Well, I haven't been very good at updating this thing lately...sorry about that! I am currently in Tegucigalpa at the mission guesthouse again. We've been to La Esperanza and Copan since I last wrote. La Esperanza is a town high in the mountains and therefore has a lovely, cool climate. ("Que rica!") In La Esperanza we visited Bob and Kathy Owen who work with a rehab center for alcholics. They also work with a church called Mas Que Vencedores and with a bilingual school called Southwest school. They have started a scholarship program for children to attend this school whose parents cannot afford to send them to this school. In addition to this they help children in the school who started late and are behind on their English by offering them tutoring in English.
We got to La Esperanza Saturday night (from Tegucigalpa, which is a long drive), went to church and left directly for Copan, which is a longer drive. Why go to Copan? Well...Ancient ruins!!!! You have no idea how exciting this was for me! Getting to crawl all over ancient history. :-D We went to the main part of the ruins Monday morning and spent the afternoon shopping which was really cool cause Copan has some really neat shops (for gringos like me, haha) and some of the goods are actually Guatemalan (Guatemala is rediculously close to Copan). The next morning we went to another Mayan site called Las Sepulturas which wasn't supposed to be really that great according to what we had seen on a map at the main site, but actually turned out to be just as cool (if not cooler in a way) than the main site because there weren't a whole lot of people there and it wasn't as developed. It was actually more of the living area versus the main site which was more the temple and ball court and such. We drove the rest of the day and ended up at a hotel on a lake, which was really beautiful. I could look across the lake and see mountains and see them reflected in the lake...ahhh the beauty of God's creation! The next day we went to a huge waterfall and went on an amazing zipline over it! At the place where the zipline was there were actually more Mayan ruines that had not be excavated (the owner of the land had started but the government stopped him), which was really interesting because they were a ways from Copan which is supposed to be kind of as far south as the Mayans went...
...But before it sounds like this whole week was a vacation....
While we were in La Esperanza we got the chance to help with the aformentioned tutoring which was really amazing. I helped a girl, Sumaria, and a boy, Daniel, with their English and it was one of the most rewarding/fun things i have done all trip it felt like. They were so eager to learn and so sweet! We also toured Southwest school and another bilingual school called La Oasis which is where another VIA, Tyler Frazier, has been helping. Unfortunately, I spent a couple days sick in bed (I am better now, FYI) and missed out on getting to help more with tutoring and seeing more of La Esperanza. While in La Esperanza we were able to go to a couple of church services a couple of youth services (one of which was watching Fireproof in Spanish with English subtitles), and went to a planning meet for discipleship.
Yesterday after church we Erica, Tyler, and I went on a bus to Teguc. We met up with a work team from Minnesota today (who is also staying at the guesthouse) to work at AFE, which is a ministry to the people who live/work at the dump. They have a school there for the children to provide them with an education and therefore a way out of the dump. The children are given breakfast, lunch and school all morning long. They are even setting up a scholarship program so that children who graduate can have a chance to go to university. In the morning we painted a room which will be a room for kindergarten. In the afternoon we took food up into the dump and passed it out along with bags of purified water (oh yeah, it's not uncommon for water to come in bags in Honduras). It didn't feel like I was doing all that much, but I am sure that getting a good warm meal and pure water was an encouragement for the people. One man stopped to talk to me after I handed him water and told him, "Dios le bendiga" (God bless you). He wanted to say thank you and that the work we were doing was very good. I don't think going there will be an experience I will ever forget...ever.
It's hard to see people in situations that I cannot begin to fathom. I have never known what it is be without a home, or truely hunger, or so many other things. I have also been blessed to have grown up in a Christian home and always have known that there was a God who loved me (It took me til I was 10 to accept that love, but I always knew it was there). As I was sitting here processing how I felt about what I've seen today I started listening to a song and the lyrics seemed to fit:
"Can You see
The honest questions in my heart this hour?
I'm opening like a flower to the rain
And do You know
The silent sorrows of a
Never ending journey through the pain
Do You see a brighter day for me?
Do You wonder what's in store for me?
The cure for me?
Oh look down and see the tears I've cried
The lives I've lived
The deaths I've died
You died them too
And all for me
And You say:
'I will pour My water down
Upon a thirsty barren land
And streams will flow from the dust of
Your bruised and broken soul
You will grow like the grass
Upon the fertile plains of Asia
By the streams of living water
You will grow
You will grow.'"
Tomorrow: more AFE.