Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Yesterday Laurie gave me a delicious Jalapeno bagel so I added it to my grapefruit and coffee breakfast for the perfect morning meal. I had one half with smart squeeze and the other half with cream cheese...

Speaking of smart squeeze: I have no idea what it is, only 25 calories to cover toast or a bagel and zero fat. It tastes deliciously buttery yet does not melt, no matter how hot the toast is - which is strange. I guess its best not to over analyze...


So we had an earthquake yesterday... I was on the 5th floor of my office building in a meeting with my boss. We just kinda looked at each other but some of the women down the hall began screaming and panicking.... Some people are so dramatic... 5.4 is strong but not enough to really cause a lot of building damage. We all went out to lunch right after...

Concert in the Park

A major tradition in our family every summer is the concert in the park. Monday night we all went and invited the J family to come along. We had fried chicken and watched the country music band. The kids had a blast playing and dancing and so did we. I tried to line dance with Bryce on my shoulders and it wasn't really happening.

I caught Paige sneaking another chocolate muffin...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fair Food and Alan Jackson...

On Saturday night Dad, Lisa, Doug and I went to the OC fair for the Alan Jackson concert. We got there an hour early so we could eat some yummy fair food. Dad and I split fish and chips with fried zuccini and a kilbasa with fried onions and mustard. Lisa and Doug had fried chicken and a funnel cake... it was greasy and delicious!

The Alan Jackson concert was great! For his last song he sang "Where I come From" and they showed images of So Cal in the backgroun, really cool...


I was in the mood for fish on Saturday so I made some Seviche. The colors were beautiful and it came out delicious.

It contained, crab meat, shrimp, red onion, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, and crushed red pepper. I would have liked to throw some Serrano chiles in but they are still off limits right now (sigh) I hate salmonella... I served the seviche with crunchy, salty chips...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

That's all from Honduras

Today we left our hotel in Saba for the city of La Ceiba. We checked into the resort where we will stay the next two nights. This is an important time of rest and reflection so this will be my final blog entry from Honduras. I hope you enjoyed following my adventure! As you read this I am probably still in a hammock on the beach snoozing… See you all soon!

Final Day Together...

Our last day with our brothers and sisters of Planes finally came today and it was truly bitter sweet… kinda like their coffee... ;-)

We started our day back at the church site and as you can see the building is basically done. The nationals will raise further funds to add doors, shutters and electricity to the building. Plaster will cover up the exposed brick and paint will give the church a finishing touch. To commemorate the completion we had a dedication service in the church that just eight days before was a grassy hillside. There were prayers and readings from the word, it was an emotional time.

This picture is Pastor Hubentino, the regional director and the leader of the church we built Pastor Ramon.

After the service we got a special treat. We were able to travel out to Rio Arriba, the project we completed the last time I was in Honduras, to see how the building looks three years later. The words above me say: Evangelical Conservative Baptist Church Temple (what a mouthful for Baptist Church). It was a delight to see the church progress. The church in Planes will look similar upon its completion. After a quick lunch we all headed out the river park for some fun in the sun. We had a nice worship service in the shade of the trees. Then we all hit the river. A short climb down a staircase across the river then up and down another set of stairs revealed a secluded pool surrounded by rocks for jumping – it was a glorious place that only the hands of God could have sculpted. After a few went before me I took the plunge and jumped off the high rock. I would guess it was at least 2 stories high; it was scary and fun at the same time!

After a time of swimming, laughing and enjoying each others company our Honduran brothers and sisters boarded their bus for home. The Children stuck their hands out the window to wave us farewell.And so our project came to a close. Our hearts were full of love, our minds were full of memories and I know I have been changed for the better by this amazing time…

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 7

Today was a day of completion both for the building and the VBS. We started the morning with a delicious breakfast of beans, scrambled eggs, cheese and tortillas. Then we got to work mixing “mezcla.” Bucket after bucket after bucket got filled and passed into the church as we began to see the floor get poured. They started in the morning with the altar area. Once the altar was filled they poured the right side of the building, then the left. The technique was interesting. They laid two 2X4s down on the floor and poured the cement into the space between. Then they skimmed the top to flatten the concrete and smooth the surface. They went over it additional times to make sure it was smooth. As a decorative touch they sprinkled yellow dye crystals over the floor and worked them into the concrete mix.

The sisters made us deliciously crunchy fried fish fillets for lunch today. They were served with rice, salad and sauce. I made fish tacos out of mine and they were bomb! They work so hard to feed so many of us.

While people were finishing their food I got out some bubbles I brought with me and the kids that were around had fun trying to catch them…

In the afternoon we did the final day of VBS and OH WHAT A DAY! We had 106 kids show up for the service where again we sang, danced, did crafts, and heard a couple puppet stories. The second story was about how people go about accepting Christ as their savior. To solidify the teaching we asked Pastor Lucas to explain in more depth what it meant to become a child of God. Then he made an altar call and almost 40 children accepted Christ on the spot – PRAISE GOD – It was a beautiful site. After we were done we gave the kids their goodie bags and sent them on their way. They were thrilled to see their prizes inside the bags.
Today the Lord moved in awesome ways and even though my body is so tired my heart was full.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 6

Today was another glorious day under the Honduran sun. There were very few clouds early on in the day so we ate our sausage and bean (of course I didn’t eat the beans) breakfast in the heat of the morning. Today was the day that the trusses went up. As a team we carried all seven of them up from their resting place to the church. It took a minimum of 10 people to carry each of them.

As we slid them in the side door one end went up top, then the other. I was the lucky duck perched on the top of the wall receiving the truss as it came up. I would navigate it into place then secure it with rebar ties and nails. Yuk I look dirty in those pictures!

One by one they were secured across the top of the building.

Today was day 3 of VBS and we had over 85 kids today. Again laughter and fun ensued as we all sang praises to the Lord.

As the end of the day came many of us leveled, and re-leveled the interior floor as others above hammered the sheet metal roof into place. We left the site with about 4 sheets to go on the roof and the floor pretty close to level. A cool rain poured over the terrain as we rode home exhausted.

Tomorrow we look forward to the concrete floor getting poured and the last day of VBS with the goodie bag distribution. I am really having a great time – everything is such a challenge but God is really sustaining me…

Day 5

Today was a short day on the job site but truly one full of blessings! We started out with a delicious breakfast of fritas (sweet crunchy fried discs) which were awesome.

Then we had day two of our VBS. This time we sent the van out into the area and an hour later it came back PACKED with kids. Today’s count was 71 kids total. We did more singing, dancing, and praising the Lord!
At noon time we went out in groups to the various houses of the congregation to be served a meal in the member’s homes. The houses varied from one with satellite TV and an indoor bathroom to a tent deep in the jungle. The house I went to was the tent in the jungle – truly amazing! After we ate what I think was pork and rice we ventured off into the jungle to a little river. Looking up from the river area the vegetation was so thick you could not see daylight – it was breathtaking.
On the job site we saw the corners of the building take shape, the floor get leveled and the peaks of the roof go up.

Tonight we go to church in Tocoa which should be great, well except when they ask us to sing… hmmm…

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 4 on the site

Everyone woke up feeling good this morning. We had a busy day of making “mezcla” or hand mixed cement then filling the molds for the pillars. Only four days ago we were securing the rebar towers. Now wooden planks were attached to both the inside and outside of the building around the rebar and we simply poured the cement in between them to anchor and solidify the corners. This took many bucket lines.

We also got to see the altar started on the inside.

It is amazing to imagine the work God is going to do in this building over the years to come and astounding to think that each of us to took part in building it – Gloria a Dios! (a common phrase here meaning glory to God).

For lunch the sisters served awesome ham steaks, rice, plantain, salad and tortillas. They are a hard working team of women who keep everyone on the site well fed!

Today was also the start of vacation bible school for the kids: one of the reasons I love this trip! Before the kids began to arrive I had to put the puppet stage together which was probably the hardest thing I have done so far! Ummm where are the instructions???

When it was done both Noah and I were very happy!

We had about 30 or so kids come and Katie & I led singing, dancing, crafts, prayers and a story – all by the grace of God. The story of Noah and the ark was performed by the puppets and the kids giggled, laughed and jumped all over when the puppets talked – it was such a blessing to see.

After a nice dinner in town we were invited to a church service in Cuaca. It was a regional meeting of the women’s group from each of the Baptist churches in the area. We worshiped God among hundreds of our brothers and sisters in Spanish – truly a lovely way to end the day.