I'm at Cafe El Gringo now, drinking a "sombra" (fruit smoothie). Libby says the brownie here is to die for and that I have to have one before we leave.
We're taking Sunday as sort of a Sabbath today. We've pushed hard for many days now and we're starting to feel it. So far we've completed 4 houses by ourselves. Our Mitchell/Washington Crew can really knock out a house! For those of you in Washington, you would not believe what Drew, Elmer, and Steven can do when they set their minds to it. Add B.A. from Mitchell and you've got 4 large men who dwarf all the Hondurans. Those 4 guys have been working their tales off and garnering a lot of respect from many different peoples.
Don't let my comments fool you, the ladies in our group are no slouches either! Midge sure can sharpen a chainsaw. Laura Barlow is a beast at anything she does. Jalayna and Libby's biceps have grown 4 inches from pounding who knows how many nails. Teresa is a marvel with the kids and is a great nurse for us on the trip. While we've had no major injuries, we've had some blisters, smashed fingers, scrapes and the like that have made us grateful for Teresa.
Something exciting that we experienced was the spending of two days and nights in Guajire. Mitchell COC has been working hard over the years to develop relationships in this little village. It's hard to describe Guajire. Ox carts, huts, and a plethora of mosquitoes were some of the distinguishing characteristics. We stayed the night in the church buildings and classrooms. Before you begin equating this to the 5 star church buildings that we worship in today, let me tell you that the Mitchell group built this box building a year ago. We locked ourselves in and between the roosters crowing and dogs barking our group of about 25 people put in a few zzz's. Allen and I were blessed to sleep at the door of the girls cabin since we don't snore. What was also interesting is that the closest porcelain to the church building was about 5 minutes walk away, which really made the trip exciting for the girls. Oh yeah, there wasn't running water or electricity in this area so I gained a lot of respect for the ladies who toughed that one out. We were the first missions group to ever "camp out" with the locals. As we were staring at the estrayas (stars) and the shooting stars at night, we felt very connected to you at home, knowing that you were possibly looking out at the very same stars as us.
Today is definitely a mixed emotion day. Our compadres from Baton Rouge left us this morning, which has left a void that's tough to fill. They are one exciting and fun youth group that we look forward to connecting to back in the States.
Church service with the Hondurans was a challenge as it was all in Spanish! I think even Allen Burris may have dozed off a little bit. Is it worse when a preacher falls asleep during a sermon? The Ojohana Church of Christ was very grateful for our presence and there was a lot of gratitude and welcoming attitude displayed. Ricardo preached his sermon today on the nature of the heart when giving coming primarily out of 1 Corinthians 16. It was a lot of fun to have so much in common with people whose lifestyles, language, and traditions are so different from ours! Yet we've found that the bonds of Christian love stretch well beyond these boundaries.
I thank you so much for reading this and praying for us. We ask that you continue to pray for us. We've still got 1 more house to go and a lot of other good work to do. Please pray for our safety and for openness in the people so that we can share about Christ in words as well as in action. Everyone here says "Hi." We look forward to our time with all of you soon.
Dios le beningdad (God bless you),
If you'd like to catch up more on what's been going on, please see Allen Burris's blog at
Presentation and Prayer for Rosa's new home. Steven is about to hang the plaque.
House construction. Steven looks to be one of the locals he's so dark!
Our group before we walked to a waterfall!
I would like to upload so many more photos, but it takes so long. I want to put up more of the Mitchell group as well. I'll work on more for tomorrow!