Monday, July 28, 2014


Gail presented information about our Honduras trip in church yesterday.  She seemed to stumble for words when she talked about our safety.  She probably didn't want to concern them too much.  After the service I mentioned to several that Honduras had the second highest murder rate of any country in the world.  Last evening while reading about Honduras online I discovered I was wrong.  It has the highest rate of all countries.

However UMVIM is sending teams in and out of the country on a regular basis so we project that we will be safe.  Most murders are connected to gangs and drug trafficking, and we don't appear to be related to either.

Other major events of the months are past and we are packing.  Prescription to prevent malaria, sunscreen, anti-diarrheal pills, water filter, flight insurance papers; yeah, I think we have the safety measures covered, not that there are any.  OK, so there are precautions that one must take.

With the list in one hand, the items are spread out across the table and room and we are moving forward.  Batteries, chargers, cameras all charged and ready.  Fortunately the electricity is the same there as here; so I've read.  Baggies are overfilled with clothes and flattened before closing them to minimize space.  Special towels that take very little space and dry quickly, and shirts that don't stink even after a week of wear are on the pile are on the pile.  Passport and tickets are in safe and ready-to-go locations.

And there are the lists for home: what the house sitter needs to know about watering plants and feeding animals, what we need to do before we leave to ready the place for the house sitter and our absence, what we need to do for committees and volunteer work before we leave, and what we want to buy to take and leave for the children and people where we are staying.  Back-to-school sales are best at this time of the year.

There's also the posting on the blog to keep people informed or over-informed.  Check!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Preparing for the Honduras Mission Trip

The word "mission" is used in many ways, similar but somewhat different ways.  A determined child with a specific goal may be on a "mission."  A particular action of a military unit may have a "mission."  A missionary works within his or her "mission."  The goal or purpose of a church may be its "mission."  And a group of individuals traveling to another region of the world with a specific purpose are on a "mission" trip.

So it is with this group of eight from Dallas, Oregon, mostly members of Dallas United Methodist Church, who are headed to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to help build a church/conference office building.  As outsiders to this group, being members of Christ's Church Methodist and Presbyterian United in Monmouth, Gail and I don't know that much about each individual, but then that's one of the products of an eight-day trip working and living side by side: to get to know each other better.

Don, our leader, who has taken the Dallas church from four years of talking about an international mission trip to a reality, has a book store on the coast.  Julie, the second wife of a student I knew at WOU over 15 years ago and a mother of two, is so full of energy.  Jim and Lola are her parents.  Kellie has been designated as our official photographer and comes with great equipment, and a couple children she will leave at home.  Craig, active at Dallas UMC, has taken on many leadership responsibilities.  As a choir member he has been identified as our song leader.  Gail and I will be participating in our 22nd "mission" activity or trip, and for essentially the first time, not as the team leaders.

Honduras has been designated as a very dangerous country having the second highest murder rate in the world.  It is also identified as one of the sources of children illegally crossing the borders into the United States after walking, hitchhiking and bussing a thousand miles across Mexico to avoid poverty, death, rape and slavery in Honduras.  These are phenomena we may gain insight into, at least I hope so.  Even now as I write this, I feel pain for these children and their families.  We have dreams of being a benefit to the people in Honduras, but only time and patience will tell if our dreams will come true.