Yesterday was a big day. I had no time to blog, and was not home terribly long. It started with a meeting with Jorge, Jorge, and Manuel (Pastor, Evangelist, and Pastor) at ICCC. The conversation started with a discussion on politics. For the congregation, they have been staying neutral, but it was obvious talking to them that they do not share my opinion on what is happening here. So instead of arguing/discussing/rebuttel, I just listened. Good thing too, because even without a counter point, that went on for quite a while. Some of it seemed like propogating rumors, some just a different view. I will summarize their points with my commentary thrown in for good measure: There is no true peace in Honduras because those that want to protest that live in the outlying areas are not being allowed to come into town to do so. (there was no proof of this, but it would not be terribly surprising to see happen) the change in government most certainly was a coup, not legal, and wrong, not to mention that they doubt the sincerity of the current president and think that the military is still in control with the veil of a civilian government. (proof? No, but again, it makes for an interesting theory...and the last part that two of the three said they knew people for whom this was the case:) some of the pro-democracy marches have those included from big businesses where their employers force the employees to go out and march. (I heard the same allegations from public government employees about being forced to march for Zelaya before he was removed)
They seemed to think the march towards socialism/communism was going to continue unabated, and that the consequences would be severe for Christ's Church...not in fear did they say this, more in just an acceptance of what they see as inevitable. There is no room for Christ, or other religions in Communism, and so the Church would undergo even more persecution. They did not therefore seem to be big Mel fans, but at the same time seem to speak the same words that pro-Mel people do....that big business and rich people want the democracy/new government, while the poor support Mel and/or change. My thoughts are that the poor move wherever the money (corruption in politics, buying votes, etc. is widely known here, and you can even find videos on you tube from Mel Zelaya himself where he states the same...so much for the public speaking, money and pressure is what wins elections) is offered. More to the point...the poor see little to no change in their lives no matter what party is in power, so when they see no change, and someone comes along offering change...what do they have to lose? Those in power tremble, but the poor look to some change of some kind to improve their lives. Each side claims they will help...the truth is that poverty is still around...no one seems to have made an impact one way or another. Reasons may include corruption, the overwhelming nature of the problem, etc....but the bottom line is "what have you done for me lately?"
Just some thoughts there.
We then talked about the mission and the possibilities of buying the Church property where the clinic, old clinic, and man cave are located, something we have been thinking about and praying about for some time. No definite answers yet, but all three of them were in favor of the idea. The benefits would be added security for us, income for them to help build the new Church building, and separation of our somewhat merged areas of operation when it comes to legal issues. Working together as brothers and sisters in Christ would not change (helping with the fence, the ministry of the clinic, having groups help with corn, teaching, etc.) , but it would eliminate them from worrying about any consequences of us being on their property (there are legal issues there), and us having to worry about any future change in power causing us potential problems of being booted.
The pastors now need to meet with the leaders of the Church to see about their views on the possibility, and if positive, figuring out a price. We are far from being sure it is a done deal, but it seems positive at this point. We are now praying the Church will be behind the idea, and we can move forward....to having that security that many donors would have liked to have seen 10 years ago, as well as have the added bonus of being able to fundraise for that property which will in effect provide help to them to get closer to the new building. Buying property and building a nice, new, long lasting professionally done building for the Church seems like a win/win for us. We would switch focus from fixing the man cave and remodeling the mission house most likely to try to devote resources first to paying this "debt."
I went out yesterday afternoon to stock up on groceries....things we could eat if there was no electricity or our ability to leave home was disturbed due to the impending return of the former president. I took the kids, and we got quite a bit done, and then to reward them I stopped by the mall close to our house for them to have fun in the play area in the food court. As God would have it, Oscar and his family was there....so instead of just watching the kids, Oscar and I had a business meeting in the food court for probably two hours while the kids ran, and ran, and ran. No group next week means tackling some legal issues, our residency, further trying to get the new clinic where it needs to be, and several other little things which have been on the back burner for some time. Not that I would have wished for this...but making the best out of a less than ideal situation, if you will.
So, is Mel back? Are there troops massed on the Nicaraguan border? Are there a ton of Nicaraguans already in Honduras stirring up dissent (ala the US using Honduras to hit Nicaragua twenty years ago....Daniel Ortega has a good memory after all)? Will our abandoning the OAS bring problems? What will happen this weekend? All good questions to which even more rumors abound. I do not have the answers, and while we continue to keep our eyes open physically, they are also closed spiritually in prayer to Him who is above all things. Come what may...God rules. So we will continue to move in His work regardless.
And in case you are wondering about us returning to the US...don't bet on it. We have the kids' passports, but ours are with our lawyer who is working on our residency. I suppose we could have asked for them back...but we do not see a need for having them at this time. I guess that says more about the resolve that has been given us than anything else at this point, and the relative seriousness of the situation right now as well.
As a brother said yesterday...the sky is not falling. I will try to update more when I have more information.