Monday, August 11, 2008

Kanuga helps me know what I think

Baptism and Preaching at 5pm...Mission Committee meeting at 6pm...hitting the road to drive to NC at 7pm...a stop for Five Guys just before 10pm...and checking in at the Kanuga front desk at 3am....and yet -

Nothing beats the fresh mountain air and someone else having cooked a full-on breakfast, complete with the inimitable Kanuga toast at 8:45am!

A day of respite here is like a week of 'days off' at home. No one needs a darned thing from me and I can focus on a single endeavor and hopefully see it to completion.

My goal: To get a full draft done - maybe even edited - on a paper for continuing ed. But the paper is only the vehicle for exploring in depth something that we're about to launch at Christ Church.
The working title is "Soul Food" - for the paper and for the 'thing.' The idea is that on Wednesday nights at church we will have a community worship/meal to help launch us into our evening programs.
Granted, for many Wednesday night church is not a new concept. As a matter of fact, what we're hoping to accomplish is as old as THE church itself. Based on early house church models of a Eucharistic Agape meal, what we plan to do is to nourish folks, body and soul, around common tables in a communal fellowship. I'm seeking out lay preachers from within the parish and the clergy will be on rotation to preside at the Eucharist...I think. But that uncertainty is exactly why, my friends, I must get to the paper writing. As E. M. Forster wrote, "How do I know what I think until I see what I say?"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

All's Well That Ends Amazingly!

It's late and like the little rose in the photo at left, I really want to go to bed. However, I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention a couple of things about our last full team day here in Honduras.

First, we had a rare opportunity as a mission team when this morning some of our team members became Godparents for some of the OLR girls! It was a very moving service, so make sure you check out the 'Honduras II' photo album at left to get a sense of the spirit of joy and celebration that started off our Sunday. [Warning: Album photos have not been edited yet so there are some really poor quality shots floating around there.]

Second, we partied like it was 1999 tonight at the 'Disco des las Rosas' complete with loud dance tunes, a disco ball (spun ably by Tall-Man-Ted), and confetti eggs. What a great end to a wonderful trip. As we had our final team circle time tonight back at the hotel, the question shifted from "Where did you see a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven in the day?" to "Where did you sense God at work in YOU?" We have all had profound experiences of being part of something greater than ourselves, of reaching out with love we don't always realize we have in us, and of moving in new directions and being stretched in new ways.

This trip team has really been fantastic and we all gave prayerful thanks that God called us here together and bound us with one heart and mind to serve God, serve the people of Honduras, and serve each other. Thanks be to God!

Peace Out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Today was beach day. A bus load of girls from OLR and our two vans of team members headed out this morning for a lovely coastal resort where we played in the sand and surf, had a great lunch on the veranda, and then spent the afternoon at a water-park-like pool. Here are the pictures to prove it:

Friday, August 1, 2008


Today was another one of those long and yet wonderful days, where at the end of the day we're tired, and sweaty, but feel like the girls really had a great day...and so did we! They never cease to amuse us with their creativity, energy, and antics.

Part of our group did another round of pool ministry, while the rest of us treated the girls who didn't go to the pool to a "Spa Day." We did pedicures, manicures, hair-do's and makeup. Of course the girls wanted to get in on the action and try out their creative skills on us. For some reason, all the guys on the team opted for the pool ministry. Hmmm... Nevertheless, you can see by the pics that there was some real creativity involved in this activity!

Tonight we hosted a Fiesta for the group. Turns out that our highly informed guide and driver, Julio, is also an excellent chef. That was some of the best potato salad and pork chops I've ever had! Ron ran the grill while the girls ate healthy portions of everything topped off with their favorite - watermelon!

But before we got to that portion of the meal, we shared Eucharist in the pavilion around tables arranged in the shape of a cross. Several of the girls participated in leadership roles - their English skills are very impressive. One of them acted as my interpreter as I gave an introduction, instructions, and the homily. You can see in the picture how we morphed the holy table into the family table.

Tomorrow we head to the beach for a much needed Sabbath day with about 50 of the girls! Sabbath? may not be the ideal, but it will be a joyful one.

Peace Out.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dropping like flies

Two down today - team members that is. According to our fearless leader, Ron, this is the point in the trip where people usually start to feel sick - partly from being tired and the stress of being with a group in another country and culture - and partly because immuno-defenses are down from being tired and stressed and so the microscopic critters have more power.

Why would we be stressed in a place like this, you might ask? Well, the drive back yesterday through land-slide damaged roads and crazy lane changes (are there lanes?) might have something to do with it!

On the bright side, Jay (a.k.a. "Jota") joined us today, arriving safely and encountering a wait at immigration very similar to ours (see first post from this trip). Also on the bright side, we finished painting the interior of the house and several of our group led the girls in singing, in making tie-dye t-shirts, and in dying their pinatas. The girls really got into these activities - and so did our team members.

Tomorrow is another round of pool ministry and a 'spa day' activity for the girls. There will also be a surf party in the afternoon with a Eucharist and dinner prepared by our team for the girls in the evening.

Pray for better health for Jared and Ann Ra. Pray for continued blessings and glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven for our team. And give thanks for the dedication and beautiful spirits of those who have come here on behalf of Jesus and his church to love and serve the girls and staff at Our Little Roses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Excursion Day

Last night we bid farewell to Anne R. and Kris A. who both had to return to the States today. We had to say 'bye last night because while their flight wasn't leaving until noon, the rest of our team had to board the vans at 6:30 AM to head out for a trip to the Copan ruins and - for some of our group - an adventure on the zip lines.

The real adventure though, was the cultural encounters we had on the drive to Copan and back through the rural mountain areas. Here are some photo highlights:

And here are some from the Copan ruins:

My camera battery died on me tonight right in the middle of downloading pictures from my camera, so I'll post more tomorrow.

At any rate, we had a fantastic day and the road trip gave us a chance to process with each other some of what we've been seeing and hearing as we've spent time with the girls. We got to ask questions of our resident experts and come to some greater understanding of the culture and specific situations that they are in.

Tomorrow, team mate Jay H. will be joining the group for the remainder of our stay. Also tomorrow morning several of our group will be going over to the home for a meeting with the women in charge at OLR because this Sunday, some of our group members in response to God's call will become Godparents for some of the girls who will be baptized at the cathedral. What a unique opportunity to be a different kind of sponsor for these precious girls at OLR!

More on that as the week goes forward.

Peace Out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Day, Another Limpira

We've had another wonderful day with the girls - and it ain't over yet. This evening we take a group of them to see "Kung Fu Panda." We're taking bets on whether it's dubbed or subtitled.

This morning some of our group took the girls for an outing to a swimming pool, while others of us worked with some of the older girls on making individual bulletin boards, and others still did some painting in a new house that will be a transitional home for some of the older girls. The current transitional home just down the street from OLR is going to become an annex to the language school. The plan is for it to offer outreach to the community to teach English - which they can't do in the current school since it is within the confines of the OLR home where the girls live.

In the afternoon the little girls worked on pinatas while the older girls finished up their bulletin boards and some of us tried to finish up the painting.

It has been a full day. We've wielded hand saws, jig saws, paint brushes, rollers, and towels. We've donned swimsuits, sweaty t-shirts, and headbands. We're covered with sweat, paint, flour paste, and bugspray. But most of all we have experienced glimpses of the Kingdom of God over and over again. What a day!
Tomorrow is team day where we head out for a little team-building experience on ziplines and also get a history lesson at the Mayan ruins at Copan. Thursday we will be back at the home to finish up projects. I'll post more photos of the girls' bullletin boards and pinatas as well as of the new house then.

Peace Out

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday in Honduras

Today we started early. Out the door at 6:30 am to meet up with several of the girls for a hike up to the Coca Cola sign on the edge of the city. It was a pretty steep climb, but on a mostly paved private road.

At the bottom of the hill there is a gate with a guard.
Just across from the gate is a house under construction that is pretty typical of houses in this area. Many have turrets or gatehouses. All have bars and either electric fence wires or concertina wire on top of the walls. Julio, our guide and one of our drivers, explained that most of those homes were build in the 1970' figure it out!

The hike was a strenous 1 hour + climb to the top where we were rewarded with a fantastic view and happy girls climbing the trees and picking mangoes to toss down to their friends.

Later we went over to the home and were briefed by two of the women who help run the program there. We spent some more time with the girls and then we split up with some different tasks.

Ian and I were on the detail to go to the market with Anne to get the confetti eggs for the fiesta we're hosting for the girls later in the week.

While there, some of us nearly got locked into the marketplace as it was closing. The trouble with this picture is that you can't really tell who's in and who's out. I'll leave it up to you to guess whether it was them or me.

Tonight was a real treat as we had dinner at a chiariscuro (sp?) rooftop restaurant that not only had a fantastic view but also gave us a chance to spend time with some of the girls from OLR who are now grown and have families of their own. Dinner at this table felt much like what I imagine a meal at the Great Banqueting Table of Heaven must be like. And by the end of the day we were happily pooped!

Peace Out.