Sunday, June 26, 2011

Honduras Trip

View from Hermosa Church, where we were painting.

From June 18 thru June 25, a team from our church went to La Ceiba, Honduras. There were 22 of us! We wanted to be God's Hand and Feet and do whatever He lead us to do. Some people worked on electrical, construction, bio-filter. Some painted, evangelized, entertained the local children, trained and discipled others.

We painted at the Hermosa church. This was the view - gorgeous! The team went back a second day and finished painting, met with people in the community and provided discipleship training during a church service.

The beach!

We spent about 15 minutes at the beach! Isn't it pretty?

One of the last bus rides - heading to San Pedro Sula
We spent a lot of time on buses going back and forth to the compound. This bus was air conditioned and comfortable, or at least it was from where I was sitting (in the first row on the right). (Our first bus was air conditioned by having all the windows open :0)!)

Shalom Dorm - "The Girls"

My favorite time was talking with "the girls" at the Shalom dorm. We only spent about an hour with them, but we were able to help them finesse their Chicken Dance techniques :)!
Shalom Dorm

On Father's day, we went to church and enjoyed worshiping with the locals in an English/Spanish service. We were able to sing Happy Birthday and Happy Father's day to several people! We were invited to stay for Father's day cake! During the service, this little girl had a flag and stood at the front twirling her flag to the music - so precious.

We ate breakfast and lunch at the compound (mission). Wow there was some great food! I think we had beans with each meal. Sister Eleanor's upside down pineapple cake was a huge hit, along with the mango puree/jam. For dinner, we had several well known restaurants we could go to - Pizza Hut, KFC, Popeyes, Burger King and Quizno's. There was a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins right next to the hotel. I enjoyed some BR Rocky Road! YUMMM!

Many of us battled a virus or a bug while we were there. There was a medical team at our hotel (from Columbiana, of all places) and they graciously checked us out and provided medicine for us. It was their opinion that we had caught a virus while in the States and we were not suffering from Montezuma's revenge! Although I felt like something was getting some type of revenge on me and I battled with it almost the whole week (truth be told - it hasn't finished running its course). I was very thankful for an air conditioned hotel room.The return flight home was a little challenging and took us several hours longer than we anticipated - but we made it back safe and sound!

I appreciate my daughter and my roommates caring for me. I enjoyed the time we were able to spend praying together for our trip and other ongoing mission trips. Thank you for your prayers and financial support.

God prepared the soil and gave us the seeds to sow. He  knows the plans He had for us during the trip and I rest assured that they were accomplished. I enjoyed meeting new people and spending time with the ones I already knew.

I will close with one quick and final story. Meagan was trying to clean up our dinner mess (from eating in the lobby). She was using her limited Spanish and hand motions to request a trash bag. After that was accomplished, she took the remaining KFC chicken strips to the clerks to see if they wanted it. Again, using her limited Spanish and her hand motions (for eating and saying nom nom nom), one of the clerks took the box and then in her most serious voice said, "We understand English". All of us bust out laughing - it was great!

(I just can't seem to get the formatting right - sorry for the wonkiness!)
Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why Go?

In a couple of weeks, my oldest daughter and I will be headed to Honduras on a mission trip with our church. We wanted to go on a mission trip together and this seemed like just the place for us to go! (I tried to get her to agree to India, but so far the love God has given me for India has not really made it to anyone else in the family.)

The timing of the trip and trying to raise funds has been difficult, in light of the devastating events in our state and in other parts of the country. It was very difficult to ask for money to go overseas when there is so much to do right here in our own area. I've been asked why would I go overseas when there is so much to do our local community, area, country.

Well, the first reason is because Jesus told us to go and He gives the resources to go. The second reason is...well...He's done so much in my life that I just want everyone to know. I want His glory to shine through the world.  I am overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. I want that girl who has been rescued from the sex trade to know that through the blood of Jesus Christ, she is pure. She is dressed in robes of righteousness. She is adorned with His jewels. She is loved by the Creator. That her life is worth so much than she could ever imagine. God knows the plans He has for her and He sent His one and only Son for her. Through Jesus Christ she can overcome the past. I know this because it's what He's done for me. (There are a lot of "I"'s in this paragraph but it's all about Him.)

Of course, my past was a series of bad choices and decisions not actions that others took on my behalf. But, I still came to Him broken and unpure. And oh how He loves me and has redeemed me. I will go and share wherever He sends me and desires for me to go. How can I not share what He's done in me?

But again, why do I have to go "to the ends of the earth" when I could share that same information here with people? Because...He tells me to do so. It makes a difference to hear the Good News from someone who is different from you and who has different experiences than you. It's one of those times when it is really great to be different. It's the difference that allows God's glory to shine through.

But what about the people here? I don't know about you, but I don't even have to leave my house to see a ministry need. Can I get an amen?!?

I share God's story from afar with the people here. Because, there is something to be said when you can hear the story first hand and from someone you know.  Don't you agree?

When I was first sending out letters requesting donations, I asked, "How can I send out letters asking for money when we've just had devastating tornadoes blow through our state and funds are being used for those people?" I was told, "You have to do what God has called you to do and believe and trust in Him for the rest." Meagan and I needed $3,000. We have almost $2,500! How great is our God?  I stand amazed at Him and all that He's done.

Next time you wonder why someone is going so far away when so much can be done here, I challenge you to ask yourself..."Why am I asking that? What am I doing, locally or away? How can I help here or there? What does missions look for me?" Don't just ask and not do - ask the One who knows all what YOU can do for Him. It's worth it of that I know!

Thank you for your support and your prayers are surely coveted!

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Matthew 28:19 (NIV) 
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."