Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shalea---July 3, 2014

Tonight is our last night here in Honduras. We have been blessed beyond belief! It is amazing how God opened doors for us each step of the way. There are no words to express our daily experiences here, but I will try. Today we visited the village of Aldea Nueva. This is the village that FBC has made donations to help them get water up to their village. Mark and Steve made the journey to the top to see the recent progress. Viatris and I were fortunate enough to get to teach in their Pre-K/Kindergarten classroom. The classroom was at the top of a steep hill, and there was a little path for the children to make their way to the school. Just imagine going to school right at the edge of the Grand Canyon. The view from where we were was similar to my recollection of the beauty when standing at the rim of the Canyon. There was a river running through the valley down below. The children just ran and played all along the hill. They are blessed with the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. As we entered the classroom, we were met with a frightened three-year-old girl. You would have thought that I had come dressed in a scary costume by the way she looked at me and screamed! Like many of the other villages, these children have never been off of the mountain. I am sure that a blond-haired lady in a flowered dress may look a little scary! She warmed up to us quickly. Gabby assisted us as we taught them about the Bible. We made caterpillar stick verses and colored bead bracelets. The children ranged in age from three to five. They listened as Viatris translated our lesson into Spanish. They just stared and smiled at me when I sang songs in English. After the lesson, it was time for their lunch that consisted of red beans, about a cup of rice, and two small tortillas. They were not provided a drink that I saw, but they were content. There was no complaining or fussing, which was amazing to me, given their age. My heart was full of love for this group! I cannot wait to come back here when I can. We have made a list of things that we hope to bring to the classroom when we return. Honduras will forever be etched in my heart! Please pray for Edgardo and all of the work that he is doing here with the Chorti. Also, pray for our safe journey home tomorrow. Jimmy is picking us up at 5:30 AM, so it will be a long day. Thanks again to all of you who helped our team get to come here for this Mission trip. I will treasure this experience for the rest of my life.


Todd---July 3, 2014

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the people!” – 1 Chronicles 16:23-24

One of the wonderful things about returning to a place where we have spent significant time is the growth that is obvious in the lives of those people we’ve worked with. God has shown us a great grace by allowing us to see the transformed lives of individuals and communities. It has been a difficult week physically and emotionally for some of us, but the reward and blessing of seeing smiles on the Chorti faces makes it all worth it. Thank you again for the prayers and support. We look forward to seeing you all and sharing what the Lord has done.

Valerie---July 3, 2014

I just can’t believe it’s already time to go!?!? Where has our week gone? It seems that we arrived in Copan yesterday, and now, we’re packing to go home! I leave Honduras being fully blessed and with the faces of the Chorti people forever etched on my heart.

This trip has been something new for the mission house. We actually went into classrooms to teach in front of the teachers. We also talked to Chorti parents discussing parenting techniques. Mark talked to the teachers giving them pointers from the E.E.U.U. Audrey and Steve said that they weren’t sure how week would go, but they were VERY happy with the results.

I remember the sweet faces and happy smiles of people who have very few physical comforts, but live each day with the love of Jesus in their hearts. As I go back to my huge home with dependable electricity, running water, AIR CONDITIONING and modern conveniences, the Chorti will go with me. Every time I turn on a faucet or flip a light switch or sit in my comfortable chair or feel the coolness of our fans and air conditioner, I will think of them, and remember the Chorti. Their lives are very simple when compared the my life, but through that simplicity, they continue to find joy!

Thank you so much to those of you who helped make this trip possible. Your contributions and prayers were such a blessing. Please continue to pray for the Chorti, for their Bible study, for Edgardo (the amazing man of God who gives the Chorti a voice), for Ruvenia (Edgardo’s wife who was in a horrible bus accident and is facing more surgeries, for Yadira (the wonderful cook and care giver that makes us feel like we’re home), and for Steve and Audrey who leave their lives in North Carolina and selflessly give their time and love to the teams who come to Copan and to the Chorti.

Viatris---July 3, 2014

I thank God for another great day! We went to Aldea Nueva. Today we were able to work with 3, 4 and 5 year olds. It was a joy to see the students enjoying coloring, making bead bracelets and playing outside with a beach ball. When we first walked in one of the students began to cry (a 3 year old). Her teacher took her and sat her in her chair behind her desk. It was just a wonderful experience. She told us the children never leave the village.  As we began teaching with the kids and began to interact with them she began to respond to Shalea and I, by the end of the morning she was playing and coming to us as we called her. The teacher had the students sing a song to us in Chorti and Spanish. What a wonderful experience this was to my life just to see how they love and worship God. It was a blessing to share educational strategies with the teachers and teach a bible lesson and make some activities with the students from the villages.

Words cannot express the joy and blessing it was to come to Honduras to share God’s word with students and teachers!  I thank God for the team he put together for this mission trip, God always knows what he does. It was such as a blessing to make new friends Steve, Audry, Yadiara, Gabby, Edgardo and Samuel. They made us feel so at home.  My prayers for them all as we head back home. A part of me will stay here with my friends in Honduras and will definitely return again. I thank God for speaking to my heart to come and share the gifts he has given me and share them.

Kelsey---July 3, 2014

I can’t believe it’s already time to leave this beautiful place that I call my second home. The trip was unbelievably humbling to me. All of the villages that we went to will always have a special place in my heart. Heading out to the villages, riding in the back of the truck and getting to see the beautiful things God created here is amazing. I kept thanking God for what He has done here and also thanking Him for giving me the opportunity to come here and spread His Word.

            Walking into the schools and seeing the kids faces melts my heart every time.
This was the first time that we had a team come and teach the kids stories in the Bible. What a great experience that was!! How humble the families are in the villages and how welcoming they are to us is unbelievable. One village that we went to has no running water. The thing that gets me about that village is they have hope in Jesus that with His timing they will have running water for everyone in that village. When I go home and I can wash my hands, take a shower or even drink the water from my faucet, I will always remember the Chorti.
            Thank you so much those of you who made this trip possible for me; for all the prayers, donations, and words of encouragement I cant thank you enough! It is always hard leaving here because I always leave part of my heart here with the Chorti, but I know God will have plans for me to be back.

Mark---July 3, 2014---Water Project

Today Steve and I took a hike up the mountain to check on the progress of the Water Project for Aldea Nueva. A couple of years ago a team from Seminole visited the village and became aware of their need for water. The only water available to the village was rainwater caught from the roof gutters. That particular summer had been dry and the limited water they had was contaminated with bugs and debris. FBC Seminole generously raised funds to purchase rights to a water source several miles away on top of the mountain. The water will be delivered to the village by gravity flow. Over the last two years, the villagers have contributed manual labor to hand dig ditches and lay pipe to connect the water source to their village. They plan to connect the new water source to an existing junction box and pipe system on the mountain already being used by another group of 5 villages and expand the system to pipe it to 3 additional villages. The junction box is approximately 3 kilometers from the village. We were able to drive part of the way and then Steve, Samuel, 4 men from the village and I walked over a mile (uphill) the rest of the way to be able to see the progress of the project. As of today, the first phase has been completed. The next step is to expand the junction box to include the 3 new villages. The men of the village have already worked approximately one month to get the water to where it is now. They explained that it will take them about two more weeks of work to dig the ditches and lay the pipe to their village. Once it gets to the village it will fill a common water tank and will eventually be piped to the individual homes. They send thanks for the prayers and financial contributions of the church and stated they continue to have hope because of our concern for them.