Yesterday was a long hard day of travel. We were up at 3 am in order to be at the church loaded up on the charter bus and on our way to Miami by 4am. It was significantly cheaper to fly out of Miami including the expense of the charter bus than to fly out of Tampa. Our flight left on time at 10:55 am and we arrived 2 hours later into Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.
FUN FACTS: Honduras is on Mountain Time zone making it a 2 hour difference for us Floridians. Tegucigalpa airport has one landing strip and is the second shortest air strip in the world. If the airplanes do not have all their coordinates just right they have to circle and try again. We landed the first time!
Even though we were in the “city,” we were surrounded with dirt/gravel roads. The city buses were yellow school buses and they ran to and from all the time. Motorbikes were the second most used vehicles. I rarely saw anyone on a bicycle because Honduras is made up of rocky hills and mountains. People mostly walk.
Teguc sits in a valley and works itself up each side of the mountains. The mission is located on the southwest side of the mountains yielding a beautiful panoramic view of the city. In the day, beyond the shacks and buildings, gorgeous plush green mountains arise to kiss the blue sky. In the evening, the mountain is flecked with different colors of shimmering city lights displaying a unique nighttime skyline that rivals any city from the U.S.
FUN FACTS: Tegucigalpa’s population is 1.2 million. (not so fun) Honduras is in the top 5 poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Last night as we settled in for the evening, the ladies I shared a room with began to discuss our first impressions, there was a common thread – peace.
There was nothing familiar about this land. Most of us did not speak the language. Dirt and dust that outdid my farm days. A landscape littered with trash. At every corner there were little open store fronts more like shacks that looked like they would collapse with one good gust of wind. Each one displayed a variety of items hanging and in piles… rolls of toilet paper, onions, bananas, small bags of chips and homemade sweets. The smell of diesel, dust and smoke from burning trash. The sounds of horns with a language to themselves…quick beeps and long blasts. When the roosters weren’t crowing, the dogs were barking. I have never seen so many dogs.
This was a far cry from any of our homes in the suburbs of Sarasota, Florida. Yet we all agreed. It was a beautiful city and we felt we were at home. Absent of anxiety or fear, stress or concern. It was like we had been here before and we each had an overwhelming peace that we were right where we were supposed to be.
Exhausted we collapsed into our beds around 8:30 pm.….to the sounds of dogs barking, horns honking and roosters crowing. Quiet hours were somewhere between 11:30pm and 3am when the dogs didn’t seem to be as disturbed, the roosters took a break and the traffic ceased.
This morning in my quiet time I read, Luke 1:79, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Jesus came to guide our feet into the way of peace. I believe that peace was the overarching word that summarized our first impression last night because of our obedience to follow him to Honduras coupled with the prayers of many. And it is with peace we will go into our first day of service here in Honduras.
Great day! Hard work! We helped a church with its new building. It looks like a huge white warehouse. Inside the building a team puttied the nail holes and cracks between drywall to prepare it for painting. Outside another team moved rocks and laid the base for a sidewalk, while another team mixed, stirred and carried buckets of cement and began pouring the sidewalk.
The soil is extremely rocky here. Everyone worked hard, including Silas and Nathan, our two youngest of the group. Even though the manual labor was exhausting, there is a rest that comes with being immersed in your work. We have only been here one day and Sarasota seems light years away. Yet another component of peace that occurs deep within when fully present to what you are doing. I think this is a benefit from the verse Tony shared this morning, “And whatever you do, in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17.
Thankful to God for:
- Safe travels yesterday.
- Dave didn’t get hurt today when he fell and his head happened to fall into a bed of tall grass missing by inches the sharp rock on one side and big boulder on the other.
- That Silas is attempting to eat the food without grumbling and complaining.
- That Felipe (the missionary) was amazed at how much work we accomplished. He had to go get more cement bags and that we completed the job inside. Go God – thanks for multiplying our efforts.