Our Mission Statement

Tuesday, November 30

Did you see that?

Located outside of Colorado Springs, behind the Air force Academy's campus, stands a mountain called Eagle Peak. At 13,205 feet, it is not the highest peak in Colorado. Far from it. 481 mountain peaks IN COLORADO are taller! However, rising up in the center of the Sangre de Cristo Range, reaching the summit offers a 360 degree view of some of the most breathtaking scenery you will see anywhere. Many a hiker takes on the challenge to reach its summit each year. The trail is moderate to challenging, and the summit can be reached on a day hike. sort of.

The inexperienced hiker is usually told that the hike will take all day to go the summit and back down. They are told the journey will be rigorous and difficult. They are told to start out early in the morning and set a strong steady pace and to take plenty of water and some food. However, most inexperienced hikers, who follow this advise, become confused and angry when they reach the trail head. He can see with his own eyes that the hike to the summit and back will take less than a half day with little difficulty for even the novice hiker.

So, the inexperienced hiker changes all of the plans he has made. He begins a meandering pace up the trail and frequently stops along the way to take photos and observe native wildlife. Drinking water at will and snacking along the way, the hiker continues up the trail towards his goal. By mid-day he arrives at the "summit." However, his eyes have deceived him, for this is NOT the summit to Eagle Peak, it is a false summit which blocked his view of the higher summit far above.

Realizing his mistake, he looks at his watch and recalculates his time. He decides that if he pushes himself hard enough he can still make it to the summit and get back down before dark. So he sets off at a frantic pace, stumbling and sliding on the loose gravel and rock. He strains to climb the steep inclines along the way. Brush and rock scrape against his body as he recklessly climbs the trail. Sweat stings his eyes and thirst cries out for water he no longer has with him. His Lungs are burning, his heart beating rapidly, the sun is beating down upon him, yet do not keep him from his goal. At last, in the mid-afternoon, he reaches the summit. Sort of.

He has reached ANOTHER false summit. From this vantage point he can now see the true summit of Eagle Peak, towering above him. The second false summit had also blocked his view of the real goal. Tired, out of breath, out of water, and out of time, the inexperienced hiker turns and starts his descent down the trail. He would not make it to the top of the peak today. At the trail head, he takes off his boots and empties the dirt they had collected. other hikers are there, talking about their hike to the top of Eagle Peak. Sadly, the inexperienced hiker did not enjoy the outcome, simply because he did not listen to the advise of the experienced hikers. He allowed himself to be deceived, not by what he was told, but by what he saw.

Alas, it will be another day before the inexperienced hiker will have a chance to hike to the summit of Eagle Peak. Wiser for his experience, he will reach his goal next time because this time he will not be an inexperienced hiker.

Wow, the lessons we can draw from this story! Instead of me writing the "moral of the story," I would like to hear from you! Write what you have drawn from this story and email it to me, I will share them with everyone next week! My email address is: reeves.tl@gmail.com Hope to hear from you soon!

Terry

Sunday, November 7

3,900 Saturdays

The book of James says that our life is like a vapor... we appear for a short time and then vanish away. This story will make you realize how true that statement is in the book of James.

"The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up to the phone portion band wave on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling to somebody about 'a thousand marbles..' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.... ' Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's 'dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'


'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.


'Now then, I multiplied 75 (years) times 52 (weeks) and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.


It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.' 'I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the garage next to my radio gear.'

'Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and discarded it. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There's nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. And let me tell you, a 1,000 marbles might sound like a lot to you right now, but it is amazing how fast that container of marbles emptied out.'

'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time... And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.' And extra time should be considered extra special. Not everyone gets it.

'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on this band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few ham operators to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on?' she asked with a smile. 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."


And so, as one smart bear once said......'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.

How many marbles do you have left? And, more importantly, what are you going to exchange for one?

TR

Thursday, October 28

Pass me a biscuit


The story of the biscuit. "When I was a kid, my mom liked to cook breakfast food every now and then for dinner. I remember one night in particular when she had made a breakfast dinner after a long, hard day at work.

That evening, my mom brought scrambled eggs, sausage, and some very burnt biscuits to the table. I stared at those biscuits and waited to see if anyone would notice or even say anything!! Yet all my dad did was load up his plate with food and grabbed a couple of those burnt biscuits. He smiled at my mom, asked my how my day was at school, and proceeded to spread butter and peach jelly on those biscuits! I don't even remember much about the conversation that night but I watched my dad eat every bite of those burnt biscuits!

When I got up from the table that evening, I overheard my mom apologizing to my dad for burning the biscuits. I will never forget what he told her. "Honey, I love your biscuits, no matter how you bake them. Thank you for a wonderful meal!'

Later that night I went in to say goodnight to my dad, who was watching TV and reading the newspaper. I asked him if he really like burnt biscuits. He put his arm around me and told me that mom had put in a hard day at work and she was really tired when she got home... but she spent the time to put food on the table for us. We should always appreciate someone who is willing to do that for someone else. And besides, a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!

Life is full of imperfect things... and imperfect people. I am not the best at hardly anything. I forget birthdays and anniversaries and phone numbers and a lot of other things. I fall short and sometimes mess things up... I guess what I am trying to say is that I am pretty much like everyone else I know. But what I have learned over the years is that learning to accept other people's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating healthy, growing, and lasting relationships.

That is my hope for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He is the only one that will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal breaker!
This applies not only to our relationship with God, but with everyone around us. In fact, understanding is the foundation of any relationship, whether it is a husband, wife, parent, child, or friendship. Don't put the key to your happiness is someone else's pocket, keep it in your own!

So, pass me a biscuit, and yes, a burnt one will do just fine."

Thursday, October 21

special delivery


It was the late 1970's and smugglers were hard at work in eastern Europe. These were not your typical smugglers, but the goods they were carrying across the boarder were as illegal as anything you have today. And as the train chugged along late into the night the smuggler was trying to blend in, trying not to be noticed, trying to look cool, calm, and collected. The long blowing of the whistle alerted the smuggler that the train had just crossed into Hungary and that the communist customs agents would be passing through the cars to check passports. This would be the last check point before he would arrive in Budapest.

There was a knock on his door and it opened before he could get up. 2 men quickly entered the small compartment and glanced around. The smuggler had his passport out and his documents ready for the agents. As one looked at the stamps on the passport the other searched the room with his eyes to see if anything was out of place. Only a shoulder bag and a canvas duffel bag shoved under the seat. The sharp edges pressing out on the cloth bag was all the agent needed to see. He quickly pulled out the bag and opened it. Bibles. Dozens of them. Bibles being smuggled into communist Hungary to be given away. The Christian's personal Bible, with all of his notes, was in his shoulder bag. With one quick move the window was opened and the Bibles were tossed from the train into the blackness of the night. The agents smiled and walked out. No need to do anything else they thought.

He had failed. This time. He moaned over the fact that he did not succeed, and even more so that his personal study Bible went out the window with the others. He knew that Romans 8:28 said that all things work for good, but how in the world would Bibles scattered along the desolate area of the train route do any good whatsoever? It would take 3 years for him to find out the answer to that question. He returned home and began plans to try again.

Nearly 3 years to the day that his study Bible was tossed out the window, our Christian smuggler received a package in the mail. Wrapped in plain brown packaging paper, he saw that the package originated in Austria. When he opened the package he was surprised to see his study Bible! Inside the Bible were all of his notes and lessons and a piece of paper with a note written on it. It read, "To my beloved brother in Christ, greetings! I found your Bible along with the bag of others along side the railroad track near my house. You surely were the answer to the prayers of those of us here for we have no idea how you knew to throw the Bibles out when you did, in the middle of the night so close to my house. We have distributed the Bibles that you gave us and copied your notes and lessons. Thank you for the wonderful gifts, we will never forget you."

You see, his name and address was on the inside cover of his Bible. The man who found the Bibles spent the next 3 years copying the notes and lessons by hand and placed them inside every Bible that he gave away. Once that was done, he crossed over the boarder into Austria to mail the Bible back to its owner in a country that would not search what was inside the package. The smuggler WAS successful in his mission, even though he did not know it at the time. God certainly does move in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.

How is God going to use you today? Don't think for a moment that He isn't, for He surely is at work among us. You never know, but things you did even a few years ago might have a strange and wonderful ending... all because you did your part... you tried. That is what God wants us to do... TRY. You may not say the exact right thing, or do something the exact right way, but God will use your efforts to bring forth a harvest. So get up, get out, and get going... go do something for God today. He will take care of the rest.

TR


Wednesday, September 8

Get ready..... set.... go!


A friend of mine sent me this cartoon the other day and I just laughed out loud. I am pretty sure that would have been me back in that time period. Raising money to go on mission trips has been part of my life since I was a sophomore in high school (yeah, they had high school back then). From bagging groceries at the neighborhood super market, flipping burgers at Wendy's, to mowing yards, I have always been working to make money... and some of it always went to mission trips.
Now, it is working full time to pay "big boy" bills, and working at creative ways to raise money for mission trips. And believe me, if there was money to be made washing camels, I would probably do it and I would talk a bunch of people into doing it with me!

But instead of washing camels, we will kick off our first fund raiser of the year with something that is a lot more enjoyable than washing camels... the 10th annual Torch Invitational golf scramble. This year's tournament will be held at the Montgomery Bell State Park on Saturday, October 16th. MBSP has been ranked one of the top 100 public golf courses in the U.S by Golf digest. It is a beautiful course surrounded by picturesque scenery. October fall color will add to the events of the day. Bring the family for the day. While you are playing the course they can enjoy the hiking trails, fishing, biking, and any number of activities the park has to offer.

The cost for the tournament is $65 per person. The cost includes the driving range, the practice putting area, cart, 18 holes of championship golf, lunch, grab bags, door prizes and more. Awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams along with prizes for the longest drive and closest to the pin. It will be a shotgun start at 8:00 am so arrive early to take advantage of all of the amenities. Hole sponsorship signs are available, starting at $150 for a tee box sign all the way up to $1,000 cooperate sponsorship sign. All proceeds go towards mission trips this year.

Make your plans to be there. Contact me ( reeves.tl@gmail.com) or Jenny Lovell (jlovell@fhu.edu) for a registration form. Deadline to register is October 11th. Come on and join th fun, it sure beats washing a camel!

TR

Tuesday, August 24

The Great Gambini


Once upon a time there was a circus that was traveling through Europe. Among its wonderful and exotic animals (lions and tigers and bears oh my!) and displays were several shows. Although the world's strongest man and the bearded lady were popular, none were as popular as the Great Gambini, the high wire extraordinaire. People came from far and wide (not sure where that is on the map but that is where they came from) to see the circus and to watch the death defying Gambini.

High above the big top (aka large circus tent) stretched the high wire and where Gambini performed. Each night crowds would pack into the seats to watch the clowns, the Human Cannonball, and other acts in order to see Gambini, the grand finale. Cotton candy, peanuts, and funnel cakes flowed freely throughout the evening as the crowd enjoyed the shows. Then, suddenly, the lights would go dim and the announcer (in his very dramatic voice) would direct every one's attention to the landing platform high above the crowd. The spotlight lit up the platform and then slowly followed the pole down to the ground where the Great Gambini was standing. With a wave to the crowd he began the climb to the top.

The crowd cheered when he reached the landing platform. With microphone in hand, Gambini addressed the crowd. "Tonight I will perform my greatest feats for you!" The crowd cheered and Gambini stepped out onto the wire with his long balancing bar. He cautiously and gingerly walked across the wire, step by step, until he reached the other side. He then took the microphone and told the crowd he would walk across the wire without his balancing bar. The crowd cheered him on s he walked across the wire confidently. He then walked across the the wire blindfolded! The crowd got more and more excited as he performed his trade.

Then he announced that he was ordering the safely net below him to be taken down and removed. The crowd fell into a quiet as the workers removed the life net. Gambini asked the crowd if they thought he could walk across the rope without the net below him. They cheered him on as he raced along the wire. The crowd cheered loudly when he reached the other side. He then took a bicycle and asked if the crowd though he could ride the bike across the wire. They again cheered loudly as he proceeded to go across the wire. The crowd was getting his best show ever!

He then pulled a wheelbarrow from the landing area and reached for the microphone. He asked the crowd, "Do you think I can push this wheelbarrow across to the other side?" The crowd cheered! "Do you think I can do it with my eyes blindfolded?" The crowd cheered even louder! "Do you think I could push this wheelbarrow across the wire blindfolded with someone in the wheelbarrow?" The crowd went crazy!!! "Who wants to be my volunteer!" The crowd hushed, to a complete silence. You could have heard a pin drop. Nobody volunteered. No one.

Why? The Great Gambini was the best high wire expert in the land. The crowd had seen his confidence, his skill, his abilities. They had watched with their own eyes as he confidently went across the wire time after time and yet no one volunteered. No one wanted to ride in that wheelbarrow 50 feet off of the ground without a safety net below. Why?

Fear? Lack of faith? You fill in the blank. but the bottom line was it was all fun, great, and exciting when Gambini was up there doing it, but it was totally different when it came time to join him. It is easy to watch the action and something totally different when you become part of the action. That is why their are stands full of people and only a few out there doing.

Want examples? Everyone wants and expects the local church building nice and clean and the grounds trimmed and proper. Everyone enjoys the comforts the building provides. But make an announcement that there will be a work day on Saturday to paint or clean or mow grass and pull weeds... see how many show up. You would think the whole Sunday morning crowd would be there to work, correct? Right. Schedule a gospel meeting. Bring in a "big gun" preacher and watch everyone get excited. Make announcements and pass out invitations and rent out the civic center. Estimate all of the Christians in the area and make sure you have plenty of seats for them and all of the friends that will be coming.... and let me know how it goes. Not very many people jumping in that wheelbarrow is there?

Go on a mission trip to Honduras. Come back filled with passion and compassion. Get excited to hear about future plans and think and dream about all of the great things that could be done. Receive an invitation to make a monthly pledge to reach those goals. Sit back and think of all of the hundreds and hundreds of people that have been on a mission trip and think about the tremendous participation and how much could be accomplished. And wait. Wait for a phone call asking for more information. Wait for a text message asking how to get involved. Wait for that email asking for the form so that they can get started. (here is where you make the assumption that the monthly auto debit campaign has started off slowly!)

Now, this is not to be a Debbie Downer article. It is actually intended to highlight the fact that there are those that show up and do the work at the church building, attend the gospel meetings, and participate in the fund drive. There will always be those that can be counted on when they are needed. Remember, there will always be "spectators" and "participants." That is human nature. I just want you to think a bit harder about being a fellow participant in something that is very important. Every year we come back from Honduras full of ideas and plans. Every year we think of all of the wonderful things that can be done. Every year we come back pumped up and filled to the brim with zeal and excitement. But all it takes is a bit of time and the settling in to our daily routines to knock the wind right out of the sails. And plans are put on hold. Or shelved. Or even forgotten.

Oh, so what happens in the story? Gambini waits patiently for a volunteer to step forward. The crowd becomes uneasy at the deafening quiet that has fallen over the big top. Then, quietly, a young teenage girl stands up and walks to the arena. The master of ceremonies walks her to the giant pole and she climbs the rungs to the top. Gambini places her in the wheelbarrow and places the blindfold over his eyes. The crowd is riveted to the scene above. And with great confidence he wheels his volunteer across the wire and to the other side! The crowd erupts in uncontrollable cheers! People are giving each other high fives and pumping their fists in the air. The real question is, who is the next volunteer? You? Something to think about...
TR

Monday, August 9

The long and winding road


Although there are a few holdouts across the country, by in large most schools have now started their new 2010-2011 school year. Summer vacations are over and even though the scorching summer heat lingers, everyone is settling back into schedules and routines once again. For me that is a good thing since I have been running wild this summer. Having a routine will slow the pace down for me a little bit and get me back into some kind of schedule. Soccer players and short course students have returned and the dorm has activity again, including a fire alarm Sunday morning around 7:30 am. Yep, the boys are back. Peace and quiet will return again in about 9 months.

It is hard to believe it has been almost a month since we returned from Honduras. Videos and photos are still bouncing around on Facebook and team members are still yearning to be in a small country where their hearts have placed residence. I have received numerous emails about next year's plans and my mind is swirling with ideas and potential projects for next year. And, living in a university setting, potential trips during school breaks have already been mentioned. It is just amazing. I am amazed at so many things but probably one of the biggest is just realizing that I have been given the opportunity to lead teams to Honduras, Costa Rica, etc, and to be involved in something like TORCH. It is a lot to take in considering everything.

I grew up in what would have to be considered a religiously dysfunctional family. Wonderful family, just not a "go to church every Sunday" family. For me it changed because of a great family that lived right across the street from me growing up in Huntsville. The South's invited me every year to go to VBS with their boys, and they planted the seeds for me. By 8th grade Mark South and I were great friends and I was going to attend Madison Academy for high school where he went to school. From there I was molded some more and I transferred from a state school to Freed-Hardeman with a lot of my church friends from Mastin Lake Road Church of Christ. I went on some short term mission trips while I was there (thank you Paul Lewis) and I guess you could say the rest is history. Such a long journey with a lot of influences along the way. Amazing grace.

I love what I do. Even with the all of the headaches and bumps in the road that have to be endured, organizing and leading short term trips is what I love to do. And a person has to feel blessed to be able to do things that they love doing, because most people do not. And it is a shame, because life is supposed to be a journey filled with memories and challenges and adventure. I mean, Jesus DID say, "I came to give you life and to give it more abundantly (John 10:10)." I believe that with all of my heart and where your heart is that is where your treasure is going to be found (Luke 12:34). And I have a big treasure chest. Moth and rust can't touch my treasure!

So, when you find your love, your passion, you pour yourself into it. You buy into it. You take ownership in it. You share it with others. And that is what I have done for the past 20 years and what I plan on doing for as long as the earthly vessel will carry me. TORCH is my love, my passion, my ministry. And I know it is for some of you as well. Literally thousands of people in the past 20+ years has participated in a TORCH mission trip. Hundreds have been multiple times. Dozens and dozens and dozens have been multiple times. We call ourselves "Lifers." But whether you are a lifer or a 1 time rookie, we have all experienced life changing ministry. Almost everyone who has been on a TORCH trip would say that their lives will never be the same again. Amen?

So, it has come to this point in time. after 20+ years of working in Honduras, and assisting and reaching tens of thousands of Hondurans who have needed physical and spiritual help, TORCH is at a cross roads of sorts. Our teams continue to grow, our areas of ministry continue to expand. Our resources are expanding and the opportunity to serve, not only in Honduras but more and more globally, we must take a good look at ourselves, to look in a mirror as James says. What do we see? What do YOU see? Do you see a small organization, started by a couple of youth ministers and a dream, doing feel good trips to fill a summer schedule? Do you see a summer trip that offers cool experiences and a nifty stamp in your passport? Or do you see more? I see more; much much more.

We have already seen what short term TORCH trips are capable of doing. The list of projects we did this summer by our trip alone is pretty impressive. When you take a look at what ALL of the TORCH teams have done this year it is amazing and unbelievable. I hope to get an email soon from Mark and Tim that will give totals of all of the things done this year to date. Until then I will only be able to tell you that it was a LOT. And we have every plan to continue what we are doing and to crank it up a notch. For example, our mega team of 160 this year has split from 1 team into THREE. Our team alone now has 3 x's the power and resources and abilities to do what 1 team did this year. It also allow 3 teams the ability to stretch and grow again. I have witnessed this time after time. It wasn't that long ago that team leaders (Tim, Mark, Gayle, Tom, etc) were working together on the same teams.

I have said a lot to lay the groundwork for what we are about to do. Stepping it up a notch, moving to the next level. TORCH mission is growing in numbers and we need to grow accordingly with facilities and resources to match. Our buses are old and are aging very quickly (Honduran roads can do that ya know). We continue to rent facilities to house our teams. We continue to rent pick up trucks, flat bed trucks, buses, and other equipment. And just like renting a house or apartment, that rent money is going out the window and into someone else's pockets. Team leaders and board members have talked about this for years but the time has come to do something about it. Investing in the future of TORCH is at hand. The time has come to act upon things we all know to be true and logical. And we all must pitch in to make it happen.

In the next few months I will be working with the TORCH board to create a new group, a committee of people, that will dedicate some of their time, skills, resources, and energy to help raise funds to allow TORCH to move to the next level. What level are we talking about? Owning our own property. Building our own "Mission House." Buying newer buses and more of them. Buying our own trucks. Increasing our inventory of tools, chainsaws, and equipment. Hiring full time workers as bus drivers, cooks, care takers, etc. This has only been a pipe dream for us for several years, but the time has come to act upon our dreams and to make them reality. and it is going to take the TORCH community, the alumni, along with many others to make this happen.

The first phase of this concept was introduced by Jenny Lovell the last night of our trip. Jenny is a professional fund raiser for Freed-Hardeman and she raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school each year. I have asked her to spear head this committee and to get the ball rolling. Her first idea has begun and it is time for us to start. Many of our TORCH team were given forms that will allow individuals to make monthly contributions into a special account that has been set up for TORCH. By filling out this form a person can make a monthly contribution to TORCH that will be used, hopefully in the very near future, to begin the process of doing the very things we just talked about earlier. This account is not a trip work fund, but a fund specifically set up to take us to the next level. Jenny will be contacting all TORCH team leaders to assist with this project. By doing this we hope to reach hundreds, possibly thousands of people to ask for participation in this project.

This one project alone, with the help of a TORCH army of participants, has the potential to generate enough money to pay for land and build our own facility with a FEW years. Tim and Mark have been looking at property and buildings that might be suitable for TORCH to buy. We know where to buy newer buses and trucks. Things are in place and I believe the time has come for us to launch out into a new phase of TORCH Missions. Dreams are the building blocks of tomorrow. Lets begin to build tomorrow today!

Contact me by email if you would like for me to mail (or email) you the bank automatic debit form. Once you have filled out the form you will mail the form to Lowell Haworth, who will be in charge of collecting the forms, entering the data to the bank, and keeping records of those that will be participating. Lowell's mailing address is 428 Amberleaf Trail, Westfield, Indiana, 46074-9500. That is all there is to it. Simple, eh? Just email me to get the ball rolling. Anyone can participate. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends at church, co-workers. This is a simple, but very effective way for anyone to help TORCH Missions in its continued efforts in Honduras and beyond. Are you in?

Terry Reeves
President, Torch Missions board of directors

Wednesday, August 4

HEAR YE, HEAR YE

Well, it is official. Torch Missions has become a 12 month a year job. Less than 3 weeks after returning home from the 2010 trip the teams are all but set for the summer 2011 trips to Honduras. Just a few years ago it was a given that things did not really start rolling until after Thanksgiving. Then it was the first of October. Last year dates were announced in mid-September. And now, August 5th. Wow, and I still have 1 suitcase left to unpack from this year's trip! Now, to be fair, not all of the team leaders have set their dates yet. However, many have and although the dates are tentative and subject to modifications, here is what we have so far for summer 2011:

June 1-15: Mark Connell / Larry Sawyer (Alabama and Kentucky)
June 1-15: Eric Connell (Oklahoma)
June TBA: Rick and Donna Grose (Ohio)
June 13-26: Gayle Davidson / Tim Hines (Florida and Louisiana)
June 24-July 4: Terry Reeves (all over the place)
July 1-11: Nathan Reeves (all over the placee)
July TBA: Mark Halbert (Mississippi)
July 15-25: Tom Beach (North and South Carolina)
July 30-August 6: Allen Burris (Indiana)

This does not include the Torch teams that Marc Tindall runs since he houses his team out in Santa Ana and does not overlap with the lodging facilities in Tegucigalpa. This also does not include the teams that go throughout the year, especially during spring break and Christmas break. It also does not include the Torch trips to Costa Rica and Recife, Brazil next year. The bottom line is that a lot of people will be doing mission work in 2011 and plans are being made to use our teams and resources as well as we possibly can. God is at work and we have been honored to be one of the conduits for His power, love, compassion, and strength to be shown to the people. Mighty is our God.

So, mark your calendars and start requesting your days off for next year. Remember, the dates are tentative, so try to be as flexible as possible. I will be posting the Costa Rica and Brazil trips VERY soon so keep checking the blog. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! I will be posting new blogs within the next few days. Stay tuned. Enjoy the last few days of summer, the new school year is about to start and 2010 will be roaring to an end before you know it. Trust me, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

Terry

Tuesday, July 20

The wrap up


Coming home is always an ordeal. When you are leaving for Honduras you are excited and the adrenaline is pumping and you have lots of reserve energy. Coming home you are spent, tired, and emotionally drained because your heart is still in Honduras. Delayed flights and missed connections just add to it. Coming home sick tops it all off. Margaret and I arrived home at 2:00 am Friday. Today is the first day I have had the energy to write. Crazy. But I was sick at the end of the trip and I brought it home with me. Now I have an infection on my back and the docs put me on 2 antibiotics and a pain med. Just goes to show what can happen with the water in Honduras! (and I will admit the Honduras hot dog played a big part in all of it too.... I have officially scratched that off of the "to do" list... what in the world was I thinking.....)

We jumped right into Vacation Bible School as soon as we got home. Friday and Saturday were prep days (along with speaking at the Foote Street church get together Saturday evening at Joe Jones' house!) and the big show started Sunday. 2 more days and having a blast. Then it will be off to Orlando for the Spiritual Growth Workshop! It is the biggest church event in Florida and I can't wait. We will have a Torch booth set up for the weekend and I hope to see a lot of friends that I do not see very often. It promises to be a great event. If you are there make sure to come by the booth and visit! The workshop ends on August 1st and I report in for work on August 2nd. It is amazing how fast the summer went by.... or is it just me?

Sorry this is a bit late, but here is a summary of the trip this summer. This is a work in progress, if I leave anything off please shoot me an email so I can add it to the list. Mission reports are already being done and hopefully this information will help! In 11 days (9 working days) our team did the following:

* We built 15 houses (in Mololoa, Nuevo Oriental, and near the city dump area).
* We delivered 1,250 food bags (with staples like beans and rice and fresh produce like potatoes and carrots) door to door in several different areas. This is the equivalent of 157,500 meals.
* We passed out 1,800 Bibles with 2 different Bible tracts.
* Built a beautiful playground in Mololoa at the daycare center FEMORZA.
* Worked in the Manna Project Feeding Center in Mololoa.
* Painted the Daycare Center in Molola along with murals.
* Built a security fence around the playground in Mololoa.
* Assisted in mud/debris clean up at the church building in Mololoa.
* Conducted a soccer clinic for the boys of Mololoa.
* Had a "girl's makeover day called "Daughters of the King" in Mololoa in which hair and feet were washed, toe and finger nails polished, hair braiding and such, along with a photo shoot wearing princess dresses and crowns.
* Made and distributed well over 500 hygiene packets (tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, shampoo, razor, q-tips, etc).
* 6 trips to Hospital Esquela, including Patch Adams programs with clowns, magic shows, games, and coloring books.
* Visited the Good Shepard Children's Home ( 250+ children) in Zanmarano and had a play day with food, games, and activities.
* Installed new swings at the playground at Good Shepard Children's Home.
* Painted 3 classrooms at the Dadasko school and provided paint to do the exterior
* Unloaded three 40' containers full of medical equipment and supplies
* Provided new pots and pans for the families that received new houses and for all Torch houses being built this summer
* Distributed about 800 pair of band new Croc shoes and left 400 pair to be given away later
* Went to the city dump to feed the approximately 600 people who live there
* Painted a beautiful wall mural at a boy's orphanage in Tegucigalpa.
* 2 day dental clinic seeing 92 children who received full dental care including fillings, tooth extractions, fluoride treatments, etc.
* 2 visits to Bencoleth Special Needs Orphanage with our physical therapists and helpers
* Installed a water purification system at Bencoleth capable of purifying 10,000 gallons of water a day... what a blessing for the facility!
* Our medical team provided 4 days of free clinics. 2 days in Tamera at the Dadasko Orphanage and 2 days in Agua Agria (Choluteca). In the 4 days the medical team saw approximately 500-600 patients.
* In Agua Agria, the church building (we build 4 years ago using pressure treated lumber equal too 4 houses) received 2 new window openings and was painted inside and out. It was painted a very tropical salmon pink color! Hondurans love bright colors!
* In addition, the pew crew assembled 27 wooden benches for the church building and painted them a rich brown color. The members do not have to sit on the concrete floor anymore!
* 198 families (about 600-650 people) received clothes, shoes, food, medicine, hygiene packets, and toys in Agua Agria.
* Did another girl's make over (6 hours) at Agua Agria.
* In Catacamas, we painted the inside of a church building a pistachio green with a lime green trim (again proving that Hondurans love bright colors!)
* 2 classrooms at the church were also painted (same colors).
* Church pews were cleaned and prepped for painting
* We had a 2 day gospel meeting in Catacamas. Tim O'Dell and Keith Fussell preached and Minor Perez and Rodolfo Herrera were the interpreters. 169 attended the 1st night and 224 the second. Our bus was used as a Joy Bus to transport guests to the building!
* We did a food distribution in Catacamas too, 100 families received food from the team (12,600 meals) in remote areas outside of town.
* Our physical therapy team went to the special needs orphanage in Catacamas (14 children) 2 days along with volunteers.
* Our counselors and social workers team went to a rehab facility and net with their staff and did a question / answer session to address needs for the facility.
* Our evangelism team conducted 6 days of Vacation Bible School. Well over 500 children attended the 6 days as they studied about David and Goliath and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace.
* We visited the hospital in Catacamas. The staff said we were the first group to ever come to visit the patients there. We gave out coloring books, toys, stuffed animals, etc.
* We built a concrete block room to expand Clinica de Esperanza in Santa ana. The new room will house the pharmacy.
* We had a wonderful singing devotional at Santa Lucia at the oldest church building in the western hemisphere. Built in the early 1500's, the adobe block building is the place to go for singing. We had Torch teams from Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina join us, 318 in all! Tim Hines led us in singing that became one of the trip's highlights.
* We had a total of 29 devotionals led by different men, and 2 worship assemblies with Lonnie Jones and Eric Yow doing the preaching.
* We had 1 baptism! Nathan Carrol from Centerville, TN, was baptized
* The torch soccer team played to a 3-3 tie vs the Cobras (Honduras' special forces unit)
* With the help of Lonnie Jones (AKA the A-team) we watched a special presentation by the Cobras with their weapons and fighting tactics.
* Our soccer team suffered a sporting loss (3-2) in Agua Agria.
* We had 3 bus break downs!
* We had 1 flat tire on our van!
* We wrecked one of our rental trucks and witnessed God at work. One of our bus drivers crashed the rental truck into a concrete barrier and slid off the road and flipped the truck several times. It was amazing that he was alive, maybe even miraculous that he only suffered some minor bruises and scratches! We took up a special offering to pay for the insurance deductible and doctor bills. We collected $3, 014. The bills came out to be $3,000. God is truly good all of the time.

We ended our trip by spending the last 2 nights at the Inter Continental Hotel. 2 Torch teams (from Oklahoma and South Carolina) arrived at the Mission House and we vacated the facility for them to move in. The hotel was VERY nice and it was quite a shock to the system after working in the poverty areas of Honduras for several days. But, it was the only hotel large enough to make reservations for 50 rooms and 158 people (there were other hotels large enough but did not have room availability). Saturday was a day of rest for most, but some managed to go out and work one more day. Others "worked" by going to the Mi Esperanza store to buy gifts to take home and to support this worthy ministry. And I must say that the shoppers were very dedicated in their support!!!

Although not everything on the trip went as planned, all in all I would say it was a very productive and successful trip. Lots of new friendships were made and Facebook has had tons of photo postings this past week! God was glorified and lots and lots of seeds were sowed. I believe most came home with lots of memories and stories that will last a lifetime. It was indeed a challenge to lead such a big group and at times almost overwhelming. Nate and I did our best and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. It was an honor and privilege to work with you all.

Believe it or not we are already at work for next year. Dates are being planned and scheduled and reservations are being made. Pretty soon this is going to become a 12 month job! But that is OK, I can't think of many things that I enjoy more or that is more important and fulfilling. Continue to check the blog, there will be more postings soon and a lot more photos. Until next time, hasta luego! Dios te bendiga!
TR



Tuesday, July 13

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

Before I post pictures Jen Arnold Salgado wanted me to let those who want to know what is happening at the Manna Project and THe Femorza Daycare in the Mololoa community to stay in contact with her.

www.jmarnold.blogspot.com and the email is jmarnold.tmp@gmail.com




3 amigos!!












Miguel!! How precious!!














The Mural LB, Jeremy, and Carrie painted at the boys orphanage!!












Lonnie Jones and LB Jones after the mural was painted













Lonnie Jones working on a beautiful Picture












Make over time!!













Sorry that is all I can post right now, my computer is being mean to me!! I will try again!!

Brandy B


Saturday, July 10

The Beginning

Today is the beginning, not the end. It is incredibly sad to think that this mission trip has come to an end, but I do not wan to think of it as an end. It is the beginning! The beginning of a new life for a lot of us that have come to Honduras. We have grown spiritually. It is a growth that no one can deny. We have witnessed true miracles by God. Satan tried so hard to put God’s work in Honduras to a halt by allowing busses to breakdown, delaying some of our projects, and many other things. However, God did prevail!!!! When Satan tried to stop us in our tracks, God opened doors to allow us to minister in other ways. When we thought we would have to go into our TORCH fund to repair a rental vehicle, God worked through us to raise enough money so it would be taken care of without delaying the work. God is so GOOD!!!! All of us are going to take something home with us. The smile of a child, the gratefulness of a starving mother after she has received food, the honor of being able to build a home for a family. So yes this might be the end of our trip, but it is not the end. We have built lasting friendships with fellow group members, as well as our fellow brothers and sisters in Honduras. I am so sad to leave, but so happy to know this will not be the last time I see my extended Christian family.

I will be giving a brief rap-up of our trip. These are just guesses on how much we were able to do. Terry will, more than likely be posting a final summary.

-Our group was able to build 14-15 homes

-Deliver about 1250 bags of food making about 26,250 meals

-Build playground paint a day care, and put up a Security fence in Molola

-Repair a church building 27 benches and put in 2 windows in Choluteca

-108 families received toys/Clothes and food in Choluteca

-6 hours of makeovers were done in Choluteca

-About 300+ patients were seen by our medical team in Choluteca

-230+ were seen at Didasko

-6 VBS were done at Didasko and Catacamas

-Painted a Church in Catacamas

-2 day Gospel Meeting in Catacamas 161 the first night and 224 the second.

-6 hospital visits (5 in Teguc. 1 in Catacamas).

-Painted a Mural in 3 hours at a boy's Orphanage.

-Repaired a playground at Good Shepherd Orphanage.

-1500 Bibles were given out.

-A TORCH member was baptized (Nathan Carol)

-Worked at the Feeding Center and Conducted a Princess Day in Molola

-Played Soccer game against the Cobras 3-3 and played Choluteca (we got beat 3-2).

Like I mentioned before this is a brief overview. Terry will probably post with more accurate numbers. This has been an AMAZING trip!! Through Jesus, our group was able to accomplish a lot! Thank you all so much for constant prayers. I am not ready to be home, but like I said this is The Beginning, not the end. We love you all and will be seeing you very soon!!

God Bless You All!!

Brandy B

Retreat

Let me start off by apologizing for not posting last night. I had some Internet confusion. For those of you who know me, you know how easy it is for me to be confused!!

Yesterday started off like most days. The Catacamas group got up and had breakfast. We had the same as we had been having. Then we met for devo. Ernie Ulmer led us in our thoughts. After devo we packed our bags and loaded the bus to head back to Tegucigalpa to meet with the rest of our team at the Inter-Continental Hotel down town. We had another four and a half hour drive back to the city. The bus drive was a lot of fun, believe it or not. We sang, and talked about what we had been blessed to do in Catacamas. We also had some people who played cards, how they managed that is beyond me.

When we got to the hotel in Teguc. we got our keys and made our way to our rooms. Then we were able to chose where we wanted to eat. We had several choices to chose from in the area, TGI Fridays, a local Honduran restaurant, the food court in the mall, and Tony Romo’s. After we ate we met back at the hotel to load the buses to go to Santa Lucia.

We were able to worship in the oldest Cathedral in the Western Hemisphere. We had a singing devotional. We had about 250+ people at the Cathedral. Singing was fantastic!!. We were also able to meet the Minister of Energy of Honduras. That was pretty neat!! When we had worshiped we loaded the buses and made our way back to the hotel.

At the hotel each person did there own thing. Most people just hung out and discussed what they had done throughout the trip. We all went to bed pretty late due to the fellowship we were having with one another.

Thank you all for you prayers. We will be seeing you soon!!


Brandy B

Thursday, July 8

Compartiendo amor en Catacamas!

(Sharing love in Catacamas)

Being in Catacamas has been such a blessing. I cannot say it enough when I say this place is A-MAZ-ING!!!! The people here have touched our lives more than they will ever realize. Today started early like most other days. We had breakfast, eggs, sausage, beans, and fruit. I’m pretty sure my mom couldn’t cook food this well (sorry mom). Then we met for devo. Lucas from Brazil led us in a few thoughts. Lucas is such an amazing person. He is so genuine and caring, not to mention he has been awesome translating for us.

When devo was over we split into about five groups who later merged into other groups as the day progressed. We had a VBS team, paint team, distribution team, and hospital team. We also had about five that went to a medical clinic and then to a Rehabilitation clinic.

Special Needs Orphanage

Sophia Tucker, that’s my new daughters name!! She is three feet tall with an afro and a smile the size of Texas. Sophia comes from the Special Needs Orphanage in Catacamas. She’s a precious nine-year-old dwarf and she has my heart. I’ve spent the past two days with her because my first day she said, “cuando reqrese?...”” When are you coming back?” So of course I had to come back today!! We read “Where the Wild Things Grow” in Spanish, took many strolls around the orphanage, and her personal favorite swing in the hammock singing Alabre! She took about 400 pictures with my camera and filled me up with all the reinforcement that I need to keep working to help special needs children one day. I love Honduras and keep coming back for the Sophia’s, Miguels and Cynthias that stroll into my life walking, rolling in wheel chairs, or lying there staring into my heart with their big brown eyes!!

-Sara Tucker Clarksville

Rehab

Today a small group of us went to a medical clinic to tour and discuss with a Psychologist the logistics of the Rehab facility. Our team was made up of three therapists and a social worker, plus a translator. We discussed with the Psychologist their operation. We discussed what type of therapy was offered and how many people the facility would accommodate. The facility accommodates 40 people. It is a residential facility. The Individuals receiving services stay in the program for two to three months. They receive individual, occupational, and family therapy. They would be receiving services if they willingly come or if they are court ordered. The facility is for drug addictions. The main drug used is cocaine for those under age 40, I believe and alcohol for those over 40. The Psychologist discussed the operation of the facility with us and assisted us in setting a time to tour and meet with the faculty at the facility.

We went to the facility and met with the staff. We discussed with them ways we as a group could assist with the facility. We were able to get an idea of what services we can provide for them in the future. Then we were able to tour the facility. The facility is in desperate need of some expansion to allow for the women to have a recreational area. Several areas are in need of repair as well. We were able to take plenty of ideas back to Terry Reeves for other trips. One thing that touched me was one of the faculty member’s concerns for the entire city of Catacamas. As a social worker, who has worked with children and as a Drug Addiction Counselor I was honored to be able to experience the Rehabilitation faculty. I look forward to working with the other therapist on the trip to brainstorm further on ways we can assist the facility.

Once everyone returned to the hotel we had supper. Tonight we had rice and veggies, mashed sweet potatoes and fruit empanadas!!! Once again the food was incredible!!! Then we met to go to the Gospel meeting with the local congregation. We sang some songs then they sang some songs. Tonight was so wonderful. I cannot wait to be in Heaven with no language barriers so I can sing with my brothers and sisters all over the world!! While worship was taking place for the adults, there was also a VBS in one of the classrooms. I cannot tell you how great Kim Fussell has done with VBS. She has put her heart and soul into teaching. With the assistance of our AMAZING translators the children have learned about David and Goliath and Shadrack, Meshack, Abednego. The children were so well behaved. They sang and participated, it was just…WOW!! Afterward, they participated in a game of “Simon Says”. It was so cute!! Minor, our translator was so great with the kids!! When everything was complete we loaded up and headed back to the hotel.

We had devo once everyone was back. Terry Cheatham led us in thoughts. Terry is another who is truly genuine about doing the work the Lord has commanded us. He talked about how we are all here for a purpose. He did a great job, and made me cry. Then we did “where did you see Jesus.” Jesus has been seen in the smiles, the hugs, the love, the scenery…Just everywhere. Everyone has opened their heart and soul and poured out every ounce of love. Then when they think they have nothing else to give, the Lord stretches us more. I absolutely love this place and cannot believe it is our last “work day” Tomorrow we will meet up with the rest of the group in Teguc. for the remainder of the trip. My heart has been broken by everything I have seen, and I wish so badly everyone could feel the breaking. It is hard, but worth it. God is truly Unbelievably Amazing!! Thank you Lord for what You have allowed me to experience!!

Thank you all for your prayers!! I am not ready for this to be over. Please pray for us as we finish the trip. These are the hardest days for a lot of people. We will see you all soon!!

Brandy B

Some more pictures


Our little princesses!!

























































Great job team
















One of our Doctors working at the medical clinic.















What a view!!















"I got it...I got it"

















Precious




















"Nail it"














I think she might like Jonathan, I'm just sayin...














"Help, Help"














You can't get me!!! "Get the Gringo"













How precious












Wednesday, July 7

Always Enough

“Your love is peace to the broken, Faith for the widow, hope for the orphan, strength for the weak. Your love is the anthem of nations, rings out through the ages, and Your always enough for me”

-Casting Crowns “Always Enough”

This has been one of the most incredible days of the trip for the Catacumus group. We woke up for breakfast by 7:00. The breakfast was wonderful; eggs, sausage, fruit, and beans!!! We had devo at about 8:oo. Brian Steffy spoke this morning. He spoke about leaving positive footprints!! After devo we split into three groups. One group went to a special needs orphanage, one to the church building to paint, and one packed food and met up with the special needs group to distribute.

Painting

About 30 people arrived this morning to a church building in Catacamus. We began painting a very dingy white wall and blue trim building to a beautiful pistachio green, on the wall, with hunter green trim. The church is having a gospel meeting this week so we were happy to make the building look great for their guests. The preacher helped with getting supplies and a lady from the church and her children helped us clean. We painted most of the auditorium and began cleaning out and painting the children’s classroom. We are returning tomorrow to finish panting and we are going back tonight to host a VBS for the children during the gospel meeting.

-Maegan Baldwin Nashville, TN

Special Need Orphanage

Tonight as I sit here in my room alone I don’t even know where to began to tell you about my day. The words of a song come to mind… “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you, I want to see you…” Today not only the eyes of my heart were opened but every piece, corner, and area were totally exposed. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a Special Needs Orphanage. Today, having a special needs child of my own, I believed I could handle whatever God would throw at me. I was so wrong!! Miguel met me at the door with his huge brown eyes and wonderful smile. My heart melted and the tears began to flow. He clung to me for most of the morning and we could not even communicate that well. But God opened both of our hearts and all we had to do was hold hands and sit together. There were no words needed. At one point in the day he looked at me and said in Spanish, “Do you love me?” I replied in my broken Spanish,
With all my heart.” I felt like Peter must have felt when Jesus asked hem the same question. However, Jesus knew that Peter loved him but Miguel had no idea I had fallen in love with him. All he knew was that he was left alone by parents who were supposed to love him. Honduras is a wonderful country and a great place to do mission work. TORCH gives us all the chance to change someone’s life. However, today in a very small, run-down orphanage with not air and very little electricity, a small boy named Miguel, changed my life forever. So the next time you sing the words “Open the eyes of my heart Lord..” you better be very prepared for what God will put in front of you!!

-Terry Cheatham Western Hills C of C

My emotions were truly tested today. We went to a special needs orphanage. I myself have a special needs brother, so I thought I could handle it. But I was not prepared for what I went through today. The owner of the orphanage had a heart of gold. He told us the story about why he started the orphanage. Then he started talking about a little boy named Anthony. He was in the orphanage, but passed on about 4 months ago. That when I lost it. I started crying because I could not imagine losing someone that was close to me. However, ending on a happy and funny comment. My dad was sitting in a chair with a little boy in his lap, and the chair broke from underneath him, Just saying…

-Kennedy Cheatham Western Hills C of C

Packing/Distributing

Today about 10 of us went with Terry Reeves to a store to by food to pack for distribution. The local preacher assisted with negotiating the prices so we could get as much as possible with donated money. We loaded the truck and bus and brought all the bought food back to the hotel to be sorted and packaged. We worked as a team to sort the food and pack it making about 100+ bags. When we finished packing the food we loaded the buses, with assistance from the hotel staff, and headed out to a some community outside of Catacumus. We distributed food, clothes and shoes to many of the local members of the Church. This was probably one of the poorest areas I have been to in 10 trips with TORCH. The people were so gracious and honest. They wanted to make sure everyone was able to get a bag of food. We gave on little boy some clothes and he ended up bringing some back because he said it was too many. While we were giving out the food/clothes/shoes, the preacher took us to the river where they do baptisms. It was an amazing view across the mountain range. After we finished giving out the food we loaded the buses to head back to town. On the way we picked up several people walking to Worship. We made room for many of the people in the community. By bus it took about 20 – 25 minutes to get to the Church building, so you can only imagine how long it would take to walk!! We dropped them off at the building and came back to the hotel for clean-up/supper before heading to worship ourselves.

Tonight we had rice, noodles, empanadas, and fruit. After eating we went to worship with the locals. While the adults had their lesson, a few of us assisted with class for the children. Kim Fussell was the children’s teacher. She did such an amazing job with the children. She taught the story of David and Goliath. After she taught the lesson, we brought one of our translators in, Lucas, to “play” Goliath. The children were given the opportunity to through a soft ball at him like David. Then they received juice and cookies!! Total attendance for the Gospel meeting was 161.

Once worship was over we came back to the hotel. We had devo about 8:00. Brett Mitchell spoke. He spoke about our role while we are here. He illustrated how quickly it changes by giving the example of his soccer team. Brett coaches at Faulkner University. He took his team to Brazil to participate in a soccer clinic, and then do some work with a TORCH missionary. He told about how the first few days was “laid back”. He said his team was able to play the tourist role. Then they went to another location for soccer. That is when they played the soccer player role. Later they met up with a missionary and worked with him. That is the missionary role. Brett spoke about the importance of not forgetting what you take from doing great works for the Lord and no matter what role you are playing to do it for the Lord. Then we did something we have not had a chance to do due to the size of our group; where did you see Jesus. Jesus has been seen each day of the trip. In the children at the orphanages, at the hospital, in our group at the mission house washing dishes, in the villages, etc. Jesus love is always enough for everything we have seen, experienced. What we are trying to do is show Jesus’ love and help the Honduran people understand His love. However, we are the ones who come to realize His love is always enough!!

Thank you guys so much for keeping up with our trip. Please continue to pray for us and the work here!! God is So Good!!

Brandy B

Choluteca

Wow, day 7 came and went way too fast. The trip so far has been every thing I had expected and then some. Last year our trip was cut short and even though we accomplished quite a bit, this year we are getting a real taste of what Torch can do and what a difference we can make in the lives of the people of Honduras. By day 7 we have already done so many wonderful things and the fatigue really starts to set in (especially for those of us over 40 who are in less than great shape). Most days, up to now, start with breakfast at 7 am. Today, we had to board the busses at 6 am to leave the Villa and take a 3 to 4 hour bus ride to Choluteca. Let me tell you, old school busses are not intended for long rides, but it didn’t keep most of us from taking a nice little catnap. Despite the bus ride and fatigue, I eagerly anticipated yet another wonderful day of serving the wonderful people of Honduras. We arrived at the hotel and unpacked, and then headed to the work site. The country is beautiful despite the poverty. We arrived in a small village that was at the end of a long bumpy dirt road that had a few small houses along the way. When we arrived at the work site, there were hundreds of people lining the road waiting on us to get there. Part of our team started setting up for a food and clothing give away, part of the team set up a medical clinic and I personally went down the road to the church that was already constructed, but needed to be painted. We also had to build benches for the church. I was part of the crew that built benches. A local gentleman showed us how to build the first bench and then we took it from there. We had 4 local boys who jumped in and helped with each and every bench. They were so eager to help. They carried boards, handed us screws, and even carried the finished benches into the freshly painted church building. The time passed so quickly, we didn’t want to stop, but it was getting dark and we had to pack up and leave. When you look around at the wonderful people we meet here, it’s hard to believe that anyone living in such conditions could be so happy. They also seem to be so thankful for what you give them no matter what it is. We all need to learn a lesson from them and learn to be grateful for where we are in life and what we have. I look forward to tomorrow and the opportunities we will have to serve once again and hope that we can be Jesus to the people we come in contact with.

-Dan Hines Western Hills Church of Christ

I went to Choluteca today! We arrived a bit later than we expected to, but Honduran traffic can make for slow going. A beautiful sea of faces all of which were dressed in the Sunday best for the Gringos greeted us! After we set up shop the Heffe (leader) of the village had everyone organized. He had given one representative from each family a yellow ticket to turn in to allow them to come thru the distribution line. We were able to give approximately 180 families a bag of food, a hygiene packet BRAND NEW CROCS (thanks to a donation), clothes, toys and a Bible. I was able to give each family there crocs and tell them "En el nombre de Christo" Today we were able to feed the hungry in His name. Praise God!

Jenny Lovell

The medical clinic today at Choluteca was very busy! Each person had a job to do, whether it was writing names, taking vitals, describing symptoms, interpreting Spanish, or diagnosing patients - every person involved was doing the work of Jesus here on earth. As a lowly nursing student and eager to do any job assigned, my job was to take blood pressure and pulse from each patient. After around 70 people, I was an expert blood pressure taker! Overall, we saw around 150 patients. After I took blood pressure and pulse, a nurse would prescribe the individual medicine according to his/her symptoms, and then the patient would see the doctor. Most of the sick had a fever or cold. Although the healthcare system is very poor, we did treat a 90-year-old woman today! The children there are also so different from children in the States. Because going to the doctor is a privilege, only a half-dozen of the children cried. They were so well behaved! I cannot wait to go back again tomorrow and show the love of Jesus another day.

Marah Casey

Tuesday, July 6

Stone Soup

July 6, 2010

Today was a long exhausting day for the Catacumus group. Our group left a little while after morning devo!! This morning we had an AMAZING breakfast!!! We had eggs, beans, and plantains. I am not exaggerating at all when I say it is “AMAZING” because it really was!!! After breakfast we met in the chapel for a short singing devo before splitting into our groups.

The group staying in Teguc had a food distribution team, a food packing/visitation team, three construction teams, and a team going to the Landfill.

The Catacumus group left around 11 am. Our group consists of about 45+ people. Today was not much of a “work day” for us due to the drive. It took us about 4 ½ hours to get to Catacumus. We were blessed to be able to see God’s amazing creation while riding through this beautiful country. We went up, around, and down many different mountains so you can just imagine the scenery we were able to see. We were also able to fellowship on the ride as well. Some of us met new people and shared stories about the wonderful things happening on the trip. We laughed and sang; basically we made the trip as worthwhile as possible.

When we arrived at the hotel we checked in before unloading the bus. Our group is the first group to ever stay in this hotel. It is really nice and it has Internet, which allows me to keep you guys informed. We unloaded the bus in a pretty good pour down. Some of us got soaked, but it was worth it!! As we were settling in we were given the time for dinner. During the two hour wait people played cards, talked, or took naps. At about 7 we had supper, and man oh man, all I can say was AMAZING!!!!! It was so good. I’m not sure if it was because everyone was so tired from the trip or what, but WOW!! We had pasta, beans, tacos, Tostitos, and an awesome dessert!! Yummy!!!!

After supper we met for devo. Our fearless leader, Terry Reeves, led us in a few thoughts. He told the story of Stone Soup. Briefly, there were these men who went into a village where everyone was nasty toward each other and strangers. When the people saw the people coming into the village they went into their homes and locked the doors. So the strangers set up a camp and started a pot of boiling water and added stones. Some of the people noticed and became curious, so they went and asked what they were doing. The strangers told them they were making a pot of Stone Soup, the best soup ever. They began to tell them it would be better if certain ingredients were added to it. One by one the villagers began to pitch in different ingredients, bringing the community together. Basically Terry was trying to illustrate how we all have something to offer and use our talents to be shinning lights of Jesus.

After devo we all sat around playing cards, swimming, and socializing before bed. Today was a great day and our group is looking forward to the work we will be starting tomorrow!! Thank you all again for the prayers!! Continue to check the blog for pictures and updates.

I will hopefully be receiving an email from the other groups so you can all keep contact with them as well!! Thanks for your patients!!

Brandy B