Dear Friends & Family,
Here it is, the end of June! I’ve been back here in Honduras for almost a month, but to be quite honest, it feels like it’s just been a few days! I have been BUSY. Busy getting settled into my new home, in a rural part of the country. Busy getting to know different people in a different community. Busy getting started working with Larry & Allison and their discipleship ministry here in Las Mangas.
Well, I just realized that in the 1 month I’ve been here I’ve taken over 150 pictures. Don’t worry, I will just share a few. 🙂
- I took this photo while hiking to Larry’s field in the mountains near the community of La Muralla. We saw several mountainsides that had been cleared like this for planting.
- And here is Larry’s field! Notice the large rocks and boulders. This is simply part of farming on a mountainside. The 2 men on the left are Toyano and Erwin. Larry has hired them to help 3 days each week with the farm work. Erick, on the right, is part of the discipleship group and also does agricultural work as well as maintenance work at the campus with Larry.
- Here’s a glimpse of the trail we use to get to that field in La Muralla. These photos may help explain why we don’t use tractors.
- Here Erick and I are shelling corn. We are separating the corn into 3 grades. First for seed for next season’s planting. Second for corn flour for making tortillas. Third for chicken feed.
- One Saturday morning, Larry, all the boys in the discipleship group, and myself trekked up a mountainside with several pounds of sand on our backs. The guys each hauled 12 shovel-fuls (about 60 pounds) per trip. I carried half that much per trip. We made 4 trips up and down the mile long trail and by noon we had hauled a total of 240 shovel-fuls. We estimate that to be between 1200 to 1400 pounds of sand.
Why were we hauling sand? Well, the community of Las Mangas is in the process of building a gravity fed water system for potable water. It is a government-funded project, however, each household is required to work on the project a certain number of days to receive a water spigot at their house. We left campus around 6:30 am and didn’t return until noon. It was quite a morning but it was worth it. Projects like this help teach the boys in the discipleship group values like teamwork, work ethic, service, and doing all things with the intent of bringing glory to God.
- I often get asked about the snakes here in this tropical climate. Well, here I am, after all that mountain trekking, hauling sand, and I get my first look at a deadly poisonous snake! So I have to share! This snake is called the ‘eyelash viper gold morph’ snake. Strange as it is, it really does look like it has eyelashes when you see it up close. It had just finished eating a lizard when this picture was taken.
- In the garden area one of the large trees had a dead limb that was getting dangerously close to falling. So Erick gave me a lesson on cutting dead tree limbs with a machete. Here, farmers use machetes for EVERYTHING. Planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning, the list could go on. Machetes are the all-purpose tool here. Also, notice the 2 bamboo poles he climbed up. When you forget to bring a ladder, you simply make one.
- This is Allison, the awesome multi-tasking mom I get to serve with. Here she’s teaching me how to grind toasted cacao beans to make chocolate. Allison is great to work with and after just 1 month of serving with Larry and Allison I already feel that we have a close relationship. We just clicked. I am very thankful for that blessing in my transition to life here in Las Mangas.
- Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to the glamorous life I live here in the tropics. So, I learned the hard way. When there’s water (or enough humidity) in your truck… mold thrives. There was mold on the seats, mold on the backs of the seats, mold on the floor, mold on the steering wheel, mold on the gear shift… mold was literally covering the entire inside of my truck. Apparently, here in the tropics, fungi are plentiful.
So far, I’ve parked my truck in full sun to bake it out. It seems to have worked. I’ve also spritzed some bleach-water inside to kill any remaining spores. If you’ve got suggestions, please, do tell.
- In a future update I’m planning to introduce you to each person in the discipleship group. But for now I will just mention Erick and Araceli. Larry and Allison have been training up this couple to be leaders in the discipleship group. Erick and Araceli have Zoe (5 yrs) and now Jonathan (10 days).
- On Saturday morning of June 20th campus was buzzing as Araceli’s friends gathered to prepare a baby shower for 3pm that afternoon. Little did we know Erick and Araceli would head to the hospital that same hour and 3 1/2 hours later Jonathan would be born! The cake and decorations were all saved and enjoyed on Sunday when they came home. Mama and baby are doing great!
- This past weekend I took a short vacation to visit Job, as well as Amanda, a friend of ours. Amanda had done missions work in Siguatepeque for 3 years and is back for a visit. We all met in Tela, a town right along the coast. Saturday was Amanda’s birthday so we spent some quality time relaxing at the beach!
- Thanks to Job, we also got a tour of Lancetilla, one of the largest tropical botanical gardens in the world! There are several different tropical fruit trees growing there and luckily some fruits were in season! We got to taste a few like mangosteen, mata sabor, chupete, and lovi-lovi.
Just for a quick update on how Job is doing, he is back working with an organization that works in the national parks here in Honduras. He has a 3-month contract, as almost all jobs here are temporal. Unfortunately, due to corruption in this country, in order to secure a long-term job most positions require you to be affiliated with a political party. However, when Job finishes this contract he’s planning to come serve here with us in Las Mangas for a month before starting another job.
- For the encouragement we have in His Word!
- For the beauty of His creation
- For the open and honest communication I’ve had with Larry & Allison that has deepened our relationship for doing ministry together
- For the experience Larry & Allison have here that they share with me as I learn
- For the education and experience I’ve had leading up to this point that will help me do what God has called me here to do
- For the blessings of food, clothing, and shelter that we so often take for granted
PRAY TO GOD:
- That He would open doors for me to develop relationships with the farmers here
- That He would help me adjust well to living in a new community in a rural area
- That I would continue to improve in Spanish, both understanding as well as speaking
- That each of the youth in the discipleship group would make the decision to turn their lives over to Christ and grow a personal relationship with Him
- That He would keep me healthy and safe
- For Erick and Araceli as they adjust to their growing family
- That He would provide guidance and patience for Job in his work and the next step God has for him
Thank you for joining me in this ministry, through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support! I appreciate you and thank God for you often!