Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017
We all slept today, tired from yesterdays journey.  We all went differnt ways today. Tim, Alice and Mike rented a car and driver. They went all over looking for differnt plans.  Freddie, Byron and George went to the ruins and walked around Copan looking for gifts to bring home to love ones.  Debi and Star went walking around Copan too. Later that day we had naps and messages.  We all felt blessed for the rest.
We went our seperate ways for dinner, but all meet up later at the compound.  Great reflection on our trip so far.  We laugh, cried, and laughed some more, feeling so blessed to make such great friends.  We all so want to show this part of the world Gods love and mercy.
We went to bed with full bellies and thankful hearts for all of Gods blessings.  We all saw God today at work in so many differnt ways.


Sunday, July 9, 2017.

This morning began early with a breakfast of coffee, passionfruit juice and a selection of scrambled eggs or banana pancakes.

Next, we moved onto morning prayer led by George Shemp and finally finished with Forward Day by Day.

Alice, Tim and myself are headed to Aguascalientes to head to a natural hot springs.  The remainder of the team is resting, journaling, reflecting, shopping and trying to soak in the local flavour of Copán Ruinas.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday.  Our last day of work at the job site.

After breakfast, packing and driving to our worksite, we arrived to see that half the sheets of galvnized roofing had been installed.  Pablo and Gustavo were working as we arrived and were joined by the members of our work crew.

Alice continued working to teach English to her group of eager students.  While taking a break, she was showing a lady in the village how to operate the sewing machine she had brought with her from the U.S.

While working on the second floor, we began hauling the square stock steel upstairs to begin building the guardrails.

We worked until lunchtime and had a blessing from Father Norman Aguilar.  Father Norman offered a blessing to the congregation, the team, the families and the church congregation.

Many hugs, handshakes, kisses and photos were exchanged prior to our leaving.  Memories made, tears wiped and smiles were also exchanged.

We departed toward Copán Ruinas, hoping to arrive prior to nightfall as the road in treacherous and recently driven by Bishop Allen. He was correct in his assessment of the road.  Filled with potholes and Honduran drivers, we arrived safely thanks to the skill of our driver Fredy Orellano.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Upon arriving at San José de la Montaña, we were led in morning pryaer by George Shemp who brought with him packets prepared by Father Dan Laden.  We continued with Mike reading Forward Day By Day in both Spanish and English.  Finally, we recited the Lords' Prayer and began our work.

We worked until lunch cutting and welding.  Thursday offered us the opportunity to experience fellowship with our Honduran brothers and sisters.

After being served a lunch of fried chicken, tortillas, beans, plantains, etc., we were visited by a friend of Alices' and her granddaughter.  Alice met her many years ago. In Las Delicias del Norte.

Tim, Gustavo, Bob and Fredy went on another Honduran hardware store run.  The lamina for the roof was not in stock and they actually went to the factory and watched the roof sheets of galvinized steel go through the dies and exit as a finished product.

While the team members were away, I convinced Pablo "El soldadero" (welder) to let us take scraps of steel and make into crosses that we might carry and place them into our own churches.

Upon their return to the worksite, the sheets we carried to the second floor of the church in preparation for Fridays' work.

Also, the majority of Thirsday morning was spent taking photos, captioning them and placing on my Facebook account.

Send me a friend request at Michael G. Marcks.  Be sure to include your name and the name of your church.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Welcome to the morning.  Fresh papaya and tortillas filled with cheese are the delicacy of breakfast.  Down the hatch and we are off to see our friends at San Jose de la Montaña.

Upon arrival, we entered the church and had our morning prayer service.   Michael read "Forward Day by Day" in Spanish and English.  Then off to work.

The chores of the day were rafter installation on the second floor structure.  We continued painting the hand rails.

Padre Norman opened lunch with prayer.  The ladies of the church prepared fried fish with plantains and rice and beans.  Watermelon slices for dessert topped it off.  After lunch the children gave a presentation of their bilingual studies.

Bishop Allen made a visit in the early afternoon and it was a pleasure to see him.  The children presented their studies to him as well.

The church ladies prepared afternoon coffee with cookies.  It is a refreshing treat at that time of the day.

We wrapped up at 5:30pm and said good bye for the day.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tuesday, July 4 2017

Happy fourth of July!  Started our day with prayer and breakfast.                                                          

Continued our painting of handrails.  They are slow to dry.  The panels are being welded and starting to look like a building.  We finally got brooms and a decent dustpan.

Alice continued her English lessons to students, age 7 to 19.  They are soaking it up like sponges.

When we returned to the Green Frog we had a nice surprise.  Bishop Allen came to have pizza and wine.  We talked deeply about same sex marriage and acceptance of church's agenda.  The way we can help more is to help children to be able to go to bilingual schools so they can be more equipped for college.  We presently support 15 bilingual schools.

Bishop Allen started a program called "Savings with Education".  After teaching them to be frugal, one community saved $5000 in one year.  Bishop Allen feels the extreme poverty, lack of education, kids having babies and the drug cartel are his most challenging problems.

Hopefully we will see Bishop Allen on Monday.  Nite to all.

Deborah and Byron

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Morning prayers, breakfast and driving to San José de la Montaña is how we began this week of work, prayer and fellowship.

We began by cleaning up the second story floor, painting and traveling to buy supplies at two hardware store and a school supply.  We purchased a whiteboard, pens and paper so that Alice could begin teaching English to the children.  A delicious lunch was prepared by the loving hands of our parish ladies.

After cleaning up from lunch, we returned to work.  Around 3 pm, the ladies presented us with strong café and a sweet butter cookie.

Everyone is drinking lots of water and feeling useful.  We finished working at 5pm today and are feeling enthusiastic about the work accomplished

We are looking forward to a well deserved rest tonight so that we can return to work tomorrow.

Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes from our families.

-Mike and Deb

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A restful morning on this the Lord's day.

We went to church at San José de la Montaña, the same church where we will be installing a second floor on the parish house starting on Monday.

Guitar, singing and praise.  A little boy named Jeremy helped me find the pages and with his finger, I could sing and follow along.  It felt like my own church when my four niños are present.  Fussy babies in and out of the chapel with their mamas.

Twenty-five adults, including our eight and at least twenty children were present for the service.  The church is about the size of St. Stephen's in Hobart.

After fellowship, we drove to Omoa to the fortress of San Fernando de Omoa, built under orders from Spanish King Fernando VII for protection from the pirates raiding the Atlantic Ocean.  Honduras was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his 4th and last expedition. After touring, we went to dinner on the Atlantic Ocean.

During dinner, we discussed where we had seen God today.  We all felt the children's play impressed every one of us.  It showed how God provides, we sin and are then redeemed by Him.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Satuday, July 1, 2017.

Greetings from Honduras!  Another beautiful eye opening day for the team members, starting with Rite Two Morning Prayer, and finishing with good conversation and unwinding in the pool back at the hotel.

We went up the mountain today to visit the site of a past Mission trip.  The town was Las Delicias Del Norte, and the Church, a short walk away, was Iglesia San Lucas.  The original mission trip consisted of building hornos, masonry stoves for cooking, and pilas, masonry water holding tanks with washboards and a sink.  Several of the team members worked one or more mission trips of the five or six that took place in this town.  To rekindle old friendships for Tim, Bob, Alice, and Fredy was a true blessing, and to meet and make new friends for Byron, Debbie, Star and me was also a blessing.

The town itself was like others we have seen recently, on rocky, dirt roads carved out of a jungle, with little hope of improvement in the near future.  The homes are almost primitive by our standards with the wood burning hornos and pila sinks.  Transportation seems to be mostly walking, some horses, many motorcycles, three wheeled motor carts used as taxis, a few cars and trucks, and a few bikes.

Picture mostly masonry homes with tin roofs, approximately 300 square feet (many less), in varied states of disrepair, with paper and refuse everywhere, and children everywhere, with power lines crudely tapped to bring free electricity to their homes without the benefit of fuses.  The backdrop is lush mountains and deep valleys with beautiful vegetation, an explainable contrast to the impoverished city.

Now the miracle, the people and children that we met appeared to be mostly happy, joyful, and accepting of the situation they are in.  A few young children brought beautiful wild flowers to the women of our group, and the smiling faces of the children brightened each of our days.  Many smiles and greetings.  The lesson being that money and worldly goods are not necessarily the key to happiness.

We ate dinner with some past friends from this village, Grandma Gloria and daughter Erlis prepared a delicious arroz con pollo dinner (a rice, chicken, vegetable casserole) for father Miguel, baby Andres and us, with ice cream for desert.  Very delicious!

  • We learned some lessons today, made some friends, and praise and thank God for the love that he shares with each of us..........George

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

 I am one of the new members of the mission group. As you know we are in San Pedro Sula.  My first cups of  coffee were in a tropical setting with mountains in the background.
The group spent the day at the childrens' home.  The hard work that the locals have done is amazing from my eyes.  Children are polite and eager to meet new people.  Mike and Kim, the SAMS Missonaries, are doing the job God wanted them to do.  The chapel is the first building we saw when entering the compound with its' open doors and windows.  The stained glass window, even though it was broken in transit and later rebuilt by Mike, was symbolic for all of us.  When the cross was purchased the creator told Mike it could not be broken.  Well we all know it arrived broken.  The cross is in place, but has a hole, which to me is how we always come to God with flaws.  There are 16 childen in the home and very happy to be there.  The children are learning computer and communication skills.  Under adult supervision they are caring for themselves.  The cost to run the childrens' home is $125,000 per year.  When I think how we live is money well spent.  When the group left the compound we were in good spirits and enjoying our mission.  We later went to the local market and purchased produce and souvenirs.  Dinner was later in the evening.  Other special things that happened were:

1.) We started the day with prayers from the group.

2.) One of the other new members of the group brought handmade wooden crosses for the group.

3.)  The people we have met on our journey adventure.

 I am so glad my friend invited me.  -Deb

Thursday, June 29, 2017

We started our sojourn at midnight.  We began by going through O'Hare in Chicago to Bush International in Houston.  After a three-hour layover, we continued on to San Pedro Sula International Airport.  Upon exiting the terminal, we were met by Fredy Lopez, our driver; Alice Taylor from Virginia who is also part of our team; and SAMS Missioner Bob Cantor from Alabama. Over dinner at the Restaurante Chedrani, we were given an update on projects by Bob.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

As our team continues to prepare, pack and pray today, please keep us in your prayers and thoughts during these final two days.  I would like to thank the Diocese of Northern Indiana and St. David's of Elkhart for their spiritual and financial support.  Thank you to everyone for making this mission trip a reality.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beginning after breakfast, we assembled our team and headed to San Jose de la Montana.  We dropped off clothing to donate to members of the parish.  Shirts, pants, shoes, and belts were donated from the members of the mission trip.

The work on the roof and two hornillas (stoves) was complete and fully operational.  We again were greeted heartily by Padre Marcos Varela and his family.  Sampling a corn tortilla directly from the griddle was a wonderful experience.  We spoke with the people present, took pictures, exchanged hugs and were feeling elated as we know that this congregation will now have a greater source of revenue from the sale of tortillas and the internet cafe to make it self-sufficient.  We bid our brothers and sisters goodbye and headed back to the city.

We headed back to the Guamilito Artesanal Market for some last-minute souvenirs or "recuerdos" as they are known in Spanish.  Leaving the market, we headed to the City Center Mall for lunch and to see how Hondurans spend their free time.  The spacious mall had a cinema with many screens and is showing the same movies that we can enjoy in Northern Indiana.

Later that evening, we met Bishop Lloyd Allen for dinner.  He spoke with us about the successes and challenges of the Episcopal Church of Honduras as they move toward self-sufficiency in 2019.  After pictures and handshakes, we bid the Bishop "Adios" and headed back to our inn to pack for the journey home. <<Mike>>

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This morning began with a view of the mountains and the border of Guatemala from our courtyard while enjoying fresh-brewed Honduran coffee.  The group headed to the Mayan Archeological Site of Copan. After making arrangements and getting our guide, Virgilio, we began our journey into the city.  Virgilio told us that he has been working at the site for 27 years, the last 17 as a guide.  Originally hired to aid in the archeological preservation of the antiquities, he worked with teams for 10 years before becoming a guide.

Originally begun in the 450 A.D. and lasting until appx. 950 A.D., Copan was a 24 Square Kilometer area (15 sq miles) that had at its height a population of around 27,000 inhabitants.  The site is approximately 25 percent complete.  Currently, there is a group of scientists from China working on excavating part of the area.

Virgilio took us to the area known as the ball court.  The ancient Maya played a game known as "hit ball".  The ball weighed about 8 pounds and was made of pure rubber. Players would hit the ball with every parts of their bodies with the exception of their heads, feet and hands. The teams were comprised of Mayan royalty.  The oldest player, usually around 25 years of age, would be the designated captain of each team.  The purpose of the game was to please their god Chaac so that rain would fall and the plants could grow to support the people.  Games often lasted for many days.  When games were held with members withing the city of Copan, the captain of the winning team was sacrificed.  This was considered the greatest honor to the Maya.  When teams from visiting city states were competing, animals, usually macaws were sacrificed. <<Mike>>