Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Journey to San Juan

The Covenant team from Maryland arrived knowing their ride to San Juan, El Corpus was about a two hour ride.  But they said they were up for the challenge.  The pictures cannot touch the beauty of their ride daily.  They drove the Land Cruiser and the Kia daily.  They sat back and enjoyed the ride.  They got to see sleeping Elvis daily as they were headed near the top of this unique mountain.  The journey was shared by many on the team, breath taking.  What a gift from God to baste in HIS Presence daily just by riding up and down a rocky terrain to get to a little piece of heaven here on earth.  Was it a bumpy ride most definitely, but these fellows got passed the bumps and enjoyed the gift God gave them this week, San Juan, El Corpus.

As I shared above the pictures cannot touch the beauty of God's creation.  The mountains continued rolling and rolling and rolling all around the curved, rocky and narrow road to get to their project daily.  Pastor David approached us back in January about a medical clinic for this area.  We knew the conditions were not completely pleasant but the view was priceless.  We prayed about the team for this job and God placed on our hearts, Covenant. When we found out they had the perfect team of six we said lets move forward with this project of providing this community with a medical clinic.  John shared one evening during God moments that this time the number six was the perfect number for this project and for this time and place.  Amen.

We arrived the first day after our long journey up the mountains to San Juan to be greeted by Pastor David and the Mayor of San Juan.  Mike thanked them for the privilege to be with them and work beside them during this week.  Following Mike, Derek, team leader, also thanked them and then proceeded to introduce the perfect number six team members.  At that time the Mayor introduced the first group of helpers for the week.  She asked the community to come forward daily and volunteer to help wherever needed to get the medical clinic completed in five days. Each day there was different people from the community there to help with the project.  Whether is was construction or cooking the lunch for the Honduran workers.  After all this was said they opened up their day in prayer.  We all then dispersed to get this day started.

"On the day when I act," says the LORD Almighty, "they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.
Malachi 3:17

Preparing for the First Block

John kicks in with Mike to get the blocks cut for the week and all the special orders for the next five days.  Everyone pitched in to help Mike get the first massive load prepared.  They continuously were bringing in the blocks and lining them up according to Mike's request.  They proceeded by knocking out the notches and placing them neatly in a stack ready to be used at a later time.  These guys came in ready to do whatever needed to make everyone's jobs easier.  Such a great team effort all around this week.  They were one in the Lord and God is to be glorified.

Pastor Dan and Mike helped bring up one of the doors.  This incline was almost vertical and these guys did this all week as well.  This was the entrance to the medical clinic.  But praise God there was left over blocks so the Hondurans can make steps to go up into the area of their new medical clinic.  I looked back and here come one of the Honduran volunteers carrying the other door on his shoulder.  As he approached the area to lay the door down, Pastor Dan and Mike had just placed their door in place and turned around to see this gentleman with one door on his shoulder.  As you can tell by their faces they were in awe of his strength.  God has a great sense of humor.  You truly had to be there to get the full affect of my two North American brothers response of what they had experienced.

The Mayor and Pastor Carlos trying to figure out where to put the two doors was interesting as well.  She could not decide where she wanted the doors.  Pastor Carlos waited patiently for her to make her decision.  Also the Mayor worked beside her new friends and community cleaning up the grounds around the foundation.  Everyone was on board for this most precious project God placed before each of us.

John and Gave learned how to form the four corners with the instruction of  Pastor Carlos.  These two gentlemen worked hard together to make sure it was done to precise completion.  One of my God moments was when Pastor Carlos came over to each of  the four corners to check to see how if they were precise to completion.  Gabe stood humbly while Pastor Carlos pulled and tugged the iron beam on one of the four corners until he had it the way he wanted it.  Gabe exhibited humbleness to the most high his first morning in San Juan.  This is Gabe's first time to Honduras and to come in with such humbleness was beautiful to watch and for me to learn from my new friend Gabe.  Gabe's devotion one evening shared how he was craving spiritual fellowship with others.  Well Gabe experienced this day with Pastor Carlos by the way you learned from a godly man who taught you well.   But he also learned that morning how you were willing to learn from him openly and quietly as we all should.

Psalm 33
Image result for psalm 33 images

The Beauty of Honduras

Each day the Covenant Church team out of Maryland started out in prayer as a group and prayers throughout their day.  They have been surrounded all week by God's creation.  The sunrises to the sunsets daily God has blessed these guys with an amazing week of retreat for their souls.  They enjoyed the chirping of the birds and the chirping of the geckos as well.  The flowers and fruits around their job sight was breathtaking each and every day.  This was an exceptional spiritual journey from God's creation to praising HIS NAME on a daily basis as brothers in Christ.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  Praise God for the ability to stop and be still in HIS Presence on a daily basis. 

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Three Pastors Working Together

This week God blessed this project with three amazing and godly men who we call our pastors.  Pastor Dan said this week he was Dan but he never gave up an opportunity to share the gospel on an amazingly gifted level.  He has the gift of "The Word" which rolls beautifully off his lips.  But he partnered this week with Pastor David as he adventured out with the help of  Meida to get to know Pastor David and learn more of how a Honduran pastor lives out his daily life. Pastor David is a soft spoken gentlemen who loves to help his community, his family and his church family.  Pastor David travels many miles on a motorcycle to help many people.  God has blessed many people because of Pastor David and his willingness to go out and meet the needs of others.  Pastor Dan build relationships this week with Pastor David and Pastor Carlos along with so many gentlemen this week.  Pastor Dan used his gift of people this week and it was a true blessing to observe how he interacted with these people sometimes without the help of Meida or Ronnie.  He jumped in and loved these people.  Thank you to all of our pastors this week who encouraged us in many ways serving our Lord here on San Juan.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

God First

As it came time to pray over the first block people from the community, the volunteers and the North American gathered around the mayor and Pastor David as they placed their hands on the first block.
This first block represents a lot of prayers prior to this prayer.  The community has wanted for over a year or more a medical clinic for San Juan, El Corpus.  God gave us just the right team to adventure up into this two hour ride to a little piece of heaven called San Juan.  God gave us a community willing to work for their medical clinic.  God gave us all we needed to be able to stand before Him on this first morning in San Juan to present this week to HIM.  For without God's provision, His every detail of  who would come and how we would get up there on a daily basis this could not have happened.  God is so good all the time and all the time God is good.  Team leader, Derek, asked  Pastor David to please pray over the first block of this project.  Pastor David put so much of himself into this happening and the team was much aware of this and what a humbling act of God for the first morning of a beautiful week. 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

Block 101

Mr. Mike gathered his students together for their first lesson in block laying.  Though John had been before he was only the block cutter on his prior visit.  So everyone gathered and listened inventively on soon became a new trade for each gentleman.  Gabe shared one day on the project I am going to change what I say each day as I leave my home to go "to work".  "I am going to my job", Gabe shared.  He shared this is true work in every sense of the word, "work".  I only go to a job.  This became a precious memory for me as the team learned a new trade and worked very hard all week doing just that, WORKED HARD.  All of them worked and worked until each day their tasks were completed.  The prayers sent up each day from their church family was answered because these guys were amazing in so many ways.  Mr. Mike was a great teacher to his "family" as well. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:23

Off They Go

Blocks were getting laid early on this bright and beautiful Honduras morning.  The mountains surrounded us with their grandeur beauty.  God gave us an overcast as the blocks went down on the foundation.  Team leader, Derek, shared, "You guys have not seen hot yet.  You are being blessed with some unusual beautiful weather."  The guys took this as a God moment and blessing from God.  They found partners and worked side by side doing exactly what God called them to do build a medical clinic and huge relationships with each other.  One evening team leader, Derek, shared how we all six knew each other in church with a friendly hello but this week working side by side, eating three meals together a day and sleeping in the same room has brought us closer as brothers in Christ.  This week they all have come to love and appreciate each other.  So not only block walls were forming so were some relationships in the name of Jesus.  All God's people shouted AMEN!!!

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;
Ephesians 4:4

Coffee Anyone

Each day Ronnie would come get a head count of who on the team would like a cup of coffee.  Ronnie would go to the house next door and share with Edith how many coffees to prepare.   Each day the number of coffee drinkers increased.  As Mike and I left our friends to enjoy their last day in San Juan Ronnie was going around taking coffee orders for the morning.  A lot of hands were going up on this special day of dedication.  It does our hearts good to see our North American friends truly enjoy the Honduran culture and get a great taste of what it is all about.  This was a huge encouragement for Edith and the ladies of the kitchen when these guys each morning participated in what started out Mr. Mike, Pastor Carlos and Pastor David's morning ritual.  Thank you guys for being such a blessing to God first, to us and most importantly our Honduran families. We love you!!!

so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:5

Two Amigos in Christ

The North American gentlemen were taken back by the partnership of these two work horses.  These two work horses or Pastor Carlos and Mike.  They have been working side by side for several years and they have orchestrated such a rhythm of work ethics, it will truly draw your attention.  As this week progressed these two work diligently side by side.  Team member, Mike, shared from the first day he and Bob were laying the wall on the back side which I believe was the North side, (long story) and Mike turned around to go back to start on the wall with Bob when he saw one entire row had been laid out in a matter of minutes.  I knew by watching what was going to happen but Mike, team member, was in awe of the quickness and accurateness of these two work horses. The sweet part of this story is both work horses do it very quietly and humbly.  They do not know how they draw attention from others with their beauty of unity in their work.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16

Third Day Visitors

On the third day we had some other friends ask if they could join us and work on the medical clinic.  By all means we shared.  We need all the muscles we can handle on this amazing feat.  Welcome Manuel, Pastor Carlos' son and Wuilmer.  Both of these gentlemen worked on Mt. Horeb.  They heard everyone coming back talking about the beauty of San Juan.  Neither of these young men had ever been to San Juan.  So this was more of an adventure than a work day for them.  Do not get me wrong, they worked hard all day up on the scaffolding while their North American brothers passed the blocks or mud up to them.  This was a well greased machine on the third day.  Our two extra helpers were a blessing from God.

Everyone pitched in on the third day to see their task to completion.  Dan and son, John, worked together carrying the mud into the inner part of the structure.  Dan was caught mixing the mud as well.  Gabe got in on the mixing of the mud and handing up of the mud all in the same day.  Mike's height was most helpful for all of the workers as he could just simply hand it up to them. Derek graciously brought the blocks to Mike so Mike could hand them up. The men on the scaffolding did not have to bend over to receive the bucket of mud.  Bob became apart of the two amigo team on the gables that day.  Bob learned quickly how to fill in those joints for our two work horses.  God has a way of using all our gifts to glorify his kingdom here on earth.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

Crushing Ore

I was quietly sitting on the board when there was a new activity going on behind me at the back of the field.  I looked up and first saw Meida crushing this gentleman's ore he had gotten at the nearby river.  Well later here come the North Americans wanting a piece of the action.  This gentleman allowed each of them to take a turn living out what this man does on a regular basis.  He tries to grind this into enough of it to sell to feed his family.  What an amazing experience for our North American friends to be a part of this week.  There were at least two of these work stations at the job site.  This is a means of work for some of the men in this area.  Once again a little bit more of this beautiful culture here in San Juan.  Wow how amazing our God is to provide so many different opportunities of learning how our friends live out each day.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Enjoy the Children

The North Americans quickly learned how to take a needed siesta or lunch break.  They enjoyed laughter and the joy of each other during their time of stillness.  They did not enjoy watching Mike and Ginger eating the Honduran lunch though.  So on the last day I ate in Edith's home so not to tease my friends with my most excellent cuisine.  It was a joy to watch the children on the first day Daniel, Jonathon and Dixie playing in their front yard with their soccer ball.  But what was most enjoyable was on the next day John brought out some paper airplanes and Frisbees.  Wow everyone got in on the action.  Pastor David definitely had thrown a Frisbee before this day.  John spent a lot of time with airplane repairs which he enjoyed the opportunity to speak with each little fellow who he assisted.  Gabe was take back by the beauty of the little girls and how he saw his little girls in these Honduran girls.  Derek did a lot of retrieving on the side of the mountain as the Frisbees seemed to travel there a lot.  Mike and Bob broke away from the construction site as well to enjoy the fun on the back side of the project.  Gabe shared how he could here the laughter from inside the structure and how blessed the laughter and cheering of the children was for him. Then later Dan found his way out there to help Scarlet learn how to throw a Frisbees.  These sweet children enjoyed their time with their new North American friends but the most precious was watching the mothers of all these children watch their babies having lots of fun.  Some new fun which they have never experienced.  Thank you gentlemen for stopping to build relationships along with the building of the medical clinic.  This moment was important as well.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19:14

Continued Working

The third day was a tedious day with the gables going in but the work was getting done.  Gabe was all over the place passing up mud and passing up blocks.  As I shared earlier Bob became the mud man of the team.  He watched Mike work before proceeding with the task at head.  These guys worked hard all morning on this one project to get the gables ready for the next stage of construction.  Thank you Bob and Gabe for working like a Honduran on this part of the project.  You guys were all over the place.   

Pastor Carlos had several teaching moments with Manuel, his son.  Manuel is such an eager learner.  He wants to learn how to do all the things his father and Mike do.  So he worked on marking the special blocks so John could get them cut according to order by Pastor Carlos.  Manuel learned a new task today and Pastor Carlos was as patient as a father could be with a son. Wuilmer was close by to assist Manuel as needed. But when it was all done it was a beautiful piece of art work on each end of the structure.  

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6