Saturday, July 2nd
Ready for work, we gathered in the chapel on campus at 8:00 am after an optional (some chose to sleep) breakfast of toast with all types of jam, fruit, and cereal. Devotional started off with “This is the Day” / “Este es el Dia” to get us pumped. Bret Walters from Nashville does an incredible job as a song leader—especially here in Honduras. There was no direct Bible lesson. The morning was spent in an orientation manner.
Today, the team split into three groups. Two groups stayed on campus; one worked on food distribution preparations while the other prepared and planned the events of the upcoming VBS (Vacation Bible School). Just as they were finishing, a great surprise arrived—Maria and Esperanza (two of the most sincere and caring individuals I have ever known—and patient and understanding translators that do a tremendous job). The two groups combined to go to the IRC Bodega to sort through supplies. After a fun time with the “bodega bandidito” (you’ll have to ask someone who was there—but just imagine a warehouse full of toys, clothes, and gringos looking to have a good laugh), the group loaded up to visit the hospital. For the rookies as well as the veterans, this is a place of joy and sadness. It always amazes me how you can feel so strongly about both emotions at the same time. You are sorrowed at the problems that these poor, innocent children are facing. Yet, they bring the most beautiful smiles into a room—you can’t help but enjoy the love they give freely.
The third team returned to Santa Ana for another “bufftruck” day. Our large group dispersed into different jobs. Some used wood to nail together molders for making concrete blocks and a small group worked on the actual making of the blocks. Others hauled gravel and sand in wheelbarrows down a hill with mud and many small obstacles—two people were necessary for each wheelbarrow. Towards the end of this project, it began a steady rain that made the already wet ground into the muddiest place known to man!!! There was no lightning or thunder, so we continued to give 100% throughout the downpour. The rain stayed steady through the next big job of people carrying small and large rocks. The transfer was quite an exciting ordeal. No shoe went uncovered. And many slippery spots allowed the clothes to enjoy a FUN mud bath. With everyone soaked after a two-hour downpour, the final job was to clean every smidgen of dried cement from the mixer; this took 45 minutes. We loaded the bus and headed back home.
Shortly after returning, a strange thing happened…we lost electricity! I wish you could hear my voice, because I say this with complete sarcasm. “Welcome to Honduras.” We were informed that this happens from time to time, and they never know when everything will be restored. Many brave souls faced the harsh, cold showers. Do you know how showers work in Honduras? It is perfectly safe and fairly resourceful. The shower head is affixed with a heating device that is powered by electricity. It is as if the water passes through a hot skillet. Quite interesting…
Dinner, as always was a delicious meal provided by the staff here at Villa Gracia. Who doesn’t like porkchops? Well, those who don’t like porkchops didn’t starve. Directly after dinner, we traveled to a nearby supermarket to stock up for the weeks ahead. Most were surprised to see the exact kinds of things they eat at home—only packaged with Spanish words (Ritz crackers, Campbell’s soup, etc.). However, some items of “name-brand” quality proved to price higher here in Honduras than in the States. We then drove back to the mission house for devotional and a celebration. Today was Devin’s birthday (from Sarasota). We had a cake with candles to help him enjoy the day.
The devotional thought was given by Ernie Ulmer of Palmetto. He stated that being a Christian is exciting. People in the Bible always had exciting lives, and it all boils down to faith. We can look to Hebrews 11 and Genesis 12 to read about the faith of the great man Abraham. Just like Abraham, we need to be ready to put our faith in God and follow His guidance.
“Where did you see Jesus, today?”
For those of you who are familiar with TORCH, you know of this. For those of you who have participated with TORCH, you are embedded with this. It is a simple question on the surface. Yet, it demands insight, faith, and dependence. At every night devotional, this question is asked and followed by a time period of open responses. Each day, I hope to share some of these responses with you. Here are a few:
* In Terry Reeves during orientation when he informed us of the use of the journals. He poured his heart into these journal lessons, because he was unsure if he would be able to attend the July trip. But Jesus has given him the strength to be here with us.
* In Bret Walters as he prepared everyone for the upcoming VBS. He is so encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring.
* In a Honduran woman at the hospital who was caring for her young baby in a terminally ill ward. She said that God is the reason she has strength to be there. She was so faithful.
* At the hospital, there was a little girl who kept coming back to the group and asking for toys. Finally, the group realized that she was taking all the toys to other children in the hospital. They weren’t even sure if she ever kept a gift for herself.
* In AB (one of our translators from El Salvador) at the hospital in the burn unit. It was a heartwrenching experience to see this struggling family, but AB helped with the communication. It is a blessing to have such a gift to help you relate with the people.
Dios te bendiga (God bless you),