Angel’s Pewter Cross

Amanda was able to present the pewter cross that we bought for Angel on January 13th.  She used the presentation script that Mother Mandy wrote.  She said that he was thrilled to receive it.  Here are some photos of him unwrapping the cross and showing where he plans to hang it about the front door of the his new house that we all worked on during our recent time at Casa Hogar.

 

Our reentry back into the world of north America seems to have gone pretty well.  However, Mother Mandy is still recovering from what has now been diagnosed as a concussion.  We are now well into the planning, set-up and selling of tickets for our Honduras Mission Fundraiser that will take place on February 8th at Holy Spirit.  The list of missioners for the June 20-27 trip is also growing.  We now have 9 people confirmed with more expected!

Peace,

Jay

Time for Reentry

Well, Sunday is finally here and it’s time for that last wonderful breakfast prepared by Dolce and Gloria.  Bags are packed and we are ready to head to the aeropuerto for a lunch in the airport food court and lots of lines as we proceed through baggage check, customs and security.  Before we left, we gave Dolce and Gloria some nice gratuities and they said how much the had enjoyed having us at Casa LAMB this week.  The team also got a close look at the pewter cross we bought yesterday for Angel’s new house that we have work so hard on at Casa Hogar all week.  Angel wasn’t able to join us on Saturday, but Amanda will present the cross and a gratuity to him, Jose Luis and Ariel when she returns to Casa Hogar next week.

Before we knew it, we were boarding our flight at the Tegucigalpa airport and winging our way back to Atlanta.  We took one last photo of the entire team (sans Mother Mandy) after we got off the plane in Atlanta, then said goodbye to Elizabeth, Cathy and Justin as they headed for their connecting flights.  The rest of us cleared customs and immigration, grabbed the bags and went out into the ATL international terminal to reconnect with the family and friends that had come to welcome us home.

I think it’s safe to say that it was a wonderfully meaningful experience for all of us.  We shared Christ’s light with many of God’s littlest Lambs in Honduras and did some really important work.  As I left the last passport check and headed toward the plane in Tegucigalpa, the official there said “thank you for coming to help my people”.  That really made my day!

Time now to start planning for the next trip in June when we will be going back to back weeks with the other Atlanta team from St. David’s.  Please come see all the wonderful items we brought back for our silent auction and fundraiser dinner on February 8th.

Peace,

Jay

Super Saturday

Because we were not leaving until Sunday, we had an extra day to play with the kids and say our goodbyes at Casa Hogar.  We slept in just a little, then headed to the pewter store to get some more items for the fundraisers.  After some serious shopping, we headed for Casa Hogar, but dropped Mother Mandy off first at the Airport.  Too bad she had to fly back early and miss the fun of a cook-out with the kids.  Activities included soccer on the concha, stick-on tattoos, painting and something that seemed to resemble volley ball with an invisible net.

It didn’t seem like nearly enough time to see all the kids and youth at Casa Hogar one last time before we had to leave.  However, we did find time for two more games of candy ball and a lot of play.

Soon it was time for the real goodbye program.  Several of the cabins presented us with posters and cards thanking us for coming and asking us to come back soon.  There was dancing by the kids from Casa Angeles and a special rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” sung in English by little Genesis.  Several of our group also got up to thank our hosts and bless them for all the love we had experienced throughout the week.  When I got up and told them we were coming back in June, there was a huge cheer!

There were lots of tearful goodbyes when we finally loaded onto the bus for our drive back to Casa LAMB.

Peace,

Jay

 

Fabulous Friday

We thought Thursday was a busy day, but Friday had even more activity.  With our extra day here in Honduras we are able to work and play all day Friday and still say our goodbyes on Saturday.  We had the same three work groups going at Casa Angeles and Angel’s house, plus Mother Mandy was able to join us today too.  The work at Casa Angeles transitioned from touchup of the exterior painting to an interior project of painting an area where a wall had recently been taken down to provide a larger bedroom.  It was quite an accomplishment to get all the interior and exterior work done at Casa Angeles.  The work on Angel’s house is also very far along with virtually all the interior painting complete and the exterior stucco work over the half way point.  At lunch Angel played a special thank you song for us…it was very moving.  There were also some tearful goodbyes to Jose Luis and Ariel, because we won’t see them tomorrow.  Mother Mandy got the motorcycle ride down the mountain today.

However, the biggest news of the day was probably our visit with an Alonzo movement group at the school in Flor del Campo.  With the holiday period we were not sure any were even meeting, but there was a group of younger boys gathered on Friday night and we headed down to Flor and participated with them.  We started with a candy ball game and finished with soccer.  It was so wonderful to see how these boys shared the candy they got out of the ball.  One smaller boy came around to the adults on our team and gave us all a piece of candy.

This team has definitely left it’s mark!  Tomorrow will be our last day at Casa Hogar and we will be having a cookout with the kids as we say our goodbyes.

Peace,

Jay

A Hard Working Thursday

Wow, was this a busy one!  Right after driving through the gates at Casa Hogar we found Clemson fans!  Who would have known they were in Honduras?  Elizabeth couldn’t wait to get a Clemson fan group photo with Angel and Jose Luis.  After that we quickly split into our three main working groups around stucco work, painting Angel’s house interior and exterior painting at Casa Angeles.  The painting at Casa Angeles was already well along, but as usually we got some help from the children…especially Alex Eduardo!  Alex climbed the window grates with brush in hand and started painting.  Based on Alex’s success, Cathy decided she could do that too, and did!  At lunch time Angel gave Sam a ride down the road in the property for lunch and our usual sing along, plus we had a surprise singing of Happy Birthday for Nic. (More to follow about that)

Meanwhile, back at Angel’s house the final walls were being sanded and more paint was going on.  Sand was being sifted and more mezcla was mixed and applied to the exterior.  Today was Amanda’s day off, so Suzy’s daughter, Letti, coordinated our activities and helped with the painting.

At the end of the day, we had finished painting Casa Angeles a nice chocolate color with vanilla trim.  We had a busy, but productive day and felt a real sense of accomplishment.  Plus we still had a little time to play with the kids.  After dinner at Casa LAMB, we had a Eucharist service lead by Mother Mandy, who had spent most of the day resting from her injury, but plans to join us tomorrow.  Following that we had another surprise for the birthday boy…a cake with candles and a piñata!  The deal was, that Nic got 10 swings at the piñata before others got a turn.  Even with Luke pulling it away from him, he still managed to dispatch it in about 6 swings!  We will be using a lot of the candy to make candy balls that we can use later in the week with Alonzo Movement or Casa Hogar kids.

It will be another busy but meaningful day tomorrow as we will be visiting the school in Flor del Campo to participate with an Alonzo Movement Group after a full day at Casa Hogar.

Peace,

Jay

 

A New Year’s Day to Remember

We got to sleep in at Casa LAMB this morning, then were presented with a breakfast of traditional Honduran Nacatamales.  Apparently this is what everyone in Honduras eats on New Year’s Day.  They consist of a center with pork meat (some still on the bone), covered in a rice and corn meal coating, all wrapped in banana leaves.  Some liked them, but some still preferred Fruit Loops.  Mother Mandy ended up going to the hospital for x-rays and a consult with a neurologist.  She checked out fine, just needs rest and some pain meds.  Amanda and Mother Mandy stayed at Casa LAMB while the rest of us headed to Valle de Angeles (Valley of the Angeles).  Suzy’s daughter, Letti joined us as our guide for the day and will be with us again tomorrow.  We were able to spend two hours in Valle and spent a good amount of both US$ and Honduran Lempira.  Many items are coming back for the fund raisers at both St. David’s and Holy Spirit, so watch for them there…February 1st at St. David’s and February 8th at Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow will be another great day of work and play at Casa Hogar in San Buenaventura.

Peace,

Jay

A Special New Years Eve

It was a very busy Tuesday for us here in Honduras.  Tuesday (New Years Eve) started off with our normal morning transit to Casa Hogar (children’s home).  We resumed our work from the previous day on Angel’s House and Casa Angeles.  It’s great that we have some very tall youth that can reach the high areas with paint rollers and brushes!  Lots more mezcla was mixed and applied to the outside and interior sanding and painting continued at Angels house.  Casa Angeles exterior was almost completely finished except for trim painting around windows.  At lunch, we again had Angel playing the guitar and singing.  We sang happy birthday to Mo Mandy.  This caused Vic to break into dance and Mo Mandy joined him!

 

After our work on New Years Eve, we stayed at Casa Hogar for the New Year’s church service, a special dinner with the kids, soccer on the concha and then our own fireworks show!  We had performances during the service by members of our group singing Pharaoh-Pharaoh, children with the Noah story and some others as well.  Mother Mandy took a bad spill on the concha during the soccer game and hit the back of her head.  We applied ice and prayer, then checked for signs of a concussion.  Thankfully there did not appear to be any.  We drove back to Casa LAMB after the fireworks and rang in the new year there.  The entire city of Tegucigalpa seemed to erupt in fireworks starting about 10 minutes before midnight and continued for some time after.

We will be sleeping in on New Years Day, then heading to Valle de Angels.

Peace,

Jay

Mondays can be Great!

What a joy it was to load up everything on the bus at Casa LAMB and head back to Casa Hogar.  Those that had been to the children’s home before were anxious to see the three Honduran workers we know so well…Ariel, Angel and Jose Luis.  As we pulled through the gates and came to a stop in front of the new casa being constructed for Angel, they were all there to greet us!  Lots of hugs and introductions of our new team members.  We got a tour of Angel’s almost finished house…it even has a small recording studio!

We quickly divided into three groups, two that worked on Angel’s house doing interior painting and applying stucco to the exterior.  The third group went up the hill to Casa Angeles (young children’s home) to scrape and repaint the exterior.  Lots of work was accomplished today, but still plenty left for tomorrow.

Of course the best part was at lunch hearing Angel sing.  Then the time with the kids before we departed for the day.  Lots of action on the concha with a serious game between Honduras and the USA (little Alex crossed over and played for USA).  Not sure who prevailed, but I think it was the locals.  After dinner and before our devotional we had a birthday celebration for Mother Mandy…ice cream with candles!

Tomorrow should be another great day of work and play at Casa Hogar.

Peace,

Jay

There’s good and bad in the world

Our Sunday had some real ups and downs.  It started with a wonderful up…the church service at Casa Hogar (children’s home).  The youth had their praise band, the kids participated, Mother Mandy and Suzy lead the service in both Spanish and English and Richard (Cuban missionary) was the officiant for the communion.  The peace was wonderful, with the kids hugging everyone!  There was recognition of those having birthdays this week including two from our group…Mother Mandy and Nic Prutu!

 

Following the service, we boarded the bus and had a wonderful meal at a nice restarant near the town of Ojojona, which is not too far from the Casa Hogar.  However, following the meal, as we went back to the bus, the driver discovered that the lock on his door had been knocked out.  We soon discovered that all of our backpacks had been stolen!  The police were called and did investigate, but we have little hope of recovering any of our items.  This was a real down for the day because several of team lost money, credit cards and ID’s in addition to cameras and other equipment.

In spite of the robbery, we went back to Casa Hogar and had a great afternoon with the children and youth there.  There were sumo bumpers, painting, coloring and, of course, soccer with new balls on the concha. Also, the 74 blankets that many of the women from Holy Spirit created for the children and youth were distributed.  The younger kids in Casa Angeles were probably the most excited to get these, but all aged from a few months to 22 years got blankets.

During our devotional time after dinner we discussed all the ups and downs of the day.  We were all disappointed about the loss of our belongs, but also felt that we needed to forgive those that had committed the crime.  Tomorrow will be another busy day as we start our work projects at Casa Hogar.  We are all looking forward to renewing the relationships with the Honduran workers that we have gotten to know from our past trips.

Peace,

Jay

The Adventure Begins

Our winter Honduras adventure has begun!  The Cumming area group met in the Holy Spirit parking lot at 5:30 AM (AKA 0-dark-30).  Three vehicles loaded with 9 team members and all the luggage left at 5:45 AM.  We picked up Sam Goldberg from St. David’s in Roswell along the way and were soon at the Atlanta Airport where Mother Mandy joined us.  We then met three more team members at the gate who had flown in from Charleston, SC, and Hot Springs, AR.  It was truly amazing that everyone made it with no hick-ups or missing passports!

After a 3.5 hour flight the Delta 737 swooped down through the mountains, made a 180 degree turn and set down on the short runway at the Tegucigalpa airport.  We had Amanda Scott, LAMB Volunteer Coordinator, on the flight with us and she quickly got the sky caps into action collecting our bags and getting us on our way to Casa LAMB where we settled in and had a late lunch.

We then headed to the children’s home, Casa Hogar, in San Buenaventura.  Because of the holiday weekend period, the child population was down a little, but those that were there came running to meet us and quickly found missioners that they knew or made new friends.  We did a quick tour of the grounds for the first timers and spent the rest of the time there playing with the kids.

Back at Casa LAMB we had dinner, some devotional time and got things ready for Sunday when we will be doing some field day activities.  It was definitely a busy but joyful first day in Honduras.

Peace,

Jay