Monday, February 5, 2018

Welcome First Baptist Church Raleigh

This group of gentlemen for many years have come to Honduras.  In the last couple of years they have added a young lady named Suzanne to their team and Dennis brought his granddaughter, Alexia, this year.  This team gathered the first night around the porch of the North American dorm where team leader Steve challenged them all this week to get out of their comfort zone because they have a challenge this year like none other before.  This team went up into Tapitoca, into the mountains where the terrain was not great and the roads sometimes were not roads.  But this was not their challenge, their challenge was they were going where there was not a church.  Where the home owner was the only Christian.  He challenged them to be a witness for Jesus Christ just like in the early church, the first church.  There were eleven men and then at the end of the day 5,000 came to Christ.  There was new believers daily in the first church. Steve shared they had the chance to bring the early church up into Tapitoca this week.
After Steve shared out of Acts 2:42 a new team member Beau led them into two beautiful hymns, Amazing Grace and Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord.  Beau brought fifteen plus hymns where after God moments and devotional nightly the team was led by the accompaniment of Beau and his guitar as they praised the Lord in song. Each evening the team met on the porch for God moments and devotions along with Beau leading the music.  Beau went to a lot of work preparing the music for this week and it was very evident each evening as he prepared us to praise and worship our Lord in song.

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Early Mornings

Tom a returner on the team got up each morning for those who wanted eggs and sausage and prepared each team members breakfast.  Tommy and Ron helped him as well.  Ron was always the first one up to the multi- purpose building to make sure the coffee was made before going out to make the Gatorade and water coolers for the day.  Joel also assisted Ron in the making of the Gatorade and water coolers.  Steve and Suzanne enjoyed the morning on the front porch enjoying their coffee and fellowship together.  Several of the team members gathered each morning on the porch to watch their day unfold into a journey for their Lord. As Steve shared the first night they were bringing the first church to Tapitoca and before they worshiped always broke bread together as one.

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Two Friends Come to Serve

Each morning Joel and his friend Beau met Mike at the bodega to load the vechicle with the necessary tools for the day.  Mike shared with Beau, a new comer to go and help Joel bring out the tool box.  Mike shared it is not too heavy.  NOT,  I told Beau to be aware of Mike and his shenanigans, especially since he was a new team member.  Beau learned very quickly Mike was an okay guy just enjoys life.  So each day these three gentlemen load the truck for the day ahead.  They shared in fellowship and worship right there at the bodega daily.  It was a joy to stand there and listen to their fruitful conversations.  Like team leader Steve said one evening at supper, worship is us wherever we are.  It is not a building but we are the church who need to worship our Lord daily to others as well as for ourselves.  
Thank you Joel for bringing your friend Beau who is now our friend as well.  It was a blessing to serve beside each of gentlemen this week at Mt. Horeb and Tapitoca.  God is so good all the time and all the time God is so good.  You two gentlemen make a good team together while serving here in Honduras.  We love new faces to come on board to help us remember to see everything through the eyes of a new person.  

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Off We Go

Each morning we circled up at 7:00 am to pray for what God had prepared for us that day.  The team did not get to use the bus this week because of the conditions of the road.  Team leader, Steve, provided pillows for cushions on the very back sits of the Land Cruzer for his team members who so graciously chose to ride back there each day.  The other vehicles was of course the Kia.  Off they went up into the mountains of Honduras to Tapitoca, their little piece of Heaven on earth this week.  They never once complained of their rough journey but came back to Mt. Horeb daily with very dirty smiles upon their faces.  There was a couple of spots where there was not even a road, all boulders laying embedded perfectly so we all could bump right on through each of them.  It took the team around forty minutes each day to get to their project and to return back to Mt. Horeb.  But not once did anyone complain.  To God be the glory of this teams flexibility to provide a very sweet and precious family a home.
Joel shared in his devotion the first evening how Peter preached in the temple court and 5,000 were saved.  They were on their way to serve God when the lame beggar stopped them asking for help.  On this day Peter and John's main objective in serving the Lord was to stop and help the lame beggar.  Joel challenged his team members not to miss out on why you are in Honduras this week.  If it is to build a house then build the house, but if God takes you in another direction please be sure you are obedient to his still quiet voice.  

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We Meet Our New Friends

The team arrived their first day to their project with humble Amailia awaiting them.  She greeted them with a huge smile and a grateful heart.  She gathered her children so they could meet the North Americans as well. j She introduced Damian, her oldest son, age 20, Carmen her daughter age 17 who works seven days a week cleaning and taking care of a family in Choluteca and her youngest son Lanezo, age 12.  Amailia had fallen the day before from getting dizzy.  Meida shared with me her blood pressure shot up which I assume came from the excitement of getting her new home this week.  She stood there in the circle with tears running down her cheek as Steve, team leader, thanked her for allowing them to come along side her family and provide them with a home. We opened up in prayer as Pastor Carlos prayed the most amazing prayer.  Praise God for this team and this week for sweet Amailia and her children.  Amailia lost her husband a few years back. I am pretty sure today he would be grateful as well his family has a secure home to live in with a lock and key to keep them safe at night and keep them try because of a secure roof attached to their new home.  God is good folks to provide this family a home. Amailia prayed for a home and God provided in His timing.

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Lets Do This

This project is like no other project this team had ever done.  It was different in so many different dynamics.  There was not a front yard or a yard at all to the home.  They only had to put up three walls.  They had to build up the floor to prepare to lay the concrete. They had to keep blocks, cutting of the blocks and the gathering of water from the stream was all across the street under some huge and gorgeous mango trees.  Ms. Banca neighbor of Amailia allowed the team to set up shop in her nicely groomed front yard.  Really folks, would you open up your nicely groomed front yard for a bunch of strangers to come in and take over for five days.  The block cutting alone brought so much dust which went inside her home daily.  Ms. Banca smiled daily and was blessed to allow us to help her neighbor get a home. 
Everyone pitched in to do what needed to get done to get this project completed in five days.  Keith got right in there and stating digging out the rocks to prepare for more sand to be brought in to bring the floor up to where it need to be.  Blocks were carried across the street to go up a steep incline to the person up at the top to receive.  Each block had to be treated this way.  At one point they developed an assembly line of passing the blocks up to the foundation.
Team leader, Steve, shared, one evening when Mike told him they were building a home and they only needed to put up three walls, how we are going to knock this out very quickly. Steve humbly shared how God had different plans for them this week. They were all out of their comfort zone on constructing this home this week.  They had to do so many things differently and they all paid close attention to Pastor Carlos's words each morning on what their day would look like in lines of the construction of this home.  There was many challenges but God led them through with perseverance  and endurance until three o'clock on their last day.  They worked everyday from eight until four thirty or more.  They came in each day unfolding out of the Land Cruzer with a smile on their face and ready for a nice cold soda from the pulperia.  We enjoyed our time on the porch sharing about how each day there was many different challenges which they all succeeded to complete with grace.  

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JB's Cross

Each year John comes to Honduras to serve His Lord he wanders off.  The first day of this project I stood back and watch John start his journey.  He adventured out around the area of the project looking for just the right pieces of stick.  They had to be just right for he was producing a cross to put somewhere on Amailia's property.  He worked on this for a good thirty minutes until he was satisfied with his findings.  At this time he produces the cross and places ever so gently into the ground for the family to enjoy.  Mike and I were blessed to have this team build our home on Mt. Horeb and John did the same for us.  So I know Amailia was very pleased with this most precious gift. Actually one evening we sat the most appropriate song, "The Wonderful Cross" which God orchestrated through Beau before the team even arrived.  Beau not knowing John always provides the family with a wooden cross made out of the finest of wood around Amailia's home and property.

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The Block Cutter

Team leader, Steve's job for many years is the responsibility of cutting each block for the construction of a home.  Steve takes his responsibility seriously.  He sets up his work stations ever so carefully.  He brings his own tools to be able to repair the block saw as needed.  He lines up his blocks in the correct manner for cutting.  Mike is forever grateful for Steve because this is one team he does not have to worry about cutting the block.  Mike shared with Steve at orientation we can now order the blocks for the channel precut.  Steve shared that is great but Mike then said not for this week though. Promaco would not deliver block to Tapitoca because of the roads and rough terrain.  So we had to go to another location and they would not deliver either.  So we hired an outside to deliver the blocks. So for this year Steve still had his block cutting job secured.  It does my heart good to know someone comes down to serve their Lord and prepared to do a particular task and carries it out to completion.  Great job Steve, my brother.

How Many People?

Suzanne was trying hard to help her team by getting them another bucket to be able to haul the mescal up the embankment to the project.  She tugged along side of Larenzo for many minutes.  I walked up to assist in my broken Spanish, I asked him to set it down, the bucket on the ground.  This did not work either.  Joel and Meida tried very hard to undo the two buckets as well.  Along came John and he worked with Suzanne trying to undo the two buckets.  This went on for a very long time.  Tino walked by to check out the situation at hand.  He worked on the two buckets as well.  Tino ever so gently took the two buckets down to the river along with John following him as he poured water over them to try to loosen them up.  As John stood back and watch Tino worked patiently on the two buckets in the creek bed they finally separated and everyone clapped for Tino's accomplishment. 

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Using Our Natural and Physical Resources

Each day the team members rotating going to the river to gather the water to mix the mescal.  Pastor Carlos said we were blessed by this stream of water, so we would not have to use Amailia's water supply from her home.  She was limited in her water supply.  The North American men worked along side the Hondurans to get their mescal made to lay the blocks and to put down the floor. Mike stood back as long as he could watching his friends mix the mescal.  Finally he made his way out to the circle of shovels and heaving of the mixture to make it completely perfect for the floor.  Team leader, Steve shared, "Mike could not stand it any longer, he wanted to get out there and get dirty too."
Yes they all worked hard together to keep the concrete flowing to the completion of the floor.  Gentlemen you did an amazing job working as a team on this pile of concrete mixture.

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Meida with the assistance of Jeremy, Alexisa and Suzanne led bible school for five days.
Meida led the children in a lot of new songs for them and they learned them very quickly.  Meida led them into a prayer before she read them the bible story.  After each bible story they did a coloring sheet of various types.  There was a couple of days they did a craft.  On the last day they added jump rope and Frisbee to their activities.  Thank you Meida for helping so much with the VBS for these children who may had never had such activities brought to them.

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Hard Workers

These gentlemen worked hard all week long.  They got there at eight and left at four thirty everyday.  God have given them this task and they carried it to completion.  All these guys pushed hard everyday.  There was not anything they did not do to help each other out. Damian and his friend, Fernando worked especially hard meeting the North Americans half way with their buckets of mud to help them carry their load.  Everyone was working like a well greased machine.  These people only worked together once a year and they always work so well together as a team of driven young men.  They come ready to take on whatever God gives them and they do the construction so beautifully as a team.  Even with the language barrier the Hondurans and North Americans blended well on their construction skills and their timely fashion of getting those buckets of mud up the embankment to where the home was being built.  These guys took construction to another level of commitment.  Thank you gentlemen for all your hard work in providing Amailia and her children a safe place to live.

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Steve and Damiain

Damian  unlike his mother was not a Christian.  Steve worked very closely this week with Damian.  They were side by side most of the week.  They build a pretty sound relationship even with the language barrier. Steve is probably the only bible Damian has experienced other than his mother.  Steve's Christian example this week will forever be etched in Damian's mind and hopefully by watching Steve this week he will come to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  How do we perceive ourselves as Christians around those who do not know Jesus?  How well do we represent Jesus Christ in our daily lives?  If you are reading this today and do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you are missing out of the sweetest gift of all,  Jesus and spending eternity with Him.  Pray with us Damian will find Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior by what he saw this week building his family a home.

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