Friday, July 15, 2016

One More House & Saying Goodbye!! (Wednesday & Thursday)


Today is our last day to work in Honduras.  We are on the home stretch and we are dragging.  (At least I am!). A large group of about 30 left yesterday, including our leader Terry.

Today's job choices are:

Hospital/Medical clinic for the Villa Gracia workers

Concrete work on the school at the Lenca Indian village (This would include making popcorn and cotton candy for the village children.)

Painting at the Clinic de Esperanza

Diane's house build. (I thought I might not get the chance, but I did.). This would make the 7th house build I have worked on this trip!

Jo Dawn & Marianna, Melvin, Yonni & Oneyda's niece

Today's house build would be at the Lenca Indian Reservation again.  We had been there yesterday and I told Diane how truly needy those people were.  Since it was the last day and the people were so needy, we decided to grab up a lot of clothes and toys to give out.

We arrived at the reservation and started walking down the road to look for our site.  A man who may have been the mayor (I'm not sure if they have chiefs.) walked with us and showed us the site.  The lumber had been thrown out in a grassy meadow.  The site hadn't been prepared at all.  We had Yonni, his sister Oneyda and their baby niece who spoke Spanish & a little English.  They didn't know enough to explain to us what was being said, but we did pick up that we don't build houses if there wasn't a family.

Yonni is calling to see what is going on.

Yonni called one of our local leaders and started clearing the area with a machete.  Meanwhile, some of our people had a little siesta while we were waiting.  Soon, a very serious little old lady came up with a machete.  Again, she spoke to Yonni and we weren't sure what was going on.  In a few minutes 5 younger ladies showed up with machetes and we joked that they were the machete brigade.  They actually started clearing off the land and Yonni told us all was good and we could begin.

Machete brigade

These kids were so happy to lay on the ground and color.

We all had fun playing with the baby.  At this point, we are waiting while there is a few finishing touches left to do.

Since the family wasn't there, Diane had her picture taken with all of the children who had been hanging around all day.

Marta Mesa is in the middle.  She had just arrived in the taxi.

Concrete work complete with a sidewalk

The little old lady was named Rosa and she was good friends with the lady who would live in the house.  We started our work and had a great time all in all.  Some of the children hung around all day and helped when we let them.  We finished up the home around 3:30 and dedicated Diane's house, even though the owner, Marta Mesa wasn't there.  Her friend was going to lock up the home with the house warming gifts safe inside.

If you will remember, we had brought extra clothes.  Since we didn't know if there were any children in the family, we decided to give some to the little kids who helped us and hung around all day.  It was obvious they needed them.  There clothes were worn out, unmatched and very dirty.  The children accepted them and the toys we gave them and were very happy.

We started our hike to where the rest of the group were.  As we walked down this dirt track, a white taxi showed up.  It was the homeowner, Marta Mesa.  Jo Dawn and I spoke to her and between our limited Spanish and her limited English, we understood that she was very happy.  She even said that she was hoping that our group could help her people because they really needed help.  She also said that next year, she wanted to cook for us and have a party.

The rest of the group seemed to have finished the concrete work, plus they had an awesome time making cotton candy and popcorn for the local children.  It was a great final day of work in Honduras.


Travels days mean getting your suitcases out and ready by 7 am.  There's also lots of hugs, good-byes, "See you next year" and "Proximo Ano".  I flew out with Diane and many others on American.  I had started out the day, with a little bit of an upset stomach, but I figured I would be fine.  I had a long layover in Miami and I was feeling a little nauseous by the time I was to board to Nashville.

I thought it was because I had taken a decongestant without much food.  I drank some tomato juice and felt some better.  We were about 45 min. From Nashville and my stomach started hurting.  I really wanted to wait to go to the bathroom in Nashville, but I couldn't wait.  Apparently, I got up right when they said we were hitting turbulence.  As I got to the back of the plane, the flight attendant told me she just made an announcement.  I told her, I was sorry, but I felt sick.  She just explained that she had to tell me for my safety.   I was okay in the bathroom & made it back to my seat safely.  (Sorry if this is TMI.). About 15 min. Before landing, we had quite the roller coaster ride of turbulence.  I haven't experience that in a long time, but all was well.

Nick and come to pick me up at the airport luckily because I was still feeling sick.  We picked up some Pepto and finally got to bed around midnight.  I decided that I would probably be going to see the doctor tomorrow to see if I needed some medicine.

Torch Missions Costa Rica/Honduras 2016 over & out!!   Proximo Ano!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2+1 (2 Houses & 1 new brother). Monday and Tuesday

Carter & Reed, fellow Torchers

Dave Marble is part of my Florida church family and he had sponsored a build to honor the memory of his father.  Dave had asked that all of his church family help with the build. (We usually have between 12-20 on a build.). He had also asked specifically that the build be in Mololoa .  Dave had come on mission trips as a young man and his dad have given lots of support to that poor community.

We love Mololoa, but you never know what the site will be like.  I had one build there where it was on top of the tallest mountain.  We arrived and we could see one site from the bus, but it would be a fairly steep climb.  The locals said the other was farther, but not as steep.  We chose the closer, steeper one.  I always wear my hiking shoes and try to take a post hole digger.  Those help stabilize me when I have a hard climb.

If you look closely, you can see the bus where we started our trek.

Those who made it up first noticed right away it would be a difficult build.  A great deal of earth would have to be removed from the side of the mountain to build and even then the house would have to be shorter.  Although we didn't get the posts set till almost noon, we still got the whole thing done by around 3 pm.  Not bad!!

Jo Dawn built a table.

Monday night we had a special treat in store.  We got to travel to Santa Lucia, a very old Spanish colony about 30 minutes away.  It is a beautiful little town with the oldest standing Catholic Church in the Western Hemisphere.  (1500s) I have been gone in the past, but recently the priests haven't allowed us.  The acoustics are great there and it is a cool place to sing praises to the LOrd.


Today would be my last house build.  This house was sponsored by Crystal and Jeff Goodson in memory of his aunt, Ms. Bobbie Jean Scott.  This house would be build on a Lenca Indian Reservation.  Some of our group had worked there the day before.  A donation had been collected at the yearly SonQuest rally in Orlando.  Thousands were collected to build a concrete structure that would be a school.

We have seen many poor people here, but these seemed almost forgotten.  It was a little outside the city and very rural.  Although it was obvious that Torch and maybe other groups had started building there, there were still many who just had tree branches nailed together. 

You can see their kitchen structure that was left up.

This reservation was flat and seemed very clean as compared to most places we go.  We found our site and got started.  The families old house had been torn down, but we left their outside kitchen.  (See the picture)

The build went off without a hitch (even though we had lots of teenagers who wanted to get in a build before they went home).  We have several of the local boys who were a great help passing lumber and nailing.  I took several pictures of them, especially a boy named Walter.  These young boys put most of us to shame!

We found out that the mother wasn't there today, but her grown daughter, Jenny was.  It would be her, her mom and three kids living there.  That's 5 people living in a 16x16 house without electricity or running water!  We ended with a dedication and a prayer.  I also gave the family the things I collected for them as a house warming gift. (Bible, plastic plates & cups, utensils, toys, shoes, etc.)

The little guy was moving lumbar.  I promise they aren't mad!

This little girl will live here.


I think we had some cousins here too.


It was a great day & a blessing to be able to build this home for this truly needy family.  I hope we are able to do more in this community!  As we walked back to the bus, we saw our Honduran preacher friend Timotea Estrada.  He explained that the concrete structure was a school (Currently the school only goes to 2nd grade!) and another large structure being built would be a church!  God was working there!

The day couldn't have ended better, Kelvin Roberts from Clarksville, decided to be baptized!! This trip has truly been a blessing & only 1 more work day left!!