“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.
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
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!!
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!
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.