Thank you so much for your prayers and concerned emails as we continue to wait out the resolution to the political problems in Honduras. Things in Honduras are currently stable but have the potential to turn violent quickly if the former president decides to try a forced return. I am currently in the United States and plan to return to Honduras on July 25th if no further problems arise. Please pray for stability in the country and God hand in the whole situation.
Summer time is always a time to reconnect with old friends and meet lots of new ones. In June we had mission teams from Park Plaza Church of Christ, Covenant Presbyterian, Oakcrest Church of Christ, a Young Life group from OKC, University City Church of Christ, Bammel Road Church of Christ, Laurel Church of Christ, Lindburg Road Church of Christ, Adams Boulevard Church of Christ, and Prestoncrest Church of Christ. The Oakcrest group was able to build homes for three families whose homes were burned down after being struck by lightning in early June. These families lost everything and the groups built from the ashes. It was a very vivid picture of starting over and giving them a fresh start. All of the groups that came have helped us in different ways and we’ve definitely enjoyed the bonds shared. This summer 22 homes have been built and over 500 kids have participated in VBS programs and well as other projects to improve the community. One group began a project to provide a soccer field behind the church in Mogote. This was to be an ongoing summer project but will probably become a community project due to cancellations. We still have a couple of groups holding out on making their decisions about coming but most of our groups have cancelled for the rest of the summer. This is definitely in the best interest of everyone’s safety at this time.
This summer I was truly blessed with a large number of wonderful interns. Unfortunately those that had planned to stay the whole summer had to cut their trip short because of the political situation. Theresa Witt from Tulsa Oklahoma planned to stay the whole summer along with Michael Lemmons from OKC and Rachel Davis from Athens TX. These three girls quickly found their way into my heart and I pray that they find their way back to Honduras again soon so that we can continue to develop our friendship. My interns definitely become family and it’s always hard to let them go especially sooner than expected.
My short term interns who were able to complete their stay were Shelby Taylor from OKC, Audrey Smith and Brittney Kvanvig (Brittney returned early due to a family emergency) from Waco, TX, Cale Thompson and Anna Wilkes from Maryville, TN, and Edward Cox from Knoxville, TN. The short term interns are often kids that have come to Honduras throughout High School and College and then come for a longer stay, which was the case with most of these.
One of our new groups took a trip to Roatan at the beginning of June and asked me to go with them as a guide. A friend of ours paid for Darwin to go on the trip as well. Roatan is always a refreshing time for me. I feel closest to God when I’m face to face with the wonder of the ocean. It was also a great blessing to experience Darwin’s first airplane flight and swimming in the ocean. We laughed a lot and spent some time bonding. It was really a wonderful weekend.
The work I’m missing the most is the stadium feeding. My friends there are never far from my mind. We’ve had to put that on hold until we return to Honduras because Darwin doesn’t have a vehicle to take the food in. One of the blessings in being in the states has been new donations. We’ve received sponsorship for another night of the week at the stadium and hopefully within the next year we will be able to expand to a nightly feeding program. I pray that soon we will be able to find a facility to better reach the needs of these people and continue to show them the hope that only exists through Christ.
Darwin and Ariel are doing well. They are definitely feeling the strains of responsibility being at home on their own but Darwin has taken on the role of caretaker well. I talk to them almost daily and while we are both feeling the strains of being apart I know that they are capable of being on their own. I’m hopeful that we will be together again soon.
Trip to the US
The last week of June I made a scheduled trip to the United States to attend the wedding of one of my best friends, Holly Deboard, to another friend, Lance Towers and also to renew my visa. At the time I had no idea it would end up being a month long stay. The wedding was beautiful and I was blessed to be a part of it. I also got to spend some time with a lot of my good friends in the Oklahoma City area. 9-year-old Mariela Gross (Cony and Guillermo’s granddaughter and Michelle’s niece) was also able to travel home with me to attend Holly’s wedding. Holly and Mariela have been very close since both Holly and I lived with her family in 2003 (when Mariela was only 3). Holly was so excited to be able to have Mariela in her wedding and also show her around the US for the first time. Experiencing “firsts” with a child is always a blessing and I truly enjoyed my time with Mariela. We ended up sending her home as an unaccompanied minor so that she could be reunited with her family and not be in the US on an expired visa. I am now in Missouri at my mom’s house. It’s always a blessing to spend time with my family. Last week was spent planning for this week’s VBS and this week has been a blessing teaching the younger kids about the wisdom of King Solomon. I was beginning to feel guilty about all the work I’m missing in Honduras and God has blessed me with work to do here in the US.
- Peaceful resolution to the political issues in Honduras.
- Peace for the boys as they await my return
- Hope and Peace for those at the stadium
- Continued growth of the church throughout Honduras
- Patience for me as I wait to go back to Honduras
Thank you all again for your love and prayers. I love to hear from you and I’m especially thankful for your concern during this trying time. I hope to hear from you soon.