Honduras 2017: Photos and Stories

Here are photos and stories from the Honduras Mission Team. Pray for their safe travels back to COMO today and for the people they served this week. The local churches and the World Gospel Outreach long term mission team members will follow up with the people the team served to continue addressing their physical and spiritual needs.

Sunday:

Our morning began at 7:15 am with a group meeting which included some singing and a short word of encouragement.  After breakfast we traveled to a local park where we enjoyed a great view, took a group photograph…Next we went to Sunday service at a church located in a community we will be serving at later this week…After church we all rode in our school bus to a local restaurant…After lunch we went back to the mission house where we loaded our supplies needed to start work early Monday morning in the neighborhood we will be serving in.  This included everything needed to set up the entire medical brigade from dental, medical, optometry, pharmacy, children’s services, and evangelism from vitamins to tables and chairs.   After loading supplies we all pitched in to package thousands of vitamins in individual dosages to be dispensed at the medical brigade.  Now we are enjoying a beautiful evening before dinner with another meeting following that.  Then a little free time to relax before bed.

Everyone is excited for Monday morning when we actually begin working one-on-one in a local neighborhood. Excitement mixed with anxiousness as God uses us to help a people whose language most of us don’t understand and a culture and living condition none of us can truly comprehend. We are reminded that without the support and love of everyone back home, family, friends, contributors, we wouldn’t be here. Monday:

We began with a team meeting/devotional at 6a.m. (wow) followed by breakfast.  The truck we packed on Sunday with our supplies sprung a leak in a radiator hose so we had to move everything from one truck to another right after breakfast and before loading the bus to head out to our neighborhood.

The neighborhood in which we served today and will again on Tuesday is named VillaVieja, which in English means Old Village.  The neighborhood is very poor and sits on a hill with dirt streets.  We set up in a church but the area is so hilly we really couldn’t see many of the houses.  In some of the pictures we are sending tonight you can see the church and some of the people waiting in line when we arrived.  Inside the church is medical, pharmacy, dental, and optical.  Children’s ministry and evangelism is in other areas around the outside of the church.  No indoor plumbing at this church, which I think was a new experience for many of our team members.  Once we were all set to get started our crew, and local church members who were helping us, opened with prayer followed by a couple of songs lead by Mike, one of our members.  As most of us worked at the church Ben and Jay help pour [concrete] floors in at the home of an elderly woman and her family.

We had several great experiences today, however one you really need to hear about.  A grandmother brought her grandson and granddaughter to us for optical help as her granddaughter age 7 or 8 didn’t see well at all.   After his examination the optometrist said the granddaughter has the eyes of a 57 year old.   After getting new glasses this family was taken to the evangelism area where one of our members and an interpreter spoke to the grandmother.  During their time together the grandmother advised she was recently demon possessed and asked for prayers often shaking during their conversation.  Arrangements were made for follow-up visits and appropriate care as needed at their home.  We pray those visits will in fact happen. Tuesday:

We had another wonderful day in Honduras.  We again went to the Old Village neighborhood where we worked out of the same church.   We saw and took part in some incredible experiences today.

One elderly woman told one of our members who was working in the evangelism area that 7 years ago she had a dream.  In this dream she saw a church located down the hill from her home in her neighborhood.   She also saw in her dream people from North America walking to the church carrying supplies for the people of her neighborhood.  When she had her dream, however, the location of the church was just an empty lot.   Five and one half years after her dream the church, out of which we were working today, was built on that very lot.  One and one half years later our team of North Americans carried supplies up the hill to the church in order to give assistance to the people of her neighborhood.

A nine year old local boy attended the children’s ministry.   While there one of our team members asked they boy if there was anything he could pray about on the boy’s behalf.  Hearing this, the boy began crying saying he needed help explaining that his mother doesn’t love him. Through talking with the boy about his feelings it was learned the boy lives with his grandmother.  His grandmother was contacted and it was learned the boy was born in the United States to his single Honduran mother who after his birth brought him back to Honduras and abandoned him then apparently returned to the United States.  Since the boy is not in Honduras legally, he is not allowed by the government to attend school.   Members of this local church have agreed to tutor the boy to help with his educational needs until another local person can attempt to have his immigration status changed to allow him to attend school.  The church will continue to follow up with the boy and his family.

In the optical area, a mature man who hadn’t been able to afford new glasses for a very long time and having bad eye sight was determined to need bifocals.  Bifocals are not available, however, so he was given two pair of glasses at different strengths to allow him to see distance with one pair and read with the other.  The man was ecstatic at being able to see the world around him.

The construction crew poured a concrete floor at the home of an elderly woman.  She and approximately 12 other people live in her three room (small rooms at that) house.  The woman explained to the construction team that she moved into this house 7 years ago and has been asking for help to get concrete floors since she moved in.  She told the team members today the Lord brought her a concrete floor. Wednesday:

We had another great day today.  But first I want to share another story from Tuesday’s work day at the church in VillaVieja ( Old Village).

One of our nurses who was working the medical section Tuesday told us this morning about a woman, who appeared to be around 70 but was later determined to be 40, complaining of headaches, dizziness, and inability to sleep throughout the night. The woman said she makes and sells tortillas for a living and must be up at 4am to begin preparing the food she sells. She also said cooking over wood causes lots of smoke which hurts her eyes after each long day. This woman also has six children and is currently breastfeeding twins. After her examination Renee and the woman prayed together.  Renee said she thought about this woman all night worrying about her and [about Rene’s] feeling, which we all share, of wanting to do more for this woman and the people of this neighborhood and feeling so inadequate for not being able to do more for them.  Renee reminded us that scripture tells us God works all things for his glory.

Wednesday, we all went to Ebenezer Ranchero, which is the WGO children’s project outside of the city in the mountains.   While at the ranch some of the kids living there played soccer with some of our team members.  The kids ran circles around our team showing them how soccer is really played in Honduras.  Other team members played with some of the other children during a recess break.   A group leader took all of us on a tour of the ranch and explaining various aspects of the operation.  On the ranch they grow, dry, and roast some of the best coffee in Honduras.   Many of us will be bringing some of the delicious coffee home.  Make sure you drop by for a cup when possible.   They also raise tilapia and have some beautiful vegetable gardens.  We also visited on one of the boy’s homes while the five boys living there were at school…We loaded the truck with supplies for our next venture into another neighborhood.   Of course we also enjoyed a great dinner prepared by two wonderful Honduran women who operate the Mission House kitchen.

As you can guess everyone is tired from a fun day but ready to get back to work at another neighborhood tomorrow.

Thursday:

Today we served at a church in the neighborhood called Monterrey which in English means Kings Hill.  This is the same church at which we attended church services this past Sunday.

While working at the medical station, one of our team’s nurses was attending to a young woman and noticed apparent healed cut marks on her inner arms.  Upon asking what was going on in her life that made her want to hurt herself the young woman explained that her mother is very mean to her and tells her that she was pulled from the trash.

In our evangelism station today, team members prayed for numerous people with physical ailments, arthritis, unhealed broken bones, and other forms of bodily pain. One man told a team member he was from a very remote section of Honduras and had never heard of Jesus. Before the man left he pronounced his acceptance of Jesus as his savior.  Several others also pronounced their acceptance of Jesus or reaffirmed their faith.  The church will follow up with all of those who opened their hearts to Jesus today to help them continue on their journey.  Members on the evangelism team also spoke with people about a variety of other family problems they are facing such as unemployment, mentally ill children, and the general hardships faced by living in this city.  One woman who is now 17 was with her 18 month old child.

The construction members of our team are shocked at the living conditions of some (most) of the homes in which they have poured concrete floors.  These new concrete floors replace dirt floors in bedrooms or living areas.  Usually only one room in a house will get a new floor.   Our construction team today had the opportunity to speak with three teenagers who lived near the house they were working on.  During their talk on of the teens admitted to selling drugs to make money.  None of the teens turned to Jesus today but we are hoping a seed was planted in the heart of one or all of these young adults.

Children’s ministry, optical, and dental also continued to serve in each of their areas.  We have another great team this year and close relationships are being built with each other as we work shoulder to shoulder trying to help the local people in some small way. Friday:

Today we went back to the Monterrey neighborhood church were we worked Thursday.  We had another remarkable day witnessing more miracles performed by God.

Today two teams, one morning and one afternoon, painted a rear porch area and the front of a residence in a nearby neighborhood called Las Palmas, which in English means Palm Neighborhood.  This house is occupied by a paralyzed man and his wife. He can’t get out of the bed located in the front room.  Their son and 4 grandchildren live in an adjacent house.  Sometime last year, another World Gospel Outreach Serve Team poured a concrete floor in this front port area.  This year the morning team painted the inside walls of that area and the afternoon team painted the front of the residence.    This residence also serves a sister church to the church where we worked Thursday and Friday.   This very small area serves 63 neighborhood children and 28 neighborhood adults for Sunday services.   And we think third service at The Crossing gets crowded.

As at the first church, at the completion of the second day we all gathered in the church to celebrate what God had accomplished.  Today was bitter sweet, however, as we were celebrating Gods accomplishments here but also leaving friends that we had made with the translators and various WGO teams in all the serving areas.  Unlike Tuesday this day ended with celebration but also a few tears and lots of hugs.

Although this week has affected everyone deeply and new friends will be missed everyone is also looking forward to returning home to our loved ones and friends.  Many stories are to come as each of our team members tells stories of the week that changed our lives.  The team has also made deep and strong relationships with each other this week.  It has been remarkable watching 15 people, most of whom didn’t really know each other, to now have such a bond together by this experience. Hopefully, the good Lord willing and all connections are met, everyone will be home Saturday sometime.

Sources: Andy Anderson, team communicator, prayer emails and photos from the team.

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