Thursday, July 28, 2011's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Can you find the house?
It's almost like a hidden treasure. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined it to be so beautiful. It's green everywhere, and trees and plants are a marvel to me. The hills and mountains take my breathe away. Everyday when we load up in the truck, I'm so excited for what I get to see.

The Chorti live in some areas that are hard to get to, but when we finally reach our destanation we are amazed at the beauty of their land.

Many people dream of waking up to palm trees, and these people experience it daily.

Now their homes are simple homes because they are a simple people. They farm, their fathers farmed, and one day their children will farm.

The average child only goes to school through the 1st or 3rd grade. Some do not get to attend school at all. They learn the basics of reading and writing. After a basic amount of schooling, they farm as well. Very few go onto to a high school.
You know what you know because it's all you have ever known. The Chorti, like everyone else in the world, does not get to pick where and what they are born into to. Of course, I figure they would have it no other way. They know the beauty of where they live. So what happens when the weather does not cooperate for good farming? All food supply is used up and there is no more food. They do not have the money to go buy food. At this point, they have to have help. Almost 40 Chorti villages have now been given a month's supply of food.

To recieve food they register with the Chorti council. Our church then brings bags of corn and beans according to the number of families reported to us. The line up to sign-in (a finger print because some cannot sign their name and we also don't want to embrassed anyone). They also have to show an ID. Did you know everyone here has an ID? That doesn't even happen in America, but that's a story for another blog.

At one of the villages today, there were five families that did not get registered with the council. All of the village lovingly gave a bowl of corn and beans from their bags to these families. It was awesome watching them share and take care of one another.

Today we learned of even more Chorti villages, and there is a need of more workers and funds to meet the needs. I don't know where more funds will come from, but God will take care of it. Please pray for these people. They are such a kind and gentle people who really deserve to have food. They will have a harvest come fall, but that is several weeks away.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Honduras Day 4

I wrote about food distrubution in my last blog, and today I'll try to fill you in on what the whole day is like.

-5:40 am we leave the hotel to walk to the mission house
-5:50 am is a devotion time lead by a student
-6-7 am is spent eating breakfast and packing a lunch
-7:00 We head to a warehouse that stores the corn and beans
-Loading up the trucks (bags weigh between 50 and 100 lbs.)
-Driving to a village
-Registration, distrubution, Bible story, and playing games at the village
-Drive back to the warehouse to eat lunch and load up the trucks again
-Driving to a second village (none of these villages are easy to get to in case you were wondering)
-Registration, distrubution, Bible story, and playing games at the village
-Driving back to the hotel
-Team meeting
-Free time, but mostly just bedtime
While all the food stuff is going on, we also spend time with the children. Each one of our teenagers has been assigned to learn a story from the Bible. The Chorti culture learn a great deal through story telling. It is important each teenager tells his or her story well because the children will pass on the story to others in their village. After the story, each child gets a coloring sheet that goes along with the story. This a good reminder of the story, and it is also a way to review the story. The Chorti really love to color. I've been amazed at how long the children and sometimes adults will color. It's funny how sometimes the kids will fight over the black crayons because they all want to color the hair black.
After the story or sometimes before the story, we play games. The boys love throwing a tennis ball around. The girls tend to like jump roping better. Today we got out a parchute to play with, and it was a big hit. The smiles on the children's faces when they played with the colorful parchute was priceless. All the kids like playing soccer too!

These days are long and tiring and some of the best days ever! It is a lot of fun, and we are all very grateful for the opportunity to come to Honduras. Each village has been different, but they are all a very gentle people. It's been an honor to meet the Chorti!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Honduras Day 3

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name' s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have annointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Pastor Kem our Missions Pastore
Psalm 23 took on a whole new meaning today as I watched a village stand around Pastor Kem reading it. The Chorti people are not just hungry, but many are starving. Due to rain issues, their crops are just starting to grow. They have little to no food until harvest time. Our church, Parkwood Baptist, has been sending teams and money down to Honduras for several weeks now to give food to the Chorti. For the next four days, our team is going to eight villages bringing food to 340 families. Next week, Ryan will come back with another team of teenagers to do the same. We give corn and beans to families. It's 50 lbs. of corn and 10 lbs. of beans for every two people for a month's supply. The people are humbled and very grateful for the food. Children are so excited to see us, and several have said, "We get to eat tonight!" I hope tonight each and every one of them go to sleep with full stomaches.
The line to register
Mr. Long giving out bags of beans
Riding on top of the bags of corn

Walking back to their homes
The Shepard and sheep represents our total dependence on God. A shepherd's main concern is to do everything to insure the well-being of his flock. The sheep, us, must trust in God to meet our needs. This poem was played out in front of me today. God amazingly provided refreshment in this difficult time in life of the Chorti. The people gathered around in a beautiful green pasture, and they had hope. For most, it's just a short term hope of being physically fed. For a few, it's an eternal hope for having been spiritually fed. The needs here are so great, and God wants us to be His hands and His feet. He has commanded us to make Him known among the nations. Over and over in my life, God has called me to do something for His glory, and He has faithfully meet my needs everytime to do it. He comforts me. It breaks me to see hungry children, and at moments I feel like I'm wallking in the valley of the shadow of death. Before I feel completely overwhelmed at the vast needs, He comforts me. He loves these people way more than I do, He has already been broken for them. He will provide for them, afterall that's why He has sent many of us to them.
Ryan praying for the Chorti

My Carpe Diem mindset is pushing me forward today. I can't even explain how important it is to seize the day here in Honduras during this short little week. Before we all came here, I got asked the question of "why are you going to Honduras?" My answer was, "If we don't go, who will?"
Next blog, I'll write about what we are doing with the children while the food distrubution is happening.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honduras Day 2

We went out to one of the villages for church this morning. We picked up people on the long road heading to church. Can you imagine having to get up early and walk a long distance in order to hear the word of God? And it's a hot walk too! Some little boys loved climbing up in the back of the truck. I got teary eyed at their excitement for the ride.

The church is a concreate building with a tin roof. This is actually a nice building for the area.

The inside was painted a bright green. Nick is standing with their pastor.

When people first come inside to the church, they kneel at their chairs to pray. There is no need for carpet or pews to cry out to God. They came to worship God. They came to learn about the one and only all powerful God.

They have a couple of guiters to make music with. Most of their songs are verses from the Bible.

Children who are elementary age leave out after singing for children's church. They have their little service in a coffee field. During that time, they play a game, learn a bible verse, and learn a song. When they come back in they perform the song and verse in front of their church family.

At the end of church, Mr. Long presented the pastor with a sound system. This was a BIG deal! There is not much technology here, but there is a need to be able to project sound so more people can hear. The church tried having a revival for several villages a couple months ago, and it was too difficult to do outside because the people could not hear. Their building also could not hold that many people either. The small portable sound system will make it possible for more Chorti to hear God's word being taught. Ryan set it up for them, and then taught them how to use it. It's a pretty simple system, but it's overwhelming if you have never seen anything like it.

My favorite parts of church today were
How everyone prays aloud constantly (and they are whole hearted prayers as if their lives depended upon it).

Passing babies around during sevice

Smiles from people just happy to be there