Our Mission Statement

Thursday, June 30

Just some pictures








Broken

Good day to you all!! I can’t believe this trip is almost complete. Tomorrow a small group is heading back to the states, sad times!!! The rest of our group will be leaving Monday the 4th of July. Of course Terry’s interns will remain in Honduras for about another week working in a different location. All I can say is WOW!! God is good and I am so grateful for my brothers and sisters I have been able to build a closer relationship with!!

Ok today…Today started with breakfast at 7am. For breakfast we had fried eggs, toast, beans, and a mysterious enchilada thing (fyi it was good, just didn’t look so great). After breakfast we had a devo. Brian Steffy led us in our thoughts!! He discussed with us the meaning of TORCH. He said that his goal as a TORCH board member was to break us all so God can rebuild us!! It was a moving lesson!! I have come to Honduras several times and have been broken down many times. God has been such an amazing part of my life and I really do owe most of it to this experience. I would not be who I am today without it!!!

After devo the construction crew left out. We had two teams today that went to build homes. The construction teams have been amazing this trip. They have been working through rain, and lots of mud!! They are fabulous!!

Another team left out to participate in the daughters of the king. The first group came in and washed the little girls hair, feet, and hands. They also fixed their hair did their nails and gave them a dress!! At lunch this crew delivered about 250 bags of food to the same village. Another crew came in after lunch to do another group of young girl’s hair and nails. Before they got their they had visited the hospital to spend time with the sick and injured!!

The last group was the VBS crew. The team left for Didasko at 11am. Once they arrived they played with the kiddos until some of the others showed up. The team did lesson two. The VBS crew did an awesome job. After the skit the children played games, did a craft, had snack, and watched a puppet show. After VBS we loaded the bus and headed back to the mission house for dinner and devo.

For dinner we had TACOS!!!!!!!!!!! It was so good!!! After dinner we met for devo. Tonight Tim discussed with us God reigning in our lives completely no matter what trials we face or obstacles we have to endure, GOD REIGNS!!!! After devo we discussed the schedule for the next day. Then we all spent some time together!! The love here is fantastic!!!!!!

Thanks so so much for your prayers!! I love you all and am so grateful for the support!!!

Love you all

In Him

Brandy Barnett

Yesterday’s gardening!!

They went to Zambarrano to assist Nathan Hale with a gardening project he is working on. There was several acres of land that was on a mountain in a rural area. Nathan has learned about an approach to organic farming. He believes is this approach is suitable for Honduras that will increase yields exponentially when compared to conventional farming. One particular plant, called the morinca (no sure what this is) is considered a “super food” due to its high nutritional content. The juice is used to pray on plants to increase their yield and the seeds of the plant are used to kill microorganisms in the water for drinking. Finally, Nathan has a worm farm. Without going into how the process works (though it is very interesting) worms are used to convert waste into compost for his garden.

Todd Mikula

Wednesday, June 29

Light or dark?

I hope you are all doing fantastic today!! Our group continues to work hard serving!! Please continue to pray for the work!!

Today started at 7 am for breakfast. Today we had pancakes and fruit, of course I ate mine like a peanut butter sandwich YUM-MIE!!!! After breakfast we met for devo at 8am. Todd Mikula from Bell Shoals led us in our thoughts. After devo we split into our groups. Today we had two construction teams, a VBS crew, a garden crew, and a food packing/blind school visitation crew.

The first team that left was the construction teams. The team built in the La Tigra Rainforest again. The construction teams have had an amazing opportunity to see God's beautiful creation!!! Words can not describe the beauty.

The second group left early as well to go meet with Nathan Hale to start a garden. THey worked all day with Nathan gardening. There was a group of 40 that assisted with this task!!

The VBS crew stayed at the mission house until 11am. They worked on learning lines, in Spanish, to do skit one at Didasko. The team consisted of about 25 people. They had about 80 children in attendance.

The last team consisted of about 25 people as well. This team worked the first half of the day sorting and packing bags of food that will be delivered tomorrow. The team packed about 250 bags of food. After sorting and packing food the team loaded the bus and went to Rosa's store. Rosa is a lady that used to work here at the mission house. A few years ago a team built her a home in the La Tigra Rainforest where she is still living. She is no longer working at the mission house and has her own store in the city. She has been struggling recently so the small team went to her store to buy a drink and other goods. After that we went to the Blind School to visit with the children there! The blind school is such an encouraging experience. The children are so beautiful!! They also sing for us. There is a guy, who is blind, that plays the piano while the children sing!! It is amazing how God uses all of us!! After they sang to us we sang to them. It was pretty awesome!! Afterward we came back to the mission house to meet up with the rest of the team for dinner.

For dinner we had beans, rice, and beef tips. MY FAVORITE!!!!!!! After dinner we loaded the bus to go to the Jesus Statue. (Sorry we did not broadcast, it was a last minute decision to go since we finally had a dry night.) At the Jesus Statue we took lots of pictures then had devo. Mark Connell led us in our thoughts. He discussed the light vs. the darkness. He explained that being in the light meant we have an understanding of something. If we walk in the light then we have an understanding. If we walk in the dark we are blind to that understanding. He went on to say that now we have been to Honduras we are walking in the light, we have an understanding of the poverty most of the world faces. He also encouraged us to continue walking in that light, the light of serving others no matter where we are!! After devo we loaded the buses and came back to the mission house for announcements.

We were given the schedule for tomorrow and then we came to the dinning hall and had cobbler prepared by Joe Jones (aka Little Joe). It was delicious!!! Afterward we all made our way to the bed!!

Thank you all for reading the blog!! I hope you all are getting so what of an idea of our trip so far!! Hopefully we will be back online tomorrow night!! Until then, GOOD NIGHT!!!!

In Him
Brandy B

Tuesday, June 28

Time

Hey to all of you back home, from all of us in Honduras!! I hope you are all doing fantastic. The work here continues to progress!! Thanks for the prayers and thoughtful comments.

Today started like everyday, breakfast from 7-8 am then devo. For breakfast, we had eggs, beans, potatoes, and coffee. After breakfast we had devo at 8 am. This morning Malvin Allgood brought us our lesson. He discussed the importance of walking in the light and being examples to others. After devo we divided into our teams. Today we had a construction team, a team that moved mud and dug a huge hole for a septic tank, a food distribution team, a team that went to the landfill, a team that worked in the feeding center and the daycare at Moaloa.

The construction team and the Moaloa group left at 9am. The Construction team went to build a home in the La Tigra Rainforest again. A group of about 12 went out to that worksite. The Moaloa team consisted of three teams a small group worked in the daycare, another in the feeding center, and the other worked digging a hole for the septic tank. They worked all day working to move mud that had slid down and is pushing against the church building. Tyler Steffy said the mud was about 8ft high. Apparently, they reduced the pile to about 4ft.

The Food distribution team sorted food and made another 250bags of food. Once they were finished they loaded up and delivered 300+ bags in an hour and 15 minutes!!! It was awesome!! After we finished we came back to get the construction team.

The crew that went to the landfill left at about 11 with food to feed about 300. Once they finished they went to Moaloa to get that group.

The teams met back at the mission house at about 6ish for dinner!! Tonight we had fried chicken, potatoes, salad, a role and our choice of drink (water, coke, banana, grape). The meal was sooooo good!! After dinner we went to the chapel for an early devo. Sorry for those who logged in at the scheduled time, we will be back on our normal schedule tomorrow so tune in!!!! After devo we set up computers for people to email while others played catch phrase.

Thanks for all the prayers!! I hope you are enjoying the blog!! Until tomorrow, GOOD NIGHT!!!!

In Him
Brandy B

Monday, June 27

Are you a Fan?

Hey guys!!! I hope you all are doing fantastic back home! The team is working hard to minister to the Honduran people. However, I think I speak for many when I say the Honduran people are actually ministering to us.

Today we started with breakfast between and 7-8 am. We had cereal, fruit and toast. After breakfast we had devo. Chris from the Bell Shoals group led us in our thoughts today. He asked us if we were fans of Jesus. He then explained that being a fan is not such a good thing. He said everyone can be a fan, but it is the follower that counts. We can all “sport” the WWJD items, and the quote scripture, but what is it really if there is no action. Are you a fan or a follower?

After devo we split up into our groups. We had two construction teams, a medical/paint team, and a food distribution/hospital team.

The medical/paint team went to Didasko today. The paint crew worked to repaint the playground (Terry’s World) that was built a few years ago by Terry’s TORCH team. The medal portion of the playground now looks like McDonald’s with the red and yellow paint. The huge portion of the playground was painted green, it will also have some gold as well. While the team was painting the medical crew was extremely busy with a lot of patients. The team saw close to 130 today with a potential of seeing many more!!!

The hospital crew went to the hospital for visitation. After spending a few hours there, they went to deliver food in a village that is new to our particular TORCH team. They delivered about 160ish bags of food. I heard several stories of the grateful attitudes the Hondurans displayed. One of our translators told me a story of a little girl. She said they were walking together and when the little girl received her bag of food for her family she told Tatiana thank you and that she was unsure she would have food to eat another meal. God is so Good!!! He puts us in the best positions to serve. I’m not sure why it is so easy to see that here and not back at home, but it is.

The Construction crew built in the La Tigra Rainforest. They built two homes. One of the homes was for a blind lady. One of the team members told a story of the lady requesting they pray after the home was complete. The construction team also said the site they were building at was a long hike!! The team had to carry all the wood (about 600 lbs total) and the tools to the site. They said it wasn’t bad going down, but coming up was a different story. They Also said the children would be sprinting past them making fun of the slow gringos. The kids are such a blessing!!

For supper we had beef, rice, and salad!! YUMMY!!!! After dinner we had our devo. (Which is online on the ustream account). Tim O’Dell has done a wonderful job with the leading us in our devos. After devo Terry gave us the tentative schedule for tomorrow. Then we came back to the dinning hall for cake to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Then it was off to bed!!

Thank you all for the prayers and comments!! Also thanks for the emails!! I don’t have a way of printing direct messages off that you guys are sending me, but I’m trying to get with those who have them so they can read them. Remember they are able to receive emails themselves. They are given days when they can get on to email. Thanks again!!

In Him

Brandy B

I’m sorry this is late!! This is Holly Beth’s perspective on her experience from the construction last Saturday.

My name is Holly Beth; this is my first year coming to Honduras. Yesterday was a very busy day because we got up at 4:00 AM and did not get to bed until 11:30PM. Saturday morning I was so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open and my dad signed both of us up to build a house. I was so excited by my body was not. It took me a while to get my body moving. We went and ate breakfast, went to the devotional and then off to the bus that would take us to the construction site.

It was about 1:00PM, the frame of the house was up, and we were working on the floor and roof. Well, see earlier I drank two bottles of Gatorade and by this time, I really had to “GO!” So I walked up to the gate of the house of the lady that we were building the house for and said “Bano?” which means “Bathroom” in Spanish. Shaking her head in agreement that they had a “Bano” the mother said something to the little boy who guided me to the little Outhouse. Oh my, Oh my, what a sight! This was my first experience using an Outhouse and it was not as fun as you might think. There was no door but only a curtain, which did not go all the way to the ground. When the wind blew, the curtain flew up and exposed everything to everyone. The boards on the back wall had large gaps between them, like an inch and a half! The smell was, as you can imagine, was pretty bad.

There was a little store down the road was bright green with orange trim. About six of us went to the store for the second time for more drinks. I got another red Gatorade and one bag of water… thirty minutes later, and of course, I had to use “IT” again. Fortunately, there were two other girls on the crew and so I asked one of them to sand outside the Outhouse curtain/door to make sure the curtain did not fly up. When I open the curtain to go into the “Bano”, you will never guess what was waiting for me right above the concrete hole. A CHICKEN, *gasp*, yes a chicken, a live chicken. I burst out laughing and looked back at the girl who was watching the door and said, “What do I do?” She laughed too and said, “Just go in and use it.” The owner just laughed and watched as we struggled to figure out what to do. I said, “Really, I can’t do this!” The door guard replied, “You can do this, I have faith in you.” I said, “Ok fine.” I went and slammed the curtain door closed, Ha, Ha. This chicken was not fazed by my presence; it continued do those things that chickens do. I must say I find it very uncomfortable to have a chicken in the bathroom with me.

Back to building, we were half way complete on the floor and the roof and I have to admit that a hammer, nails and I do not work well together, at all. However, I continued to try and was on the roof helping with the last few nails. A couple of nails, not a problem, boy was I wrong. First nail, I take aim and smack thumb. Second try, I take aim and smack index finger. Finally, on the third try, I hit the nail and it was barely in the wood but not for long. I moved my fingers from holding the nail; I take aim and send the nail sailing out of sight. Second nail, fifth try, I get someone else starts the nail and I quickly bend it over. With help, I finally get the nail all the way into the wood. The final nail I hammered like a pro, in the wood in four swings and I did the Corn Bread Dance in my mind. Ask me about the Corn Bread Dance when you have a minute.

On the bus and headed back to the Mission House. Oh NO, I had to “Go” again, *sigh*, what next, a donkey in the bathroom? Welcome to Honduras

I would not trade it for anything.

Sunday, June 26

WAL-MART???

Happy Sunday to you all!!! I hope you have all had a blessed day of worship!! Our group was blessed with the opportunity to visit with three different churches today.

The first group left at "8:15"...well they were suppose to (welcome to Honduras). They went to worship with the Mateo Church of Christ.

The second group left at 8:30ish. They went to worship with the Santa Ana church family. Anne Dorris from the Collegeside C of C writes:
I really enjoyed worshiping at Santa Ana today! When we arrived we could hear the members singing before we even got to the building. Although we didn't always know what they were singing, it was so encouraging to be part of their worship service. If the church sang a song in Spanish that we knew we'd sing it in English. As we's been warned about, there was a dog roaming around in the building. During the singing portion of the service it used the podium as a fire hydrant!! WELCOME TO HONDURAS!! It was so neat to see the Americans support Santa Ana monetarily. The collection plate was running over with limps and dollars. After service the members greeted us and told us thank you for being there. many of the orphans from the nearby orphanage hugged all of us as well. We were all so encouraged by the children's singing (in Spanish and English). They sang so loudly!! They were so happy to be there and were truly singing to God with the heart of a child we learned about in the Bible. It was such an uplifting morning! God is Good and His love is universal.

The third group left at 8:45 to go to the Moaloa Church of Christ. When we arrived in the small community we had to hike down a muddy hill to get into the actual community. Due to the muddy roads the bus was not able to make it down and back out. Once we got into the community we had to cross a creek and up a muddy hill to get to the actual building. We were greeted by some of the members when we arrived. Once worship began more children arrived. It was awesome returning to Moaloa and having children remember you!! The children were so beautiful!!! Worshiping with our brothers and sisters was so uplifting. After worship we spent several minutes greeting the members and playing with the wonderful children. We have a second grader on our team (Austin). Watching him with the children was awesome. He played soccer for a few minutes with some of the children and also played with others before the game. He is so precious, and when he is with the Honduran children is so uplifting to see how God is using him!!

After each service each group went to different locations to eat lunch. Everyone was able to pick from a variety of different food places. At about 2:30 each team made it's way to the Mi Esperanza store to shop for some awesome items!! WHile people were shopping a small group went to the bodega to sort through clothes and prepare bags for the families that signed up to come to the medical clinic tomorrow. Once we were finished the groups came back to the mission house for a while.

At about 6pm we loaded the buses to go back to the city to mall to eat dinner. When we arrived we were greeted with a big sign that said Wal-Mart!! WAL-MART? In Honduras? Are you kidding me? This is about my 13th trip to Honduras and I have NEVER seen a Walmart!! I know that this is probably a dumb statement, but I was actually shocked to see it!!! Sadly I didn't have the time to go to the Wal-mart but I did get a picture of the sign!!!

At abou 8pm we loaded the buses to return to the mission house for devo. Devo was late tonight so sorry if you were not able to join in :( Tomorrow night we should be back on the same schedule!! You can get the link from my previous post!! Hope you will all join in with us in our devos!!!

After devo Terry reviewed the "plans" for tomorrow so individuals could think about what they want to do. Once he had give us the plans we prepared for bed.

I hope you are all enjoying the blog!! Please feel free to share comments and email me at brandyb06@gmail.com if you would like!! Love you all!!

In Him Brandy B

Saturday, June 25

Motivation

I hope you all are doing well back home!! The group is doing great things here! God is so very good!! Today was a long day of work for all of us.

It started with breakfast at 7 – 8 am. This morning we had eggs, potatoes, and toast with juice and coffee. It was so yummy!! After breakfast we had morning devotional. Steve Johnson, from Tampa, spoke this morning. He asked everyone what motivated us. He said people are motivated by three things: fear, rewards, and love. He said the best motivation is love. He encouraged us all to be motivated by love.

After devo we split in our groups. Today we had 3 sorting groups, 3 building teams, one hospital visitation team, one veggie shopping team, a small team that went to Didasko, and a team that unloaded a container.

The group that stayed at the mission house divided into three sorting teams. A hygiene kit team, pill sorting team (medical), and food team. The groups worked hard all day sorting all the items. The hygiene team finished with 800+ bags which demolished last years record of 700 something! The medical team packed and counted and labeled A LOT of medicine for the clinic that is scheduled for Monday at Didasko. The food team packed 250 bags of food that will provide over 1,000 meals total. Later we added fresh fruits and veggies to the bags!! It was a very productive, fun day for us sorting. I am pretty sure the hygiene people will be smelling soap for weeks!!

The teams built three homes today. I will post more about that. I have an individual that will be providing me with details of the build. I will also post more about the group that went to the open market as well. I forgot to ask people before they left to try and have me something written so I do apologize. Kyle was the only one who was given time so big thanks to him!!

Kyle Johnson

Bell Shoals C of C

Florida

The 18 member hospital team started off the day with a “quick” pit stop at the warehouse, which of course turned into 3 hours of unloading a semi-truck (Welcome to Honduras). After 33 metal hospital beds and other various heavy things were stored the team finally made its way to the hospital. We spent over 2 hours visiting the kids and their parents, attempting to speak Spanish (¿ Quieres pintar?), handing out a ton of toys, coloring with the kids, and overall just trying to bring them happiness despite all their suffering. Seeing them smile was very uplifting, and hopefully they were able to see God work through our actions. Matthew 18:1-6.

For dinner we had chicken, rice, salad, and a roll. Like I said and will always say YUMMY!!! After dinner we had our nightly devo. Don’t forget to check in for devos. We will start at 9 pm central time!! I’m not too sure if we will be here tomorrow night but check in, here is the website http://www.ustream.tv/channel/torch-devos

Tim O’Dell is going to be speaking each night. Tonight he spoke about how God reigns over the family. He spoke about the “stuff” that consumes our lives like facebook, TV, work, ect. He stressed not to worry about that “stuff” and let God consume our lives. Very encouraging, and much needed words. I know I have let the “stuff” in my life get in the way. Let’s try and let go and let God!!

After devo Terry told us the “game plan” for tomorrow. We will be splitting into three groups to worship with three of the congregations in Honduras. It’s going to be an AWESOME day tomorrow. We all then went our own ways and headed to bed!!

I know you guys are all lifting us up in prayers each night, THANK YOU SOO MUCH!! Our team is almost complete, we have one more coming in tomorrow and then we’ll will 120 strong!! God is GOOD!!! Love you all!!

In Him

Brandy B

Friday, June 24

And then there were 106!!

Wow!!! Can I just say WOW!!! This group is AMAZING!!!

Ok first I feel like I need to introduce myself!! My Name is Brandy Barnett. I will be trying my best to keep all of you informed on the happenings while we are in Honduras. Feel free to email me if you have any questions!!

Today 22 of us started out at about 9:30 am making our way to the airport!! On our way we did a small gatorade blitz (with juice boxes) and also handed out boxes of food. It was a pretty interesting event. We would stop and a couple people would get off the bus and provide street workers with a box of food and a drink. We passed out about 50ish boxes before arriving at the airport.

Once at the airport the group of 22 awaited the arrival of about 90+ people coming in. As people arrived we assisted with baggage and made sure the team members got on the correct bus. After about 2 hours we had just about everyone. There were a few members that will be flying in tomorrow so that is why I say "just about everyone." The team split into three groups. One bus went to one eating location (burger king), another went to a different (KFC, Popeyes), the last bus stayed and ate at the burger king and popeyes near the airport. After each group ate they went to the grocery store to buy snacks for lunches each day! The rookies have been great!! They have listened and kept to the schedule!! THis group has been awesome. For those of you who understand that time does not exist in Honduras, this might be a shocker. We were an hour ahead of schedule, yes AHEAD!!!! Like I said I really like this group!!

Once we all made it to the mission house we had our first orientation on campus rules!! After the rules each person received their rooming assignments and made their way to the rooms. Once everyone was settled we had dinner!! Tonight...Spaghetti, salad, and a roll!! For those who are reading who are worried about how loved ones will eat....DON'T!! The food here is fabulous!!

After dinner we had devo. Terry Reeves led us in our thoughts. He discussed how God can use us all to do great things no matter how big or small!! He discussed the importance of each task that will be done on this trip and the importance of allowing God to use us!!

Once devo was complete we had the second orientation for TORCH rules. Terry's interns prepared skits to demonstrate what not to do. I think that we might have it recorded and if we do then I will be posting that!! After orientation we departed for bed!!

WE will have a group of about 12ish coming in tomorrow and I think the group will be complete by Sunday. I hope you all are doing well back home. I also hope you enjoy reading the blog. I try to be as descriptive as possible. I promise you will not hear just from me. Members of the team will be writing up their experiences as well and I will post them.

Lastly we will be streaming the devos live. Our devos will be at 8:00 pm here, 9:00pm Central time, and 10:00 Eastern. Feel free to tune in!!! Here is the link!! http://www.ustream.tv/channel/torch-devos. Hope you all can share in our devos!!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at brandyb06@gmail.com.

In Him
Brandy B

Thursday, June 23

Preperation

Hey guys!! Hope you all are doing wonderful!! The interns are have been working hard today to prepare for the group coming in tomorrow. Today started at about 7ish. For breakfast we had fruit, french toast, and juice.

We left the mission house at about 9:30 and went to the grocery store to buy snacks for lunch. Afterward we went to the bodega to start sorting boxes into piles that would make it easier to locate items that will be given away. The team worked hard to complete the task. Our team also painted for Mi Esperanza as well. Before leaving we loaded the bus with all the hygiene and medical boxes to bring back to the missions house. Once we arrived at the mission house we unloaded the bus and sorted the supplies.

When we were finished with that we got showers before dinner. For dinner we had a really nice meal; potatoes, veggies, chicken, and a roll!! It was so good!! Once we had finished we began preparing the bank envelopes, and barnabas notes so that would be ready for the group. The small group is still working on organizing all of the final details.

Tomorrow is going to be an eventful day. OUr group will be 120+ people once we are all together. I'm looking forward to meeting all the newbies and reuniting with old friends!! Please pray for safe travels and a productive work!!

Thanks for all the prayers!!

In Him
Brandy B

Wednesday, June 22

Finally!!!!

After long hours on a bus, we have made it!! Our group is now in Tegucigalpa!! When we got here we went to eat lunch at Burger King or Churches Chicken. Then we went to the bodega (warehouse) to sort our supplies!! After about an hour we headed to the mission house to clean up and get ready for dinner. We ate out for dinner. Some went to the mall to the food court and some went to a steak house. We then came back to the mission house for devo!!

I hope all of you back home are doing well. I will be posting more tomorrow, the group arrives on Friday and we are looking forward to there arrival!!

Love you all!!

Brandy B

On again, and then off again...then back on

Hey all of you back home!! Terry's intern's have arrived in Honduras. We are currently sitting at our bus station waiting for the bus to Tegucigalpa. It has been a long ride so far. Once we made it to the border we had to get off the bus, then get back on to drive two feet just to get back off again. Then we got to a check point an had to get back off again just to turn around and get back on. So much for a long sleep. Many of us are lacking in sleep which makes for interesting conversation. Even though we have had to get off and then back on the bus multiple times, we are enjoying ourselves. I will be posting again tonight once we are settled. I will also post the link for the live stream for devos. This will be the first time we have been able to stream devos due to internet connection. Look forward to sharing in worship with you all!!

In Him,
Brandy Barnett

Monday, June 20

We made it!!

Hey everyone!! Special thanks to Jenny Lovell for posting for me, the internet here is a bit different.

First I want to say Happy late fathers day to all the dads!! We miss you!!

OK so where to begin...

A group of 21 of us left Costa RIca early SUnday morning. WE traveled for about 8ish hours before getting to our destination in Nicaragua. It was a really long day, but the sights were beautiful!! Once we arrived at our hotel we got to our rooms and took a good 1 to 2 hour nap before we went to eat lunch. We ate at this chicken place, and let me just say it was fabulous!! Afterward we met up with the church here in Masya (not sure if that is spelled right) for worship at about 4pm. After worship we went to an art museum to look at some work and learn a bit of the history. THen we came back to the hotel for devo. Terry Reeves led us in a few thoughts. We also reflected on the Costa Rica trip and discussed what to expect for the remainder of the trip. After devo we practiced our VBS skits for the next day.

We all went to bed earlier than usual and slept hard (well some of us did). WE are all very tired, but GOd is GOOD!!!

TOday we woke up to eat breakfast at 7. A group of 4 went to paint the church and the rest went to see a volcano!! It was really neat, and smelly!! We then went to the store to get snacks for lunch then met up with the four painting at the location of the VBS. WE started out with only 12, but by the time we were finished we had 120. THe skit went really well!! I would have to say Andrew Allgood stole the show!! Everyone has worked hard to learn there lines in SPanish!! After VBS we came back to the hotel to clean up before dinner. We ate at the same chicken place and once again it was delicious!! We then came back to the hotel for devo. Brandon Mann led us in thoughts tonight. he discussed the importance of making a difference in peoples lives. He emphised the importance of not worrying about reaching thousands, but helping one person at a time and to use your talents.

After devo the team gathered to work on VBS. THey are actually practicing as I type. I hope you are all praying for us back home. We are safe and are doing well. GOd is GOOD!!

Just a heads up...I am not sure about internet and when I will have access while here. We will be leaving for Honduras early Wednesday morning so hopefully we will not have anymore problems with communication!! Love you all and will see you soon!!

In Him

Brandy B

Sunday, June 19

In Nicaragua

Greetings all,

The TORCH team has arrived safely in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, they do not have access to Internet where they are staying, so Brandy has asked me to make a blog post for them. I wish I had more information to share with everyone but I don't. If I do get more info, I will post it.

In Him,

Jake Lovell

Saturday, June 18

On the road again

Hey everyone!! Well today is our final day in this beautiful country. The rest of the group, minus Terry's interns, will be headed back to the states early in the morning. I know all family members will be looking forward to everyone's return.

Today started later than others We had breakfast from 7 - 9am, so most people were in and out. We packed up and were on the bus by 9:15am going back toward San Jose. We stopped about half way in a small community to have devo in the park. Steve Kemp led us in thoughts. He discussed different types of hurt we all encounter, whether it be an illness or a mental pain. He encouraged everyone to lift one another up in prayer and be there for one another when needed. After devo we headed back to San Jose. We stopped at a chicken place before returning to the hotel we are staying at for night. The food has been very good here. Afterward we headed back to the hotel. At the hotel we repacked bags and loaded buses for the interns. We will be leaving at 1230am for Nicaragua. I have no idea how the internet will work there so please be patient. Pray for safe travels and a great work!! Love you all!!

Brandy B

Friday, June 17

Five more minutes

Hey guys, sooooo sorry for the delay. I really do not have to long because there is a line for the computer. So...here is the short version of the last two days

We left Buenos Aires yesterday after breakfast to make our way to San Jose. We indured the 4 hour drive, or five minutes according to Minor, over the huge moutian. When we made it to San Jose we went shopping then went to the hotel we were staying for the night.

This morning we left at 6 this morning to go to the Volcano and hot springs for some much needed Rest and reflection on the work that was done. It was a great time for all us to meet and discuss the trip and rest. At about 330 we came to the hotel to change and do more shopping for SOME COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had food at 7 and then devo. We also said farewell to Ben and Jill Wright, Randy, Nick, and Rafeal, who will be flying out in the morning.

I´m sorry this is very brief, but I hope to give more detail and post pictures later. Love you all!!

Brandy B

Wednesday, June 15

What do you believe?

I hope all of you are doing well back home. I would like to apologize for not posting last night. I didn’t realize my computer battery was dead and let another member of the team use it during the night. I am not even sure I will be able to post tonight due to the internet being down. Thank you all for your patients.

Today was our last day of work, and trust me we did work!!! We were up and at the church by 7 am for breakfast. I bet you cannot guess what we had….rice and beans, sausage, and COFFEE!!!! After breakfast we loaded the bus and made our way to the reservation. It was about an hour bus ride to the reservation. I cannot wait until the retreat so I can attempt to put pictures up. The bus ride was so beautiful. Costa Rica is truly and beautiful country.

At the reservation we worked on a school. We had to paint the inside and outside. Before painting we had to wipe down the walls and the bars that made the windows. The inside and out were painted white, the door was painted blue and the roof was painted a green color. We also had a group cleaning the floor. Tricky Pat worked on wiring so they would have lights. Our team worked for about 2 ½ hours then we had a break for lunch. The lunch was provided by the school. It was so good. We had rice and pico and pineapple, plantains. It was so good!!! After about a 45 minute lunch break we began working again. We were able to complete a good majority of the painting. The town council leader was very appreciative and took us to a local shop. I hope to put pictures of the items up soon. It was such an awesome experience. The council man said anytime we would like to return we would be welcome.

We came back to the hotel to cleanup for supper at about 4:45. We quickly cleaned up and were back on the bus by 5:30. For supper we had rice and beans, with fish and jello and ice cream. I know you guys may think this sound not so good, but you would be totally wrong!!! We have not gone hungry while here, that is for sure. After supper we had our last worship service together. Terry Reeves led us in our thoughts. Terry asked us if we believed the Bible. He said he was sad because our group worked so hard to reach the people. Knocking on hundreds of doors inviting them. However, hundreds did not come. He said that if you were to ask those people if they believed in God they would probably say yes. He then continued and used the illustration of someone removing the scripture they do know like. The illustration ended with him putting his Bible in the “trash” and asking anyone else that would like to, to do so. He didn’t have anyone do it. Terry explained the importance of believing the Bible completely and following what it says. He encouraged us to study and continue to believe.

After service we stayed around greeting everyone and taking pictures. There were definatly tears as we loaded the buses. For some it has not registered that tomorrow we will be leaving. I have personally made lasting friendships here and am looking forward to a return in the future if it is God’s will. I would like to ask all of you to pray for our safe travels and for the Church in Buenos Aires. We are looking forward to seeing you all very soon. Once again I apologize for the delay.

In Him

BrandY B

Why are we here?

I cannot believe how fast this trip has gone by. We only have one day of work left in Buenos Aires. I think I speak for everyone when I say the people and this place will be missed greatly. It makes my desire to go to Heaven even greater. Today was another productive day here. We started early again leaving at 6:45ish to be at the Church at 7:00. For breakfast we had rice and beans, eggs with ham, and bread, and how could I forget COFFEE!! Some of you are probably telling yourselves that you would be tired of rice and beans, but you have obviously not tasted these rice and beans…just sayin. After breakfast we had our morning devotional. One of the Costa Rican preachers led the devotional. After devo, we divided into groups: VBS, Paint team, and Seminar participants.

The VBS team went to another school to do skit #2. I will try and video the skits for everyone back home, but I’m not sure how well it will turn out. The VBS is going really great. Today we had 75-100 give or take.

After the VBS was over we went back to the church. Some had volunteered to help in the kitchen to help for lunch due to the ladies class. I told you guys last night I would let you know who is conducting the Ladies classes. Keffe is the one conducting the study. Sorry I didn’t have that information last night. For lunch we had sandwiches.

When we had eaten the team began door knocking. We have also had counseling for some of the members of the congregation. Keith Fussell has been conducting sessions. The teams met back at the church at about 3:30 to return to the hotel to clean up for supper and worship.

We loaded the bus at about 5:15 to go back to the building for supper. We had probably the best meal yet!! We had rice with a roast beef type thing. It was really good.

We began worship at 6:30. Christian, a preacher in Costa Rica, led us in our thoughts. He began by asking us all one question: Why are you here? He gave us five reasons why we are here. We are here to Praise God, Be part of a family, Be like Christ, Serve God, to be part of His mission. Christian explained it is not about us, but about God. Not about what God can do for us, but what we should want to do for Him. It was a very good lesson!

After worship we met to partake in “Where di you see Jesus?” Jesus has been seen in so many people and some many places. I wish there was some way to put into words, the amazing work God has allowed us to partake in. God has been so good to us and we will never forget everything we have seen, and learned here.

Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to go to an Indian Reservation to work. The plan is to go and do VBS, paint and have a lesson. We have been given this opportunity to work by the local officials. This will be good for future work in Costa Rica. I look forward to the work we will do. Tomorrow is our last workday here. I do not think any of us are ready to leave. We would love to bring everyone we have met back with us. I know some of you are missing your loved ones here a lot. The group is leaving Buenos Aires in the morning for San Jose. Then they will fly home Sunday. There is a small group that will be traveling to Nicaragua, then to Honduras. Pray for safe travels and until tomorrow….GOOD NIGHT!!!

In Him,

Brandy B

Monday, June 13

Strong Enough

Good day to all of you back home in the United States. I hope you are all doing fantastic!! Today was another great day; we were joined by a few more preachers in Costa Rica for the Gospel Meeting this morning. It was great meeting them and working with them. This morning we were on the bus by 6:45 am to go to the church for Breakfast. This morning we had rice and beans (pinto) and cheese and of course the best coffee ever!! (Starbuck don’t stand a chance!!) After breakfast we had morning devo. Nick Brosous gave us encouraging word this morning from Philippians 3:16. All of us know what is said in this verse. It reminds me of a song by Matthew West. I would like to share the lyrics to the chorus with you.

I know I'm not strong enough to be

everything that I'm supposed to be

I give up

I'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy won't you cover me

Lord right now I'm asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

For the both of us

Sometimes, I believe we forget just how strong our God is. Sometimes we think we are not strong enough. Nick also shared with us 1 Cor. 10:13. God will not allow us to be tempted by anything without a way of escape. He will never give us more than we can handle. At age 17, Nick presented us with a great lesson. Thank you Nick.

After our devotional our VBS team went to a school to do lesson two. We had 250 kids in attendance. They participated and interacted with us. Kim Fussell has done an excellent job with telling the stories and Terry Reeves skits are unbelievably inconceivable (yes that is suppose to be funny). Terry did a wonderful job on the skit and has done a wonderful job leading our team.

While VBS was being conducted there was also a ladies class and a Men’s training class. Joe Roberts and Thad (sorry do not know the last name still working on that) conducted in the men’s training. Forgive me, but I am unsure who lead the ladies class. I promise to get that information and relay it to you all. There was also a group that stayed to fix lunches due to the ladies class.

At about 12 we met at the church for lunch. We had sandwiches and fruit. We were able to fellowship with all the brethren for a while before we divided up in teams to go door knocking. We had about 6 or 7 teams (maybe more) that went into the communities to study and invite the community to the meeting. We were able to knock doors for about one hour to 1 ½ hours before the rain came. It rains just about everyday, but we have been lucky. Today was the first day it rained during the day for a long period of time. So we went back to the church to wait until it stopped; however the end did not come. We were able to mingle with others, so that was a blessing. We shared a lot of laughs and made more memories to cherish. We came back to the hotel to clean up and prepare for worship.

We made our way back to the church for supper at 5:30. For supper we had chicken, rice and beans, and corn pudding (yes corn). The food has been so amazing. After supper we had worship. Rafael Barrantes prepared a great sermon. He taught about the mercy of God. He taught us not to think we have sin that cannot be forgiven. He discussed the love of God and said that, as our Father, God will always forgive us if our heart is right. God knows our hearts and knows if we are sincere when we ask for forgiveness. It was a very good lesson. After worship we greeted our brothers and sisters. We then had closing announcements and came back to the hotel. We ended the night earlier than usual so each person would be able to complete their Journals and truly reflect on all that God has done.

The work in Costa Rica has been awesome!! Personally, I have enjoyed the evangelism. Please continue to pray for the work and for the Gospel meeting. We have had four baptisms thus far with two more nights of the meeting left. Remember to keep not only our travels in your prayers but also the preachers that have traveled throughout Costa Rica to be here to help. Good night to you all!!

In Him

Brandy Barnett

Sunday, June 12

I Belong to Jesus

Today was another day full of great things. God has shown His greatness throughout this trip so far. I hope you all are doing wonderful and have been blessed as well. Today started later than what we have been starting. We had to be on the bus by 7:45am to be at the church for breakfast at 8am. This morning we had sandwiches bananas, and most important of all COFFEE!! I know some of you are probably thinking “Sandwiches? For Breakfast?” Well we did and they were very yummy!!

Once everyone was finished with breakfast we had worship service with our brothers and sisters. I’m not sure if I have done any good at all explaining the times we have shared in worship with our Costa Rican brothers. Brother Christian (from Costa Rica) has been leading us in singing. The church here provides everyone with a songbook. This allows us gringos (Americans) to follow along and attempt to sing with the right pronunciation. It is such an incredible experience!! Ben Wright directed our thoughts with (Rafael translating) in Bible class this morning. He discussed the importance of taming the tongue. After Bible class we were able to meet some of the local members. Our new brothers and sister in Christ were there as well, Isaac, Charles, and Betsy. After a few minutes of greeting we began worship. We sang praises in Spanish and English. After a few songs, Wayne Scott provided our lesson with Diego as his translator. After the sermon we had the Lord’s Supper. Once we shared in the remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice we were able to fellowship with one another with a meal. For most of the TORCH members, this is a different experience, one that has been very rewarding. I’m not sure if I can put the feeling I personally have in words. Many of us have made several friends. Even though there is a Language barrier we still communicate with one another through gestures. It is truly a God thing.

Once we finished with Lunch we came back to the hotel to prepare for VBS. We also had a small group that were going back to the Church to paint and finish bookshelves. Keith Fussell provided Counseling sessions as well for a few individuals. The VBS team went to the Church, but there were only a few children. The team decided we would take the lesson into the community. We went to one neighborhood and went down the streets asking children and adults to come and watch the skit. It turned out to be a HUGE success. The kids really enjoyed the skits. The once participating in the skits did a wonderful job and were such great sports. It is extremely hot here and each member put their costumes and went on with the skit of the conversion of Paul. After the skit was complete we decided we had time to do one more, so we went to another neighborhood and did the same thing. (on a side note, the children that did come to the church came with us to help get other children to come). Once again, it was a success. At first I think some of us were upset that we did not have a big group at the church. However, after taking it to the neighborhood I think everyone agrees they like the idea, and nothing can stop God’s work.

After VBS we went back to the hotel to clean up for supper and worship service. For supper we had rice, beans, and chicken. Oh and I have to tell about the drink they served. It was really really good. It was banana and lemon mixed together. Now I know this might sound nasty, but you are terribly mistaken if you think so, but do not try and make it using only banana and lemon. It might be really bad if you do that. Apparently they also use a type of syrup that is not found back home…L After supper we started worship. Once again we praised God in song with our brothers and sisters. Afterward the preacher in Buenos Aires (Daniel Chavez) provided the sermon. He talked with us about how we are not our own. That we belong to Jesus. It was a very good lesson. Afterward we learned another brother was added to the church during the time the VBS team was away. If you are decent with number you will know that God has four new children in His family, and we have 3 brothers and 1 sister. God is so Good!!

It has been such a great blessing to be able to be here in Costa Rica with our local brethren. I can not believe we will be at day 5 tomorrow. Thank you so much for your prayers.

In Him

Brandy Barentt

If you would like to make comments feel free. My email is brandyb06@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 11

Rejoice!!!

Rejoice in the Lord ___?___

Fill in the Blank…

I hope it does not take you long to complete the statement. However, while you are taking time to think about it, I would like to share with you all the unbelievably amazing day they our group was able to have.

We woke up and were on the buses to the church by 7am. This morning the ladies served us rice and beans with a type of sour cream and of course LOTS OF COFFEE!!!!!!! (On a side note the sour cream really isn’t sour cream, I’m just not sure how else to describe it, it was yummy though). After breakfast we met at the church to have morning devotional. Andrew Allgood led us in a few thoughts.

After the devotional we went to the park and divided into groups with a translator in each and passed out invitations to the Gospel Meeting at the Church beginning Sunday. Once we had worked for about 30 minutes in that area we loaded the buses to clean up so we could return to the Church to take part as witnesses of a wedding. This was a huge treat for all of us to witness. The couple that was getting married (Betsy and Charles) also arranged to be baptized the same day. The Wedding ceremony was conducted in Spanish and translated in English by Diego. It was such an honor for us to take part in this union between these individuals. We were asked to stay for the reception and fellowship with our local brethren. The food was incredible. A few of the TORCH members (Nick Brosous) had a bit of a shock when they took a bite of the carrots. The carrots had been shredded and soaked in jalapenos, and when one took a bite, that person became VERY HOT!!! The food was really good; yes even the carrots in there hotness were good!!

After we had eaten the group loaded the buses to go through the town door knocking. We did this for about an hour, then returned to the church to witness the newly weds baptism. It was so beautiful!!

After the baptism we came back to the hotel to cleanup so we could return to have dinner and worship. For dinner we had noodles in a cheese sauce with bread and pineapple!! I have personally not had a meal that I have not liked, so please do not worry about us not being fed.

After dinner we worshiped with our brothers and sisters. We sang songs in Spanish and English. Once the lesson was complete we had another brother added to the family (if you do well in math I’m sure you have realized that equals 2 new brothers and 1 sister totaling 3 added to the family)

For our evening devotional Joe Roberts led us in a few thoughts with Diego translating. Honestly, I have know idea how to put his lesson in words that could illustrate how well both Joe and Diego did. The translating was extremely funny, due to the story Joe used about a joyful parakeet. Joe used sound effects and body language to tell the story, and Diego translated both words, body language, and sound effects. The point of the story was no matter what we should all Rejoice in the Lord always, even when we have a bad day like the parakeet who was sucked up a vacuum cleaner, put under a ice cold water, and then was dried by a hair dryer (yes picture that being translated).

If you haven’t already completed the Statement here it is. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS!!!!!!.

I hope you all are having a wonderful time back home. We miss you all and look forward to seeing you, but until then have a wonderful night!!!!

In Him,

Brandy Barnett

Friday, June 10

Great Things

To day was the first day of “Great Things”!! Our morning started out early. We all were up and on the bus by seven and went to the Church for breakfast. The ladies of the congregation did and will be providing our meals for the trip. This morning we had rice, beans, eggs, and bread. Now for those who do not know, beans and rice are going to be with just about every meal. The ladies did a fabulous job with the meal.

After breakfast we met for our morning devotional thought. Terry Reeves provided the thoughts for this morning. Terry discussed a story about Max Lucado. Max is a well-known author and also a missionary. Terry told us a story about Max praying the Lord will provide him with “great things”. After his prayer the phone rang and a lady asked him to take her to the doctor. Terry wanted to emphasis that no matter what it is, if God has led us to help in His name, it is a Great Thing!!

Once the devotional had finished the VBS crew came back to the hotel to divide supplies, run through the skit, and prepare costumes. The remaining team members stayed at the building to paint, build book shelves, and clean around the build to prepare for a wedding and the Gospel meeting beginning tomorrow.

Before the VBS team made our way to the school we were provided Lunch prepared by the ladies. WOW!!!!!! All I can say is…..WOW!!!! The ladies have done an excellent job preparing the meals, and its only the first day!! We had fish, salad, rice and beans!!!! We also had passion fruit juice!!! YUMMY!!!!!!

Once the VBS crew was “prepared”, and full of yummy food, we loaded the bus and made our way to one of the local schools. We had about 90 children in attendance. Kim Fussell told the story of the Conversion of Saul, while Kattia translated for her. The children seemed to enjoy the story. After the telling of the story we prepared a skit of the event. Our AWESOME VBS team did an AMAZING job with this. They did the entire skit in Spanish. The Children really enjoyed and interacted the team. Once the skit was complete we had four stations the children went to, where the received a snack, a craft, watched a puppet skit (which was prepared just minutes before), and participated in a game. It was an awesome experience and the children we great.

We then met up with the remaining team and went to the local park. Here we sang and several of the local men present devotional thoughts for the community and invited them to the Gospel meeting. All this was broadcast on the radio thanks to Daniel Chavez (the preacher).

After the time in the park we came back to the hotel and cleaned up a bit before going to the building for supper. For supper we had rice, potatoes, meat and avocado. WE had this red Kool-Aid as well that tasted like bubble gum!! Have I mentioned that the food is FABULOUS…well it is FA-BU-LOUS!!!!

Once everyone was finished with the meal we had our evening devotional. Wayne Scott provided us with a great lesson. He asked if anyone of us had ever been scared. He then said we all have something to fear, Satan. He used Luke 22:31 to explain how Satan sought Peter. If he tried to win Peter, then Satan will try to seek us as well. Wayne encouraged us to watch out because the devil is after us. He encouraged us to turn to God as well. He says, and I know, that God is greater then any of our enemies!!!

After devo we did “Where did you see Jesus?” Jesus was seen in many of the people on the trip and with the amazing Costa Ricans. Jesus was seen in the VBS crew for stepping up at the last minute. Jesus was seen in Terry Reeves for his willingness to plan and organize trips for TORCH groups. Jesus was seen in the Ladies in the Church for their hard work and happy spirits. He was seen in one of the bus drivers for assisting with some of the translating. Jesus was seen in Daniel for his hard work and continuous work here. He works so hard and is so energetic and loving. He works hard to ensure everyone has a chance to here God’s Word. Daniel is the most awesome person I personally have ever met!!

Once we were finished we loaded the buses and made our way back to hotel. Some went back to the church to move dirt for the wedding and some went and played soccer. All in all it has been a great start to a great trip. God is in complete control and has been seen in everyone and everything!!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We do miss you all back home, but there is work to be done and God has given this group the opportunity to assist in His work.

God Bless,

Brandy Barnett

Thursday, June 9

Cristo Vive En Mi

Christ live in Me!!

We have finally arrived!! I hope all of you back in the States are doing fantastic!!! For those who do not know me, my name is Brandy Barnett. I will be keeping you all updated throughout the trips in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. I hope you all will keep up with our travels and continue to pray for us. The group members will have access to the internet when available. Due to the media fast they are not suppose to access any social networks just email. Please be patient with the post if there are any delays, we are not guaranteed internet access each night. So let the work begin!!

Today has been a day full of travel!! Our group had several travel from different parts of the U.S. The team consists of about 43 ½, give or take. Once we arrived in San Jose we claimed our luggage, met at the buses, loaded the buses, then went to a food court to eat. After eating we loaded the buses then made the four hour trip up, around, through, over, etc a huge mountain!! The trip was beautiful. Many people attempted to sleep, some sang, some chatted, some told jokes, etc. Apparently there was this AMAZING sunset that I missed so I really cannot describe that, hey what can I say one needs beauty sleep. But ultimately we arrived at our destination, the wonderful Buenos Aires, Costa Rica. We are currently working on our rooming situations which seem to be a little crazy, so instead of “Welcome to Honduras” we are now experiencing “Welcome to Costa Rica” side effects. In all seriousness though we are grateful we have arrived and are ready for some much needed rest. It looks like we will have a pretty long day tomorrow, so until then….buenas noches!!!

In Him,

Brandy Barnett

Oh and if you have any questions regarding the blog feel free to email me at brandyb06@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 7

Ready... set... go!

Well, it is time! After months of time thinking, dreaming, and planning mission trips it is time to go! Wednesday afternoon a small group of us leave west Tennessee by church bus to Nashville to meet up with about a dozen more. We will attend Bible class at the Rural Hill church of Christ, see some old and dear friends, and then begin our all night drive to Atlanta. Several of us are flying on Spirit Airlines and the flight leaves at 7:00 am. 40 of us will rendezvous in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday around lunch time to begin our mission trips.



Months turned into weeks, and then weeks turned into days. And now we are counting down the hours! In less that 18 hours all of the work that I can do from here is done and I will be in the field working and checking emails. All of the Torch gear has been mailed off and received (as far as I know at least!), the last checks have been mailed off today for things I can pay for here in the States, money has been withdrawn from the bank, and laundry is in the machine... I will finish packing tonight and then (hopefully) get a good night's sleep tonight. If that happens it will be a first!


I know the Costa Rica team is pumped up! I have received dozens of emails and phone calls in the last 24 hours from team members checking in, making sure they haven't forgotten anything, and to find out if there is any last minute things they can do before we leave. For the Honduras team, you are still sitting there wondering how all of this was done WAY before the typical deadlines! Awesome, isn't it? We have finally chased down the last bit of the missing paper work (I will be nice and not mention names or express my real thoughts on this...) collected final payments, and the Honduras team is about ready to go.


Let me post an article I found last year that it very informative and helpful; it is called the 10 commandments of flying. Flying would be much more civil if everyone took time to remember that they are sharing tight, cramped quarters with other people and the following 10 commandments would make the skies friendlier:


1. Be a pro, not a rookie

Don't clog the line at the security check point by being unprepared when you finally get to the X-Ray conveyor belt. While standing in line use the time wisely. Remember EVERYONE has to do this so be ready before you get there: Have a belt? Take it off and roll it up and place it inside one of your shoes (that you have to take off); Already have your cell phone, keys, watch (if it has a metal band), and change inside you carry on bag; Keep you passport and airline flight info with you when you go through the scanner; grab your stuff on the other side of the scanner and walk away to a place to put your belt and shoes back on (unlike the rookies who will stand by the X-Ray machine to do this).



2. Hurry up and wait?

Why is everyone in such a rush to get on the airplane? There is no prize for being on there first and the plane doesn't leave until everyone is on... so why rush? Wait until your group is called. Relax, your seat is going to be there... after all, you are going to be sitting in in for a while!


3. Learn how to count to 1

All major airline carriers limit carry-on luggage to 1 piece of hand luggage and 1 personal item (such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop). It does not mean all of these listed PLUS a shopping bag, a sweater, a pillow, a giant water bottle, and an European shoulder bag. 1 means 1. Learn to count to 1 and make everyone happier.


4. Learn to be literal

A carry-on means a carry-on... you should actually be able to carry your luggage down the isle without smashing it into other people's heads. You should also be able to lift it and place it in the overhead bin without the assistance of a 6'5, 315 pound offensive lineman from the Steelers. If it is too big, too heavy, and won't fit into the overhead bin without forcing it... it is not a carry-on bag. Bit the bullet and check it in and pay for it.


5. De-leverage

When you have to get out of those comfy seats, don't grab the seat in front of you to pull yourself up! It is about as annoying as the little kid that sits behind you kicking the back of your seat during the entire flight. Use your armrests to push yourself up.


6. Look back Jack

Before you recline your chair, take a look behind you to see if you are about to upset the apple cart... or computer, or hot cup of coffee!


7. Use your inside voice

Remember, you are not the only one on the plane. Use your inside voice (quiet) on the plane. If you are in a group with cool matching t-shirts, don't draw any more attention than you already have... by talking to someone 6 rows back in your outside voice!


8. Be polite

Stay out of the isle. Sit in your assigned seat. Go to the restroom only if you have to go to go. Don't hit the call button unless it is important... attendants have plenty to do. Be nice!


9. Your mom doesn't work on this plane

Clean up after yourself. Don't stuff trash into the pocket of the chair in front of you or throw it on the floor. Nobody likes to see a coffee cup crammed into the seat pocket or gum sticking pages of the flight magazine together. Throw your stuff away when the attendants come by with the trash bag.


10. On your mark.... get set.... wait!

As eager as people are to get on the plane it is amazing to note that they are even more eager to get off of the plane. Shockingly, there are no prizes for those who get off the plane first. Unclicking the belt buckle and leaping to the isle as soon as the ding is heard is not an Olympic sport so just stay seated... and wait. The etiquette is simple, exit by rows. It actually works amazingly well. After all, you are going to have to wait for your luggage anyways!


Do these things and you will fly like a pro and won't look like a rude, selfish rookie. Don't be the one everyone talks about after the flight unless of course they are saying wonderful things about you and your courteous, professional manner you displayed by practicing the 10 commandments of flying.


I look forward to seeing you in Central America! Pray for the Costa Rica team and read the blog to keep up with our work! The time has come and the Lord reigns. God bless our efforts.


TR