Thursday, January 30, 2014

We Should Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves

Rick Copeland

La Labranza, Honduras


It is time to give a report of accountability to everyone who has invested their time, money and trust in the 35 member group that represented the Luke 9:2 Ministries in Honduras this year.  Your medical, dental and support team has worked hard this week, both individually and as a group.  Some days are harder than others, none harder than Guimaca on Monday.  Up at 5:15 AM, serve almost seven hundred people and return for supper at 10:00 PM, only to get up again at 5:45 AM the next morning.  Tired yes, but not one person complained. 

How does this happen?  First, is the nature of the 35 team member you sent.  Second, it is the team’s recognition of Jesus’ command in Luke 10:27 where he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And finally, all of you have a part in this trip as well.  Your dollars, your pill packing and your prayers are a reminder to each of us that many hours are invested before we even travel our first mile.  The numerous personal notes you write for each of us to read every day give us much needed encouragement.  These things all bring peace to our hearts.  If this was the State of the Union address, the President would be saying, “All is well.” 

But remember, nothing stays the same.  Almost 2,700 years ago, Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that there is a season to all things.  If this mission is to change, let it expand and get even better.  For this to happen, our prayer warriors must continue to pray, our pill packers must pack even more pills, more dollars must be raised and people at home and in Honduras must volunteer.  May our services grow and expand in Honduras as they have the last two years with our  eye glasses and fresh water programs.  On behalf of our whole team, thank you for everything you have done for us.  To those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in some way, may you find your gift, use it and feel the joy we feel tonight.


Notes from a Newbie: (Jodi Ervin)

My first time in Honduras, I see the expected brown eyes, but also many blue eyes from German descent.  My eyes are open to these loving people, who like us, want better for their children.  They are eager to learn, eager to have medicine and eager to drink safe water.  This is a beautiful country with gorgeous mountains and tropical plants, and yet such poverty for its people, who go hungry and die from preventable illnesses.  Through the eyes of a Newbie, I have fallen in love with a new land and its people and pray that the Lord provides a way for us to return once again.


Water, Water Everywhere…

Susan Nally

Guimaca, Honduras


Have you considered what your life would be like without clean water?    Let’s examine a few things we know.  Our bodies consist of more than 70 % water.  More than 50% of the earth is covered with water.  A pregnant woman must drink more than 64 ounces of water a day.   Now think about how much water you use just to brush your teeth, washing dishes or washing your clothes. 

Water is necessary to our everyday living!  What would you do if you did not have water available for your everyday existence?  What would you do if you did not have clean water?

Luke 9:2 has been searching for years for a way to bring clean water to the villages where we work.  Last September, Luke 9:2 partnered with Water Steps and the first water system was installed at the mission compound at Cofradia, Honduras.  This new water purification system is supplying clean water to the village people on a regular basis.  All the people have to do is purchase a 5 gallon water bottle for $1.00 and they can continue to bring it back and receive free clean water.  As of this writing, 40 to 50 families bring their jugs to the mission compound twice a week to get their water.


Pastor Nelson says that free water is being taken to the school, the medical clinic and the police department.  Each of these groups have the ability to touch many lives.  It stands to reason that children will become healthier and the community as a whole will see an improvement in everyone’s health.     

 In April of 2014, three more water systems will be installed.  The water team will install systems in two villages and one orphanage.  Lives will be changed because of the availability of clean water.  If you are interested in providing clean, life-giving water to people who cannot get it, you can partner with Luke 9:2 Ministries by going to our website ( to find information about how to make a donation to this specific project.

Be a part of something that will change lives for generations!  Matthew 10:42 reminds us that, “ And anyone who gives one of my humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will be rewarded.”

Notes from a Newbie:   (Elizabeth Ward) 

I finally got to come on a medical mission trip with Luke 9:2 Ministries to Honduras.  For over 10 years I have been helping to prepare for the trips but always watching them go without me.  It was not my time yet.  I feel blessed to have finally made it to Honduras for this work.

I have seen many pictures of the trips, but until you come you cannot understand fully the extent of the need or the work.  Today we pulled up to our biggest clinic of the week.  There were so many people lined up, you could not see the end of the line.  By the end of the day (7:30 pm) we had served 697 patients; pulled 200 teeth; and given out 141 pairs of glasses. The most that Luke 9:2 Ministries have ever done in one day.

  “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2




Doug and Deborah Duty

Cofradia, Honduras


Today I want to focus not on those who we are serving but on those who came to serve.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying – “Whom shall I send, who will go for Us? Then I said, “Here am I, send me!”  Isaiah 6:8

 The text has always been a great testament to me. God calls, He calls for ANYONE. Isaiah overhears the conversation and simply responds. The writer even put an exclamation point on his response. This was not a timid reply, this was not a reply that had hesitation. Isaiah replied quickly and emphatically. When he responded he did not know the details, he didn’t question what he would have to do or insist on what he would or would not do.

That is what I have seen in the days here on this trip. Men and women of all ages, all cross sections of life and from various states. As I walk around I drink in the wonder that is this team.

Everyone doing their “thing” but also pitching in to lug boxes, unstack and stack chairs, carry tables and help anyone that needs help. It is a beautiful sight to see brothers and sisters working together.


These great people answered the call regardless of anyone else. They didn’t tell the mission what they would or would not do… they said – HERE AM I! I will go! I want to go! Not only that they paid for the privilege of serving. They set aside their own vacation time, they save for months just to be able to say – HERE AM I.

I thank God for people like this. I am impressed by their humble serving hearts. Working LONG hours and still laughing. Smiling when I know good and well they are extremely tired. That is how you answer the call when God says – “who will go for Us?”   Doug

Returning to Honduras for the second time still has me in great awe!  I love seeing how everyone works together to serve as many people as possible.  At the end of today, I find myself thinking it is just not enough. Everyone was still working frantically to see every patient as the sun sets. 

Mother’s on the other side of the fence begging for medication for their children.  A humbling reminder that I have never had to do this.  And that I am truly blessed.   It amazes me how God always gives you what you need exactly when you need it!  I was asking the ages of children and mothers were yelling out ages and I understood.  No one was complaining, just trying to continue to serve.  How do you turn people away as they have stood in line all day, not one of us wanted to!  What a humbling experience!!!   Deb

Each one here has answered the call and I know God will honor what has been done in this place.    

Notes from a Newbie:  (Larry McCullough)

Although I have traveled extensively throughout Latin America, this was my first medical missions trip in over 40 years.  It was wonderful to see people come together with the purpose of being God’s hands, feet, and ears to a needy people. 

I was especially impressed with a group of older high school and young university students (national Honduran youth) who worked tirelessly by our side --- serving primarily as translators for the doctors and nurses, and medical support staff.

In the book of Malachi, we are exhorted to look and see all that God is doing around the world.  This mission trip helped us see how God is at work in the country of Honduras.  I wish that more dedicated and committed people (those who want to serve God in some way) could experience a trip like this.  And, it was not the trip per se, but the people that God brought.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

La Farmacia

Michelle Guy

Those of you who read the previous day’s blog will understand when you read that today’s adventures began with WAITing on the bus when we encountered a problem with the brakes en route. Praise God that all ended well. While waiting for alternate transportation to our first clinic, I began to contemplate just how amazing God is. Who knew that working in my Daddy’s pharmacy as a high school student would be preparation, not for a career but, for mission trips decades later?! Every year for nine years, I along with faithful others, have worked in la farmacia, the make-shift pharmacy area of our clinics.

Much planning and behind-the-scenes work is done before the mission trip ever begins. A monetary gift is given to Luke 9:2 Ministries each year to fund the medications that are purchased from Blessings International, a non-profit organization that supplies medicines at a reduced cost, specifically for medical mission groups. Once the meds are purchased, a group of volunteers gather at Crievewood Baptist Church for “pill packing.” During this time, thousands of vitamins and other medicines are counted and placed into individual bags, upon which the volunteers have placed labels with dosage directions in Spanish and English. These are then packed into crates for the trip. The liquid medicines, primarily given to children, are purchased in Honduras and await the farmacia staff to pour them into small individual plastic bottles.

Once on the clinic site, the pharmacy team sets up shop, placing medications on whatever tables, desks, benches, etc. they can find. Patients receive paper sacks when they register for the clinic. When the nurse or doctor examines them, he or she writes on the bag which medications, from those packed and bought, are recommended to best treat the patient. The patient takes the bag to la farmacia area, and we place the meds in the bag.


In addition, God has provided an experienced pharmacist for our team. Caleb Williamson is a master at making substitutions for meds we run out of near the end of the trip. He also knows enough about compounding to mix up meds when needed.

God commands us in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Amazing God plans and provides for us to do just that!

Daily Note from a Newbie: Rebekah Towery

It’s such a blessing to see all of the beautiful people of Honduras. I hope to bring glory to God this week. My favorite part of this first clinic day was after I had finished helping in food distribution. Some of the children were playing and found the empty food bags and had sack races. They came up with the most creative ways to keep the races fun and interesting. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of the week!


Margaret Morford

Author’s Note: We are normally blessed every year to have Libby and Doug Eaton with us on our mission trips.  They work countless hours and have a genius for conveying what is happening on the mission trip through words and pictures.  However this year, Doug and Libby are still in Nashville WAITing on the birth of their first grandchild, which is imminent.  A great number of us are trying to fill in for them and we are rotating who will write the blog each day…or pieces of the blog.  I made the mistake of asking who was writing it today and was immediately assigned the task for doing so. 

This day reminds me of my favorite verse from the Bible,

“But they that WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31.

My sister, Jean (her first mission trip), and I arrived at the church in Nashville at 3:20 this morning to find Robert Brown already WAITing on our group despite the fact that Doug Nally told us we didn’t have to be there until 3:30 AM.  Robert had come early to de-ice the buses and warm them up so that we wouldn’t freeze in our Honduras shorts, flip flops and light jackets.  It was seven degrees when we left Nashville and no one wanted to drag their coats to warm Honduras.  Thank you Robert!  (We also had to WAIT on Doug Nally, our fearless leader, who didn’t arrive until 3:45 AM, but that’s another story!)

Our plane was late leaving Nashville because we had to WAIT while they de-iced it – something you want done so your plane doesn’t crash!  However, the delay was not a problem as we had sufficient WAIT time in Miami to make our connection to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We also were WAITing to meet up with three more of our team who were coming from various other parts of the country.  All of them made it despite the fact that the airport monitors were full of flights that had been cancelled all across the country due to the fierce ice, snow and frigid temperatures that are sweeping across the U.S.

Our plane was an hour late departing Miami because we had to WAIT for the maintenance mechanics to put a new screw in the outside body of the plane.  We never found out what needed to be reattached, but I wouldn’t want to take off in any plane for anywhere that is missing any part!

When we arrived in Honduras, there was a long WAIT to get our medical crates and a WAIT to clear customs.  We were again blessed that everything arrived and is available for our first medical clinic in the morning.  On a previous trip, our crates got held up and it is almost impossible to treat our patients without the medical supplies we bring with us. A nurse on our team, Janet Gerard, was flying from Oregon to meet us in Honduras.  She managed to get to Houston before they closed the airport due to weather.  Although she had to WAIT in Houston, she arrived at about the same time we did on one of the few flights to get out of Houston today!  Losing any medical person on the trip limits the number of patients we can see so they are critical to how successful our mission will be.  We have two more people coming tomorrow who had to WAIT to get off work to join us. 

We are now 33 strong and ready to do the work that God has for us, laid out in accordance with his plan on his perfect time table.  Tonight we will arrive in the compound at Cofradia and get everything organized for tomorrow.  We are now WAITing for our first clinic day to definitely where we will eagerly aWAIT for our first patients.  But most important of all, we will WAIT to see what blessings, and lessons, God has for each of us on this trip.

Daily Note from a Newbie: Jean Morford

Obviously being a newbie I have no idea what to expect. I can say that being with this caring and industrious group will be a blessing all on its own. The camaraderie is wonderful to observe and I look forward to whatever task is assigned me. The landing in Tegucigalpa was definitely exciting and got things started with a bang.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mission Trip Baby "Blues". Or Baby "Pinks"?

The blog posts for the 2014 mission trip of Luke 9:2 Ministries will not be written by me.  Others will pick up the "pen" and document the comings and goings, ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures of the mission team this year.  Certainly these other writers are more than capable of capturing these moments for those of us that will be back in the States, myself included.

For the last four years my role on the team has been to communicate to loved ones all that was going on with the team in Honduras and Guatemala.  Along with my husband, we posted the events of the day using words and pictures.  Many of you have encouraged us in the effort with your kind comments, both written on the blog and in person. It certainly isn't for lack of affirmation that we will not be making the trip this year!

So, why aren't we going?  Well, on or around February 9, 2014 we will become grandparents for the first time!  Since babies have a way of coming whenever they are ready, we just didn't want to take the chance that the baby would come while we were out of the country!  So, we decided to stay here and support the team from this side of the border!

Luke 9:2 Ministries will be returning to Cofradia, Honduras, about an hour from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.  They depart on Friday, January 24th and will return on Friday, 31st.  While there, they will serve in 5 remote medical clinics.  Doctors and nurses will treat the sick, dentists will pull teeth, de-worming and other medicines will be dispensed, food will be distributed, and reading and other glasses will be given to those that need them.

My heart will be with them.  And, Lord willing, we will again join them in 2015.

Why the blog post title, you ask?  We don't know if we are having a grandson or a granddaughter!