2007 Honduras Journal

Monday, July 9, 2007
This year’s trip to Tegucigalpa started Monday morning with several of us having some liquid, cream, or gel products confiscated at the San Antonio airport. We flew from San Antonio to Houston, where Darrel, Jim, Buddy, and Travis joined us. We then boarded the plane for Tegucigalpa and arrived there with no problems. Going through Immigration was fairly quick, considering the lines. All of the bags, both carryon and checked baggage were x-rayed before we could leave the airport. Presumably, they were looking for drugs. Something in my suitcase of stuffed animals and toys caught their eye and they said they wanted to look in that suitcase. Then one of the guys grabbed my regular bag and started looking through it. He finished that and was trying to talk to another security officer, but Michael was explaining to him why were here, and then the guy told us to go.

Once again, we were met by several people from the El Pedrigal church. It was almost like coming home. Love does not require that you speak the same language. It crosses all language barriers.

We waited quite awhile for the van that Moises had rented, but it wasn’t ready. The rental agency sent two cars over to take us to the church building for lunch. We had a nice meal that was prepared by some ladies from the church. We took the suitcases of clothes, stuffed animals, toys, and medications off the pickup and put them in the office. We still had to wait a little longer for the van to finally arrive. We loaded up and headed for the hotel.

Some of the folks went to see the construction site, and others stayed at the hotel and unpacked, took a nap, or just relaxed. I was very tired, having had only about six and a half hours of sleep in two days. I unpacked and got my backpack organized for Tuesday. Then, I decided I had to lay down. I fell asleep for maybe an hour before Libby was knocking on my door to see if I wanted to go to dinner. I opted not to go. I read for a few minutes, but couldn’t keep my eyes open for long, so I turned out the lamp and went to sleep. That was about 8:00 local time, 9:00 CDT.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
This morning started out a little slow for the Benevolence team (previously called the Prayer team). Moises took the construction team over around 8:15 and said we’d be leaving when he got back, around 9:00. We didn’t actually leave until 9:45. We dropped Darrel off at the church building so he could get busy repairing the sewing machines that had been brought in for him to work on. There were a few girls hanging around, so, since Michael was outside the van, I gave him some little tootsie rolls to give to the girls. One of them was Allison, whom we met last year. She turns 12 years old on Friday and will be baptized on Sunday! Our driver, Vincente, is also being baptized on Sunday. He’s the one for whom we’re building the house.

Our next stop was the building where the Supplemental Feeding Program is conducted. This program is led by Ana Delmira, the retired nurse we spent some time with last year and the year before. Monday through Friday, 40 children in the “River Community” are fed lunch through this program. The mothers of the children take turns preparing the meals. The take classes on nutrition so they can learn to prepare nutritious meals and follow good hygiene practices as they do so. We sampled the tortillas they made that had soy meal and carrots added to them. Sometimes, they also add spinach.

Twice a month, the kids in the program are weighed to see if they are progressing toward the normal weight for the age. When they reach the normal weight, they leave the program, and are replaced by other malnourished children. At that point, the mothers have enough knowledge and experience to continue preparing safe and nutritious meals for their children. While we were visiting, the mothers were preparing lunch for the kids, which included pork, new potatoes, cabbage, and tortillas.

We then visited five of the families that have children in the Supplemental Feeding Program. The most impacting visit for me was the first one, to the home of Maria Encarnacion. Maria has been taking care of seven of her grandchildren for the past two years, after the death of their mother. She is also raising a grandchild from another daughter.

At Lillian’s home, we met three-year-old Jose Antonio, who has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk. Lillian was also watching a neighbor boy, David Isaac, who is also three years old. We were told that David’s mother has refused to bring David or his sister to the feeding program. However, we later saw David Isaac eating in the lunchroom. I didn’t see his mother, but one of the other ladies said she was standing near the entrance to the building. Since we hadn’t met his sister, we don’t know if she was there.

On the way up to Rosemary’s house, we met her husband, Levi, and their children, Reinita, Kimberly, and Nancy. At the top of the hill, we visited briefly and prayed with Rosemary and four-year-old Mauricio.

We then went to visit Ana Miriam, who has nine children, seven living at home. Her husband is an alcoholic, and she provides for the family by washing clothes for other people. Moises said she is a very happy person and is always encouraging others.

Our final visit was to Ada’s home. Her husband, Santos, works as a guard. They have four children, 8, 5, 4, and 2 and a half years old.

We prayed with each family before we left.

About noon, we went back by the feeding program’s building and saw some of the children eating lunch.

Then, it was time for us to get our own lunch. We went to the church building and waited there while Vincente went to pick up the construction crew. They decided to just send a couple of guys with us to get food for the rest of them. We went to the food court at the new MetroMall. It’s quite a large food court, with most of the major U.S. fast food chains represented–Burger King, Wendys, Little Caesar’s, Subway, Church’s Chicken, and even Dunkin’ Donuts.

During lunch, Darrel told me about two boys and one girl who came in to watch him work on the sewing machines. He said they sat there very quietly, watching him intently. When Darrel tested the machine by sewing on a piece of material, they all clapped. Darrel said he bowed and thanked them. He said it’s the first time anyone clapped for his work.

This afternoon, we visited the trade school to which the El Pedgrigal church sends some of their kids. The school is run by some non-profit organizations from Spain. They have two-year programs in sewing, carpentry, electrician training, and computers, along with a one-year baking course. This is the school that Luisli went to. He has been the supervisor of our construction projects for the past several years. We met Christavo, one of the teachers at the school, who is also a leader in the church. Moises said he was a poor kid who got a chance to go to school and now teaches carpentry. Another teacher, Linda Lopez, gave us a tour of the school. We went into each classroom and the bakery, where we were treated to excellent cake made and served by the students.

The students are in school for a minimum of six hours per day. If a student wants to take two courses, they can take one class during the day and one at night. Rosario, one of the ministry leaders is currently taking the baking course at night.

From the trade school, we went to the tortilla factory, where we sampled the product. They were very good. John bought a package of tortillas from Alectis. There were two other women there, busily making tortillas, while Alectis packaged them. Two tortillas cost one lempira, which comes out to about 5 cents each.

It started raining just before 4:00, as we were leaving the tortilla factory. We picked up Darrel and the construction crew and went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We went to Tony’s Mar at the mall, about ½ mile from the hotel.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This morning, the construction crew left around 8:15. The rest of us waited at the hotel until Moises returned with Vincente to pick us up. We stopped by the church building to pick up Sharon and Paula, who had gone with the construction crew to see the site. Carlos, Rosario, Alectis, and Eric joined us, and we headed out to visit some sick people from the congregation.

Our first stop was at the house we built last year. Norma had hip replacement surgery done a couple of years ago, but the cement didn’t hold. The area is now infected and the prosthesis is bulging out. She needs a new prosthesis, but she doesn’t have the $2000 needed to purchase it. A Cuban surgeon will donate his time to do the surgery. She just needs to come up with the money for the prosthesis. Moises told me he is very concerned about her situation because she does not have any extended family to help her raise money. Both of her parents had strokes and can’t work. Jackie is taking care of Norma and working part-time with the feeding program.

It is very difficult for Norma to move around. The pain she was feeling as Jackie helped into a chair was very obvious. I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture then. Instead, I waited a few minutes to snap a shot of Norma’s big smile.

Jackie told us that we are the hand of God in Honduras and that they now celebrate one year in this house because of God’s hand.

Norma is in constant pain, but was only given ibuprofen for the pain. John said he would ask the clinic doctor to come by to see her and get her some stronger medication.

Norma said she gives infinite thanks for her home and for all that we’ve done for her. She said it’s not just her home, but ours, too.

I read Proverbs 3:5-8 in English, and Haydée read it in Spanish. Then, John led us in prayer for Norma.

Haydée talked about God blessing us as we have faith, and Michael reminded us that we don’t need to feel like we don’t have enough faith, because we only need a tiny bit, the size of a mustard seed.

Our next visit was to the home of Maria Ponce. Like last year, she told me she wants to keep me and that I have the face of an angel. Libby joked after we left that I am definitely the favored child and she’s the jealous child.

Maria is one of the charter members of the El Pedrigal church and was instrumental in getting Moises to come to preach for the church.

She will be 82 on July 20th. She has no children, but told us that we are all her brothers and her spiritual children.

Maria fractured her hip last year, but is getting along much better now. She has had cataract surgery on one eye and will be having the other eye done in November.

She said that, because she has had so many aches and pains, she’s ready to go home, but God told her no.

I read Psalm 62:1-2 and 5-8, which Haydée then read in Spanish. Michael led us in prayer for Maria.

She told us that she always prays for us on our trips and that the angel is always on the plane with us.

As we said our good-byes, she said to me that her heart was sad when she was in her room, but it was glad now that she had seen me. She said I am smart not to get married. The last thing she said to me was, “Don’t get married. Serve God.”

Michael was the last one out, and he said Maria told him that she was very glad that we came, that she had been depressed before we came, but now her heart is glad.

Our third visit of the morning was to Gilsa Elizabeth. She had hip replacement surgery nine years ago, but now needs a new replacement. She has been depressed because of this situation. Her other hip also was replaced, but is doing OK.

She can have the surgery done in a private hospital for $12000, or she can go to the public hospital, but they don’t have all of the needed equipment. The major expense is the $5000 needed for the titanium prosthesis.

Moises told me her family has raised about half of the necessary funds for the surgery, and she had good exposure from a television appeal. Because of this, he is not as concerned about her getting enough money as he is about Norma.

Stop number four was the home of Sonja, Wendy’s mother. Sonja has recently completed radiation and chemotherapy for cervical cancer. She has an appointment on August 3rd to find out when she will have surgery.

Sonja moved to the United States last year and now works at a nursing home in Miami for six months, and then goes back to Honduras for six months. She taught pre-K children in the Honduran school system for 32 years and is currently in the process of getting retired. She said she loves her new job at the nursing home.

In Miami, someone from work gives Sonja a ride to church, but then she walks 28 blocks to get to a bus stop to get home.

Sonja had chemotherapy and radiation simultaneously and had a bad reaction to the combination, ending up in a coma for a week. She said she’s not bad off, compared to other people at the treatment center. She said many of them die not from the illness, but from worrying about it. She said, “I have my Lord, but these people have nothing.”

The adventure of the day occurred during lunch at the MetroMall. John’s backpack was stolen from the back of the chair he was sitting in. None of us saw it happen. Besides the backpack, the thief got away with both John and Paula’s Bibles, an old umbrella, a small bottle of water, a nail file, and some spot remover. The most expensive item was John’s Sandisk MP3 player, on which were stored country and classical music, plus language lessons in German and Italian. The mall does have security cameras in the Food Court, but John said it wasn’t worth our time to go through the pictures, so we left after a short discussion with a security guard.

I went with Darrel, John and Moises to get some supplies for Darrel and then to the hotel to get the hand lotion to put in toiletry packets for the nursing home. By the time we got back to the church building, Haydée, Sharon, Paula, Libby, Rosario, and Alectis had sorted out the clothes and were finishing up sorting the toiletries.

After we packaged up clothes and stuffed animals for each of the kids we visited yesterday, and toiletries for their families and for the nursing home, I wandered around to take some pictures of kids outside, while the others talked and sang.

We got back to the hotel about 4:57 and were told we were leaving for dinner at La Cumbre at 5:15. Needless to say, we had to scramble to get ready.

Dinner was excellent, as in the past. Moises and his daughter, Sophie, joined us, along with two students from the Baxter Institute, whom Jim invited. It was a nice relaxing evening, although I certainly could have used a nap first. I was not the only yawning at the table, though!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007
Thursday morning started out with a trip to the Yip store to get some toiletries and toilet paper for the nursing home residents. We left the store around 10:15 to head across town for the nursing home, which is called CEDER, the center for adult daily care. Traffic was very slow, so it took a few minutes to get there. Moises, Carlos, Rosario, Evita, Santos, and Alectis went with us. Randy and I rode with Moises.

Santos led the residents and us in singing several songs. I didn’t know the words, but I clapped along when I wasn’t taking pictures. After the singing, Moises introduced Michael, who spoke for a few minutes to encourage the residents. Santos led us in prayer, and then we served refreshments—cookies and soda. They seemed to enjoy it all. We left the bags of toiletries for the residents.

Several churches provide for the 28-bed facility. The director, Dr. Amador, told us the residents have no family or have been abandoned by their families. They have nowhere else to go. He said these people have great spiritual needs, that they need love, but they also need people to meet their spiritual needs, to tell them about Christ. Dr. Amador said he tells them about Jesus every day, but he needs people from outside to tell them about Jesus, too, so they will see that it’s not just him, and that Jesus really can meet their spiritual needs.

He said they have indigent people who come daily asking for food. They pick up older people from the streets and bring them to the home. As he was showing us the slides he uses when he does presentations for people interested in participating in the work, he pointed out a picture of people living at the municipal dump. He said that, officially, no one lives at the dump, but he has pictures to prove otherwise.

Dr. Amador told us they are currently building a facility about five kilometers out of Tegucigalpa to house 250 people. He said he doesn’t have money to pay qualified workers, so he went to the biggest unemployment place in town—the Central Park. He got about a dozen guys to help him build the facility. He gives them a small stipend during the week. They eat at Ceder every day. He said he told them that if they come and help build the place, they can live there. A unique recruiting strategy, but it seems to be working.

The new center will need medical personnel and equipment. The plan is for the center to have three levels. The third level will have accommodations for youth groups and other Christians who come to work in Honduras, not necessarily to work at Ceder. He said, “We’ve got to make this dream a reality for our people.”

On the way to lunch at the Cascades Mall, Moises, Randy, and I stopped at the Singer store to get some parts for Darrel. After lunch, we all went back to the church building to drop off Darrel and pick up the stuffed animals to take with us for the children in the hospital. Carlos, Rosario, Alectis, and Dr. Orellana went with us.

Moises had wanted us to go to the children’s cancer ward, but we weren’t allowed to do that. So, we distributed candy and stuffed animals to children waiting at the Dengue fever clinic before going to the pediatric medical ward. The children in the rooms I went into had at least one family member with them. In the first room I went into, I prayed in English, and then Carlos prayed in Spanish for the children. Then, we gave each child a stuffed animal. I took pictures of several of the children with their animals.

We spent a few minutes trying to locate a woman from the congregation who was supposed to be a patient in this hospital, but we couldn’t find her. We got quite a little exercise during this part of the excursion as we walked up and down quite a few stairs. Avoiding stairs was not possible, but I have learned how to navigate them without putting a lot of stress on my knee. I am hoping that no pain when walking up or down stairs also means that I’m not doing any more damage to the cartilage.

Since we needed to be back to the church building at 7:00, we ate at the hotel. We had chicken and beef fajitas, rice and, beans. Then, we headed for the church.

Michael spoke about having peace during the storms of life. The gist of his message is that we are to have peace at all times, and that peace is available only through Christ. Michael did speak a little bit in English for our benefit. I brought my digital recorder in case he did that so I wouldn’t have to try to take notes. Here’s part of what he said:

The thing here is to have peace at all times. We think that we are only supposed to have peace in the good times, but there are more bad times than good times. So, the good times are like a practice when you can save up to get some momentum building so you can run through the bad times and still have happiness and peace.

Speaking about Matthew 6:33 and seeking first the Kingdom of God, Michael noted that happiness is found in Christ.

Our error is that we believe peace is something that we can experience, but it’s not. It’s something we feel. It’s something internal….Peace isn’t about what’s happening or not happening. It’s something we feel. It’s something we either are, or we are not.

There was a soap opera in Latin America called “The Rich Also Cry.” The point was that rich people have sadness, depression, and suffer. If the rich suffer, and the poor suffer, then where do you find happiness?…

Pray more. Live for God and you will be happy.

He emphasized throughout his message that happiness and peace are found only in Christ.

After Michael spoke, Moises gave an invitation for people who wanted prayer, who wanted to feel the peace of Christ, to come forward. At least 14 people did. There were another four or five people up there, but I couldn’t tell whether they were there to ask for prayer or to pray for the others. Carlos and Michael prayed for each one individually.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

At John and Libby’s suggestion, I stayed at the hotel today to catch up on my journal. Unfortunately, the Internet service is down, so I can’t post what I have written. I am hoping it will be up soon. I had planned to finish typing up my journal notes and post at least some of my photos. I had been typing directly onto my journal page on my website, so, this morning, I just put everything into a Word document. I’ll paste it into my journal as soon as I can get to the Internet.

I tried several times to get on the Internet, but, at 3:00, it’s still not up. I have everything typed through last night and have plenty of photos to upload, but it’ll all have to wait. I have gone back to working on the slide show I started working on Tuesday night. Randy asked me to put together something for Missions Sunday on the 20th.

John and Libby went downtown to see some sights. I understand John is a good tour guide. The rest of our team went to the church building this morning to prepare food packs for some of the poorer families. Haydée went with the local members to distribute the food. This was part of the church’s regular monthly distribution of food to the poorest families in the congregation.

The food packs included the following:
3 lbs. flour
5 lbs. beans
5 lbs. rice
5 lbs. sugar
1 lb. salt
2 lbs. Crisco
10 boxes matches
15 chicken bouillon
2 tomato sauce
4 pkgs. spaghetti
5 pkgs. fruit drink
5 boxes oatmeal
5 pkgs. coffee
2 pkgs. soup
2 soap
Toilet paper

The total cost per food pack was approximately $17 because everything was purchased from a food wholesaler.
We had dinner in the hotel again tonight so that we could get to the church building on time. We had chicken with vegetables, rice, and beans. It was very good.

Tonight, Michael spoke again about the peace of Christ and having peace in the storm. He emphasized the need to avoid storms when it is possible. We often get ourselves into bad situations because we make no attempt to avoid the situation.

Saturday, July 14, 2007
This morning, Gary and Ron went to the construction site to finish the wiring and tie up loose ends. Jim took Buddy and Travis to shop at the Valley of the Angels (everyone needs to go at least once). The rest of us left for Comayagua about 8:00. Vincente drove us in the van, and Moises drove up with two masons who will spend the week working on the house the church is building for Tomasa, Angel’s sister.

We arrived about 9:45 at the Texaco station, where we waited for Moise to catch up with us. At the house site, we met Angel, Tomasa, their mother, and the rest of the family. We prayed for the family and took pictures. Moises took the masons to the hardware store to get supplies, while Angel took us on a tour of Comayagua.

On our way to the archeological museum on the grounds of the old presidential palace, we saw the second oldest cathedral in Honduras, with a 700-year old clock on the outside of the building. We went inside, looked around, and took pictures.

Comayagua was the first capital city of Honduras. The courtyard of the presidential palace was very nice, well-kept, with many trees and beautiful flowers. At the museum, we saw the printing press that printed the first book in Honduras, which Angel said was Arithmetic Rudiments. After looking at the museum exhibits for awhile, we met Moises in the city park and then headed for a local restaurant for lunch.

The restaurant was crowded, so we sat at five tables. The food was very good. I had the BBQ beef plate. I learned that “BBQ” in the Spanish culture means “grilled”, not necessarily served with barbeque sauce.

I normally just drank bottled water outside the hotel, but I decided on the spur of the moment to have a Coke. This was my first Coke in, as best I can determine, nine years and ten months. It could have been ten years and ten months, but I don’t think so. Either way, it had been a very long time. The Coke tasted great! However, I will not make a habit of drinking it. I don’t need or want the caffeine or the sugar, and I’m allergic to the aspartame in Diet Coke. So, it may well be another ten years before I have another.

After lunch, Angel took us over to see the oldest cathedral in Honduras, but it was closed, so we went back to the van and headed for the Texaco station. This was our “dessert stop.” Some of us got ice cream, which is something I certainly ate too much of on this trip. After eating the ice cream, we piled back into the van and returned to Tegucigalpa.

I decided not to go with the group to dinner. I want to get as much work done on the slide show and online photo albums before we leave. Moises came by about 7:00 and offered to take me to Baskin Robbins. I decided not to pass up the offer. I know. I’d had an ice cream bar earlier in the day, but this was Baskin Robbins, after all! 🙂

While we were at Baskin Robbins, I asked Moises if he would read a thank you note to the congregation tomorrow. He said he would, so I wrote that after he dropped me off at the hotel.

I knew it would be best if I could get Haydée to translate it for me so Moises wouldn’t have to translate on the fly tomorrow. I thought Michael and Haydée had gone with the others to eat, so I went back to working on the photos. After I heard some of the folks coming back from dinner, I took my note up to Michael and Haydée’s room. She graciously translated it, and I typed her translation. Michael helped me with the keyboard shortcuts to get the accent marks in the proper places. I emailed the note to Moises and also to myself, so I could use the hotel computer to print it in case Moises didn’t check his email again tonight. It was rather late when I finished, but I really want to say “thank you” to the congregation for all of their prayers on my behalf during the last several months. Tomorrow seems like the perfect time to do so.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

On our way to the church building this morning, we stopped by Vincente’s new house. This was my first visit to the site. I took several pictures. The house turned out very well! One of Vincente’s sons slept in it last night, even though there is no furniture in it yet.

This morning, a group of children sang several songs during the worship service. I tried using my little digital recorder to try pick up the singing, but I haven’t checked to see if the recording turned out. I gave my camera to Darrel so he could take pictures for me while I recorded. Given Darrel’s prowess with a camera, that was an easy decision to make!

Michael spoke again about having peace in the storms of life. This time, he talked about the storms we cannot avoid. He spoke of our need to praise God during the bad times, not just during the good times. When he said that, my mind immediately flashed back to a locker room scene in Facing the Giants and I again “heard” the words, “Coach is right. We praise God when we win, and we praise Him when we lose.” We do all encounter storms that we can’t avoid, but when Jesus Christ said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” He didn’t say, “except when you’re having a tough time.” Christians can always count on Jesus to be there during the storms, and we can praise God for that!

Michael’s Scripture references were: Mt 8:23-27; 1 Pe 1:3-7; Ro 8:31; Mt 28:20; Mt 16:24; Mt 9:18, 25; 1 Pe 1:6; Mt 15:22; Jn 1:3; Ge 2:2; Ex 16:23; Ja 4:3; Mt 6:33; He 2:14-15; Ro 8:15; Le 12:5; Mt 1:30, 14:31, 16:8, 17:20; Mt 11:4; 2 Pe 3:8; Jn 4:3-5; Lk 11:38; Jo 3:7, 4:27; 1 Pe 4:12; 1 Jn 3:13; 2 Co 4:17; Ac 16:25-30.

The sanctuary was packed for the service. Several people stood at the back for the whole service.

After Michael preached, at least 40 people came forward for prayer and four asked to be baptized!

This is Luisli’s last Sunday here for awhile. He’s leaving for Miami tomorrow. He plans to stay with his mother there while he earns some money for his family. I’m not sure how long he plans to stay in Miami, but it will be difficult to be so far away from his family.

Luisli spoke to the congregation and was having obvious difficulty doing so. He was unable to completely restrain his tears.

After Luisli finished speaking, Moises read my thank you note:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, not because I heard of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, but because I have received that love and observed demonstrations of that faith.

Tomorrow will be 12 weeks since I completed radiation therapy for breast cancer. I thank you very much for your prayers on my behalf. Thanks be to God–I am well!

Michael has been speaking this week about peace in the storms of life. From my own personal experience over the past few months, I know that Jesus Christ truly does provide a peace that is beyond all comprehension. Cancer was a storm I could not avoid, but Jesus was with me from start to finish. He brought me through the storm. He will do the same for you, if you let Him.

As the author of Hebrews said, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

May God bless you always. I love you with all of my heart.

Your sister in Christ,

Star Ferdinand

After the service, several of the women hugged me on their way out, and Ana Delmira prayed for probably 3 or 4 minutes while she was hugging me. I don’t know what she said, but I know she was praying for me and that God heard her. May His will be done!

We made a quick stop at the mall to pick up some lunch before heading out of town to the water park for the baptismal service. The church bus, loaded with the baptismal candidates and family members, had an overheating problem on the way out there, but managed to get there safely. Vincente drove the bus, so Moises drove us in the van.

The baptismal service was an awesome ending to a fabulous week. Twenty-five people were baptized, including Moises’ youngest son, our driver Vincente, and 12-year-old Allison, whom we met last year.

After the baptisms were done, a communion service was held for those who had just been baptized.

Tonight, Gary and Libby went to dinner with some local friends. The rest of the group went to TGI Friday’s at the Cascades Mall for dinner. I went to Pizza Hut, just across from TGIF’s, because I wanted to try the lasagna. They had a waiter who spoke excellent English, so I didn’t have any problem getting my order. However, I did leave without my bottled water. I didn’t realize that until after I sat down at the table in TGIF’s. I went back to Pizza Hut and didn’t have any problem getting the water, since I had my receipt.

This week has certainly flown by. Tomorrow, we’re heading home. I’d rather not.

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Monday, July 16, 2007
Several ladies from the church came to the airport to see us off. There were lots of hugs to go around. As Rosario hugged me, she said she could tell that  my heart is in Honduras. What could I say? It’s true. Oh, I’m not ready to move there permanently, but I definitely want to spend more time there.

Since we had all learned about putting liquids, creams, and gels in our checked bags rather than our carry-ons, we had an easy time getting through security. I did, however, forget that I had stuck my unfinished bottle of water in the outer pocket of my carry-on, intending to finish drinking it before we went through security. The security guard was very nice and let me finish it rather than making me throw it out.

The flight to Houston was uneventful. I read for a few minutes, but then went to sleep for the majority of the trip. Clearing customs went smoothly and we had plenty of time to get some dinner before boarding the plane to fly to San Antonio. This was a short and uneventful flight. After retrieving all our luggage, we said our good-byes and headed home.

It was good to get home, but I would really like to have stayed in Honduras for awhile longer. Maybe I can do that next year.

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