Our Mission Statement

Sunday, June 30

Had It Not Been the Lord

"Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, the anger of the enemy would have swallowed us alive. Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, the waters would have engulfed us, we would have surely died. Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up. Blessed be the Lord for His unfailing love. The snare is broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the Lord!"

Had it not been the Lord, we wouldn't be here. The Lord brought us all here with a purpose and I hope we are all fulfilling His purpose. He knew exactly what He was doing when He brought this particular group of people to serve the Hondurans this past week. He planned out the lives we were going to impact. Had it not been for Him, we would not know unfailing love and the importance of sharing that love with the people here. So many people here are looking for hope and something to believe in. When you're living in poverty you need something to look forward to beyond this life. I mean, we all need something to look forward to, but when you're living in luxury it's harder to realize it. Here they live humble lives and live within their means. They focus on sheltering and feeding their family, and bringing God into their lives is like presenting them with a mansion. A dream can come true for them in heaven if they are taught about the Father's love for them and know that all they need to do is obey His word. If they know that there is Paradise after death that lasts for eternity, that gives them so much to hope for! More than any of us can every dream or imagine.

Sorry for not posting last night...Terry gave me the night off so I could enjoy some time fellowshipping with my fellow missionaries. Then the internet failed us when it came time for devo tonight, so I hope you don't feel like I forgot about you all! No news is good news right? Well I'm gonna try to catch you all up on what's been going on the past two days.

Yesterday, we sent out a small group to Choluteca to deliver the items that came in the container. They did an excellent job of driving there and back in one day--even got back in time for supper! Big Steve, Aaron, Holly, Diane, and Craig were so happy they were able to get everything to those people before they left. God has some great timing in order for us to get it there in time! I have a story to go along with this trip...but I'm going to save it for a time when I can upload the picture that goes with it. 

The main projects we had for the day were two house builds and a Hospital Escuela visit along with a food distribution. The two houses were built in the same area, which was very near the city dump. You could see the dump from our worksite, along with the vultures flying around all above us. We had much smaller groups for these builds, each one with about 10-11 people, but we got our work done, even though it took a little longer than we expected. Both the sites had a destruction of the original home before building could start. The site I was on was primarily rock, and from what I heard about the other site it was mainly sewage...yes, that kind of sewage. It was a beautiful day for working outside, except maybe the sun shouldn't have been so intense...I know of a lot of people who got some pretty rough sunburns from being out working the whole day (myself included). But when you're down here for a while it's bound to happen eventually. The last group had a great day at the Hospital and distributing food. They spent more time than they expected at the hospital so they weren't able to give out all the food bags, but some of the group got to in the cancer ward which is awesome. Many of them were touched by a little girl who was given the news that she has Dengue Fever and her family was taking it very hard. They prayed with them and we have continued praying for them. There is a severe outbreak of Dengue here in Honduras and many of those affected do not survive because they can only treat the symptoms.

Now on to today...
We began our morning with church service in the cafeteria. Ben Wright brought our lesson and Steve Johnson led us into thought before the Lord's Supper. Steve talked about how knowledge is powerful and how everything is just one big connect-the-dots game. We are one dot, that touched the lives of another dot, who will go on to impact another dot, and it goes on and on. After services, we packed up for our day of shopping. Many in our group were introduced to the Mi Esperanza ministry that was started by Lori Connell and Janet Hines. This ministry empowers women by helping them find ways to support themselves, and in turn, their families. A lot of shopping was done here, then we went on to grab some lunch and headed to the Valley of Angels. Two hours were spent shopping here and then the rain came as we were leaving. By the time we made it down the mountain, the city was flooding. It was an interesting trip to the mall since our first path was blocked by rivers of water, and the next way we still had to cross through a river. Even our bus was having some leakage problems. Duct tape can be used to fix anything though, as long as you have some gatorade bottles to duct tape to the roof of the bus to catch the dripping water. Needless to say, it was a funny bus ride in the rain and we didn't get too wet in the process. 

Our group has two options for tomorrow. One bus will be going to Didasko which is an orphanage about an hour away from the mission house. This group will spend the day there with the kids, playing and just having a day of fun. The other bus will be taking a group to the special needs orphanage in Tegucigalpa. I am very excited about this opportunity because even after coming here for 4 years, I have never made it there. It's going to be a great day working for the Lord ahead of us, and I know we'll all make our best efforts on our last day working with Hondo group #1. 

My plan is to upload a bunch of pictures once this team leaves and hopefully the internet will be working better since no one else will be trying to use it the same time I am. I apologize for the lack of pictures on this trip. Sometimes I feel like standing behind a camera takes away from the moments we are put in. As badly as I want to record every moment while I'm here, I want to be able to fully be a part of them. So hopefully all your loved ones that are down here will be taking plenty of pictures for you to enjoy once they return home!

Blessed be the Lord,


Friday, June 28

Watch Your Step

No matter where we are in life, we always have to watch our step. Whether we're walking down a gravel road trying to avoid the animal presents scattered everywhere along with the rocks in the road, or  watching where we're going in life. Every step is important and it's hard to avoid all those obstacles. The truth is, you can't always avoid them. You can try as hard as you can to dodge all those rocks, but something's going to happen and you'll end up tripping on that one you didn't see. Life's tough, but "life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." What I've learned today is that all through our life we're going to be tempted. Even if we reach certain points in our life where we think we no longer have to worry about being tempted in that way, we will be. It never ends. That's why we need our relationship with God so badly. He's the only one who can get us through it. ONE can only be so powerful if they have God and the support of their Christian brothers and sisters behind them. We must remember what the writer of Proverbs said in chapter 16 verse 9: "A man's heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps." Our morning got off to a great start with breakfast and a devo to follow. Mr. Ben Wright brought us our devotional thought for the morning, which was about watching your step.

After devo, three options were given for us for the day. The first was a construction team to build a house nearby the mission house. The second was a food distribution team to pack and sort all the food into bags to be distributed either tomorrow or monday. The third one was a warehouse team to go to the warehouse and organize everything we already have, and to unload the container, assuming it comes. We divided up into our teams and were on our way a little after 9. The plan was for all the teams to meet up at 2 to go and visit the blind school. We all got to work on a various projects. I was on the team going to the warehouse. There we unpacked one room so we could go through it and rearrange everything, and we also worked in our room moving things around to make room for our container stuff which we hoped would be there at 11. In our down time, we even had a chance to play some indoor 2v2 soccer. Well 2:15 rolled around and we were going to head out to the blind school, when of course the container shows up along with our bus load with the other teams. Together we piled the room with boxes and loaded furniture and various other boxes onto a box car to be sent to Choluteca. Unfortunately, by the time we were done, it was too late to go to the blind school, but many of us hope to get the opportunity to go on Monday. On our way back up to the mission house, we made a quick stop at the Mas X Menos (grocery store) to pick up whatever we might need for the rest of our stay. Let me just tell you, the ability to resist the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts was something hard to find within myself, but I found the strength and chose to get applesauce instead (my mom should be so proud...but I did cave for the Brown Sugar Cinnamon since they were on sale ;) ) After eating a ton of fast food for 5 days straight, I saw quite a few people opting for healthy choices for their lunches and snacks.

Back at the mission house, the weather is perfect. It couldn't feel any better up here, but the cooler weather seems to make us all pretty sleepy. It's hard enough trying to stay awake after a long day's work without throwing in the fact that it's in the 60s and raining right now.

I won't go into details about tonight's devo, but you're welcome to watch it on the U-Stream Torch Devos. Tomorrow is looking like a construction day! 2 teams will be building houses, and one will be distributing the food we packed up today. We also have small team of 6 heading to Choluteca to deliver the items that came in on the container. It's going to be a long day for them going there and back in one day, so we hope it's a safe and successful trip.

Dios te bendiga,


Thursday, June 27

It Is Well

It's well with all the TORCH-ers at Villa Gracia tonight. We arrived safely here about 5:30 this evening. Our trip was safe and fairly uneventful. The most exciting part of our day was a special bathroom stop we made about an hour out of Teguc: A ZOO! Most of us had no idea that when we stopped for a quick break, we would go to the bathroom only to find monkeys, parrots, and the coolest of them all, a puma! It was pretty awesome because those of us that were brave got to pet a leopard...or at least I think that's what it was. I mean it wasn't dangerous at all, just an adorable, sleepy cat laying up against the cage. The great news that we have is our container is set to be released in the morning!! After our late lunch stop about 2:30, we went to the bodega to unload Tim Hines container for him since his was finally released. We're praying that all goes well with ours and we are able to unload it in the morning and go on with the rest of our plans in the afternoon. But it is Honduras, so more than likely things won't go as planned. Because of this news concerning the container, our plans for tomorrow are a little up in the air, so we won't be getting them until tomorrow morning.

Thankfully, our USTREAM is working great here at the mission house, so we should be up and running for the rest of our stay here. I'm sorry I failed to do this before, but better late than never. Here's the link for the U-stream for those of you who haven't watched before: http://ustre.am/zAAn
I hope you guys enjoy watching and hearing us.

Corrections from my last blog:

Nahum is actually the young preacher at the top of the hill whom we built a house for that was funded by Holly's family.
Sirhan and his family received the house next to the church building, which was funded by the Bell Shoals church of Christ.
The classroom attached to their home was actually funded by the South Trail church of Christ

Sorry for not getting my information straight before relaying it to you all...I'll be sure to refrain from posting facts before I am at least 98% sure. 

Well wishes to all our loved ones back home! We're all very happy to be on the mountain where I am currently wearing a sweatshirt and very comfortable. After Choluteca, this weather is beyond perfect.


Wednesday, June 26

The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases

"...His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."

This song always reminds me of Honduras, so it's always a great day when we sing it here. My very first year in Honduras, I went around singing this song all day with a few other girls. It was basically our theme song, and a great one at that. Isn't it reassuring to know that the Lord's love is steadfast? It never ceases! He is the rock our life is founded on, if we choose to let Him be. I can't think of a better foundation for your life. Speaking of foundations..."Jesus you're my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure." I have a lot of songs on my mind since our devo tonight was dedicated to singing. 

It was another long day here in Choluteca, and a hot one at that. According to the weather channel it was only 95 degrees, but the humidity must have been 99% because it didn't rain a drop and I was dripping wet most of the day. Regardless of the conditions, we had a lot of work to do and we all worked very hard. First on the agenda when we arrived in Agua Agria was the dedication of the young preacher's house, who at the moment I fail to recall his name. This house was built with funds raised by a team member, Holly's family. She was happy to be able to work on this house the past few days and also be there to present it to this hard-working brother in Christ. After hiking back down the hill from the house, most of the group made their way back to the school to begin the clothing distribution. At the beginning, we had a room full of clothes, shoes, and toys. By the end, it was pretty empty. While I don't have a count for how many families we distributed to today, I know many Hondurans are grateful to be better clothed, especially those lucky enough to have new fitting shoes. There was still a lot to get done on Nahum's house today, so a sizable group worked there making finishing touches on the house, like windows and doors. And finally painting, which took a little longer than expected, but it was finished before we left for the day. We even added landscaping to this house so it's the nicest house I have ever seen built by TORCH. My parents will be proud to know I gathered rocks from a creek bed for a rock path way. This house and classroom was funded by the Bell Shoals church of Christ so we are thankful for their contribution and hope they are happy with the result.

The afternoon for a lot of our group was spent with the Daughters of the King. The word from Mrs. Sandi Haab is that they had about 50 girls. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Daughters of the King, this is where we bring the little girls in and basically treat them like princesses. We wash their hair and feet, and then fix their hair and paint their toenails. It is a great experience for everyone involved, and it is truly humbling to serve these young girls and show them what it's like to be a beautiful daughter of the Lord. The last "project" of the day was our soccer game. It was not as enjoyable as it could have been if the sun had not been beating down on us, but we were playing fútbol so of course we were all pumped about it! The final score I was told was 4-5, the Americans losing to the Hondurans. How reliable that score is I'm not sure since they dominated the first half, but I think they out numbered us at the time. Then the second half, we evened out the teams number-wise, but got their star player. Honestly, we weren't playing to keep score, we played to delve into a sport with locals who value this recreation. Fútbol here is not just a game, it's a way of life. You grow up learning to play as soon as you start walking (I saw this in action today with a little boy and I assume his father). Our day in the village was concluded with church service with our brothers and sisters at the congregation. Pictures will be up later of the houses, and the group photo we took. 

Tomorrow's agenda consists of very little. The plan is to leave at 10 in the morning for Tegucigalpa. When we arrive we'll be sorting and packing food, having orientation to the mission house, eating supper and then devo (which will hopefully be entirely Ustream-ed since the internet is 10x reliable there). Everyone is pretty worn out from the past few days, so we hope to revamp with sleeping in tomorrow and getting some rest on a travel day. Continue the prayers for our group here and for all the other missionaries in the world who have dedicated their lives to bringing the word of God to those in need. 

In Christ Alone,


Tuesday, June 25

A Walk with the Butterflies

With each step I took into the dry creek bed I began to stir up the nature around me. Before I knew it I was consumed in a cocoon of butterflies. Their soft flutter following me with every step I took. Apparently it looked pretty neat from far away too. There is a bridge in between the school and church which you must cross. It is here you can find swarms of all different kinds of butterflies. Thus, it's been aptly named the "Butterfly Bridge." Margaret Reeves, Joanna Fussell, and myself took a group of 10-15 kids to this bridge to see these beautiful insects. I loved watching them from afar, but the urge to get closer was too great. I gave in to my desire and walked down into the creek bed and of course all the children followed me. The next moments were spent catching as many different butterflies as possible. The kids did all the catching, but they were more than happy to bring them to any of the gringos, but especially Miss Reid Mitchell, the adorable little 4-year-old daughter of Brett Mitchell. When it was time to head back, we start making our way down the road and I glanced down a road to the right only to discover a flutter of butterflies in the distance. Curiousity got the better of us, so we all ventured down the butterfly path to see what we could find. As I led the way with all the children, it was a video perfect scene of children running and butterflies surrounding us all, or at least Margaret said it was. While I wish I could have gotten some pictures of it all, I know they wouldn't have been able to do the moment justice. But I did bring my camera with me later when I took Reid back to the bridge, so you'll get to see her with them :)

For today, I have a change a pace for you all. Instead of hearing my perspective on what's been going on, here is what Mrs. Becky Palmer has written describing her thoughts about the trip so far. Enjoy!

I was asked to write the blog for the Bell Shoals group. Without hesitation, I gladly said yes. I thought this would be be a simple task because I have so many things to say. It has turned out to be much harder than I expected. As I sit here and write, I have a number of emotions, stories and thoughts swirling around in my head. My words seem inadequate, but I will attempt to share some of my experiences. The Hondurans were eagerly waiting for the buses filled with gringos to arrive on Sunday morning. I was not expecting them to remember us individually, so when several children ran up to our group and called out our names, I Was touched. It didn’t feel like a year had passed since we were here. 
Throughout the day, I see and hear everyone working hard to bless the people of Agua Agria. We have seen and treated hundreds of people in the medical clinic. The village appreciates being seen by Dr. Asha and her medical team, and they receive medication that is necessary for them to regain their health. Our building crew completed Nahum’s house this afternoon. They will complete the Davila’s home and a classroom for the church tomorrow. I praise God that these wonderful people will now have a place to call home.
The VBS crew has done a fantastic job teaching the children about God and His word through songs and skits. It is a complete joy to interact and play with the boys and girls of Agua Agria.
By the time we get back to our hotel, we are all filthy and exhausted. It feels fantastic to exhaust ourselves doing God’s work. I am constantly surprised by the fact that I am the one who feels blessed. God is using us missionaries to help these people, and at the same time, He is using the Honduras to lift us up and strngtehn out faith. It’s amazing! For example, I attended the ladies’ Bible class this morning and was encouraged by the women in attendance. They are extremely thankful for what we bring to their village. Agua Agria is filled with kind, beautiful women who have a desire to learn about God. My life has been enriched by worshipping the Lord with these wonderful women.
My prayer is that the people of Agua Agria will see and feel God’s love for them through the work we are doing. Won’t it be wonderful to hear them calling our names in heaven?

Tomorrow's plans include: House painting, clothing distribution, Daughters of the King, door knocking and...The best one yet---A SOCCER GAME! Gringos vs. Hondurans. It's going to be an awesome last day spent in Agua Agria and I'm greatly looking forward to it. I'm also really excited because if I go to bed in the next 10 minutes, I'll be getting 9 hours of sleep. And to survive a day like tomorrow, you need it. 

La jefa,


Pictures include: Reid with the butterflies, the two houses and classroom being built, the awesome medical team, and the dedication of Nahum's house


To all of those interested in watching our devos at night here in Honduras, I apologize for it not working so far. I thought that we were good to go last night, but apparently the internet failed sometime during the devo but I didn't realize it until the end. If tonight is the same as last night, we will be having devo at 7:30 our time, which is 9:30 eastern and 8:30 central. I'm going to do my best to find the best spot to put the computer in so that we'll have good internet for the entire devo. Please stay tuned to the station because it very well could be that we have devo later tonight.  And I will be recording it while we're live so if you miss it, you can watch it later. I look forward to having you join us down here in Choluteca, Honduras. Brett is doing a great job bringing our devotionals so you don't wanna miss out!

Monday, June 24


There are a lot of things in life that get us distracted. And some are more easily distracted...squirrel. No matter where we are, Satan has something he is trying to distract us with. At home it may be our jobs, our technology, or our school work. Even here in Honduras he throws in distractions like fatigue, complaints, and not getting along with certain people on the trip. These distractions are trying to get us off our game. Satan is using them to keep us from doing our work for the Lord. Then when one person starts getting distracted and complaining to other people, it just brings them down as well. I know from experience how easily distracted I am. If you've read enough of these blogs you probably already have an idea about how my mind jumps from one thing to the next. I feel like distractions creep in much easier than they used to, especially with technology and social media. It's so easy to just sit on your computer and scroll through your Facebook newsfeed for hours. As a Facebook-aholic, I can claim to have done this more times than I can count. But what good comes out of staring at a computer screen? Facebook can be a great tool to keep in touch with people near and far, but are you using it to grow God's kingdom? Those hours you spend on there could be better used in study of God's word. Trust me, I'm preaching to the choir on this one. I regret so many nights that I stayed up late on Facebook just looking at pictures or talking to people I'd probably see the next day, but I'd claim to be too tired to open my Bible and read before going to sleep. How often do we let distractions keep us from a better relationship with God? 

Here on this trip, one of the things you have to realize is that in order for us to do the most and best work we can do, we have to show respect. Respect those people we may not get along with and learn to work with them because you are both striving for a common goal. Respect the fact that everyone is tired from a long day's work and may be a little cranky. Giving everyone a smile and word of encouragement can go a long way. Don't let life's distractions keep you from missing the good stuff. Brett read this scripture tonight to go with his devo on distractions: 

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men."
Colossians 3:23

Today was our first big day. We had three projects going on at once. The primary ones were the medical clinic and construction. The clinic got right to work as soon as we pulled up to the school. Here in Agua Agria, they closed the school down for the 3 days we are going to be here so that we can use the buildings to do the clinic and clothing distribution in. First, we had to unload all the medical supplies on the buses, put them in the two classrooms and organize them. We had one room for the doctors and nurses to see patients, and another room for the pharmacy. There was a great group of around 20 people working in the medical clinic. They were amazing and worked hard the entire day. I mean they had to because somehow in less than 7 hours they saw over 300 patients!! Our count was 301 according to Mrs. Sarah Hinson, but according to Terry, there were people who came in who were not on the list so our number is supposedly closer to 400. Either way, it was a huge number of people who were able to get some much needed medical treatment today. As for the construction crew, we had two crews working on the two houses. One lucky smaller crew led by Tyler Gist got to hike up the hill, which is not just a hill, it's more like a climb up a mountain. They were able to get 3 sides and the floor of the house for one of the preacher's done. I'm thinking they would have finished today if they had not run into some problems along the way. But Terry was happy because he was afraid the construction would be done early and be left with nothing to do tomorrow. The second house and classroom came along great today. They are over 2/3 done, only lacking a few sides, part of a floor and a roof, I think...This was a different project since we're not building a typical TORCH house. It's about 3 times the size of what we normally build since there is a classroom attached to one end. We're thankful to have Tricky Pat in charge of this project and I'm excited to see the final project tomorrow! Hope to post pictures for you all to see as well. 

VBS and the women's class were our smaller projects for the day. Mrs. Diane Adams led a women's Bible class for about 15 women this morning. I heard that it went very well for her and also for her interpreter Hannah Phillips. Hannah was also a big part of our VBS as she was interpreting for our narrator of our skit. This morning we weren't sure the best way of going about VBS since all the kids are in line for the clinic with their parents. Only so many are let inside the gates of the school at a time, and we had to wait for Hannah to be available before we could start. So the first few hours in the village was spent playing with the kids while they waited. They were fascinated with the bubbles I blowed for them, and I heard the boys threw a football around for almost 2 hours. Around 11:30 we had a good size group of somewhere between 50 and 60 kids gathered so we sang songs with them and did our first VBS skit about Paul that we did in Costa Rica. They all seemed to love the drama and involvement of the songs. We are hoping that tomorrow goes even better! 

Our plans for tomorrow are pretty much identical today. The medical clinic is supposedly seeing about 400 patients tomorrow...but those are just the amount on the list. The construction crews will be finishing up their projects if all goes well. The VBS will be performing another skit and have some games planned for the kids to play during our down time before and after. And Mrs. Diane Adams will be having another class for the women of the church in the morning. Please continue to pray for our efforts here in this community. Our time here is short and with only 2 days left we hope to reach as many people as we can, not only physically, but spiritually. Please pray that our efforts to meet their physical needs will exemplify Christ's love for them and it will encourage them to seek God in their life. 

La jefa, 


Sunday, June 23


Have you ever thought about the purpose of mission work? Why do we send these groups of 70 people to Honduras to work for about a week anyways? You can either consider this to be a small group or a big group. If you compare the number in our group to the number of Christians in the world, it's a very small group. However, if you think about the size of this community we're working in and the number of gringos that come here to work, then you know it's a huge group. For the next week, our group is going to be a team. We will work together for a common goal. Where one of us is weak, others will be strong. The reason we come together to do mission work is so we can support each other. We need each other for motivation. Seeing others working for the Lord and giving their all is motivating for us to do the same. Our focus is kept on the right track by being a part of a team that puts the Lord's work first in their lives. One of the best parts of mission work is the group. You get to know so many workers for Christ and thrive off of their servant hearts. It proves to you that there are other Christians out there who are striving to share the message of Christ and obtain a home in Heaven one day. Brett Mitchell talked to us at devo tonight about teamwork. To quote him: "I make you better, you make me better." For the next week, we need everyone here to be motivated and focused. When one member of our team steps up, the rest of us should follow their lead and step up as well. On a team, you must learn when you must lead, and when you must follow. 

We have had a blessed Lord's Day. Our morning began with breakfast at the hotel before we loaded the buses about 8:30. We arrived in Agua Agria close to 9:30, and I think worship service began about 10. We sang praises to God in both English and Spanish, and then heard a lesson from Terry Reeves. He spoke about how in life we try to alter God's will to make it our will. There are some things our Father asks us to do that are easy and we want to follow, but when it comes to the tough things we want to do it our own way. We think we know better than our Father. But in reality, His will is always the best. He related this to the church. We want the church to be the way we want it, but the truth is we didn't buy the church and our name is not on it. We are a part of the church of Christ. It's His church because He bought it and His name is on it. Christ has asked us to do many things and will continue to ask much of us in our lives, and it is our choice to obey Him, or be disobedient.

After worship service, we greeted our brothers and sisters at the church in Agua Agria and discussed the plans for the rest of our stay here with them. Some men went to check out the work sites and at the church building they have already begun the construction without us. Lunch was a choice between KFC, Pizza Hut, and Wendy's, followed by a run to the grocery store to stock up for lunch for the week. When we got back to the hotel, we unloaded the buses with supplies and began sorting. After a few hours we were able to get all the medicines and clothes sorted. We also had a group working on VBS during this time. I'm excited and nervous to see how VBS goes tomorrow...our time frame is from about 9-3 with the kids. 6 hours is a long time, but we've got a great skit and some songs to keep them entertained for a little while. The medical clinic is set to begin at 9:30 in the morning, which means that people will be lined up at the door waiting when we pull up at 9. Construction has a lot on their plate, but with as many people as we have it'll probably be done in today. They are going to be building two houses, one for each of the preacher's at the church in Agua Agria. One of these houses is on the same lot as the church and will also have a children's classroom connected to it. Between the medical clinic, VBS, and all the construction going on I have a feeling we're all going to be exhausted come tomorrow night, but that's what we're here for!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1

La jefa,


Saturday, June 22

All's Quiet on the Western Front

It's about 10 o'clock, and everything is already nice and quiet in western Honduras. Everyone has arrived safely in Choluteca, Honduras. The interns made it here about 5 or 6 yesterday after our 15 hour bus ride. Let's just say, leaving a bus station at 3 AM is never ideal, but we made it safely and got to bed very early. The rest of our group came in today. Terry flew from San Jose to Tegucigalpa in order to pick up our team members flying in today and bring them by bus to Choluteca, along with our supplies. As far as I know, they came across no problems getting here for which we are all very thankful...we've got a big enough problem on our hands.

An unfortunate bit of news was given to us: Our container which was shipped back in May is in a holding pattern. Which from my understanding is just the government is holding it so they can make money off of it. Apparently we have to pay for every day it is there, but we have no way of getting it from them until it's released. While this is incredibly frustrating, all we can do is pray that we can still get the work done which we have planned without those supplies. Thankfully some stuff was brought  from the bodega and in suitcases today, so tomorrow will be spent going through what we do have and deciding what we can do with it.

On an exciting note, a few of us got to go on a special excursion this afternoon. Since we got here early, today was free to do whatever we wanted. While some decided to stay at the hotel and relax at the pool, Jose, Tyler, Andrew and myself jumped on the opportunity to leave and visit the island of Boca. A teacher from my high school, Greg Armstrong, is in Honduras for the entire summer working with Mission Lazarus. When I discovered that he was down here, I contacted him to see if we could get together. It turned out that they were coming through Choluteca the day we had free, so he asked us to join him and the interns from Mission Lazarus to work at the island today. We drove about 30-45 minutes from the hotel, and since it was high tide, we got to take a boat (a canoe with a motor on the back) over to the island. While we got some work done by digging a hole for a latrine, and also had some fun by being drug into the ocean by a bunch of children. Even though we're all pretty tired, I'm glad we got to visit a new community down here and be a part of another group doing some awesome work.

Our night was concluded by a trip to the new mall here in Choluteca to grab some dinner in the food court. Let's just say the new mall on a Saturday night was not the best idea...but thankfully we all got in and got our food in a reasonable amount of time. But some of us got the opportunity to eat said food while riding in the back of the pick-up truck. Just a warning to you blog readers: the internet here at the hotel and I do not get along. I tired all yesterday and today and could not get it to work on my computer. However, I gave my computer to someone else and they were able to get it to connect so I could do the blog. Let's hope that it works from now on, but it's very well possible that I won't be able to update the blog every night here in Choluteca. I promise to do my best though!

In other news, I know some of you are interested in watching our devos every night via Ustream. I'm working on getting the information for it via Brandy (who needs to check Facebook) so if all is in order with the internet, we should be starting that tomorrow night. My guess will be that we will have it about 9...but my guess is about as good as yours. Please stay tuned for further information concerning Ustream and the internet.

As far as our contact information, we are at the Hotel Gualiqueme in Choluteca, Honduras. I don't have any other information as of yet, so for now our number is 1-800-AIN'T-GOT-A-CLUE.

I'm so excited to be working with this new group for the next 9 days! From meeting a few and remembering a lot of old faces, I think it's going to be a great group to work with, even though a lot of them are from Florida. Our day tomorrow will be started by worshipping the Lord with the church in Agua Agria, having lunch in Choluteca, and then coming back to the hotel to sort and organize the supplies. Please keep us all in your prayers that the work we do here may be pleasing in His sight and bring others to know Him. The next week is going to be very busy so I will do my best to fill you all in on what's going on here.

Dios te bendiga,


For your viewing pleasure, a picture of the SI team at the pacific ocean. We got to see Nicargua and El Salvador both from where we were at!!

Friday, June 21

We at da Hotel Lobby

I like bus rides about as much as I like bug bites.
Oh wait, I don't like either one of those...but there seems to be an abundance of them. Apparently we get sarcastic when we get tired. 10 of us are now sitting in a hotel lobby waiting to leave at 1:30 to be at the bus station at 2 so we can depart for Nicaragua at 3 AM. Needless to say, we're exhausted, delirious, and not foreseeing sleep in our near future.

Our day began with more relaxation this morning. At 11:30 we loaded the buses, took our group photo (as seen below) and headed into La Fortuna to eat lunch. Then we spent the next hours riding back to San Jose where we did some brief souvenir shopping, a Walmart coffee run, and supper at the mall. As we wrapped up our time with Daniel and Maribel, we gathered a collection to give to them as a gift from our group. This small group of 28 people donated $1300 for this amazing Christian couple. We know that Daniel and Maribel do so much work for the Lord and do not have much to spend on themselves. Daniel said that he would be a good steward of this money and we are confident he will put it to good use for him and his family.

Since I don't have much to say about our day, let me just say how awesome this group has been. I have been going on TORCH trips for 5 summers now, and this is hands down the best group I have been a part of. In my opinion, small groups are the way to go. Yes, we may not have as much man-power, but we have been able to become so close as a group. Everyone has gotten the chance to spend time and talk to each other. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know all of the members of this group, and we were sad to see it part today. Unfortunately, we know that no matter the circumstances, this exact group will never be together working here again. For this reason, we will treasure the time we had together and the work we did with this loving church in Buenos Aires. The only "big" group we had within our group was the one from Old Hickory church of Christ which consisted of 9 people, Mark and Carolina Adams, Karri Tucker, Danae Elder, Savannah, Allie, Abigail, Dalton and Zach (sorry for those of you that I don't know your last names). The rest of our group was made up of individuals or couples: Larry and Linda Moran from Henderson, TN, Thad Butts and Sarah Patty from Gulf Shores, AL, Whitney Smith from Freed-Hardeman University, Josh Fussell from Memphis, TN, Karley from Memphis, TN, Diego Rojas from Costa Rica, and the "interns": Tyler Gist, Andrew Allgood, Jose, Ginny Reese, Joanna Fussell, Hannah Phillips, Riley Bowers, Sarah Hinson, Terry and Margaret Reeves and myself.

God brought us together for a purpose on this trip, and we hope that our work was pleasing in His sight. He made us ONE body working for Him in Buenos Aires.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
Colossians 3:15-17

I'll try my best to update you all upon our arrival in Choluteca tomorrow...but if it's too late, sleep will come before the blog. Please keep all the TORCH members traveling tomorrow(now today) in your prayers.

The sleepy girl on the floor,


Pictures: 1-Entire Group, 2-Terry and Margaret Reeves with Daniel and Maribel Chaves
3&4-Arenal Volcano, 5-View from my back porch, 6-Buenos Aires church of Christ at sunset

Wednesday, June 19

Our God is an Awesome God

One of my favorite things to do in life is admire God's handiwork. I mean, it's just awesome. Watching a beautiful sunset, staring at a clear blue sky, or even seeing His power in a tornado.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

God knew what He was doing when He created the Earth. It's gorgeous and diverse. Wherever you go, you never see the same thing twice. Even though this is my third year to come to Costa Rica, I am still in awe of it's beauty. How anyone can deny that it was created by God I will never be able to understand. My belief in Him is fully reinforced in His creations alone. Take the volcano for example. He created this volcano which is majestic, standing proud out here in this valley. It is powerful and has helped to create the habitat surrounding it. All around it is a diversity of life: trees, plants, and animals. The water in the pools here in the hotel are heated by the volcano. This one piece of land alone exhibits God's invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature. How awesome is that? Our God truly is an awesome God.

We've all had a relaxing day. Many adventures have been had from zip-lining to a 12-man water slide. Tomorrow will be more of that. We'll be checking out of the hotel around noon, then spending some time in La Fortuna eating and shopping. Then we will make our way to San Jose and spend our night in a mall and hotel. Our last day is too close...reality is truly beginning to set in.

Here are some of those pictures I was promising you all...

The Longest Day

No, I won't be talking about World War II, though we have a few times on the trip already. Ask Danae Elder about that one. I do feel that today has been the longest day on our trip. Travel days always are, and it's usually because something wonderful happens *excuse the sarcasm* For some reason, history likes to repeat itself. As we were making our way up the mountain about an hour or two into our journey, our bus decides it does not want to go up the mountain anymore. Therefore, another (much nicer) bus comes to pick us up and we move all our luggage into the back seats. On our merry way, we stop for an early lunch at a chicken place and a few of us used that time to walk to a nearby supermercado (supermarket) and buy as much coffee as we could fit in our arms. That was a great choice, but the consequence will be carrying around these bags for two additional trips in Honduras. After this, we only had two more stops along the way, but traffic seemed to be horrendous. There were also quite a few uneasy stomachs from the winding roads and a 10 hour bus ride did not help at all. Burger King ended up being our supper when we finally arrived in La Fortuna. We made it just in time to see part of the Costa Rica/Panama fútbol game, and Costa Rica scored as we were leaving. Just down the road was our hotel Los Lagos. Unfortunately, we haven't had a glimpse of the volcano yet because of the fog/rain/clouds all around us. We were all so glad to be in our beds and able to sleep in tomorrow morning! The next day will be full of relaxation, so I'm sorry if I don't have any exciting stories to tell you. 

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Tuesday, June 18

No tears in Heaven

“There’ll be no sadness, all will be gladness, when we shall join that happy band.” One of the hardest things in life is saying goodbye. Sadly, we have to do it so often. We say goodbye to places we love visiting and people we love dearly. For example, tonight we said goodbye to our brothers and sisters here in Buenos Aires. The hardest goodbyes are the ones where you aren’t sure if you’ll ever see them again. While so many of us have set our minds on returning next year, practically, not every one will be able to. My heart aches to return here because if I do, my goodbye is more like a “see you later.” I didn’t want to say “Adios” instead I went with the “see you next year” because it’s so much easier. The truth is one day, we won’t have to say goodbye or see you later. For me right now, the greatest reason to strive for an eternity in Heaven is for the assurance that I will see these people again. It makes me wonder how people who don’t have Christ in their life can ever say goodbye to loved ones without their heart being broken in two. If it weren’t for Heaven, I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to anyone here on Earth. So many people come in and out of our lives throughout our lifetime: family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. I can’t even imagine how a “goodbye” to them could mean forever, and that’s the end. We have a gracious God who has a place prepared for us to all meet again one day so there will be no end!

Today was fantastic. In my opinion, it was our best day here, but then I say that because my day was made by getting to see and hold a beautiful baby girl. I even had a conversation with Erica, a young Christian girl from a nearby city, about how we love children. She told me, “I see God in children.” I could not agree more with that statement. Kids are the most beautiful gift from God I have ever seen. They are a blessing in so many ways. VBS has been so enjoyable because we work with kids who sing with such fervor. I often think that children are able to understand God and His love so much better than we adults can. Why else would Christ have told us become like them? All the more reason we have been trying to reach these children at their schools and encouraging them to learn more about God.

Our activities for the day consisted of two VBSs at two schools which we had already visited, but this time with different groups of kids. We also did our third skit and activity tonight during the gospel meeting. Everything went great and they all seemed to love participating in singing songs and learning more about the Lord. We hope that they remember one of the repetitious phrases in one of our skits, “concentrate en Dios” (focus on God). Since we’ll be retreating soon, I will work on editing pictures and posting lots from our VBS. I have over 500 pictures to go through so I’ll try to pick the best ones.

The men’s and women’s classes continued today as well. They will wrap up tomorrow morning and the leaders of those classes, Larry and Linda Moran, will be riding with Daniel and Meribel to meet us at our volcanic destination. There were also some bible studies going on this afternoon. The Morans went to pray with a man who just recently discovered he has cancer. He has never been to church or shown interest in it, but given his present situation he is more receptive to hearing the Word and we hope this visit will help to get him interested in getting his life right with God. Vidal had a study with two women, I assume a mother and daughter. They discussed what the Gospel really is and she also asked questions concerning the differences in the church of Christ and other churches. She agreed to another Bible study so I took that to be encouraging. 

The best surprise of the day was the arrival of Kimberly to the church tonight with her sister Katherine and her two children, Ian and Kiera (family picture below). Katherine was baptized last year during our trip and gospel meeting so we were all so excited to see her before we all left. Her adorable children were also a bonus. We all concluded our night at Giovanni's pizza here in Buenos Aires. It was a nice opportunity for all of us to sit down and visit with each other without having to worry about cooking/serving food, or doing dishes. We were all able to spend time with each other before hesitantly saying our "goodbyes" and getting on the bus. While there were many tears shed, I have faith in knowing that our God is good and He has allowed us all an opportunity to meet again. He's even allowed you the opportunity to meet these wonderful people you keep hearing about. Just think about being in Heaven with every single Christian brother and sister who has ever walked on this earth...what a fantastic place it is going to be! I hope we don't have to wait much longer.

For tomorrow, our plans consist of traveling all day. We're set to head out by around 8 AM and drive through until we reach La Fortuna and our buffet dinner at the hotel. Please pray for safe travels for all of us, and also for the church here in Buenos Aires that they may continue to thrive. They may be small, but they are strong in their faith. 

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled...Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:6, 8

Dios les bendiga,