A team members account…
This sums up the first half of a teams week…
i will try to spotlight some of the team’s highlights!:
First of all, we had a great flight, and we actually sat next to another group of missionaries that were coming from Nashville TN, and none of us got sick or anything like that. We had some turbulence on the second flight, but nothing really major. I remember clearly the solid wall of moisture and heat that we all experienced exiting the plane – our skin was INSTANTLY sticky! Like “Whoa…” lol. We stayed at a hotel the first night because it was too late to drive to El Ayudante. There was air conditioning – apparently this is REALLY important here!! YIKES! It was like 102. The second day we had breakfast, and as we went to leave a tip, we left like 6$, and I was wanting to leave a couple bucks, but they said it would be an outrageous amount, and we didn’t want to start any trouble, so I guess $6 is enough for 15 people for tip! One dollar transfers to like 20 Lempiras “Lemps”, and you can buy roughly two or three times as much for your money here / maybe five times as much for some things, and the same amount for others. The waiters were getting paid about $7.50 per DAY. again… “Whoa…”
We set off for El Ayudante amidst small displacement motorcycles, and tiny diesel vans that got 40mpg (ours was a manual diesel toyota van), and stopped along the way for a coconut with the top chopped off for a drink. (they are everywhere! As well as mangos.)
At the camp, we were broken up into a couple or even a few different teams on the different days, so I am not great at recording the things the other people did in other groups, please forgive me! I am sure they took pictures, and hopefully journals.
We set out Saturday when we got back, to work on water filters, and I was really amazed at how warm the people were to us. They were always excited to see us, and inviting us into their homes – they really appreciate the help they are getting – no question. There is a bit of a learning curve when working with the water filters, but they are pretty straightforward, and they are far superior to the alternative. The small creek/river that goes through the outskirts of this town we are in supplies both drinking and bathing water, washing and sewage, for the entire area. There are other springs in the hills, but the government has control of these, and frankly, people don’t have a penny to spare – and need water, so they end up drinking this horribly tainted water. It tested positive for E-Coli, fecal matter, Salmonella (sp?), and so many other bad things, the tester was very inquisitive of where the water was found. We see people literally in the middle of this water all day long.
3/24 Sunday morning we went to church at a place I literally have no idea how they found again. We weaved fairly randomly through like 5 miles of unmarked streets (NO POST OFFICE, NO STREET SIGNS!), to this wonderful and large church. There we sang songs but “Open the eyes of my heart” was the only one I recognized in spanish that we all knew english words for. We bought coconuts to support a fundraiser after church for 25cents, or 5 Lemps. We worked on water filters in the afternoon.
When we work on water filters, we are basically checking the volume of water flow, checking for proper cleanliness, checking for a bacteria that blocks the flow, and then making adjustments. Our purpose is foremost to get a chance to know the family, and get a chance to pray for them, encourage them for the kingdom, and love them! What a great job! I could get used to this!
3/25 Monday: we wake up and have devotions daily, and Carolyn is teaching some good word centered on caring for others, and valuing them higher than ourselves. Today she taught on the widow that gave 2 mites – this is quite a reality here, as people who have literally nothing but a dirt house willingly give of themselves to help others daily.
Oh! another team came the second day we were here, and one of the leaders shared a song that the entire group sang for us! IT IS AMAZING!!!:
All sons & daughters – “You have come to save us”
They say the entire album “The poor and powerless” is amazing! It was so powerful!
we (Tristan, Tom, Troy, Jeremy, me, and Eduardo a translator) went to work on a school’s septic system that was not finished by the government that built the school three years previous. It was hard manual labor in once again 102 + degree heat (with little shade) and severe humidity. (this is the hottest week in Honduras usually). I took off digging at my normal attack everything at once speed, and lasted about two hours before I realized I had to find a cool spot/ only to realize there was NO cool spot! I turned pretty red, but I did not get heatstroke – Troy also looked very red. After about an hour of digging I had got about a foot or more down in the spot we were leveling when a Tarantula jumped out of the ground!! It was about 7 or 8 inches long! It had crazy hair on its back, and it was quite angry. I have several pictures. We were trying to take better pictures of it by picking it up with a shovel when Tommy came over to check things out. The spider quickly jumped off the shovel and ran clear up Tom’s leg!!! It was freaky! He was standing next to a double-coffin sized 9 or 10 foot deep chasm, and it could have been bad~! lol. White man can jump! lol. Later we found a scorpion under a rock where we were digging as well. One of the locals (Ignacio) cut the stinger off, and then we all played with the scorpion – I have pictures 😉
We finished prepping the site for concrete, hand mixed concrete in a wheelbarrow, then poured the concrete to hold the steel beams in place for the septic system cover.
We split up into teams to do water filters, and I was on a team with Siguel (Tristan & Beth’s 15 year old adopted son), and we had just spent like an hour or more fixing a problematic set of filters, and then we asked if we could pray for their family. They all joined in with fervent prayer that was really powerful! We all said thanks, and as I was leaving their grandfather was arriving, and as I was on my way out the door – he caught me in his arms and jokingly said “HEY! What is this Pink fellow, and what on earth is he doing here!>?” Everyone laughed and laughed!!! It was translated to me, and everyone thought that was really funny. Very jovial man, I think he had some wine with lunch! lol. I felt like I could move in tomorrow if I wanted. I am falling in love with these people!!
Carolyn taught on how Jesus taught. How he chose to serve the people and seek the lost with the last remaining time of His life.
I was on cabinet duty this morning with Porter and Jeremy, and I thought I was going to get to charge ahead and make great progress building things! YaaaaY! However, God had different plans in store!: (I was messing things up, and Porter was doing great for one…) Then there was a man who works on things around El Ayudante named Antonio, and his father named Antonio was having a lot of health trouble. Jeremy (Husband of Melissa, Terry’s son in law), decided that we needed to go and pray for this man, so we all got a van ready, got Carolyn and Eduardo (interpreter, son of our amazing cook), and took off.
We got there in about ten minutes to find a man that was 74 and had not been able to go to the bathroom in 8 days! We found this out after much stumbling discussion, and realized the severity of the condition. Jeremy let him know not to be surprised if he could go after we prayed for him, also not to be worried if he felt heavy, or hot. etc. We laid hands and prayed over him, and my hands got very very warm/ hot on his sides. His head also got very hot. Before we left, we checked his eyes that were yellow, and they had returned to white!
We prayed for his wife who also had been taken to the hospital the day before for nearly having a heart attack – these people were very hard to leave. They invited us in to give us drinks and food, but we could not stay. They said we should come back soon/ anytime. Antonio the son was very grateful to us all. Antonio the father and I seemed to have bonded 🙂
Carolyn taught this morning on time. If you only had one week left, material all around you would be quite meaningless so don’t be bogged down with the things of earth – be flexible in them. Instead make your motive to bring others with you – disciple! Love.
This morning many of us went to the school again to work on the septic system. I worked very hard mixing concrete, and my back is really sore right now! lol. Jordan carried 100lb bags of concrete just as well as any of us! Un muy fuerte mujer! (one strong girl!) We worked the day away quickly, and ended up giving many articles of clothing that many of you donated for us to give away. It was a great time, and everyone was very happy. It felt really good to be giving out of love to those that were in need! Y E S!
We got back a bit late, and for the second time, I have been assigned game duty (my favorite). The women have been doing women’s ministry a couple of times in the evening, and the girls have been teaching / reading stories to the kids. The women had such an amazing time working together and making Honduran food. they are currently having women’s ministry in the hall between our dorms, so i snuck away to write this letter. Even from 100 yards away, you can hear them singing and clapping out praise songs! The people here are so appreciative and honoring!
They will stop whatever they are doing just to talk to you – they are very very honoring of others. Beautiful place!
The next time I write I will have one of the girls with me, as our teams are split up usually guys and girls 🙂
I hope to write one more time before we go back. Thank you so much for your support encouragement and help! This indeed will change my life forever – I am not alone in this thought.
Your brother in Christ