in Honduras through future micro-enterprise endeavors using the business as a way to fund God's work. I will also continue to assist HHGlobal administratively from the USA, with the possibility of becoming a stateside representative for the ministry. We would be honored to be ambassadors for the mission and vision that God has given the Williams to bring health, hope and healing to people of the Third World.
We will continue to live and work in Honduras until the end of 2014. We have not yet set a date for our return, but it will most likely be sometime in the late-Fall early-Winter months. We have already begun making transitions here at HHGlobal, to cross train other volunteers so that our duties will still be carried out. If you are a financial supporter, we ask that you continue giving as our family will continue to live and work in Honduras until the year's end.
We also ask that everyone be in prayer for our little family and for the HHGlobal Staff. We have all grown so close over the years, and we know that our return to the states will leave a staffing gap in the ministry. Please pray for others to come and join the HHGlobal staff, for unity in our HHGlobal team, for clear communication as we transition duties, and for strength and faith as we walk out God's plan for our lives.

Honduras has been our home for so long that it almost feels like we are being called to the mission field again...where excitement and fear are so closely intertwined that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The one thing we know for certain is that we love our God and we will be obedient to His call. I remember that old hymn that says, "The cross before me, the world behind me...no turning back, no turning back." Our desire has always been to be obedient to God's will, and we will follow Him wherever He leads us.
Right now our focus is on finishing our time here with excellence and dedication. The entire year lies before us, and there is much work to be done. We are anticipating great things this year at the Jungle Hospital, and we are so glad that God has allowed us one more year to serve alongside some of the best missionaries in the world.

We understand that you may have questions so we invite you to email us at theyoungersglobal@gmail.com, if you would like to discuss things further. We promise to keep you in the loop as details fall into place and will be posting blogs and updates as new developments occur.
We continue to depend on God for strength, provision, and endurance. We love you all and we know that we would be weaker without your prayers and encouragement, so keep 'em coming!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Is it January 2014 Already?!?

Our little family trio had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends in the States this Winter. Mark and I were able to introduce William Cole to his great grandparents and watch him make some great memories with his many cousins. We spent 3 weeks visiting churches and supporters in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee this year...all with a 1-yr old in tow! Will had his first set of church nursery experiences, some of which were good...and others...not so much, but overall he traveled like a professional and we couldn't have asked for better behavior. Thanks for all of the prayers in that area!

Our trip was full of God moments and little side adventures that made our 6-weeks away from Honduras fly by. On our way to FBC of Meridianville, AL from Go Global in Memphis, TN, we took a little detour to visit some Civil War monuments in Pulaski, TN, which led us to a sporting goods store that was having a going out of business sale. We were able to purchase over 600 baseball hats for the Las Minas Christmas Toy Give-A-Way for $0.50 each! So after purchasing said hats (40 boxes of them) I realized that they may not fit into the already loaded down, Toyota Camry we were borrowing. After some creative packing (see picture below) we were on our way!
  
Where's Waldo?

We had a great visit with FBC of Meridianville, AL, who sent a team back in October to install a water purification and storage system at the Jungle Hospital. We were honored to give the church an update on the system and all of the other incredible things God has done in 2013.

Mark was able to help Instituto El Rey (the Christian high school across the street from the hospital) acquire some new marching band equipment. The band students will have a new drum line and harnesses, and we are working on getting marching drum sticks and mallets, as well. Mark has done a great job teaching the marching band for the past 3 years, and they are improving more and more each year.



Receiving drums and hats at the Jungle Hospital.


My sister, Sarah, got married and we spent a wonderful week visiting with family surrounding the festivities. It was really great to see my step-cousins which I hadn't seen in years, and to visit with all of my immediate family for a whole week!


Heather's Sister's Wedding


Mark's brother, Trey, had a baby girl and entered Club Parenthood while we were visiting. It was wonderful to see sweet Abbigayle McKenzi Younger. Now Mark and I are getting baby fever again. They just don't stay newborn very long, do they?



Abbigayle McKenzie Younger


We had a small Holiday Update party with some of our HPC friends and supporters, and had our yearly meeting with the HPC Missions Team and Pastors Mike and Rachel Haman. It was great to see everyone interact with Wild Will and get some good Louisiana hugs.




Two of my favorite people, Chepa and Will, meet at the Holiday Party!


We wrapped up the visit with Christmas celebrations on both sides of the family, and made some last minute meetings with supporters and friends. Our schedule was so full but even at the end of the 6 weeks there seemed like there was still so much to do and so many people to see. As we sat on the tarmac in the Baton Rouge airport waiting to depart we were sad to leave all of our family and friends behind, but we were excited to start another year serving with the Jungle Hospital.

Christmas at the Saavedra House


The Younger Family Tree

The 2014-2015 season marks the end of the 5 year commitment I made to HHGlobal back in 2009, and just like our 6 week trip in the States, I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. Mark and I have enjoyed every moment of living out this faith adventure, every day putting one foot forward and expanding God's Kingdom one step at a time. We couldn't have asked for better people to serve with than the Williams family and the rest of the HHGlobal staff.

When we look back on our lives, the one thing Mark and I want to see is fruit - good, Godly fruit. More than anything we want to be in God's perfect will for our lives. We want to do what he puts before us with passion and commitment. When we stand before God on the last day we want him to be proud of the work we have done, the relationships we fostered, and the way we spent the time he gave to us. We want him to say, "Well done, my good and faithful servants."

We continue to seek His will, and we ask you to be in prayer with us as we pray for passion and boldness. We push forward knowing that He is faithful to provide guidance, and that He is the lamp unto our feet. 2014 is going to be an incredible year in the House of the Lord. We can't wait to see what He has next for the Younger Family!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Younger's Summer 2013 Update

July was an incredible month for our little family. Mark and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary, Wild Will turned 8 months old and we finished an amazing summer season serving with the Williams Family at the Jungle Hospital!


Every year, Mark is given more responsibility at the Jungle Hospital, and this year was no exception. Dr. Martin continues to call Mark his favorite APP, All Purpose Person, and Mark continues to match that description. This year, in addition to his maintenance and security duties, he has translated on medical brigades, helped with the school visits and health education, and been an all around "serve where you need me" guy. I absolutely love being married to such a humble and servant-hearted man!



My (Heather) personal challenge this year has been to serve my growing family and continue to serve God by way of HHGlobal and the Williams Family. This year has been wonderful for me, learning to depend on God for the everyday practical things in life, as well as, the future of my marriage, and the life of our son. I absolutely love being a wife and mother, and I am cherishing the moments I have to spend with my two favorite people on the planet! As the summer season comes to a close, all of the missionaries are preparing for trips to the USA to visit supporters and spend some much needed time with family and friends.

Since Will was born here in Honduras, he is a Honduran Citizen, but because Mark and I are both US Citizens, he is also a US Citizen. So that translates into a LOT of paperwork for Mama! haha I have spent the majority of my free time the past few months collecting, organizing, and translating proof of Will's birth, proof that Mark and I are his biological parents, proof that we are US citizens and proof that we have actually lived in the USA. We traveled to San Pedro Sula this week to submit the Report of US Birth Abroad and Passport Application to the US Consulate office so that we can travel back to the US with Will this Fall. Please be in prayer that everything is approved and that we receive William's passport in 4 weeks! We are looking forward to introducing Wild Will to his Stateside Family and so they can make some memories together...but we won't be able to leave the country without his passport!

We went and had Will's passport photo taken at the Mall in La Ceiba, and they told me that he had to wear a collared shirt for the picture - which I hadn't read in any of the paperwork - since I didn't have one, the photographer assured me that they could add one in Photoshop after the fact...mmm...really?!?! Below is our man-child, ready for world travel.

It's OK to laugh...we did. 

Other News this month:
  • Mark and I celebrated 3 years of marriage, on July 31st and I am so amazed at how quickly the time has passed. We spent our anniversary in the US consulate office filing Will's paperwork, but we were able to have a nice dinner in the city!
  • Will turned 8 months old, and in a period of three weeks he learned to crawl, pull himself up on the sofa, sprouted three teeth, and captured the hearts of all the team members visiting the Jungle Hospital. Will has been a joy to parent and we have enjoyed seeing others fall in love with his sweet spirit and adorably expressive face. I can't help but be excited that Will is serving the Kingdom, in his own special way, at such a young age!

If you would like to see more about what has happened at the Jungle Hospital this season, you can subscribe to the Jungle Hospital Updates and Newsletters. Just click HERE and use the subscribe boxes on the right hand side of the page. There is one for email newsletters and one for blog updates. You can also "Like" the Jungle Hospital Facebook page and get more frequent posts and pictures right in your personal News Feed.

We love you guys and are looking forward to seeing you this Fall!










Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wild Will in Action


HHGlobal welcomed the first team of the season, and Mark, Will and I were honored to participate in medical and health education outreaches with Dr. Martin and Wendy Williams, and the rest of the Jungle Hospital Team!
William 3 months old and loving every minute of his first team!
(Photo Credit to Wendy Williams)


I have to say that things are a little different when you have a little one on board! Literally, since William has been riding around in a sling over my shoulder or in a back pack with Mark. At 3 months old he has seen more of our valley than some of the locals! I was speaking with the ministry's cook, Elida, the other day and she told me that she has never been much farther on the road than our village, Rio Viejo. Well, yesterday we went on a school visit in the village of Urraco, which is at the end of the road...much farther than Elida has been in her whole life! It's crazy to realize that transportation is such an issue, and I am blessed to know that William will grow up seeing more of the area around him.
Will riding around in his baby sling...snoozing away while I teach the group the dental skit for the kinder visit.
(Photo credit Wendy Williams)
 
Will's first school visit to the Kinder in Rio Viejo with HHG and Christ the Redeemer Church!
(Photo Credit to Wendy Williams)

Mark has played a new role as a translator for a Physician's Assistant on the trip, Douglas Senecal. I know he has enjoyed the challenge of medical translation, as well as the change of pace from his normal construction management duties. Today he will be hiking with the team to the village of San Luis, which is about an hour and a half off of the main road. Not only will he translate for Doug again, but he has asked Dr. Martin if he could share the gospel with the children there! Way to go Mark! I am so proud of him, and blessed by his desire to show Christ's love and accessibility!


Mark translating at a medical brigade for Douglas Senecal.
(Photo credit Wendy Williams) 

Will and I are staying back today, but we did enjoy our time on the school visits earlier this week, one to the kindergarten here in Rio Viejo, and 2 yesterday in Urraco and Japon! It was so much fun for the kiddos to see him "outside of the belly" and some of the teachers and I were pregnant at the same time, so it was fun for us to see each others children! Being a mom has given me a new perspective...knowing we have started a family here, there is a deeper sense of belonging. The people have not only seen our faces for years, but they are now seeing our family grow, and that brings us all closer together somehow. Their smiles are quicker and their joy is evident...something only a the presence of a new life can bring. I have to say that I love living here, and I am blessed by what we get to be a part of! 
Mark and Spencer hiking to San Luis with the group!
(Photo credit Wendy Williams)