Tuesday, January 12
I know, its been a while. So, 15 days into 2010, may I say "Happy New Year." 2 weeks into the new year and I am just now sitting down to write, sad to say the least. So, I am guessing that a new year's resolution of blogging more regularly would be considered broken at this point... They say confession is good for your soul so getting that off of my chest sure makes me feel better now. This doesn't rank anywhere near Mark McGwire's confession of using steroids while playing baseball (anyone surprised by that.......) but admitting it is half the battle.
As to why I haven't written, lets just say I have been out and about lately. Since Freed-Hardeman has been on Christmas break Margaret and I have used the time to do some traveling. We went to Birmingham to see Nathan and Karen and talked about Honduras. We went to Sarasota, Florida and saw several old and dear friends and talked about Honduras. We also went to Orlando and saw Joe and Judy Roberts, enjoyed a day at Disney (Animal Kingdom!) and talked about Honduras. We went to Montgomery and saw Brett and Judy Mitchell and their new addition, Reid (what a cutie!) and talked about Honduras. We went to Mitchell, Indiana, visited with Allen Burris and I spoke Saturday night at a fund raiser dinner and preached Sunday morning, about Honduras. We stopped in Mayfield, Kentucky had dinner with Rick and Gayna Taylor and discussed Honduras. And this week I will be meeting with Ernie and Denise Ulmer (from North Carolina) and Tara and Jerry Yale about Honduras.
In case you missed the obvious, my attention on Honduras has begun and I am focused and on a mission. There is a lot to do and time is ticking. It might only be the middle of January to most of you, but for me it is well into the year as far as planning goes. I have accomplished a few things but there is so much more that will have to be done and done soon. But the challenges excite me as I get ready for the 2010 trip. I do not get weary preparing for the trips. It is always exciting and I am always encouraged about going to Honduras to work.
Leaving early last summer in the middle of our trip just killed me. It knocked the wind out of my sails and I came home hurting. And it was a deep hurt. For me, I felt like I had let the team down. Even though the events of last summer was totally out of my hands, I felt as if I had failed. I failed the team, the people of Honduras, everyone. And while I had to take time to process through it, I have come out on the other side more determined than ever to ride to the occasion and lead this year's team with a new passion for the work. There is much to do and it is time to get to it.
Last weekend I was was in southern Indiana. the congregation at Mitchell, who went with us the first time last summer (wow, what a way to start a mission's program by fleeing the country!) and amazingly enough, are planning to go back. This congregation is on fire. In October they sent a small team down to finish the water purification systems that we started. Determination and grit was on the agenda as they encountered problems after problem as they installed the systems. but the got it done and then came back with the famous line from Oliver, "Please sir, may I have some more?" In about a week another small team will go down to build 5 houses. This does not count the ones that were built in October. Nor does it count the ones they plan on building on the July trip.
Allen Burris, the preacher at Mitchell, secured an entire 40' container of genetically enhanced corn (much higher nutritionally than standard corn), about 50,000 pounds, with help from IRC. While I was there we secured another load of corn (about 25,000-30,000 pounds) that we will ship down for the July trip. with a donation of this importance, I decided to commit our efforts in raising enough money to pay for our own container this summer. We have been doing this for the past several years and chose a different route last year by carrying supplies in the black duffel bags. this year, with such a huge donation of supplies, it only makes sense to ship a container. this will give us the ability to sent additional food, clothing, shoes, toys, medical supplies, and hardware to Honduras for the trip.
For the next 2 1/2 months all of our groups will begin focusing on the collection of specific supplies that we will be needing this summer. I will be posting a collection list on the blog and will be sending out lists to individuals, groups, and congregations that will be begin the collection process. I will give updates on our progress as we prepare for the shipping date which will be in late April. I want to ship early enough to make sure the container reaches port in plenty of time to be trucked from Porta Cortez to Tegucigalpa where it will clear customs and be delivered at the Torch / IRC warehouse in town.
The due dates for the applications and deposits will be here soon. Early bird applications and deposits ($150.00) is due on January 31. After that date the deposit goes to $250.00. Applications will be accepted until the trip fills up. Team estimates puts the estimated total at 80%. Please do not delay, this year's trip will fill up. Our cap this year will determined after I make my reservations at the Mission House and find out the total I can house this year. I hope to know that within the next week or so.
As I close I ask that you please keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. The country has been absolutely ravaged by the horrible events of the past few days. As reports come out of Haiti the news is not good. Literally millions of people are suffering at this time. We had special prayers tonight at Estis in the youth wing as teens dealt with the loss of friends they had just met and worked with less than 24 hours ago. the Estis group left literally hours before the earthquake struck. Please help any way that you can.
May you live within the shadow of the cross.