Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Honduras - Part 2

Well - it was time to begin our days of working and surveying! We started the work on Monday morning and we knew that we only had 4 full days. Friday the group would be making the final presentation to Trish and Marlon and their friends. That is a lot of work!

We were super blessed - through prayer, no doubt - to have Zac offer to help us survey. (Zac is a new employee in the Costa Rica office of eMi. We really enjoyed getting to know him!!) Braden and I brought a total station and a GPS unit. That would mean that at least for part of the job we could have 2 teams going. Zac and Jeovanni went out together on the first day and used the total station. SUCH a blessing to have them there - as we wouldn't be able to get the job done without them! Also - I need to mention that it was incredibly hot. (At least for us pastey Canadians who were there with our winter skin!!) And Zac never once complained - this was not the job he signed up for!

Braden setting up the GPS (Omar and Melvin on the right)

Braden and Zac getting geared up for the day! Melvin watching!

I need to insert some info here about Jeovanni. He is 29 and is from Honduras and friends with Trish and Marlon. He used to be a teacher but was laid off a few years ago by the government as they could no longer fund his position. He went to Trish and Marlon and told them that he would be available to help them with whatever they needed in their ministry. They told him that they didn't have enough money to pay him but whenever they had extras they would give them to him. He ate a lot of meals with us and drove us around a lot of the time! He always had a smile on his face and was so eager to help! I was actually really jealous of the people on our team who were able to speak Spanish and have full conversations with him. Him and I did do our best to communicate with each other in what we knew of each others' language. It was fun to teach each other new things! Me trying to explain to him what snow was proved to be a bit difficult!!

We later found out that he had shared his testimony with two of the girls on our team. When he was 20 he got married and a few years later they had a baby boy. He had many health complications and died at 8 months old on the way to the hospital. Just two years ago his wife passed away as well. Many people in Honduras die of illnesses at a young age since they do not have good health care. Even though all the hurt he has been through in his life, he is still smiling ALL the time! Meeting Jeovanni changed my life. Just to see God working in his life as he is a Servant for him was incredible.

Jeovanni showing off on our site walk!!

Now - back to our work at the site! Braden and I set out with the GPS unit and our new friend Melvin. (On the other days our friend Omar was there with us as well) We needed to have a Honduran with us most of the time since there are some nasty snakes in the area we were in. Melvin walked with us and carried a machete in case we needed to take out any attackers!! Ick. The first day we mostly did GPS stuff. It caused a lot of frustration for Braden since we were in an area with a LOT of trees. So we kept losing the signal.

The first day we had to walk through super tall grass that was almost up to our waists. It was kind of scary not being able to see where we were stepping!

Over the next 3 days Braden worked his butt off. Sometimes I was a rodman for him and other times I helped him by holding his data collector (so he didn't have to keep setting it down and picking it up again!) Slowly, but surely, we got everything done! I have never hiked so much in my whole life. And that is definitely not by 'cup of tea' but it was an amazing experience. I loved getting to see Braden working and using his God given gifts. It was also great to see the beautiful land that this family owns. I enjoyed spending time with Jeovanni and trying to make conversation with him. It was all around a TON of work, but really amazing. Braden would have liked to get a little bit more done, but we got everything finished that absolutely needed to be finished. If it wasn't for your prayers - we would not have gotten that done!

Lots of the time during the day I was distracted by wildlife. Mostly lizzards. And trying to find snakes. But that never paid off! Although, I did catch a lizzard one afternoon. And when his tail broke off I just about cried! Everyone thought it was pretty hilarious though. I was mortified!!!

Over all.. the work on the site was tough.. but super rewarding!!

Stay tuned.. still not done yet!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Honduras - Part 1

We left for the first leg of our trip on the 17th of February. Our flight left for Houston around 5:30 that night so we woke up that morning ready to finish packing and get to the airport! That morning as a gongshow. Braden had arranged a free rental of a GSP unit for us to use while we were surveying. In order for us to get it from the company we had to prove that our insurance company would cover it while it was in our possession - should anything happen to it. Pretty much up until the last possible moment we were worried that we weren't going to get it. And with 63 acres of land to survey we desperately needed it! We took some time to pray about it and it ended up working out. It was satan's attempt to get us frazzled before we left!

Our flight was great that evening and we got to Houston around 10pm. We had arranged for a hotel room that night and our flight from Houston to Tegucigalpa left around 9:30 the next morning. We found our baggage claim area and waited there for awhile - there were no bags coming. We were confused.. and tired! We wanted to get to our hotel and to bed as soon as possible since we would be having a fairly short sleep. We decided to go talk to United Airline's Baggage Claim agents and found out that since our next flight wasn't leaving until the next morning - our bags were already packed on the trolley and ready to be packed onto our plane. We were a bit annoyed by that but did our best to stay calm and not let it get us down! (It actually ended up being nice since we didn't have to lug around our 2 duffel bags, 2 pieces of survey equipment and a giant rolling golf bag full of survey supplies.) Although the next day we were quite eager to get our clothes changed since we had been wearing them for almost a full 24 hours. Yuck! Our baggage fiasco ended up being a blessing as well. The wonderful woman who helped us out with the baggage info asked us where we travelling and we told her all about our trip. She was so excited for us and asked us about the organization so she could google it later on. It was neat to meet a stranger and have her give us her blessing on what we were doing. So amazing how God works in such strange ways!

We had a great sleep and made our way to Tegucigalpa with no glitches. We got off the plane in Honduras and had to wait in a longgg customs line. We were almost the last of our team to arrive (I think everyone arrived within an hour) and as soon we we came out with our bags our trip leader greeted us by name and with a huge hug! We met everyone and instantly felt like we were with family! It was great. Trish, Marlon and Madison (the family who we were staying with and workign for) were there as well and it was great to meet them! From there we went to McDonald's and had lunch and then headed to their home. It was about a two hour drive through the windey mountain roads but very interesting to see the countryside!

 Our Team!

That night we had a team meeting and got to hear Trish and Marlon's story. As soon as they began to speak I felt their passion and could sense God speaking through them. It was really an amazing experience. I don't think that I have ever met such inspirational people. To give you a small piece of history on them - Trish is from Louisiana and Marlon is from Honduras. Trish was a nurse and went to Honduras to do some mission work there. She soon felt God's calling to not only continue to work in Honduras, but to move her life there permanently. She followed God's calling and soon fell in love with Marlon. Marlon had felt called to ministry as well - and soon realized it was full time ministry God desired for him. They wanted to start up a missionary base and started hosting missionaries out of their home. Then, God placed on their heart that they needed to start praying for a piece of land. After 5 years, they purchased the area where they would house the ministry, "Valley of the Blessings." Within a year they had fully paid of the land. They found out about eMi and that's where we came in! Trish and Marlon explained that they knew it was God's plan for this ministry to come to be. They explained to us that they don't have the funds yet for the project (which will consist of their home, missionary housing, a pastor vocational training centre, prayer gazebo, etc) but that they know God will provide. With such a huge project you would think that they would be stressed out or scared about when God will provide the funds. But they aren't worried at all. It was so inspirational. They also said that maybe it won't be for another 5, 10 or 50 years until the money is provided. Or maybe not even in their lifetime. But that they know God will provide in his time. They are the sweetest couple, with the most beautiful daugther, and I am so happy to have met them. They call us their family now and I know we will stay in touch with them.
 Marlon, Trish and Madison

On Sunday we went to church which was amazing. Many of the songs we recognized for our own church so it was fun to worship in English while everyone else was worshiping in Spanish. Did I mention that I know almost NO Spanish whatsoever? Yeah. That was frustrating!
Some of the church kids!

That afternoon the whole team drove out to the site (about 20 minutes from their home) so we could walk the perimeter and get a feel for the area. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake - but with the heat and the climate I was absolutely exhausted after just a few minutes. It took over 2 hours to walk the entire perimeter. It was great to see the site though. Getting back to the start I could tell Braden was quite discouraged. We knew in our heads that 63 acres was a LOT! But after walking it and seeing all the trees, hills, rocks, steepness - he was really worried that we were in over our heads. How could we possibly survey all of that land!? But we knew that God called us to this project and he would sustain our work there. We began praying and asked the team to pray for that aspect of the project as well. I also sent some texts to our families asking them to please pray that God would allow us to get the work done. Thank you for your prayers in that area!!

 Walking the site tour!

That night as I was doing my devotional I was overwhelmed with God's grace and goodness. God had gotten us safely to this beautiful country with these beautiful people. We were healthy, we were safe and we could feel God's protection over us. I couldn't believe that I was in Honduras. It was the most amazing feeling and at that moment I was so in love with my God and how he had provided for us!
After the site tour!

Upcoming Honduras Posts

Hi Friends!

Thanks for hanging in there and waiting for our posts! There will be many to come now! I will be writing about our Honduras trip in sections. There is a lot we want to say and I don't want one big long post.. so please be patient with me as I write about our time there! We are so excited to share this amazing experience with you!