Hi everyone! apparently our past post yesterday didn’t post, but you can now find it below this one! also we’ve added a few pictures to this one.
We spent our first night in Tegucigalpa. We had dinner at one of the best Honduran hamburger places. The food was good and the laughter and fellowship between the Hondurans and gringos was excellent. We agreed to meet at 6:15AM in the hotel lobby. At around 5:45AM we woke up to a gringo imitation of a rooster that echoed throughout the hotel. A few seconds later the Hondurans answered the rooster call. The Honduran version was much better but either way everyone was up and on time. The difference between this wake up call was that in Orica there was a chorus of roosters, not just one.
At breakfast the head gringo, Curt, assigned us into four teams. Each team had two gringos, two Hondurans, one translator, and most importantly at least one person skilled in construction. The translators are great at their job and are very fun to spend time with. They are roughly 20 years old and are very interesting and fun people. We will more or less be in these groups as we do our construction projects the rest of the week. We have been told that in Honduras rule number one is to be flexible J
We then drove to AFE where we were given a tour. Wow! What a place and a blessing to those they serve. They have a great web site so it might be easier to direct you to their site for more information. The best part of the tour was the chance to meet the teachers and interact with the students. The kids range from preschool to high school. I believe there are around 150 to 180 students. The simplistic view is to say that the school provides education for the kids of the dump. But they provide love, hope, food, etc…much more than an education!
We then had the opportunity to tour the dump. Very difficult to describe this as words are totally insufficient. Think of an extremely large dump with trucks coming every few minutes to add to the pile with 100 vultures swarming. There are roughly 1800 people that work in the dump. They work for themselves and they are searching for food or materials such as aluminum or cardboard to sell. When a truck pulls up many people rush over and begin sifting through the pile. We helped AFE in handing out some food and water. The people were very grateful. There were probably 50 to 100 cows in the dump. The cows were grazing on garbage.
When were in the dump Pastor Johnny, who started AFE, gave an impromptu message to us. He started by saying that we all have a responsibility after seeing something like what we had just seen. He said that someone once told him there is a big difference between pity and compassion. Pity is when you feel sorry for someone and compassion is when you feel moved to somehow how help. He said the people in the dump don’t need pity. They need compassion. He said that often in our lives we decide to devote one hour to devotional times with God. But we get ten minutes into our quiet time and we run out of things to say to God. He said we now have at least 1,800 things to mention in our prayers.
It’s impossible to describe the experience we’re having with the Hondurans. I’m not sure its possible that we could connect better together and be more encouraged in our faith. We thank our families and the many supporters back home that made this possible!
We had a great time of fellowship tonight. At the end of our time together it was announced that in respect for the other guests in the hotel, no more rooster calls in the morning. Good decision, but I’m sad.