Monday, November 19, 2018

Honduras Trip 2018 Summary



Wednesday, June 20, 2018
- LaCuesta - opening greeting from Pam, translated by Charlie:  

Greetings and blessings from Lakeshore Fellowship Church and from those of us with you here today.  We thank God for bringing us safely back to LaCuesta.  We are very happy to be in LaCuesta today spending time renewing our relationship with you.

While we are here, we would like to visit with you to hear about the water project and how it has changed the way you work in your homes.  We want to know what parts of your life the water has made better.  And we want to know what challenges you still face in your daily lives.  

Tomorrow after lunch we are planning a lesson for the children and their families.  We will have games and songs, and a project that we can do together.   

Thank you for so warmly welcoming us into your community.  It makes my heart happy to be here with you again.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Eleven of us left Grand Rapids for LaUnion.  Our trip this year included Pam/Doug Heins, Bill/Kathy Boyd, Karin and Audrey Abbott,  Tom Spelman,  Randy Deater, Tracy and Lauren Boehnke and Aldea Coffee employee Brittany Goode.   Aldea Development employee, Heather, met us at the airport in San Pedro Sula and we were on our way.  It was an uneventful trip up the mountain, even though we had to stop a couple times along the way to pour water into the radiator of the bus.   

Wednesday, June 20th was our first day in LaCuesta and it was nice to see our dear friends. After my greeting (above) Francisca gave the opening prayer.  Carlos Lopez and Juanita then shook hands with each and every one of us.  We met the new teacher, Minor Juarez.  The older kids did a skit and dance for us and the younger kids pulled almost all of us off our chairs to dance and laugh with them.  This is actually meaningful because it was not too long ago that they were too shy to interact with us.   

Santos Lopez, head of the water project welcomed us by saying the village of LaCuesta is happy and blessed by the water project.  Thank you from the community, and he thanked God and us for the pilas.  He hopes we can continue our relationship with the community.  We then took a walking tour of the pilas, all 15 are done and it was nice to see how they had made them part of their lives.  After lunch of baleadas (made by Alicia)  we walked up the road to where Martir was soldering posts for our project.  On the way back we spoke to Maria, who did not get water to her house because her husband did not participate in the water project.  I am praying for Maria, she has a hard life.  After that we drove up to the water source, talked about the project, and “most” of us walked the length of it back down. The walk was awesome, it was informative, the mountain views were beautiful and we all learned from it.   It was a long day, my Fitbit registered 5 miles!    

Thursday, June 21

This day we went up the water source and helped to unload large fence  posts for the ‘protect the source’ project and 100 lb bags of cement.  Many hands make light work. The ladies came down to interview Delores and Francisca about how the water project has influenced their lives.  

We had lunch and then had our VBS activity at the school.  Our theme was This Little Light of Mine and we had crafts and activities to go along.  Karin did balloons with many helpers 

Friday, June 22 

We went back to LaCuesta on Friday to make ticucos (little corn bread roll ups) at Juanita’s and pan (bread) at Delores’s. While at Juanita’s, she served us her delicious clove coffee and fresh bananas.  We had a lovely lunch prepared by Alicia on Delores’s patio.  We came back to town for a Benificio tour led by Charlie, we toured the bi-lingual school (Mr. Perdomo gave us a tour of the computer and new science lab) and we visited the orphans at Casa Hogar.  

Saturday, June 23 

Our last day in LaCuesta, on the way up, we stopped at a typical sugar cane maker’s house, complete with oxen to grind down the cane.  

When we arrived at LaCuesta,  Francesca gave their departing words.  She told us that they had felt forgotten as a community and through us, they now feel the arms of God around them.  She thanked us for the time spent in their homes, and the care and fellowship we showed them.  Juanita said she was thankful for the community and the time spent at her home.  She thanked God for us and our work, we are their brothers and sisters in Christ.  She thanked us also for the time spent on the project and for the connection that keeps LFC ad LaCuesta together.  She went on to thank Charlie for being present in their lives and all the rides he gives them to and from LaUnion.  She prays that God watches over us and our community and that He brings us back.   

Randy spoke and said thanks for bringing our 2 communities together.  He looks forward to seeing how God will work to bring us together again, to His glory.  Kathy thanked God for bringing us together and to Aldea Development for making our partnership possible.  Kathy passed out towels and the LFC picture cards to the group as our farewell gift.  Karin did balloons again for the kids and then we went to Delores’s house for delicious pan and coffee. We had lunch at the school and then did a prayer walk up the mountain behind Juanita’s house.  Someone thought this was a good idea!   We actually had a good many of the townspeople walk up with us and it was a beautiful place for prayer.  We stopped on our way down for more clove coffee at Juanita’s and said our goodbyes.  

(An interesting note: on the way up and down we walked over the little creek with rocks and boulders where Delores did her laundry prior to getting her pila.)  

Sunday, June 24 

Sunday morning we went to church and in the afternoon did a prayer walk in LaUnion.  We met in the park and Heather’s girls youth group came with us.  From the park we walked up the hill to the Catholic Church tower and we passed out stickers to the children along the way.  By the time we got to the tower, we had MANY children with us.  Karin did balloons again and Heather, Mike and Henry led the children in an impromptu bible lesson.  It was a pretty amazing afternoon.  

We then went to Aviva for an afternoon social, complete with a violin recital.  Dinner at Alicia’s and packing that night.

Monday, June 25

Depart LaUnion day.  Final breakfast and goodbyes at Alicia’s.  We loaded the bus and Charlie and Yovany (driver)  took us back down the mountain.  Thanks to Bill, we had one more event in San Pedro Sula.  We all got back in the bus for dinner and picked up Gloria, a former bilingual school student and took her to dinner with us.  Gloria is now an air traffic controller at SAP.  Interesting to reflect on how the Lord has blessed LaUnion with the Vida Abundante bilingual school, giving the children of LaUnion and the surrounding aldeas opportunities they would not have otherwise had.  

Then 8 years ago, Aldea Development comes into town, and brings these bright young people into our group as translators.  What happens next… relationships are formed that bless us as much as these young people are blessed.

Tuesday, June 26

Depart our hotel for the SAP airport and our flight home.  Once again a trip where God blessed us every step of the way.

These are the prayer requests that I recorded in my journal throughout the week:

 Francisca’s aunt has a broken wrist and is in a great deal of pain.  (We have since sent a small amount of money over and she has gone to the doctor.)

  1. Juanita, our gracious hostess on 2 occasions, has no electricity.
  2. The school in LaCuesta has no electricity.
  3. Maria, no water, husband could not help with the project, which is a requirement to get water.  
  4. Another (name was not provided) person who lives in LaCuesta but also has no water.  He was unable to work on the project.  
  5. Doná Tomasa and her husband, he just had hernia surgery.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Doug and Pam Heins' Story

To Lakeshore Fellowship Church

From Doug and Pam Heins

RE 2017 Honduras trip recap

 

We were fortunate to travel to Honduras from August 12 to August 19, 2017 with a mission team from Forest Park Covenant Church in Norton Shores.  Their adopted village is Chimizal and right now their project is a health initiative. 

 

We arrived on a late flight on Saturday night and spent the night in San Pedro Sula at a Holiday Inn express near the airport. We were a group of 11, 3 men and 8 women.  Patrick and a driver met us at the airport. Early the next morning we loaded back in the bus for the 3 hour drive up  the mountain to LaUnion. 

 

We arrived around noon, briefly settled in, had lunch at Alicia's and got into trucks to head up to Chimizal. 

 

We had a welcome town meeting, where we all renewed past acquaintances, reviewed the history of the project and laid out plans for the week to come. It is good to see another part of the work that Aldea Development is coordinating in Lempira Province. We also travelled to Chimizal for a full day on Monday with the Forest Park Team.  

 

On Tuesday, Doug and I broke off with Charlie and Martir to visit Quiscamote, the village that Lakeshore adopted in 2005.   Doug was on several of those early trips and he has relationships that run deep with some of the townspeople. We were approached last year by community members because they are doing a Vida church planting and asked Lakeshore for financial assistance for finishing work to the church.  We provided them with $2100 and it was great to see, the doors and electrical work that had been done with those funds. They also have $1395 in unspent funds that they will  use for  smoothing the walls, putting in a floor and  landscaping.   This project is moving on Honduran time i.e. slowly!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Andrew Boyd's Story

Andrew Boyd's Story

 

I first traveled to Honduras in the summer of 2005. Like most great experiences in my life, it was unexpected.  Lakeshore Fellowship Church (LFC) decided to adopt a small rural Honduran village by the name of Quiscamote.  At the time the trip was announced, I had neither the funds nor the desire to go on a trip to Honduras.  However, a month before the trip I was given a ticket to go. With that first trip God planted a seed that would later completely take hold of my life.

I attended college from 2005-2009 (Go Blue!). During that time I had the chance to go back to Honduras several times. Each trip I got to know people better and experienced a growing passion to do something in the region. I also learned about the power of microfinance to help people rise out of poverty. I felt this could be a great and meaningful way to help La Unión, but at the time, I wasn't quite sure how to actually do it. I got the opportunity when myself and an amazing group of friends came together to do a research project in the region. We saw this as our way to begin efforts that would eventually lead to a development organization.

In October of 2009 that dream was realized when we incorporated Union MicroFinanza (UMF) as non-profit organization. As of 2012, UMF works in 24 villages serving over 191 La Union farmers with agricultural microloans, business training and supply chain and infrastructural assistance. We have imported over 95,000 lbs of our farmers' coffee to the United States as a specialty product.

The relationships that I have formed through this journey are what have made me who I am today. I am so blessed to be doing what I am. I would not trade it for anything. I grew up in a great church at LFC with great leaders and supporters that opened doors for me that I would not have been able to open myself. I work with a team of people that care so much for about what they do that they are willing to take no pay and sell their homes. More so, we work with an amazing group of communities in La Union, Honduras.

I hope you will consider coming to visit us. 

www.unionmicrofinanza.org

 

A UMF farmer & his daughterA resident of La Union

A UMF farmer & his daughter ~ photo by Morgan Fett            A resident of La Union ~ photo by Morgan Fett

The 2012 Mission Team

The 2012 Honduras Mission Team

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sarah Koscielniak’s Story

I have been to Honduras through LLFC two times before this summer, and I had such an impact on my heart that it led me to go to Concordia University, St. Paul, to become a Director of Christian Outreach (I am currently designing my own major with Christian Outreach and Intercultural-Communication, but it's about the same concept).  So I was pretty plugged in with the missions of LLFC even though I was in MN.  I heard about Stacey going to the orphanage and quite a few people approached me during Thanksgiving break last year to prayerfully consider going down with her to help at the orphanage.  I almost didn't want to go.  I thought, been there-done that, for two years now.  Yet, God tugged on my heart and tore down my pride, and I can never thank Him ENOUGH for leading me to go! He blessed me in all I did down there, even though my Spanish was atrocious and I've never had teaching practice with kids.

These boys challenged me, stretched me ad left me with many new insights about myself and my relationship with God and others.  God worked through mornings where I would be sipping on delicious Honduran coffee and reading the Bible and the boys walking through and stopping to ask questions about why I was reading the Bible for fun.  He blessed us in times of going on adventures through the mountains in His creation, enjoying all that He had made for us! He worked through classes with Adolfo when his eyes would light up when he understood one of the concepts, or when he got the puzzle right on his first try.  God was present when Josue would march up to me with Adolfo next to him, demandin
g I give Adolfo a sucker too, and vise versa.  There are so many memories I am left with, that just SHOUT God's love and grace and mercy.  There were many times the boys showed me that forgiveness, and many times I had to show them.   They became my brothers.  I keep their pictures in my room, call them once or twice a month, and pray for them constantly.  Each has their own story, their own hardships, their own little quirks.  I only wish that Spanish wouldn't have been such a barrier to getting to know them on an even deeper level.  This has helped me enormously in my quest to make my own major where I hope to work on breaking down barriers such as language and culture in order to share God's love! God is good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Stacey Wiles' Story

For many children in Honduras home is not a safe or stable environment. Parents are alcoholics and/or engaged with drugs. This creates many damaging psychological effects on children.  Children that are in those types of homes become abandoned, therefore, they find themselves living on the streets.  Being placed in public schools surrounds children within a negative environment. This encourages children to be involved in risky behavior such as stealing, drinking, doing drugs, and engaging in violence.  If children continue to be enrolled in these schools and form negative relationships they will grow up to be like their families and it will be a viscous cycle of broken homes.

H.O.M.E. is an organization that provides disadvantaged orphans in Honduras with a private Christian education to help them build life skills, character, and a solid foundation in Christ.  This service is needed to help end the vicious cycle of poverty which leads to a sense of desperation with the only outlet being crime and other self-destructive behaviors. Our two primary foci are to provide education which can help the orphans find jobs and be able to provide for themselves. Our Christian orld-view provides them with hope, motivation, and a sense of perseverance.


I became interested in Honduras after going on my first short term mission trip with LLF in 2007.  The following summer I went backpacking through Central America with a friend.  Most of our time was spent living with a host family in Honduras.  Our host family works at an orphanage in San Lorenzo and they invited us to visit.  While I was there I taught English to the orphans.  I fell in love with the orphanage and God’s plan for me became clear.  I started H.O.M.E. and set up the orphans with families in the United States to sponsor their education at a private Christian school.  During the summer of 2009 I spent three months teaching English at the orphanage and sharing God’s love. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Louis' Story

My name is Louis.  Many Sundays ago, I was so inspired by the pictures and the talks about the kids at the orphanage in Honduras that I wanted to go around my neighborhood door-to-door and ask for change.  So my Mom and I made up a flyer in yellow writing that said, “Would you like to donate some money in my bucket so I could send it to kids at an orphanage in Honduras so they can go to school and live a happy life?”  I made a bucket with a slot in it and my Mom and I rode our bikes through our neighborhood door-to-door.  It was lots of FUN!!

By the time we were done, we counted all the money and I had collected $33.11 from my generous neighbors.  I then gave it to Ms. Simon to be given to the kids in Honduras.

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