The Joyous Laughter of Honduran Children Can Be Heard Here At Home
Can you hear it? Keep still, listen intently... Can you hear it now? They're laughing, they're giggling, they're singing and running and jumping and LAUGHING JOYOUSLY!!
These are the sounds of children playing on the playground that we built in Nueva Suyapa, Honduras. A community now put on the map because they have the best playground in all of Tegucigalpa. The joys and laughter we saw and heard while playing with the children on the playground, are forever imprinted in our minds. This playground is constantly crawling with kids (and even adults) these days. Smiles are everywhere. They said they have never had such a beautiful, colorful structure in their community, let alone a playground. It is truly a refuge for the kids (and adults) as they can just be kids while playing on this colorful playground escaping the harsh realities of life. These children are healthy because they were seen and treated in our medical clinic. These children were creatively inspired by the arts and crafts, carnival and daycare teams. And these children were genuinely shown the love of Jesus Christ by our entire team.
Thank you SO much for your prayers and financial support of our ministry down in Honduras. Our mission trip would not have been successful without your persistent prayer and support. God did so much through our team. Now that we are home and settling back into the "routine" of life again, we are starting to hear about the impact we left while in Honduras. We were there such a short time and did so much, that we didn't have time to comprehend the impact we left while we were there.
We had one final team meeting after returning home to debrief and discuss what happened those ten days of intense ministry work. During this meeting we made a phone call to Maureen Hodge, our missionary contact in Honduras. She told us how much our team is missed and how the Hondurans are asking when we are coming back. Missed? We’re missed? We miss them! The people, the kids, our new Honduran friends, the land, the mountains, being with our team 24/7, pouring out the love of Jesus on the least of these. Maureen told us that the biggest impact we left was how we loved these people. We showed them a genuine love that surpassed all understanding. This loved surpassed the language barrier, the cultural barrier, the age barrier, and the financial barrier. It was a love that reached to the deepest parts of their hearts.
Some people believe that mission trips should entail verbally preaching the Gospel, but our team shared the Gospel out of the love we showed… Through our medical clinics, through building the largest playground in Tegucigalpa, through arts and crafts, carnivals, play and fun, and through the time we spent with them.
The images of the people, land and community are forever imprinted in our minds. Friday, July 4th, seven of us from the team happened to drive past a landfill on our way to Lake Michigan. I could hardly handle it. I had to turn my head away but at the same time, I had to look. The images of the people living in the landfill that we visited in Honduras were filling my mind. My heart broke for them. The emotions and feelings are really starting to hit me. They didn't sink in while we were there, but now that I'm remembering and reliving the experiences, the realities of their conditions are starting to become real to me. That's not all I remember about Honduras, but that is just one flashback I had recently. I've had several others as I look through pictures and remember Honduras ...a country that has definitely left it’s impact on me.
It was an honor to serve alongside of you in the mission field. Yes, you. Even though you didn’t go with us to Honduras, you were right there serving alongside of us… through your prayers, love and financial support. We couldn’t imagine doing it without you. Thank you.
My good friend and fellow team member, Jon Medrano, wrote this while we were in country and it spoke to my heart today as I read it today...
God has given us such an amazing opportunity to share His love to the Hondurans. It's a great feeling to be used by God. Nothing compares to the calling God has given us on this mission trip. We are so far from home, from family and friends, who are lifting us up in prayer. But this team... Wow, this team is awesome! God has chosen each one of these gifted people perfectly. Like a big family we help each other and bond closer each day. It truly is an honor ministering alongside them. We are God's hands here in Honduras. Everyday is another adventure. Another chance to be a shining light in a country that's so desperate to see. The people here want more than what life has been giving them. They are begging and crying out for a change. I can see it in their eyes.
In truth, we are all wanting and searching for something more. And as a man saved by the grace of my Savior Jesus Christ, I have been given a great responsibility to share the message of God's love. Here in Honduras, the WaYfm mission team will work, play, serve, obey, worship and live for Jesus Christ. Our God has prepared us for such a time as this. ~ Jon Medrano
And with that, I will sign off The WaYfm Honduras 2008 Mission Team Blog. I have to say it's hard to sign off our blog and bring closure to our trip. But, the memories remain and the future has so much to offer EACH one of us! Keep looking up - He's waiting to take you on a wild ride if you let Him... Just let go of yourself and your fears and be FREE in HIM!! We all did! How else do you think we ended up in Honduras?? :)
Praisin' Our Father
in a Landfill
It's something you see on TV... Charities begging for your money, showing you the worst pictures they ever could to guilt trip you into giving them money. These pictures portray skinny, malnourished people living in extreme poverty, some even in a landfill. You turn your head because it makes you sick. You turn a deaf ear, a blind eye, thinking, "No way could someone be living in those conditions." It's unfathomable. Impossible.
Think again. Forty of us just experienced it first hand. The stories are true. The people are real. Extreme poverty does exist... Our team visited a landfill last week. Words cannot describe what we saw. Our minds can hardly comprehend what we visualized... The pictures speak for themselves. This is reality for 100+ people living just outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras...
Serving Jesus in the lowliest of places. The birds were vultures and buzzards that swarm the entire site. Dogs were everywhere. Someone even brought their cattle up to "graze". Several kids were eating pizza they had found in the trash. They fought over recyclables they had found to be sold for money. These are a people who live on a dollar a day. The children have to work so their family can survive. Some of the kids do attend the school that serves these children. A ministry inspired by a five year old. It's quite a story as she was the one who encouraged her parents to serve the children living in the dumpsite. This little girl is now 12 years old and the children in the dumpsite have been served since then. "And the children will lead their parents..." God works in phenomenal ways.
While these pics in the slideshow were taken from two different sites, many are from the dumpsite. The other site was a rural community up in the mountains that had no electricity, which is where we saw the rainbow in the valley below reminding us of God's promises.
God loves each and every person in both of these communities. We loved these people in the Name of Christ - be it through medical, arts & crafts, puppet shows, clowns, balloon animals or the simple act of a hug. We even handed out hygiene kits to the people at the dump. This was something they valued and treasured so much... You could see how they mobbed us for them. At the school at the dumpsite, we also fitted the kids with the donated shoes as well as backpacks and clothes - all that had been donated by YOU. What a blessing!
The part that touched us the most was singing praises to our Father in the middle of the dumpsite - something that had never been done before. It gave us chills... It was that moving, especially when the people living there sang and clapped along with smiles on their faces. Yes, SMILES! There was true joy in the middle of a landfill! God's Name was truly praised that day... from one of the lowliest places on earth. His Name will be glorified to the ends of the earth. Because of Him, we can survive.
Arrives in Honduras.
On Friday, May 30, the rain in Tegucigalpa, Honduras stopped just in time for the arrival and unloading of the much anticipated WAYfm shipping container which was loaded with desks, toys and playground equipment for the children in Tegucigalpa Honduras.
“The container arrived and it looked GREAT and FULL! We had over 25 people helping with the unloading," said Orphan Outreach's mission coordinator Maureen Hodge. "Everyone kept asking what all the materials were for and for whom."
There are no parks in the Honduras community where Hodge works. The only playground equipment in the area is located in fast food restaurants where the poor can not afford to visit.
"The playground set is AWESOME," said Hodge. "Having a set like this in our very own community is the biggest blessing for thousands of children. We all had tears in our eyes and when the double slide came out everyone oohed and ahhed. It was as if it was Christmas morning here today."
On June 16-25, the WaYfm team will arrive in Honduras to assemble the playground equipment, provide medical care to the community, host a carnival and share the Love of Christ with the children in this community. You can read about the trip progress at the station’s trip blog at http://www.way.fm/connect/missions.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work," wrote Hodge. "You are blessing thousands of children and families with all the hard work you did to fill this container. I am truly speechless today and seeing how the rain stopped was just only a great gift from God. Just as we were finishing it started raining. It was as if God just smiled down on all of you and all of us reminding us He's in charge. God bless each and everyone of you and for all those extra donors who are helping bless the poorest of the poor. I pray you are feeling God's smile on you today.”
Type of Government - Democratic Constitutional Republic
Language(s) - Spanish; indigenous languages
Religion - Roman Catholic (97%), Protestant (3%)
Country Facts -
Population: 7,483,763 (2007)
Birth Rate: 27.59 births/1,000 population
Death Rate: 5.32 deaths/1,000 population
Infant Mortality Rate total:
25.21 deaths/1,000 live births
Population below poverty line: 50.7% (2004)
Est. # people living with HIV/AIDS:
63,000; 1.5% adult (15-49) prevalence rate (2005)
Unemployment rate: 27.8% (2007)
Literacy Rate (age 15 + can read & write):
80% total population (2001)
Estimated 180,000 children (0-17)
Sponsor A School for only
$30 per month or
$360 per year Your sponsorship of a school in
Guatemala will provide a child with:
A quality, Christian education.
A New Backpack
School Supplies necessary
for a sucessful school year.