Monday, November 3, 2008


The picture below came from a peace corp volunteer in Trujillo

Collapsed bridge over Rio Chapagua
This picture is from the La Prensa News of the devastation to farmland, etc
The picture below was taken by a friend of ours. A missionary who works with a Church organization called Little Hands Big Hearts. We've mentioned Brian and Sara and the work they do for the special needs children of Trujillo before. Right now they are working tirelessly to help the citizens of Trujillo as they all weather this rainy season together. This is the road out of Trujillo.
be in prayer for Brian, Sara, Alyssa, Jeffrey, Maybelline and all of those doing what they can to help! Also pray for our teachers, students, adminstrators, etc at the school. As of a message from Emilson today there is no fuel and little food in Trujillo (trucks can't get there). The picture above is the main road just outside of Trujillo on the way to Tacoa (the one way in and out), also bridges along the way from the main cities are being reported as being washed away. The current situation is being compared to Hurricane Mitch as far as damage to the country. Here is a news article that will give you better info:
Brian and Sara are updating their blog as they are able
Here is a piece I took from it:
"It sounds like Niagra Falls all the time. We have not had much of a break in the rain since yesterday. Last night Brian, Jeffery and a few others took more soup over to the shelter. They went room to room talking about the Lord and handing out Bibles. One per family was the plan, but some young people insisted that they receive one because their families weren't there. A group of teens sat around and took turns reading to each other out of the Bible we had given them. How exciting to not only feed them physically, but more importantly, spiritually!"

We thank all of you for praying for the people in Honduras. We will update with any further information as we get it.
Also an update on Senor V. We are so grateful for the prayers. Emilson, Santiago and Candido and others drove to San Pedro a couple of weeks ago to meet with and visit him. he had been worshipping with a local congregation in Trujillo and studying with the ministers for some time before he got sick. When they visited with him he asked to be immersed in baptism!! What wonderful news! As far as his physical health, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and the last update was he was being sent to Teguc for more testing, but the Drs at that time were just keeping him as comfortable as possible with pain meds. Again we thank you for your prayers!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayers of healing

Senior Vicente (known to most as "Senor V") has been ill the last few weeks. We are getting updates as things change, but please pray for him, for his comfort and for his sisters as they care for him.

The reports are varied, but the possiblity is that he has lung cancer. If you've been to Trujillo on a mission trip and helped with the school, no doubt you have been helped in some way by "Senor V" he is the caretaker and night watchmen of the school.

A shower room was built for him last year and improved upon this year by teams that traveled to TCS to do work projects.

He is who holds the keys to all the rooms, cleans up and burns all the trash, etc. He is a kind man who we love dearly!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

prayers of praise

Emilson's brother, Julio, was in an accident this past week. He was taken to the hospital but is doing well and gaining strength. We thank God for this!! Also we are praying that the bread company whose truck caused the accident will accept fault and cover the expenses.

In regards to an update to the tragedy in the Guadalupe Carney area. Thankfully, no more killings have occured. Many of the residents (those that were squatting the land) that have been in Guadalupe Carney for many years have moved away for fear of more trouble. Please continue to pray for peaceful resolutions to these issues.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Prayers for peace

(photos from the protest breaking up along the road while we were there)

We have learned of a tragedy that occurred in Trujillo on Sunday. We have been trying to get as much information as possible. There is a squatters community on the road leading to Trujillo called Guadalupe Carney. Some of you that have been to Trujillo may have visited there to do evangelizing or purchased things in the "Made in Honduras" shop where many residents of Guadalupe Carney make and sell their crafts.
On Sunday the anger over the land rights took a new level and 12 people (residents of Guadalupe Carney) were killed.

This is upsetting to all that live in Trujillo as it is a usually a very peaceful town. The Honduran government plans to send police to keep order. Please pray for that peace to be achieved quickly!

Here is a link to a brief write up about it, but it was also on the cover of Monday's La Prensa (Honduras newspaper) which you can look up online and was posted on Reuters and with the Associated Press.

We thank you for your prayers

edited to students at Trujillo Christian were involved or hurt. I know of several students grandparents that live in Guadalupe Carney, but they were not hurt either.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our House

Many have asked about our house in you go...this is a look around where we lived - I'll leave out the tarantulas though, but there were PLENTY of them that would decide to show themselves when it was just myself, Annina and the kids at the house...arrgghh!! I am so glad there were no hidden cameras for you to see how Annina and I handled these delightful surprises!! Let's just say I LOVE Thad's souvenier this year he purchased for himself early on...a nice new machete!!!
Our house

yumminess from the market!!

Did you know that Cornflakes can "Protect your family from the Anemia" ...????!!!

You buy milk off the shelves at the store in cartons. Once it's opened it goes in the fridge. Tasted fine to me...I'm not too milk picky when it's store bought. Although we drink fresh milk in the states, I wouldn't want to in Honduras. Although I did on Roatan, but it had been boiled.

our kitchen - before we got things like a dish drain, etc And the drawers are out where I had scrubbed the droppings out of them...orginally I thought they were mouse droppings, but Thad was nice enough to point out that it could have been tarantulas....lovely!!

our 'pantry'

looking out our balcony at "the dungeon" as I called it....this is where we did our laundry when we were able to...we had to watch to see if it was unlocked though and just do it around the hotel employees doing laundry for the hotel. We were blessed to be able to use a machine though when we were able to get in there.

Our living room...and dining room (there was no kitchen table). the chairs and couch had seen better days (I swept up TONS of foam that fell our from the cushions), but they were functional. This view is looking down from Annina. Nadine, and Stephanie's room. The stairs you see going down behind the chairs are just at the kitchen 'pantry', they go down to the other room which Alfonso had planned to stay in, but there was no screen on the windows and he got eaten alive by mosquitos so that didn't work out...but it also goes to the entrance.

Monday, July 28, 2008

some pictures we promised

Here are pictures of Rebin in his 'stander' after the pad and varnish were added. Bobby, from the Goodwood Blvd team, worked with Rebin regularly while he was in Trujillo. He showed a picture of a stander to Otto (also from Goodwood Blvd Church) and Brian and they worked together to design one with what they had to work with. They did a great job!! Sarah shared her sewing skills as well! We showed you a picture the first time he was in it while they were finishing it. Here it is finished, at his home. By the way, Rebin had never lifted his head...God is good! I look forward to hearing the progress from Brian and Sarah as after just a few weeks and months with this his neck muscles should strengthen immensely!

Bobby and Rebin. Bobby thank you for using your talents and knowledge as an occupational therapist to help the little ones of Trujillo!

Sara has a picture on her blog of Brian, Otto and Bobby fitting Rebin in his stander the first time

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Going to church or being the Church....

or both?? I need to do a better job at being a member of the Lord's Church, not just going to church. Can you truly imagine if truly every day of our lives we Christians took to heart being the church and doing the good works of Christ in the name of his Father? Today I sat in a beautiful clean church building and worshiped God with other Christians, we sang beautiful songs, prayed, listened to good teachings, took the Lord's supper, listened to announcements, and went to Bible class, we also spent time chatting and visiting with our Christian brothers and sisters. All wore nice, clean clothes, came to worship in a vehicle and went home to a house/apartment...most probably at least a 3 bdrom 2 bath home with a garage, etc. Many (including myself and many others members from our congregation that we ran into there) went out to eat on their way home and probably if you are like me...overate and got more food than your bellies truly needed. Then, as is tradition in our family, went home and took a Sunday afternoon nap. That was THIS Sunday, but LAST Sunday..........We were blessed to join members of the Buenos Aires Church in a service project they had planned. We happened to be around when they were discussing the plans, and asked if we could join them. On Sunday morning we met at the church bldg at 8am. This small congregation had been collecting their extra clothes for some time and had planned to take time to go and deliver them to some very poor families in the mountains of Trujillo. The group from Goodwood had left clothes with us they had used while in Honduras (West Metro did the same, but they went to some other needs) and a few ladies from the congregation helped me by washing them so we could add them to the bags they had already collected from those in their congregation. When we arrived at 8am they already had it sorted into labeled bags so each would know in general what was in the bag they carried like "boys", "girls", "pants", etc.
Now, my first mistake...I worried about what I wore. Thad questioned when I got dressed that morning, but I have always had it in my head and am working on getting it out of my head that all women in Honduran wear a dress to worship, and I should not do otherwise.... But doing as I thought I should as we had been told we would be worshiping, I wore a long (lined - you women will appreciate that as it was sweltering) skirt and of course you must have coordinating shoes...what good woman on Sunday morning wouldn't wear shoes that worked with the outfit?? So I wore my best flip flops...they were black patten flip flops (read...they are very slippery and impossible to walk in if wet). So Thad, John Mark and I (MK had spent the night at her friend's house and they worship with the Eduardo Castillo congregation) arrived at the building to find the congregation's women working on organizing the bags and they looked like this.....
some had on shorts, most had on jeans...most had on a hat, those that didn't had grabbed one out of the bags from Goodwood, and then gave them away along the trip (we were going into mountainous jungle areas after all turns out)....I was getting just a CLUE of what was to come. I considered running back up the hill to the house to change, but didn't want them to wait on just me so I thought "Oh I'll be fine" And we headed out, along a wooded path guided by a man with a machete. After a short walk we came up on a river that we had to cross..note to self....patten flip flops are not good for river crossing nor is a long lined skirt...but I made it!
We wound around these little trails way off the road and over the rivers til we came up on these little stone houses built by the European Union (you can see a bit of the sign on the house in the picture above to the right of the door). The houses were well built, but basic, built to serve needs not to be luxurious. Generally just one room with entire families (including grandparents) living in the room together. After going house to house, praying with, studying scriptures with and digging through bags to find clothes that were good for the members of each household, we moved on along the trail. More river crossings, and up the mountain we went...up and up and up carrying bags of clothes with us. Somewhere where hiking shoes would have been helpful as footing was challenging. There were places that were washed out mountainsides from mudslides in the rainy season. In the end, I made it up - we get by with a little help from our friends, right?! Thank goodness for Waleska's helping hand, she is such a sweet young girl! We got up over the top of a high point to realize we were at a house that had one of the most amazing views (see below...taken at the corner of their 'yard')!!! only for Thad to say "I know this family" it was the home of a little boy named Angelito (sp?) that he had met when he was working with Bobby from the Goodwood team with some special needs children out at Little Hands Big Hearts. It was amazing to see what they endured to get down to town to receive the help their child needs. The house was mud and thatch and dirt floors with again the most spectacular view ever and as clean and neat as can be inside. They had very little, but you could tell took care of what little they had! We took a rest up there, after studying with his Mom, ate some mangoes from their trees and drank a bit of the Coke that had been brought along. Thad even did some of the stretches he learned from Bobby with Angelito and he just smiled and smiled. His joints were so stiff, I thought for sure he would cry as Thad slowly stretched him, but he didn't he just looked at him and grinned. We continued up and down and around for 4+ hours total that day, stopping from house to house and studying, praying, singing and delivering clothes. At one house we found a girl that had come down the mountain and gone to Trujillo Christian School until she graduated. At another a little girl that had her picture on the wall from her school picture last year from the school. A long hike for these children each day to even get to where a road would easily get them to the school. At many homes they knew Fernando, the minister at the church, as he had visited before. After 4 hours we headed back down coming down a different way and crossing over a deeper part of the river with no good place to find rocks to step was essentially a swimming hole. And low and behold we look down and there is one of our kids from the school (Enrique FYI Spencer family who sponsors him!) enjoying a dip in the deep waters on a hot afternoon.
This crazy gringa just took off her horrid unsensible shoes, hiked up her skirt walked across enjoying the cool mountain water after a long hike! As Fernando said that night at worship, it was an exhausting day, but a happy one. Each family was very thankful and appreciative of the clothes given to them. And the Christians we were with were so encouraging and kind to be around. The children joined in the scripture readings and worship with the adults just as they do in worship in their building as there is no separate room, just a little concrete room with wooden benches to sit on. No place for children's church...they just are a part of the church right alongside their families. They sing all the songs even generally the youngest ones. Not just quietly but loudly, not worrying about a melody, worrying only that they are praising!

John Mark in the very first house we went to noticed a shirt of his being given to a kids tend to attach to things and I wasn't sure what to expect. Sure enough he looked up at me in a bit of a panic and said "Mommy is that MY shirt?!" I said "yes son it is, what do you think about that?" and after a minute truly not knowing what he would say (and honestly scared of a meltdown over a shirt and praying I would handle it wisely and not die of humiliation if it happened) he looked around the one room house with no kitchen, no bathroom, only one small rope bed, and in another corner all of their possessions, and said "I think I have a lot more and they could use it more than me" It was a moment that I hope/pray to repeat.

Then I told him a bit more about who he was serving alongside that day. You see, one of the families in this congregation who had added their extra clothes to the bags, and who walked from house to house were a family that Nadine, Stephanie, Keith and Vickie worked with for 2 weeks working on improving their home for them. But this family had extra and knew some didn't and helped plan this event to share what little they had with others who had less....
I pray I can be that kind of person, I pray that I can do better about not getting attached to things or wanting pretty things, wanting my house to be just so...or worrying about what shoes I have on or if my clothes are just right....and instead that I can focus on being the Christian that I need to be, getting down and dirty (literally or figuratively) for the Lord and doing what I am called to do. That I am sharing what I have as I have been told to do. Not just the knowledge that I have. the Message is of course important, but going beyond that as well.....I learned a lot about myself on that 4 hour hike. Stuff I didn't like very much.
Sitting in church this morning in that beautiful building I struggled remembering where we had been at the same time just one week prior.....two very different worship experiences. Two things that are good, two things that are can I in my life incorporate the two? Will I be the church tomorrow? What will I do each day to make a difference. What will I sacrifice so that others do not have to be without? I have lots of extra, will I be like the family that went with us and gave what extra they had so others had their needs met? Will I go places that make me uncomfortable so that I can help others? So much to think about, so much on my heart.....

Home again home again....jiggedy jog!!

the sun setting on our last night in Honduras
We arrived home this evening. We were able to get on the first flight out of Roatan, although it was very full!
We had a wonderful and relaxing time there. It is a bit of a challenge for all of us being back in North America. For instance, MaryKyle wanted to know why we couldn't just walk from the Atlanta Airport to ChickfilA in our town where we planned to meet our sister and brother in law for dinner (about a 30 min drive).
It was nice to have the knowledge that we had a new baby nephew/cousin to get to see soon after arriving home and Aunt Temple and Uncle Reuben who have been in China the past two years waiting at home for us (they arrived here just after we left and have been housesitting for us)!! But we were very sad to leave our good friends and Christian family in Trujillo as well. We will try to take some time tomorrow to post pictures now that we are back in the land of highspeed wireless!!
Even on Roatan when we went to the internet cafe yesterday morning, the power was out on that side of the island and the cafe couldn't get their generator or battery backups to no luck!
We thank you all for reading, and joining us on our journey through your prayer!! Please continue your prayers for the Trujillo Christian School, the teachers, students and workers there. It is a wonderful work that we are blessed to be able to be a part of it!

Much love, 'Raquel', 'Pablo', 'Maria', y 'Juan Marcos'

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Safe In Roatan

- Pablo

We are safely on Roatan. This is still Honduras, but nothing like the mainland. I had a burger and fries for dinner. It was as good as a burger at home. Things are more expensive here too. It's a really touristy place. We spent some time snorkeling today. It was great. God created a beautiful place here. To those of you in Metro Atlanta, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leaving Tomorrow

We are happy and sad that we are leaving tomorrow. It´s weird the things you miss. My fondest desire right now isn´t for air conditioning, my car, or even my own bed. I miss our full-size refrigerator. The fridges here are mostly small ones. They have about 1/3 of the space as a regular fridge in the states. I look forward to being able to cram all of our leftovers in without having to rearrange the space every time.

I should say we plan to leave tomorrow. Right now, you can´t leave town because there is a protest at the Rio Negro bridge. Protests are a bit of a national past-time here. I am sure that today´s protest is about the gas prices. Of course, there is nothing the city of Trujillo can do to fix the world-wide increase in fuel prices. But let´s not allow logic to get in the way of a good protest. The school administrator, Emilson, was supposed to drive us to his house today for lunch. Unfortunately, he lives on the other side of the bridge. We will take a taxi to the bridge, walk across, and then ride the rest of the way with Emilson. This is just one of the normal inconveniences that people here have to deal with on a regular basis.

We will miss many things here. I really enjoy being able to walk most places. It´s easy enough to catch a taxi when needed. I also love the sense of community here. It is small town living times 10. Everyone knows everyone and most of them are related. Everywhere we go, we see people we know.

Of course, we are looking forward to being home and seeing all of our family and friends. Lord willing, we will fly to Atlanta this Saturday and will see many of you very soon. This may be the last blog until we leave. When we get back, we´ll post more pictures and a couple of videos for you to enjoy. (Another thing we miss is high speed internet.)

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our brains are full!

Thad and I (with kids in tow) spent two hours last night in a private Spanish brain was hurting afterwards, but I am amazed today at how much better I am doing. Thad has spent this morning going to Bible classes in the school with one of the ministers here in Trujillo (Fernando). He just came in he is amazed at how much he is don`t expect us to come home speaking Spanish but we will perhaps at least be able to grasp and respond in a basic conversation...we`ll see...prayer for our efforts because we can do so much more if able to understand and speak the language! although we might have to be in conversation together. Thad understands the conjugations and sentence structure much better than I, but I understand the spoken words better than he....yep, just like everything else in our home, this is most definitely a TEAM effort!!

Annina started her classes this morning. Two hours as well, with the same teacher. She just walked in the office from her class and I think she`s feeling the same...ha ha!! She goes separately than us as she already has a grasp on the language just is working on increasing her skills and vocabulary! I am confident she will become fluent before much longer!! She was kind enough to cook dinner last night so we could eat quickly after class so we could join the goodwood team for devo on their last night here.

The Goodwood team headed out this morning. Amazingly they got off early. We went down at the scheduled departure time to say our goodbyes and they were gone already. Fortunately we had hugged and shared thoughts with some the night before, but we had still hoped to see them off in proper fashion!! So if you are reading this Goodwood team, we SO appreciate all the work and smiles you brought with you to Trujillo!!!!!! We look forward to seeing you again next year!
The team are now enroute to La Ceiba and will fly to San Pedro and on home tomorrow. It will be a long day of travel for them tomorrow that we pray will go smoothly!! Thank you to their families for sharing your loved ones with Honduras!!

We are off to enjoy some of my favorite tamales a friend has prepared us for stomach is growling!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

Our lost suitcase has been found! It is supposed to be in La Ceiba, and a friend will pick it up for us tomorrow morning.

We will be leaving Trujillo in a week. Time goes quickly.

I miss having a full-size refrigerator.

We watched Napoleon Dynamite last night. That movie is funny. Rachel built us a cake to eat while watching the movie.

We are taking Spanish lessons for the rest of the time we are here. I wish we had done it earlier, but it has been hard to plan the time. We start at 5 - 7 pm tonight.

Honduras needs physical and occupational therapists. The parents of kids with cerbral palsy (and other diseases) have no idea what to do with them. Simple stretches and good positioning go a long way toward improving the lives of these kids.

Dinner Is On The Stove

- Pablo

We went to visit a family today. They were not there when we arrived. I looked in the window and saw dinner on the stove. This is an adobe oven with light streaming through the gaps between the walls and thre roof of the house. I thought it was a nice picture.

Monday, July 14, 2008

a few of the kiddos!!

This is John Mark's buddy Daniel. His Dad works at the hotel and he comes to play just about every day. The public school teachers have been on strike again (due to lack of rec'g their paychecks) so he along with the other kids in public school, have been out of school for a week thus far. John Mark has taught him some English words and he has taught John Mark some Spanish, they play for hours without speaking the same language, but I mean come on...they didnt have to...look at Daniel's shirt...John Mark figured he was his best friend forever when he saw that elephant on his shirt!!! (for those of you that dont know John Mark's bedroom is all in Alabama and Thad/Pablo is a HUGE AL fan!)

What do kids do without a TV, their toys, when they've read all their books (some twice), and their parents are visiting with some other boring adults?? They put on a play!! If any of my cousins or sister are reading this you will so appreciate our event yesterday! Yesterday Brian and Sarah (missionaries living here in Trujillo with their 4 kids) came over after morning worship and ate lunch and the kids swam. But when a storm rolled in and disturbed the swimming worries!! We had all the costumes from our Bible skits at the school in our apartment (the adults were down at the hotel visiting after eating lunch at the hotel). The kids let us know to prepare our seats (and a mattress we were told) for a play. So we did, and they came down and performed David and Goliath and Eglon and Ehud (sp??) They were HYSTERICAL!! They had rehearsed and all got involved from oldest to youngest (Andrew who is 4). We adults laughed and laughed!!

'Goliath' (big brother JOnathan with little brother Andrew on his shoulders) fell backward onto the mattress (being spotted by Nadine and Stephanie) with hit with the rock.

Eglon and Ehud - John Mark's new favorite toy (his wooden machete his papa bought him covered in foil for the play) was a bit too long to disappear into the 'fat' (aka bundled up costumes), but we didnt care! We were thrilled to see them recounting their Bible stories!!

the crew taking their bow (Quite proud of themselves!!)!!

Well we finally figured out a way to upload pictures more quickly...hooray!! So here are a few from the last few days to give you an idea of the what keeps us all busy each day.
scuz the bizarre looking on my face, but figured Id show I do more than type a blog here and there as its been commented on that there are no pictures with me in them. Here I am sewing tubes to fill with sand to help position Rebin so he is not constantly lying in the same positions.
Rebin using his new sand filled tubes! I love seeing that smile!

Rebin trying out the new 'stander' Otto, Brian (a missionary here), Bobby worked on. It was since varnished and a cushion made for it.

The Goodwood hiking gang. It was just beautiful up there!!

JD teaching the Bible lesson on the armor of God. That is William Walker displaying the helmet, breastplate, shield and sword. I accidently forgot to bring my list of sponsors down the Mountain so I do not have who sponsors William currently.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday, July 12

A fun day today!! The Goodwood trip had a fun morning with the kids. They held their festival at the school with all sorts of game stations, activities and a pinata. They had a great crowd. In fact, this morning so we would have sugar for coffee and a few other necessities, I headed down to the pulperia close to the school around 7:15 and kids were already gathered at the school. The Goodwood team didn't arrive til 9ish. The kids did not want to miss the fun, so they arrived early!!
Then after lunch a few headed to the beach and a bunch of us went on a hike to a really awesome waterfall and a 'swimming hole' it was a really neat place up on the Rio Negro river. Just beautiful!! Those daring enough even jumped off the large rocks into the hole...don't panic parents. A fellow missionary here has recently taken an air tank down to ensure its depth. It was a really neat experience for sure.

Last night I busied myself sewing fabric tubes to fill with sand to help the little boy with CP be positioned. Otto, Bobby, and Thad worked together to build a 'stander' that would help hold him up. Thad mentioned just now at dinner how amazing it was to see him in it as he held his head up for the first time some when put in it the first time...before that his life had largely been spent laying in a hammock or just being laid around other places. Gives him a new perspective. Thad said he smiled and smiled. John Mark went with them today and enjoyed his time with Rabin as well!

We are heading back up the mountain after a dinner on the beach with our little houe unit plus a few extra.....better go before my ride gets here!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dinner party that stirred up Trujillo

Last night we had a dinner party! We invited Emilson and his family (the adminstrator at the school) and Candido and his family (one of the ministers here in Trujillo). Nadine headed to San Pedro Sula to pick up the 3 in her team coming to work for the next two weeks...she is fluent in Spanish so it might have been wise to plan our party when she was here, but we are always up for an adventure. Plus, we have Annina helping and she is great to have to translate too!

Candido went to town early yesterday morning and bought fresh shrimp from the fishermen for us - annina has told him how much we wanted and given him the money the night before. We had decided on doing a low country shrimp boil...
So Annina and I headed to town to do our grocery shopping. We did all of Trujillo in the end. And every one of the 3 grocery stores was visited along with just about every fruit and vegetable stand. We were laughing about how then right when we got home (after 4 hours of shopping/walking) we got to get to work immediately preparing our rest for the weary. then we got home to discover we didnt have everything we to Wal-mart...oh get even one more item it means heading back down the mountain. poor Thad....after laying at home sick yesterday (upper respiratory..pray it passes he has been having bouts of dizziness with the drainage in his inner ear) he hiked down the mountain to get the last few things while annina, the kids and I got the house ready and started the food.....Right as Thad got back and we were in the crunch of when we had to get things done quickly to get it all done in time, we had company so of course we had them join us for dinner (and literally Thad, Annina and I prayed a pray for a 'loaves and fishes moment')

At our house, Thad does the shrimp he was in the kitchen doing the cooking when our guests arrived. he was starting the potatoes when they got there so the ladies saw the big bowl of unpeeled shrimp ready to go in the pot and panicked a bit. They peel all of their shrimp here no matter how they cook it. So they offered to help me peel the 5 lbs of 'grande' shrimp. Thad and I assured them we wanted it like that and they gave us some odd looks and I think just thought we were NUTS!! hee hee!! Then when they all realized Thad was doing the cooking - the men here do not take on kitchen/house duties - the wives told their husbands that they were going to dye their hair blonde and move to the states to find a man that would cook!! Our friend Eda told her husband Emilson how much she liked seeing Thad and I in the kitchen together...while laughing as she knew he wouldnt do that.
then we pull out the boiled not peeled shrimp and more laughing ensued...more work for the men!! No one minded so much really...then we enjoyed homemade mango cobbler for dessert...YUMMY!! The word cobbler doesnt translate nor is it something they had ever had. So cobbler with vanilla ice cream was the perfect new treat to go along with our meal of new experiences!!

Our loaves and fishes prayer worked perfect as when Otto and Katherine (with the goodwood team) stopped by needing to borrow something later in the evening they got to enjoy some of the leftovers!! God is good!!!

(for those wondering how my kiddos are adjusting to life here....MK cried yesterday that life at home was boring, that friends dont get together enough and she doesn´t get to play outside all day, etc..she wanted to know when we get to move here. John Mark thinks he is Honduran we´ve decided...he is loving climbing trees, going barefoot, and just playing outside ALL day with his friends. They amaze us in how well they adjust)

brief update

Wll I haven`t mentioned yet anything about the Goodwood team. They arrived late in the night (around 1am by my understanding) on Tuesday night. We met some Wednesday morning down at the school. One being Bobby who is a pediatric Occupational therapist. He asked about the `orphanage' and if there was any work for him to do there....ha ha! he´s been swamped with work ever since. I called the missionary at the hogar (FYI not an orphanage any more...used to me years ago, but now is a preschool and a social services type agency that works in the homes of special needs children...a much needed ministry in this area) and he was thrilled, and immediately lined up a time for Bobby to come that afternoon to meet some of the kids they work with.
Thad went along to help him get there and introduce him. They had an extremely productive afternoon. There is one little boy with cerebal palsy whose Mom dug a hole for him to stand in. He has no muscle mass and so he can not support himself. his Mother dug a hole that when he is placed inside, comes to his chest with his arms able to come out on the sides. It is just wide enough for him with no give. If you see it (I will try to get a picture) you would probably think it was horrid, however it is evidence of a loving Mother trying to help her son in the only way she knows how. Soon this little boy will have a wheelchair and bobby has Thad and I working sewing some tubes to fill with sand so that he can be positioned when laying down or sitting.
They also worked with a little girl who has one leg that is shorter than the other. They way she walked attempting to comensate will mean that she will do severe damage to her ankles, etc before long. Bobby worked with she and her Mother teaching them some changes they can make, one being no more flip flops ever....something that concerned her Mother greatly as they are the most afforable shoe here. But thanks to the donation of a generous friend this little girl will get the high tops that she so desparately needs and will have a few sizes to grow into as well!
The Lord is good....there are more stories from Bobby's incredible work, but I will save those for another day. But let me say, if his church family or wife is reading this....these children and the workers and missionaries that work with these children every day are SO appreciative of Bobby´s use of his talents here in Trujillo!!!

The Goodwood team today is going into the classrooms and performing Bible skits and doing crafts, etc....their goal is to do two days worth of their material today and one day of material on Monday. I have not been able to see their skits and such yet, but my own children just ran to me to show off the swords that they made!! yesterday they worked HARD....mixing and pouring concrete, knocking down a wall in between the multipurpose room and the kitchen. That will become a concrete wall instead of the thick cardboard type stuff that has been there. There is now a sidewalk to the cancha (game court area) from the kindergarten classroom and looks as if there will be another from the cancha to the entrance to the gate in front of the´s looking great and this group is working very hard!! All of you in Tupelo, Baton Rouge, etc would be so proud of your family members. It has been so nice for us to put faces with names we hear so often! today I will get some more details from JD about the work they will be doing and how their `VBS' goes so I can share.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a few pictures....hopefully...

well apparently this is all the pictures I can get on today...perhaps more tomorrow if I can get down here, but for now....its putting them in odd places so hopefully the texts will line promises

This is Karla (left) sponsored by Paul Ingle and Alejandra (sponsored by the Eastside Church of Christ)

The picture above Nelda holding Luis (a ball of energy) he is sponsored by Adam and Leslie Freeman

Alexandro - sponsored by Joe and Tammy Moon...hes a shy one, I knew him as a toddler, its so amazing to see him in kindergarten now. Now he will at least chat a bit and smile at me instead of hide behind his Mommys legs!!

whew...a day in the life

nothing is easy it seems. This is my second attempt this week to upload pictures. I was so proud the other day while Thad was enroute to San Pedro Sula with the team, the kids and I ventured down the mountain to the internet cafe (With Annina and Nadine as well). I remembered the camera so that I could stick in the memory stick and upload the pictures. Just after I sat down logged on and finally got everything pulled up MaryKyle was crying she had to go to the restroom...argghhh....closest one was back in town, about a 10 min walk from the we quickly walked up there and of course by the time we got there, she didnt have to go anymore. So back down we went back the cafe...only for me to start all over again and discover I couldnt use just my memory stick, I had to have a USB and I had left that up at our house...argghh!! So I started to type a blog and what next....John Mark started crying to go the restroom (and yes I had asked him while there if he would try) so I gave up and we headed back up to El Centro to the restroom and did our grocery shopping...ha ha!! such the Mommy moment.

In cooking, I always thought it odd that Honduran women bought groceries almost day to day...sometimes meal to meal...crazy to me that generally purchases weeks at a time. BUT now that we have experienced numerous power outages, one being an all day affair and the freezer defrosted and learn why day to day shopping makes sense...oh if only our apartment was closer to the shops and groceries instead of up the mountain...ha ha!! Good exercise though, so I am NOT complaining!!!

We have had a couple of days without water...well some here and there. On Tuesday we went most all day without, then it came on in the night. So I got up had my shower Wed morning and then Thad got in (Pablo and Thad are the same person for anyone who doesnt realize he goes by his middle name translated here) and a few minutes later he is standing in our room with his swimming trunks on COVERED in suds....the water went off on him just after he soaped up...ha ha!! Fortunately there is a pool at the hote so he went and jumped in.

Trying to get our laundry done when the hotel is using the machine and when there is water has been a bit tricky this week, but we get enough done to wear so no worries there, we just are always looking out our window to see if we can toss a load in or not.

to top it off just as I finished that last sentence, my computer here at the cafe froze and shut down and it took about 10 min for the lady to decide what to do about I I am going to TRY and post pic now so I can get some one before i for some reason cant do anything

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Things You Can Buy on the Bus

- by Pablo

Yesterday, I traveled back to Trujillo via the public bus. It was only $8 for a 6 hour trip. Pretty good deal. In fact, it´s amazing that they can turn a profit at that price. At each stop, vendors would come on the bus selling the following items.
  • Apples
  • Sodas
  • Grapes
  • Kitchen towels
  • Coconut bread
  • Homemade snacks
  • Chips
  •´s underwear

That makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quick Update

- by Pablo

It's been a few days since our last update. Friday we did Bible school for the children at the school. We rotated over 300 kids between three stations. One was a drama, performed by older kids from the school. They performed stories from the life of David. The other stations were crafts and games. The event was very chaotic and alot of fun. The most difficult part was that the electricity was out the whole time, so it was sweltering in the rooms without the fans going. Of course, that bothered the North Americans much more than the Hondurans.

Friday afternoon, we went into town and did a little shopping. Jack bought a year's supply [litterally] of coffee and a few folks bought pineapple jelly. There really aren't that many options in Trujillo as far as souvenirs. Most of the shops are filled with cheaply made but often overpriced goods from China. For example, we bought a skillet for about $10 that would be $4 at Walmart.

Saturday was a day off, and we enjoyed going to Campamento, which is a restaurant east of Trujillo. We had good seafood and enjoyed the beach. It was a nice getaway after a week of work. The beaches in Trujillo proper aren't all that good, and this was my first time to see some of the better beaches. The water was clear and the beach wasn't littered with trash like it is inTrujillo. We had a great time.

Sunday morning, the Eduardo church has worship services at the school and we did another round of dramas, games, and crafts for all of the school children. Then, the teachers from the school brought us lunch and we had a good time hanging out with the teachers for much of the afternoon. Jack and Clayton spent the afternoon back at the school fixing desks. Many of the 1st grade desks were badly in need of repair. Some of them had nails sticking out where boards have come loose, and they got all of those fixed.

Yesterday was a travel day and we drove from Trujillo to San Pedro. This morning we will go to the Guamalito market for some souvenir shopping before heading to the airport. The group of 9 from West Metro will fly out at 12.55 and I will take the bus back to Trujillo. The group from Baton Rouge will arrive at about 4 pm tonight and drive all the way to Trujillo tonight, which will give them arrival time after midnight. Please keep them in your prayers this evening as they travel.

Thank you to all of our readers who have been following us through this blog. It's very comforting to know that there are so many people out there thinking about us and praying for us.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Looking out the office window

Kids playing futbol
kids sweeping floors
boys mixing concrete
boys sitting in trouble in the principals office for fighting (see the school here isn´t so different than at home)
kids reciting mathmatical equations
children singing in music class
kids laughing
teachers teaching
little girls walking hand in hand
a little boy crying for his Mommy
boys `sword fighting` with rolls of paper during recess
a team of kids practicing skits in their costumes for Bible class tomorrow
smiles...lots and lots of smiles

For those of you that sponsor kids....we just can not thank you enough!! This school is here because of you, all of the things I am seeing out my window at this moment is happening because of you, it absolutely would not be possible otherwise. These children are so precious. Every year at least one in the group comments `every child is just so adorable`
Yesterday as Nadine, Annina and I walked downtown to grocery shop ,multiple times on the street I would hear `hola Raquel` With over 300 children in the school it´s difficult to learn each ones name (although I´m working on it), but they know ours and are always squeezing to sit beside us, sit on our laps, hold our hands, etc! Even the oldest ones like to walk with us, sit with us and try to talk, bring us small gifts, etc! It is such a blessing to be surrounded by beautiful children who appreciate the `gringos` and what they provide for them. But even not being here, please know that your sacrifice truly makes a huge difference to the children


(FYI to those that might be interested in sponsoring to learn more. We do have children in the school this year not yet sponsored)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday July 2

yesterday we girls met with some ladies from the churches and started preparing and going over all the crafts and games for our bible school classes. The ministers and school principal have decided they want to try a new way to do it this year. We will do two days worth on Friday with a recess in between....they will do that instead of classes that day. Then on Sunday they have recently started having all the kids come to school every other Sunday for an hour Bible Class. So we will do our other lesson then and then a church or two will join with us in worship after the children´s classes that morning.
Last night many enjoyed playing in the pool and just sitting by the pool and chatting. Today, we have completed a lot more paintings for sponsors (although Marilee, Stacy, Nelda and Laura have done the brunt of the labor for sure!!) and the two walls are just about complete. Also some new shelving for the classrooms has been put together and is being painted. Lots of work! The home ec class made some eggs and tortillas today and shared their yummy goods with a few. It has been another busy day, much like the others where we are amazed at the amount of work accomplished!!

We are amazed at how many have viewed our site. We are all loving reading and hearing the comments from friends, family, aquaintances, etc that are reading and praying for us and just overall participating in our adventure from afar. For all those thus far who have left comments, etc we truly appreciate it!! It´s always encouraging to know those at home are encouraging our efforts here!! Everyone is well today, thank you for your prayers for health.

I´m going to ATTEMPT to just attach some pictures from the school computer....we´ll see how it goes.....all the directives are in Spanish and `mi Espanol is muy MALO!!!`

We are praying for our families back home as well!! One in particular is we are waiting the call to hear that my new nephew has would be fitting in my family for a 4th of July baby....for anyone who knows my Mom and her american decor you understand the sentiment! LB, Brian and Holland we are all praying for you and can not wait to hear that Greeley has arrived safe and sound and see pictures!!

FYI - no pictures right now...this computer just can´t handle´s VErrryyy slow...dial up plus a cloud slows it down or disconnects it. We did learn of a friend this week who got satellite internet at his home here. So there is progress coming to Trujillo slowly but surely.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Well I´m at the school again, and due to the rain wasn´t able to get to the internet cafe yesterday to upload pictures. But a quick update....
Stacy is back to her usual bubbly beaming self...I mean really how else can you describe her great smile that makes everyone around her happy too? We are so thankful for whoever invented Cipro!! Nadine isn´t feeling great today, but thinks she just tried to be her old Honduran self yesterday and pushed herself a bit too hard. But other than that we are all great. We enjoyed a walk to town last night for ice cream and had a devo down there off of central park.
To quote Daddy (Jack for those that don´t know my family) We accomplished more work yesterday than we have ever seen done in one day. REALLY!! With our small group and lack of heavy laborers it is AMAZING what has been completed already. Truly...and whats amazing is the teams of help we have had. yesterday and today an entire class of the older boys have worked right along side us aswell as our trusty Santiago (one of the ministers here who is also gifted as a brick mason)! After we went to lunch yesterday and returned, the group was greeted by the teachers and some of their friends and family, and parents, plus some students that came back. Some teachers brought YUMMY snacks, others drinks and everyone worked together. A s of this morning the first wall is looking close to done (based on my non trained eye) and the second is already started.
Last night in devo Thad assured everyone not to worry if they felt like their hands were idle and the Hondurans were doing more work. Seeing the teachers, students, and parents take ownership of their school is the most wonderful blessing and something we have been working toward. Thad assured us all that building relationships was more important than building a wall!! And both are being accomplished! Stacy commented last night in devo about watching these boys work hard for hours without stopping or complaining...14-15 yr old boys...
We feel thankful and blessed!! This group is working together so well & as always I am thankful to be with them.

And to Annina parents if you are reading....she is great, and a huge asset to us. She is enjoying being reunited with old friends and is learning to cook some yummy Honduran food!! She fried Papusas for us last night for dinner as Thad and I put them together. Right now she is working hard with the girls with our sponsor project. She is a joy to be living with this summer and we are all enjoying our house overall. ALTHOUGH the monkeys calling in the jungle behind us woke she and Nadine last night....not us, we have AC in our room and cant hear anything. They live in the `wind tunnel`portion of the house that has natural AC so they could hear them. We just get the birds running into our window starting at 4am...ha ha!! So fun!!!

I do have to say one more thing to give everyone an idea of us walking to town and back. For those that live in Georgia.....I´m told my Father told my Mom when she read about the kids and I walking back from town or something `now realize Beth, when she says that, its like saying they walked up kennesaw mountain` That is an excellent comparison! So when I say we went to town for ice cream....we did, and thankfully walked it off going home!! And the night air was refreshing after a hard days work!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Home again home again jiggedy jog


no pictures right now, i´m at the school and the connection is VERY slow, plus there is rain and that means the connection might cut off, so I will try later to get down the mountain to the internet cafe!

let´s might help if I went back and read what all `Pablo`has written, however I`m worried I will lose my connection, so I will just write whatI know and not worry about that so sorry for any repeats!
Coming home is what it feels like for me here. It´s just another part of my family and I am so thankful to be back among them for some bit of time.
yesterday we worshipped with the Limonal congregation. After worship there was a baptism at the beach so members from all the local congregations came together after their services to witness this baptism.It was a lady a mission group from California had been studying with. It was a joyous occasion that was awesome to be able to witness! And such a unique experience at the beach singing and rejoicing with everyone gringos and hondurans alike!

While Thad was gone to SanPedro to the get the group the kids and I ventured down the mountain to shop a bit one day. On the way back up school was letting out and we passed our Friend and minister Candido on his motorcycle having left the school. he had two students on the back and he informed me that several students from the school had just been baptized, these two were two of them. But I know you will truly appreciate the rest of the story....
This morning as we arrived at the school we were given the official tour classroom by classroom for those that hadn´t been here before. In each room Emilson (the admininstrator) would ask do any of you sponsor children in this class and would ask the students name so he could introduce the sponsors to their kids. Well in the 4th grade (I think it was) Stacy immiately recognized their little boy and pointed and said so.....and I realized it was the boy ont he back of the motorcyle with Candido that day who had just been baptized. Needless to say it was a touching moment to say the least for Stacy!! And a good start to her week as she had a `inferma` day yesterday. Thanks to our Eagle Scout Brad who is always prepared and he shared some medicine that helped her immensely. Please continue to pray for our group as a whole to stay well.

For those that have stayed at the Brinkley hotel before, you would be amazed at the changes. Even pretty little fabric wraps for the towels. Marilee was thrilled to see her redecorated, painted, and CLEAN room!!! Whoo hooo!!

As always our group is working hard. Clayton many commented on how he could mix the concrete like a Catracho (Honduran man)...he´s a worker for sure and always willing to help!!! He even `babysat`for me yesterday helping to keep John Mark occupied while I did some work.
Alison is attending class again and improving her Spanish skills that are already great!! Marilee is our boss over the sponsor project as she has done it for 3 years now and can run the show she is keeping it organized and doing a great job keeping us all together She told me the other day riding downt he road I always forget how happy it makes me to be here! I mean how awesome is that, and really I think those of us that have been before feel jsut that as we arrive!!
Laura is loving the kids and was thrilled to get to love on a friends newborn for quite some time the other night....right in her element with kids all around her! Cole...well I think he just thinks Honduras is his second home. He is so comfortable and so happy and always willing to do WHATEVER you ask!! And everyone here loves him (but miss Ricky although are thrilled to know that Stacy is his wife)
All of us adults are well. Today we girls started on the sponsor project and finished kindergarten and first grade painting pictures (Thanks for the labels Libby, I hear it was a challenge...THANK YOU!!) . Plus we passed out the paper for the letters and already got the 8th graders letters back. It always amazes me how much effort these kids put into such things. The envelopes and letters are so beautifully decorated with wonderful notes of thanksgiving to their sponsors!! The guys starting the fun process of sifting sand, ,mixing concrete and laying block to make a permanent wall where had only been a temporary wall of heavy duty cardboard between classrooms and a main multipurpose room.´s lunch time. The group has gone back to the hotel to eat and I need to do the same. We will rest a bit and come back down to the school around 2 pm to work more on the work projects around the school.
Thank you for your prayers. I believe Chaney asked for the list of our is on the right of this main page...or should be!

In our house I´ve learned to cook some Honduran syle meals and learned to cook in my oven...some banana bread, plantano bread and a cake for devo last night!! Life is good. nadine, Annina and our family are settling into our new home and enjoying becoming a little family unit here in honduras!!

Much love to all....Raquel

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Gang's All Here

- by Pablo

Everyone from the West Metro group is now here in La Ceiba safe and sound. Also, all of their luggage is here. (One piece of our luggage is still in limbo between Atlanta and San Pedro.) The best story for today is about our van. It is a 15 passenger Hyundai with a 4 cylinder diesel engine and 5 speed transmission. This type of van is very common here. Toyota and Nissan make similar models. The one we got has about 60K miles on it, but they have been very hard miles. When I did the walk-around with the lady from the rental company, she was marking on her paper all of the places on the van with scratches, dents, chipped glass, broken tail-light covers, etc. Finally, I said "todos," which means "all." She smiled only a little at my joke. In the end, appoximately 13 of the 15 or so boxes were checked indicating some form of cosmetic damage. I keep the accelerator to the floor 95% of the time, and we still travel at a safe speed, although the speedometer always says we're going between 120 and 140 km/hour. But I like the van alot because it has given us the best laugh of the day so far. Here is the photographic testimony.

Our group at dinner

Comments & Pictures

-by Pablo

A couple of notes about our blog. First of all, we LOVE comments. If you want to drop us a note that doesn't need to be private, this is a much better way to communicate with us than email. The reason is that we have several email accounts we have to check, and if our friends and family post here, it is much easier for us. Comments from casual acquaintances and friends of friends are welcome too.

The second note is about pictures on our blog. Uploading pictures is very difficult because of the slow internet connections. When things are running fast, I'll try to go back and add pictures to posts we've already made. So if you are interested in pictures, you will want to scroll down through old posts to see if anything has been added since the post.


Away In A Manger

- by Pablo

Yesterday Emilson and I got to San Pedro in plenty of time to find a room. The first place we went was Hostel Tamarindo, where we have stayed in the past. It cost $6 - $10 per person and is clean and safe. They had only one room available with three beds in it, and they wanted $51 for the night. We thought that was crazy based on our previous experiences and left to find other accommodations. But the next hotel we went to was booked up. The manager told us that they were full because of Carnival this weekend, which we didn’t know was happening in San Pedro. That helped explain the increased price at the Tamarindo. Fortunately, Emilson’s sister, Claudia, lives in San Pedro, and she made reservations for us at a place called Hotel Terraza. So we went to the airport to pick up Nadia, secure in our plans for the evening. Her flight was late, but she arrived safely at about 11:30. Emilson called to verify our reservation at the Terraza, and we drove back toward the center of town anxious to settle in after a long day of travel.

As we entered the hotel, three gringos walked in right before us. I recognized them from the airport, because two of them came in on the same flight as Nadia. By the time we got to the counter, they had a room, and we didn’t. Supposedly there was a reservation mix-up. I think it was a plain case of first come / first served. So began our midnight ramblings around downtown San Pedro. We checked every hotel we could find. In the process, we got a good look at the late night life of San Pedro. Like any big city, the really strange things come out at night. I can’t say much about it, as this is a family-friendly blog, but it was a real eye-opener.

Eventually, Claudia and her boyfriend came to rescue us from our plight. They took us around to several more motels. The answer was always the same…no rooms. I was even ready to get a room at the Crown Plaza, which costs just as much here as it does in the US, but Claudia told us it and the Intercontinental were both full because all of the business travel to Honduras is coming through San Pedro now. (All international flights were shut out of the Tegucigalpa airport due to a crash a few weeks ago.)

In the end, Claudia brought us to her apartment in the wee hours of the morning, and we stayed the night here. I got the couch, which was better than staying in the stable. So this morning, I give thanks to God that I had a safe place to sleep last night, and that he has blessed me with another adventure that I was able to share with my brother Emilson and my sister Nadia and now with you. In a little bit, we will go to the airport to meet the group from Hiram, Georgia and begin our trip to Trujillo. God bless you all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Expecting Company Tomorrow

Today I left for San Pedro Sula to meet the group from West Metro at the airport. It takes several hours to travel from Trujillo to San Pedro. I am traveling with Emilson, the director of the school, in his pickup truck. We left at about 7:30 am because I wanted to stop in La Ceiba to see the place where the group will stay on the way to Trujillo. I found the accommodations to be very basic, but it is in a good part of town, which is the important part. I also needed to pick up a few supplies at Office Depot and the supermarket in San Pedro. San Pedro is a large city and has many of the luxuries that are so normal for us in the United States. In fact, as I compose this message, I am sitting in a very modern KFC with a wireless internet connection. Although, the connection is very slow, and I’m not sure if I will even manage to get this uploaded before I leave. Another reason we wanted to leave early is because all of the bus drivers are protesting right now about the high fuel prices. Sometimes they shut down the roads for several hours by parking in middle of a road or bridge, and you just have to wait. Fortunately, for today’s protest they simply parked all of their buses on the side of the road, so we were able to get through with only a few minutes of delay. Of course, for all of the people who depend on the buses for transportation to work, school, and other destinations, this protest is a big inconvenience. And of course, the protest doesn’t do anything to affect the price of fuel, as Honduras is suffering the same fate as the rest of the world in that regard.

Tonight at 9:05, Emilson and I will go to the airport to pick up our first arrival from the United States. Her name is Nadia, and she used to live in Trujillo. She will be living in the apartment with us for the next several weeks. Nadia, Emilson, and I will stay overnight in a hostel here in San Pedro and go again to the airport tomorrow to meet the nine people traveling here from West Metro. We will rent a van, travel to La Ceiba, stay for one night, and go the rest of the way to Trujillo on Saturday morning. Saturday evening, we will have a devotional with a group from California that is working at Little Hands, Big Hearts, another mission organization in Trujillo. Sunday we will of course attend worship and then spend time preparing our work for the week. One of the advantages to my family coming early is that I have already scheduled delivery of materials for the work project that we will be starting next week. So, Lord willing, we will hit the ground running on Monday morning and have a full week of service to the school.

For those of you coming to Honduras tomorrow, the weather here has been very mild. There has been a nice breeze and significant cloud cover, but not too much rain. Maybe the hot weather will stay away, and we will be blessed with comfortable temperatures next week.

In closing. All of our family is doing well. Rachel and the kids are back in Trujillo while I am here getting the group. They are very secure in the apartment where we are staying, as it is part of the Hotel Villa Brinkley. As extra security, I went to the Home Depot (ha ha) and bought a new dead-bolt lock for the door, so we know we are the only ones with keys. We will likely not be able to update anything on the blog until Monday, with the possible exception of a quick confirmation that the group is in Trujillo safely. Thank you all for your continued prayers for us and for the fruitfulness of our efforts in Trujillo. God bless.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Settling In

- by Raquel

Sunday June 22 we had a simple b’fast, purchased on our way into town at a gas station the night before…Bimbo bread and water. Yum!! We can get Bimbo bread at RaceTrac (the gas station) at home, but they don’t have the kind we get here. We had some raisin bread and some cinnamon sweet rolls. After worship the kids asked to go home with some friends. So Thad and I took a much needed nap and headed down to the beach to find a restaurant to eat lunch. That afternoon we went and met with some missionaries that moved here just about a week after Thad was here in Feb. They work with Little Hands Big Hearts which is a social work agency that ensures special needs children get the care they need. It was great to meet their family. They have 4 kids here that are close in age to our kiddos and are homeschoolers (Even before they came here) so we chatted as I helped a bit in the kitchen as when we got there they were busy preparing dinner for a team they have in from California. Thad and Brian chatted over happenings around Trujillo. Sunday night we went downtown and met with a Christian from Tennessee who owns property here. He was a member at the church in Slidell, LA when they started the Trujillo Christian School. It was nice to finally meet him. While we sat outside and chatted, the kids walked around with friends exploring the Carnival that was going on. They ate cotton candy (not at all the same flavor as at home), popcorn, and played a game or two. But by far all of our favorite thing that night was watching the town boys and teens attempt to climb this tall wooden pole with a flag on the top. We sadly, didn’t have the camera and were so sad we didn’t. They would attempt it different ways. But they would basically form a human ladder standing on one another’s shoulders. It was great fun to watch and cheer them on!!

Monday June 23, we headed to the bank. A crazy experience here, to say the least. On our way downtown our friend called us to say he’d gone on and gotten in line for us. He was #20 in line at the bank. I was thrilled to hear that as the line can wrap about the building so that was pretty far up in the line, and the bank had yet to open. It was probably 45 min to an hour by the time they got into the bank. The kids and I went and grabbed some b’fast and sat on the porch of the bank and waited, and waited and waited. They went in and never came out. Many people who had gone in after them came out…but not our guys…arrgghh!! I ended up with one child with an upset tummy and both who had to use the restroom. Joy! And no way to tell hubby that we were leaving to go anywhere, there is a guard blocking the door who only allows so many from the line in at a time. He has his shotgun and although I thought I might could get through that my husband was inside, I didn’t think it would matter, and I had the key chain with pepper spray which isn’t allowed inside. Finally I just decided to head back up the mountain on foot to our house and trust Thad wouldn’t worry and would check at home first. We ran into a friend on the way with a cell, and I attempted to ask him to call them to tell them we had gone home, but my message was lost in translation completely as they actually ran into him later and he not only hadn’t called, he didn’t mention it to them…I need my Spanish classes to start HA HA!! I thought for sure they would be done and pick us up on the road along the way and we wouldn’t have to make the full hike, but we’d been home an hour or more before they pulled up. MaryKyle says everyone here has really strong legs to walk without whining and hurting…ha ha!! We are all hopeful by the end of our 5 week adventure our legs will be strong too!! Also on Monday we received a stove/oven from the school. It was an extra there, and the hotel where our apartment is located (it’s the previous owners old townhouse back behind the hotel) provided us with a refrigerator. HOORAY!!!! My friend Eda agreed to come on Tuesday morning to help teach me to cook Honduran food!!

Tuesday June 24, My friend came at 6:45…whoa!! I’d actually been up cleaning and unpacking for a couple of hours, but had not showered and dressed. After I quickly got ready the lessons began. The menu for my first lesson was just about the most typical of Honduran foods: Pollo frito, frijoles, arroz, y plantanos (fried chicken, red beans, rice, and plantains). The fried chicken is very different than American style…lots of sauces and flavorings it marinades in before breading and frying it. I love to cook, but I’ll be honest, I buy things like a package of chicken breasts, or wings or whatever, I’ve never cut up a whole chicken. I had to learn a lot. Just turning on the oven and stove was a learning experience for me. It’s gas with the tank sitting beside the stove/oven so each burner must be lit with a match as does the oven and you must remember to shut off the safety valve when you aren’t using it. The biggest difference is there are no thermometers. I have not a single clue how hot the oven is at any single moment. Should make for some interesting baking for sure!!! I have also never in my life cut up a whole chicken for cooking/frying. I know silly I’m sure to many of you, I’ve boiled a chicken and cut or picked the meat off, but just never cut up the entire chicken into the individual pieces. Eda has never purchased a package of chicken breasts. She has only ever cut up an entire chicken any time she wants chicken. Her Mom is in the US now helping her sister who lives in Maryland with her new baby. She called Eda to tell her all about the “beautiful meat” and how it was cut and all the choices. I was not very good at finding the joints and things to cut easily, she did it so fast and knew just where to put the dull knife. I’ll get it. But one thing I will not get nor do I want to do again is taste the chicken as it marinades…the RAW chicken. Eda did not understand why I was unsure of touching my finger to the raw chicken and tasting it….aahhh……but I have lived to tell the tale and just don’t plan to do that again if I can help it. The food preparation process was different than in the states, but the food was so delicious and I had a great teacher!! I have now sorted, cleaned, soaked and cooked for hours dried beans. Something I’ve only attempted 2 times in my cooking years and never had great success at. John Mark asked for beans about every hour yesterday and then for b’fast this morning…ha ha!! I think I did okay, although the true test will be doing it without the help of my friend. I chose to boil the plantanos. We could have fried them too, but I decided fried chicken was enough fried food for one meal (and way more fried than we usually have but fried is the cooking method of choice around here). It was all really good and I look forward to trying it on my own in a few days!! I can’t wait to see what yummy things come from my next cooking lessons!!
Thad met a missionary that lived in Trujillo for several years operating the Little Hands Big Hearts agency. We have good friends (Nadine and Alfonso) that worked or lived there and have heard a lot about this man, but always missed meeting him on previous trips. He is back in the states now but was heading up the team from California that is working there for a week . Thad spent time going to the hardware store and setting up the supplies for our team when they arrive and also getting a few things for our house. Like a new lock. There was only one key to our previous lock and with Annina and Nadine arriving in a few days plus just Thad and I going different directions some days, we needed more. Plus it’s just nice to have a lock that no one has ever had access to on the door. We now have 4 keys, one for each of us…perfect!! Our entire family headed down the mountain to shop in town for some supplies….food, fruit, skillet, cake pans, etc…Cake pans and skillets and other cooking things, not cheap!! $10 for a skillet and the cake pan wasn’t too far behind. Not high quality, just your every day wal-mart variety. No wonder ladies here use things like sardine cans and other little tins to bake in! On our walk down the hill, our friend Jeffrey passed and offered us a ride. He invited us to a devotional a bit further up the mountain that night. The group from California is in town were going up there to another missionarys house to swim and have a devotional. Thad had met them once in the past so we made our shopping trip quick and headed back up the mountain to clean up and get to the devotional! It was wonderful to see Maybelline and her new baby Jack!! He is 26 days old and Nadine if you are reading this…oh my goodness he is PRECIOUS!!!! Maybelline is doing wonderfully. Here when you have a baby you do just about nothing for 40 days. A family member moves in and does all the work. Marybelline’s sister was with her to help her. Can someone please make a proclamation in the states to start such a thing and I might just have another little one just to take advantage??!! It’s a true team effort and the new Mother gets all the rest she needs!! It was nice to meet with other North American Christians and worship. Our team will be joining theirs on Saturday for a devotional and we look forward to that. The kids didn’t make it for the entire thing, we had to leave. They were so exhausted from the trip/hike to town and two swims in the pool that MaryKyle was begging to go home to bed and John Mark crashed right there in Daddy’s arms!

Wednesday June 25th, Well, that brings us to today…hmmm….we actually slept a little late with no big plans for the morning for once! I didn’t get out of bed until 7 am! The sun comes up around 4:30am and a bird starts knocking at the back window. For my neighbors and parents reading this can you believe this?? Our first morning here we were woken by a familiar sound….peck peck pecking and tweet tweet tweeting. The kids, Thad and I sat up and laughed. At home we have a cardinal that has been doing the same thing for almost 4 months now. He’s even started torturing some neighbors too. We have decided “Joey” (what we named out cardinal because after a few months he’s just part of the family) somehow sent a message to the Honduran birds to ensure we were made to feel right at home!! Ha ha, it worked and we started the trip off with a great laugh! This morning Thad and I just looked at each other and smiled when it started and rolled over and went back to sleep.
Thad is currently down the hill at the school setting up meetings to go over everything with the evangelists here in preparation for our Bible school event with our team and to get their input and ideas so we can ensure it’s what they will find useful and helpful, so that it won’t just be our event. We will be enlisting Christians here to do most of the work and our team will just be support and crowd control since we could never communicate a message as effectively as they can! Plus it is important to us that they see they are capable of doing such things because we don’t feel we would be effective missionaries if we did all the work ourselves as we are here to equip. Later tonight we have been invited to eat with some other missionaries in their home where the team from California is staying. It’s nice to touch base with others. We will gather with the area congregations to worship. We are hoping to get out to Santa Fe area to meet some North Americans that I have been in contact with that own a resort out that way. Each day seems to get so busy I don’t always get the want to things done because the list of need to’s gets so long. But we are starting to feel settled. We have a stocked ‘pantry,’ leftovers in the fridge, and clothes are unpacked. Life is good….we thank you for your prayers and for reading this book. We promise we don’t plan to make it a habit to write this much each time we update. We just know family and friends are anxious to hear about our days and lives here. At present, John Mark is eating a mango on the balcony to keep the mess out of our living room. MaryKyle is….reading of course. As soon as I’m done typing we are heading to the courtyard pond to see if the turtles are sunning and if the baby cocker spaniel is out playing. When Thad gets home we hope to go downtown to the internet cafĂ© to check emails and post the update with pictures!!
Please continue to pray for our team members who will be arriving starting tomorrow night.