This past week I got a phone call from Tim Hines. When Tim calls I never know what we are going to talk about... it could be just about anything. Lots of times it is a recounting of his most recent fishing story and the size and or numbers of fish that met their match that day to the Fishslayer (don't laugh... Tim has photos to back up his stories... hundreds of photos). Other times it is just to chat or talk Honduras or even some football (he is a LSU fan, I am an Alabama fan... go figure....what could we possibly have to say to each other?). Conversations can last 10 minutes or 2 hours... depending on the battery charge on the cell phone.
This particular call was intriguing and exciting. We have been invited to go to Georgia next week to go to Atlanta for a conference being held by the Consulate General of Honduras to the United States for non-profits and relief organizations that work in Honduras. Those who know Tim know that this is not necessarily all that unusual for him. He does this kind of stuff a lot. Within Torch / IRC, he pretty much is our point person for this kind of stuff and specializes in meetings with governmental people. I don't even want to try to list the people Tim has met with and worked with over the years in Honduras... from the president of Honduras to congressmen to military leaders. I, on the other hand, do not do this very often.
Over 8 dozen groups will be represented next week at the "March Toward Independence Of The Honduran People" conference. The focus is the conference is to give the Consulate an overview of what each group is doing in Honduras and where they are working and to list the specifics of what each group's focus is on while working in Honduras. It will also be an opportunity to find out what ways the Honduran government might be able to help the groups in a specific way. During the sessions we will have opportunities to have small group talks to find out ideas and methods being used by other groups that might help help us. Key note speakers will present to the group and address things non-profits and relief groups need to know.
The most exciting part of the conference will take place on Thursday morning when Tim and I will get to have a 1 on 1 meeting with he Consulate. The government is very familiar with Torch/IRC and asked us to arrive early for the conference to talk. I am not sure what will come from the meeting, but hopefully we might be able to make some suggestions and offer some insight and opinions on things that would make our ministries more effective.
Needless to say I am pretty excited about all of this... hopefully I will learn a little bit more about diplomacy and "rubbing elbows" with people of authority, and I will get to spend a couple of days with Tim. Don't worry, we will not get ourselves into trouble... on purpose!
On another note, November 1st is coming up SOON and that means my Torch Missions applications and paperwork is about to go out. The applications, Spanish release forms, packing lists, etc., have all been updated and ready to go. Its time to turn the key and start the engine (imagine starting up a big block Chevy with duel exhaust) and to get ready to rumble. The 2012 mission trips are about to officially begin! Soldiers of Christ Arise!