“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” Isaiah 52:7 I was privileged and humbled to lead the team this week. Each member contributed in their own unique way and willingly served wherever needed without complaining or grumbling even when they were out of their comfort zone. I was blessed to watch them fall in love with the people of Honduras and at the same time watch God work in team members’ lives as well as in the lives of those in the villages. The week consisted of building relationships with the goal of starting Bible studies (churches) in the communities. What better way than to love on their kids! We began each morning in the schools telling Bible stories, singing, and playing games. The children took their coloring pages & Bible stories home. This gave us a way to start a conversation with the families as we visited their homes in the afternoon. In the Chorti village of San Isidro, the children didn’t know the Bible story of David & Goliath. The mission used to have a children’s Bible study in that community, but it was discontinued several years ago. A Bible study leader has been identified and will begin a new study in a few weeks. The generation of children from the prior study has grown and moved away. It has been said that “Christianity is always one generation away from extinction.” It struck me what an immense responsibility we have as Christians and specifically as parents to show Jesus to our families and others with whom we come in contact. I am grateful to the church for the prayers & support shown to us. We are blessed to serve in a church that “Loves God, Loves People, and Makes Disciples”.
As I write this blog today, I can’t explain the bitter sweet feeling I have. I write this with tears in my eyes thinking about those who impacted my life and the lives I have impacted this week. Leaving behind the new friends I have met and the many kids that I will never forget is heart breaking. There is joy from this as well, though as I know they will forever remember our memories we have shared. I know this will not be my last visit and I know I will never forget the love Christ has given to me, to show to these kids. I will not forget the amount of prayer y’all have given as we have been here and before we left. I will also never forget the calling God has placed in my heart for missions. These people are so amazing and loving. The kids have been truly amazing. They showed me how to be humble and that no matter the color or language we have, we all share the same joy and love. They taught me to not be afraid to communicate even though we didn’t speak the same language. They helped me to grow in being able to open up about Christ and allowing me to show His love to them. I have been completely overwhelmed while here and there are not enough words for me to explain the love and joy I have felt. God truly is amazing and you see it everywhere here. A piece of me will forever be here in Honduras and I now have a second home. I can’t wait to visit back here because The Lord is not finished with me yet, or this place. Thank you guys again for all of your support and I’m looking forward to sharing all about it with y’all!
This week has been life changing. This week I have been blown away by Honduras and its wonderful people. I do not have the words to tell you what I have experienced so I am not going to try. I will say this though, this country and these people will forever be in my heart. My heart aches for the Chorti and the others that call Honduras home. I pray that this will be the beginning of many trips. A special thanks to Steve, Audrey, Edgardo, Daniel, Yadira, Gabi, and Jasmine for everything.
I can not believe we are already writing about our last day here in this beautiful country! To say today was more of the same would imply that things were “routine” or monotonous. This trip was anything but monotonous…they never are! While we have done similar activities in every village, the responses of each village are very different. Today was no exception. We began as usual at the school. But this school was very different than the others we have been in. This was by far the nicest village school I have ever visited. When I say that most people will get a very different idea of what I’m talking about. A “nice school” in a village in Honduras is NOT the same as a nice school in the States. There was an indoor bathroom with a flushable toilet. There were also three flushable toilets outside. But that does not mean this was a rich village. Even as nice as the school was, it does not compare to some of the worst US schools. The school was built by outside sources…I believe Audrey said people from Germany. After the Bible story (our Goliath took much longer to die today because he was hamming it up a little), the students colored, had a morning snack they brought from home, then had play time outside. There was a large area for soccer, jump ropes, and other games. I honestly think we have as much fun as the kids do! While we were playing with the other students, Mark, Steve, Lloyd, Edgardo, and one of our interpreters went to another village to speak to some folks. We played for over an hour, and the teachers even played with us. They taught us some of their games. I think Kellie missed her calling as a soccer player! After we finished playing we went back to the school and taught them “Jesus Loves Me” in Spanish and English. Brenda is a great teacher! We then ate lunch and began prayer walking. It didn’t take long to realize most of these villagers were just as destitute as the others we have seen. There was a single mom who wouldn’t go to church because people looked down on her. There was an old man who couldn’t get down from his house because he had been hit by a car last year and didn’t get medical assistance. Audrey took money up to a single mother with a sick, disabled child…and the list goes on. We couldn’t do much to relieve their physical needs, but we could pray for them and love on them. Please pray for these precious people and their beautiful children. Pray that God will send spiritual relief as well as physical. We thank you for the prayers that have carried us through this week.
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!