Our Mission Statement

Thursday, June 30

And it begins....for real

Good day to all of you!!!  For those who do not know, this is the blog for Terry Reeves TORCH group 2016.  My name is Brandy Barnett, and I will be keeping you as updated as possible of the work being done in Jesus name.

June 30, 2016 started at 7 am with breakfast.  Our group of 16 (more will be joining over the next few days) enjoyed a croissant with eggs, cheese, and turkey/ham.  At 8am the group gathered supplies for our first build in Limones in the rainforest.  This house was a house Fairfield Church of Christ in Centerville, TN sponsored.

The group had a slower start than we would have liked, but the post holes took a while to dig due to the thick mud (I'm glad it wasn't rock though!!).  Once our holes were set and post were in, the build was pretty smooth.  The team was a very good team.  Everyone was eager to work and/or learn something new about building houses in Honduras.  The weather was AMAZING, with overcast skies and light drizzle to keep us cool.  We finished around 2:30pm and went to another house build site to pick up another team with TORCH.

While we were waiting for the team to finish, Mark Connell showed us a coffee farm.  A gentleman by the name of Jesus began planting coffee about 3 years ago.  Jesus was nice enough to show us his farm which also has veggies too.  It was pretty amazing to see how they plant their plants along the side of the mountains, but they do!!  Mark also shared with us how this gentleman also employees people to help during harvest season, which is great for the Hondurans with a 60% unemployment rate.  This past March a group from Freed-Haldeman came and visited Jesus and learned he was having to travel a very long way to roast his coffee beans.  Jesus was hoping he would eventually be able to buy his own roaster.  Jesus was provided a loan to purchase a roaster and will begin roasting his own coffee beans next harvest (if my understanding is correct).  It is so amazing to see the growth of a country.  I'm not sure I can put into words how neat and encouraging it was to see the work Jesus has done and will be able to continue to do through the help of God.

After the other group completed their house we loaded the bus and made our way back to the mission house.  When we arrived we were greeted by 3.5 other group members.  Tyler, Katherine, and Truett Steffy, and Brenda Waller made it safely to the mission house.  The remainder of todays wave arrived from Costa Rica at about 5:30.  We all reunited with old friends and met new ones over the next hour.  Then it was time for dinner!  Dinner tonight was so good!! We had beef tips, rice, salad and a roll.  I can never explain just how good the food is here, I mean I look forward to it every year!!  You guys do not have to worry about us going hungry at all.

When dinner was over we had devo.  Terry Reeves led us in our thoughts centered around our theme which is translated more love please.  He talk about how before John was the apostle of love that he was known as the son of thunder.  He discussed with us how John learned to love and would eventually be know as the apostle of love.  When devo was over, we had an orientation to welcome those who are here to Honduras and go over some ground rules.  Then it was off to bed for some much needed rest.

Tomorrow we will have a house build and others will be coming in to add to our group!!  I'm so excited to be here and to finally be working and serving with my brothers and sisters.  I hope you all enjoy what you read and please send prayers for safe travels and successful work.

Thank you all for your prayers!!

Love you all
Brandy B

If you have any questions email me brandyb06@gmail.com

Below are photos from today!! Enjoy

Wednesday, June 29

I wanted to let everyone know a group of 13 have made it to the mission house. We have 3 more coming in at about 8 this evening. We will have small groups coming in over the next few days. I will post more tomorrow night. If you have any questions please email me brandyb06@gmail.com. Love you all. Stay tuned ;).

Brandy Barnett

Saturday, June 25

Can I have that word in a sentence please.....

Costa Rica, June 24th: What a day!!!  Really early rise and shine today!  We were up and out the door at 7:00 this morning because today we have a very special activity planned. Today we had the unique opportunity to help with a National English Contest at the district level at the school we have been working with this week. Several of us were judges for the different categories: spelling bee, impromptu speech, conversation speech, and prepared speech. Several of the teachers in our group worked in the different areas and were the official judges.  There were three judges for each category.  (Terry Reeves was a judge for high school spelling... let that one set in for a moment!) The school allowed us to sing church songs before an assembly of around 300 parents, students, and teachers. We were even allowed to invite people to the church. They served us a really good breakfast and lunch. It was a wonderful ceremony with the presenting of the Costa Rica flag, singing of the national anthem, and watching skits from different age groups. After lunch we prayed with the principle and directors.
There were several schools represented at the event and 3 or 4 schools asked us if we could do VBS at their schools next year! Looks like next year's mission trip is already on the planning board!
In the afternoon, we had classes for the men and women, dinner, and the the Gospel Meeting and VBS. Everyone is doing a great job and we are the busiest as we have ever been working in CR.  This was a great experience and a huge PR opportunity for the church and Torch today.   
The best part of the whole day? When the principal of the school came to the Gospel Meeting!!!!! She is a wonderful woman.  She, along with 2 others, responded to the invitation asking for prayers.  Great trip so far!

Some days are like that, even in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, June 23rd: Another early morning for the Torch team. Another breakfast at Denny;s and then on the bu and on our way to battle the daily chaos of morning rush hour traffic! We arrived at the church around 8:30 and had our morning devo. Benjamin Adams, our youngest Torcher, led the English songs and did a great job.  You can tell he is a veteran Lads to Leaders participant. We then headed out to knock on doors and do three VBS rotations at the local school. We were able to work with over 200 more children! 

The school is so big we have done 7 VBS skits to 7 different groups and we have not seen all of the kids yet!  Tomorrow we are supposed to have 3 more groups.  Our theme, More Love Please, has a pirate twist to it!  The skit actors are the "Pirates of the Mediterranean" and are quite the hit.  The slapstick comedy works well down here! 

After VBS the door knocking team and the VBS team met up and went back to the church building for a delicious lunch and then afternoon Bible classes.  Dinner was sandwiches and finger foods and then Jeremy preached his second lesson. Although the crowd is small the lessons are great and the ones in attendance are really enjoying it.  We have workers who are here from Buenos Aries (southern CR), La Fortuna (norther CR), and Nicaragua.  After services we had birthday cake and fellowship time before heading back to the hotel to eat some more.  

Some days are like that, even in Costa Rica!

Pancakes and cheesecake

Costa Rica: June 22nd- Early rise and shine!  Breakfast at Denny's and then on the bus and out the door about 7:15. This morning we had a devotional at the church and then went to the local school. Byron spoke again and Jon Hackett led singing. Some of us went door knocking in an area about 4 miles from the building while, some did a community service project. The main part of the team went to a large public school and did a VBS for grades 1-6. We essentially did 4 VBSs bank-to-back and presented to 400 children. 

We returned to the church for lunch and then had separate Bible classes for men and women. Then men's class is being taught by Chase Turner, who has done the class the past 3 years. The ladies class is being led by Diane Adams, who has also being teaching the class the past3 years. After dinner, we had a Gospel Meeting and VBS at the church. Jeremy Crump, from Houston, Texas, is the keynote speaker for the meeting. 

After the meeting we had a time of fellowship and then returned to the hotel for the nightly ritual.  The team, although from several different places, are bonding together really well.  New friends are being made over pancakes and cheesecake!

And so it begins...

We're here!!!  The groups arrived in waves today starting at 11:20 until 11:20 tonight.  We ate at the food court at a local mall and then headed to the hotel to check in.  Dinner was at Denny's and we had a short group meeting in the lobby before heading to bed.  

Costa Rica, June 21st: We did VBS prep today at the hotel. We translated lessons and scripts and made copies of skits and then traveled over to the church building. We ate lunch and dinner and fellowshipped with the Purral church, and had a devotional and singing.  Byron, the new preacher at Purral, gave the talk and Terry Reeves led the singing. Tomorrow morning we have the opportunity to go into a school to do a VBS and in the evening another VBS at the church and Gospel meeting. We got back to the hotel about 8:00 and the group began the daily tradition of hanging out in the lobby, eating at Denny's, and drinking lots of coffee and Fresca.  Yes, it is going to be a great trip!

Pura Vida from Costa Rica

The 2016 trips have started!!! We have been on the ground in Costa Rica for 6 days and the blogging has begin.  In the next few hours we will be downloading the daily blogs that have been written and photos of what we have been doing in San Jose.

Our team of 23 have been very busy and we have a lot to tell!!!  The team this year comes from Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, Louisiana, and Florida.  13 of us are veterans of Costa Rica trips and 7 are here for the first time.  We have 5 teens, 9 school teachers, a youth minister and a couple of people that are even retired.

We arrived this past Monday, the 20th, and are staying in San Jose working with the Purral church of Christ. We are staying at the Best Western Hotel in San Jose and we are using our long time friend Jose Porras to drive us to the work sites.  We are safe and sound and having a great time working with the church here.

Stay tuned as we update you on the wonderful works going on down here in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  Pura Vida mi amigos!!!!