Tuesday July 26, 2011
Final Group is home…and back to work!
After my long delay in Honduras on Friday…I had a pretty good flight to Miami. Only once…did the plane take a “rocky ride” through the clouds---and we felt like we dropped several feet….causing a little concern among the passengers.
In Miami…a long line at Customs….so it took a while to make the journey through the maze to get my passport checked, luggage picked up, and then dropped again at American Airlines before heading over to the security screening area….where you guessed it…the body scans were closed…and I had to go through the full body pat down!
Not a fun experience!
Barbara had to experience the same this trip---as she was “wheeled” into the security area with her knee injury. (By the way the ACL is torn…she is beginning physical therapy today…and we will meet with Dr. Elrod in mid-August to determine the next step in his game plan…so we continue to pray that she will strength the ACL and heal---so she can avoid surgery.)
A long walk to Gate D-60…where the “eagle” takes off from Miami to Nashville.
Along the way, I stopped for a “hotdog in a blanket”---much like the “pigs in a blanket” that you eat for breakfast---this is a hotdog---as you know one of my favorite foods.
From Honduras---I had flown with a group leaving Mission Lazarus. From Miami to Nashville---I was with a group traveling with Dr. Vanderpool and his medical mission teams. Dr. Keith Thethford (a local dentist---who goes to Honduras often during spring break---who many of you may know) was part of that group. We were both worn out when we finally arrived in Nashville at 12:25 AM Saturday morning. (Storms delayed our departure from Miami)
Benjamin was waiting for me in the cell phone holding area (almost a sleep or a least napping—when I texted him that the “Eagle had landed”!
I guess it was after 1:30 am when I finally laid my head on my own pillow…and relaxed and prayed thanking God that we were all home…every group had made it back safely.
Something to rejoice over and give God the praise and credit!!!
For me, it was the conclusion of my 17th trip to Honduras. I made my first trip in 1992. I have had a lot of ‘experiences” and have seen a lot of changes over the years.
Finally, in Miami…my email started working…Dan Gower and I still don’t know what the problem was in Honduras…must have something to do with my computer and the internet connection at the Hotel. I could do everything…but reach the email server.
So in Miami…I went to work on the 600 plus emails that were backlogged in my inbox. I think I am still working on some of the messages!
Dick Garner and I asked team members to share “experiences” and “lessons learned” on the trip. We are going to use these with our team members in the days to come…when we have our wrap-up dinner.
Here are some of the messages from some of our team members…as ‘Experiences were being shared”…and “lessons learned”….
Here are some of the thoughts I shared with the group in Honduras:
• I can learn to be content with whatever challenges I face - Johnny at Jovenes has more problems than most of us ever will, yet each year he seems so content and happy in life.
• I can learn the difference between committment and sacrifice - I make many spiritual committments, but to wake up each morning and being responsible for 60 youngsters, that's a sacrifice.
• I can learn that luxerys do not guarentee happiness - As you observe folks along the streets with nothing in terms of worldly possessions, yet you always see them talking, laughing and enjoying relationships with each other.
• I can learn the value of "Here I am Send Me" - As I observed throughout the trip, Rachelle, Rosa and Lucy could have faded into a group that were mostly strangers to them, yet they basically said, "I am Here, Use Me" and did we!! The pupet shows and their other activities where they interfaced with the children were truely creating memories in young minds that will last a lifetime.
• I can learn what it means to be committed to your family's well-being. I cannot imagine using a pick and shovel for one year just to level out a part of a mountain so that my family could have a house.
• I can have a greater appreciation for understanding the language of love. Many of our group spoke no Spanish, yet they were able to communicate with the Hondurans in a gift that Paul says it the greatest of all.
Thanks again for a great experience. This is my 8th or 9th and may have been the best of all!!!!!
Jim and Cindy Netherland
You mentioned Mark McInteer will be preaching Sunday, July 31st. At which service will he be preaching? If we can work it out we'd like to be there.
Again, thanks for letting us tag along for a second year. We had a great time and we hope that our small participation will benefit or touch someone's life.
Jim and Cindy
Mark will be preaching this Sunday morning…and he is planning on using some video and pictures from our trip to Honduras.
Here are some kind words from Mark McInteer:
> It is always good to be on a trip when you are in charge. Thanks for doing your usual excellent job of taking care of all of us. That's hard enough on the BHCC campus, harder still when out of town, and I can't begin to imagine the challenges when you are in the third world. I'm sure there is plenty of stress, but it never shows.
> Sorry about Barbara's accident but glad she was on the way home.
> I had the pleasure of being with Benjamin a lot, and he is a wonderful young man. He will do well. I wasn't with Justin as much since he was always on the go, but his maturity and ability is obvious. It's a pleasure to see the next generation exemplifying the gifts of their parents for whom I have so much respect.
> See you Sunday.
> P.S. I know Bethany is a treasure, but somehow I was never with the young woman group. I think I've aged out of that group.
Sarah Baugh’s mother…who has been to Honduras with us…but couldn’t make the trip this year shared this message:
I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your updates from Honduras. It was almost like being there.............Almost, but not quite as good. I am thankful for everyone's safe return home and especially thankful for the work that was done. I talked for quite a while with Cindy Netherland after church Wednesday night. She and Jim feel so good about the work and enjoyed the trip and the fellowship very much. A few weeks ago, when I said to Jim that I wanted them to go next year and hopefully, I would be going as well, he remarked that he and Cindy might be taking an anniversary trip and would not go back to Honduras next summer. When I told Cindy that I was sorry they would not be going next year because I certainly wanted to go, she remarked, "don't be too certain we won't be going next year." I think it is wonderful how the Honduras work just gets in your blood and stays there. And the success of the work and the great coordination of the trip is due first to God and then to you. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for the updates. Please give my love to Barbara and I will pray for a good report from the MRI.
Faye Kinzer (aka, Sarah Baugh's mom).
Here is a note that our group got from Don Mayberry the executive director of Jovenes en Camino:
On behalf of the board of directors of Jovenes en Camino we want to thank you for your recent visit to Jovenes en Camino in El Zamorano, Honduras. We pray that you were blessed by your visit as much as your visit was a blessing to the boys at Jovenes. We hope that you received a warm welcome from our staff and that you were able to spend some quality time with the boys.
I am often asked by recent visitors to Jovenes en Camino, “What can I do to help?” Below, I have listed three specific ways in which you can help Jovenes en Camino:
• Help support a boy. Currently we have 58 boys at JEC; our capacity is 96. We are turning boys away each month who are in need due to lack of funds. It currently costs about $300 per boy per month to feed, clothe, educate, and tutor each boy. If you are interested in a monthly donation or a one-time donation, please feel free to go to our website at www.jovenesencamino.org for additional information on how you can donate on-line or how to mail a donation to us.
• Kroger Gift Cards. We have partnered with The Kroger Company to offer special gift cards for $5.00. Each card has $5.00 value. You can use the card to purchase groceries, prescription drugs, and fuel from a variety of stores owned by The Kroger Company. You can use the card indefinitely. Each time you “re-load” monies onto the card, Jovenes en Camino will receive 4% of all purchases. For example, if you use the card to purchase $600.00 per month in products, Jovenes will receive a check for $24.00 from Kroger. If your congregation could sell 50 cards, Jovenes could receive $1,200 per month; this would fund 4 additional boys in our program. Please contact me at 615-823-2914 for additional information or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Fall Walk-a-Thon. Our first annual fall walk-a-thon will take place September 10th, 2011 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. This will be a 5K non-competitive walk entitled “Walk for the Way”. Our goal is to have 300+ walkers with each walker securing donations for the boys. With corporate sponsorships and donations from the community, our goal is to raise $30,000; this would allow us to take in 8 more boys for 2012. Please visit our website at www.jovenesencamino.org and register to participate and to receive additional information. Just click on the large blue Walk for the Way button.
We would love for you to become a fan of Jovenes en Camino on Facebook and share a comment or story about your visit to Jovenes en Camino and why you feel Jovenes is worthy of your support. Jovenes en Camino could not operate without your support, your prayers and the hand of God.
Again, thank you for visiting Jovenes en Camino. May all that we do be to the glory of God.
Jovenes en Camino
From Roberto Santiago:
What an adventure! Thank you again for inviting me this year for the trip. I enjoyed it more this time (maybe I feel better healthwise).
Missions - Honduras Brigade 2011 at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ
Message: We are heading home...
Aa I write this..many of you are packing your suitcase, getting ready for breakfast, thinking about what you are going to leave for others, thinking about that last purchase...and i hope feeling great about your trip to Honduras.
We had a great trip...only a few stuck their foot in the box...and this morning we are praying that everyone get's home safely.
Part of our group left yesterday...and now today we continue the four days that it will take to get everyone home!
When you get a chance...write down your lessons learned from the trip and email them to me or Katie...so we can compile the list...also if you have an EXPERIENCE or story you want to share...be sure to email it to me to post.
i will post pictures when I return...and we will want to collect everyone's pictures to share with everyone!
Mark McInteer will be preaching the last Sunday in July...and I anticipate him sharing some about our trip....we will also plan a final share time...and get together to wrap up the trip.
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas. Thanks for being such a great trip to travel with....I hope this trip brings you closer to Jesus...and to your travel mates!
We have had some great Experiences! Now go home and share them with others!
I hope you will daily pray for our brothers and sisters here in Honduras!
May God bless your Journey....love you all...
Hey Jonathan. Thanks for the note. The Miami group made it back safely. 10 of us ventured to South Beach last night for a great dinner. I had another wonderful trip to Honduras. I appreciate all the hard work you put into making it a success.
There are two things that keep coming up in my mind when I reflect on the past 10 days. First is the trip to Limoncilla. This was definitely my favorite day of the trip. First I felt a connection to the buckets because Renee' and others back home were heavily involved in getting that project going. This is a must for future trips. Going to the homes and seeing where they live and sharing the buckets, food, clothes, and prayer was awesome. It doesn't get much better than that. As I already mentioned in our sharing time, I hope this will spring board my prayer life. Prayer is so powerful and sometimes we probably take it for granted and just go through the motions. I am reminded of Colossians 4:2 & 3- "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ." Let us all pray without ceasing.
The other thing I can't stop thinking about is Julio at the hotel restaurant. Not sure who invited him to church but what a neat story if he continues to go, places membership, and he and family put on Christ in baptism. That is my prayer for him and others we came in contact with. I was glad to see him on the last morning. I told him we were excited he came to Kennedy to church and that there are great people there. I encouraged him to go back with his family. I also said a quick prayer with him and he seemed appreciative. This reminds me of Matthew 28:19 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
One final thought from St. Francis of Assisi - "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words."
Thanks again and look forward to getting the group together soon to reflect some more. Paul
Paul B. French
Speaking of mission efforts…here is an update from Will Tucker:
Hope everyone is doing well. We are finally about to get settled into our new home. After being in Uganda for three and a half months we can't believe we will soon get to unpack our trunks. Please continue to pray for our family as wait on the arrival our our container as it is expected to cross the border into Uganda tomorrow morning. Check our new blog post at http://www.tuckersinafrica.com/Tuckers_in_Africa/Blog/Entries/2011/7/18_The_Heart_of_a_Child.html
Will and Shawna Tucker
I am still going through emails…and I am sure that I will find more.
Got to hurry so I can post this Journey…as Barbara, Benjamin, Elizabeth and I are heading to Memphis today…to move some items and to do some work…to get Benjamin settled in for his new adventure…Law School---at the University of Memphis.
It has been a busy weekend. I rested some and then worked getting organized here at home on Saturday (I have been away for a long time---and I am trying to get my camp, Honduras and other items packed away (Wednesday and Thursday I plan to finish at BHCC and get everything moved to storage)
Sunday---we learned that my dad was taken to the hospital in NC with some chest pains and just not having any energy. They ran test yesterday…and he didn’t have a heart attack…so he will have several check up appointments---but he has been able to go home. Thanks for the prayers, calls, emails and text to check on him.
Justin was in Atlanta visiting Autry---who begins her Bar Exam today! She is in our prayers and thoughts.
It was great to be back with the Monday Morning Quarterbacks yesterday…I had been away for about a month!
Yesterday was a long catch-up day in the office…I started early…and it was after 7:30 before I got away last night…and now I will be out most of today…so another busy week of catch-up continues tomorrow….more great Experiences for the Journey…
Got to go get ready….to head west to the Bluff City…as our Journey to the Son continues….
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583