The Adventure Continues

Our Church Council granted me a sabbatical for three months during the summer of 2010. My intention was to learn Latin American Spanish and to explore Latin American cultures here and abroad. Now that I have had some opportunities to lead mission trips to Yuscaran, Honduras, and to visit Mexico three times, the adventure continues.

Seeking New Horizons

Seeking New Horizons

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Clinic in the Mountains

This morning we visited the Emmanuel Clinic Episcopal, They serve 2000 local people in need of medical treatment each year. I don't know how they manage this with the lack of resources and medications that I witnessed. Heart breaking.....
How can we come along side....
Might be time for a medical/dental mission.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On to Yuscaran

   Worship today was at Iglesia Cristo Rey in Danli.  The people are SO friendly: passing of the peace included hugs and kisses.  The music was excellent.  They had a praise band with five musicians, who sang songs everybody knew  The Lord:s prayer was sung to the tune of "Sound of Silence" and it was very moving.
   From there we went to Yuscaran.  The work on the church has been progressing, and the ceiling of the sanctuary is going into place.  (See the pictures.)  This will be the floor of the third story of the building, and will have rooms for the pastor:s family so rhe very crowded quarters can be expanded.  It was great to see Pastor Dagoberto and Ediberto again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting Specific

   We began breakfast this morning with a discussion of some of the things we had seen yesterday.  We have been wondering if there is a better way to evaluate the projects in which we participate before we begin working on them.  We want to make sure that the projects we help to build are really helping the community in which they are built.  One resource for thinking about this is the book When Helping Hurts, by Brian Fikkert.  Our first priorty is building lasting relationships with the people with whom we are working..
   One excellent project has been the rebuilding of the church in San Marcos.  The church was destroyed when an earthquake ripped through the sanctuary.  We promised to help rebuild the sanctuary if the local people would take responsibility for tearing down the destroyed one.  Partners from New England then supplied money and labor to work with the parishioners to rebuild.  We toured the property and it is quite beautiful, and the people there know some of us by name.  Our next step is to strengthen the relationships by communicating more fully what our respective communities are doing in our own places.
   Another excellent example has been the construction of the new church in Yuscaran.  People from St. Andrews in Charlestown, RI helped the local people to first dig the foundation.  Later, other people from New England joined in this effort alongside of the vibrant community here.  Last April the walls were completed, and this coming April we will be helping with the floor of the sanctuary.  The completion of the roof will be left to  the skilled workers here in Honduras.  Scolarships that have been provided to the pastor here, Rev. Dagoberto Chacon, have been well used and children are doing well in school.
   Bishop Allen has also been working on keeping our projects effective and accountable, and he now has two new people on his staff, Rev. Lura Kaval, and her husband, Rick Harlow, who will be helping to coordinate the projects in the future.  They are the missionaries we mentioned in  a previous blog.

Friday, November 30, 2012

     We began our day by attending the dedication of a new AIDS awareness garden here in San Pedro Sula.  Bishop Allen led the invocation and has been a large part of the ministry to people with AIDS.  December 1 is designated as AIDS Awareness Day, and this ceremony was a part of that.  Millions of people are infected with AIDS, and thousands more are being infected each year.  I am so thankful that the church here is in the forefront of comabatting this disease. 
     The rest of the day was spent visiting churches where mission projects are underway or could be started.  One of the most interesting projects would be at a small church called "Our Lady of the disenfrachised."  The roof here needs to be replaced and the vast majority of members are women with children.  There is a model here in Honduras for bringing men together for worship and Bible study, and fixing the roof could be a way of bringing, men women and children back togeather for purposful fellowship.
     We also visited San Marcos, where the sanctuary floor was split down the middle during an earthquake.  The church has been rebuilt by mission partners and needs only a ceiling and paint of the walls.
     Finally, we visited the Episcopal retreat center in Omoa.  What a beautiful facility!  This would definitely be a great place to house and feed ou mission partners at the end of the day.
   Tomorrow we head for Tegucigalpa.  It has been a very busy day that concluded with a giant traffic jam of which we could not see the ending.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Steve and I have had some great conversations today about  the accompaniment model for mission trips.  This means that we do not impose ourselves on the people in other countries with our values and our money, but rather that we "walk with" them in their various ministries and struggles.  We met two missionaries today who are also working with this concept.  It means that there is mutual respect on both sides of the mission trip, and that both parties have something to give as well as to receive.  We know that we have money to give, but those who have been on these trips know that we receive so much as well, especially in the way we see real community flourish among people who have less material wealth to worry about.  We will be exploring this theme more on this trip.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I am about to go to Honduras for six days.  I will be travelling with Steve Dumas, and we will be exploring mission opportunities with Bishop Allen and other leaders in the Episcopal Church of Honduras.  I anticipate that this will be the next new high point in my study of Latin American Spanish.  If the technology will permit it, I plan to blog each day to keep you informed of what we are learning.  Hasta manana.