Thank you so much for your prayers. We are all safe and survived Hurricane Earl. In fact, as God always does, He surprised us with unexpected blessings as a result of the rains. No work could be done outside today so we made our way to the church and found inside work instead.
Hector Galeas led our devotional time this morning. Hector volunteers and works part-time at the church in the workshop. His devotional centered on Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom & instruction. It is relying on HIs knowledge and wisdom that helps us can make wise choices. One of the questions he often asks himself to stay focused on what God wants in his life is “What can I do to help?”
If you take a look at the pictures today you will see why today became an unexpected blessing. Since the guys couldn’t work outside they were able to work around the church and CDI with painting projects and finishing the stage background at the church. This gave them time to play with the kids from the CDI. The sheer joy on their faces and their laughter is infectious. Megan and Bruce went shopping with Hector’s wife Lorena for items to fill the house they are building. They also bought school supplies and computer monitors for the CDI. With those additional monitors and the equipment we brought down, Rob was able to get 7 computers up and running for the school. This will be such a blessing to the older kids who come to the CDI!
Because of the heavy rains, the church’s Wednesday night service was cancelled and families were encouraged to stay at home. After dinner with our host families, we gathered at Pastor Fredi’s house for game night.
Again, thank you for all your prayers. We will probably be dealing with more rain on Thursday as the bands from the backside of Earl swing through. But, we hope to get some outside work done in between the rains. Continued prayers that we can finish the house on time and that families stayed safe through the storm are very much appreciated.
Until tomorrow . . .
We began our day with a devotional time which has been one of the favorite parts of our day. Doug Saesan led our time today. Doug shared a message about the Israelites and how they missed out on God’s best because they didn’t obey God completely. The same is true for us. Are we missing out on His best because we are “partially” obeying what He is asking of us? Our prayer is that we would be “all in”! Pastor Rossel also asked for prayer for the GCLA church in Venezuela. He read a letter from their pastor, who moved to that church from Tegucigalpa, Honduras recently. Many in the church are in despair as a result of a lack of food and jobs in Venezuela.
Off to work – we know that there are specific things God has called us to do here and yet we all want to stay behind and play with the kids. Their smiles and joy are infectious. We really enjoy the time we get to spend with them at the beginning and end of each work day. Bruce, Randy, Rob, Aaron, Jason and Doug went to work digging the hole for the septic tank. They probably wished there was a backhoe available, but picks and shovels were the tools of the day. They also moved all the cinderblocks from the road to line the walls of the hole. Megan continued her work at the clinic and then joined the guys to dig the last shovelfuls of dirt from the septic hole.
Emily and Samantha enjoyed their time with the kids. Today they had the students recount the promises of God. They reminded the kids that God will never break His promises and that His love is never-ending. They all made Jesus fish out of pipe cleaners and beads. Then they played games which included POGS – for all you 90’s kids 🙂
Halfway through each day, the cooks from the CDI always prepare an amazing lunch. Below is a picture of our team enjoying lunch together in much appreciated air conditioning.
We enjoy walking home to our host homes together and sharing parts of our day with each other. Tonight we will either enjoy a night in with our host families or treat them to dinner out in La Ceiba.
We appreciate your prayers for our day on Wednesday as Tropical Storm Earl is set to pass by the north shore where we are in Honduras. While we are not overly concerned, we will experience very heavy rains here and hope that it doesn’t delay the completion of the house we are building or the delivery of the Solar Light kits.
Thanks so much for your support and for your prayers…until tomorrow…
Our day began with another wonderful devotional time led by Pastor Fredi. Fredi’s devotion focused on the difference between joy and happiness. Joy in serving, giving, and sharing the gospel. He reminded us that God delights in seeing us pour out our lives in serving, giving and sharing of ourselves. He also shared a very personal story about his father being killed by his uncle when Fredi was just a teenager. This ultimately became a story of God’s redemptive power. Fredi was able to see his uncle many years later and was able to forgive him and God restored that relationship. He called on us to think about a person in our life that we are having a hard time forgiving. He challenged us to pray and ask God to give us strength to do just that.
Our work began on the house we are building for a single mom and her children. Jason, Aaron, Rob, & Randy worked hard all day mixing and pouring cement for the floor of the home. Bruce was able to take Hector shopping for much needed supplies for the workshop. The shopping took much longer than expected (which the guys gave him a hard time about). It is a bit different in Honduras when you purchase things. Everything has to be taken out of its packaging, plugged in and showed to be working. There is a “no return policy” so shopping is a longer experience in Honduras. Emily and Samantha worked at the CDI with the kids. They were in charge of game time. There were several games designed to expose hidden talents that God has given us. One of the games was “Who is the strongest” and you’ll see a picture of the kids having arm-wrestling contests. Megan saw many patients at the clinic. The staff is delighted to have her here this week. Doug was able to spend some very productive time with the pastors working through counseling curriculum that we use here at The Ridge. Later this week they are going to be able to put it to use with a couple who is getting married at the church in La Ceiba.
So, everyone is putting their unique gifts, that God has given them, to serve in many different ways. After a long, hot day we returned to our homes to enjoy a night with our host families.
Thank you for your prayers and until tomorrow . . .
Our team began the day with a devotional time led by Pastor Rossel. His message centered on the verse in Philippians where Paul states, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” He talked about how quickly we can fall into the mind set that I can do all things in my own strength and how that doesn’t always go so well. He encouraged the team to allow God to use them in a mighty way this week. For the benefit of some of the first time people on this trip he reminded them of the long relationship that our church has had with Iglesia Gran Comision and how much Chestnut Ridge Church means to them. There is also special meaning to him because before he even met his wife Aurora, she had come to the states and spent a month living with Pastor Tim and his family. To this day, Aurora talks about all she learned from Tim and Karen Haring by watching the way they loved each other and their children. Aurora wanted that in her life and Pastor Rossel has been blessed by that influence to this day.
Our team got a tour of the Church, CDI, Clinic, Workshop and of the new Tilapia farm and hydroponic system they have built with the older kids from the CDI. We also got to see the water filters we sent last year being put to use for drinking water at the CDI. Then we unpacked and sorted all the wonderful supplies that were donated by our church – what a blessing!
We finished our workday a little early to enjoy some time with our host families and to get ready for the Sunday night service that they have in their downtown location. As is tradition, we enjoyed dinner at a Chinese restaurant in La Ceiba. Hard to believe some of the best Chinese food can be found in La Ceiba, Honduras!
Tomorrow we will jump into our work building the house, working at the clinic and working with the kids at the CDI. Thank you for your continued prayers for health and safety. We are overwhelmed by the graciousness of the people here and for our host families who are making us feel like part of their families!
The team met up at the Pittsburgh Airport at 3:30 am to fly to Atlanta and then on to Honduras. We were blessed with so many donations that we filled 14 extra bags with supplies. Travel went smoothly and the team made it safely to San Pedro Sula. Jesus (aka Chewy) was there to meet the team with Ol’ Blue, the Blue school bus that the church owns, to make the 3 hour trip to La Ceiba.
The first day of the trip would not be complete without stopping at Power Chicken for a late lunch. It is always quite the feast and a welcome sight after a long day of traveling. The team arrived in La Ceiba in time for the Saturday evening church service. After the service, the team members met up with their host families to enjoy their first evening together.
Thank you for your prayers for safe travel. God is Good. We are anxious to begin the work God has brought us to do. Stay tuned for daily updates.