Honduras Part 1

As most of you know, I traveled to Honduras on a missions trip 2 days after Christmas.  I had such an amazing time that I want to do a part series here on the blog to tell all about it.

Here we go:

Back Info:
A wonderful lady name Tara Garcia worked with a couple of people in my Sunday School at CCC (Carolina Cross Connection).  Her story is here.  She and her husband are missionaries and live in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and work with several orphanages through their ministry, R.O.O.M. (Reach Out Orphanages Ministries)
So our Sunday school classed decided to 'adopt' or support an orphanage(s) in Puerto Lempira, Honduras via Tara.  We felt comfortable doing this b/c Tara was awesome at sending pictures and putting our money exactly where she said it was going.  Most months it was used to purchase fruits and vegetables for the kids, as they normally only eat rice and beans. We started our support by doing a fundraiser.  We had a church-wide yard sale where everyone donated items to sell.  We then set up at a local business and sold.  We pledged to match the money we raised and ended up with around $6000! We also send monthly support, I think we all committed to $20 per couple.  We obtained pictures, names and birthdays of all the kids at Mama Tara's and posted them on our wall in our classroom.  This really gave faces to where our money was going.  Tara would also send updates of things going on at Mama Tara's.  Some older kids through sponsorships, were able to go on to boarding school to continue their education (high school level).  This is a huge step for a child, which most who attend go on to do great things!
Also via Tara, an American family from Texas felt the calling to live in Puerto Lempira, Honduras and help with the orphanages there.  This is their story and website.  They are an amazing family and such a huge help and asset to the orphanages.  Their ministry is Reach Out Honduras.

After a year of support we decided to visit and meet and love on these precious kids and help lend a hand with anything physical that was needed.
So 15 people hopped on board to take this leap of faith to visit the country of Honduras and go into a pretty remote area of Honduras, the town of Puerto Lempira, only accessible via boat or plane.
Our team ranged in ages from 6 to 67!  Everyone had very distinct talents that varied widely.  It's always amazing to see God orchestrate exactly the people and talents He needs to carry out a mission.

 Our flight was out of Atlanta at 9:45 am.  Originally we were planning on driving through the night to be there @ 7:30 am, we really didn't consider staying in Atlanta b/c we didn't want to add any cost to our trip.  However, a generous person in our church caught wind of this and donated his hotel points for us and booked 4 rooms for us right near the airport!  What a blessing to us for a good night's rest.
 We set out on Monday, December 26th @ 5 pm and headed to Atlanta.
Our flight was from Atlanta, GA to San Pedro Sula, Honduras and was just under 3 hours.  I was shocked by this.  I've traveled many times to San Francisco and that was just the first leg of my trek and yet here we are in just 3 hours in a 3rd world country!

We were greeted at the airport by Tara, her husband Jorge and Jimmy (owner of the B&B).  We were staying that evening at a quaint B&B there in San Pedro Sula.  The owners are in the same neighborhood as Tara and Jorge.  It is called Casa el Meson.  The B&B was simple and cozy.

After dropping off our luggage, we ate some dinner and headed to our first orphanage stop, Hogar Santidad.  Hogar Santidad is sponsored by a family in our church, which one of them being on the team!  She was so anxious to meet "her kids" and give them Christmas!  It was a joy to watch her just take in the kids, their faces and personalities.  When we arrived they were all sitting on the couch side by side, very shy and probably nervous.  There were some forces smiles and Hellos, but I think we were all and little awkward on how to begin.
Passing out Christmas did bring some smiles and interest, but the kids on our trip, ages  6, 7 and 11 were the real ice-breakers.  They started working with them on the crafts and games.  Wow, I learned a lesson right then, to let my inhibition tendencies go and jump in there.  So I noticed the little guy on the left with the Angry Birds shirt.  So I whipped out my cel phone and pulled up angry birds and handed it to him.  He was quite surprised and didn't right know what to think.  So I showed him a couple moves and he was off! 
So other team members started to pull out phones and kindles and well, Angry Birds became our language and broke down some barriers!  Who would have thought??
Also, while we were there, the fellas were able to put up some much needed cabinets in the kitchen of this house.  They have around 10 kids and 2 adults in this house and they had 0 cabinets in the kitchen.  Tara was able to save out a little each month and save up for 2 nice cabinets.
By the end of the evening, we had played, laughed, exchanged emails for FB, had a pizza party, played games, took polaroid pictures with each other, and drained the battery on  my iPhone.  It was one of those experiences that just leaves you beaming from ear to ear without even knowing it.  My hear was FULL and overflowing and we had not even been in Honduras for 12 hours!  I didn't know it at the time, but that was definitely an omen for the rest of the trip.

Stay tuned for more........

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