Saturday, July 21
slip sliding away
Day 9. The last work day for the trip. Usually one that we hate to see coming because we know the trip is about to end. And, as always, it was true again today. With an exception. Today we might have done the coolest, neatest, most fun thing ever down here... we went to the giant water park here in Tegucigalpa.
Our morning was planned as a "sleep in" day. However, if you know this group, sleeping in means getting up at 6:30 instead of 6:00. For those of us who understand the concept of sleeping in, we tried valiantly. However, Marc Tindall's group did not know that we were having a sleep in day and had their morning devotional outside of the dorm by the baptistery. Now, don't get me wrong, waking up to 70 people singing devo songs is not a bad thing at all, it was actually very cool. So, our group was up and about by 8:00. We had a light breakfast of toast and cereal and then had morning devotional out by the overlook. The morning was beautiful and the view of the valley was inspirational. We found out that last night Nolen, one of our bus drivers and Marlin's (aka Loco) best friend, was baptized. Cisco and Marlin, along with Mrc Tindall, studied with him yesterday at Santa Ana suring some of our down time.
After devo we loaded a huge amount of food that was going out to Dadasko to supplement the food our last team took out there. We also had taken out 4 cases of toilet paper, tooth paste, and soap. With just a bit of supplementing Jorge and Rosa will be able to feed the children out there till Christmas. He told us that this food was such a blessing because they operate on such a tight budget that there are times they really do not know where the next meal is coming from.
Earlier in the month a group from Oregon came down and spent $18,000 to dig a new well for them. They now have a good source of sweet water to drink which eliminates the need to buy bottled water. It is great to know that they are taken care of now for a few months.
We loaded the buses at 11:00 to go out to Dadasko to pick up the kids for the greatest field trip of their lives. Jorge told us that in his wildest dreams that he never thought that they would ever get to go to Aqua Splash. Today, his wildest dreams came true. Our two buses were full of gringos and wide eyed children as we pulled into the parking lot. Earlier AB, Tyler, AK, and Rudy drove out to Casa de Esperanza and picked up 12 children and brought them to the park as well. So, at 1:30 pm 98 of us entered Aqua Splash, a water park that would compare to many in the U.S. The facility has a wave pool; a giant swimming pool; and HUGE children's pool (with 9 slides, water umbrellas, and a giant bucket that dumps water over a cleverly designed shed to splash victims below); and 2 separate speed slide towers with a total of 8 slides.
We never seen children have so much fun! We had our hands full trying to keep up with 45 kids as they conquered the park in short order. Our "lifeguards" were in the pools and slides making sure that everyone was safe and having fun. Other guests in the park stared in amazement as they watched very white skinned gringos care for Honduran children as if they were their own. It was quite a testimony as we did what we do best; love kids. But we are pretty sure that Rosa and Jorge, Dadasko's fabulous parents, had the most fun of all. Jorge did a quality control test on all of the slides to make sure they were in good working order for the kids. What a trooper, sacrificing like that for others. He had a grin from ear to ear and his flew down the slides!!!
After a couple of hours of non-stop fun some of the kids began slowing down and bundling up in towels and cuddling up in welcoming laps. Most of the kids used their sly little grins and smiles to get some snacks and drinks from the gringos. They had us wrapped around their little fingers and we knew it. And we loved it. So, after grape sodas and Doritos chips we went to the cafeteria for cheeseburgers, fries, and drinks. We had a very generous portion of food and had a great time with the kids. Some packed up food to take back to share with those who did not get to come on the trip. Wow, how amazing is that? These kids are incredible......
But, at 5:00, the tears began to flow as we had to say goodbye. You get attached to these kids and no matter how many times you come down here it is always hard to say goodbye. Now, the South Carolina group is prone to cry at the drop of a hat, and when they have a really good reason, they can all out cry their eyes out. So, with tear filled eyes, we waved goodbye with hopes that next year we will be able to see our precious little friends again. What a wonderful day it was, and for the record, it did not rain. Again, how cool is that?
Tonight we had dinner at the mission house. Our last meal was baked chicken in a mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes or noodles, with dinner rolls. After dinner our group drove down the mountain to the Kluge's house for desserts. What a spread! They went all out for us with cookies, brownies, fresh fruit, and more. Their house has an unbelievable view of the city from their back porch. It rivals the view from the Jesus statue. After dessert we had our final evening devotional. The singing, as always, we awesome. We did our traditional, "where did you see Jesus today?" with many comments about the events over the past couple of days. It seems like the group is really starting to open up with their thoughts. I am sure that most everyone on the trip wishes that we could stay just a few more days.
Tomorrow we will have church services at 8:00 and then we will load up the buses and head to the airport. Sara and AB leave tomorrow morning at 6:00 am for San Salvador. Please keep Sara's mother in your prayers. She was in the hospital while we were here but the surgery went well and she has been released. Sara is anxious to get home to see her mother. Then on Monday a handful of us will fly back to the states. Rudy is off to Costa Rica Monday to see his family. So, as we depart our separate ways, we leave knowing that we have a big family and that we serve an awesome God. We might live in different places but we know that our church family is everywhere. Praise God that we are one in the Spirit!
We hope that you have enjoyed the blogs. We will continue writing so stay tuned. Next year's trip dates will be posted very soon so that you can get your calendars marked and get your vacation days reserved. It is never too early to start planning your next trip with Torch Missions, the mountaintop experience.
From all of us at Torch Central, goodnight and adios!