Note: Because I am writing this in the morning, the date will be off. These events are for Tuesday July 15. If I have the energy I will write tonight and get things back to normal. Ha Ha!
Morning here at base camp is like morning back in the States. Everyone is groggy until they get their caffeine fix. Danny Mullins keeps trying to convert me into becoming a coffee drinker, but thus far I have resisted and continue with my one cup of hot tea. I will not convert to the "dark side."
Jim Williams gave the devo talk this morning. He really is gifted at getting to the heart of the matter. Jim especially wanted to encourage all of us after such a hard and emotional day before, and he reminded us that we are doing Jesus' work here in Honduras. It is always good to surround oneself with people who help keep you focused. After devo we split up into three teams. Team one and two went to build houses. Team three went back to the Valley of Angels area to conduct VBS/Medical.
Rednecks and Housebuilding
No, this is not a reference to a bunch of Rednecks from the States moving to Honduras and bringing with them all of the stereotypical "redneck things." My use of "redneck" really refers to the change in weather and the sudden reappearance of the sun, and, of course, sunburns. Since we arrived in Honduras last week, the weather has been very cool and rainy. This appears to be rather unusual since the last 4 trips have been more like what we had yesterday. The intense sun was made worse because we had another "Welcome to Honduras" moment, but let me get to that in a moment.
Team one, led by Chris Melton, completed the Traynham house that they had begun the day before. It only took them a couple of hours, so the Torch bus then transported the team over to where team two was building their house. OR, not.
It was team two's day to experience some frustration. We arrived at our destination, hiked up the hill, found our site, which of course was straight down the side of the hill. Literally, straight down. Boy what a view! Boy what a challenge! With no shade, we were completely exposed to the sun.
As usual, we set about trying to dig our post holes. We had many rocks to move, many more to chisel out of the ground so our posts would go to the right depth. Once the holes were dug, we sat and waited for our lumber. And waited. And waited. And baked. Sunscreen that had been liberally applied, was again, liberally applied. But the baking continued.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not complaining at all. I do have a point. For you see, though we came to serve the Honduran people, some of them served us. We were hot, and our water was going pretty quickly. Then, some clean water arrived, along with some soft drinks, provided by a local Honduran man. I don't know his motivation, but I do know that it is humbling to be served in such a fashion by the very people that we came to offer relief to. Gracias Senor.
The wood finally arrived, and so did the other team. Two hours had passed and it was now after 1 PM. Could we finish the house? Would we have to modify our plans for Wednesday and send a team back here? Let me just say, I think we looked like a hive of bees busily trying to repair our hive. Almost as soon as the wood was at the site, we were nailing it or placing it in the holes we had dug. Shouts of "Heads up!", "More nails!", and "Keep the wood moving!", could be heard all through the remainder of the afternoon. The great part? We finished the house by 5 pm! Mark Connell, Torch Missions on the ground guy, kept calling us awesome. Tired, but awesome.
Just before we left, we brought out the plaque and picture that tells the owner who sponsored the house. As it turns out, this was the Betty Simpson house. Seeing her picture made us all quite emotional. Joy mixed with sadness. Thanks to Paul and the rest of Betty's family for helping her memory live on and impact additional lives.
Fruitloops and Medical Missions
The VBS/Medical team journeyed back into the Valley of Angels today, and went to a remote community to take care of the locals. Why the remote community? Well, it is a story that is linked with last year.
Last year, the team conducted a medical clinic and there was one man, the father of 12, who journeyed from this remote community to get some help. On his way he was robbed. He had no money, so they took his clothes. On arriving in the City of Valley of Angels the mayor provided him with some clothing and sent him to the clinic.
Because of the kindness shown to him by our group, this man went back to his home, got a job, converted to Christ, started a church, and on our return this year asked us to come to his village. The power of God is truly amazing!
The team saw between 100 and 140 medical cases and conducted VBS with at least that many children. This is where the fruitloops come into the picture. Brenda Williams and her VBS team used fruitloops to teach the concept of the fruits of the Spirit to these children. Each child got a set number of fruitloops, a string and a tooth-pick to link all of their fruitloops together into a necklace. Amazingly, the children did not eat their creations. Instead they took them with them to show off to their parents, and, we hope, tell them what they learned about love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.
Of course, those would be good things for us to continue to share with everyone, too.
God is good! All the time!-----Timothy E.