Thursday, July 19
The day of "rest" for the Loco Gringos
Today we awoke to find a few visitors at the Mission House, Carlos Toledo, the preacher from the Valley of Angels, and his family came by (the mission house is at least an hour from their house) to pick up the care packages for the family we met yesterday that was without food and clothing. To come out of your rooms and have his sweet children come running to give you a hug...well, it was an awesome way to start of our day.
We did not split into teams today although a few people left early to go help at the Manna Project. After devo we loaded the bus down with food to deliver to Nuevo Oriental. The food packing team had assembled about 450 bags of food the other day. We did a delivery to Mololoa with 1/3 of the food bags and today we took another third. Our final food distribution will take place tomorrow at Santa Ana.
Once we arrived in Nueve oriental we split into teams, one team took the "easy" trail while 3 other groups took the remaining trails. We also had a few people stay behind to occupy the children with coloring pages and bubbles. Everyone that went to Nueve that had not yet received "Mountain Goat" status is not officially a member. Rudy (one of our fearless translators) and part of his group scaled a mountain to deliver food to needy families (if you have never been here, mountains run right through Tegucigalpa. They resemble the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The Mission House is 4,600 feet above sea level). You can never have enough food in Nueve because so many people live in this village. Even with all the food we had on the bus it still wasn't enough. It was heart breaking to to have to tell families that you don't have any more food to give them. Hopefully Marc Tindall's group will be able to go back and deliver more food out there.
Then we went to hospital Escuela. We got to play with the kids there for about 2 hours, giving away toys, bubbles and praying with the families. This was our second visit to the hospital. It is always emotional to go there and to see the patients being treated. There are so many people there and the hospital is understaffed and under funded. Hospital Escuela is the largest hospital in Cental America. The hospital is very good to let us go and visit most wards when we get there. Even though other groups come you can tell that most of the children never have visitors. Many times children are by themselves because their mother or father had t0 go to work. So, to get a smile from the children make it all worth while.
We then went to the Peace Monument for lunch. After lunch and a brief history lesson from AB about the war between Honduras and El Salvador we had our picnic lunch. The view from the Peace Monument is beautiful. It overlooks the city and we can see parts of the city that we cannot see well from the top of El Hetillo. We were the only ones there so it was nice and peaceful.
After lunch we went to the blind school. Our appointment was for 2:30. For many of us the blind school is the highlight of the trip. The children suffer in various degrees of blindness. They are taught many subjects here at the school along with music lessons. These children are so loving and kind and they love having visitors. After playing with them and giving away toys, stuffed animals, and candy, we enjoyed a concert from their choir. The children can sing like angels! It is such a wonderful experience to hear them and to watch their expressions as they sing. They truly sing from the heart. After that we then sang a few songs to them. They also love hearing songs in English. It is always hard to leave and say goodbye because we know that some of the ones we know and met this year might not be here next summer when we return.
This afternoon 60 new Torch members rolled in. Marc Tindall's team flew in and had orientation this afternoon. An additional 27 come in on Friday. We will have 137 here until we leave this Sunday. Needless to say it is packed! It will be challenging to make meals work smoothly and to run two separate schedules, but I am sure it will work out just fine.
Once we returned home a few of the guys began a rousing game of soccer on the basketball court. It seems some people have more energy that they know what to do with. Before dinner we had the opportunity to shop with Mi Ezperanza. Janet Hines and company brought all kinds of goods made by Mi Esperanza to sell. Some people (Erin) couldn't seem to spend enough money. Both groups got to shop and buy things to take back home with them. We had a combined devo with Marc Tindall's group. The singing was awesome with all of the extra voices. After the devotional Janet gave us a presentation of Mi Esperanza. This program trains Honduran women to learn how to run and operate their own businesses and to educate themselves to be better parents. It has been in operation for over 5 years now and Janet shared a couple of stories of women who have turned their lives around through the program. They have big plans to expand in the near future which will give them the ability to help teach and train even more women.
Tomorrow we plan to have a small group for the Manna project and to send out our Loco Gringos back to Mololoa for more concrete duty. They are pumped about getting to go back for another round of dirt, sweat, and concrete. The rest of the group will go on to Santa Ana to build a house and make some bunk beds for the children's home and to do another huge food give away. Oh, and by the way, it did not rain today! Adios from Torch Central, stay tuned for tomorrow! more