We arrived safely in Tegucigalpa this morning and made it through customs without a hitch…to be greeted by baggage carriers who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, cheerful faces, and warm handshakes and hugs. Bags and 23 people were loaded into three small vans, and we were on the road. Driving in Honduras takes some getting used to. Haven’t figured out the Morse-code of honks that allow motorbikes passage between or around lanes of traffic and one vehicle the “right of way” whence approaching one another in a single lane! Amazingly, the drivers exude a confidence that puts most of the occupants at ease…
One of the neatest things of the day was seeing “Miss Jaime” reunited with her Jericho kids, former colleagues, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Tears flowed as she walked out into the Honduran sunshine at the airport and as she greeted the students at the Jericho school in the city. It is easy to see how Miss Jaime so often forgets where “home” is in conversations here and in Prince George – she is loved in this place, to be sure!
Miss Betsy, the Jericho Director, and staff treated us to a delicious lunch, tour, and stories. Many of our team remarked amazement at the first-hand nature of Betsy’s stories of God’s provision, faithfulness, healing, and moment-by-moment direction of her life and the Jericho ministry. It would seem that Betsy always has “one more short story” of a God-thing to share with those around her. 🙂
After lunch we headed out to the Villa – but not before a highly-anticipated stop at Cafe Americana, one of Miss Jaime’s favourite haunts. Iced and hot caffeinated beverages were enjoyed by all in the hour (or so) journey out to the Villa. Military and police presence are tangible in the city and upon exiting the ridge road that surrounds the city. Apparently, corruption within the local police has led to military oversight and the removal of some of the police personnel. So…we resolved to view the many soldiers and their weapons as a good thing. Once again, the road travel gave opportunity for conversation among our team – deepening our understanding of one another.
The Villa. Wow. Going to be taking lots of pictures for our building committee! Although the specific design of this building would not necessarily work in PG, the intentionality and “story” of every nook and cranny left us shaking our heads in wonder. Once again, Betsy shared God’s miraculous provision of materials and expertise to make her dream of this place a reality. Scripture, art, and craftsmanship adorn the walls and make for a beautiful setting for the students/staff here to learn, grow, heal, worship, and serve God and neighbour. We feel tremendously blessed to be here.
A power outage just prior to dinner last night gave us a taste of the Honduran sense of time. Urgency – such a powerful part of our “American” way – is not something experienced here. Our dinner was prepared on an outdoor, wood stove/oven and eaten by candlelight. The power did come back halfway through dinner, but with a short cheer, conversation at the table continued on.
The night was closed out with a time of introductions and worship together – led by one of the Villa students. Worshiping in song (in both English and Spanish) was really powerful…declaring how great our God is together. Our God: the God of Jericho…the God of Cedars…the God of this earth.
PS. Day 3 coming soon…and pics tomorrow when we go into town. Hopefully! Internet connection in the Villa is limited and spotty. 🙂
-Mr. Nelson and the Team