Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Day 7 - 2018

The last full day saw us putting the final touches on the second house. This house blessed a single mother named Betty. 
We were able to use some of the leftover lumber to build benches fo r the children to use during church. 
We also held our final medical clinic at the church in Villa de San Francisco. One again, it was very busy and lasted until after 4. 

We spent our last night grocery shopping at the mall. We also enjoyed some American fast food from the food court. 

It has been an incredible trip.  I'm is hard to believe that it is coming to an end. I am so thankful to be able to be apart of this mission and to witness first hand the ways that God is working here.  After coming for several years, the cultural "shock" is not near as great so I am especially thankful for the insight that Elizabeth and Jake shared on this blog.  The feelings and observations they shared took me back to my first trip here in 2010. It simply cannot be described to those who haven't been to a third world country. Life here is so simple yet so harsh. As my buddy Renzo said, "life in Honduras is hard but this is where God chose for us to be born". We, as Americans are so spoiled. The majority of things that seem important to us, are not. I find it so ironic that we argue over such trivial things as carpet and worship order when our brothers and sisters in Honduras are meeting under a sagging tin pavilion on a rough-finished concrete floor. The need here is so great but once again those who come to "help" take away so much more than we give. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Day 6 - 2018

Tonight's blog post brought to you by guest blogger, Elizabeth Barnes.

My name is Elizabeth Barnes and I am so very excited to be on my first trip to Honduras. Ever since Dad first traveled to Honduras in 2010 when I was only 9, I've been asking when I would be old enough to go. Even though before this week I had never personally been a part of the brigade, I've always felt that a part of my heart belongs in Honduras. Over the years I've seen hundreds of pictures, read dozens of posts, heard countless stories from my parents, and even Facetimed my parents' dear friends Nahum and Yolani as well as even met Dr. Karol Pacheco (one of the doctors that works alongside us at the medical clinics) when she traveled to the United States last October. However, nothing could ever truly prepare me for the overwhelming amount of love I would feel as soon as I arrived in Honduras. As soon as we got through security, Nahum wrapped me in a big bear hug that almost knocked me to the ground. Everyone else in the team was just as welcoming. It was an odd feeling because while I never met many of these people in person, it was like being welcomed home by old friends. 

It became apparent as soon as we stepped out of the airport how great the need was here, and that became even more obvious the further outside the city we traveled. Yesterday and today we conducted medical clinics in Cantaranas, a small town a little over an hour outside the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The construction team worked on a house in Villa de San Francisco, about a 15 minute drive away. This week I've tried a little bit of everything as far as the clinics go. I want to be a pediatrician so I've been doing more of the medical aspect of things. For much of the day I worked alongside Danyiel, a nurse who traveled with us, as she spoke with patients and prescribed medications to help them with their various ailments. One thing that really resonated with me was one older gentleman who took medication for an irregular heartbeat. He had received this medication from another medical brigade and only had one pill left,  but we didn't have any in stock to give him. Danyiel asked our translator how much this medication would cost, as she would be more than willing to get some for him, as it would be extremely dangerous for him to go off his medication. A month's supply was 60 lempira, or about $2.75 in US dollars. This is absolutely nothing to us but even that small amount is too expensive for many people in Honduras to afford, even if their lives could be at stake. I was also astounded by how grateful the people were for simple things like ibuprofen that we so often take for granted. 

This week has truly opened my eyes to how blessed we are in America and has secured in me the desire to use my blessings to help others and spread the healing power of God's Word. I can't wait to see what our last day has in store for us. -Elizabeth

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Day 5 - 2018

We've had another wonderful day in Honduras!  This morning, we made the long drive over the mountain to Cantarranas to conduct a medical clinic for the church members there (we will host another clinic tomorrow for the rest of the townspeople ). It was so exciting to see how much the church has grown since we were here last year! 

After the clinic, we sent 2 vehicles to pick up the congregation from Villa de San Francisco so that we could have a joint worship service. The service was held in the brand new church pavilion behind Brother William's house. The congregation took it upon themselves to raise the money and build this place to worship. The main reason they did this was to save the money that had been going to pay rent on a church building. It is so refreshing to see the care and Stewardship they are taking with God's money. 
The worship services are always so heartfelt and moving - North Americans and Hondurans worshiping together as one family, just as we should. Some of our concerns at home see so trivial when we are sitting on a concrete slab, under a tin roof, focused on nothing but worshipping God. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Day 4 - 2018

Today's blog post brought to you by guest blogger, Jake Kelley. Great job Jake and thank you so much for your perspective! We will try to post pictures of the wedding in the coming days. In the meantime, you can watch video of the entire service on Washington Street's Facebook page. 

My name is Jake Kelley and I am blessed to say this is my first trip (of hopefully many more) to Honduras. Seeing as this has been my first mission trip and my first time out of the country, it's easy to say that this experience has brought along a whirlwind of emotions. From excitement to love and to heartbreak, this mission has shown me the power of God's love and the need for His love in Honduras. I have primarily assisted in the medical clinics because I plan on a career in healthcare. However, seeing the ailments and disease that riddle parts of the country and how little care is available brings a tear to my eye. In fact, in our first medical clinic of the mission, the first patient I saw was an elderly gentleman who was very excited to see us. After simply taking his blood pressure he shook my hand and said, "Thank you doctor." I later found out I was the first doctor or medical professional he had seen in his life. The sense of gratitude we have received from everyone during our time here has been astonishing. Nearly everyone walks away saying, "gracias!" I can honestly say that God has moved not only within the hearts of those we've come in contact with but also within the hearts of the mission team itself. It breaks my heart to see what situations the people of Honduras face, yet my heart is replenished with joy when I see the smile on someone's face whom we've been able to assist. As a first time missionary, I was unsure of what encounters I would face, yet the things I've seen and done have allowed me to see how truly blessed I am and how I have the ability to spread God's love both at home and abroad simply by showing His love to those around me. 

Day 4 has been a slower-paced yet equally exciting day. We began our day making a trek to a school in El Sauce. We delivered school supplies and soccer balls and were lucky enough to be greeted by the children and their teachers on this beautiful Saturday. 
We arrived around the students' usuall outside play time, so we were able to watch students play games with newspaper, rope, and soccer balls. It was incredible to see what fun they had with those simple objects and how creative they were, making up games to provide endless fun for all of the students. 
After stopping by the school, we traveled back to Valley of the Angeles to shop and prepare for Nahum and Yolani's wedding. Even though I myself am not married, I am very aware of how special marriage is in God's eyes. The wedding today was very beautiful and the mission team was honored to be a part of it. Mr. Barnes officiated the wedding of our beloved friends while a number of other brigade members participated in the ceremony; Elizabeth was even the Maid of Honor! Needless to say, today was a day filled with the same love and compassion that has filled the hearts of all of us along this journey, yet we found even more abundant love in the marriage of our dear friends Nahum and Yolani. I can say with certainty that my life has been forever changed by this mission trip, and I look forward to serving the people of Honduras with the Grace of God in the future. -Jake 

Day 3 - 2018

Day 3 was another great day in Honduras. We had a few more hiccups along the way (somebody said it was Friday the 13th?) but everything worked out.  Very thankful that the last 2 members of our group arrived safely around 11:30 this morning. After they got settled in, we were all reunited late this afternoon. 
In the meantime, our medical and construction teams had another very busy day spreading God's love. The construction team finished the first house and the medical team saw a very large number of patients. 
The bounce house was provided by the local Mayor's office for the children who visited the clinic. 
At the end of the work day, everyone pitched in to help decorate for Nahum and Yolani's wedding. 
Saturday is sure to be a very special day. We are are so thankful to be able to share this experience. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Day 2 -2018

It's been an amazing day in Honduras. Things didn't go exactly to plan, but they rarely do down here. We got a late start, forgot to take a few things with us, and got rained out on the construction site. But you know what? We spent the day with great friends and shared more laughs than I can explain. We got to experience some of God's most beautiful landscape. We started a house for a man who doesn't have one and saw a record number patients in the medical clinic- people who don't have access to regular health care. I'll count that as a pretty good day!

James 2:5 Listen my beloved brothers, has God not chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Day 1 - 2018

As you've probably heard, our group landed safely in Tegucigalpa around 11:15 local time. It's amazing how the emotions com flooding back when you first glimpse the city.  This place, this experience, these people become a part of you in a way that's hard to describe to those who've never been. 

 By the time we landed, most of the group had been up for around 30 hours straight (or maybe with just a short nap in there somewhere) so needless to say we were a tired bunch. Regardless, everyone was excited to be here and eager to get to work. It is especially fun to watch the reaction of those who are here for the first time. I think Culture Shock is the best way to put it. 

As is tradition, we made a quick stop by the hotel, followed by a quick lunch, and then got right to work. We've got a great group and everyone worked well together. Today's task was assembling 300 food bags that will be distributed to the poor throughout the week. 

Isaiah 58:10 If you give some of your own food to those who are hungry and to satisfy the needs of those who are humble , then your light will rise in the dark , and your darkness will become as bright as the noonday sun.