On Thursday our group was in the classrooms again, and we had evening English classes at the church as well as a pizza party!
After lessons in the evening, some of the team members performed the “Everything Skit”. It was a powerful skit that many of the students were touched by, and the students told is that it made them feel a range of emotions.
We also are pizza and talked to the kids about our faith, and answers questions that they had about God. It was an amazing night of evangelism and new friendships!
On Friday we went to the classrooms for the last time. Saying goodbye was difficult, but we are all so glad that we had the chance to meet these students. Most of us on the team have connected to students on social media, so we hope to stay in touch! We will finish the day by going into a city and evangelizing there.
Please keep Poland in your prayers!
It is early Friday morning as I write this and it is quite warmer today already than it has been this week. As I walked across the parking lot to the building that has internet access I was listening to the birds singing for spring. Such joy the birds have!
We have such an even greater joy ourselves. Thursday was marked with many highs of the week but also several lows for some. The morning was typical, helping teachers in the Academy, continuing to cultivate relationships with the school kids, helping in the kitchen to prepare lunch, continuing to cultivate relationshie school kids, running around town with the kitchen operator. The afternoon called us to a service project in which we did massive cleanup at the warehouse that Shepherd owns. It was a little chilly and was raining on and off. There was some really nasty stuff that we were shoveling and cleaning up. There were large and heavy objects that required a few of us to work together to move and get into the dumpster. For some, it was a challenging project to say the least! It even challenged the hearts of a few of us. But, we accomplished the task at hand with a servant and loving attitude. We were able to bond through this experience and provide Shepherd with a much needed job.
After the cleanup project, we found a bite to eat at a local restaurant and enjoyed some fellowship. Then, two of our friends here at Shepherd met with us for some debriefing, questions, and continuation of Poverty 101. People are certainly gaining a better understanding of poverty and are discovering interests within themselves. Questions like ‘what are the next steps’ are being asked. At the end of the day, all of us were joyful for what God has been doing for so long in this community and what God has been doing just this week. We are eager for our last full day at Shepherd.
We thank you again for your interest in us, support and prayer. We cannot express that enough. We pray also for you.
We started out the day by waking up at 5 am. The team decided to get up early to watch the sunrise! It was so beautiful to see the sun come up over the mountains. We were near the lake at El Sembrador so everything was reflecting off of the water. Then we had an amazing breakfast and set out to continue working on our projects. Some went to work on the sidewalk and some went to paint in one of the barns at the farm. We worked until lunch time and then it was time for an adventure. We had the opportunity to travel up the mountains. There are several caves up there and we were able to take a tour through one. It was such a great experience and just captivating. After getting back from the caves, we had some time to get all dressed up for dinner. We had dinner in town instead of here at the farm. We ate at a restaurant called Iguanas. The had a small outdoor zoo and we actually got a chance to play with the monkeys there. We had so much food and it just kept coming. We also had these great fruit drinks in big glass chalice. This was a perfect ending to a great day and week so far. When we got back, we had time to play soccer with the boys. They are so much fun to hang out with. Tomorrow is the busiest day of our week so we would appreciate your prayers. Thanks again for your support and we can´t wait to see how God will work through us again tomorrow.
Yesterday was cold…really cold….cold, windy desolate…..something like this….
Okay, maybe not this desolate, but you get the idea…
People were few and far between…
But as we recapped the day last night and went over the things that happened we were again amazed at the goodness and faithfulness of our God…
We had amazing opportunities to be with beautiful families (with lively kids), we had the chance to engage with a Muslim family that was gracious to discuss the differences and similarities between our faiths, we again had time to talk with members of the homeless community and engaged with a gentleman that astounded members of our team with his amazing intelligence and memorization of the Bible, we engaged young couples in deep conversations and were able to pray with and for them, we were encouraged by strong believers who gave words of encouragement and we spent sweet time worshiping on the beach with our friends from across the street. Beach Worship
After dinner we once again had the awesome opportunity to go to Ocean View where we spent time worshiping with the residents of the home. This is annually one of the most beautiful events for us as we get to experience a true worship opportunity with the residents. This video is just a small taste of the amazing experience. Ocean View Worship
Continue to pray as we seek to follow God’s leading!
We can´t believe that the week is already half way over! It´s going by so fast and we are having a great time. Today, we went back to the school we went to yesterday. We finished the trench project and were able to set the pipes so that they can bring fresh water into the school. Because we finished so early, we were able to pass out many gifts to the children there. Also while we worked, we were able to play with the kids. They loved the balloons and bubbles that we brought. A few soccer games broke out occasionally. After we got back and had lunch, it was time to work here at El Sembrador. We are in the process of putting in a new sidewalk for the students and staff because during the raining season in Honduras, it gets very muddy walking to classes. Today, we dug up the grass with pick axes and shovels. The dirt here is very hard and there are a lot of rocks. It was hard work and we got a lot of blisters, but it will be so worth it when it is finished. Hopefully we will finish the sidewalk by the end of the week. Tonight we went to our last church service and performed our dramas again. They went very well and the people in the church seemed to enjoy them. Our performance for each drama has improved from the beginning of the week, which will get us ready for Friday…our big performance. We will be performing for the students here at El Sembrador. after the service, we passed out more candy and toys to the children there. God has really had his hand in every moment of this trip and it has been a blessing. It´s been really exciting to see how he has worked through us and we can´t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Thanks so much for your prayers and continue to lift us and the Hondurans up as the week goes on!
Tuesday morning all of the teams headed out to their worksites again. Some of the groups faced trials as we had to do other smaller projects before we would be able to shingle the roof again. When we faced these trials, some of us struggled with the fact that we thought we had better plans than God had for us. Our relationships with our homeowners grew quite a bit as we continue to spend time eating lunch with them and also doing our devotionals with them. It seems as though most of the homeowners are really enjoying our company as we work on their roofs.
In our devotional on Tuesday we discussed redemption. We were challenged by the idea that we are all poor, blind, imprisoned, and oppressed in some way. In contrast, today we talked about every human being created in the image of God. I think the way that we were challenged today was in knowing how our relationships with others remind us that we are all made in God’s likeness.
Wednesday was SOS’s designated half-day for the work teams, and all of us were glad that our work progressed more smoothly in the morning than it did on Tuesday. We certainly learned the lesson of patience God was teaching us yesterday! (And I should add that many of us were sad to quit working at lunchtime as we were raring to keep working.)
After lunch we returned to SOS to learn more about organizations working in Memphis and seeking to better the community, after which the director of SOS challenged us to think about how we might be called to serve in poorer communities. One message that really stuck out to us was this: Christians often return from weeks like these with the realization that they take their many blessings for granted and they ought to be more grateful. Yet Jesus didn’t come to earth, see the brokenness of humanity, and return to heaven grateful that he’d been blessed by God. He ran to the brokenness and sacrificed his life to begin the process of restoring it.
Our team got to experience “running to brokenness” firsthand when several of us were approached by three men who were struggling with material poverty. Although we were unable to give them the money they were seeking, the team members instead told the men they were Christians and asked to pray for them, and their reactions were stunning. Each was overwhelmed with the joy only a relationship with Jesus can bring, and our team was so glad to be able to share that joy with them.
We ended Wednesday first by enjoying some delicious Memphis barbecue (and a chance encounter with the men’s UCLA basketball team who were doing the same) and second by sharing our experiences so far as a team and worshiping together. We continue to be amazed by all that God is teaching us here and all that he is challenging us to consider as we think about returning to our “normal” lives next week. The evening was an amazing time of worship for all of us, and we’re so excited for our last few days on the trip.
Pray for good weather and high spirits Thursday as we work to finish out our roofs!
The morning began as a typical weekday here at Shepherd. After breakfast and mingling with the school kids in the cafeteria, we helped the teachers throughout their classes and continued to interact with the children. A few of us helped out in the kitchen again as well, preparing lunch for everyone at Academy. After school was dismissed at 12:30, we had a great opportunity to debrief with one of the directors at Shepherd. In so doing, we were able to discuss thoughts and feelings as we continue to process how we see God working in the communities here. We are changing the way we understand poverty and are hopeful in increasing our capacity to embrace the grace of God and love not only ourselves, but those around us.
After the debrief, some of our group went to the after school program at another site to engage in some sporting activities and a magic show with a lot of the kids. The other part of our group stayed at the school building and helped out with some things that needed to be done. A few of us were in the kitchen preparing dinner, which we took to a hangout place in the warehouse that Shepherd owns. There, the youth (middle school and high school) meet every Wednesday night. We brought the dinner over for them and played dodge ball. Moreover, a few alumni met us there and joined us. This was a great time of fellowship and deepening our understanding of what it takes to foster consistent relationships in this community. Shepherd certainly is a place where this can happen.
Upon our return to the Shepherd Community Center, we spent some time together in reflecting on the day and worshiping. We are excited to continue to learn how we can be effective and humble in the ministry that God is doing here and elsewhere. Again, we thank you for your interest in us and for your continued support!