The truck picked up our luggage this morning at 5:00 am. We ate breakfast, loaded the bus, and headed out on the 4.5 hour journey to San Pedro Sula. I wrongly stated the length of the drive in my first post! I cannot overstate the excitement of travel in Honduras. The picture below just gives a glimpse. Along the way one car had driven to their demise off of a cliff! Guard rails are not a luxury we have in Honduras! We have made it to the airport safely, and are currently waiting for our plane to arrive. I thought I might take a second to recap the week. Monday – 83 patients & 382 prescriptions Tuesday – 145 patients & 386 prescriptions Wednesday – 154 patients & 587 prescriptions Thursday – 91 patients & 325 prescriptions Friday – 91 patients & 395 prescriptions Those are not just numbers. They are beautiful people that God loves. They are people that this world has despised, overlooked, and undervalued. I am thankful for people like Steve and Audrey and those that we joined in this trip that allow God’s love to reach through them to the Chorti. I am thankful that God shares His heart toward the Chorti with us. I can personally attest that all 564 of these people heard the Gospel. Some of them were maybe a little young, but they all heard. We shared the love of Jesus with both our hearts and our hands. Please continue to pray for the Chorti and for the Honduras Evangelistic Association. Pray specifically for Steve, Audrey, Eguardo, the many Bible study leaders, Yadhira, and all their families. Pictured below from left to right are Yadhira (cooks and takes care of the mission house), her son Chester, Eguardo (lead chorti missionary), and Gabbie (Yadhira’s daughter.) Our plane is boarding so I will sign off. We should arrive home around midnight. We have had a great trip, but now it’s time to head back to our mission field in De Leon! We look forward to joining with our entire church mission team at home! The command in Matthew 28:19 is the same in De Leon as it is in Honduras! We have a lot of work to do! See you Sunday!
This morning we headed up the mountain to Corrazalito. This village has several other villages sorrounding it. We did not know how many people to expect. It did not take long and people started streaming toward the small school house. The doctors saw 91 patients today. I was given the opportunity to share the Gospel with each of them. There were a few Christians in this community, but it appeared to be largely unreached. Eguardo spent the day visiting with the men in the community, and seeking to find some interested in coming to a Bible study. These are the first steps in getting active Christian works begun in these community. One little boy was so excited to see us he went deep into the jungle and came out with some special kind of flower. He gave them to me to show his thankfulness. He claims they are an amazing seasoning for beans! I will not be able to bring them home. They would never pass customs, but the gesture brought tears to my eyes. The people here are so giving. We spent some time this evening sharing about all that God has done this week, and celebrating Steve’s 76th birthday! Seventy-six and still pouring his heart and soul into serving the Lord in Honduras! He retired from his career, but not his calling to serve the Lord! The birthday candles in Honduras make ours look lame! The other photo below is me attempting to pack as much coffee into our suitcases as possible. I will have some of Eguardo’s coffee available for sale when I come home! This money with help Eguardo (the lead missionary) and will provide for some of the expenses for the mission house. It’s also a great opportunity for you to taste some of the best coffee in the world! The only problem is that the coffee is packaged a lot like drugs!!!! I hope we make it through customs! This looks pretty suspect! It seems as if we just got here yesterday, but our plane flys out tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you all!!! Tomorrow I will send out an update summarizing the week!
The village of Chonco was our destination today! We started the morning with breakfast, prayer, and a devotion. The devotion was about the many commands to fear not from the Bible. Fear is a topic the Bible addresses quite often. Fear is very dangerous in that it often works against faith. Fear should never be our motivation in life. The safest place to be is being exactly where God wants you to be. The mountains of Honduras can be the greatest safe haven in the world if God calls you to them! We had an opportunity right away to test the truth in this devotion. Steve was sick today so I was given the keys to the truck to drive up the mountain! My passengers or prayer partners for the journey were unsure about this arrangement. We let faith guide us rather than fear. It was the kind of faith Hebrews talks about. It was faith without sight because I was so scared I had my eyes closed for most of the way! We arrived safely and carried all the supplies up the long stairs to the school house. (above) The school was built on the top of the hill. When we got there the children were still having class. We cleared the classrooms and set up the clinic and pharmacy. The pastor I have been working with named Jesus had to leave us today. His wife was going into labor. Please pray for Jesus and his family! They are excitingly expecting a newborn boy in the next few hours. The first group to share the Gospel to were the children in the school. I shared the Gospel with them using the story of the blind man that Jesus healed. They had a good time letting me pretend to wipe mud and spit into their eyes. There continued to be a steady stream most of the morning through the clinic. They saw around 80 people with various ailments. One blind woman was referred to another clinic. The doctor suspects there may be a chance for her to see again. One small infant had a tumor the size of an apple on her head. She will also be referred. Many others received antibiotics, lice treatment, worm medicine, and other medications. This woman named Maria had been hit by a motorcycle by a pastor. When Kathryn asked her if it was me she smiled and said YES! This village only had one church, and it is Catholic. (Pictured below) Many Protestant believers live in Chonco, but do have church to attend. While I shared the Gospel and the medical team worked, Edguardo (our lead missionary and pastor to the Chorti) visited with the men of the community about starting a Bible Study.(Edguardo is facing us with sunglasses on his head) The men were very excited and actually set a date when to begin! God worked many miracles today in Chonco. Pray for this community. Pray for those that were really sick here that have been referred to other clinics. Pray for these men Edguardo visited with. This town desperately needs a evangelical church. Pray especially for a man named Lazareth. He is a new convert. God is really moving in his life! If we had listened to our fears we would never have come to Honduras. We were too busy, too behind, too worried about our kids, and too stressed to come. Then we simply let go of our fears and bought a plane ticket. We have dangled into ditches, climbed steep mountains, ate strange food, been around a lot of sickness, and gotten very little sleep….but we are still not afraid. There is a peace that comes when you know you are exactly where God has called you to be! Friday we will spend the day in Carrazilito. This is a church plant from another neighboring village. The Bible study group was started from members of the study at Mira Mundo. They are simply obeying he Great Commission! Pray for Carrazilito. We want to meet physical needs tomorrow, and strengthen God’s work going on there!
We met for the morning devotion and ate breakfast first thing in the morning. There really is no point in trying to sleep after 5 am in Honduras. The roosters begin crowing at 4:30 and after that no one gets any sleep! Yadira had us try an authentic Honduran breakfast this morning. It was a tortilla, refried beans, cream, and parmesan cheese. Like everything else Yadir makes it was excellent! In the below picture Steve and Audrey are on the far right and far left. They are the ones that live in the mission house and put all these trips together. They have such a love for the Chorti people, and I assure you it is contagious. We loaded the trucks and headed to La Huertona. We arrived at the village of La Huertona around 8:00. It sprinkled on us the entire trip. Those of us that made the mistake of not wearing a coat nearly froze to death, but the views were worth it. The roads were all lined with the wonderful Honduran coffee. La Huertona has a very nice school. The community residents began streaming in almost immediately from the various paths around the village. Men, women, and children of all ages came. We shared the Gospel to them under a tent, triaged them on the front porch, and used the two classrooms for the doctors and pharmacy. Medical staff treated around 170 patients that had a host of problems such as stomach issues, ear problems, sinuses, and headaches. They even saw one patient with a machete wound. This was an absolutely amazing community. Many of them are Christians, but have very little if any medical care. We were met with deep love and appreciation from everyone. One poor family even gave us bananas as we were leaving! They have so little, yet share so generously. How can you see little children like this, and not run to love them in the name of Jesus!!!! John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ” Verse 3 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” We know these verses are describing Jesus Christ. In the beginning the Word came to us. During the life of Christ people could see the Word face to face. Crowds followed Jesus and brought their friends to Him. Today the Word is within us. We do not bring people to the Word, we are commanded to bring the Word to them! This is the Great Commission, and it is the same in Honduras as in De Leon, Texas! May we all continue to be both recipients and delivers of the Word this week! Thank you for your continued prayers. We will be heading out to the Community of Chonco tomorrow morning. They have been a closed Catholic village, but have given us permission to come minister to them!
Today we left early in the morning to the village of Leonita. This was a brand new village for the Honduras Evangelistic Association. It is unique in that we have never done a ministry there. We did not know what to expect, but we knew immediately that God had gone before us. Leonita has an amazing school house, and averages 40-50 students. The students and teachers were there when we arrived. They helped us clear the classrooms. In about thirty minutes the school was converted into a chapel, doctors clinic, and pharmacy. The lines of people began to form almost immediately. The system was set up just as in the previous day. The people first registered and came to the chapel. Edguardo, Jesus , and myself were there ready and waiting to share the Gospel with them. We alternated sharing to each group of people. Jesus and I worked on using different New Testament text each time to share the Gospel. We had fun learning from one another. The groups were all responsive and eager to hear the words that were spoken. One of the women was very active during the message. She excitedly shouted amen when I shared about the love of Christ. We knew she must be a Christian. I grabbed an interpreter and we talked with her after the Gospel presentation. She said that there were around 25 believers within the community, but that the nearest church was miles and miles away. There were a few of them that made the journey occasionally on Sunday, but the difficult roads made it impossible to do every week. Their houses were too small, and the state school does not allow them to meet in the school buildings. Perhaps God will provide the means, location, and opportunity to build them a meeting place in this community. The nurses, doctors, and pharmacist worked diligently ministering to the village. They saw around 145 patients total in the 6 hours we were there. Thank you for your continued prayers. We will be serving tomorrow in the village La Huertona. The ag folks have worked there before, but the Bible Study there died out when they left. We hope to see God get things started again through this team visit. Kathryn started our day out with a devotion from Matthew 25:35. She closed by reading the lyrics to the Fanny Crosby hymn “Rescue the Perishing.” Take time later to read the verse, and I’ll close today’s post with the words to the song. Fanny Crosby – Rescue the Perishing Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, Waiting the penitent child to receive; Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently; He will forgive if they only believe. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, Chords that were broken will vibrate once more. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it; Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; Back to the narrow way patiently win them; Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died. RESCUE THE PERISHING IN DE LEON THIS WEEK!!!
We headed out to Neuva San Isidroe early this morning. This village is high up on one of the mountains. This was the view looking back to the city of Copan. Copan is the city we stay in, and the villages are all in the mountains sorrounding the city. We arrived in the village and set up for the medical clinic. There were four stages to the medical clinic. The residents were registered at the front gate. They then went into the school house to hear the Gospel. A young pastor named Jesus and I worked together sharing the Gospel with the groups. Jesus could share without a translator, but hearing the Gospel from a foreigner often times increases the attention of the people. It was quite an experience working with an actual Chorti pastor to share Jesus. Does not matter where in the world you go the Gospel of Jesus is the same! This is a picture of Jesus sharing Christ with a group. The groups would hear the Gospel and then head to the clinic triage to be admitted. Kathryn worked in this area. It fit her perfectly as she shared her smile and joy to the patients. Kathryn would look for any noticeable medical conditions, assess their problems, and provide each person with worm medication. Kathryn’s translator was a high school student, and by the end of the day they were best buds. She asked one patient if he was a tamale….she meant to ask if he hurt bad. Many of the interpreters are not Christian, so this is an opportunity to minister to them. Kathryn would then send them in to see the doctors. We have two amazing doctors helping this week. One is a pediatrician and the other an internal medicine doctor. They spent the day listening to heartbeats and lungs, checking ears, nose, and throats, and listening to any patients that are hurting. I believe they saw around 90 patients. The doctors would write out a list of medications and prescriptions for the patients and send them to the pharmacy next door. We had four pharmacy workers that worked hard mixing medicines and distributing medication. Almost everyone leaves with vitamins. Those that we did not have he proper medications for are given arrangements to provide these medications next week. Here are our pharmacy workers. On the way home the truck fell into a huge hole the driver could not see on the side of the road. The roads are beyond terrible here. We attempted to use a winch to pull the truck out, but the winch was broken. Later a group of Chorti came by and helped us lift the truck out of the pit! It was a close call, but God protected us and we made it home! It was a wonderful day serving the Lord here in Honduras! We are exhausted, and about to eat dinner at Jims. Jims is a local restaurant that is safe for our weak American stomachs! The most satisfying (and tiring) feeling is knowing that we have just begun on this journey! We still have four more villages to share Christ love with! Tomorrow we will visit Leonita. This community has a school with 74 students. We expect a big crowd. There is currently no Christian work in this community. Please pray for the team tomorrow. Pray for the community of Leonita. Pray that God will plant seeds tomorrow that will grow into a Bible study and church!
We headed out early in the morning for the long and bumpy drive up the mountain to Las Medias for Sunday morning worship. We began the trip with sixteen people packed like sardines in two small trucks. Every time Edguardo would pass someone along the path he would stop and they would climb in. We ended up with 24 people and instruments in those same two small trucks! Edguardo was bringing people to church. That’s all that mattered! The village had chairs set up and ready at worship time. Gregorio is the leader in this village. He was the one who was sick last visit. We had to rush him to the clinic in town. He has regained his strength and appeared to be doing great. I hope you all get to witness a Chorti worship service some day. These believers really are such a blessing to watch worship and preach. They preach long and hard. I was given an opportunity to preach the message today. I was right at home! It was such an honor to share God’s Word with such a wonderful group of believers. Kathryn helped sort medication today. The medical work takes a lot of preparation. We are thankful that the team from North Carolina already did the majority of the work before they left. We will be heading out first thing tomorrow to the first village for the clinic. I’m excited i share the Gospel all day tomorrow! We spent a few free hours this afternoon walking around the Mayan Ruins in Copan. The Mayans that built these ruins are direct descendants of the Chorti we are ministering to. It was sobering to hear and see the evidence from long ago when the Mayans participated in human sacrifice. Some of the less violent ancient beliefs still linger within their culture. We are declaring the truth of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is contrary to these polytheistic and brutal beliefs that they have held for centuries. We have seen the power of Christ at work. The powers that have held these areas in captivity are being driven out as the Chorti Christians carry the Gospel throughout the mountains! We will see a lot of sick people this week. Pray that everyone on the team stays healthy! Pray the Gospel goes out, and the love of Jesus is shared. The Chorti Christian’s love and zeal for the Lord is contagious! That is one thing we wouldn’t mind catching some this week! We hope to bring some home to De Leon! Thank you for your continued prayers. Specifically pray for the village of Neuva San Isidroe tomorrow.
We have landed in San Pedro Sula. Just grabbed a bite at Wendy’s with the team. We are now on the three hour bus drive to Copan Ruinas. There are 12 of us. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, a few helpers, and one pastor. We are getting to know everyone, but it is already clear that these people love Jesus and are excited about sharing His love with the Chorti people. The journey to San Pedro Sula is almost entirely up hill. The last few miles into the city of Copan take you sharply down into a town surrounded by mountains. We are making that descent now. The beauty of the hazy mountains is captivating. The sky is blue. The fields are green. The beauty of this place may be reason enough to come here, but it’s not the mountains I keep thinking about. A casual visitor or tourist may not know what we have come to know. Scattered and hidden among the trees, fields, and jungles on these mountain slopes are thousands and thousands of people that God loves. He loves them enough to interrupt two very important doctor’s practices, several hard working pharmacies, two busy nurses at work in hospitals, several men and women enjoying retirement, and one small town pastor from Texas! We are a diverse group with one reason for being here. And to consider how small of a sacrifice this is compared to what Christ has done for us. How could we not come when called? Pray for the team. Pray for the Chorti. We will be in Las Medias tomorrow for worship. Many of the villages will join together there. I am told I should be ready to share. The medical work will begin on Monday. We are excited about what God will do in these mountains this week! Mark 16:15 states, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”