What an incredible experience it was going to Panes this morning! It was just Jess, Osmany, and me and we left around 9 am. We stopped at the grocery store to get suckers --> "bon bons" and juice before heading out of town. Osmany told us to bring along the soccer ball and the frisbees so we could play with the kiddos. Jess and I were a little unsure about playing because she was in a skirt and I was in a dress, we were extremely sore, and we were going with the expectation of sitting through a church service (even though playing with kids sounded much more fun than sitting in a service that you can't understand)! But we got there and did everything we could to get them to play with us while Osmany met with the leaders of the village regarding the building of the church there in Panes. The soccer ball usually brings them out pretty quickly but it was still moving slow and they seemed to be a little on the skiddish side. I told them we were going to play soccer and THEN they ran to get all of their buddies! Jess was sitting over to the side, after her graceful fall, trying to communicate with the young girls... she was doing such a great job! I saw her taking pictures of them and laughing and the next time I looked over there, she had them all around in a circle throwing a frisbee! I started the boys in a game of soccer and they had a blast! I had so much fun kicking around with them... I think I may have worked some of my soreness out :)
I debated whether or not to share this next tidbit with you, but I think God will receive glory from it, so here it is! In the middle of everything, a man approached me in the village. Jess said that she saw him walk up with a group of men and then the next thing she knew, he was right beside me trying to get my attention. He didn't seem to be in his right mind with all of the kisses he was blowing at me and all of the derogatory things he was saying... my guess was that he had been drinking in celebration of Honduras winning the big soccer game last night. I told him to leave us alone, we were playing with the children and he just kept on and on. I finally told him that if he didn't leave that I was going to get Don Juan (the village leader) and Osmany. He still kept saying things, the whole time his machete in one hand swinging back and forth and a cigarette in the other. I started to walk towards the building where Osmany was and when I turned around, I realized that I was in a bad situation. EVERY child had stopped the soccer game and stopped throwing the frisbee and had made their way over by the truck, every one of them with eyes the size of golf balls. I had been very calm up until that point but once I saw the fear in their eyes, I knew this was an issue. When I turned to go into the building, the man began to walk off so I just let him go on. I asked the children if they knew his name and they told me they did not know him and that he was not from Panes. We cannot expect the people who walk in darkness to live like they are in the light. Knowing how dark this village and the surrounding villages are, it just makes me realize that there is still much more work to be done, many more needs need to be met. We did not see the man the rest of the time we were in the village, praise the Lord! God's hand was on us today in Panes and He protected me. Satan does not want us there loving on those children and building the church... but it was the Lord's will that we were there! He is good my friends, He is good!
We continued to play with the children until the meeting was over... more soccer and frisbee and then they threw in there some climbing and handstands! They are so FUNNY! It has been a joy to watch most of these kids grow up for the past 3 years and to see them open up more and more each year is INCREDIBLE! These kiddos are awesome!
After the meeting ended, we passed out the "bon bons", told the kids goodbye, and went back down the mountain. We stopped by the house of a little boy that Jennifer and Osmany know and Osmany wanted us to meet him. We walked up the mountain to get to their house and met the infamous Lucas himself and his family! His little smile was just so precious and he seemed to be the happiest of his siblings. Sweet Lucas was in a wheel chair, which was a new one since the last pictures of him were taken. Lucas was born with an opening in his back, this hole was how he used the bathroom. However, Jenn and Osmany took up an offering for him and his family was able to take him to a hospital to close the opening in his back and they also pulled a stoma through to the front of his abdomen. His mother had a towel wrapped around the colostomy, no bag or anything protecting it.. and yep.. you guessed it... INFECTED. He has an appointment to go back to the doctor soon, but we hope to be able to get Dr. Leo to go out and check on him before his visit to the hospital to see if there is anything we an do in the mean time. Despite all of this, he is a very happy little boy. Lucas tells Osmany that he wants to be a pastor :) Thank the Lord for this precious boy that loves Him! I know that He is going to use Lucas mightily for His Kingdom!
We went to church this evening in the area that we will be doing the Vacation Bible School. It was fun to fellowship with the people and to enjoy one another's company as well. Jess and I entertained Rebeca for some of the service outside, well Rebeca probably entertained herself more with my camera than I ever could have entertained her! Bec wanted to take a picture of our feet.. our DIRTY feet! It reminded me of the scripture in Isaiah 52 "how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news of good things.." Jess and I have decided that you can't be a good disciple and have clean feet ... at least here in Honduras :)
Back to Hermon tomorrow! As Jess begins her last week here in Honduras, please pray that the Lord would continue to speak to her and that he would use us for His glory! We will also be doing VBS every afternoon with Jennifer, Jamie, and Sarah.... so please pray for the kids that will be loved on during that time. Pray that the Lord's ways would be made known and that He would receive the glory that He is due!