Honduras: Day 5

It’s hard to believe that this was our last full day in Honduras. People say “Time flies when you’re having fun”. A more fitting spin on that would be that “Time flies when you’re working hard”. These past couple days we have worked day in and day out, whether it be helping at a local church or building a house. As this trip comes to a close I thank our Lord for this amazing opportunity, this opportunity to meet amazing people, to do amazing things, and to do amazing things for these amazing people. We’ve been humbled by the people that we’ve met, and these past couple of days I’ve come to realize how truly blessed we are, and the importance of using these blessings for the benefit of others. 

We started the day early, not wanting to waste a single bit of light that the Lord had blessed us with on this day. As always breakfast was amazing at “La Casa Grande,”giving us enough energy for the busy day that we had ahead of us. Shortly after eating breakfast it was back to the hotel rooms to pack up the last of our belongings, load the truck, get on the van, and head out to our next destination. 

Our next destination was the house that we had just finished building the previous day. The Guevarra family had just spent their very first night in their new home, and Serve Hope wanted to bless them with a good first breakfast. It was a touching moment to see that what the family had dreamed of for so long, having just been accomplished. To know that we were a part of making their dreams come true, to make something that seemed unattainable to them, become something that was now tangible and their own is absolutely amazing. As such it only makes sense that a great night’s rest should be accompanied by a great morning. We dropped off breakfast at the Guevarra family’s house, as Olga prayed over us, thanking us for all that we had done, and making her dream come true. I wish I could simply say that it was a “touching” moment, and it was certainly that, but it was also something so much more intense, so much more beautiful. In that moment, I felt the Lord’s presence, smiling that his children, coming from all different backgrounds, were now one family, one people. After the prayers we said goodbye to the family, gave out hugs, smiles, and high fives.

After leaving the house, we went to the recreation center where we would be spending most of our day with the EduCafe students. We were greeted by smiles and “Hola”s. Our group went around shaking hands, and introducing ourselves. They were more than happy to introduce themselves as well, and despite the language barrier I felt that our introductions went really well. We sang songs, the cool thing about the songs were that while they were in Spanish they were still the Spanish versions of songs that are already pretty well known in America, such as “Yes Lord” and “This is Amazing Grace”, so we were still able to sing along and build a deeper connection to the EduCafe students. Following that we went outside to play some games. All the students and members of our group were separated into 4 teams: Red Team, Yellow team, Blue team, and Green Team (AKA the best team, though I might be biased). All the games involved us running around, and was a great way to better understand the students. The great things about the games was that no in depth conversation was necessary. We were able to get to understand each other through our actions rather than our words. 

After we finished the games we headed back inside for a sermon by our very own Pastor Jared. The sermon was amazing, and I’m not ashamed to say that I may or may not have shed a tear. Jared stressed the importance of committing your life to the Lord, to make the Lord the center of your life, and to do it as soon as possible. Following that our translator, and all around amazing person, Christian, asked the EduCafe students to stand if they were ready to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. A number of students stood, and were asked to walk to the front of the room. Our group prayed over the students, blessing them, and reminding them that they are loved, they are appreciated, and that they can do amazing things. After the prayer we hugged the students, appreciating their willingness to make the Lord the center of their lives. We ate lunch afterwards, provided by EduCafe. After lunch we went out to play soccer with the students, just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

After leaving the center we went back to Serve Hope Coffee, where we stocked up on coffee beans for gifts to family and friends, and relaxed. Spending most of our time listening to our driver, and also amazing person, Alberto, talk about his childhood, and the changes that have occurred in Honduras. Through this we were really able to gain a better understanding of life, and the people of Honduras. After relaxing at the coffee shop for about an hour we were back on the road again. Heading to a hotel closer to the airport, and close to a small waterfall. 

It took an hour and a half to get to the hotel, on the drive scenery was absolutely breathtaking… mountains, lakes, rivers, the greenery… absolutely awe inspiring. Moments like those are moments where we have to be thankful for all the beauty that the Lord has placed in our world. We drove up, down, and around the mountains to finally arrive at the hotel that we would be staying at. Shortly after arriving, and wasting no time at all, we began our walk to the waterfall. The walk wasn’t long, it was just enough to want to enjoy the nice, cold, flowing water of the waterfall. We spent about an hour (though it felt shorter), at the waterfall, going under the falls, and enjoying the “nice, cold, flowing water”. We made our way back to the hotel, where we had a 10 minute break to get changed and get ready for dinner. Before  dinner we were able to take in the breath taking scenery, we spent a good chunk of time taking pictures and enjoying the weather. Dinner was great. It’s hard to go wrong with steak, eggs, and plantains. After dinner we had our group meeting like we do every night. Except this night was slightly different. Instead of talking to one another the entire time, we spent most of the time writing letters to our future selves, describing what we had learned, and what we hope that our future selves can take away from the experience of going on the mission trip to Honduras. 

After the meeting I started working on this blog post, while most of the group played cards outside. I would’ve felt bad for missing an opportunity to play cards, but I never got that opportunity because a couple minutes later it started raining very hard. Everyone was able to take shelter safely, and we were able to close up all the windows and doors successfully. 

One of the most important things that a person can create in their life are memories. During these last couple of days, we’ve created memories that may well impact the way we look at all the blessings that we have in our everyday lives. We’ve interacted with the people of Honduras, and under the Lord’s guidance and love we were able to create meaningful connections with these people. It’s because of our Savior’s love that we were able to meet all these amazing people, that we were able to make Olga’s dreams come true, that multiple students made the decision to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, that we got to work under such an amazing organization. I’m astounded by all the work that we put in, all the lives that are changed. I never want to forget Olga’s tears of happiness when she saw her completed house. I never want to forget the tears when those students gave their lives to Jesus Christ, I never want to forget the tears when we washed the feet of the EduCafe teachers. I never want to forget the happiness that we brought to the children at Sunday School. I never want to forget the laughter and pure joy of the EduCafe students playing soccer. I never want to forget Honduras.

With Love,
Anthony  “Antonio” Liu

Honduras: Day 4

Hi everybody! I am so excited to tell you about some really amazing things that happened today. We accomplished so many things, and the longer I think about it, the more I appreciate and absorb just how incredible God is. 

I’ll start with breakfast. Was I awake? Was I asleep? Was that actually something that happened today, or was that a week ago? All I know is that everyone was tired but still had so much excitement about finishing the house we had been working on for the Guevarras. We stopped at EduCafe to get coffee, then went to the house.

We started by putting up the last wall, then really got going on the inside. Together we built some walls for privacy, screwed in sheet rock, and finished some final touches. We built the porch, finished the roof, and watched as a part of that final wall became a door. We even put up an awning to go over the porch. 

I have never seen a group of people work so diligently in my life. It got hotter and we got more tired, but I didn’t hear a single complaint. Seeing the children running through their future home made us forget about any irritation or stress that we had. I saw pure joy in Jeferson and Lisa as we lifted them to touch the ceiling and they climbed through the windows. Seriously, I’ve never seen smiles or heard laughs like that in my whole life. 
After working all day (besides our lunch break- shout out to chicken and rice), we finished the house around four o’clock. Everyone gathered on the front porch to present the finished house to the Guevarras. Together we sang “This is Amazing Grace” and celebrated how good God really is. How amazing His grace is, how His love is unfailing, how He laid down His life so that we could be set free! 

Olga, the mother of the Guevarra family, spoke to all of us. She told us how thankful they were and even called us angels that God sent. A woman from her church told us about how they had been praying for a house for so long, and that we were making their dreams come true. God! Answers! Prayers!!!!

Amber and Jared spoke and prayed over the family as well as the house. We prayed that the house would be a part of their testimony, that it would be a place where they share the gospel with other people. We prayed that it would be full of safety, comfort, and laughter. We told them that they are so special and that God has an amazing plan for them. 

It is so amazing that this house will truly change their lives and become a way for them to tell other people about Jesus. I know that we built the house with our hands, but none of that strength came from us alone. Building that house was only possible with the strength of God, and the unity felt on that porch can only be described as the Holy Spirit. 

After we finished the house, we went and got ice cream with the Guevarras and the EduCafe students that had been helping build the house. Shout out to them because they worked so hard, especially on the roof. We could not have done it without them. Also, the ice cream was so good and so refreshing. Ice cream is always good.

After that, we came back to the hotel and started to prepare for the evening, which also ended up being so insanely special and impactful. 
Seven EduCafe teachers came to our hotel so that we could eat dinner with them and celebrate all of the incredible things they do. Teachers, especially here in Honduras, do not receive enough recognition or appreciation. We wanted to show them that their hard work does not go unnoticed!
We ate dinner with them, heard their stories, and spent a lot of time laughing about the word snickerdoodle. This was all so great, but the very best part was when we washed their feet.

I’m going to get really real. When I heard we were going to wash their feet, I was like uhhhhh no sorry. It made me uncomfortable. 

At some point, something shifted. Jesus had the humility to wash his disciple’s feet. Who am I to let my own discomfort stop me from showing that same love to other people? The awkwardness turned into something completely beautiful. The nervous laughs turned into tears flowing down the teacher’s faces. Washing someone’s feet is so much more than just that.

It’s love, it’s humility, it’s respect, it’s vulnerability. It’s a symbol that we are all equal and deserve to love and serve one another just as Jesus did. 

Overall, today was great. The Lord showed up in so many ways. Please be praying that we stay energetic and courageous as we go in to our last full day! Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting us! 

With love,
Grayson McGovern

Honduras: Day 3

Hola, everyone! Today was an exciting and impactful day here in Honduras. I am so thankful I get to sit here tonight outside in the beautiful Honduran rain and write to you about how God is moving this week. I personally have seen and heard so many stories just in the past 48 hours and I am excited to share some of them with you. 

This morning we woke up to the sound of birds pecking on our windows. (We have learned this is one of their favorite 5am pastimes) after which we headed straight to the Guevarra’s home and began work on their new home with the assistance of a few EduCafe students, their neighbors, and Serve Hope team members. We worked from 9-4 in the Honduran heat on the house, but made great strides towards completing the project. During a break we concluded that so far over 2500 nails have been nailed (by hand) into the structure of the house. This just accentuates the fact that we are all thankful for many hands diligently working to complete this humble families’ new home. 

The Guevarra family have really shown us what true thankfulness and gratitude consists of. When we first arrived to the construction site this morning, their youngest daughter, Lisa, greeted us by proudly showing the balloon she was given at the church yesterday, along with big hugs and a jubilant smilie. Throughout the long hot day she never failed to encourage us with her bright smile and joyful laugh. When I would run out of energy or feel like I had no strength left in my arms, taking a break and spending time with Lisa brought my perseverance and joy back.

Today the little things made the biggest impacts in my view of our work here as well as my view on our normal lives at home. As Cristian, one of the Serve Hope leaders, reminded us tonight, the Guaverra family had no hope of ever having enough money to have a home such as the one we are able to provide and construct in just a few days. However, tomorrow night they are going to be given a gift that will change their lives forever and give them new hope in their future. This brought back the realization of how blessed we are to live in the United States with a roof over our heads. My perspective and gratitude of the way I am blessed to live my life is forever changed.

To be completely honest with you, today was hard. We had a few setbacks along the way and at times the tasks at hand felt challenging or even impossible. I saw the Lord today through my teammates and the way they brought their individual and unique talents to each situation and used their personalities to relate and show love to everyone they came into contact with. A few team members dedicated their time today to serving the younger kids while we worked on their (future) home, others used their physical strength to labor tirelessly, and some pursued past the language barrier to show love through their social interactions with others. This team thrives in challenging times and one of the strengths I see in my teammates is encouragement. When I felt like I couldn’t hammer one more nail or felt like I wasn’t being helpful, they lifted me up and reminded me that we are all working for the same purpose and every little thing makes a difference.

Today specifically, I saw perseverance as well as kindness in situations that could have only been touched by the presence of the Lord. We were invited over to Christian’s house and we shared a very special homemade meal while we got the opportunity to encourage his family and his team. Later this evening we played a game of soccer with a few of the students from EduCafe and their friends which was incredibly special. Our day was long, tiring, and challenging, but I saw God in the details and through the people I was given the chance to interact with.

Continued prayers are appreciated for our team, the students we will interact with from EduCafe in the coming days, and the Serve Hope ministry. I am so thrilled to have this opportunity and we appreciate the prayers and support from our church family. God is using Honduras to change my life, the lives of my team members, and the lives of people we are blessing in his name.

In Christ,
Melissa Weaver

Honduras: Day 2

Honestly, typing this blog in English feels a little awkward considering we just spent most of the day speaking (or attempting to speak) Spanish to the people we served…

The day started off relatively early, eating breakfast at 7 a.m., not wasting any of the light God had provided for us today. Being in the winter season right now here in Honduras, the sun is up early and sets around 6:30 p.m. every night; it takes a little to adjust, but the cooler weather at night makes it more enjoyable. 

We headed out to the Serve Hope and EduCafe building to pick up supplies to go work on the house. Jared claiming we would not get sweaty, we had definitely disproved that. After 2 hours of laying foundation for the Gueverras (the family we are building the house for) it was time for church. 

Overwhelmed by affection when we got into the church, it was apparent how grateful the members of the church were for us to be there. We had learned three songs in Spanish to teach the kids, “Quién es Rey”, “Yo Tengo Gozo”, and “Alelluya, Gloria a Dios” during the service. Splitting into groups of three we were able to have a more intimate time with the kids after, doing church activities and snack with them. 

A lunch and down time after provided the nourishment and energy we needed for the second half of the day. We traveled about 45 minutes to a village near Comayagua, where we taught a family how to build the water filters for their home. Contaminated water is a big problem here in Honduras, and these water filters eliminate 99% of the bacteria to help ensure better health for the kids and adults living in the house. We also traveled down the road to check on a house that had a filter previously to make sure their filter was being taken care of properly, because if so they can last up to 20 years!

At each of the houses we went to, team members were given the opportunity to share testimonies; Grayson, Candace, Jared, and Jeff all had shared how God transformed their life and led them to the path he wants for them. 

On the way back to Casa Grande we had stopped at a roadside market where there were a lot of homemade Honduran decorations, where we were able to look around and learn more about their culture and currency. Joe, one of the Serve Hope staff who came with us on the journey today had taught us everything we learned today from the filters to why they don’t use coins anymore. 

Instead of eating dinner at Casa Grande we had a surprise stop at J&J’s restaurant where we had eaten along with the rest of the Serve Hope Crew. 

Coming back to Casa Grande, or our home for the next 4 days, we did a little reflection of our day and some watched the soccer game (go USA!) and some played cards. Everything is going great so far. 

We are asking for prayers of continued safety and provisions as we work through God, blessing each person we come in contact with.

Much love,
Alyssa Roemer

Honduras: Day 1

Our day started early around check-in stations at DFW airport and it ended with a meal around a table at our ministry housing, La Casa Grande

Over a steady day of travel, we’ve already seen God’s goodness here in Honduras. The Serve Hope staff met us with love at the San Pedro Sula airport and proceeded to drive us two hours south to our primary ministry city, Siguatepeque… or Sigua for short. 

Because Sigua is at higher elevation (apprx. 3,500ft), the air is cool. We took a walk around a city square park led by Serve Hope staff, Cristian and Alberto, and enjoyed experiencing the sights, sounds, smells, and energy of the city on Saturday night. The walk ended with a prayer of gratitude and blessing for the Sigua.

We came back to La Casa Grande for a welcoming meal on the upstairs covered patio. Under a string of outdoor lights, we regained our own energy and shared in laughter. 

Our conversation concluded with a brief reflection on the day considering where we experienced God’s goodness to us, what stood out in our travels so far, and encouragement toward one another. 

Tomorrow will include beginning work on the home we’re helping build, participating in worship at a local church, and visiting families to gift them clean water filter systems as we share the gospel and pray for them.

Thank you for praying for us as we join the work the Lord is already doing here in Honduras through Serve Hope International. 

For the gospel,
Pastor Jared & the team