Friday, July 27, 2012

Hello, hello, good-bye....

Yesterday we spent most of our day either going to the airport, or coming from the airport, or waiting in the airport! We had two more teams arrive: one from Olathe, KS. and one from Tellico Plains, TN. It's always exciting to meet the new team members and see how they will interact with the villagers.

But the arrival of two new teams meant we had to say good-bye to another team: Our Northern Virginia team left this afternoon and it was a sad departure. No one wanted to leave and we didn't want them to leave either. They had a great, great week of ministry, work, and relationship building; and we hope we see them all soon again.

Please pray for all of our teams!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tough day...

Yesterday was one of those days...I left the house early to do the morning bible study with our team and then took them on to the work site. Joyce stayed behind to finish making the lunches and wait for the tutor to watch those children who would not be going to site this day. After getting everyone started working on the first day at the site I had just settled into a job of my own when our tutor called me and said, "Call Joyce; she's been in an accident." 

As it turns out she wasn't injured at all and neither was anyone in the other vehicle, thank the Lord! However, at the moment I wasn't sure of that. What I did know was that Joyce was alone in the city, at the sight of a traffic accident on the busiest road in the city, and that she spoke zero Spanish! So, I jumped into the van and started racing through morning traffic make my way to Joyce as quickly as I could. Praying all the way I was making pretty good progress, but it wasn't enough for Joyce who was trying to hold it together at the scene not being able to speak to anyone. When I was about 10 minutes away Joyce called me and said, "Where are you? The police are here and I think they're trying to stir up trouble!"

In a few minutes I arrived on the scene to find God had sent Joyce someone who was somewhat bi-lingual and who was helping her, and within minutes I was able to assure the police we didn't need their assistance...if they get involved they take her license and she has to spend an entire day in 'transito' to get it back, plus pay a fine. God allowed us to escape that! Within another half hour the insurance representative showed up insisting we call the police to get an official report. We didn't want that since Joyce had rear-ended the other vehicle and we knew she would be at fault. Again God blessed us with a nice guy in the other vehicle! He agreed to allow us to fix his car (he trusted us) without having the police involved. So, with the police and the insurance rep. dismissed I could now call our mechanic to tow our car to his shop. Again God blessed us: he was on a call and was only 5 blocks from our location on the incredibly busy road and would be there to help us in minutes.

With our car safely towed away we turned our attention to getting the other vehicle repaired. The gentleman had a mechanic/body man where he wanted to take his car, so I told him I'd follow him there...which we did. His man gave us an estimate that was extremely high (it seemed like a 'gringo' estimate). I was able to convince the gentleman to follow me across the city to our body man and allow him to give us an estimate. (God blessed us again!) 

Once there our man, a Christian, gave us an estimate that was less than half of the other guy's and told the gentleman he would start on his car that day. (God continues to bless!) And this may be the best part yet...while our body guy was doing the estimate I was able to share the story of Jesus with the guy whom Joyce hit and he lit up like a Christmas tree when I explained to him he didn't have to "get better" before he could accept Jesus! God gives us opportunities all around us, everyday, in every situation, if we have our eyes open and our hearts receptive!

So, although it didn't feel like it during the day when we look back upon it God was right there all the time!
Despite the unneeded stress and trauma we are able to look back on the incident and see "we were never alone, Joyce was never alone...God was always with us!"

Yes, we're short a vehicle and out of a lot money; but no one was hurt, we got to see God manipulate the events after the accident, and a new hope burns brightly in the heart of Alexi (the guy Joyce hit).! Thank you God for protecting us through everything that comes our way!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rivers of Living Water....

Today we finished developing the second well in El Doradito. This well will provide running water to every home in the village. Can you imagine going from a tin/mud shack to a home with a bathroom and running water? God is blessing this village and has a special plan for this group of people...Thank you, Jesus!

Soon this water will be captured in a storage tank and distributed to every home!

Fresh water coming from 130' down!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mauricio assembles new beds for new home owners...

Today Mauricio spent a couple of hours working on his own to assemble bunk beds for the children in the latest two homes we've built. He did a great job and you know the kids in these homes are going to thanking Mauricio for a long time to come!

Bunk bed #1 ready for occupancy!

And here's the second set ready for some eager children to jump in!

Yeah, that's right! I did it by myself!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let the new work begin...

This Friday we have the first of three teams coming in throughout the remainder of the month, and so, we must begin working on foundations so they will be ready when the teams arrive.

The fun of digging foundations in the 'cool' Honduran summers!

That looks about right: three leaners and one worker!

Marking out the foundation in front of the 'home' we will replace!

Can't you almost feel the excitement of the family living in this 'home'?

Joyce brings a solution to the mud...

The area around the village water pump had turned into a muddy mess and every time some went for water they ended up have to trudge through the mud to get it. Joyce put up with it as long as she could; and then she took matters into her own hands:

Joyce tells Will & Carlos: "I want two canals dug here for the water to run away from the pump."

I said, "Right here!"

"This can't be here; it has to be level!"

"This way, boys!"

"Put it right here, right next to the cement."

It's starting to take shape!

Another boss shows up on the scene!

There it is, the finished deal! Thanks to Joyce's ingenuity, no more mud when gathering water! Now the water runs off the cement, under the skids, and is taken away by canals under the skids!

Our expanding family...

Two weeks ago the guard at the end of street told our kids that a cat had 4 kittens, but the mother died and now the kittens were starving. They were so tiny they two of them didn't fill up the palm of your hand. Naturally Joyce and the kids HAD to save them! So for two weeks these little tykes have been getting fed, rested, and loved upon on our second floor balcony. Joyce and the kids literally sit out there watch them play for hours on end. As as any of the kids have a free minute they want to know if they can go see the kittens. Next week they will all be leaving us to their new homes! Joyce and our tutor have found all 4 new homes, and so soon enough the balcony will revert to its' rightful owners! Can you see me grinning?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

School Uniforms and no more fleas...

The past two days Joyce and Fabiola have been busy working in the village with the women. First they identified and measured children who didn't have proper school uniforms and then traveled into San Pedro Sula to purchase uniforms for all who didn't have. The uniforms are gift from a team of chiropractors from Palmer Chiropratic College in Iowa. Last month Dr. Stacey Kisting of San Pedro hosted a team of physicians from Palmer College and among their stops was a visit to El Doradito. While there they set up 4 or 5 tables in the homes and treated patients, me included, for about 3 hours. It was a great visit and one that really touched the people deeply! Before they left their leader asked about schools and if all the children attended. When she found out not all could because they couldn't afford school uniforms she talked with her team and they left behind the funds to purchase these uniforms (they are four more which have to be exchanged which are not in the picture). THANK YOU, PALMER COLLEGE!

Can't you see the 'feel good' in their faces?

The next day Joyce and Fabiola gathered the women of the village and told them to bring all their dogs to the wash area by the community pump. Joyce told them since they used the dogs as protectors and warning devices they had a responsibility to keep them fed and clean, and free of fleas. She and Fabi had brought along dog soap and De-flea shampoo and after showing the women how to do it told them to, "have at it!" 

Proverbs 10:12  "A righteous man regards the life of his animal..."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More dirt, more road, spiritual steps, and community pride...

We got 30 more tons of dirt delivered the past two days and needless to say we're a bit weary of shoveling and pushing wheelbarrows! However, the road looks great!

This was once nothing but a mud hole!

From a mud hole to something suitable for a drag strip! Maybe we'll hold races here to raise money!

Another neat thing to see is the community pride that is starting spring up! It used to be that everywhere you stepped there was garbage on the ground, just like everywhere else in Honduras. Now not only is the garbage all policed up, but we see how these new homes are sprouting self-worth...this time in the form of the flowers in the picture below.

But the best gift of all is the spiritual growth of our own children as we all labor in the village. Yesterday Mauricio decided he wanted to take some movies to the village that we no longer watched. He searched through our collection and came up with about six that he took to the village. He gave them to Byron Alex, one of his friends there and a boy who is a bit of an outcast in the group. As Mauricio was leaving Byron asked him if he had to share the videos with the other kids. He told Mauricio he didn't want to because when he asked for something they never gave him anything. Mauricio told him, "God blessed you with these movies so you would have an opportunity to share with the other kids and teach them what it means to love like Jesus loves." Is that awesome, or what?

That same day Fabiola came to me as we were shoveling the dirt and told me 'Abuelo' isn't feeling well and he has a fever, so I was just talking with him trying to make him feel better. Abuelo is the nickname of Santorino, the oldest gentleman in the village, who is stuck in a wheel chair or hammock because of a stroke and a broken hip. After Fabiola told me what she had been doing I asked her if she had prayed for Abuelo and she said, "no" with a startled look on her face. This girl is 14 (15 next month) and 3 years ago had never had any introduction to the Lord, but now she is filled with the Holy Spirit! I told her she should think about going back to him and praying for him, asking God to heal him. Now her eyes really got big!!! I told her if she prayed for him it wasn't her strength she would be counting on; it would be God's. All she had to do was pray believing God would send the Holy Spirit through her and then leave it to God. She was only responsible for the praying; God is responsible to heal or not to heal! I didn't say another word and in a minute or two she tapped me on the shoulder and told me she was going back to pray for him. Fabiola went back, laid hands on Abuelo and prayed for him.  Sometime later she came back to me beaming from ear to ear and told me what she had done and that now Abuelo was feeling much better! 

It doesn't get much better than watching two of your own step into the roles that Jesus has for them!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A new road...

Yesterday Will, Mauricio, and myself joined the villagers to move 60 tons of dirt and rock by hand to fill in what had become a quagmire in the middle of the village. Oh yeah, I forgot to say we did it by hand; no front-end loaders available, or tractors, or skid-steers...just shovels and hoes!!!

We were the first, but not the only...

Before long other men and children began to pitch in...

And then the women jumped in with us...

And soon 60 tons of dirt and rock became...

A new road...

Everyone in the village helped out & the village paid for all the material. God is changing things in Buen Esperanza!

Great team, great ministry, great work...

For 10 days at the end of June we were blessed to host a team of 26 from Tullahoma, TN. and two more from Tellico Plains, TN. It was non-stop for all 10 days and the results are impossible to deny:

  • 2 new homes completed
  • women's ministry daily in two different locations
  • children's ministry daily in two different locations
  • morning bible studies that lifted us all and helped some to reveal and unload some burdens
  • culminated with a day of fun at the waterfall and in the 'cancha'!

Even the boss works...

From the foundation up...

And we have to have a hole for the septic tank...

Children's ministry

Finishing touches...

Women's ministry

Preparing for the sun...

Conquering the falls...

The walls are up...

...and the job is done

Thanks to each of you for your labors, your support, your prayers, and your encouragement to all of our family. Honduras was a winner, our family was a winner, and we pray you were winners as well...blessings!!!