Monday, August 15, 2011

What a trip!

Two days...harder to sum up in a blog than any two days in recent memory.  
Wednesday the 10th we left for Sampedrana with the group from Christ’s Church, plus pastor Celeo, Jonathan, and two brothers from San Juancito. We arrived and set about to get the new Church building painted for the inauguration service later in the evening.
The sheer fact that a Church building is completed is in itself a testimony to what God has done in that community...our involvement was essentially that day painting and what we contributed through Hill Climber coffee. Essentially they took this year’s payment for the coffee and along with much more other fundraising and work in the community, put together the funds and labor to make it happen.
That is exactly what our goal is in planting them become independent financially but still work together and advance the Kingdom spiritually. We did not expect a new building to go up so quickly in Sampedrana...and I am extremely happy to have my expectations shattered.

With a group of 11 plus the others making the trip, the painting was surprisingly done in a few hours, including a great color in the front and some rather good trim work.
The five joining in the celebration
It was a good thing as well, since there were baptisms scheduled for the afternoon...five total as it turned out, plus quite a few family members.

The baptism site was just a short walk from the Church property from the back side up a marked path to the river and its rather... “cool” water.

The service was to start at 6:00pm that evening, but I saw people arriving from before 5:00. Once things got started...after a few songs the children moved to the old sanctuary building for a children’s party that the group organized. They probably did not think at that point they were going to give a party that would last over two hours, or include the craziness of trying to celebrate with a piñata in such a small space with over 70 children and quite a few spectators, but they pushed through and did a great job.

This is before the carnage of the piñata incident.

I am happy to report that the piñata gave its all for the children. 

Having Roxana there to translate certainly helped in crowd control. 

They had games, songs, a lesson, actual puppets, and plenty of time :-)

And this was just some of the crowd "observing" the children's service/party.  The door was shut only after all the children that were there for the service were crammed in...we knew that more children would come afterwards that we would not be able to handle...but I did not expect so many adults watching as well. 

In many ways...there were two Church services going on at the same time!

Here is a rare picture...the ability to get all three of the His Eyes pastors on stage together, this particular time singing a special song on the occasion of a Church member’s birthday (seen at the bottom of the picture receiving one of many hugs from others in the service as he waited up near the stage.)

Oscar brought the message for the service, although from this picture you cannot see that since by that time I had given up standing and finally sat on the floor. Sitting on the floor was very was nice to see that the Church is going to need to fill that building with more chairs than they previsouly had space for in the old building.

Fortunately there is plenty of space yet to fill with new chairs!

Attendance in the new building was over those that still dare not darken the doorstep and instead observe from outside (see below.)  All told between those inside, the children, and those outside...over 200 people, which is just amazing.

The service was over...well, started to be over after a few hours or so, with the celebration turning to tamales and some starting their walk back home (some walked five hours...and had to leave at night because they had to be at work early the next morning.) and Gender reporting that he did not get to bed until 12:30.
(This picture does not show those "observing" from across the street)
The next morning...we visited the site for the new Hill Climber coffee property, purchased by some friends from the US. Over 30 acres, climbing from about 5,600’ to probably over 6,000’ as it reaches the peak of the mountain. Right now it looks like just light overgrowth, so seeing the potential there is hard, but looking like next door to brother Escoto’s coffee plantation helps envision what it could become. This is relatively virgin property.  The family that owned it has not farmed it for many, many years...and I am fairly confident we are the first non-Hondurans to ever step foot there. 

Our next step is to get a road carved out to get easier access, which should be a relatively easy process, except that is for the guys that will have to do it, and see about how we might be able to get the funding (potentially some short term loans from friends of the mission) to start getting the three year process of waiting for coffee to produce to where we can start harvesting. Clearing the property will be easy enough...having the funds to pay someone full time to watch over and care for the property, etc. will be another matter, but it is so beautiful, so high! The potential is high as well...remembering what the Church property looked like five years ago and what is there today...I pray God would guide that property to help further his Kingdom in a different but equally valuable way in another five years.

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