Thursday, December 10
The winter winds and weather have blown in from the west in our sleepy little town of Henderson. Although we do not have snow the cold weather is here and looks like it will be here for a while. Of course I am writing this as a person who lived in Florida for 15 years so my definition of cold will always be viewed as laughable from most of you out there. When the temperature drops below 55 degrees it is pretty much freezing in my book. So, if you live in areas where it really gets cold (my Dad told me it was -3 today in Colorado where he lives) bear with me. It is all relative....
Sorry for such a long time for writing any entries. I would bore you to tears will the numerous excuses I have (both real and imaginary) but it would only help my conscience. Let's just say I have been busy, just like you have... and leave it at that. This time of the year is busy for everyone with jobs, school, decorating, shopping, and traveling. Not to mention the closing out of the year and preparations for a new one.
I love this time of the year. From November 1 through the first week of January is wonderful. Receiving and mailing Christmas cards, shopping (I am one of the few guys out there that loves to shop), eating (why does turkey taste so good during this time of the year?), and seeing family and friends. Thanksgiving Day is probably my favorite day of the year. I love the concept, created by the first Pilgrims when they arrived here in America, and the native Americans who helped them survive. Giving thanks for what we have. I just wish we, as Americans, would focus on that more. Going all out on the huge Thanksgiving meal is wonderful (refer back to my comment about turkeys) and watching football games and dog shows is great. But reflecting on what we have as individuals and as a country is so much more important.
We live in a country that has been so blessed by God. We have been blessed with abundant natural resources, wealth, and prosperity, to which no other country can compare. We live on the cutting edge of technology and have more at our fingertips than anyone else in the world. We live in comfortable houses with A/C and heat. We drive nice cars. We wear nice clothes. We own nice stuff. And yet we always want more. We always feel we have to have the next great thing that comes along. We have become so selfish that we cannot see the blessings that we find ourselves in day to day. but for those of us that have been to Honduras, or place like it, we do understand. And it is important for us to keep that in mind. If it were not by the grace of God we could be living in a place like that as well, living day to day and wondering where our next meal will come from. And that makes us aware of our blessings and helps us appreciate them all the more!
Just a couple of weeks ago we watched the elections unfold in Honduras. Sunday, November 29th was a day on my radar screen for weeks. Rumors and threats swirled as the day approached. Ex president Mel Zelaya, holed up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, sent out messages begging people not to vote to show support for him. However, 65% of the voters turned out to show they were ready for a new president. Profiro (Pepe) Lobo, a wealthy rancher from the conservative party, won in a landslide. Pepe carried well over 60% of the vote and the liberal party has been dethroned. The Hondurans have spoken and the transfer of power will transfer at the end of January. It is a good thing to have the conservative party in power once again.
Also, the Honduran Congress voted overwhelmingly (114-11) to not reinstate Zelaya for the remainder of his term. He remains in the Brazilian embassy with few options now. It is indeed interesting what the ex-president, who had inspirations of becoming a dictator like his buddy Chavez, will do now. Maybe he should read Daniel 5 and the story of the handwriting on the wall. "His days have been numbered and he has been weighed in the balance and has been found wanting. His kingdom has come to an end." If the shoe fits... wear it. Brazil and Mexico have both offered to come and take him out of the country but the government has stated he cannot leave unless he leaves as a private citizen and not as president. This has become another sticking point for Honduras who is sticking to its guns and its constitution.
The validity of the election now becomes a key issue as Honduras prepares to install its new president. The United States has announced that they will recognize the election results, which is good news for the new president. The United States is the chief ally of Honduras. Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela have stated they will not recognize the new government. So, the political turmoil is far from over. It will be interesting to see how the other countries line up in this political chess match.
However, our path has been cleared, at least a little bit, as we ponder and prepare for next summer. With the elections out of the way and the fact that little took place to mar the results, it makes the opportunities to go back this summer more stable. Tim Hines, who has spent a great deal of time meeting with various members of the Honduras government, has made great strides to insure cooperation with the government and Torch Missions and IRC. The fact that the conservative party won the election is a very good thing for us. Tim feels that we will have a much stronger relationship with the government officials that we have ever had in the past, which has bee good. In weeks to come I hope to receive more information and details concerning all of this.
I will be posting more information about the 2010 trip soon. Stay tuned as we prepare to go on yet another short term mission trip to Central America. Can you believe 2009 is about to come to an end? As we are about to user in 2010 I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. May God bless you and keep you. Feliz navidad! (you knew it was coming, right?) Now you will have the song in your head.... :-)