Dear Friends and Family
We arrived late yesterday. Flights were pretty good, no issues. However our ride from airport was a bit ” slow”. The pick-up truck loaded with our bags had a mechanical issue that kept it moving about 15-20 mph , backfiring the whole way to Cortes. The normal hour or so ride turned into 3 hours as we followed in a 14 passenger minivan with 14 of us elbow to elbow in 100 degree heat. The 6 of us from East who came through Miami joined up with 6 more folks who came through Houston. The 12 of us plus Gary and Sylvia Thacker, our good friends who are leading us in country, became “close friends” pretty quickly. We arrived in Omoa about 4 p.m. and enjoyed showers, and a nice meal and then bed.
This morning’s devotional was led by Sylvia. We talked about the last paragraphs in Matthew – Christ’s Great Commission, and how we are all part of that call to serve all the nations – 2000 years later.
After a nice breakfast of eggs, refried beans, plantains and fresh orange juice we loaded up the van – and a borrowed truck- and headed to the Children’s Village.
The 6 folks from Washington State who we are teamed with are here to repair an Aquaponics facility at the Children’s Village. Aquaponics is a closed loop system that raises fish (talapia) and fresh vegetables in a very interesting way. More another time… but since providing food, especially protein and fresh vegetables to the children is a costly challenge, this system hopes to be part of a plan toward self-sustenance.
Most of the children were at school in Cortes when we arrived at the Children’s Village. They are bussed there – about 40 minutes – from the Children’s Village. But the preschoolers were there and they greeted us with loud whoops and excitement. Pretty quickly they were being held and sitting in our laps and the fun was underway! They were sucking on frozen chocolate milk and quickly offered us some (powered leche with Hershey’s syrup frozen in baggies!).
After an hour or so with the kids, Chris, Leslie, Sharon, Sylvia and I drove about 5 miles to a small market where we loaded the van up with groceries that the Children’s Village really needed. Fresh carrots, cabbage, onions, mazola oil tubes, sacks of rice, beans and flour, and many frozen chickens were loaded in the van. We then distributed the food to the 3 kitchens (Boys’ House, Girls’ House and Baby Rooms).
While we were shopping, Bill and Chris replaced fluorescent lights and began some other maintenance tasks that we will be working on this week.
A special treat for us was that the three third year business students from The Leadership Center, Alex, Yanetzi and Olga, were on the bus! They had arrived a few days ago and were interning for 10 days at Heart to Heart, at the medical clinic and school. It was wonderful to see them with the kids and we were able to talk with them for a while and catch up. I am looking forward to working with them a bit on their entrepreneurial plans while we are here.
The Aquaponics folks worked very hard today – they were working in what is effectively a green house in 100 degrees. They are re-plumbing the system , among other tasks. When we got back to the hotel about 4:30 – they enjoyed the cool showers the most!
We just finished a dinner at a small restaurant down the street – chicken, plantains, rice and beans. Very tasty and a special Mora juice drink – tasted like blackberries.
It was a wonderful first day. We just love seeing the many smiling faces and meeting old and new friends. There are many challenges here – certainly through out the country but particularly in this ministry. They are short on volunteer teachers at the school. They are really short on funds right now. But the problems will all be overcome with God’s help and in his time.
Please pray for these children, our mission team and the Heart to Heart Ministry.
For the Mission Team,