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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fresh Water

Could you imagine being surrounded by water but not being able to drink or use any of it. For the inhabitants of the island of Carretal in the pacific ocean near Choluteca going with out much water is a way of life. Folks of this island have survived on the water taken from shallow hand dug wells in the center of the island. The water table is reached at only about 6 feet down. This water, not completely salty was not fresh either. Last year Mission Lazarus received a grant from Healing Hands to supply the island with fresh wFresh Water
ater. Water now arrives on the island from well on the mainland. Pipes run through the jungle then through the mangrove swamp, across a small channel and then onto the island. Later this month a group of Americans will help build a wooden water tower base that will hold a 1000 gallon water tank. This tank will provide the island with water reserves. Getting the lumber to the island was big task. The fishermen of the island loand their boats for the task. Check out the pictures.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Selvin Born Again

I think that one of the most valuable things that we can offer to the kids that call the Mission Lazarus Refuge home is a Christian upbringing. Some of our kids carry more baggage than others, some have been to church before and others have not, but across the board they receive unconditional Christian love from our program. Yesterday afternoon i got a call from one of our "tias" or caregivers letting me know that Selvin Beltrand, one of the first 6 kids that God sent to us, wanted me to baptize him. This thrilled me. So, this morning, with all of Selvin's adoptive family in tow, we trecked down to a deep pool in the river that runs through the Mission Lazarus Hacienda. It was a great moment to get to have a Bible study on the edge of this beautiful stream, surrounded by mountains. Then Selvin and I waded into the chilly mountain stream. That's when the Angels in heaven started their party! Selvin was born again, his sins washed away, and the Holy Spirit by his side for the rest of his life. Amen!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Priceless Surgery in Atlanta

Meet Aleyda Zepeda. She’s 21 years old and for her entire life she had been in pain. Pain caused by severe scoliosis. So severe that her curved spine prevents one of her lungs from working. Aleyda is from a small farming village outside of Choluteca. She came to us when she was 17 years old. For 4 years Ally has worked to get Aleyda the surgery she needed. First in Honduras but after having a surgery date set and after having purchased the rod she’d need to straighten her spine the surgeon decided that the surgery was too complex for the technology available in Honduras. On a whelm Ally presented Aleyda’s case to Childspring International, a foundation based in Atlanta that brings children from around the world to the US for surgery. The key word there is CHILDREN. Aleyda was no longer a child and it would be a real long shot that they’d accept her case. God opened doors and hearts and Aleyda was accepted but Childspring still had to find a hospital and dr. willing to perform the surgery free of charge.

On Friday of last week Aleyda embarked on the biggest trip of her life, from her small village to the largest airport in the US, Altanta.. On Monday, Sept. 15 Aleyda had her first doctor’s appointment and surgery is now scheduled for Oct. 2. The cost of the entire surgery has been donated, the surgeon expense alone is valued at over $100,000. Obviously this is a sum of money that is unimaginable for most Hondurans. Praise God for opening these doors to change Aleyda’s life forever.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Political Unrest or Political Distress

Political Distress in Honduras

You may not be aware of the political situation playing out in a few countries of Latin America. The distress is the product of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela and archenemy of the United States. Hugo Chavez is a character to say the least. What Hugo benefits from are large oil reserves underneath his soil that He controls. This provides him the capital that he needs to be very unfriendly to the US. He has long looked for anyone to join him, to give him credibility. Primarily Fidel Castro. But as of late Eva Morales, president of Bolivia, Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua and last but not least, Manuel Zelaya, president of Honduras. What do these three men have in common? They are all radicals who have a bone to pick with the US. Daniel Ortega became famous in the 80’s during the US funded contra war aimed at outstanding the pro-communist, Sandanistan president. After 18 years of running to be reelected the former military general, campaign financed by Hugo Chavez, was reelected in 2006. This concerned many in the region as to what Ortega would do to his country.

Honduran president, Mel Zelaya, a long time wanna-be revolutionist began slowing paling around with Chavez. He made a fool out of himself with a speech he gave blasting the US at the United Nations in 2007. Then in the summer of 2008 Zelaya signed ALBA. ALBA is the Latin American equivalent of NATO. Not exactly but that’s what it boils down to. All members are united through ALBA and if you mess with one, you’ve messed with them all. There was great outcry from the business owners of Honduras, the folks who provide the jobs that allow Honduras to flirt with a sense of 1st World in their major cities and allow them to ignore the millions of peasants that live just past the city limits. ALBA appears to benefit Venezuela more than anyone, it secures petroleum contracts from it’s members and provides a sort of validation for what craziness might come out of Chavez’s mouth. Zelaya on the other hand has been compared to a big Iguana. Iguanas are known to sit in the sun and move their heads up and down, up and down. So does Zelaya with whatever it appears that Chavez says or does, Zelaya moves his head up and down in agreement, unable to come up with original ideas, views, programs, nor original threats against the evil U.S. This is where Zelaya’s education, or lack there of, shines through. Zelaya flunked out of college after just a few months. Not that college makes a person succesul but some critical thinking classes might do Zelaya some good.

The latest news is that an “auto-coup” was planned for today, September 15, Honduras independence day. A normal coup is when the military takes over the government and ousts the president. In our case in Honduras, the president was going to lead the coup against his democratically elected office so that he would become the supreme power, backed by the Honduras military. Fortunately news of this plan reached congress last week and the president was confronted about his plans, which were denied, but at least this grew awareness to the situation, and as of 3:30 PM local time there has not been a coup. Then on Friday, in support of his South American counterparts the president of Honduras, Mel Zelaya, refused to recognize the diplomatic credentials of the Hugo Lorens, incoming Ambasador of the United States to Honduras. This action alarmed the local political community as well as international communities. Another “iguana” move on behalf of the president of Honduras. Supporting the actions last week that were taken against the Ambassadors to Venezuela and Boliva.

Should Honduras sit back and do what ever the US wants them to do and when the US wants it? No, by no means. That’s what has happened here throughout history. Honduras has been the puppet for the US government. A large number of covert military operations have been based out of Honduras. The US has maintained a large air base here for 20 years, and the US has always called on Honduran soldiers during war times.

The Honduran governing parties can be mad but they must also be realistic. The Honduran economy is artificially held up by US Dollars sent back monthly by illegal immigrants working in the US. Hands down, the Honduran economy would collapse if it were not for these US dollars being sent back to family members in Honduras. After every natural disaster the first to respond to pleas for help are the U.S. And perhaps the largest development organization and humanitarian organization working in Honduras to help the Honduran people is none other than USAID, United States Agency for International Development.

What does this mean for us as missionaries? Well at this point absolutely nothing. We’ll keep on spreading God’s love and it looks like at the rate of things there will soon be even more folks longing to know that there is something more out there than what they have seen. With God’s guidance we’ll be there when that opportunity presents itself. We pray that our many friends and fellow Christians that visit us annually to work and serve the Honduran people will not be scared away and give another victory to Satan. That’s what he’d like, for fear to prevent us from sharing God’s wonderful story of salvation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Through Birds' Eyes

In case you did not know, Mission Lazarus has a great project near the quaint town of San Marcos de Colon, Honduras called the Mission Lazarus Refuge. The Mission Lazarus Refuge is a children's home located on a 1250 acre working ranch. Over the past 3 years the property has been transformed from an abandoned ranch into an amazing campus full of life. Here's a snap shot of the the ranch as seen from above. Enjoy.

Tia Boo

This past month has been really great. Our family has been blessed to get to know an amazing young lady from San Francisco, CA. Actually we lived really close to each other for about 12 years back when i lived in TN. But this amazing young lady really amazed me at how she has grown up, grown as a Christian, and how she is set on changing the world. I am talking about my little sister, Rebecca Brown. Honestly i did not know her. I have not been around her in a long time if the few times we seen each other have been really short visits. Now, all grown up, two undergrad degrees and half way through her masters in nursing, she's amazing. She came to visit us but not for a vacation, rather to work. And work she did. She worked with our medical program and our children's home. In particular with a little girl, Katy, who lives at the Mission Lazarus Refuge, who has cerebral palsy. So, we had a great month and i sit back in awe to see how God's shaped her and is preparing her for something great. Thanks for your hard work, God bless you Tia Boo. (BTW, she's single and a great catch).

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Refuge # 2 & #3

Hey, we are almost there! The two houses that were built largely by two groups of Christian men from the US are nearing their completion. Here are a few pics of the inside of the houses.

Need, Hunger, Weather

Have you noticed lately. It seems that the whole world is being nailed by high food prices, that more and more folks are in need, and then on top of it all, the weather. There is flooding all over the globe. We have bit hit by hard rains in Honduras but i don't even feel that i can write about it when you see the flooding in India and Haiti. I hope that as Christians we'll be able to recognize that we have to do something, even if our country's economy is in a slide. just think about it.