2010 Honduras Journal

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I met some people at the Houston airport this morning who were from two groups on their way to Central America. One group was headed for Belize. The second is on my flight to Tegucigalpa.

I talked for a few minutes with two college-age girls who are on their first trip to Honduras. The brother of one of the girls is also on the trip. I talked with them for a few minutes about my trip last year. After 12 months, I am still jazzed about that trip–still grateful to God for the opportunities He gave me. Now, I’m eager to see what God will do in and through the team this year.

The flight was uneventful. Moises and Sofia picked me up at the airport. We went to the mall to eat, and I was able to get some lempiras (Honduran currency) from the ATM machine. I wanted to test this to ensure I will be able to easily get money from my account after I move to Tegucigalpa. I had no problem getting the money. The receipt even gave me my account balance in lempiras. I also got my cell phone activated and bought 26 minutes–enough for an emergency, and I can add more if I need to. Sofia translated for me, so I didn’t get myself in any trouble (thanks, Sofia).

I checked into the Humuya Inn, and met Michael, the new daytime desk clerk. Moises said he’d pick me up a little before 9:00 tomorrow morning for church.

After unpacking and settling into my room, I prepared for my week of focusing on my certification course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

I had an early dinner of spaghetti with homemade meat sauce. I had this at least 3 out of 8 days last year. I eat more pasta than I probably should, but I don’t eat much spaghetti. I do like the meat sauce they serve at the Humuya!

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Moises, Sofia, and Eleazer picked me up for church this morning, and we got there right about 9:00. There was a lot of hugging, as quite a number of people I know from previous trips came over to greet me.

I stayed near the door so I could see people as they came in, and so I could feel a bit of the breeze from outside. There are three oscillating fans hanging just below the ceiling, but it still gets quite warm in the room when it gets full.

I, of course, couldn’t follow the sermon at all. Picking out one or two words out of 20 just isn’t enough to grasp the message. I started thinking about why I feel at home here and wrote down some thoughts about that, which I will probably use if I speak to the women this year.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Yip store so I could get some water and tea. Sofia went in with me. I bought tea there before, so I knew they had had it; however, I did not remember where it was. Sofia asked an employee, who promptly brought us to the tea section. I got some green tea and peppermint tea.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

I worked on my TEFL course all day today, sitting on the patio at the Humuya Inn.

This morning, I confirmed my Wednesday visit with my Compassion child (Nicole).

Linda came over shortly after noon for lunch. The food was good and the company was great. I had a very nice time.

This is shaping up to be a busy week socially: Lunch with Linda today; coffee with the elders tomorrow evening; Wednesday at the Children’s museum with Nicole; and then dinner with Laurie (a missionary I met down here last year) on Wednesday evening. Jim arrives Friday, so I’m guessing we’ll eat together Friday evening.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I don’t have any big news to report. I’ve been working on my TEFL course. It’s been a little slow going, but Henry just brought up a taller chair that fits the little desk in the room much better than the chair that was in here. I’ve been working down on the patio because the weather’s so nice. The drawback to that is that people come over to talk and, while I enjoy that, it takes away from my lesson time. So, now that I have a better chair for the desk, I can work in my room a lot more and just go downstairs when I need a break.

I had a very nice visit and lunch with Linda Henry yesterday. Tomorrow, I’m having dinner with Laurie, a missionary I met last year.

Tomorrow morning, Oscar, my Compassion host, will pick me up at 8:00 a.m. and then we’ll go pick up Nicole, her mother, and maybe a project staff member, and head to the Children’s Museum. We’ll spend the morning there and have lunch at some local restaurant. Of course, I’ll still be here for two more Sundays, so I will likely see Nicole at least on those days.

I’m definitely having a nice relaxing time, which I very much needed. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I will put in some more focused work on my TEFL course. My goal was to finish 6 units while I’m here, but I’ve got a long way to go to hit that goal! At the rate I’m going, I won’t come close. So, that means less time visiting, and more time working on my lessons!

The doctor at Baxter Institute, whom I haven’t met personally yet, just on Facebook, is going to check with a couple of places that carry natural products to see if they carry my thyroid medication. I’m guessing I will probably end up just getting my doctor to authorize giving me a 12-month supply at a time when I move down here.

I’m also getting information on mail forwarding and shipping from the wife of the hotel owner.

I had a great meeting with the elders. They have welcomed me with open arms. Carlos said my first ministry can be to teach the elders English! Now who prompted me to take this course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language? If you said “the Holy Spirit,” I would say you are probably 100% correct!

Now, I must get back to my lesson. I’m almost done with the one I wanted to finish yesterday. I just have one part of one question left. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the text about it. I really dislike that. 🙂 Oh, well. The Internet works in Honduras, and I’ve found several useful ESL teaching sites, so I’m sure one of them will give me some ideas for this last question.

By the way, I am jazzed! Good thing I quit drinking Coke. 🙂

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I just got back from my visit with Nicole, her oldest sister, her only nephew (3 yrs old), and a Compassion project staff member. Nicole’s mother wasn’t able to come, as she had a large tortilla order to get out. Nicole’s sister, Cinthia, was going to make the tortillas so her mother could come, but her mother says she doesn’t like the way she makes them. I understand that!

We went to the Children’s Museum, as planned. Nicole and her nephew both had a good time. I would like to have stayed longer, but Nicole’s nephew is only about 3 years old, so his attention span is very short.

I think next year we’ll be going to the water park. My host has run out of ideas. Most sponsors only visit once, and this was my third visit.

A lady from the project staff came with us. She said I’m the only sponsor who comes to visit their project. Oscar, my host, said there are 40,000 children in Compassion projects in Honduras and only about 100 individual sponsor visits each year, plus about 200 sponsors on the sponsor tours. 300 sponsors total is not very good, but I understand. I know that it is unlikely I will ever get to Uganda to visit the girl I sponsor there through World Vision. It’s not impossible, but it will take considerable planning and saving to do it. I’m sure that’s the case with a lot of the Compassion sponsors, too.

After dinner, I finally finished unit 6 of my TEFL course and submitted it!

This was a very good day, topped off with a nice dinner with Laurie, the missionary from New Orleans.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

This morning, I received an encouraging email from my course tutor, saying I did excellent work on unit 6!

I worked on unit 7 all day. I finished about 9:30 this evening and submitted it.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

I worked on unit 8 this morning.

Jim arrived around 12:30 or so. We then went to the mall. We went to the Hiper Paiz store, owned by Wal-Mart. I made a quick trip through the food aisles, jotting down prices of a few items so I can make my food budget more realistic. Jim got some minutes for his cell phone. We ate Chinese food in the food court.

After we got back to the hotel, I worked some more on unit 8. I’m close to finishing.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jim and I went to the Honduras Maya hotel for breakfast. They have a breakfast buffet, but by the time we went inside to get some food, they had taken away all the hot food. So, we ordered off the menu. Then, when Jim tried to pay, the waitress said, “No pay.” A great way to start the day!

Back at the Humuya, I worked on unit 8 while I did my laundry. After I finished unit 8, I continued reading Savage My Kinsman by Elizabeth Elliott. This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it.

I’m still three lessons behind where I should be, but I’m hoping to get at least two more done before I leave. That will put me about 2 units behind when I get home. I suspect I will have to use 4 days of vacation time in September to make sure I get done before my Sep 29th deadline. However, I will give it “the old college try” and see if I can get caught up without using those days, since I’d prefer to use them Thanksgiving week.

Now, I have time to work on my lesson for the ladies. I don’t know when I’m speaking, but I want to be prepared. The majority of the lesson was done in March, but I have written a few paragraphs this week that will fit in well, so I want to take care of that. At $.50 a page, I don’t like having to print down here, but I will need to print my final copy.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am tired today. I worked until 1:30, then woke up at 5:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Moises and Isai picked me up shortly before 9:00 this morning for church. Jim went to the church at Kennedy to hear Lenin preach his final sermon before he leaves for graduate school at Harding University.

In addition to seeing the same friends I saw last Sunday, I also saw Wendy and Luisli! I was disappointed Wednesday when I found out that Wendy is no longer working at the Compassion project. I wasn’t sure if she was even still in town, but there she was with a hug and a big smile! I knew Luisli was coming in this week, but I didn’t know when. It was good to see both of them.

Moises spoke for about 48 minutes. There were 194 adults and 106 children in attendance this morning.

This afternoon, Moises and I went out to the river to watch two baptisms. Praise God! The baptisms were near Malalaja, a little village just outside Tegus. We visited the church there in 2006.


First communion

I’ve had a little bit of a sore throat since yesterday. Since the hotel doesn’t have popsicles (my favorite treatment for sore throats), I had some ice cream. It was sooo good!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

I laid down for a nap yesterday around 4:30. I intentionally didn’t set the alarm. I woke up about 2:15 this morning and felt great. I got up for a little bit, but it was way too early to stay up, so I went back to bed. I read for a few minutes and then turned the light out right before 5:00. Almost immediately, I heard it. Drip. Drip. On went the light. I looked up and saw a water drop on the ceiling. Drip. The drops were landing on the comforter. If they had hit the sheet, I don’t think I would have heard them.

I called Henry, the night desk clerk. An employee brought me a couple of towels, but I didn’t need them, since the drops were landing on the bed, not the floor. Of course, the dripping had stopped by then. Less than five minutes later, it started again. About 7:30, Henry moved me to another room.

Jim and I left for the airport around 10:30 to meet the rest of the mission team. Moises, his kids, and a few others from the church came to the airport a little bit after we arrived.

The group arrived on time. After we got all the luggage and people loaded up, we went to the church for lunch. The ladies always serve us a good lunch, and there’s always plenty of food.

After lunch, we went to the hotel and unloaded. Everyone got checked in, and then I went with Moises, Gary, Luisli, Randy, and John Carter to see the second construction site (the first is at the church). Then, we went to the Larach & Cia store to get some tools and a locking toolbox.

Platform for Moises' office

Olga's house

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This was a great day. The construction team started working on the office for Moises.

Painting the Wall

The rest of us painted the side and back concrete walls surrounding the sport court we put in a few years ago. We ran out of paint right before we finished, so someone else will have to finish, unless we come back later in the week.

Jim's in my place!

Evita told me this morning that I will speak to the women of the church on Friday at 7:00 p.m. I pray that God will speak to the women through my words and that they will listen with open hearts and open minds.

Also, Ana told me this morning that she will have a place for me to live when I move down here in 2012. Actually, she said, “All of my house is your house.”

Star and Ana

This afternoon, we made six home visits to some incredible women. We had a wonderful time of worship, prayer, and Scripture reading in each home. John laid his hands on and anointed each person we prayed for with oil while we sang a song. Lynn took notes for me so I could take pictures and read Scriptures. (Thanks, Lynn!) The other members of our group were Samuel, Elizabeth, Paula, Evita, Rachel, Thelma, Evelyn, and Alectis. Julio was our driver.

First, we visited Hilsa. She is an elderly lady with a hip problem, whose daughter is also named Hilsa. Her granddaughter was present, too. Hilsa smiled broadly as she sang with us. After praying, Thelma read James 5:15, and Evita read from Psalm 27. I then read Psalm 18:1-3 and Psalm 33:17-22. Thelma read the Spanish version of those verses. We finished our visit by singing “We love You With the Love of the Lord.” As we were saying good-bye, Hilsa said God won’t leave her alone and keeps sending angels like us to her.


Our next visit was with Elena, who met us outside and ushered us into the house. She is suffering from inflammation of her leg as a result of diabetes. Her leg is looking better now than it has been. She works a lot and doesn’t rest very much. Evita read Psalm 23. We sang “Dios Esta Aqui” (“God is Here”) and “Espiritu de Dios” (“Spirit of God”). Next came a reading from Jeremiah 33, followed by John anointing Elena with oil while we sang. After Evita prayed and we sang again, I read Matthew 9:20-22 in English, and Thelma read it in Spanish. I then read Habakkuk 3:17-19 in English, and Evelyn read the Spanish version. Evita then talked about the faith of the woman in Matt. 9 as she reached out to touch Jesus’ clothes. The last passage I read was Proverbs 3:5-8, and Alectis read the Spanish version. We closed with a song, and then headed over to Maria’s house.

Praying for Elena

We have visited Maria several times in the past. She was always out in the living room talking with us and seemed very vibrant. Today, she was lying in bed and seemed very frail. It was great to see Maria, yet sad to see how she has deteriorated physically since we last saw her two years ago. She remembered us, though. She talked about John and how she would wear his hat while we visited. She remembered me, too.

Maria has been having problems with her bones and diarrhea, and hasn’t been eating or drinking enough. The room was quite warm, but Maria was covered with a couple of blankets. On her bed were a jar of Vicks, a knit cap, and a roll of toilet paper. We sang a few songs, including “Dios esta Aqui” and “The Solid Rock.” Alectis read a Scripture, and then I read Proverbs 3:5-8. Thelma read the Spanish version. I read Zephaniah 3:17, and Evelyn read it in Spanish. Then we sang “Blue Skies.” As we approached the end of our visit, Maria suddenly sat up and started quoting Psalm 91. It was in Spanish, of course, but the local people with us immediately recognized it. She didn’t seem to miss a word. Oh, I hope I can do that when I’m 90+ years old! Maria is one of the founding members of Iglesia Misionera de Cristo.

Our fourth visit today was with Raquel, an elderly lady who was in bed. She has some kind of kidney inflammation. We sang several songs in Spanish and then Thelma spoke to Raquel. I then read Proverbs 3:5-8. We sang another song in Spanish after John anointed Raquel with oil. A younger lady, also named Raquel is taking care of her.

Visit number five was with Teresa, another of the founding members of the IMC. She, too, has been very sick. She has a hernia and back problems. She’s had x-rays of her bones and her throat’s been very bad. She was in the hospital for a long time. She said she wants to sing songs because God moves in the midst of worship. I read Ephesians 1:3-14. Thelma read the Spanish version and then expounded on the passage for several minutes. Evita read Isaiah 21:10 and then expounded on “la forteza” – strength in the Lord. We sang more songs in Spanish, and John anointed Teresa. Angel, Teresa’s husband for 67 years, came in right before the prayer. He said Teresa hasn’t been sleeping well and hopes the prayers will help her to sleep. They have eight grandchildren.

Our final visit of the day was with another founding member of the IMC, Edwina, known as Minnie. Her husband is also named Angel. He is a leader in the church. Angel’s brother died recently and a grandson also died recently. Minnie had a stroke and has been very ill. We sang songs in Spanish while John laid hands on Minnie and anointed her with oil. We prayed for Minnie and Angel and then sang some more songs. I read Isaiah 40:28-31, which Thelma then read in Spanish and expounded upon. Evita followed up with a reading of John 15:7, which she then talked about briefly.

After saying our good-byes, we loaded up and head back to the church to get the construction team. They had one wall up, and the framing was up for the other three.

At dinner this evening, Moises told me I can use the church’s mailbox to receive my mail. This was great news, as I need a reliable way to get my thyroid medication.

Tomorrow evening, I am meeting with the president of the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries. The Fellowship will help me get my missionary visa in 2012. This is just a get acquainted meeting. He’s bringing his wife and two children. I’m looking forward to an interesting and enjoyable evening.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our first stop this morning was at La Colonia to buy refreshments, soap, and toilet paper for the residents at the CEDER nursing home. Our group today included Samuel, Elizabeth, John, Evita, Carlos, Rachel, Alectis, Paula, and Lynn, who took notes for me again. As usual, Julio drove us.

When we arrived at CEDER, we waited briefly for an older man to let us in. There was a group of 11th grade students visiting from the Virginia Sapp Christian High School in Tegucigalpa. I didn’t count the students, but I would guess there were around 20. It seemed like every time I turned a corner, there were three or four students. I was very impressed with the students. They had brought cake, beverages, and a gift-pack for each resident. While we were there, the students went around and visited each resident, talking with them and helping them eat their snacks. The school brings the students to CEDER twice a year as part of their requirement to perform social services in the community.

Teens with Sergia

As we walked around to visit people who were not out in the day room, we came upon Anastasia, an elderly woman who was obviously a staunch Roman Catholic. She repeatedly blessed us by the “Holy Mother” and did the same when any of the students came by.

Lynn and Evita both spent some time with Sergia, a 92-year-old woman who has a large, painful tumor on the right side of her chest. She has no family and is totally blind.

The dormitory area looks much the same as it did when we visited two years ago. Someone donated tall five-drawer chests for the dorms. Someone also donated very nice kitchen cabinets.

Dr. Armador was not there when we first arrived, but when he came, he showed us where the rain had damaged the ceiling in the men’s area. A large portion of the ceiling fell. Fortunately, no one was injured because the residents in that area had been moved when the damage first became evident. Dr. Armador also pointed out a portion of the ceiling in the women’s dorm area that is starting to sag as a result of the rain.

This is a 100-year-old house, so such problems are to be expected, but they mean extra expenses for the nursing home. In addition, neither of the two stoves in the kitchen is fully functioning. Only one burner works on one stove and two on the other. One of the washing machines is also broken.

Dr. Armador told us that four residents died last year and three have died so far this year. He had actually been out burying a resident when we arrived. The residents in this building are the ones most in need of medical care. Several of the others were previously moved out to the new facility Dr. Armador told us about in 2008. We have not been out there yet, but once I’m living in Tegucigalpa, I hope to make a visit out there. The new facility is quite a ways out from the building we were in. Dr. Armador said it’s too far from there for the very sick people to get medical care immediately, so that’s why they were not moved. The residents all seem to be clean, but as Lynn noted, the dorm area smelled like any other nursing home that has many incontinent residents.

I’ve been favorably impressed with Dr. Armador on each of our previous visits. He is very passionate about his work and about the residents. Lynn described him as “a wonderful character – full of energy, humor, and interest in what is going on.” I have to agree with her.

After the students left, Evita and some of the others got some of the residents together in a circle to sing some songs with motions. The man who met us at the door suddenly stood up to give his testimony. He said he was lost and God told him to go to the house where they were preaching. Then he broke into a song about the shepherd missing one lost sheep. Like the lost sheep, he was found.

I then read Philippians 4:4-9, and Samuel read the Spanish version. Evita asked how many of them knew God and had received Christ. She then read John 3:16. She offered them reassurance and the comfort of Jesus. When she asked if anyone would like to receive Jesus, a woman immediately responded, and Carlos prayed with her. A man also responded, and Alectis prayed with him. We then sang “We Love You With the Love of the Lord” and Evita prayed and blessed them all.

From CEDER, we went to the children’s feeding center in the La Vega area of Tegus. There were a number of kids sitting on the chairs next to the walls when we came in, while a few others were eating. I wasn’t sure why they were hanging around, but then Ana got them started singing some songs for us. They were great!

We were scheduled to do two home visits after lunch, but the second one got rained out. The one we did make was to an alley between two real homes. Prospiro and his wife Adella live in this alley that is five feet wide. He has always ground corn for a living. They lost their house when their adopted daughter used the house as collateral for a loan and then defaulted on the loan. They have no place for their possessions other than this alley. They have put up cardboard walls to create sections for the bedroom, kitchen, storage, and so on. Plastic bags hanging on nails hold some of their clothes and other possessions.

Home in the alley

Prospiro said they were completely soaked Monday when it rained hard. He said there was a river running through there.

I read Romans 8:28-39, and Samuel read the passage from a Spanish Bible. Carlos spoke for a couple of minutes, and then we prayed for them.

They want to build a house on a piece of land nearby. Prospiro showed it to us, and it is literally a drainage ditch. He would have to build the house on beams over the ditch. This is not a very good option, but it seems to be all they have right now. However, there are vacant buildings in the area. Maybe a little community housing development is in order. It would be a mistake to say this kind of situation doesn’t happen in the United States. We have thousands of homeless people. However, we also have government programs available to help them. One can debate the appropriateness of those programs, but the fact is that they exist and offer at least some hope to homeless people. Such is not the case for Prospiro and Adella.

It started raining, so we couldn’t do our second visit. It would have been too slippery for us, so we loaded up the van and headed back to the church. The construction team was almost done with Moises’ office.

Almost ready for the roof

Moises in his new office, nicknamed "the prayer tower"

This evening, I had a very nice visit with the president of the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries & Ministries and his family over dinner. I’ll be able to use their ministry’s lawyer to process the paperwork for my missionary residency. He and his family were very nice. I’m sure I will get to know them well as I progress through the residency application process.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

We started out this morning at the IMC building, where Sofia described one of the dentist’s cases to us as she flipped through the doctor’s documentation on the computer. The girl will be receiving treatment for about two and a half years. Next year, we’ll be able to see her with her braces on. She’ll be getting them in another two weeks.

Next, we headed out to Yaguacire with Ana. There we watched the women prepare lunch for the kids in the supplemental feeding program. This program just started last year. Jim and I visited there last summer, but this was the first time for the rest of the group. Paula took notes for me today (thanks!).

We were there a little early, so we had time to make a home visit to see 89-year-old Maria, who is suffering from arthritis. We walked downhill from the church building, then uphill through a cornfield to get to Maria’s home. Ana read from Psalm 43. Then John anointed Maria with oil while we sang. After we prayed for Maria, I read Psalm 27:1-7.

On Maria’s porch, we met her daughter and caretaker, Marta. She has diabetes, but is most concerned about her husband who is in jail in Mexico. We prayed, sang, and read Scriptures again. Ana concluded this visit with a beautiful song that Paula noted was in a minor key, sounding Jewish but, at the same time, like a chant. It was truly a beautiful song. I neglected to ask Ana what it’s called.

We went back to the church building and saw the children and dogs still having a great time on the playground that the Harpeth Hills youth built a few years ago.

There are 30 children in the program right now. As they got ready to eat, the children lined up outside in two lines to wash their hands. They were very well-behaved. Inside, the children ate a lunch of spaghetti with meat sauce, cabbage and carrot slaw, tortillas, and pineapple juice.

We discussed with Ana the need for more tables and chairs. She told us she got the ones they have now at Key Mart in Tegucigalpa.

Need more tables

After we had lunch in Tegucigalpa, we made four more visits.

Our first stop was at the home of Ella and Luis. Luis has a prostate problem and had spent several days in the hospital. He works as he is able, but still needs a procedure to be done at the clinic or in the hospital. His children and grandchildren also live in the house. Once again, we sang songs and read Scriptures. I read Psalm 33:18-32 and Psalm 34:1-10. John anointed Luis and we prayed for him.

We went to Santo’s barbershop next. While he finished cutting a gentleman’s hair, a CD started playing in English so we could sing along. After his customer left, Santos told us about his daughter who is in El Salvador to get treatment for her kidney. One of her kidneys is much smaller than the other. The treatments are helping the small kidney to grow.

Our third visit was to the home of Alicia, a widow whom I’ve seen serving at church for the past several years. In addition to being a greeter, she also brings Moises a tortilla breakfast every Sunday. I understand it’s delicious. I read Matthew 11:28 and Romans 8:28-39. Alicia asked for prayers for pain in her arm. John anointed her, and we sang songs and prayed for her.

Anointing with oil

Two years ago, we built a house for Norma and her parents. Today, we went to visit. Norma’s father still works at his shoe repair shop. Her mother was in the house. She had a stroke and is in a wheelchair. She didn’t seem to notice us. Norma’s hip prosthesis is infected and not well-placed. She is trying to find a doctor to help her. The Cuban doctor who did the original surgery is supposedly in southern Honduras, but Norma hasn’t been able to find him. Both of her hips have congenital defects, similar to her father’s. Nashville doctors told her it would take four surgeries over a year’s time to correct her situation. The teenagers at the IMC help her with transportation and involve her in their activities. I read Psalm 20:1-8. John anointed Norma with oil while we sang and then we prayed for her.

Outside Norma’s house we had a very moving time of prayer for Evita and Ana. We were all in tears at the end of the prayers for these two beautiful sisters in Christ who are serving the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength! May God continue to pour out His Spirit in and through them!

Before returning to the hotel, we made a brief stop at the site of the new house construction. The guys have made a good start, but they’ve got a long way to go!

Gary cutting rebar

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Our first stop this morning was Key Mart. When Ana first mentioned the store, some of us thought she said K-Mart. Not exactly. It is a discount store, though, and I’m sure I will become better acquainted with it in the years to come. Today, we were there to buy tables and chairs for the supplemental feeding programs. We got eight tables and 32 chairs. Interestingly, the price varied by color. I noticed the same thing with the sofa beds (yes, I was pricing things for possible future purchase). We got what we needed, and Julio negotiated a 5% discount for us. Thank you, Julio!

We immediately took the tables and chairs to the feeding center in Tegus. Ana was very happy to get them.

Ana thanking Lynn for the tables and chairs

I spent the afternoon working on my lesson for this evening, and I also ironed my blouses for tonight and Sunday morning.

Gary got something in his eye yesterday, so Moises took him to the doctor this morning. I was downstairs when he came back. The doctor said he could see a piece of sawdust, so he washed it out and gave Gary some antibiotic drops to use every hour. If it doesn’t feel better soon, he’s to go back.

Vicente, Sofia, and Eliezer picked me up a little before 7:00. By the time I got up to speak, there were about 35 people, including the four guys from the band and about four prayer ministers. Sofia translated for me. This was her first time doing a live translation in a public setting. She was nervous and got a little frustrated when she couldn’t remember an English word a couple of times. Overall, though, she did a fine job, and I’m sure she will be a great translator with just a little more practice.

About a dozen women came forward for prayer for various problems. After the closing prayer, several women came over and hugged me. Some said my message was good or that they enjoyed it. The keyboard player said “muy bueno” and gave me a thumbs up. That’s pretty good, coming from a young guy! Evita and Alectis both said it was very good. Thank you, Lord! I was told there would have been more people, but the heavy rain kept some away.

Father, please help all the women who were there tonight to continually reach out to Jesus and let Him lift them up so they can stand firm in Him. Amen!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

I discovered my weekend home today! This morning we went to Ana’s house in the country, just outside Santa Buenaventura. I think it was about a 45 minute drive, although I didn’t pay much attention to the time. On our way out there, Ana told me she will take me there often when I’m living in Honduras. I certainly didn’t expect the house to be anything like what we saw. Wow! The view from each side of the house was wonderful! We took a little trip through the fruit trees. There were mangoes, oranges, limes, and even some peppers. Ana said there are apple trees down by the river, which we could hear, but not see.

Ana's house in the country

Ana's peppers

View from Ana's house

Our time here was very relaxing. We spent some time on the porch before going inside to eat. Ana had said there wasn’t any food out there, but it sure managed to appear very quickly. Oh, I should add that we helped by shucking the fresh-picked corn. Mmmm. It sure was good!

Shucking corn

I told Lynn I could see myself sitting on the porch just writing away. At least until I would have to take a short nap in the fresh air!

This was a wonderfully relaxing day. We all need days like this when we take time to marvel at the wonders of God’s creation.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

This morning we had another wonderful worship service with our Honduran brothers and sisters. Moises spoke from the second chapter of Philippians. I know this only because he gave us the reference in English. It won’t be much longer before I’ll start understanding when he’s preaching in Spanish.

This evening, we had a great evening at Jose and Evita’s home. The place was packed, but we sure had a good time enjoying each other and the fabulous food!

I’m not ready to return to the States, but I will be on the plane tomorrow. Knowing I’ll be back in December makes it easier, I think.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Several folks from the IMC came to see us off this morning. Ana gave each of the ladies a baseball-style cap in blue and white, with “Honduras” on the back. She also gave me one for Haydee, who couldn’t come this year. It was difficult to part company, but I finally had to go upstairs. Some of us got something to eat or drink and then waited for a bit in the eating area.

While we were waiting, Jim and I met Brian Duggan from ReachGlobal. He’s based in San Jose, Costa Rica. He told me his wife attended the Spanish school that I’ll be attending. We swapped contact cards.

The trip to Houston was uneventful. We all made it through Customs without any difficulties. We arrived safely in San Antonio after about a 30-minute delay in Houston due to the weather. Our delayed departure, however, meant that we missed the bad weather. There was only a few seconds of turbulence during the 35-minute flight. It’s nice to see familiar territory again, but I’d still rather be in Tegucigalpa. Tomorrow, I meet with my financial planner to verify I can retire next year and meet my expenses while living in Honduras. Then, it will be time to unpack and get ready for work on Thursday.

My next Honduras trip, God willing, is December 2. I’m counting the days!

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