Monday, November 30, 2009

When our time here is up . . .

No, we're not making plans to leave Honduras. In fact, as the years pass, our connections within Honduras become stronger. Of course, we've purchased land here and are in the process of making the move to live on our land. Our son, David, is Honduran, and not legally adopted, so he can't leave the country with us, should we have to leave. Our oldest son, Russell, is all but engaged to a local gal, so there's another connection.

But, there are so many things which are outside of our control. The situation in a country can change. One can easily envision a governmental shift to a political environment which would make it difficult, dangerous, or impossible for Americans to continue living in a country as expats. Other factors, such as health and medical issues, sometimes cause missionaries to return to the US unexpectedly.

The past five months, with the ongoing political crisis in Honduras, we've faced this reality in a more realistic way than we've previously had to do. Some problems which would arise if we had to leave (especially regarding David) are extremely difficult to resolve, but one aspect of our lives here has come into very clear focus as a definite positive.

We have based our work in Lempira on the idea that the most efficient and best way for us to help spread the Gospel is by using our resources to aid the Honduran Christians in this effort, rather than trying to do the job directly ourselves. Some of the reasons for this are obvious - the Hondurans already speak the language and understand the culture. But another reason came into sharp focus this year - if we leave, what will become of the work we are doing here? The obvious answer is that the Honduran Christians, who had begun the task of evangelizing this area before we arrived, will continue to do so after we leave, and anything we have done which empowers them in this work will continue to help after we are gone - like the training the pastors have received in the Bible Training School, and the thousands of Bibles and study materials which have been distributed into this area.

It is possible that the Honduran political crisis is coming to a close, although it is too soon to be sure. The amazingly positive elections this past weekend are a very hopeful sign. After a turbulent few months, it's wonderful to see things falling into place in a way which makes it more likely that we will be able to continue to live and work in Honduras. But it's also nice to know that, should we have to leave, the work of evangelizing the mountains of western Honduras would go on, and some part of what we have done would continue to assist this process.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Painting, tiling, packing, moving, baking, and blogging

Here's what we've been up to:

Packing - about a quarter of our household stuff is packed up (I'm not including large items of furniture as part of the "stuff"), and most of those boxes have been moved out to our new abode. The new abode is not yet ready to receive everything (or everyone), so family members have been taking turns doing watchman duty out there.

Rachel, Boo, and I do regular housework at home, and plan, and pack. Rachel and Boo also work on certain projects at the new house. They did lots of the wall painting, and today they are sanding and finishing our new kitchen cabinets (which Allen built earlier this week).

Allen, Russell, and Gus work out on the property most days, getting things set up for us. Their ongoing projects include: finishing the water system(digging ditches, laying pipe, filling ditches, completing the construction of the water tank), tiling the team house floor, installing kitchen cabinets, installing electrical outlets, etc. Unfortunately, Russell had a bad run-in with a wood planer this week, and has lots of stitches on two fingers of his left hand (and, of course, he's left-handed). This has kept Russell out of some of the messier construction work (he was previously heavily involved in laying floor tile in the team house and laying blocks for the water tank). He's staying busy, however, running errands, doing paperwork, and driving loads of household stuff back and forth to the new place.

Thanksgiving - Rachel and I have been trying to figure out how to squeeze an American-style Thanksgiving dinner into the schedule. We had decided to put off the dinner until after the move (we'd then have something extra-special to be thankful for), but the end of the move keeps creeping away from us, and so Thanksgiving is looking like it will merge in with Christmas, if we're not careful! Now we're discussing having a mini-Thanksgiving event this Sunday. If the elections are free and peaceful on Sunday it will certainly be a day to celebrate!

I took a couple of pictures of the interior of the bodega the other day - warning: this may be overwhelming to those of you who know that we are planning to live in this space very soon!
The bookcases you see in these photos are going to become the "walls" of our house. We have just over twenty bookcases, and we're plotting and scheming how to use them to best advantage. With our front door and front windows overlooking the rest of the house, privacy from outside is a major concern, as well as setting up privacy in the bedrooms!

Here's Boo, checking out the first of the new kitchen cabinets. I'm going to have loads of counter space in this kitchen - Allen thinks I deserve a perk like this now and again. Rachel and Boo are at the new house right now, sanding and then painting and staining the cabinets. At Rachel's request (and I agreed to it) the countertops will be a deep blue, and the rest of the cabinets will be stained to match our bookcases.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pastor Training School Graduation Ceremony 2009

We had a great week with our Christian Motorcyclist's Association Team last week, but we sure were busy. I don't have pictures of most of the week (an oversight on our part, but hopefully some team members will send me some photos to share), but on Thursday we held the graduation ceremony for the Pastor Training School, and I do have a few pictures of that.

My part of the preparation for the ceremony was baking 30 sheet cakes. I did this on Wednesday, and I'm ready to do it again next year. It took all day, but wasn't difficult work, as we used box mixes. On Thursday morning, members of the team helped with frosting all of these cakes, and then they carried them on their laps in the Land Cruiser, to deliver them to the ceremony.

This post about the graduation ceremony would have a lot more facts and figures (beyond the number of sheet cakes) if Allen were here, but he and Russell and Alan Hayes are off working on a bridge project right now. So, watch for more info later, when he returns.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet Commando

We're right in the middle of a busy week hosting a team, but I couldn't resist taking a quick moment to share these pictures of the newest member of our security detail - Commando!

I'm feeling much safer already. ;-D

Friday, November 6, 2009

November, in a nut shell

Things are especially busy right now. Here's the rundown:

This coming week we will be hosting a visiting team (Saturday through Saturday).

There's a tropical storm looming off to the east. We're not too worried about it over here on the western side of Honduras, but we're keeping an eye on it anyway.

The political situation remains unstable, so we're having to keep an eye on that, as well.

After the team leaves, we will put all of our energies into moving onto our property. We expect to live out there by the end of the month - hurrah!

So, don't be alarmed if you don't hear much from me, over the next couple of weeks. But do pray, as it's going to be a thrill-packed November for us!