Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Todo la puedo en Cristo que me fortalece. Filipenses 4-13"
This sign is hanging over the doorway of our room. How is your Spanish? Do you recognize 
the verse? Yes, Filipenses 4-13 is Philippians 4:13 and it holds true in any language. I can, 
indeed, do all things through Christ who strengthens me. How do I know? Because I'm not 
the one supplying the strength. He supplies the strength. I do the doing. When I forget and 
try to supply the strength, I end up exhausted and frustrated. When will I learn? It is good 
to be reminded. Through his strength, nothing is impossible.

 Guest Blogger: Doug Eaton, written March, 2015.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Travel, Shop & Eat

It feels like all we did today was travel, shop and eat.

Pastor Nelson was waiting for us faithfully at the crowded airport terminal in Tegucigalpa in the early afternoon. Zealous baggage handlers made quick work of hauling our eight pieces of baggage through the crowd, out to the parking lot, and into the mini-van.  We drove through chaotic city streets and made of total of five stops. 

Shopping here is always an interesting experience. After a filling lunch of "platos tipicos" (local favorite food) at Power Chicken, we started our search for the best prices on batteries, chargers and other miscellaneous plumbing supplies.  Pastor Nelson knows all the shortcuts and local shops where the prices aren't artificially inflated for the gringos. We found all we needed after stops at three different retailers and celebrated with a quick treat at Baskin Robbins.
About 5:30, we navigated our way out of rush hour traffic and headed up to Cofradia, the church camp located about an hour from the heart of the city.  Cofradia will be our home base for the week.

The trip up the mountainside was uneventful.  We pulled into the compound right at dark-thirty.  Pastora Letsbi, Pastor Nelson's wife, had supper waiting on as soon as we unloaded the vehicle.  She blessed us with homemade pork chops, french fries, cucumber/tomato salad, rice, and of course, corn tortillas.

A quick inspection confirmed that everything survived the trip in good condition. We spent some time sorting our supplies and made final preparations for our first day of work.

It's been a long day of travelling (roughly 1,800 miles), shopping (3 different hardware stores) and eating.  The alarm went off 20+ hours ago. Time for some sleep.

Guest Blogger: Doug Eaton

Aggressive Approach, Firm Landing

According to the captain, we are about 150 miles from Tegucigalpa and will begin our descent shortly. The weather  is partly cloudy and a pleasant 22 degrees Celsius or 72 degrees Fahrenheit.  In his words, the approach to the  city's airport runway will be "aggressive with a firm landing, but we want to make sure we get stopped in time."  If you've experienced it, you understand this is a remarkably tactful way of saying were going to come in fast, drop quickly, bank steeply a few hundred feet above the ground, and hit the runway hard with the brakes full on.  The surrounding hills and length of the relatively short landing strip present their share of challenges to even the most experienced pilot.

We are dropping down into a different way of  life and culture where we will work for the next seven days. Time has a whole different meaning in Honduras.  Everything moves at a slower pace than we are used to.

What does the week ahead hold for us? Will we hit the ground running. I wonder home many times we will swoop into a new community with our plans all laid out only to find out God has something completely different in store for us.

It happens every time. We come roaring in with all our lists and plans.  I'm not saying this is wrong.  We would be foolish to come unprepared. However, some of our enthusiastic momentum will come to a screeching halt within hours of our arrival.  It is inevitable.

Will we have the self-control and patience to slow down, relax and simply do what needs to be done. Will we recognize the obstacles and surprises as opportunities to be of even greater service than we could have possibly imagined?

I hope so.  This is my prayer.  Lord, give us the courage to approach your work aggressively and to be prepared for a firm landing.  Then, slow us down to your pace so we may see you…and join you there.

Guest Blogger: Doug Eaton