Living in Honduras for the past 8 years has been an amazing adventure. People often ask me what's a normal day like for me. Well, there is nothing normal about any day of my family's life in Honduras. It's an adventure. I hope to be able to share some of our daily adventures and experiences through this blog. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Got Baggage?

As Americans, born in a country founded with Christian values most of us have had Christianity, if not in our lives, around our lives for most of our lives. I realize this is a generalization since i am from the Bible belt, but for the most part if someone wants religeon, it's not hard to find in the US.

That's not the case in Honduras. Where you can go through village after village where there is no church presence. I am not talking about a building, steeple and all, but rather a group of Christians who meet, worship, and commune together.

I am a rather conservative sort, prefering tradition, rules, and the proven norm. I will usually order chicken strips and a coke for a meal because i know it's always good. Worshiping in Honduras used to be a stretch for me. Lack of order, lack of a plan, dirt floors, nursing women everywhere you look, dogs sleeping under the chairs, no rules.

You know what, i now find worship down here quite refreshing. That the Christians don't bring baggage of tradition and rules with them. They don't know how many songs before the opening prayer. They don't know that you only pray about blessings during the offering, they don't know church has to be out at 11:00 AM, they don't know your dog is not supposed to accompany you to church, they don't know that 4 kids on a donkey's back to get to church is not acceptable, they don't know to go to the nursery to nurse.

Here's what they do know. Much like Lazarus they don't have anything in this world, but through Christ they have everything. They don't know they sing off key, they do know how to praise God with all their hearts. They don't know when church is supposed to end, they know how thankful they are to be together worshiping. I thank God for what they don't know down here. I wish i knew that much.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

La Botija

Yesterday we began construction of an elementary school located in the Botija Forest. This is the mountain located directly behind Las Palmas. It's a beautiful piece of flora that has been remarkably well preserved. I say remarkable becuase so much of the forest in southern Honduras has been destroyed. This piece is slowly but surely dissappearing as well. There is need for a one room school house that serves 24 children. We found out about the need and decided to help. The community has done much of the work for free. The site for the school was leveled off by the fathers of the children. Our head mason, Juan, will prepare the foundation for a group from Indianapolis, Southeastern Church of Christ, that will come in November to actually build the brick walls. The setting for this school is breath taking. Right on the edge of cloud forest, with coffee plantations all around. Even though my drive up there yesterday to drop of Juan was bothersome since i had many things to do, the trip up the mountain trail through the forest made it worth the while.


The Beltran kids have been at our house for a few weeks now. I guess and update is in order. Since their arrival they have really enjoyed getting three good meals a day, wearing clean clothes, going to school, having toys, having a flushable toilet, and knowing that they are loved. There mother has also died. After the funeral the father tried to give all the kids away to the aunts but they were not interested. Then the older, 18 year old, sister asked if they wanted to go back to JB's house, they said yes, and they returned. Their father visits, usually on Saturday or Sunday. He stays for only an hour or so. The kids don't even run to hug him. Our little girl Sol prays nightly for the little kids without a mommy. She is really enjoying having them around to play with. Ally and I are growing attached to the kids but we don't talk about them much. I don't know why, perhaps we are scared of what our hearts are feeling. We have little time as a family and now with six more to love on our time is stretched thinner. I feel bad some times that we don't dedicate more time direclty to the kids. The olderst sister, Diana, has school in San Marcos on the weekends, Saturday 12 noon to 6 PM and Sunday 6AM to 12 noon, that pretty much makes weekend get aways or plan no possible. So, is it worth it?? Let the picture that i am posting answer that for you....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Fired Up.

Fire is quite amazing. It has the power to change things, all from a very tiny spark. From one spark thousands of acres of forest can be wiped out. Every year thousands of acres of forest in Honduras are destroyed, air traffic is suspended, and the sky is thick with smoke, all due to one small spark.

Get fired up for the Lord! I have heard it many times. “We need to be on fire.” It’s really quite a good illustration. If we are on fire, just like small spark can grow, we can begin as a small spark and affect thousands. We can completely change our surroundings.

Working in the mission field I think a lot of fire. For one reason it closes down the international airport in the capital of Honduras every year. But also because of the sparks that Ally and I have been privileged enough to be able to work with, both American and Honduran.

Like the spreading of sparks and fire the leaf cutter ants of Central America take advantage of team work or their partners to move large amounts of green roughage daily.

Many people have seen the documentaries on the Discovery Channel of these amazing ants that carry enormous pieces of leaves on their backs. They are all over Honduras and they are very productive.

The nest of these ant colonies are well engineered, with thousands of underground chambers extending downwards more than 6 metres in depth. The central nest mound itself may be 30 metres in diameter, and have numerous 0.3 metre diameter feeder mounds extending outwards to a radius of 80 metres.
A leafcutter ant colony with millions of workers produces enormous amounts of waste. In order to prevent the spread of diseases and the rise of pathogenic pests in their gardens, leafcutter ants have developed one of the most advanced waste management systems in nature. Waste products from the gardens and dead members of the colony are segregated away from the main nest by specialized "waste workers". Transporters carry the waste to garbage heaps, where other workers who live exclusively in the heap turn over the growing pile in order to accelerate decomposition..
The whole process by which leaf cutter ants strip trees of their foliage, build their enormous colonies, and work together to achieve a common goal is admirable.
Unfortunately mission work requires funds, money, a resource that does not grow on trees. Fund raising is the most dreaded aspect of mission work for most missionaries. I actually don’t mind it. I really enjoy telling others of what God is doing here, whether they want to send any money or not. I get so excited I wonder if the groups of missions committees or elders or other interested folks think that I am crazy. Give me 30 minutes of your time and I’ll fill it with what God’s doing in Honduras.

But, I can only reach so many. There are some dear friends of the work in Honduras who when they go back to the US they don’t allow the spark that is lit every year when they are down here to go out. They spread that fire, pretty soon they have touched many and have started a fire storm. They give of their time and resources to spread God’s word in a foreign country but they also place tiny sparks in the hearts of many that they come in contact with back in the US.

They are not simply donors, they are partners, they are our collaborative cutter ants.. They are partners with us in an amazing work that is changing lives and saving souls in rural southern Honduras. To all of our partners, who go a bit further than just one week a year in Honduras, God Bless you. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed.


Okay, so i have been putting this off but i am resolved to start blogging. I hope that i don't bore anyone or insult anyone. I'll make an great effort to be positive! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the ride....