The next mission team to take Christ into the world from Trinity UMC will be our youth. They have worked hard this year to prepare for this annual trip. They will serve at a domestic location and when return they will lead worship on Sunday, July 14 to share their experiences.
Blessings from Honduras!
We woke about 530 a.m. to a tropical storm that had been pounding the coast since about midnight. The rain and wind were very hard until about noon.
We actually ate breakfast before the devotional time this morning as we had to eat quickly in the open dining room. We had oatmeal (mush says Luis) which is very tasty and very runny as well as some scrambled eggs. No one would drink the fresh juice as we saw rain water from the roof (home to many birds) dripping into it!
After breakfast, Dan read the familiar story from the book of Luke about Martha and Mary and good discussion ensued. I think most of us Martha types agreed we wanted to choose more of the “better portion” like Mary and we needed to strive toward that with intentional behavior. Luis reminded us that it was not the busy work that Martha did that was wrong but rather her criticism of her sister Mary that Jesus commented negatively upon. Service and even busy work with the right heart and for God’s glory is pleasing to God.
We talked for a few hours about the challenges facing TLC and H2H ,read a bit and played dart baseball in the bar area as the hotel and restaurant was virtually empty.
Luis and Jose arranged a special lunch treat by asking for chicken soup. While not on the menu, the cook was happy to oblige and it was great – and it was certainly a soup day here!
About 2 p.m., the rain let up and Amy Serrano picked us up and off to the Children’s Village we went. For about three hours we spent time with the children who had been cooped up most of the day. Mike played basketball with a few of the boys in a light rain. The rest of us spent most of the time with the girls and the babies at the girls house sitting with them, talking with them, holding them and just loving them.
We stayed until it was time for the youngest kids to eat their dinner of refried beans, tortilla and little bit of sour cream. I hope you can see the wonderful picture of those very young kids as they sat down to eat… but honestly it is not much food for a growing child.
Goodbyes took a while as usual. Jose and Luis especially are well loved; they received many notes and hugs. I feel especially blessed to have those wonderful guys here in mission service – the ability for these kids to spend time with loving Hispanic men that they can trust and have a friendship with is so important, given many of the kids’ abused history.
We drove to Puerto Cortes and picked up the 8 teen boys who had walked about a mile in the rain to meet us. We all felt so happy to see these guys. We had planned to spend most of the day with them repairing their house but could not get there, as the rain had washed their road out to the home they live in. We all headed to Pizza Hut in Puerto Cortes and had a pizza, chicken wings and orchada feast – great fun, laughing and bonding. The guys played a joke on me and arranged for the waiters to surround me and sing a long, loud birthday song – it was not my birthday – but the boys all laughed very hard.
It’s really funny how the day worked out – nothing like we had planned at all. But as we say all the time – This is Honduras! Schedules and plans mean very little. But the truth is since God is in charge, it’s all good! And it was today. When I reflect on it, we had a lot of time together as a team enjoying each other’s company, a few great hours at the Children’s Village and then a couple hours tonight with the teen boys. Actually, it could not have been a better day!
Tomorrow is our last day here in Honduras – we fly out tomorrow afternoon assuming the weather holds up (it’s raining hard again).
It’s been a true blessing to be at both TLC and at H2H. You should ask any one of us about it – I think you will hear something in our voices and in our words about how God has changed our hearts for the better in Honduras.
For Jose, Luis, Mike, Jessica and Adam and me – your Mission Team,
Saludos desde Omoa, Honduras!
Today we began our day with our morning devotions led by Joseph Rahm. The topic of the devotions was the things we would be willing to give up to better serve our Lord. After devotions, we had a delicious breakfast. The menu included overeasy and scrambled eggs, bacon (my son Orlando would have loved today’s menu), pancakes, and fresh fruits. After breakfast and before departing to the H2H church for Sunday School, we took a short motor boat ride to see the Omoa Bay; we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
As usual, H2H church was packed. Our team was looking forward to this morning’s service as all of the children and teenagers from H2H village attend Sunday School and it is a great opportunity to share some quality time with all of them. During Sunday School, the mission teams had the chance to listen to Jordan, one of the volunteer teachers at the Mary Frenter’s school, teaching about the importance of storing up our treasures in heaven (Matthew 6: 19-21). After Jordan’s class, Amy Serrano (H2H’s Honduras National Director) gave her testimony and the story of how the H2H ministry began. While this was taking place, Pastor Luis Polanco was teaching Sunday School for adults, their studied the book of Revelation. After the service ended, several members of the church approached Pastor Luis for one on one praying.
At 10:30 a.m., Joseph Rahm and the students from TLC, Yanetzi, Olga, and Alex departed to Zambrano as they wanted to get to campus before sunset, around 6:30 p.m. The trip from here to Zambrano is more than 250 miles and they had a few stops along the way. There went our transportation!
After Sunday School, we returned to the hotel to relax. Later, we walked to the San Fernando Fort in Omoa and after the tour, we had lunch near our hotel. At 5 p.m., Pastor Luis Polanco was picked up by a member to Iglesia de Dios in Tegucigalpita to preach. This church is approximately one mile from the H2H children village. Pastor Luis’ message was based on Matthew 16: 13-16 and was titled, Who is Jesus.
In the afternoon while walking in Omoa and while Luis was in Tegucigalpita, one of the boatmates from the morning’s boat ride, Jorge, saw us and stopped to talk. He expressed to us his interest in learning English and asked us what to do. I told him that he could read books and magazines to start learning. He asked if we had any books to sell to him and I mentioned that I did not have any books for sale, but that I had a Spanish/English Bible and that I would be happy to give to him if he wanted it. He said he wanted it so I went back to my room and got it. He asked me what the Bible meant to us Christians and I told him that it was the book we followed as Christians and that it was the book by which we lived our lives. It amazes me how our Lord gives us chances to do little things that could impact the lives of others.
To conclude our day and before dinner, Jessica, Mike, Adam, and I went to the beach near our hotel. The water was wonderful and was a great therapy to get ready for tomorrow’s busy day. We will be working at the H2H teenager boys’ house in Puerto Cortes. We will do some repairs and possibly some painting and cleaning. We’ll see. See you soon. Blessings!
By the way, keep the H2H ministry in your prayers and let others know that they are in dire need of volunteer teachers. This is a great opportunity to serve and to build experience.
Dear Family and Friends,
After a devotional from Genesis led by Adam and a breakfast of eggs and tortillas, we departed TLC campus yesterday (Friday) around 9:30 a.m. Truth is that we started to say our goodbyes to the students about 8:30, but a lot of laughing, a bit of crying and a ton of pictures were taken. The 6 days had been such a blessing to us.
We were excited to have Yanetsi, Olga and Alex, the three senior business students, join us on our trip to Heart to Heart. I will not spend time on the details, but the 7 or so hour trip was long but enjoyable and no van incidents! We visited a market in Siguatepegue and had a nice lunch there. The roads are good/decent and the journey thru the mountains was quite spectacular. We hit San Pedro Sula at rush hour unfortunately and it slowed us down an hour or so. We arrived at Omoa last night about 7 p.m. and had dinner at the small hotel here where we are staying. We had to juggle beds a bit and the girls including Jessica are all together in one room with one extra queen mattress on the floor!
We were grateful for hot showers and air conditioning – it’s so much hotter on this side of Honduras.
We were up pretty early and Luis led us in a devotional about how God is here in this place but most importantly in our hearts. We talked about Nehemiah and his prayers to God for the great needs of Jerusalem; then we talked about how great the needs were at TLC and what we needed to do about it – prayer for sure and to witness with you, our friends and family. We sang Dios Esta Aqui together and even enjoyed a solo verse by Mike!
After breakfast we walked out on the fishing pier a bit and then headed to Tegucigalpita and the Heart to Heart Children’s Village. There is another team here from Washington State led by our good friends, the Stephens. We spent some time with them at the village.
The kids at were really glad to see us.
Heart to Heart is home to about 80 children, most from the streets or state orphanage, some from broken homes.
Most of the team headed back to the girls and toddlers house where we played with the little ones for about 2 hours. There are about 16 preschoolers and kinders now. Just sitting on the floor brings wonderful opportunities for love and affection. The kids are well loved by the house mommies but they don’t get as much one in one time or holding or carrying around as they want (or need?). They are such sweet kids and they just want to be with you. It’s heart warming to be sure, but it also is sad at the same time.
Meanwhile Mike and Adam were playing basketball and soccer with the boys in about 90 degree heat and very high humidity. (It’s almost exhausting to be outside now – so hot, especially coming from the mountain where TLC was located.)
Zulema the head house mother and cook at the boys house made us a special lunch of beef and vegetable soup with rice – very tasty.
After lunch we celebrated the kindergartners graduation and all the May and June birthdays! All the kids, mommies and volunteers gathered in a room and clapped and sang with the kids. Cake and soda pop was enjoyed by all!!
All the graduating kindergartners received a small soft pillow made by Trinity’s Crafts for a Cause team- the kids really liked them and clutched them tightly.
We unpacked our large Cabella and other bags of things for the H2H kids and were well thanked for Trinity’s generosity.
The H2H ministry has extended into the local community of Puerto Cortes as the Christian school now has about 140 kids in total including about 70 from the community. The ministry is running at about a $7,000 monthly deficit however. One of their largest costs other than food for the kids, is electricity which is very expensive in this area.
We just returned from Church about an hour ago. Oscar Serrano, the Honduran H2H Director and pastor (who preached at Trinity last September) asked Pastor Luis to preach tonight. And did he ever! The church was packed and after about an hour of praise songs and prayers, Luis and Jose took the microphones. Luis preached about change and how God is watching us in everything we do. Jose translated for the gringos and the two of them are quite a team.
Luis acknowledged Joseph Rahm and the students from TLC and told the congregation about the changes the TLC students were going to make in their communities and in Honduras. Luis told us that it does not matter how poor (or rich) we are, God can use any (and all) of us to effect change in ourselves and our world. Luis gave his personal testimony and the response was powerful. At the end of the service he invited anyone who wanted to change their lives and the situation of the families to come forward. Virtually the entire congregation crowded to the front of the church to receive God’s blessing thru Luis!
After church we talked a bit as it began to rain hard on the metal church roof. A number of the older Heart to Heart girls (and a few interested boys) gravitated to the TLC girls. There was good discussion and smiles and a couple of the H2H girls expressed serious interest in TLC.
After stoping for gas and snacks, we arrived back in Omoa about an hour or so ago.It is still pouring outside but maybe that will cool it down some. We will be back at church in the morning!
Please pray for the people of Honduras; the needs are great virtually everywhere in this poor country. Especially pray and consider acting upon the needs of the important ministries of TLC and H2H.
For the Mission Team,
It’s about 1 p.m. and the sun is out.
We just finished lunch of fried beef, potatoes and rice (no beans!). Sort of a special meal, as they bought the beef for our week here. It’s tasty but a bit tough and it’s normal to pick up beef to chew it.
I decided to start our report a bit early today as the Internet is on now-it’s been a bit spotty, as it comes via satellite service.
Last night we had a wonderful worship service around a huge Bon fire. The girls sang praise songs (both English and Spanish). My favorite was How Great is Our God. Yenetzi and Angela led the service for us. Pastor Luis preached and as usual, Jose translated the message for us gringos. Luis preached about the story of a young person named Joseph and how, even though abandoned by his family, God choose him to leave his people and save his family. He challenged these young women to use their education here at TLC to change their future and the future of their families, communities and country.
Many of the girls stayed by the bonfire as it burned down singing songs and laughing until lights out at 9 p.m.
I am off to a class right now and will finish later….
I am back; it’s 4 p.m. and it’s raining again.
I had wanted to mention, that we began the day today with a devotional about how our lives are impacted by those we seek to serve. Jessica said she was learning more from the girls than she was teaching them. Mike commented that God lets us touch these young lives in a way we may never understand.
Today was a special day. After their regular 9:30 classes we split the girls into three groups of 8 each. Mike and Luis taught volleyball fundamentals on their new court. Jose and Adam led a personal safety course and taught some techniques to avoid or escape difficult situations. Jessica and I had a leadership seminar where we did some trust exercises (e.g. blindfold fall off a log into teammates arms, no casualties) and some other fun but challenging exercises. The girls rotated to all three of our classes and we encouraged them along with way with treats we had purchased at Erlindas house about a mile away.
We have had a wonderful day. Now I am sitting under the porch with the rain hitting the metal roofs, talking with the girls and waiting for dinner about 6.
Betis got my laundry done but not sure how it’s going to dry.
Jessica had her nails painted by Gabby- very cute. I am trying to talk Mike or Adam into getting his nails done also.
One of the biggest pieces of news is that the three senior business students have petitioned Joseph to join our team when we go tomorrow to Heart to Heart. They presented a paper and argument to him about how it would help them learn more. They succeeded and we are all glad.
We will be headed to San Pedro Sula and the Puerto Cortes tomorrow in the TLC van (now with a new alternator, jack and repaired tire). We expect about a 6-7 hour trip. We will appreciate your prayers for travel mercies!
We are all very excited to go to Heart to Heart and see the children and extend our collective love to them.
If you don’t hear from us until Saturday don’t be surprised.
For the mission team,
Saludos desde Honduras!
It was another wonderful morning here at TLC. Luis woke everyone up around 6 a.m. with his typical whistle. This was followed by our morning devotions led by Jessica. As usual, our devotions were accompanied by a cup of delicious Honduran coffee prepared by Candida. During our devotions, we studied Acts 9, 1-18. This reading talks about how our Lord could call upon and use anyone regardless of the their past.
Later during the day, our team embarked in a project to replant a cotton tree to save it as the area where it was originally planted is soon to be covered by concrete for a new dormitory. new and the old dormitory.
Joseph and Zeida took Cecilia to see a Doctor, as precaution, to make sure that the were no broken bones from the incident yesterday. They went to Comayagua and the X-rays were negative. God is good!
Later during the day, Jessica, Mike, Luis, and Adam were involved in several construction and cleaning projects. I had the opportunity to join Dan during his business classes to the senior students, Alex, Olga, and Yunetzi. During Dan’s class we went over their business plan and I played a banker and they tried selling me their Business Plan to obtain a loan to start their businesses. It was a good exercise for the students as they practiced their delivery and got some observations as to what questions to expect during such process.
For lunch, we had a delicious homemade chicken soup prepared by Marcos’ wife. Marcos is one of the local employees in TLC and is man to the left of Luis Polanco on today’s photo (coming soon). By the way, the chicken was from his farm so it was fresh from today. Also, this was coordinated by Luis. Since we had the soup, we gave our lunch to Marcos, Marcos Jr., Christian, and Elias. The last three are also employees at TLC.
After the reading comprehension in the afternoon, each student received a digital watch. They were very thankful, as they always are. I had lots of fun later on, setting up more than 20 of these watches and explaining to the students how to do it themselves.
We had baleadas for dinner. Jessica was involved in the preparation.
I have to leave as we have a worship service around a fire and I have to translate for Luis’ sermon. Talk to you soon.
Buenos Noches family and friends:
We had a beautiful sunrise over the campus about 6 a.m. – such a start to our day. At devotionals before breakfast, we read from Isaiah and talked about how God calls us; sometimes not with a trumpet but maybe a whisper or just a feeling in your heart.
After breakfast of strong Honduran coffee, fresh picked scrambled eggs and boiled vegetables – we headed in different directions to help today around campus.
Jessica worked with Haley and Micah placing rocks along the road; Luis and Jose worked on rebar pillars for the new student dorm with the local Honduran work crew (who are very good guys); Adam and Mike took on a big project of cutting and placing boards over culverts on the road; Dan gathered trash around campus and paper from the bathrooms and spent quality time at the burn pit before teaching business classes.
This afternoon we did more reading comprehension classes with the students. At the end of those sessions, we passed out the necklaces to each student that the Crafts for a Cause group from Trinity had provided. The girls were thrilled!
Although the day had been hot, about 4:30 the skies let loose – we had about 30 minutes of torrential rain. Jose and I were trapped in the comedor with the freshman for some time – which was great. We learned more about a number of the girls and they asked us a lot of questions.
The rain stopped and it dried out. A volleyball game pretty quickly commenced. But in 25 minutes Mike came running down to the comedor, Cecilia had dislocated her shoulder! I tried to maneuver her arm a bit to pop it in at the court but it was not happening. We got her to a room , she was in great pain and the dislocation was obvious. Honestly we were all pretty scared. It brings home very quickly how far away from civilization we are here at TLC. The ride into Zambrano in the truck or van would be painful for Cecilia. After much talk, and attempts to calm Cecilia and then reading a medical booklet section on reduction, we felt we needed to try to put her shoulder back in the socket. Haley, Adam and I were able to follow the instructions and with prayers from Luis, her shoulder was back in position. God did it for sure! Celia was fine – a cold pack and ibuprofen and in 30 minutes she was smiling again.
We had a relaxing dinner, much relieved. Beans (frijoles) and chorizo (supplemented by peanut butter) were enjoyed.
The girls had a pronunciation class after dinner and our team took it easy and talked as it turned dark.
That’s about it for tonight – it’s been a long day. It cooled down some and should be good sleeping tonight.
Please pray for the students and volunteers here at TLC. / Dan