“We’re On A Mission From God” – Day 6

Day 6 – Thursday, July 2, 2015

So many remarkable moments, so many exceptional memories–from the instant God put it into my heart to travel to Honduras and be just one helper for just one week at the El Ayudante Campus where changing lives and transforming communities happens on a regular basis, with such total concerted and dedicated efforts, energies, and enthusiasm.  This series of blog posts represents me doing my very best to capture and document the vast array of uncommon, unscheduled, and unique wonders that abound in a climate and environment like I have never experienced.

For example, traveling by bus on the main highway to and from the airport at San Pedro Sula we first gazed upon Lake Yojoa.  It is the largest natural lake in Honduras. Lake Yojoa is 95 feet deep, 4 miles wide, and 10 miles long.  It sits at the base of two mountainous national parks: Santa Barbara above the Northern shore, and Cerro Azul Meambar National Park above the Southern shore.

The Legend of Lake Yojoa (pronounced, Yo-yo-wa)

“Two princesses from a tribe of giants were abducted and taken to the city now called Copan. Their noble brother set out to free them and went to a powerful magician for help, he gave the prince a magic egg and told him to take the egg to his father the king and break it in front of him. As the prince was crossing the mountains on his way home, the egg accidentally slipped out of his hands and broke. Unknown to the prince, his two sisters were captive within the egg and when the egg fell to the ground, Lake Yojoa was formed. According to the legend a city of giants exists at the bottom of the lake where the two princesses now live as mermaids. Their brother, heart-broken not being able to save his sisters wanders aimlessly around the lake as a golden alligator. ”

“And the Lord made the bee, and the bee made the honey…”

We (Steve Bertaloccini, Tristen Mohagen, Bob Dickinson, Kelly Krick, and me),  also had fun times playing beat the clock to finish up ceiling panels on the Howard’s back porch and deck.  After setting up the scaffolding to help us reach the rafters, we started installing cleats to strengthen the areas between the rafters when swarms of Honduran honey bees came at us–and not just to greet us, we feared.

The Lord’s bees were less than hospitable and seemed to interpret our visit as invasions of their various homes in and around the deck.  This situation first led to Tristan’s several “team evacuate and smoke out rituals.” Borrowing Tracy’s broom, Tristan inserted folded paper into the hanger end on it, and then lit fire to the paper strung through the hanger to create a brief smoke cloud.  This worked only to temporarily cause them to retreat and regroup before their next attack.  I next noticed that Tracy’s decorative tin ornaments similar to mailboxes with lids and cut outs of dragonflies on them were of high interest to the bees. Bee swarm on porchSo, I borrowed the broom handle concept and this time, lifted the first of the two tin ornaments off its nail and walked it off the porch and gently laid it on the ground, and the bees stayed in their home.  Success with the first one, gave me more confidence to go after the second. This time, I got as far as my foot on the foot of the deck steps before the tin ornament fell off the broom handle and the angry bees flew up and back to the porch and onto the column from which I had removed them.

Round one went to the bees, and it was lunchtime.  So, when we returned, (this time with Kelly instead of Tristan), the bees let us know that they were still “kings, (or queens), of the hill”.  Kelly had a different, more aggressive approach. He grabbed a handy but a sizable scrap of wood, slapped it on the rafter over a hive and proceeded to hammer the hive and the bees to death!  So very funny and scary all at the same time, and so totally effective.

Honduran Bee Project to Initiate Honey Production and Commercialization, #23-0057-02; Aldea la Crucita community, Siguatepeque municipality, Comoyaqua state; Santiago Morales-Mata,53, and Isabel Ramos, 50 recipients since 2002; Pictured is: Rafael Morales; 10; especially likes all that honey!

Oh, the laughing, the memories, and the taste of that honey from the Honduran honey bees (as mentioned in an earlier post in this series)… and finally,  the sweet success of progress at hand.

Although we weren’t able to complete all the under roofing work, the Peake youth group from Chesapeake Church would arrive in another week and we’re sure Mark has this on their list of things to do while they are here.

And Then Came Family Game Night

Family Game NightCollage

El Ayudante, in fact, hosted its first ever “Family Game Night.” And any former concerns about a lack of turnout from the community were laid to rest.  We estimate that we had about 200 people participating in games inside the mission house and out around the campus.  I observed that family sizes averaged about 5 people, making for about 40 families who had walked from their homes to learn to play games together as a family unit–something unusual for most of these families where mom is in charge of the family’s care giving and dad’s (when there) inflict corporal punishment as necessary. I played card games (old maid, uno, and phase 10) with four families.  It was great to see the smiles on their faces and their family’s interactions with each other.  At the close of each family’s game, we gave the games to them for their keeping in hopes that this was just the beginning of many more happy social times together.

This event, too, brought about the official opening of the clinic’s refreshment pagoda where visitors to the one-year-old clinic can now buy snacks if wanted.  And, yet another turning point for the local women in the community–a new job, a new skill, to fix and sell the food adding to their family’s economic growth.  Another good day, a beautiful night, and I’m losing counts of the number of “Yay God” moments thus far this week!



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