Our Mission Statement

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

Mixed up pictures!!


















Monday, July 5

At Your Feet

“Here at your feet, I lay this day down. Not in my strength, but in Yours I’ve found, All I need, Your all I need. Jesus, Jesus at your feet, Oh to dwell and never leave. Jesus, Jesus at your feet, there is NO WHERE ELSE FOR ME”

-Lyrics from Casting Crowns song “At Your Feet”

All I can say truly about today is that it was a Blessing!! Jesus was seen everywhere throughout Teguc. WOW!! The day started early. Seven to eight was breakfast. For breakfast we had French toast, peanut butter, and fresh fruit!! It was wonderful. At about 8:30 we met for a short singing devo before breaking up into our groups. We had seven groups doing a variety of things.

Special Needs Orphanage

Today a small group of us went to the Special Needs Orphanage. This is a place we’ve gone for many years, but always touches a special place in our hearts. They have a small number of children, but all who are either are physically/mentally impaired. When we arrived the group of women that run the orphanage gave us a tour of their home. They were the getting ready to eat their lunch and our group gladly helped feed them their spaghetti. After that we had physical Therapists their best to work with the children that needed their help most, while the rest of us played and colored and just held the other children. We enjoyed our time at this Special Needs place and the joy they gave us today.

-Hannah Wood (Zion’s Rest C of C)

Construction

Today we went to a small very poor village on the outskirts of Teguc. and built three houses families that did not have them before. Life changing experiences are happening here in Honduras on this TORCH trip. You really don’t know what you have until you see with your own eyes what others don’t have. It blows us away to see how happy these people are with the circumstances they are surrounded by. They have no material goods; all they have is the example of Christ that we are able to bring. Through Jesus, we were able to help change three families lives today and they were so grateful as were we. There are truly some amazing people here!! We met a 10-year-old girl in the village today from a very poor family her name is Vanessa. She is one of the most beautiful girls we have ever seen!! Let me tell you about this little girl’s heart, she was so proud of her family. She introduced us to her two younger sisters, then later to her mother!! She talked about her father; we think he was at work? We had very little Gatorade left in our bag so we gave it to her, then she gave it to her two younger sisters!! The child was unbelievable!! Another child Chase Turner was with was pretty cool as well. Chase asked him what his favorite Bible verse was, he said Psalm 92, and before Chase could turn the Bible there this 10-year-old boy had already quoted (word for word) the first 7 verses!! That blew our minds!! Amazing things are happening here everyday and we as so thankful to be a part of it!! This is truly how God wants us to live, As Servants!! I hope everyone back home who reads this gets a daily servant attitude and will consider participating in mission trips. I’d like to say hello to my mom and dad (Steve and Debby) in Lexington, TN!! I love you so much and thank you for the raising you gave me!! We are truly doing work for the Lord!!

-Matt Wilkinson and James Johnson.

Princesses!!

Today we had a group go out to Molola to do a make over activity with the girls in the village! Our group divided up into hair washing, feet cleaning, nail paint, hair fixing, and dressing up stations. We had assistance from some of the local young men in bringing in water to wash hair. Our group was willing to step out of their comfort zones and do what was needed. We did not have enough buckets to wash the girls feet so everyone put in there wet wipes and baby wipes to clean there feet. As the day progressed, another group from a soccer clinic came up. This group consisted of all guy!! These guys were FANTASTIC!!!!!! They immediately jumped in to assist with anything that was needed. We had guys painting nails and washing hair and feet. I can not tell you how moving it was to watch these men work willingly with these little girls!! I promise to put pictures up as soon as possible!! We also had a station where the young girls were able to dress up and have their picture taken. They were able to put on Disney Princess outfits. They were so precious!! One of the things the girls were able to walk away with was a copy of the picture of them. I promise that words are not close to being enough to explain the joy that was brought to our group. It is so weird that we are suppose to be here to bring joy to their lives, when in actuality it is them who bring joy to ours!!

Once we had finished we came back to the mission house for dinner. Tonight we had rice, chicken and potatoes, and tortilla shells. The food is always wonderful here!! After supper we went to have deco in the chapel!! Jeremy Myers spoke tonight. He did an excellent job. He spoke about how we must be committed to God. We are to trust Him and remain Faithful!! Once deco was complete we split into our three teams for a brief meeting before bed.

It is very important that everyone understand there will be a split in the group. Tomorrow the Catacamus team leaves out. Wednesday the Choluteca teams leaves. I will be receiving information about each group through email! I will be posting the best I can. Please know that I try to keep everyone as up-to-date as possible. I am sorry about the live webcast. I was not sure how to work it and Mark Connell was not with our group tonight to assist me. I am also not sure how the devos will work when we split. Thank you all for thinking about us though. I know that there are many people sending pray up for us! Please email me with any questions (brandyb06@gmail.com)!! Tomorrow I will post about the Soccer clinic, Didasko, and the Hospital team. Thank you once again for your prayers. I love you all.

Brandy B

Sunday, July 4

Goal!!!!

Hello to everyone back home!! Today was WONDERFUL!!!!! We were able to sleep in a bit, which was great for those who have been here, but I was ready to go!! So I woke up at around six and just lay in bed a while. When I arrived in the cafeteria there were many already enjoying breakfast. Today we had toast, cereal, and fruit!!

After everyone had eaten we got our money and bags ready to leave for the futbol (Soccer) against the Cobras. For those of you who do not know, the Cobras are pretty much the same as our S.W.A.T. We occasionally play a game with them on trips when we are blessed with enough players. TORCH has a pretty good rapport with the Cobras. The game was fantastic!! We scored the first goal and then they scored like two seconds after that. At halftime the score was 2-1 Cobras. Coming into the second half the game was much more interesting!! We scored twice putting us ahead of the Cobras!! However, just a few minutes before the game ended Cobras scored once again. The game ended in a tie!! It was a great game!! Afterward the players prayed together with the Cobras.

Once the game was finished, there was somewhat of a demonstration. The Cobras showed us their "toys". With the assistance of our translator, Minor, along with Lonnie Jones we were able to see different weapons they use. Lonnie had to explain what they were called due to Minor's lack of knowledge for the "American" terms. It was very interesting. I will post pictures as soon as possible.

Once the demonstration was finished we loaded the buses to go and eat. The group had several different options to choose from when deciding to eat lunch. We all ate in about 45 minutes. Once we finished we headed to the Valley of Angels to do some shopping. The drive was incredible. The view was unbelievably amazing!! God is so Mighty, and we were able to view is amazing creation today. We shopped for about an hour, hour and a half then loaded the buses to go eat supper. Supper was another wide variety of choices. We spent about an hour eating before heading back up the mountain to the Jesus statue.

The Jesus statue, enough said. We had a very uplifting worship service while at the Jesus Statue. We were able to look out over the City. We heard the noises of the city, dogs barking, horns blowing, people talking. It was beautiful!! Tim Hines led us in singing, and let me tell you....well words really can't explain the awesomeness of the singing!! Lonnie Jones brought us our lesson tonight. Lonnie spoke about the importance of a servant. He gave different examples of how the servants of the Bible were always the ones to "win". He talked about how Jesus came to be a servant and how hundreds of thousands of people would travel miles to see Him. He spoke about how Jesus took our place so we might continue to serve. He told of story about him and some others going somewhere and seeing an exhibit where people were able to actually get on a cross and be lifted up. Lonnie explained that he had been asked to do it but did not and later explained he didn't because Jesus had done it for him. WOW!! I'm sure it does not have the same power reading it as it did hearing it. Lonnie's lesson was so moving. We all need to be servants for Christ. Think of God's sacrifice. He loved us so much He sent His Son to die, so we might LIVE!! Our theme this year is RUE2B (Are you ready to be). We must all be ready to be a servant. That is what it is all about!! Serving!!!

After the lesson we loaded the bus and came back to the mission house. We met in the Cafeteria for a bit for some announcements. We also were greeted with a few cobblers Joe Jones had made. One word, YUM!!!!!! It was fabulous. Once we had the announcements we all went our separate ways for bed. Thank you guys so much for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to remember us. Also remember if you have any questions contact me by email brandyb06@gmail.com. Thanks again.

Brandy B

Saturday, July 3

Together at Last!!

The last part of the Group

I cannot believe it!! I am finally back in Honduras!! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Brandy Barnett and I will update the blog nightly!! I was with a group of 8 who flew in today. We were all so happy to arrive today in Honduras. On a personal note, when I came through customs I saw the rest of the group along with a young boy from Molola who I see each year. When he saw me he smiled and ran into my arms. It made my day and the long wait worthwhile!! After we got to the bus we went to pick up the construction team in La Tigra where they had built three houses. Then we came back to the Mission House to wait for supper.

Didasko

Today, I was on the Didasko team along with 39 in the TORCH Group. Didasko, for those of you who do not know, is an orphanage on the out skirts of Tegucigalpa. It holds about 30 children and many workers and interns. Our morning was pretty eventful. We woke up around 6:30 for breakfast and headed out about 7:30 to head to the orphanage. It’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive to get to Didasko but two things happen that changed our timing. First, we had to get snacks for the kids to eat during the VBS, so we stopped off at the super market. After the detour, we headed up the mountain. Unfortunately we had some bus trouble, which delayed our travel, TALK ABOUT BAD TIMING!!! We finally were able to obtain another bus to bus us to the orphanage. The Didasko team consisted of two parts: The VBS crew and the Medical Team. I was on the VBS crew, which taught over 125 kids the story of David and Goliath. We allowed the kids to measure up Goliath but marking on a 9-foot tall poster we made. We also allowed the kids to throw stones (water-balloons) at a real life Goliath (Joe Jones (Little Joe), who was a real trooper). The kids also got to make a shield with the verse Psalms 3: 3 written in Spanish which says “But You, oh Lord, are a shield about me”.

The Medical team was also with us. A group of about six doctors or nurses worked diligently with a group of people who may not have seen a Doctor in years. A group of about 100 people were waiting since 8:00 to see the doctors and seek medical attention for Free. We also had countless amounts of medication to help the ones in attendance; something they could never afford with the little money they make and have. This group had a tough job of working to see these people and did a PHENOMENAL job with it. The plan is to return to Didasko for another round of medical and VBS teams on Monday. Pray for our continued success.

-Kevin Cline (Rainbow Church of Christ)

Dental Clinic

The TORCH team, which included 8 members, worked with Dr. Betulia, to give dental care to children. Terry Barber, Patricia, and Steve Kemp (better known as Sparky) worked Fluoride, and Sealants. Jacque and Loni Beth assisted Dr. Betulia with sealants, fillings, and extractions. Kerri, Brittany, Ethel, and Loni Beth all played with the waiting children and held the hands of those who were frightened bringing smiles to their beautiful faces. In total 40 children were given beautiful new smiles because of TORCH funds for equipment, while working with local Christian Dentist who volunteered their time. We will return tomorrow and expect to see 40 to 50 more children!!

-Jacque Jones (Maysville C of C) and Terry Barber (Fairville C of C)

Construction team!

Today on the construction front, three crews went to build houses in a village in the La Tigrea Rainforest. The view was incredible!! The three teams divided up and went their separate ways to start building. Two of the crews had a relatively easy hike to their sites, while the third had a more difficult time. However, the construction crew demonstrated an amazing level of teamwork and dedication. When one set of lumber took longer to arrive. Everyone worked together to dig postholes and help out the other crew. At times it felt we were digging through solid rock, but once the posts were in, the house went up fairly quickly thanks to everyone’s hard work. Once the roof went up, those nailing floorboards had some lovely shade to enjoy. It was a great day with lots of hard work and collaboration. Finishing three houses was definitely worth the muscles, sunburn, and blisters.

-Katie

Food Distribution/Good Shepherd

Today we went to Nuevo Orental to deliver bags of food. These bags will feed families there for about 1-2 weeks. It was a true eye-opener to see the need for a 40lb. bag of food. Most of us take for granted the amount of food that we have in the states, and do not realized that we can get by on so much less. After the food delivery, we went to Good Shepherd to play with the children. We passed out countless toys, candy and some of our macho men walked away with freshly painted fingernails. But all of us walked away with a more humble heart and desire to be a better servant.

-Michael Rosenblum (Maysville C of C)

Supper

Tonight we had PAPUSAS!!!!!!!!! WOW what a way to start off an AMAZING trip!! Well we didn’t only have papusas, we also had tacos of some sort. It was YUMMY!!!!!! After supper we had devo led by Steve Kemp, better known as Sparky!! Sparky gave a lesson about the Parable of the Talents. Sparky encouraged everyone to utilize their talent/talents in order to improve or build them. Sparky did a wonderful job and defiantly practices what he spoke about.

Today has been wonderful in so many ways, as everyone can see by reading. Many of us a stepping out and doing things we have never done before. We come to minister to the Honduran people, but they will never realize how much they minister to us. Thank you all so much for your prayers!!

Brandy B

Just a reminder for those who are interested!! We will try and do webcast of devotionals each night. You may all tune in a worship with us. Also everyone will have access to the computers sometime during the trip. They will be allowed to check their emails. If you would like to email love ones feel free to. You may also email me with any questions at brandyb06@gmail.com. The link to the webcast is www.ustream.tv/broadcaster/210462 If the link does not appear I will have it up as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone!!

Friday, July 2

We are ready to be...

Today I realized that I have never been truly tired, until today. Our day started off great! You cant beat pancakes and fresh pineapple! Especially when you follow it with a wonderful devo reminding us to look for the ways that we could be servants. We managed to make hundreds of hygiene packets. These packets had toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, soap, tissues, razors, and a personal care item like shampoo or deodorant. We also went to the bodega to unload ANOTHER container full of medical equipment. I was not personally able to experience unloading the container last night, but I certainly got my fill today! We unloaded hospital furniture, gurneys, bed trays, copiers, fax machines and a hot tub (how we managed to get that out of the truck is nothing short of a miracle!) just to name a few items. It was unbelievable how much equipment was in just one semi truck.

When we finished unloading the container part of the team headed back to the mission house to prepare for VBS, sort medical supplies, and break down bulk food items for a food giveaway. A group of about 8 went to set up a dental clinic which will be held Saturday. All this was accomplished while 2 teams where building houses! It is astounding to think of all that was accomplished today. Tomorrow we will take over 250 bags of food that were packed today to a village in Nueva Oriental. These bags of food have beans, rice, corn meal, sugar, salt, coffee, spaghetti noodles, tomato paste, vegetable shortening, bullion cubes, and no food giveaway would be complete with out…Ramen noodles!! A small group was also able to travel to the fresh food market and get potatoes, onions, lettuce, oranges, carrots and peppers to add to the food that will be given away tomorrow.

Supper was the most amazing meal I have ever eaten. I have never tasted such wonderful tortillas, beef, vegetables, and rice and I’m only partially saying that because of how hungry I was after a long day of work! Devo was lead by Tim O’Dell with Terry and Nathan following up with the work assignments for tomorrow. 6 more translators arrived today and the last few members of the team will be here tomorrow!

Its hard to believe that one day is already over! But all the hard work and planning has really paid off we have got a lot accomplished and it will only get better as the trip continues. As always please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, July 1

tea is made with water!

Today is the day! The majority of the group arrived today with virtually NO PROBLEMS! Once we touched down we were lead through customs and graciously welcomed to Honduras by Chris Wright. After taking our bags to the bus we were able to grab a quick bite to eat at Mickey D’s. There was a little confusion about if you could drink the water…if you could have the ice…the usual. Even after explaining that you can have the ice, but not to drink the water, some members of our team decided to drink tea…made with WATER.

On the way to the mission house there were only a few girls that were terrified of the bus ride (which was completely safe!!). Once we got back we were made to sit through a brief lecture by one of our fearless leaders, Nathan Reeves, about the rules.

We got the call that a container was coming to La Bodega (the warehouse) so a bus of about 30 went to unload it. Welcome to Honduras…when the bus got there, the container had not yet arrived. After about 45 minutes it came – a semi full of boxes of food and clothing. It took the crew 38 minutes to unload it all! Another short wait later and another container made its way to the crew, this time full of thousands and thousands of dollars worth of donated medical equipment from hospitals in Boston. Tightly packed, this shipment took over an hour to untangle and unload…carefully! When it was all completed, the crew enjoyed their Gatorade reflecting over their job well done. Without a doubt, these crew members had never handled so much money’s worth of high-tech medical stuff. Quite possibly the most impressive part was that none of it got broken! It made for a late night, however, as the group came home to a late dinner, a quick devo, and some brief announcements before it was time for bed.

Tomorrow will be a busy busy day! We have plans to build a few houses, visit the hospital, work in a dental clinic, go to the open air market for a fresh food giveaway, AND sort supplies and medicine at the mission house! Please continue to keep us in your prayers!