Our Mission Statement

Thursday, October 27

2006 trip dates posted

Greetings from the sunshine (hurricane) coast!

8 hurricanes in 15 months, unbelievable, isn't it? God's power through nature has been shown time and time again this year and the answer to prayer and divine protection is evident as well. The Lord is being glorified through all of this and the Lord's church has been set to task in the great recovery efforts that are going on right now. Let us keep those in need in our constant prayers and seek to help in the ways that we can.

Honduras 2006 is off and running, even though it has taken a back seat to all that is going on right now. For many, a mission trip to Honduras is no where close to being at the top of the priority list, but never the less, the time has come to begin our preparations for the trip. I hope that all of you are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that God is going to put before us for 2006.

The dates for the 2006 trips are as follows:
May 14-24 (10 day trip, primarily college age)
July 1-10 ( 10 day trip, all ages, 9th grade and up)
July 8-16 (9 day trip, Palmetto Church, Columbia, SC)
July 14-24 (11 day trip, all ages, 9th grade and up)

The cost of the trip this year is $595.00 per person PLUS the cost of the airline ticket. Depending on market value of the ticket and the departure hub, costs will vary from group to group. The $595.00 pays for the following:
* Lodging at the Mission House
* 2 meals per day at the Mission House
* Use of buses
* Salaries for bus drivers
* Bus fuel
* Supplemental travel insurance
* Truck rental
* Delivery truck usage
* Truck fuel
* Work fund (for new hammers, chain saws, levels, etc.)
* Torch t-shirt
* Torch journal
* End of the trip retreat
* Airport taxes
* Airport luggage tips
* Exit fees
* Container shipment fees
* Port/customs paperwork fees
* Contingency fund

Departure hubs this year are the following:
Atlanta, GA
Nashville, TN
Miami, FL
Charlotte, SC
Pittsburgh, PA

As usual, applications are required to be filled out by each person going on the trip. Any new team members need to have 2 letters of recommendation, anyone who has been at least once does not have to do this. We are not requiring essays this year (although group leaders can still require this for their own files). Applications and the $100 deposit need to be turned in by November 30th for a guaranteed spot for the trip. The trips are going to fill up fast so I want to encourage you to get this done as quickly as possible.

The May trip has a maximum capacity of 60; the July 1-10 trip has 100, and the July 14-24 has 100. I am expecting to completely fill all 3 trips. The July 8-16 trip is headed up by the Palmetto Church of Christ, Columbia, SC, and openings for those dates are dependent on their team leader. As of now the capacity for that trip is 75 unless otherwise notified.

All group leaders need to be aware of the fact that we all need to contribute to the work fund again this year. The formula is simple, we need to raise $150 per person going on your team. If you have 10 people, you need to raise $1,500 for the work fund. If you have 20, you need to raise $3,000. This money is used to buy the wood, tin, nails, hinges, water purifiers, water barrels, bulk foods, zip lock bags, boxes, tape, markers, labels, toys, water, paper, crayons, photocopying, etc., that we use for our work projects. I am not opposed if you raise more than your target amount!!!!

Applications are ready. I am mailing out trip packets to all of the group leaders who have gone with me in the past. So, if you are part of a team that has been before, contact your leader for an application. If you are part of my team, or do not have a group leader, contact me and I will send you an application ASAP. You may also go directly to the TORCH web page to download the correct forms. http://www.irccorp.org/projects/teach/trip_information.htm Don’t delay, the teams will fill up fast.

We are planning on some wonderful projects this summer, some of which none of our team members, no matter how many years they have been going, have done. We will be working in and around Tegucigalpa, and will also be traveling and working throughout Honduras this summer. Many will get to see new areas of the country where remarkable things are going on. It will indeed be a great trip with a lot of challenges.

Good luck, may God bless our efforts this year as we prepare to go to Honduras to minister to people who have been praying to God to send help. We are those people and God is already preparing the hearts, minds, and souls of the people that we are going to meet. Isn't it great to be at work in the kingdom!!!! God is good all of the time and all of the time God is good!

Hasta luego, Dios te bendiga!
Terry Reeves

Thursday, October 6

thinking time

The past couple of weeks have been different for me. As many of you know, I had surgery 3 weeks ago to remove some more melanoma. It was a typical surgery, nothing about it that was tougher than the others I have had. But, for whatever reason, the recovery pains have been tougher. I have had to really back off my regular routines so that my body could have some time to heal. Needless to say I am not the best patient in the world and tried to do too much and now have extended my recovery time a bit longer. Not being able to get out and do my thing is tough, and staying home and behaving myself is even tougher.

However, having time at home has given me time to study my Bible a little bit more and it certainly has given me time to think and reflect. Sometimes I guess I don’t realize the fast pace I usually run from day to day and how little I get to think. It has been nice in a way. And one of the best parts of the rest has been the time to think and dream and plan on the 2006 mission trips to Honduras. I have had some time to really think outside the box and to explore new ideas that might be put into action this coming summer. I love having time to do this and I think I could get used to it but I don’t think this will last much longer, as soon as I am on the mend a little bit more I know I will be back in the fast lane once again.

One of the things I have been thinking about a lot is the recent events in and around the gulf coast. The tragedy and destruction that we have witnessed has been more than our country has ever seen. I have read with great interest Tim Hines’s blog about the ways different Torch members have come to Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi to volunteer to work. I have been so proud of all of you that found time to go (or planning to go) and put the training we have experienced in Honduras to work right here in the United States. I have also been jealous of you all as well, wishing more than I can express to be there in the work. I hate that my physical body has kept me from doing something that I wanted to do so badly.

Anyway, I have thought a lot about the incredible stories of heroism and acts of good will that have been told. Forget all of the negative stuff the news media wants us to hear, there has been some awesome stuff going on in the relief efforts. All across the country thousands upon thousands have donated money and supplies to the people who are in such need. People have donated personal items, bought new stuff, donated time, all for people they do not know. Sure, there is still a lot to do, but it is amazing to watch it all happen. Even though people love to point fingers at our government, and especially at our president, I find it amazing that we live in a country with such unbelievable resources. And the private sector, where huge companies and organizations are able to contribute so much, so quickly. And to see the church respond in such as mighty way. Leading the way, many times, into areas that make impressions and impacts that will be seen for weeks, months, or even years to come.

Then, my thoughts shifted to Honduras. To the people who live there. To a nation that struggles in ways only those of us who have been there could possibly know and understand. A country where the government has no resources to come to the aid of thousands of people who are hurting and in desperate need. To a country where citizens do not have insurance to protect their things. To a nation who does not have huge companies and organizations that can donate needed goods and services. To a country where its own people have not got the money to come to rescue in the time of need.

In Honduras the time of need is everyday. The crisis does not come in a horrible storm, sweeping away the riches of the people. It comes with the rising of the sun. People wake up searching for their next meal. Looking for a way to make enough money to feed their kids. Looking for a better scrap of tin along the side of the road to reinforce their roof. Seeking water to wash their clothes. Knowing that the Calvary is not coming. Knowing that they are on their own. And I think about how terribly sad that is. But, that is life in Honduras. Every day, every week, every month. Except, that there are those who do come. They come in small groups called mission teams. They bring supplies and buy food and lumber. They come to help. They come to minister, to bring the good news, they come to make a difference. That is what Torch Missions is all about.

In the next few weeks team leaders across the country will begin recruiting for the 2006 teams. Applications will go out and deposits will be turned in. And the task to start raising money for the trip will begin. I look at the generosity of our country and our people and our church during this difficult time and I wonder how it will be this year for our mission. After all, every year we start from square one raising money for our work funds to build houses, buy food, water purifiers, and collect clothes and supplies. I pray that we will have good success this year, that we will not be turned away from those who give to the cause. After all, there are people right now in Honduras that are dreaming of the day that help will come. They are praying right now that God will send relief, to send hope.

They say it will take months, possibly even a couple of years, to rebuild the gulf coast. To bring it back to where it was, or even to make it better. In Honduras, it has taken years of help and aid to get them to where they are, and it will take a long time to get them to where they COULD be. Mission work is a global effort. It really does take place in our own back yards, our own towns and parishes. In our own country. And it continues to take place around the world, including a small country in Central America called Honduras. And the church will lead the way, rolling up its sleeves, and getting down and dirty, working for the Lord in His kingdom.

Get ready, the 2006 campaigns are about to launch forth! It is going to be exciting!!! Blessings to you all, may your walk take you to where you really want to go. Working with you in the cause.