We left Siguatepeque around 8 45 am and arrived at the airport just about the time the plane landed in San Pedro Sula. The team did not get through immagration and baggage claim until around 12 but I was there waiting on them when they got out! After greeting everyone and sitting down for a bite to eat we headed off on the bus to Olanchito. It was about a 5 hour drive but Jess and I had no problem using that time to catch up on our missed time together and to talk about how great of a week we would have. It was also a good time to snag a nap :) We got to the mission house around 5 30 pm and found that there was no one there to let us in! To pass the time we walked down to the river, took fun jumping pictures off of the chapel's stage, and just enjoyed one another's company. During our fun, Wally pryed the door open with a medal wedge and we were able to get in only to find another problem, NO WATER!!! So, our Extreme Missionary Adventure began! We settled in for the night and began to prepare to hike out at 7 am the next day. All of the boys went to bed, and around 9 pm, there was someone knocking at the gate. The girls flipped out because it was strange and so I wondered outside to find my sweet friends from the church! Leonardo, Kerlin, Fredy, Claudia, and Odelle were there to "let us in" and I also informed them of the water problem. We went to bed at 10 30 and set our alarms for an early morning.
I awoke to my alarm at 5 30 but found no one else to be up, so my happy self went back to bed! Everyone began stirring around 6 45 so this put us a little behind but HEY thats part of being FLEXIBLE! Dario, Dunia, Kerlin, Leonardo, and Fredy met us at the mission house to head out with us for the week. Our drive into the village where we would park our cars was 2 hours but we stopped along the way to pick up some pastor friends, Fransico & George. We parked our cars at Agua Blanca and set out to hike. The scenery during our hike was breath-taking and it was such an enjoyable experience! Not really tough but not really easy either, I enjoy myself ALOT! There were a few up's and down's but for the most part there was a good path and we were able to walk through some small rivers. Compared the Olanchito, the climate was cool and bearable, what a difference that made! When we arrived at Quebrada de Arena all of the people were waiting on us. We were able to sneak off for a minute when we got there to freshen up and wash off our dirty bodies and nasty clothes. The precious lady that was going to let us stay in her yard, opened up her wash area for us to use. We had a clothes washing session on the stone and quickly ran back outside to be with the people. As soon as we returned there the people gathered around and I was given an opportunity along with my team mates to share Discovery Stories. I shared with them the study of Creation and then later shared Old Testament Joseph's story with them through a drama. In the midst of the commotion, there was a man that had approached us with a terrible wound to the hand from an accident with a machete. He had completely severed the ligaments linking his bones from his fingers to his hand. We had no suture kit or anything so I cleaned the wound with normal saline and removed all of the debris, butterflied it together the best we could, and put a stick under his hand to prevent moving of the joint. We are praying that even though we did not have the proper supplies that the Lord would heal him and give him complete use of his finger again. We also showed the Jesus film around dusk and there were many people in this unreached village who gave their hearts to the Lord! A team has not visited the village in 5 years becuase of its hardness but God seems to be toiling the soil in this precious village! After the video we prayed with many of the people and announced the medical clinic and games for kids that would be going on the next morning. Our next adventure was going to the bathroom in a village who had no outhouses, which meant we went down the mountain in a secret place, haha. We set up tents and headed for bed, however, Jess, Sarabeth, Rachel, and I stayed up a little later than everyone else :) Gotta love girl bonding time! We talked about the things that the Lord had shown us just in the short time we had been there and shared life! Great times of fellowship :) Going to bed wasn't too difficult because of being exhausted and knowing that we would need rest for the busy day ahead of us.
The roosters began crowing at 3:30 am and the cows were making some AWEFUL noise right oustide of our tent! All the girls in my tent woke up with achey backs and pretty much on the ground! Haha, talk about having no comfort! It was fun to wake up to each others laughter about the situation at hand and to see how each other was interpreting it. A sweet woman, Rosa, invited us into her home to eat breakfast (rice, chicken, and tortillas). I have never been in a more hospitable village in all my life, which is suprising because of the history of the village. It still blows me away that these people seem to have so little but yet they have so much to give! The medical clinic began at 8 30, some sang songs and shared testimonies while we set everything up. I was actually to do most of my own translating and speaking with little help from Dunia. We saw about 45 families and were able to give everyone vitamines and the majority of the people parasite medication. Anything else that the people needed we were able to provide for as well with in reason. After we finished the clinic we hung with the people and then prepared to hike back down to Agua Blanca. On the hike down we stopped for a while besdie a small river to rest and had a blast! When we arrived at Agua Blanca we ate the food they provided: rice, beans, tortillas. After finishing the meal we set off to bathe in the river! This is probably one of my favorite memories :) Because I was the only one out of the girls who had ever bathed in a river, I had to teach Jess, Sarabeth, Rachel, Caitlin, and Krystal what to do. I found a rock out in the center of the rapidly moving river and sat down on it and washed off well. We acted crazy, enjoyed one anothers company, laughed, joked, and enjoyed being CLEAN and COOL! Two precious girls from the village joined us, Jansy and Lela. We washed their hair for them and spent some good time with them. As we were bathing we really felt so in touch with nature that the Lord created. We felt like it must have been like this for the people who lived when Jesus did. Sarabeth stated my FAVORITE quote of the whole trip "I feel like I am in Jesus' time except for the fact that we have on all of this under armor!!" It was the truth! After all of the fun in the river we went back up to the houses and spent some more time with the kids: painting finger nails, throwing the football, and playing the name game in spanish and english. The church was packed out for the Jesus film, so much that all of us were outside! It began to rain so we took cover at a school nearby and enjoyed each others company for a while. When the movie was over we went back to the church and prayed over people and everyone in the village was so excited that they wanted to watch another movie! We were so utterly exhausted that we put out our sleeping gear and prepared to get into the bed as soon as the other movie ended. There was some girl bonding time but not as much as the night before. Brother Dario told me we would have another clinic the next morning, in my mind I knew there wasn't enough medicine or vitamins for the people that needed it but we planned to have it anyways. All you can do is meet each need with what you have until you can't do it anymore. So I went to bed wondering how God was going to work the next day...
I woke up to the faces of little children staring in their schoolhouse wondering what all of the "gringos" were doing in there! We quickly woke up and exited the facility so the kids could get to work, BUT it turned out that they ended up playing with us for the first half of the day anyways! Haha, who needs school?? How many schools do you know in the states that would call school off to allow strangers to share Christ with their students? I know none. We set up for the medical clinic and much to our suprise, there was the EXACT amount of vitamins needed for each family that came in. It was a miracle, kind of like Jesus feeding the 5,000! Sarabeth and Jess shared with me that they spend the morning praying as they were bagging the vitamins, and their prayers were heard! I am being honest with you when I say we may have had enough for 10 people, but My God said NO, I want all of these peoples needs to be met! God is so good, He is the true provider! We said our goodbyes to the people of Agua Blanca after passing out toys, shirts, and hats, and drove to another village. This was the village that George pastored in! As soon as we arrived we went out into the community to visit the people. Some stayed behind to cook (dang boys) and the rest went house to house inviting people to come see the film. The second house we visited was a man who had accepted Christ just the year before. He invited us in to his home and we were able to share how great our God is through testimony and through song. I translated my first testimony there, it was Jess Young's, how awesome is that? He offered us a few treats: something that looked like a sweet potato, candy squash (suprisingly really good), rice, beans, tortillas, coffeeand a place to wash off! The next place we visited I shared my personal testimony in the spanish language, which was a goal that I set for myself for the summer. These people that I shared my testimony with were not believers, but I was thankful that the Lord opened up a door for me to share what He has done in my life. The last house we visited was the house of a local man that seemed to have things together. Sarabeth and Rachel shared their testimony there and I was able to translate for them. The man spoke to use about ways that he was trying to reach the community and they sounded good but something about his home and what was being said sounded a little off. We spent some more time there after being offered coffee and cookies and prayed with the family before leaving. Turns out, this man that we had visited where Sarabeth and Rachel shared their testimonies, had been acting as a false prophet in this particular village...adding things to the Gospel and making up a bunch of crazy rules. On the road back to George's house we met up with our team mates that had stayed behind to cook, Brett and Daniel shared with us that when they went into the school and they were given an opportunity to share discovery stories. The teacher and a few students personally asked them how they could know Jesus! They were able to pray with them and give them a spanish bible :) It was so awesome to meet them and fellowship for what little time we had, I know that I will see these people in Heaven one day! George's wife cooked a great Honduran meal for us and we played soccer for the rest of the evening. It was a pretty intense game, but we hung in there :) The Jesus film began around dark and the team retreated inside the school house for some time of prayer and to share what God had been doing in our lives. We prayed for a while for the people and then the Lord opened up doors through Clint for us to share what He had been showing us and to be COMPLETELY honest with each other. It pretty much turned into a "love fest" , courtesy of Jess Young :) It was a time of encouragement and fellowship, GREAT TIMES!!! Many of us felt uncomfortable in the village at one time or another so most of the girls were asked to stay inside during the invitation and time of prayer for the people. It turns out that we were definately a distraction, not our fault, the Devil was just after them. We were of harrassed a bit but were well protected by the walls of the school and the lock on the door. We lifted up our concerns to the Lord and prayed until it passed. God is my Protector! To make things even better, the false teacher that I mentioned above, came to repentance and shared that he wanted to join Pastor George's ministry in Janito. We had some great girl talk at bed time this night as well, I really LOVE my friends :)
Woke up on Thursday with a feeling of complete exhaustion and inadequacy. We stayed for a while longer and played games with kids, and met some needs medically. One little girl sticks out in my mind, she was being malested by her step dad and had some sever problems. My heart just broke for this precious child of God, I know that He has big plans for her life. I am still praying that the Lord would deliver her from the situation she is in and that He would be her true Father. After a morning spent ministering we began the drive back the mission house. Sarabeth and I enjoyed singing praises to the Lord on the IPOD and eventually we had the whole vehicle singing! When we got back to the house, as filthy as we were, there was still no water!!! Well I say none, but there was just enough to bathe with a trickle of water, which we were VERY GRATEFUL for! So we washed off and went to lunch at Pollo King. After our lunch/supper we went by the hammock place and then straight back to the mission house. It was a good evening but the Lord brought me into a rough situation later that night. Through this difficult situation I learned to truely love people no matter how they react towards you and what words they may use. My sweet friends were a huge blessing that night and the Lord gave them words that affirmed me and brought me back to where I needed to be. ANOTHER wonderful night of fellowship :) God is so good my friends!
Sarabeth, Rachel, Jess, and myself decided to get up early on Friday morning to make breakfast for the whole team and the locals that had been with us throughout the week. So we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and cooked pancakes, french toast, eggs, fruit, and some home-made syrup. By 9 30 am everyone was there and we had a great meal fellowshiping with one another and enjoying some familiar food :) The plan was to go to 2 orphanages so we left out at 11 am and spent about 2 hours in the first. We played games with them and then shared God's word through stories and drama, the kids really seemed to enjoy it! The hot weather in Olanchito was taking a toll on all of us, so around 1 pm we headed to eat some lunch. It felt so good just to have a cold drink! After lunch we went to the church that Dario pastors and played some games with the children there and then the rain came! It was fun to talk with them and teach them the stories of the Bible. A sweet little boy at the church asked Jess to be his girlfriend :) We went across the street to the hospital to visit Leo's little boy, Leoito that had been sick with pneumonia. We made it just after visiting hours and the Lord still made provision for all 15 of us to go into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to see him and pray over his little sick body. It was a pretty emotional experience but we knew that the Lord strengthened Leo and his wife Vanessa through our visit. The ride home was so good as we spent time fellowshipping with Fredy and Dunia. The girls in my car: Jess, Rachel, and Sarabeth, and I talked about the love that we all felt for these people and a call just to come back. It is so good to know that the Lord is still moving in the hearts of His children to reach the nations! We spent the night saying goodbyes, another emotional experience for the first-timers. I know that I will see these beautiful people again, whether it be on this side of eternity or not is up to the Lord.
We were up and out of the mission house by 7 am. Arrived in San Pedro Sula around 12 pm and checked into Grand Hotel Sula. McDonald's was across the street so we headed towards familiarity again :) Turns out that this was the nicest McDonald's we had ever been to! Talk about great service! The canopy tour was on the agenda next, and none of us were very excited. I think we were nervous and thought it may be a cheaply made thing so we weren't sure if we wanted to do it or not. BUT when we got there and saw everything, we got REALLY excited! It turned out to be one of the funnest things I have ever done! There were like 9 zip lines and 3 or 4 other courses. Being like 100 ft in the air and jumping off the edge of the canopy can give a pretty big energy rush :) The Lord opened up doors for me to talk to our guides, neither one of them were Christians. I told them that I would pray for them and they told me before they left that they wanted me to pray for them! Before we left, our group prayed with them and lifted their names up to the Lord! Another great experience shared with AMAZING friends! We got back to the hotel and got showered and met everyone downstairs for dinner. Afterwards we all took pictures dressed up and had some great girl talk again back in the hotel room! Jess, Rachel, Sarabeth and I stayed in the same room...definately enjoyed our last night together :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS!!!--- she was serinated at 4 am :)
Woke up at 3 45 with the girls to help them get packed and downstairs to catch the bus to get to the airport. We said our goodbyes and hugged their necks and off they went! Jess and I went back to our room and slept what we could until time for Osmany to get us! We went to Cinnabon across the street and ate breakfast and caught the bus back to Siguatepeque with Osmany. Bless precious Jess though, she was sick the whole day and on her birthday! Stupid parasites...
I am happy to report that Jess is feeling much better today! Praise the Lord! We have just been celebrating her birthday today instead of yesterday :) Today has consisted of movies, blogging, catching up on facebook, and just enjoying not being sick! We have a pinata for Jess's birthday and a cake that we will be able to enjoy tonight! Praise the Lord for days like today and for my sweet friend Jess!
So.. If you can't tell, I had a PHENOMENAL (2 words PHE-NOMENAL) week :) God has shown Himself to me in ways that He has never done before. There are more brothers and sisters in Christ because of this team's obediance to Him this week! I feel like I have bonded closely with my friends from NMBC and we will be able to share this for a lifetime! Please pray for Jess and I as we start work tomorrow, I cannot wait to see how it goes! I love you!