From: Family Outreach
April 2018 Newsletter
Attached is the April 2018 newsletter for Family Outreach. This includes a financial summary for 2017.
If you know of someone who would like to receive the newsletter either by e-mail or regular mail, please let us know.
Newsletter Update April 2018
PO Box 22, Independence, MO 64051 USA
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Family Outreach operates primarily off of the donations that you
have felt led to give.
If you have given in the past we thank you. If you would like to
continue to give donations or would like to be a first time donor
please make checks payable to Family Outreach and mail them to
the above PO Box address.
No matter how much, every bit counts. May God’s blessings be on
you and yours.
In Gospel Bonds,
Remembering fourteen years ago... by Tikva Watson
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Fourteen years ago on April 18th our family was suddenly ambushed and
shot at while traveling back to the United States. God in His mercy saved
each one of us. This is a testimony that will never be forgotten as we
remember every year His goodness and grace in those few seconds
where our lives could have easily been taken.
I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
We learned this verse several months before our trip. Later, it would mean
so much more to my family. These words were not just words on paper
any longer, they were alive, the living word of Christ. And us, the living
Hanah has been having a lot of
health problems. Please
The ministers here in Honduras,
that they will fulfill their
responsibilities and be blessed
with the Lord’s Spirit.
Three church members in
Siguatepeque are not attending
and are in need of mighty
prayers. Their names are Julie,
Lilian, and Angel. Please pray and
fast for their return.
Pray that we as a people will pray
for repentance and become
excited to share so that others
can be a part of His Kingdom.
The Saints all over the world.
Those that know not God that
they will find His gospel and come
Newsletter Update Apr-2018 Page 2 of 7
testament of His words. Last fall, I wrote a paper for a college course about this experience as seen through my eyes and how it has shaped my life. I would like to share this with all of you as the fourteenth anniversary of this event is coming up very soon. God saved us that day there is no doubt. He allowed us to live and share his love, gospel, and truth to hundreds of people. This amazing testimony reflects His love for us in ways that are unfathomable to behold. There is no explanation for how we got out of there alive. We should all be dead, but we are not. Only through his grace and mercy are any of us here today able to share what He has done and continues to do.
Discovering Hope by Tikva Watson
I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
This morning was not just any regular morning. Dawn had not
yet come, and everything was dark and still. The birds had not
begun to sing their morning melodies, and all earthly creatures
knew that it was a time to still be in slumber. My eyes, groggy
from sleep, did not want to open and my mind told me to stay
in the warm bed. Then I remembered, this was the day! Today,
my family and I were going to be driving from our home in
Honduras to visit family and friends in the Unites States! We had
already packed the car the night before so all five of my
siblings, my parents, and I piled into our big, blue and silver Ford
F250. My dad started the truck and a thick cloud of heavy, gray
smoke filled the air. My eyes glowed in excitement as we began our journey.
This trip generally took anywhere from four to seven days depending on traffic and time spent at the
different borders. Our morning passed by quickly as we crossed the Honduras-Guatemala border. Once in
Guatemala however, things changed. Driving along the highway, the truck started to sputter and steam. My
dad pulled off the highway onto a dusty, dirt road. I groaned silently as I knew that this might take a while.
Mom pulled out goodies for us kids to munch on and she hoped it would keep us occupied during the time
necessary to fix the truck. Finally, after several hot, sweaty hours my dad, or abba as my siblings and I call him, pulled out the fuel pump and said we needed a replacement. After abba got everything fixed, we were ready to get back on the road. Once again, our journey began. We continued on the road until we
reached the unimaginably-difficult-to-navigate Guatemala City. As we passed through the tight roads and
honking traffic, we were thankful when we reached the outskirts of the city and the highway once more. The afternoon light began to give way to the hushed tones of dusk and the sun began to set in a glowing red ball on the horizon. The top of the volcano outside of the city began to glow with the unreal look of molten lava. I wondered why someone would want to live so close to a volcano that would glow at night. As the sun continued to set, I began to get tired and soon fell asleep.
Newsletter Update Apr-2018 Page 3 of 7
The sounds of fireworks were very loud, and the acrid smell of gunpowder was pungent as I was trying so
very hard not to wake up from my intricate dream. I was quite annoyed that someone would be setting off
fireworks and tried desperately to ignore it. Suddenly, I heard my parents yell in desperation, “God help us!” and “Kids get down now!” Instantly, I was awake and knew what was happening. My stomach was sick as I realized we were being attacked. Shots rang out sharp and clear. My siblings and I were all trying to scrunch down as much as we could to avoid the glass and bullets that were flying through the cab of the truck. I heard tires screeching and the engine roaring as my father would slam on the brakes or slam on the accelerator, as he was trying to save his family. Seconds later, there was the sound of metal crunching against metal as my father hit the vehicles beside us and in front of us to be able to flee from the gunmen.
As we raced through the night, abba asked if everyone was ok. I could hear the desperation in his voice
tinged with hope as he called each of our names asking for a response. All of us answered and I knew he
was relieved. Then my mom spoke, and said these words “I’ve been shot. I don’t know where, but there is a lot of blood.” I suddenly felt empty and sick inside. Abba’s calm voice just said, “Hold on Regina, it’s going to be okay.”
Suddenly, the truck took a sharp U-turn as my dad saw a gas station. We pulled in and tumbled out of the
truck. As we were piling out, everyone at the gas station was in shock. I could hear the intakes of breath from the people as a family of white gringos began coming out of this truck with blood down the sides of their faces, arms, and bodies. My mom sat down on the short curb in front of the store as blood continued to soak the side of her body and began to pool on the sidewalk. My oldest brother assessed my mom quickly and whipped off his belt to put a tourniquet on her arm where she had been shot, in hopes that it would slow the blood flow. He called for one of us to get something else that would work better for a tourniquet. I turned to my little brother and pulled off his shirt. As I did, he winced in pain and I saw a spot on his back that was round in shape. There was no hole, so I did not think much about it and handed his shirt to my oldest brother. My other brother was limping, and I asked him what was wrong. He said that his leg hurt, and I saw there was blood. I told him to lay down and put his leg up to keep the wound above his heart. Meanwhile, my oldest sister was trying to take care of my dad who had been shot in the arm. He was too busy trying to get in contact with the police and ambulance. After he was finally able to contact help, we began to wait.
My mother was turning pale and white from her naturally tan skin. I wondered when the police or
ambulance would get there, but also realized this was Central America and emergency crews always took
a long time to get anywhere. Finally, after the longest forty minutes of my life, two cops came on a
motorcycle. They told my dad they wanted to wait for the firemen or EMT’s and my father said, “No way, we are leaving for the hospital immediately.” He was adamant, and they decided to go ahead and head for
the hospital. The closest medical facility was a clinic, so we went there first to stabilize my mom and then went on to a hospital. Throughout this time, my dad was able to contact family and friends in the U.S., as well as the American Embassy, to let them know what had happened. At the hospital, we began to get an idea of what had transpired. Everything had happened in seconds and most of us were still in shock without having been able to entirely process the situation. My mom had been shot twice in the arm and hand, my dad had been shot in the arm, and my middle brother had been shot in the leg. Later, we would realize that
Newsletter Update Apr-2018 Page 4 of 7
my oldest brother and youngest brother had both been shot in the back. This was just one of the miracles
that had happened that night. There were so many more that we would not realize until days later.
The next day I woke up in the hospital bed next to my mom. I had refused to leave her side the night before after she had almost passed out from loss of blood. The doctors and nurses on staff took pity on me and let me stay overnight with my mom. I could hear lots of voices whispering and could hear hospital gowns rustling back and forth. I opened my eyes to the faces of several women standing around our beds. The hospital room was a long, brightly-lit hall with beds lining the walls. I looked around with wide eyes unsure of what to do. My mom’s gentle voice spoke from the bed beside me and said, “It’s ok Tikva. They are just curious about what happened.” I looked over at my mom and smiled. In the following days, there were a whirlwind of events as my father was trying to make sure that everyone stayed safe, and that his wife and children would be able to go to the United States for needed medical attention among other things. It was during these days that we started realizing all of what had happened. As we shared our story with curious people and as reports from the police came in, we were astounded at what could have very easily happened instead. The assailants had first surrounded our truck with three vehicles pinning us in on all sides.
Then, they had opened fire with two guns, a .45 caliber and a 9mm, shooting into the cabin of the truck. The number of bullets that police assumed had been shot through the cab of the truck were approximately
twenty to forty bullets in a matter of seconds. Through all of this, not one of us had been fatally shot.
My father should have died, my mother should have died, I should have died or at least been shot. My
oldest and youngest brothers should have both been badly wounded. We found that they had both been
shot in the back, but that the bullets had hardly even broken the skin. Two bullets that went through the windshield just disappeared; they should have hit my father. If by some miraculous chance the bullets did not hit my father, they should have hit me who was sitting behind him. Bullet holes filled the side of the driver’s door in an area of less than one foot in diameter. My mother had a perfectly formed .45 caliber bullet lodged in the fleshy part of her left hand that was protecting her head and face from flying debris. To avoid gory details, my mother should not be alive. None of us should have escaped as easily as we had. The truck really was what people and media had called it, “el vehículo de la muerte,” or the vehicle of death.
When we had arrived at the gas station we unintentionally pulled in behind a large semi-trailer. As my dad attempted to find a phone to call for help another semi pulled in behind us and overlapped the first semi.
This was yet another miracle as the police found out later that the assailants had been seen by the gas
station assistant. They pulled up shortly after the second semi had pulled in but did not dare to open fire for two reasons. One, they did not have a clear shot since both semi-trailers were surrounding us. Two, semi drivers are known to carry rifles and the gas stations in Central America always have at least one armed guard. The police surmised that the assailants were afraid to attempt anything because they would have had a fight on their hands and would not have been able to get away easily.
As time passed, I began wondering to myself, why did I live through all of that? Other people assaulted
along that very same highway had been killed, but my family and I had survived. What was the purpose of
living life? I wanted to know the answers to these questions. I wanted to know what reasons there were that could explain why these things had happened. I wanted to know what the purpose of my life was. The
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purpose of life. Such a strong meaning, yet hard to understand way of thinking in just four words. I began to think very hard as to what my purpose in life could be. Different religions and different cultures have varying ideas as to what a purposeful life might be. Some might think that it is getting a good education, a good job, getting married, having a family, etc. But what does all of this mean if there is no purpose in it? What is the point if we are not reaching for some higher goal outside of ourselves? When we focus too much on ourselves, we can fail to be objective. We can become depressed with nowhere to turn because we have not looked outside of our own wants. When we focus so much on just ourselves, we forget about the bigger picture of the world that we live in. We become stale. We are to be a salt to this earth, give it flavor so to speak. Every person in this world has their own abilities and strengths. Each person gives their own light and flavor to the world that cannot be reproduced by any other person. Without our intricacies, we would be nothing. Without our different personalities, this world would be a boring, dreary place without much color.
Every person has a purpose in life, we must find it for ourselves. As for me, I have realized what a part of my purpose on this earth is. My purpose is to give people hope; hope for a moment and hope for the future. The idea resonated within me one afternoon as I was thinking and praying, looking back on life and wondering what my purpose was. God spoke to me in His quiet, gentle voice “What does your name mean?” I suddenly realized what God was trying to tell me. My family name “Tikva” means hope. I realized then, I was to help inspire people who have lost their hope. To help bring happiness and joy back into their lives, a hope that something more is to come.
We have been created for a purpose. Throughout
time and history, we can see different people who
have fulfilled a purpose in their lives. In the case of
Moses from the Bible, we can read the amazing story
of how he fulfilled a purpose in living by saving a
whole race of people. God said to Moses “I have
raised you up for this very purpose” (Exodus 9:16).
Christ’s purpose was to come to this earth and die for
us that we might have the hope of salvation and life.
His love and power are what saved me and my family
that dark night on a little Guatemalan highway.
Happenings by Chuck Sperry
We are visiting 4 families in a town called Agua Dulce (Sweet Water). One of them has 14 sons. I met one of the other families when the father (Gustavo Castañeda) fell out of a truck that was going up the mountain road that is in our community late one evening. He was all cut up and had a fairly bad laceration on his head. We cleaned him up and then took him to his home in Agua Dulce. On our way there, while in the middle of the mountains, we met a number of his relatives with axes and machetes (carrying them for protection since it was late at night) that were going to find him. The owner of the truck had no idea where he had fallen out of the truck and hadn’t noticed that he was not in the bed of the truck until he got
Newsletter Update Apr-2018 Page 6 of 7
home! The family was very grateful that we would risk taking a stranger to
his home up in the mountains late at night. As a result, when I visited the
family one Saturday, they invited me to come back any time that I want
to. We have an open door here and I ask that you please be praying for
this family that we might be able to share the gospel with them.
We also have 4 new visitors that are attending church. Two of them are
attending regularly. One is named Julio. He is a neighbor that lives next to
the church. About a month ago, he knocked on the church gate while
we were in church and asked if he could worship with us. (We keep the
gate locked during services because one time we had two gang
members try to rob all the church members by pulling a weapon on us
during the invocation.) Anyway, after the service Julio told us that he
wanted to get his life right with God and would be attending church with
us from then on.
Another person is the daughter of one of the most faithful church
members that we have. About 2 months ago we as a church began
fasting and praying that the daughter (Yulissa) would give her life to Christ
and let her oldest son be baptized. Three weeks ago, Yulissa unknowingly
mixed two medicines. The reaction sent her to the emergency room and
almost killed her. As a result, she has decided that she needs to get her
life right with Christ and has started attending church with us. Praise the
Lord! Please pray for her though as she has made some bad decisions in
her life and she will have to overcome them.
Dan and I went to visit Moncho Enamorado from Concepcion del Sur
who is one of the men who participated in the division of the Honduran
church in 2006. He asked for forgiveness for what he did! This is great
news! The church in Concepcion del Sur has divided from the church that
Socorro Vasquez, Antonio Orellana, and Angel Castro lead because of
financial irregularities and nepotism. The church in Concepcion isn’t
perfect either. They do not preach the Book of Mormon in public, but
they do teach it in private and tell prospective members that it is the
Word of God prior to baptism. This is what they were taught by RLDS
Seventy Antonio Jimenez. They have had problems because of this when
American church members visit them. Antonio Orellana in the other
group doesn’t teach the Book of Mormon at all, but when there are
Americans visiting, he will preach from it. There is so much more
happening in God’s work down here, but I will wait until next time. One
more thing before I go though. Have you ever thought about doing
Our youth love to share their
talents at church through song.
Pictured here are the three
middle children of Brother
Santos and Sister Marta. Their
children are baptized members
as well and their names are
(starting from left to right):
Marjory, Melvin, and Roni.
Family Outreach wants
everyone to know that there is a
need to purchase a used
vehicle for Chuck and
Regina. Due to Regina's
medical conditions, she needs
to ride in a vehicle that rides
smoother than the 1989 Ford
F250 that they own at this time.
They are looking to purchase a
vehicle in Honduras since the
import taxes and registration is
so expensive when bringing in a
vehicle from out of country that
one ends up paying for it almost
three times it’s worth. Thank you
for your consideration. You are
welcome to contact either
Chuck or Regina at
Newsletter Update Apr-2018 Page 7 of 7
missionary work for a short period of time? We would love to have you come and visit. Feel free to contact me if you feel so led to come and share in God’s work as we proclaim His gospel. May God bless each and every one of you.
2018 Family Outreach Financial Summary by Jon Tandy
We appreciate the faithful support of many of you who have given periodically or regularly over the years, which enables this ministry to continue. In addition to normal income and expenses, this year we received donations earmarked for a youth trip to Tahiti, which was passed on to those responsible for that activity. The Lord continues to open the door for ministry to be brought once again to the saints in French Polynesia after many years of isolation. Please remember the Sperry family, for medical needs and repairs for their vehicle in Honduras that will be additional expenses in 2018.
Family Outreach provides about $800-$1000 per month to support the Sperry family with their monthly
expenses. While the family was in the States for much of 2017, they still had to send funds to Honduras for expenses that included paying a member to maintain and secure their property there.
Family Outreach is a Missouri not-for-profit organization, dedicated to supporting the efforts of families serving in the mission field. If you know of others who would be interested in serving in the work of long-term missions in Honduras or elsewhere, please let us know. We pray that you and your families will be engaged in a good cause, whatever the Lord is calling you to do for His work and His glory.
Income Amount Explanation
General $ 11,469.00 Regular donations made to Family Outreach
Tahiti $ 5,810.95 Donations for youth trip to Tahiti
Total income: $ 17,279.95
Expenses Amount Explanation
Bank fees & charges $ 33.00
Newsletter $ 275.73 Copying and mailing costs
Disbursements $ 10,493.00 Money disbursed to Sperrys for travel and living expenses
General $ 128.20 Post office and Western Union expenses
Medical $ 600.00 Sperry family medical expenses
Tahiti $ 5,810.95 Youth trip to Tahiti
Total expenses: $ 17,340.88
General fund Medical Tahiti
Starting balances $5,142.77 $2,000.00 $700.00
Ending balances $5,681.84 $1,400.00 $700.00
Total balance $7,781.84
P.O. Box 22
Independence, MO 64051