I have heard from many of you, and I am very much like you when I say I miss being in Latin America. I miss the people, the kids, and even the crazy bus rides up and down the mountains. I miss the devotionals and singing; the awesome moments and the laughter. I miss hanging out with some of the best friends that I have and spending time together. I really miss the fruit juices and the fresh pineapple! I don't miss the daily rain and mud or the muscle cramps, but I wouldn't trade any of it in. It was an awesome summer and a great trip. And in about 5 weeks I will begin planning next year's trips!
I have spent the last 4 days trying to account for the things that were done on the trips this summer. I have probably left something out, but this is what I have come up with for each of the 4 trips this summer. If anyone can think of anything else please feel free to contact me so I can add it to the list!
Costa Rica - June 9-19: Over the course of 6 days we covered the entire town of Buenos Aires knocking doors; painted the church building (house) inside and out; painted a house for one of the members of the church inside and out; delivered about 1 month's supply of food to a wheelchair bound man who is a member of the church and helped pay for several months of his rent; conducted a 5 night gospel meeting; did 3 VBS programs for 3 different schools for about 600 children; had 4 baptisms and 12 responses at the meeting; did 2 VBS skits while door knocking for about 100 kids; conducted a 3 day morning seminar, a church growth class for the men and a personality study for the women; taught 5 nights of children's Bible classes during the meeting; worked 1 day at one of the Indian Reservations painting and working at the community center; conducted 3 days of family and marriage counseling; met with the city council to introduce TORCH to them; met with the city mayor to discuss various work opportunities and future projects we can have with him and the surrounding areas; visited the Arenal Volcano and the Baldi Hot Springs Resort; taught Bible classes and conducted worship services at the local church; purchased 85 Bibles for the local church; rented the tent, chairs, lights, and sound system for the meeting; paid for 1 month of radio and TV time for Daniel Chaves to preach and to promote the meeting; paid for the food for the week for the Torch team and all of the guests who came to work with us; rented the house near the church building to use for cooking and housing the out of town workers; took up a special construction for the Chaves family for upcoming medical expenses; had 18 devotionals
Masaya, Nicaragua - June 19-22: 21 members of the team traveled to Masaya, Nicaragua, by bus (9 hours); participated in the worship service of the local church in Masaya; painted the inside of the church building; conducted a 2 day VBS at a local park for about 260 children; went to the Masaya Volcano; had 5 devotionals
Tegucigalpa, Honduras - June 22-July 4: 21 members traveled to Honduras by bus (8 hours) and arrived to meet up with 3 additional team members to organize the supplies, purchase Bibles, and organize things prior to the arrival of the main team on June 24th; built 12 new houses; repaired and finished 2 other houses; prepared our pharmacy by breaking down meds, counting pills, and labeling all med bottles; sorted and put together 812 hygiene packets; shopped at the fresh foods market downtown; broke down 3 deliveries of food into family sized portions and assembled 1,000 bags of food; distributed the food bags (over 100,000 meals) to various areas of the city; 5 visits to Hospital Esquela; painted the entire playground of Didasko Orphanage; painted the new bathrooms at Didasko; saw 300+ patients during a 2 day medical clinic at Didasko and Tamara; saw 45 patients from the staff at the Mission House during a medical clinic in the cafeteria; distributed 800+ hygiene packets; donated meds to Clinica de Esperanza in Santa Ana; fed lunch to 300 people at the city dump; attended 4 different congregations in Tegucigalpa; painted Jen and Josue Salgado's house; had over 150 girls attend the Daughters of the King at Mololoa; removed mud from behind the church building and dug the hole for the new septic system at Mololoa; planted a vegetable garden in Mololoa; provided seed for the garden at Didasko; did 2 Gatorade blitzes; gave 10 house warming boxes for the 10 sponsorship houses we built; gave away boxes and boxes of shoes, clothes, toys, and stuffed animals; conducted a 3 day VBS at Didasko for about 85 kids per day; performed 3 puppet shows; donated 2 sets of puppets with staging to Didasko Orphanage and the Femosa Daycare Center in Mololoa; stained and clear coated the playground at Femosa; painted one of the retaining walls at the daycare in Mololoa; donated money to begin the tile work at the Femosa daycare center; visited the blind school; visited and worked at the special needs orphanage (Bencoleth); worked 4 days at the Femosa day care center; worked 4 days in the kitchen at the feeding center in Mololoa (The Manna Project); made major structural repairs on the playground at Didasko; provided money to paint the Bible classrooms at the church building in Mololoa (from Sunday contribution); distributed over 900 Bibles; unloaded a 40' container that arrived from the U.S.; visited San Filipe Hospital; 3 days of organizational and clean-up work at the warehouse; painted the hallway of Mi Esperanza; painted the new office of Mi Esperanza; worked 1 day at Nathan Hale's garden project in Zanbrano; visited the Peace Monument; did some serious shopping at the Mi Esperanza store; had a combined evening devo with Paul Bennett's Torch team from Mississippi at the Jesus statue; went shopping at the Valley of the Angels; worked a total of 4 days in San Lorenzo building houses on stilts in a flood plain; had a field trip for the Didakso kids and staff at KFC and a movie with refreshments at the Mission House; loaded a 48' container of medical equipment; had 17 devotionals
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras - July 5-11: 20 traveled 9 hours by bus to Santa Rosa to work with Mission Upreach; conducted a 3 day VBS at Esquela de Los Angeles for about 100 children; gave away toys and stuffed animals; painted a HUGE (75' x 18' x 14' tall walls) classroom for a night school; visited an orphanage with 45 children; attended the graduation of a Let's Start Talking program; toured the Copan Ruins; did a walking tour of Santa Rosa de Copan; had a worship service in San Pedro Sula at our hotel; had 5 devotionals
As you can see we had a busy and very productive summer. God did amazing things and showed His power and might throughout the trip. We saw His handiwork everywhere we went. We came in contact with literally thousands of people during our trip and was blessed to be able to serve Him in many different ways. Yet, somehow, I feel we are the ones who came away blessed. It is evident that God reigns over all things and that He is in control of everything around us. May He continue to bless those we were able to minister to on the trip and may He continue to bless us as we return to our various routines at home. it was indeed an honor and a privilege to work with you this summer, may God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand. God reigns!