The long awaited rain fell all night here in Tegucigalpa. What a great way to sleep, hearing the rain falling on the heavy tin roof of the dormitory we are staying in here at Villa Graicia. But by early morning the rains had stopped and we awoke to a beautiful day. Smoke still hung heavy over the city but on the mountain where we are staying we saw beautiful blue skies. Our first day of work was going to start off with the beauty of God's creation being seen all around us.
Early morning breakfast was easy to make since the roosters and dogs started their morning about 4:00 am. French toast and fresh pineapple and water melon today! After breakfast we had morning devotional, lead by first timer Michael Rosemblum. His lesson on being a humble servant was excellent and so was the singing. What a way to start the day! We spent a half hour working on our journals and then pooled supplies brought from home to take with us for the day. We departed about 9:00 am.
First up today was Hospital Esquela, the largest hospital in Central America. 1,200 beds. We divided into 2 teams and went ward to ward, floor to floor, visiting the patients, many of which were children. We made balloon figures (OK, some were unrecognizable, but they were neat anyway) to give out and we had bubble guns blazing away at full speed. Toys and candy were also given out. We prayed over the sick and passed out a lot of smiles and hugs. Pretty cool stuff even though it was emotionally draining.
A very quick bit to eat on the bus and then we were off to the Mi Esperanza training house. Mark Connell and Leo Silva gave our team the deluxe tour of the house. The house has facilities to teach women beautician skills, sewing, and key boarding. Classes are also being taught on personal skills such as writing resumes, interviewing, and running businesses. It is almost unbelievable the good things that are taking place here.
After the tour we headed out and went to the blind school, my favorite place to go. 40+ students attend the school and live at the facility, located next to Hospital San Philippe. Not only were we going to get to visit and play with the kids, we came loaded with all the extras. Candy, toys, and stuffed animals were passed out in abundance. We sang some songs for them (in English of course) and then we were treated to a fabulous concert from the children! Tears of joy flowed as we listened to these children sing from the bottoms of their hearts and souls. It was awesome!!! And then for the grand finale, we treated the kids to a pizza party! Oh, did I mention the cotton candy? Tim Hines has a cotton candy machine and we had a blast making it (pink hands and all!) and watching the children and staff eat it! Most had never had it before and they didn't know what to do with it! Some tried to eat it like ice cream while others pulled it loose and stuffed it into their mouths! We left with a ton of pictures and a thousand memories.
We finished the work day with a stop at the IRC bodega. It is a giant warehouse that we ship and store our working supplies. It used to be a manufactoring plant for medicines at one time. We sorted and organized hundreds of boxes of supplies in the main warehouse and did a lot of clean-up work. We also moved hospital beds that are going to the police hospital. We worked up a good sweat and then loaded up the bus and stopped at the grocery store to buy food and snacks for the week.
After well deserved showers we ate dinner, steak and mashed potatoes, we had evening devotional in the chapel. We had several (about a dozen) visitors from Los Pinaras School come to be with us. Good crowd, GREAT singing. Tim Hines spoke on stepping out of the boat and throwing away our fears. The Apostle Peter was used multiple times during his analogy. We finished by singing, "I belong to Jesus," and "The Days of Elijah!" Whew, what great songs!
We finished the night with a birthday party for the three on our team that have birthdays during the trip. I really believe that I had the best cake I have ever had in my life (outside my wife's angel food cake), a blueberry layer cake. The rain has returned and we are going to play it by ear for tomorrow as far as what we are going to do. Welcome to Honduras!
As always, keep us in your prayers. We are aware of the potiental storm coming our way and we are in prayer over the situation. We are in a very safe place and our concern is not for ourselves but those who live in such poor living conditions.