Hope to Walk's new building

 My heart is overwhelmed reflecting on the past 11 days. To walk through the new clinic and know that our group did that fills me with pride. To see the teens running around with small kids down near the clinic or with the Baxter students on the soccer court or playing pingpong fills my heart with happiness. To gather together to sing and reflect each evening fills me with joy. To hear their words of faith and commitment fills me with gratitude.

Please continue to encourage our teens and find ways to plug them into the adult portion of the congregation. One thing I learned on this trip is that when given a suggestion, they're happy to step up and be involved but sometimes they need that direction. And they love knowing they have an adult in their corner. Our church was in their corner as we prepared for this trip, and we wouldn't have made it here without you. Thank you for continuing to be in their corner. We love you and can't wait to see you again!! (Except for half the teens who are threatening to chain themselves to something so we can't take them home. Please pray that we'll be able to get them all on the bus tomorrow morning!)

 

Moving the large shelves out

Moving the large shelves out

Steel beams are installed, next steel frames will be built

Steel beams are installed, next steel frames will be built

Progress on the framing

Progress on the framing

Hanging walls

Hanging walls

The walls in their workshop got cemented

The walls in their workshop got cemented

Nathan B starts the electricity with help from Ericka

Nathan B starts the electricity with help from Ericka

 The exam rooms got drywall

 The exam rooms got drywall

And paint 😊 

And paint 😊 

Brianna got a haircut from the beauty shop class (not much, Mom, don't worry) 

Brianna got a haircut from the beauty shop class (not much, Mom, don't worry) 

Colby and others actually got up in front of the church last night and shared some thoughts, with help from Alicia

Colby and others actually got up in front of the church last night and shared some thoughts, with help from Alicia

The reason for it all

The reason for it all

Little Moments

There are so many moments that have happened throughout the past 10 days that, when they occur, I think, "oh man, this moment right here made the trip so worth it."

When all the teens are working on a project together ... or when my son and nephew are installing almost all the outlets by themselves ... the girls (and maybe a guy or two) playing tag with kids who came to see the doctor ... the spontaneous singing on the bus or while we're working ...

So far two of my favorite moments weren't planned or initiated by an adult but were brought on or initiated by the teens. The first I already posted about was the time all of the teens sat together at dinner and blessed the food with prayer on their own.

Last night after the girls came in at curfew, I was laying on my bed reading, and Abby and Emma laid down on the bed next to mine and next thing I know all 5 of them are laying in that bed or on mine and we're talking well past my appointed lights-out time. We had such a great time and I hope were building meaningful relationships. I'm disappointed we didn't start this sooner but we're already planning to do it the rest of the week. 

Moms and Dads, your kids are great and are making your family and our God proud. As a church we need to all hold them to the leadersip skills they're developing and encourage them to keep it up after they come home and continue to serve others. They can do it. They're more than ready. I wish you could all be here to see it.

Short update

Quick post today. We worshiped with the church in Guanacaste. It was very sweet and uplifting. I hope we treat our guests with as much enthusiasm as they treated us, but I know we don't.  Maybe we did the Nigerian guests we had recently.

After having lunch with the church, some of us went to see the statue of Jesus outside of town. It's up on a mountainside and there were also great views of the city from there. It was beautiful. 

We also discovered there was a zip line course up there and it was cheap, so 5 of us went and had a blast. I had a really good time with that. 

Dinner, birthday celebration and then a really awesome devo with some of the Baxter students we're becoming close to. I love that our church has had a relationship with Baxter for a long time and now some of our young people (and older people) have faces attached to Baxter and it will mean a lot to them when we're sending money or other stuff or praying for them.  This is such a great thing that we are here, not just for a short-term mission trip but for the benefit of continuing this beautiful relationship across cultures.

 

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Time off

Today we took a break from work. After breakfast we went to Valle de Angeles, a town of many, many souvenir shops. We spent a couple of hours walking around, bought a few trinkets, and enjoyed a slightly different perspective.

Hannah Banana! 

Hannah Banana! 

 Cute puppies

 Cute puppies

We told our kids not to touch any animals but they really wanted to, obviously! 

We told our kids not to touch any animals but they really wanted to, obviously! 

We ate some PB&Js on the bus and then headed back to Tegucigalpa to the Guanacaste church.  This is where Noe Perez is an elder.  They were having a special day for their kids & Noe wanted our teens to be involved. We helped the kiyds do their crafts and we all taught each other some songs, or tried to. It was a lot of fun and gave us yet another perspective. 

One little bit grew very attached to Evan in a short amount of time. It was pretty cute. Before we left,  Evan asked if I would take their picture together and then a line of 3 other boys asked for their pictures with Evan too! He was a celebrity! We're looking forward to going back tomorrow to worship and have lunch with them. Pictures aren't uploading fully so I'll try to come back later and finish adding them. 

Stuck to his side! 

Stuck to his side! 

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Walls

Hannah Sullivan:

Today was a big day for the Hope to Walk Clinic. After breakfast the girls went to a ladies' bible study, led by Alicia from the Lynchburg group, while the boys attended a chapel led by Nathan B. After our respective devotionals our group went to the clinic to work on the walls.

We got half of the walls up and screwed in place. The room where the prosthetics will be made is completely walled in and nearly finished. We also finished converting the shelves into work benches. First we had to unscrew the screws that held the shelves together. Then Randall had to cut the shelf down to make the work bench. We then had to take the remaining pieces of shelf and fit them through a narrow doorway. The benches look great and will help in the construction of the prosthetic legs.

The girls and Tristian also played on a playground with children. They pushed them on the swings, played in a tiny home that the kids called a "casita", read bible stories, and practiced their Spanish. At first the children were shy, but by the end they had warmed up to the girls and Tristian. 

After dinner we had our nightly devotional, but tonight we joined with a mission group from Arlington, Texas. Their group is building houses while they are here. The devo was really special because we went around the room introducing ourselves and sharing how many times we had been to Honduras. It was a very diverse group with some people having never been to Honduras before and some that have been coming for years. It was just really amazing to congregate with people who are here for the same purpose and share about our experience here. 

This is the area where the prosthetics will be manufactured.  Where the work benches are on the left, before they were shelves up to the ceiling. 

This is the area where the prosthetics will be manufactured.  Where the work benches are on the left, before they were shelves up to the ceiling. 

 Nathan B also taught Tristian a lot about wiring & you'll see in the next picture that Tristian got up pretty high today too. 

 Nathan B also taught Tristian a lot about wiring & you'll see in the next picture that Tristian got up pretty high today too. 

If Mike Kaylor can rotate these photos for me,  that would be much appreciated. 😊 

If Mike Kaylor can rotate these photos for me,  that would be much appreciated. 😊 

These are the moms whose kids were playing outside.

These are the moms whose kids were playing outside.

The guy in the back, in red, went to elementary school through high school with Sherry Charles!! Being in the church makes the world seem pretty small sometimes. 

The guy in the back, in red, went to elementary school through high school with Sherry Charles!! Being in the church makes the world seem pretty small sometimes. 

Parents who sent your kids to Honduras. You can be VERY proud of each and every one!

 

Dump Day

Part of our group went to a dump in Tegucigalpa today. A church from TN, who I referred to yesterday, put together bags of food to distribute. They were stored at Baxter, so when they were ready to load the bus, some of our crew jumped in to help. There were probably 25 of us who formed a line and carried the bag a few feet to the next person. They weighed about 20 pounds, and it took us a while to load 500 bags into the bus. 

 

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The back of the bus is packed so we had limited seating on the bus, & that's partly why we couldn't take more people. 

 

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Hannah sat in the back of the pickup & helped distribute a bowl of rice & beans to each person.  

Hannah sat in the back of the pickup & helped distribute a bowl of rice & beans to each person.  

There were 2 lines at the back of the pickup, one for men & one for women. They got their bowl of food and then a numbered ticket to get in another line and pick up the bag of food that the church assembled.

There were 2 lines at the back of the pickup, one for men & one for women. They got their bowl of food and then a numbered ticket to get in another line and pick up the bag of food that the church assembled.

The pickup is hidden by the bus. The nearest line is where they waited for the bags of food. They had to have a ticket in order to get some. 

The pickup is hidden by the bus. The nearest line is where they waited for the bags of food. They had to have a ticket in order to get some. 

The back of the pickup

The back of the pickup

Brianna, Emma & I distributed pouches of waters to those waiting in line.  

Brianna, Emma & I distributed pouches of waters to those waiting in line.  

Anita (shown here) & Barbie, from Lynchburg, also distributed water.  

Anita (shown here) & Barbie, from Lynchburg, also distributed water.  

The babies kinda got to me

The babies kinda got to me

There were thousands of buzzards.  And bunches of dogs.

There were thousands of buzzards.  And bunches of dogs.

There were also a million flies. Very nasty.

There were also a million flies. Very nasty.

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It's really hard to describe the feelings you have being there. 

Tuesday

We wake up each morning around 6am, eat breakfast at 7am & yesterday there was a chapel service with The Baxter students. We recognized a couple of songs,  & they asked us to sing a song for them in English.

The girls are having to find some things to do,  but there are plenty of kids to play with: patients at the clinic, kids of Baxter students in the nursery, babies of mothers in the sewing class. Brady went with Randall, Nathan B., and his son Shane to a hardware store & got supplies for the Hope to Walk building. They said there were 10 times the number of helpful employees at the store that you would find at our local Home Depot. Partly to prevent theft, but they were all super friendly & helpful. They got back around lunch time so then all the boys got to work on the building after that. 

To try to give you a picture of the Baxter campus ... 

The classroom building is sorta the center of campus. The chapel is up on the fourth floor of that building, it's circular and has cool views. Next to the classroom building is the cafeteria. The kitchen serves on the hour at 7am, 12am, & 5pm. You don't want to come even 15 min late or they've probably put the food away already. There are a couple of girls' dorm rooms below the cafeteria,  which is where I'm staying with the girls and two of the women from Lynchburg. Above the cafeteria is a common area with tables & chairs and a fusbol table & pingpong table. Outside this room there is an ampitheather, where we had a devo last night.  There is a court where the kids have been playing soccer, they could also play basketball or volleyball but no one is. The boys' dorm is near the court. On the other side of the classroom building is the president's house, then an apartment building where Randall & Judy are staying. Up the way are the clinics. Right on Baxter's campus there is a dental clinic, a medical clinic & the Hope to Walk clinic. Next to the current Hope to Walk clinic there is a room of sewing machines and then a room for cosmetology. The mothers who participate in the nutrition program are offered sewing or beautician classes. This gives them the opportunity to learn a trade & help their family. If they have a child under 6 months, he or she goes to a nursery. If they are older than 6 months, the child stays with their mother. (Can you imagine trying to work with your toddler right there with you?!)

The building that Hope to Walk is moving into was just a shell. There were some guys putting the framing in for walls when we got here. Yesterday our guys took out a section of the wall for a doorway. They also took some shelves out which they're going to repurpose as work benches.  

After lunch the girls had the opportunity to go around the corner to a local church. We met another mission group from Tennessee & that group was giving out bags of food to families in the community. Then the kids that participate in a nutrition program put on a little presentation for the Americans. There were some songs, prayers, and then they did a couple of Honduran dances. They also served us some refreshments. Very welcoming even though we weren't part of the original group. 

The boys worked hard all afternoon with Nathan B & Randall. Tristian got a bad blister. We patched him up. After dinner we sang a lot of songs and debriefed. Then a group of Baxter students in a chorus sang us several songs. They sounded really good. I think I recognized all the songs they sang. We enjoyed visiting with the Baxter students  & their families. 

Curfew is at 10pm each night. I have a feeling we're going to bed earlier and earlier as the week progresses. 

The chorus

The chorus

The boys are mingling with some Baxter students. 

The boys are mingling with some Baxter students. 

Singing in the ampitheather  

Singing in the ampitheather  

 The kids' program

 The kids' program

Snippets

Brianna says, "my first flight wasn't as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be."

Hannah L says, "it WAS as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be."  (Don't worry, Mom, Auntie Lisa held her hand.)

"Dinner tonight was 👍" - Abby. 

Hannah L: "ooh and the lemonade!"

Hannah S: "Baxter seems really interesting!" 

From Lisa L:

Steve & Diana Teel met us at the airport. They brought us to Baxter & gave us a quick intro. We have settled into our rooms, had spaghetti dinner & now the kids are playing soccer with some Baxter students. Some of the adults went over to the Hope to Walk clinic to check it out. I have 4 bug bites already & probably have Zika. I'll try to get a picture of soccer but they're not coming out very good from my phone. 

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Our suitcases all loaded on the back of the bus.  

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Tristian: "I already love it here. I think I'm going to stay here forever."

At the airport...

We worshiped with the Church of Christ in Falls Church last night.  Judy & Randall got to see their son & daughter-in-law, Lisa ran into old NJ friends.  Settled into our kind host family homes & are now waiting patiently to check our bags before going through security. Your prayers for our journey are much appreciated!!

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