Sorry we are late sending yesterday’s update but it was a busy and exciting day and we were very tired when we got back. So here is what went on Thursday.
We got to sleep in late (till 7 am) before doing our groups devotions. We then cleaned up and stored the tools that we did not need any more for the church. The group then got together to practice our parts for the salvation play. Jon and Mike were the “Sinner” and “Builder”, Claudia and Sandra were the “Questioner” and “Narrator”, Luis played Guitar and the rest of us were the choir. All of the songs and the story were in Spanish (scary, huh?)! We then loaded up for the 2 hour drive to Defensia. We had some more rain so we knew the road up the mountain would be a little messier than before.
I have to give you a little background before I tell you what happened when we got there. You can only see about 4 houses from the church we are building (and you can see for at least a mile in each direction. The mountain road is very steep and windy. Some of our group walked for an hour or two on Monday to visit houses and invite the kids to VBS and the dedication service on Thursday. During that walk they only got to 3 houses so you that gives you an idea how spread out these people are on the mountains.
Even so, we had a good turnout for VBS Monday (57 kids) and a little less on Tuesday (about 45). We were expecting about the same on Thursday for the last day of VBS and maybe some additional adults for the dedication service. Well, God had other plans. When we arrived at our little chapel on the hill, there were people everywhere waiting on us with benches and chairs to put inside. We are not sure how many kids showed up for VBS because we lost count at 117 kids and more arrived after the dedication service started. Some of the boys helped put finishing touches on the roof while Mike and I mounted lights on the ceiling of the church. The rest of the team went to work with the kids.
The dedication service started a little after two. Pastor Melvin who helped plant the church and other pastors from the “consejo” (kind of like the district these churches fall under) lead the service with songs, guitar playing and a message. The team did the Salvation Play and it went very well! It was really an unbelievable event there were over 100 people (besides us) crammed in the little church. The pastor kept having the congregation repeat Salmos 122:1, “Yo me alegré con los que me decían: «¡A la casa de Jehová iremos!»” (I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”). They were very happy to have a place of worship.
After the service we said our “Good-byes” and started our trek back down the mountain. Only this time, we had many more passengers aboard since many had walked for hours to get there. Claudia and I had a passenger named Julio Martinez in our truck. Now keep in mind how remote this area is and that Julio has never been out of Honduras… The amazing thing was that Julio has a son that plays guitar and sings on a worship team at a church in New Jersey! He is going to try to get his son’s contact info to Claudia through John so we can touch base.
After we got back we went to dinner at Pastor Francisco’s (the president of the Consejo) house. Francisco and his wife Consuela (Connie) are full of life and a lot of fun to be around. As tired as we were after this week, we had a blast. Pastor Francisco and the teens would tell jokes back and forth while Maria Jose translated. I cannot remember laughing so hard in my life.
There is so much more to tell you but I can’t type forever. We will try and send a final update tonight. See you Saturday!
Rob, Sandra, Desi and the team.