October 14th 2010
Hola mi familia and amigos from Copan Ruinas Honduras!! What an amazing place, people, culture, and ministry--the journey begins. I am so blessed to have the next eight weeks ahead of me to serve and work in Copan with the people and ministry here. God is so faithful and provided me with safe and fairly easy travels. I spent the night in the LaGuardia airport to catch my flight at 5:40 a.m. to Dallas, Texas. I had 30 minutes once my plane landed to make my transfer to my next flight to San Pedro Sula. I was a little worried about the short amount of time that I had between flights. If we left the least bit late from LaGuardia I would miss my connecting flight to San Pedro Sula. Knowing the Lord’s faithfulness and that people were praying for me, I put it in the Lord’s hands--and my first flight actually got into Dallas airport 30 minutes early, giving me 1 hour before my next flight took off. His faithfulness continued as the flight from Dallas to San Pedro Sula Honduras went well and got in on time, along with my luggage. From the San Pedro Sula airport I had to find and catch a bus to the city of Copan. By God’s grace I was able to find the bus kiosk in the airport and purchase my ticket with the little Spanish I know. After a four hour long, curvy, hilly bus ride I found myself in the bus station in Copan to be picked up by Blair, the director of UrbanPromise Honduras (UPH).
My first few days in Copan have been focused on getting settled into my new house with my host family, meeting the kids from our program, getting to know the leaders of UPH, exploring Copan, working on my very rusty Spanish, and simply seeking the Lord’s presence in this place. I am living with a host family right across the narrow cobblestone street from our UPH office. My host mother’s name is Brenda. She and her 11 year old daughter Angie are so welcoming. I love being a part of their family already. Angie gave up her room for me to stay in, and she and Brenda sleep in the same room together. Brenda’s house is right next door to her sister Carla’s house. I eat my meals at Carla’s house with her family and the many guests that she has in and out of her house each day. Carla hosts many different types of people in her house. She has a few extra rooms and rents them out to travelers, people taking Spanish lessons in the Spanish school down the road, and one of my new friends and soon to be new AfterSchool Program Director, Katie. Katie has dedicated the next two years of her life to live here in Copan and run the AfterSchool Program and Summer Camps for the children we serve. She already is a wonderful friend and so helpful when it comes to speaking and understanding Spanish.
So far I have played in a football (soccer) game with some of the local Hondurans and some of our staff, helped with a special scavenger hunt for some of the kids, walked an hour and 45 minutes to the top of a mountain to visit the sweetest, most joyous young woman I have ever met who lives more simply than any of us could ever imagine, attended a Spanish church service and was so blessed to worship with believers from Copan, walked the 30 minute very strenuous hike to Camp 8 times, had my first Spanish lesson, and have begun to form loving, life-changing relationships with those around me. It has only been one week and the Lord has already done so much. I will be working a few days in the office with some of the full-time staff, working on some fund development projects in order to sustain and grow their programs to reach more of the children and surrounding communities. I will also be working with the children and staff in Camp a few days a week, assisting with Bible lessons, English class, homework help, games and special activities, and simply forming meaningful, loving relationships with the children in our camps.
It is such a unique and blessed experience to be a part of this community. To be loved and accepted despite my cultural differences, lack of understanding and ability to know and speak the language. I begin a regular schedule next week and can’t wait to get into the routine of things and see what the Lord is going to do.
-That I will be able to learn Spanish quickly. I am taking classes at a Spanish language school down the road three days a week. I can get by but still have a lot to learn. I practice it with my host family and the children. It is difficult for me to understand those around me because they speak so quickly.
-For my host grandmother Maria. My host mother Brenda has to take her to Guatemala for the next few days because she is getting surgery to remove kidney stones.
-That the rest of the funds needed for my second service trip to Malawi will come in. $600 of support still needs to come in.
-For the Children of camp Hope. For their health, salvation, and future. They are from a very poor community yet have some of the richest spirits I have ever seen. That I will be able to show them the love of Christ despite my language barrier and cultural differences.