Friday, July 27, 2012

Lessons from books I'm reading & Honduras! Random thoughts

The view we see traveling up and down the mountain each day.
I'm going to try explain with phrases and pictures!

This was my 6th trip to Honduras.  Why do I keep going back?  What makes it so special???

I learn many lessons in Honduras each year.  Some of those lessons have been reaffirmed in some books that I've read since I've come back home.

Daily Devotionals:We always have a morning and an evening devotional and  I'm always so impressed by the talents of the young (and not so young) men who step up to to them.

I took away a deep thought from one of these.  "In Honduras, we are totally focused on doing good.  At home, we are focused on not doing bad." These are two totally different things.................Think about it!!!

I just finish reading Radical by David Platt.  One of my friends described it as "radical".  Actually, having read it right after a mission trip to a third world country, it wasn't that radical to me.  David Platt has a problem with multi-million dollar churches catering to their members while ignoring the plight of the poor of the world.  I realize that there is a lot more to the book, but that is what I took away with it.  He said these "churches" of today don't resemble the way Jesus and his disciples worshipped.

 ,,“The price is certainly high for people who don’t know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the Gospel remain in the dark” 

I'm also reading Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution.  Both books speak to how Americans are blinded by materialism. 

In Honduras, we live simply, our living situation is humble (as far as American standards go), and we don't have the distractions that we deal with at home.  Distractions like: TV, jobs, family, etc.  Everyone there is focused on doing good. 

I know I may be rambling, but don't you see something wrong with $$$$ being spent or wasted when you have people living in situations shown in the picture above.  Back home in America, it's easy for me to fall back into the trappings of the American dream. 

Surrounded by others people who have a similar focus. It is also special to meet and be around other Christians. 


Today's generation has gotten a reputation for being lazy and spoiled.  Torch trips always  prove to me that there are a lot of spiritually mature young adults out there and it's always such an honor to meet and work along side them!!!

“So if the world hates us, we take courage that it hated Jesus first. If you're wondering whether you'll be safe, just look at what they did to Jesus and those who followed him. There are safer ways to live than by being a Christian.”
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

How many pairs of shoes do you have? How many pairs of jeans do you have?  Maybe clothing isn't your thing.....What is your thing?  I'm actually speaking to myself.

In Honduras, we gave clothing away to people who probably never had anything new.  I couldn't help but get a little upset when I had to dig through stained, faded clothes to find something for those precious people. 

 They were always appreciative though, but I still felt sad when I thought of my crammed walk-in closet at home!!!!

The conundrum:  I know this is a word, but am I using it correctly????  The whole time we are in Honduras, we are reminded to take our mission focus back to the US with us.   Why is that so hard to do?????

People are the same everywhere!!!  We all sit in Sunday school and we pray for our friends and family who are sick and going through struggles.

This week I had an appointment to get my  teeth cleaned.  The hygienist knows about my yearly trip, and I would consider her to be a "religious" person.  She asked me if we could tell if our work in Honduras had made a difference.

I was taken aback...What did she mean  by that???? I was fairly forward and told her that there was much poverty in Honduras, but we at least made a difference in those people we touched.  What if it was her child, her mother, her sister who was sick or hungry?? 

I guess that's enough ranting and rambling for today. I'm not sure if this even makes sense.  I hope it does.....I will try to collect my thoughts and add to these thoughts later!!!

Inhibitions are lowered  and lost in Honduras.

I have to go back to school on August 1st!!!!! Can you believe it???? I can't!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Last two days in Honduras!

Well, I was typing away on a blog about my final day in Honduras and the lessons I learn in Honduras.  I was working in blogger and something happen and everything disappeared and I wasn’t able to retrieve it.     UUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  I HATE TECHNOLOGY!!!!!
last Sunday at the Mission House

Norland is one of our bus drivers.  They are steadfast in providing us safe transportation.

Lots of cute kids in church at Los Pinos.

I’m sure I had lots of profound thoughts, but alas they are all gone now.  I know I had several comments about how even though this was my  6th mission trip to Honduras, I still was spending the last week assimilating back into my average American life.  In 24 hours time, I went from “squatting” over a outhouse to using an electric flush toilet with a paper cover.
Shopping at Valley of the Angels with group 2.

 shopping at Mi Esperanza

 Diane and I ate lunch with our favorite Canadian missionaries.

The lady is making fresh tortillas in the restaurant.

Our leader, Terry Reeves, speaking to us at the last evening devotional.

Travel day

  I also went from giving away Americans’ used clothing to appreciative Hondurans; to sitting in front of an Armani store (inside the Miami airport).  The Armani store had an gigantic LCD screen showing a fashion show where I’m sure one garment costs more than an average month’s Honduran salary.
It’s humbling and mind-boggling when you think about it.  I don’t think I can even begin to describe all of the feelings that I have, I will hopefully be able to show you  (as always) through pictures!!!
One comment though……… I often have people speak to me about my mission trips.  I get the sense that people always think of mission trips as hard and sacrificial.  Those people are always so thankful for the work that we do. It’s like, they are so thankful that someone is willing to go on these difficult trips.  Well, actually there’s a big secret when it comes to mission work……..
WE LOVE GOING ON THESE MISSION TRIPS.  IN FACT, WE WILL WORK ALL YEAR TO BE ABLE TO GO ON THESE TRIPS!!!  I’m hoping to give you a sense about what is so special about these trips.  Mission trips are not just for a few brave souls who “get the call”.  I actually think (or know)a mission trip will change the life of anyone who takes that step in faith and goes on one.
Lessons from Honduras:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My right thumb hurts. Can you guess why??

morning devo

Today was officially our last work day.  Tomorrow will be church and shopping at Valley of the Angels.  Monday we will all (except for the interns and a few others) be flying home.

stuck in a crazy traffic jam for about 30 min.

Today's projects were two house builds and a visit to Didasko orphanage.  I had first thought I wouldn't want to build because I did yesterday, but then I realized that probably many people wouldn't want to build again.  Since I had a good day yesterday, I decided I would build again. 

We had a good day because we were on the edge of the mountain again and we were mostly in the shade.  The other group didn't have a steep hike to their sight, but they seem to be in the sun and down in the city.

This was the view from their front window!!!!

We made excellent time and were done in about 3 and a half hours!!!  I will let the pictures tell the story!!

The is Melvin, a 17 year old Honduran that helped us the last two days!!  He is awesome!!!

Since tomorrow is shopping and church and Monday is traveling home, I may not have another blog post!!!

Thanks for reading my blog this trip.  I'm usually tired, so I know I don't check closely for mistakes!!!  I hope you have been able to get some sense about what is so special about my mission trips!!!

Until next time!! xoxo  PJ

Friday, July 13, 2012

A House in Paradise!

This is our next to last work day.  We divided up into three teams today.  We had two teams building houses and the third team went to a Special Needs Orphanage and the Blind School.  I had already decided that they would probably need people to build, so I thought I would do that. 

We built right beside a Torch house that belonged to some other family members.

We had another hike to the site, but it was beautiful.  My team built for a family that the father had lost a leg and the mother had an accident and was on crutches.

  Our team worked well together and we were for the most part done by 3:30.  Then, we had to hike back to the bus and go to pick up the other build team.

Tomorrow will be bitter sweet because it will be our last day to work.  I know for sure that two more houses will be built.  I may end up building again if they need people.

  I'm not sure what the other projects will be, but I'll let you know in tomorrow's post.  I'm going to tell the rest of the story in pictures.

                                                Brett, our Canadian boss for this job

                The dad is on crutches, the daughter is in white to the right

A member at Western Hills Church of Christ in Nashville sponsored the build.  They also made a house warming box for them.  The little girl loved the toys inside!

                                   Hiking back to the bus with the tools.  It was uphill this time!!!

Until next time!!!  xoxo PJ