Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sampedrana weekend

We have a group here this week from South Shore Community Church working on the mission house in Sampedrana.
They came this summer and spent several days ministering there, and are planning on coming back next year at least twice and wanted to help make some improvements to the mission house there for groups staying make the stay that much better and enjoyable.

Of course, when there are pastor’s meetings, retreats and other opportunities...those improvements will come in handy as well.
They arrived Thursday and got straight to work with Oscar and Miguel. I drove up on Saturday with Julia and their kids, and Cecilia. We got there and they were working hard, I at least got to jump in and treat all the wood for the decks with the green dye that prevents mold, insect damage, etc. Not exactly the most glamorous or toughest job there, but it was cool to be help at least a little all the pro construction people that are in the group (six guys total.)
So what are the other improvements they are doing? I did not get pictures of all the improvements on the interior where they are putting in tile in the bathrooms in the showers, fixing the plumbing, sealing the upstairs better to prevent bugs coming in, and putting screens on all the windows for the same reason (and so they can be left open all night for good breezes.)
On the outside, as you can see, they are working on tiles to walk back and forth around the property (the Church members are excited to help sew grass in between the circles...grass is killed around the coffee, but will be nice for the path...which also serves as the path from the Church to the new bathroom attached to the parsonage specifically for Church use) as well as the biggest visual improvement of adding a first...and second!!...floor porches/decks. These will be great for relaxing times and the second floor porch definitely provides a unique view of “town” and the surrounding area.

The Church has been busy as well, with painting the interior of the first floor of the mission house a while ago, and also completing much of their front fence project (the posts say “Cristo” and “Viene” which is “Christ is coming”) with some yet to do in front of the Church building, but with much progress there as well...all planned, paid for and done by themselves.
As Oscar, Miguel and Alfonso were all working hard, I was given the call to bring God’s word in the Sunday morning service. There were no riots, so I count that as a success. The service itself went well...the highlight for me was watching the Sunday School class of over 20 children get up in front of everyone on stage and share different Bible verses they had memorized...from age 4 and up. The kids were cute, some of the verses familiar...and some more interesting choices like James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins”
After Church we loaded up something over 600 pounds of Hill Climber coffee freshly roasted into the White Ford, and all went down to Comayagua, the colonial town, and ate some very colonial fare...Burger King.

Then we went to the central park to get a guided tour of the oldest clock in the Americas (and according to the tour guide, the second oldest working clock in the world...they say made in 1100, some sources online say more like 1374...regardless....very old and cool) which was....very cool. I’ll post a video of the clock working and striking on Facebook. Seeing as that there is an ordinance that states no building in Comayagua may be higher than the top of the cathedral...I can now say I have been at the highest point in Comayagua. Of course, going so far up into Sampedrana so often that little tidbit was a little less impressive.
The man that gave us the tour was obviously used to giving a tour with a translator, as I just slipped into translator mode naturally and found him working perfectly with me. Later he was remarking how much Cecilia looked exactly like his niece... “muy blanco” (very white) lighter hair, eyes...everything. He was sure they could be twins. Then, much to Valerie’s chagrin when she reads this...he remarked “¡Que bueno habla Español!” (Sorry, that is a bit of an inside thing between Valerie and myself)
So, to end a remarkable weekend, I took Miguel with me back to Tegucigalpa, leaving at 2:30 trying to get him back for baptisms at the Church here (10 scheduled from their cell group ministry)
Everything was going well, with us arriving to the North police post point of Tegucigalpa by 3:30. But then...we encountered the traffic jam of all traffic jams due to a political party movement caravan.

After much tight movements, waiting, more finagling with the big Ford in and out of tight spaces, with three lanes going one direction where it should have been just one, more waiting, helicopters landing (see the dust?  Thankfully we were not any closer when it landed!), close calls with buses (including one removing a road work sign to try to get by in a very tight squeeze)...and then rain and mud issues try to get to Miguel’s house (yeah, he missed the baptisms, but there was someone to cover for him) I finally got home at 5:45...fortunately Jana was there to help me unload the Ford of all the coffee into the Hill Climber warehouse (aka...the corner of our house)

Kind of a whirlwind weekend.
And for those paying careful attention...I came back with just Miguel because Cecilia really wanted to stay an extra night in Sampedrana, coming back tomorrow (no classes tomorrow at school for a holiday) with the group and Oscar and his family. I could say so much about that decision....but instead I’ll be brief and just many 10 year olds do I know that would be raring to go to spend one night in Sampedrana let alone two?

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