Can you believe that April is here already? Unbelievable (I use that word a lot). April 1st marks the start of my 7th year here at Central Church of Christ, in beautiful Sarasota, Florida. Yeah, some of you got it right off the bat. April 1st. April fool’s day. Yep, that was my first say of work down here. Funny, huh? But that is my anniversary none the less. Its almost fitting to be honest. 6 full years working in Sarasota, my 14th year in Florida (5 in Miami and 3 in Orlando). This year also marks my 25th year of working with teenagers. Teaching, coaching, and working in youth ministry adds up to 25 years of service. OK, that was my pat on the back, now I think I will go drink some Boost or something. I am officially declaring myself old. Physically that is (especially the knees), but trust me, mentally, still as young as ever. I don’t plan on every growing up completely! I love what I do and can’t think of anything else I would want to do. Except mission work, which is what this blog is all about.
The summer trips are right around the corner!!! Its time to panic, time to find that stupid “easy button” you see on TV!!! Run around in circles and scream if you have to, its time! ITS TIME!!! OK, might have been a bit dramatic, but it is time to get in gear and get going. Especially if you are going on the May trip. The May trip, as of today (Friday, March 31st), is 45 days away from departure. That, my friends, might as well be tomorrow for those of us planning these things. 45 days is the “point of no return” you hear about. You know, the sign above the river that goes over Niagara Falls, the one that says if you go beyond this point in the river you have no choice to go back, you are going over? We are at the point of no return on the May trip. Tickets are set in stone, names are on them, and it will cost a lot of money to change anything now.
SO, IF YOU ARE ON THE MAY TRIP, HERE IS INFORMATION ESPECIALLY FOR YOU (July teams take note, most, if not all, applies to you and your trip as well):
* Make sure you have your passport. Is it current? A photocopy of your passport needs to sent to me ASAP for your file.
* Make sure you have checked your insurance to make sure it is current and you have done whatever is required for traveling outside the United States. Make sure you have an insurance card to carry with you. Everyone going on the trip receives SUPPLIMENTAL accidental insurance on the trip.
* YOUR FINAL PAYMENT FOR THE TRIP IS DUE APRIL 29TH. THE TOTAL AMOUNT FOR THE MAY TRIP IS $1,150 PER PERSON. SPENDING MONEY IS EXTRA.
* Shots are not required for the trip but make sure your tetanus shot is current. All shots (hepatitis, malaria, and cholera) are optional.
* You are allowed 2 (two) suitcases) for checked-in baggage. EACH BAG CANNOT WEIGH MORE THAN 50 POUNDS!!! There is a fine (mucho dinero) for going over, so don’t! Pack wisely.
* Remember that the Mission House has laundry service available for $4 a load (wash, dry, and fold). Pack wisely.
* You need to bring a backpack; use it as your carry on bag. In your carry -on bag, include 1 set of clean clothes (you never know 100% if your bags will make it down with you on the flight…. wish I was joking). Also, your money, passport, and any other items of real importance, should be in your backpack. ALSO remember no knives, hammers, nails, etc. in your backpack! You can say hasta la vista if you forget. Hammers, knives, tools, etc., go in your check-in luggage. Pack wisely.
* Girls, you can also bring a purse on the plane if you want. Guys, well, you are on your own, I am not going there…..
* Remember, there is a dress code on this trip. Modesty is of utmost importance. Shorts are knee length, shirts have sleeves and are not tight fitting. CLOSED TOED SHOES ARE A MUST, sandals and flip-flops are used in the dorm areas only (Honduran dirt is packed with bacteria on steroids). Girls, this includes Sunday church attire. No tank tops or equivalent. Pack wisely.
* Work gloves and eye protection are required. Sunglasses work fine. But you have to have them if you are working at a construction site.
* Canteen or water bottle required. Several are better. Staying hydrated is muy importante, si!
* A light jacket is also needed, especially one that is water resistant. Also a hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Bull Frog sunscreen is the brand of choice, along with Cactus Juice bug repellent.
* I recommend that you bring your own hammer for the trip. Go and pick out one that works well with you (weight, feel, etc.). We do have tools, but having your own is best. Guys typically like to swing a 20 ounce hammer or bigger while girls tend to use lighter hammers.
* We will be on a media fast during the trip. Please leave your I-pods, Walkmans, CD players, etc. at home. We want you focused on the trip and getting to know your teammates, not jammin’ out in your own space.
* We will be going to a grocery store when we first get to Honduras. You will be able to buy a lot of your snack foods and lunch items there. However, it will be cheaper to buy stuff here in the states.
* The rules sheet, WHICH MUST BE NOTARIZED, is being sent out this weekend. This document must be signed, notarized, and sent back to be no later than April 29th. Everyone going on this trip must do this.
THIS IS THE RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST OF SUPPLIES YOU ARE TO TAKE ON THE TRIP:
Toilet paper (comfort is everything)
Pepto Bismal (the pink miracle)
Hand wipes (bring a lot!)
Hand sanitizer (very important)
Imodium (life savers)
Insect repellent (Cactus Juice)
Deck of cards
Work clothes (disposable)
Work shoes (closed toed)
Zip-lock bags (sandwich size)
Zip-lock bags (gallon size)
Spending money ($50 - $90+)
Water bottle (s)
Sunscreen (psf 20 +)
FLIGHT INFORMATION FOR THE NASHVILLE GROUP IS AS FOLLOWS:
Depart Monday, May 15th, from Nashville International Airport on American Airlines flight # 1879 @ 6:56 AM arriving Miami @ 9:59 AM. Connect on American Airlines flight #953 @ 11:47 AM arriving Tegucigalpa @ 12:08 PM.
Return on Wednesday, May 24th on American Airlines flight #954 @ 1:20 PM arriving Miami @ 5:39 PM. Connect on American Airlines flight #1422 @ 8:27 PM arriving Nashville @ 9:46 PM.
FLIGHT INFORMATION FOR THE MIAMI GROUP IS AS FOLLOWS:
Depart on Monday, May 15th from Miami International Airport on American Airlines flight #953 @ 11:47 AM arriving Tegucigalpa @ 12:08 PM.
Return on Wednesday, May 24th on American Airlines flight #954 @ 1:20 PM arriving Miami @ 5:39 PM.
* YOU MUST BE AT THE CHECK-IN COUNTER AT LEAST 2 ½ HOURS BEFORE THE FLIGHT! LOOK AT YOUR FLIGHT SCHEDULE AGAIN… YES, ITS THAT EARLY….
TENTATIVE WORK SCHEDULE:
* Santa Ana (Tegucigalpa area): clean-up / paint / work on road
* Build 2 or 3 houses (Valle de Angeles and San Miguel)
* Comayagua church project (leveling road and digging drainage ditch); hospital visitation; orphanage visitation; possible medical work
* Work on Baxter’s retaining wall (Tegucigalpa)
* Valle de Angeles children’s home projects
* Stucco and paint inside of San Miguel’s church building (Tegucigalpa)
* San Miguel’s feeding program and food distribution (Tegucigalpa)
* Visitation at Hospital Esquela and Hospital San Philippe (Tegucigalpa)
* Visit orphanages and children’s homes (Tegucigalpa)
* VBS at Valle de Angeles (3 days)
* Devo at Jesus statue and @ Santa Lucia; dinner @ the Kluge’s
* Retreat at Hotel Copantyl
Faulkner men’s team soccer matches:
* Baxter University
* Los Pinaras Academy
* Honduras Air Force team
* University of Comayagua
* University of Honduras/ Tegucigalpa
* Cobras Elite Task Force team
Lodging in Tegucigalpa: Casa Gracia (Mission House)
Lodging in Comayagua: Hotel Moralas (2 days, 2 nights)
Retreat in Tegucigalpa: Hotel Copantyl
Our team will meet in Miami and will fly down together. Torch T-shirts and journals will be passed out at the Miami airport.
So, there ya go, more information than you thought could be possibly given out before a trip. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope everyone is getting excited about the trips, I know I am! And, for those going in July, specific information about your trip is coming soon. Pray for success for the trips, may God always be glorified by what we say and do. God’s speed to all of you.