It seems like ages ago since the most recent team from Edgewater Alliance Church was in Honduras. In reality, it hasn’t been that long at all. It’s simply that the Sowers can pack a whole lot of excitement into a short amount of time. As I wrote in the May 19th blog post, “The team will be led by Pauli, an enthusiastic volunteer who will be staying on for three extra weeks, putting that enthusiasm to good use.” The team was in the middle of its visit when Allen had heart surgery and, for a while, I sort of forgot about enthusiastic Pauli and her extended stay. Fortunately, Trish reminded me and I was able to schedule a phone call with Pauli to hear about her month long mission trip. She described her month as, “filled, but good.”
When asked what she would say to people who may be on the fence about committing to a mission trip, Pauli said, “It is lifechanging! Just the impact the Sowers family makes in that area is amazing. It was great to see them in action--to see them helping people, not just in one area like the sponsorship program, but in a broad area.”
She and the original team of ten additional members visited four schools, which are part of Edgewater Alliance’s sister church sponsorship. 270 children are a part of their sponsorship area. While one part of the team worked on a construction project, Pauli’s half of the team visited four schools, spending a full day at each school. They taught Bible lessons, English classes, and handed out toothbrushes. The kids were most impressed by the stomp rockets a team member who is a NASA employee donated.
After the team left, Pauli spent the following two weeks staying with Russell and Iris. She helped register 270 children in the sponsorship program for a church in Maryland. She also helped out in the kitchen at Pastors’ Training School. She worked with two other women in the kitchen. They didn’t speak English and Pauli doesn’t speak Spanish, but they managed to communicate. The other women also got a good laugh at Pauli’s first attempts at cutting plantains!
She was able to go on a home visit to a little boy sponsored by someone at Edgewater Alliance. The boy’s mother died last year and he and his younger brother are being raised by their grandmother. The village visited has no electricity, but the house has a solar panel. The enterprising grandmother of the house earns money by collecting a fee from people to charge their cell phones.
Pauli prayed with the woman. She said she prayed for a couple of minutes and then the grandmother prayed for at least ten minutes. She said, “Of course, it was in Spanish and I didn’t understand it, but it was powerful!”
Pauli said, “The grandmother was so thankful for our help and what we’re doing for the community. It was great to be able to take people to see their sponsored kids. Most of my team members from the first week already had sponsored kids. They ended up sponsoring an additional nine kids.”
Pauli spent her last week serving as a counselor at MK Retreat. She had the opportunity to lead small group discussions and she helped out at the canteen. She joked that she was very well received because she was the lady who sold them junk food! At the end of each day, she slept in a room with some of the girls. Pauli had a little extra adventure when she found a bat in her bed. It seems a group of boys pranked the wrong room and the bat was placed in Pauli’s bed in error. Oops!
“I believe everyone should take a mission trip. I wish teenagers were required to go on a trip before graduating high school. It’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus. And, as far as the sponsorships go… For $15 a month, that’s nothing,” Pauli said thoughtfully.
- posted by Christi
- posted by Christi