Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Al Pacino Goes to Central America

I'm leaving tomorrow for Trujillo. I'm going with one of the elders from our church and his father to attend the school's graduation. It should be an interesting trip, because it will be my first time to drive in Honduras. We'll be navigating a few hundred miles of crater-sized potholes and dodging various barnyard animals in route from San Pedro to Trujillo. Most likely, we'll get to do this in a blinding deluge, as it is currently the rainy season.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from Emilson, the administrator of the school in Trujillo. He asked me to serve as the Godfather at the graduation ceremony. I assume this means I'm supposed to wear a pin-striped suit and do my best Italian American accent. I told Emilson that he'd made me an offer I couldn't refuse and would be happy to help him organize a crime syndicate using the Christian school as a front. I'll let you know how it goes when I get back.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Faith, Hope, and Love

This book came out last week. The basic finding of the author's research is that religious conservatives outgive secular liberals. The author was shocked to learn this, as you can see by the header on the book's cover. It seems that his lifelong assumption has been that religious people are all talk and no action or at least that the compassion of secular liberals would lead them to outgive their more calloused counterparts. What he found instead is that religious conservatives give much more. And the gap in giving extends from monetary giving and into volunteerism and even giving blood. You can read a more about the book here if you are interested.

My first reaction to this was a bit of pride. My chest puffed up a little as I thought to myself, "Well of course we give more!" On further reflection, I see the arrogance in my own attitude. I'm reminded of the widow who gave the copper coins. She gave all she had. How petty of me to feel any pride because of what I might give or even what other Christians might give! My giving and yours are only pale reflections of what we have received, if we have accepted the grace of God in our lives. To compare my giving to that of anyone else is to measure against the wrong standard.

So am I happy that religious people give more? Yeah, I am, but only because I know it means that there is hope for me to change. This whole religion thing really does make a difference. It's more than just a reason to get out of bed early on Sunday mornings. It makes a difference in the lives of the children who attend TCS, and those who benefit from Christian giving all over the world. But just as important, it makes a difference in the lives of those who are compelled to give. People like me, who are selfish by nature but are brought to humility when we consider what God has given to us.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Commitment to My Loyal Readers

  • My posts will vary from the serious to the sublime to the downright ridiculous. Variety is the spice of life.
  • I commit to not use cliches.
  • I commit to delete any comments with foul language. Keep it rated G.
  • I commit to occasionally use British spellings of words. I don't know why I do this, and I'm sure that you don't care, but I just like to type the words catalogue and colour.
  • I commit to post on a regular basis. Note that by "regular," I mean at least once per year.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Blog Profile

My blogger name is Thaddeus O Pablo. Why you ask? Because these are my two identities, and “O” is Spanish for the word “Or.” You can call me by either name, and I’ll answer. I also answer to any name that rhymes with Thad, such as Brad, Chad, or Tad. I have been called by these names almost as often as I’ve been called by my own name. I get called Tad more than I used to. Someone told me it’s because there is a soap opera character named Tad, but I haven’t verified this. People have trouble with the name Thad. I don’t know why. It’s phonetic in English. It’s only four letters. But even after I spell it for people, they sometimes look at me like my zipper is undone. Perhaps it is undone, and I just don’t take the hint. But I don’t think so. People just have a tough time with my name. It's like they can't believe what they are hearing.

But back to the two name thing. My mother gave me the name Thaddeus, which is Aramaic for “lion-hearted warrior.” OK, I just made that up. Actually, it means “heart,” but I like the other better. Add “lion-hearted warrior” to the list of names I’ll answer to. I’m glad that my mother named me, because my dad wanted to name me Gustav Farquar. I don’t know how to spell the second of those names; I’m sure I have it wrong. If you know the proper spelling, let me know. I did look up the meaning of Gustav. It’s German/Scandinavian and means “staff of the Goths.” I’ll just stick with Thad or Thaddeus while I'm in the US. While this name should be easy to pronounce in English, it is nearly impossible for Spanish-speakers. They just don’t do the whole “th” thing. So Pablo, the Spanish version of my middle name Paul, is my name when I’m in Honduras.

While we're talking pronunciation, you may wonder about the name of my blog. If you haven’t figured it out, True-hee-yo is simply an English, phonetic spelling of Trujillo, the town in Honduras where our school is. If you don’t know phonics, then this may not help you. In that case, just call me Tad.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


For the past two summers, my wife and I have traveled with our church to do work projects with the Trujillo Christian School in Trujillo, Honduras. Early this year, our church assumed responsibility for overseeing the school there. As a deacon in our church, I have recently been assigned to the work with the school. This blog is about the school in Trujillo, as well as our occasional experiences in Honduras.