Our family in May has started off rather busy but before I get into any of May’s days I really need to share some highlights from the final days of April – they found us in a whirlwind of emotions.
First, I will share our time with 3 folks from SC who came to visit a few of the churches here in the Occidente area of Honduras.
Bob Davis has been visiting Honduras annually for years and years. The congregation of Holland St. in Greenville, SC has been working with some of the same men and Bob comes to visit, give encouragement and be encouraged. This year was the first year his lovely wife Leah was able to come. Along with them, Nathaniel Green also made the trip and it was his first time not just to Honduras but out of the USA! Lowell and I had the unique privilege of being a part of their visit to serve as translators. It was a beautiful, enlightening, and emotional time.
The first leg of their journey was spent with Rene Rosa driving them and working as translator. They gradually worked their way towards Santa Rosa where they spent 2 nights and were able to conclude their stay here by witnessing a baptism at the river on Friday morning – after which Lowell took the wheel and we headed back to San Pedro Sula – the location of the last 3 churches and families.
Friday afternoon we headed over to the home of Auturo and Rosario Torres. We met them and their 4 wonderful children – Jessica, Roberto, Deborah and Daniel. This was just a short but friendly visit leading up to Saturday when we would come back in the morning by 9 and spend the day. During this visit we learned more of the work that was going on. They have a bus ministry with sometime 50 kids between the ages of 14 down to 2 or 3. Three classes, 3 teachers and one helper each. Wow! And Rosario uses the internet to search for material to use to teach. (I look forward to helping her with this.) Rosario let us know she would be fixing us lunch the next day. Mmmm. We could tell already, the next day was going to be great! And it was.
We headed back to the hotel and then to supper – this is Semana Santa and there is not too many places open on the ‘holy Friday’. We settled on Burger King for lack of other places but I was content. We don’t have fast food in Santa Rosa, so this was a treat!
The next morning we first arrived at their home but shortly after, headed over to the building where we would meet in earnest.
Let me say here, Lowell was a little nervous about his translating skills – not sure if he’d get the meaning or the significance of what he was suppose to translate from Spanish to English – the other way around was no problem. So, I was along to fill in what ever gaps he came across …well, I don’t think I was really all that necessary but we do work together as a team and did pretty fine between the 2 of us.
So, later on, after several hours of good hard discussion, we headed out to make a visit before lunch time. Wow, this was some visit! Brother Martinez will be 104 in June. He and Brother Bob have been best pals for years – joking back and forth, even competing in arm wrestling! We had been told before hand Brother Martinez was now bed-fast, not communicative, and pretty much non-responsive for over a week. Bob let us know, this was going to be hard.
First of all, we sat in the main salon for a little and then we asked permission to head into the bedroom. This frail little man was in the fetal position on his bed – not moving was an understatement he didn’t look like he’d last a week or 2. Bob sat down next to him, greeted him and with Lowell translating, proceeded to encourage, laugh about old times, and just visit. Before long, Brother Martinez indicated he wanted to sit up. He did, and before long, he had his hat on; he and Bob had a round of arm wrestling – of course, Bob lost again! He drank some Pepsi with the rest of us and we did a round of picture taking. His little, old wife and son were just thrilled! We were too. It was an amazing time. After a good time of prayer we said our good-byes. We had been so blessed!
Lunch at the Torres was a fun and rewarding time. We not only ate lunch, which was super yummy, we looked at a big ol’ stack of pictures – lots and lots of family pictures. Lowell and I took turns translating the story behind each and every one. Some were of when Auturo was just a boy in El Salvador. Some were of when Rosario was just a young teen-ager before they married. Then we went through their Baxter years, pictures of each of the 4 kids. And pictures of Bob through the years – he has seen these kids grow up – Jessica is now 20 and Daniel 10. Wow, it was a cementing time. This is one neat family.
The afternoon took us on a whirlwind tour of the regular bus route and we stopped at 6 different homes and visited with the families of some of the kids who regularly attend. Oh my. Each and every home was a mixture of heartache and sorrow but also, so very hospitable and uplifting. Our hearts were moved over and over again – one man had 4 of his own kids and now is taking care of the 3 his sister left when she was killed a few months ago – a cousin had died just a few days ago, and his Mother a month ago … and the brother-in-law to his wife a couple of weeks prior … 4 deaths in their family in less than 3 months. The prayer was sweet and poignant. This family loves Arturo.
The next home found the lady of the house to be so hospitable as well – everyone wanted to bring us drinks. This lady was caring for her invalid Mother (bed-fast) who had a stroke 12 years ago – she gave up her nursing career to care for her because there was no choice – the house (one room, divided by tin walls and sheets) was filled to over-flowing with kids of all ages, her own and grand kids – and the great-grandma off in the corner. The prayer here was also, so precious. This family loves the Torres family and the church.
We made 5 more visits … I don’t have the space here but suffice it to say, each was a powerful testimony to the work of the Torres family in this area – incredible. We were humbled and delighted the Lord was shining in the midst of this darkness.
This was just our first day and a half … we still had Sunday and Monday to experience and let me tell you here, they were loaded with emotion. The Lord is moving in so many lives and Satan is attacking any which way he can. My trust is in the Lord of Hosts!
As soon as I can I will be posting pictures to introduce you to some of these wonderful Christians.