Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Comayaguantando facilmente

Some days you do not get to do what you know you have to do, and that ends up being a good thing.

I am so behind on getting things done around me right now (accounting, emails, computer work, presentation ready for upcoming Church presentations, banking, need I go on?) that I took my laptop out to the Ford today, ready to hop in with Oscar driving...where he promptly told me "uh, I can not drive, I lost my license the other day."

Ok, so I drove, and we had time to talk shop, discuss plans, and in general be men who talk about anything except our personal lives or feelings. And that is our friendship...we talk about a lot, get along well, and I do not think ever have had to apologize or explain ourselves about something. A rare thing I think.

We went to Comayagua for me to finalize the papers with Gender on the coffee property we bought earlier this year. Not just that, but with some money from a very generous group (CIY) this summer, to take the chain link for the fence around the soccer field. Gender and I did the legal work while Oscar ran up to Sampedrana to deliver the chain link.

After we hit the bank and the legal buffet to get the paperwork all said and done, Gender and I had time to sit and talk...something we both admitted we never have, let alone to sit on the sidewalk in Comayagua to do.

I really need to demand monthly reports from the pastors who work with the mission. I learned quite a bit, and it was a great day of just talking, working out ideas, thoughts, etc. I will share a few here numbered, along with a few captioned pictures of while we were in Comayagua.

Here is a man repairing shoes on the street. I saw many people in the street as Gender and I talked...older women pushing big carts filled with vegetables, people walking to school and work, and heard that the reason that young woman did not return my greeting of "good morning" was the reputation of US men coming from the military base was one of only looking for pretty girls That prompted a discussion about even a military man who came all the way to Sampedrana to marry a girl from there and take her to the US. Gender commented how she was an honest girl, but not attractive, very humble and seemed concerned why the man came up there to "get" her. I was particularly glad at that moment that I had a Honduras football hat on and not a US one. He also noted that everyone looked at me funny despite seeing so many North Americans in their town because, was because they never see any of them walking anywhere, as we were for the hour and a half. Little does he know.

1. Last month there were five baptisms in the Church there...a husband and wife, plus two siblings and a nephew. In doing so, they physically moved to the nearby water source and conversed with God ...they went down to the river to pray.

2. The Land Cruiser is working great, but the money loaned him for buying a motorcycle helps him for continuing to go to school and running errands around the mountain without being so expensive (comparatively) to operate.

3. He and Lourdes consider themselves as members of the community of Sampedrana, and have no desire to leave to return back to their home at this point as they previously had imagined they would. He seemed so happy to tell me that...and even chuckled to himself somewhat at saying it outloud, something I do not think he would have imagined when they first moved there.

4. The two students sent to the Bible Institute are back as the classes have ended for the year. For the next four months they will be helping him on a part time basis with the needs of the Church and putting into practice what they are learning to see if they are ready to go back in February, along with working to provide for their families, etc.

Bimbo, for Honduras, and a pretty picture of Honduras? How could I not pass this up as we walked? Had we had more time, I would have asked to sit in the truck...but not try on the driver's Bimbo shirt...he was a size S if I have ever seen one.

5. I asked him about the prior need to plant a Church up higher than Sampedrana...he said it was not necessary anymore. Why not? "The people from those communities used to fear Sampedrana, they thought it was a bad place, and would walk all the way around it to get places. Now they say how pretty it is, how much it has changed, walk right through on their way to places, and are coming to Church here with us."

Similar animal to what we found in our bed our first weekend staying in Sampedrana to open the Church. I commented that they look a lot cuter when they are not in bed with me in the dark. This one has been in a cage for a is going home with Oscar to be their pet (which he told Annia was a lion with a smaller tail, or hamster-lite instead of being a rat.) Of course being wild...they can never let it out of the cage, but Oscar has some ideas how to entertain it. So did Sisko when we took the cage out of the Ford to put it in his Land Cruiser. Cecilia now tells me she wants one. Great idea.

6. The Church building is full on Sundays with 30-35 people (with kids extra) and that is not everyone coming at once....if everyone comes it is very uncomfortable. The children (with a few parents) come to the kid's Sunday School in the morning (currently in the new mission house longer on the ground!) and the Church service is in the afternoon, but the kids come then as well...and are very well behaved. One brother has an idea to build a new, bigger building for the Church to meet maybe next year...depending on how the coffee harvest does.
7. We talked about the new coffee property. It will produce maybe 300 pounds this harvest...they are also working as a Church on planting the plants we bought...the rest of the property is now ready, and the holes have the be dug, and then the planting can begin. It will take a few years for those plants to start producing.

Being good administrators...lunch meant Burger King and the special shown here. We ate well, continued to talk shop, and ate like...kings, for $3.50 each, cheaper than picking our own combo. Plus I got a Star Trek toy for Soren. We did not slide down the slides however.

8. Oscar will return in a couple weeks with a rented gas powered welder to get everything installed with the chain link fence for the soccer field, and then we will see how much money we have left from what the group gave for Gender to do more work like the gates, the goals, and maybe even work on stands for spectators, visitors, and devotionals with the kids in the soccer ministry.

9. So the coffee ministry will continue...just between the new property, the current plants around the Church, and some coffee that Gender is growing on his own, we could potentially harvest close to 1,000 pounds, and we are hopeful that the business side of things will enable us to buy at least some of the coffee that each of the many families in the Church produce as well to benefit them in such a great way.

While in Sampedrana, one of the brothers studying in the Bible Institute sent some goodies home with Oscar, including these unusual variety bananas, some plums, pataste, oranges...very cool. We will feast on home fries (of the banana variety) soon enough.
10. A man in the area killed his girlfriend by (skip this if you are squeamish as I am) chopping her up with a machete. I asked if this impacted anyone directly in the Church...Gender said no, but that one of the relatives of the man used to come to Church. When their fellow relative committed suicide (also a member of the Church) his father made him quit coming because we were demonizing people in our congregation. One of the potential sites for another Church plant, Tamarindo, said the same thing when Gender first went there to offer just a clothing they are softening to the prospect of us helping there after seeing what is happening in Sampedrana.

11. Persecution like that continues to happen as people look at what goes on in the body with a microscope, but despite that hardship mostly from the community that considers itself Catholic (even though some that criticize/gossip/outright come down on the Church have not been to mass for years or have never gone) Gender is anticipating inviting the Catholic Church to come to a Church service soon. Where he would put all those people I do not know...but that would be a good problem to have.

I love where God has us, I love what I am able to do...but days like today, where on a physical productivity scale I might not have accomplished much, are really awesome to get to experience.

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