Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picture Honduras

La Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion, built between 1810 and 1817.
Danli, Honduras.

Since our "address" says that we're 'on the road to Danli,' we figured we better visit Danli. It's a city of about 70,000 people, known for its corn festival and tobacco production, but seems to be struggling economically just like the other places we've seen in this country.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the fine line

During our training for this 2-year mission, Bart & I tried to research as much as we could the themes of charity, dependency, and third-world missions. We knew that in a place like Honduras, there would be many opportunities to help meet the physical needs of those around us, and we wanted to be wise in the choices we'd make.

Huge questions abound: How do we help others without disempowering them? How do we work for long-term solutions without ignoring the immediate struggles? How do we enter a village to help address their needs without introducing them to the many things that may ruin their contentment? 

We strongly desire to have genuine relationships with the people here, but many times we feel that the wealth of the US gets in the way. I don't want the people here to see only dollar signs when they look at us, but the fact is, we do have access to so many resources...resources that could benefit them greatly. 

Today we took a 10-year-old boy from a nearby village to the Baxter clinic to address a skin condition he's been struggling with. Dr. Xiomara was great with him, and the family was very thankful, but the diagnosis broke my heart. The doctor said his skin rash is probably due to malnutrition, meaning his painful sores are because he's not getting proper nutrients in his diet. This is just unimaginable to me. And it breaks my heart to know that he and so many others are not getting their basic needs met.

I know there are probably no perfect answers, and for now we walk a fine line. I pray for His guidance in our decisions (and for help from any of you who may have some thoughts to share!).


Monday, October 25, 2010

Our First Guests!

This week we were blessed to host our first group of gringos! A small group from Alameda Church of Christ in Norman spent the past few days working hard: they built 2 houses, fed 300 people at the dump, visited the boys at Jovenes en Camino, and were constantly sharing their love and enthusiasm with the people of Honduras. Cheryl, Stan, Lance, and Kevin were (thankfully!) patient, adventurous, and passionate, which helped make our week a memorable one!

Thanks for such a great week, guys!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Honk if You're Honduran

Little did we know, when deciding to move to Honduras, that there were two languages we would need to learn: Spanish and Honking. 

In the States - at least in the places we've lived - honking can be considered rude, impatient...even a way to express some serious road rage. Not so in Honduras! Here, honking is normal, expected, and many times necessary to get somewhere safely on these roads.

As of now, here is what we can interpret in Honduran Honking:
'beep' - "I'm right here; just lettin' ya know."
'beep-beep' - "Let me in, please," or "Thank you."
'BEEP!' - "Go already!" or "Watch it, buddy!"
'BEEEEEEEEEEEP!' - "Why in the world is nobody moving right now? I don't know, but I'm going to honk until we start moving."

Right now, it's kind of fun to have a new avenue of expression. We'll just need to be careful when visiting the States to not bring too much of this newly acquired language with us. We may encounter some problems in translation!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to School

Walking Crying my way across the stage at my UO graduation in June of 2006, I was 99% sure I'd never go to school again. My tears were tears of joy, pride, and relief...that I'd never have to spend another Sunday night preparing for the tasks of the school week. 

Never say never! Bart & I just completed our first week of Spanish classes at the Conversa Language School in Tegucigalpa. I must say that--while this is one of the most difficult goals we could attempt at our old age--I feel blessed to have the opportunity to become more equipped to speak with Latin Americans. It's such a special culture with special people, and learning their language will only enrich my life. 

Thank you to all our supporters who are making this opportunity possible for us!


The Huntress

This is the crazy-ferocious guard dog we inherited from Will and Rachel. Her name is Cazadora, which means 'the huntress;' you do not want to get on her bad side!

In reality, 'Caza' is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever been around! She is gentle and playful, and - as far as I can tell - her bite is as big as her bark (and I've never heard her bark). I think she'll be a good companion for us here.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Picture Honduras

This is our road, when you're heading toward the highway from our house.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Today was our first chance to visit the Sunday morning service at the Iglesia de Cristo in Mateo.  Mateo is a small community a few miles outside Tegucigalpa.  

We left our house early and gave ourselves plenty of time to get lost, and we wasted little time in doing so.  We did, however, still manage to arrive just a few minutes before the scheduled start time of 9:30.  At about 9:25, the 250, or so, metal folding chairs were alarmingly empty.  I was just about to sprawl out and recline onto several of the chairs adjacent to mine, when two school busses arrived, each carrying at least twice the amount of people who could be comfortably seated on such a vehicle and packed the church so that more chairs had to be set up. 

We sang a lot of songs, and this was obviously a group of people that loves to sing and sing loud.  It was awesome.  It was sincerely refreshing to me personally to hear people sing, whose number one priority was to put their heart and soul into singing and praising God, not getting hung up on the intricate nuances of four-part harmony.  Don't get me wrong--they sounded beautiful, but what was most beautiful is the way they just let loose and sang.

I wish I could say that I understood most of the sermon, but the truth is that I just got bits and pieces ("mas despacio, por favor").  But what I did understand was really amazing.  The preacher, Leopoldo, spoke about Noah and the covenant that God made to never destroy the earth with water again, putting a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of that promise.  What made this especially moving is that Honduras and much of Central America have experienced terrible flooding and mudslides recently.  At the end of the sermon, Leopoldo prayed for those who had lost crops and even homes due to all the rain--this including people in the audience.  What, for most of my life, had always been a cute little story about a guy on a boat with a bunch of animals seeing a rainbow (or was it a double rainbow?) was now, to these people, a comforting promise that God, even in terrible circumstances, was there and wouldn't abandon them.  


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Allow ourselves to introduce...ourselves

Buying our truck yesterday meant we were able to visit the boys' home today! Jovenes en Camino is surrounded by beautiful mountains, about 30 miles outside of the capitol city, and is a haven for boys who have been orphaned or abandoned. The guard at the gate did a good job of keeping strangers out, but we were finally able to enter after a call from the Director. 

The boys welcomed us warmly (in other words, climbed all over us!), and the staff were so hospitable. After dedicating our first few months to language school, we hope to spend a couple days a week working with the boys at JEC. If today's sweet introductions were signs of what's to come, we will surely be blessed at this place.


Meet Carlitos

Our first week in Honduras has been monopolized by The Great Truck Search. What an experience! We have bought and sold cars & property in the US, but nothing quite prepared us for the car-buying process in Honduras. We were assisted by some locals, including our friends Amber and Darwin, and were finally able to purchase a truck yesterday! Meet Carlitos:

Bart named him after Carlos Teves, an Argentinian soccer player. We're happy he's part of our family!

Whatever we've been occupied with this week, our hearts & minds have definitely been with our friends, the Evans family, from our church in Norman. Leslie, who is my age, has undergone some major health complications this week. We pray for her, her husband Mark, and their 3 sweet children. A Facebook page called Loving Leslie has been created for all those who'd like to pray for them. We invite you to do so.