Puerto Lempira Can Be Beautiful
This beautiful scene is a joy to behold. It reminds one of the glories of God simply because his creation speaks volumes about his greatness. Puerto Lempira is not a good looking community. If I took a photo in any other direction, it would look shabby and displeasing. It leaves so much to be desired. It continues to remind one of how local leadership lacks vision and resolve; not to mention integrity in matters of caring for the improvement of one’s community. Pride is lacking. But my prayer is that with time Puerto Lempira will evolve into something worthy of excitement. But it holds treasures for me. And how is that? So many of its people are like family to me. The families I get to see and be with when I arrive. It is like coming home.
This last mission event brought me to Puerto Lempira about seven times in a seven-week period. First when I arrived with the first ministry team that was there to execute a yearly VBS event; Vacation Bible School. In January? Yes. Honduran kids have November, December, and January off from school. Then I visited PLP … Puerto Lempira … several other times. And the event that brought me there the most repeated times was an annual and very crucial medical brigade. I was the driver who delivered patients from our Rus Rus Hospital who required minor surgeries. Five trips I made over nine days. Four and a half hours each way. Once I drove there and the patients I was picking up were not released … and I just went back to Rus Rus. But in those almost ten hours of driving time in the grand forest of that area of Honduras, I got to know and appreciate MAG pilot apprentice Keith Woockman. What a joy it was to meet and know Keith. That young man gave his whole heart into everything he did; even just hanging out with me. Bless you, Keith. In time I trust you will become one of God’s finest pilot mechanics on the mission field. Hopefully in Honduras.
An Aero Caribe LET … Ajua!!!
This big lady; this fine aircraft, gets me back and forth all the time. I fly in this lady from central Honduras; from the city of La Ceiba to the far east of Honduras, to PLP. It is second nature for me to fly with Aero Caribe. I need to enjoy such aircraft. After all, I belong to an aviation ministry. I flew on this baby four times over the seven weeks. She is strong and true. I can start bragging on our MAG Cessnas as soon as they reach Honduras. In the meantime, I will continue to fly Aero Caribe. I thank God for all that this airline does for me and my teams. Her owners partner well with us. The Paz family.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
But let me get to the whole story … the whole seven weeks. Let me say that when I left in mid-January I did not know it would feel so long and that it would seem so hard this time. Upon my arrival, I traveled to La Ceiba and spent some days alone just getting ready for the arrival of my team … buying and shipping supplies for the upcoming projects. This team would execute a VBS kids event and also take on a construction project. This team was quite impressive. Here are some pics of the folks involved.
2019 VBS Team
The man second from the left is the president of our Honduran NGO, Grupo de Aviacion Medico de Honduras. He is a key player in the future of MAG in Honduras. But he was not part of the VBS team. After me and Ricardo, you see my right-hand man, Esau Nunez. Followed by Sean and Carmen Garrigan. This would not be the first visit to Honduras for this couple, and it will probably not be their last. And then you see Jenn and Jack McComas. Jenn and Jack would prove to be the most exciting couple I have met in a very long time. Their maturity and their strengths in the work of the Spirit were so surprising to me and to those who were meeting them for the first time. They would teach kids and adults so much about prayer, but mostly about God’s love for each one of them. But I really believe I was the one who learned the most from them. I hope they can share once again with us in the not too distant future. Esau and I hope that Jack and Jenn will be able to someday even help train our pastors and leaders in Central America.
Jack McComas Ministering to a Boy
Me Interpreting for Jenn
The Real Jenn McComas
I cannot begin to describe the kind of love and sweetness that was poured into the children of Rus Rus, Mahbita, and Suhi. There were so many of them. And even so, Jack and Jenn, as well as the whole team for that matter, loved on them in the power of the Spirit of God.
The Joy of Jorge
The Four Points of Prayer 🙂
La Preciosa Danitza
Rus Rus and Mahbita Kids
All That Joy and Excitement in Suhi
We served these children over six days. Four days and four lessons in Rus Rus and two days in Suhi. But our time was so rich. The presence of the Spirit was so powerful. The love and encouragement given to the kids were so rich. The rest of the team was made up of several local teenage girls. Here they are.
The Whole VBS Team
And what a team it was. Adult Fermina Lacoth and the girls made for a complete team. They gave so much love and attention to the children. And the ladies spent time with Jenn and Carmen for four straight afternoons getting ready for the next day’s lesson and time with the kids. This preparation on their part allowed them to learn the lessons better than anyone else. That is what I believed happened.
Check out some other VBS pics.
Alex of course …
Georgette on the far right!!!
Oh yeah, I baptized my daughter Naomi Elvir Chow. She is obviously not my biological daughter. But she was adopted by my heart several years ago. She looks to me like to a father, and I thank God that I can do life with her. Naomi has an older brother Brian and a younger sister Anji. The two fathers to these three were killed. Another family in PLP that welcomes me home every time I show up. And you can probably imagine how important it is for me to keep showing up.
Naomi Elvir Chow PAZ 🙂
On the way to execute another VBS event together …
Baptizing Niurka and Naomi … Cousins
Serving God Together!!!
Niurka and Naomi are granddaughters to our head nurse, Geraldina Coleman … our amazing nurse at our Rus Rus Hospital. Deciding to follow Jesus is everything in this life. There is no greater privilege or calling in life. I rejoice that I will be able to do this with Niurka, Naomi, and Esau. Building lives give life, people! All I can say is Ajua, Orale, and Aleluya!!!
Contemplating and Answering the Call of God
Who wants to follow Jesus?
THE NEW WATER TOWER
The other project we took on was the construction of a Water Tower that was well overdue. It was to replace the old one that is overly rusted and about to fall with a good strong wind. The majority of the work was done by MAG site supervisor Manuel Villanueva. He is an amazing person and a hard worker. He has obviously done this before.
Mario and Alfredo Lifting Cement Buckets
Manuel in the Yellow, Jack in the Back and Esau on the Right
The tower was left as you see it because of the cement needing to harden over several days. The tower will soon be exposed and hosed down even more with water to help solidify it properly. You can see the old tower on the right. The bucket will simply be moved over to the new tower when it is ready. And new PVC pipes will soon connect our well-pump to the new water tank.
The VBS team then went home. We had a good time together as we celebrated in San Pedro at a nice hotel. I could not be more grateful for the team God and Carmen Garrigan put together. Bless you, Carmen. Thanks to the whole team. Jack and Jenn took us straight to God. The children of these villages will not soon forget them. And once again Carmen preached God’s Word in Mahbita. A solid word she gave us all. I got to interpret for her. It was well received. Jack and Jenn were also able to pray for so many of our friends and fellow brethren there.
Carmen Sharing the Word in Mahbita
VBS Team 2019 Celebrating
GUAIMACA & US EMBASSY VISITS
All the work that had transpired the first three weeks of the mission event led me and Esau to another part of Honduras; to visit a future MAG mission base. Most likely MAG will place pilot mechanics and their families … and a Cessna of course … in a small town named El Tomate. Nothing like Veggie Tales, mind you. Lol. It is located next to Guaimaca. And as the Honduras Program Director, it was important that I visit that site once again. Besides, Esau had not seen the site nor met the leaders of Be Ministries … Kelly and Trisha Lawrence. Kelly is a guy, ok? Manly type. 🙂 He also serves with Grupo de Aviacion Medico de Honduras as a board member. My visit also gave me an opportunity to share with Lawrence’s how the ministry is moving along in La MosQuitia.
With Isaac Sauceda and son Isaac, Trisha, Kelly, and Esau
With Mission Base Pastor, Luis Omar Rodriguez, and Family
The airfield in El Tomate will see action again!!!
Esau and I had a blessed time in El Tomate with Kelly and Trisha Lawrence. We got to share the Word and worship with the church that meets at the Be Ministries compound. We both felt a powerful anointing of the Spirit in that place as we shared in the service.
This special place at El Tomate holds much promise. You can feel it in the air. I can even now see our Cessnas coming and going there. Teams arriving and getting ready to fly to Rus Rus even from there. The best is yet to come. God is in control of everything concerning this place, and the Honduras program, and for MAG. For Grupo de Aviacion Medico de Honduras. May the glory be to the King of kings.
Then the most interesting thing happened. Our MAG COO, Steve Straw, set up a visit for me to meet up with personnel at the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa. I had hoped that could happen. But I was not so sure it would. But Steve contacted a close friend there … Charles Morrill, the number two guy there. And then there were people looking for me to come and visit. And what would I be looking for from the embassy? Well, they had previously expressed an interest in helping in some way with the Rus Rus Bridge, way in need of repair. Esau and I met up in early February with Wendy Bustillo, Navy Capt Tony Park, and Air Force Colonel Francisco Rivera at the Security Cooperation Office for the US Embassy. I am amazed at what God opens up to me sometimes. Esau and I could not have planned this ourselves. But God is doing things that only He can do to bring about much-needed change in the parts of Honduras where He has called us. Ms. Bustillo asked me right off why I thought the bridge in Rus Rus was so important and why the repair of that bridge would be so essential. And I gave her my four compelling reasons while they all took notes. We were able to show key photos of the bridge and its current condition. And they agreed that the matter should be taken seriously. And I was left with a very humble and grateful heart. I will soon be following up with the three key personnel regarding their plans to work closely with Honduran officials to begin to address the needs at Rus Rus.
Rus Rus Bridge
Forget the Planks … It’s the Metal Underneath that is Failing
I will not get into this bridge matter any further. But please pray that the doors that God has opened up with the US Embassy will lead to some resolution in the not too distant future.
With US Embassy Personnel
When God called me to the mission field he told me he would show me things that I could not even begin to imagine. Some days I am just left there with my mouth wide open, wondering what just happened. Yep!!! Wide open. Thank you, Steve Straw. God is good.
Esau then traveled back to La Ceiba, where I would await the arrival of MAG pilot apprentice Keith Woockman. Esau went home to visit family for a few days while I waited for Keith and ran more errands. Keith’s arrival was uneventful, other than the fact that Keith is a wonderful young man and a joy to be with. He would prove to be God’s man … Johnny on the spot, as the saying goes.
Esau, Keith, myself, and the required Cool Sunglasses
ANNUAL MEDICAL EVENT AT RUS RUS HOSPITAL
After meeting up with Esau once again in La Ceiba we left for Puerto Lempira. We were there to await the arrival of an IHS medical team. IHS stands for International Health Services. This organization has been in existence about 35 years, in which time they have executed much needed medical events … brigades … to meet the medical and dental needs of peoples of Honduras in remote or poor areas. And they have throughout that time met the needs of thousands upon thousands of people. This year’s team proved to be a great source of blessing for more than a thousand folks who visited Rus Rus Hospital from the nearby villages both from Honduras and Nicaragua. I do not presently have the final counts for medical consults, the fitting of reading glasses, or those receiving dental care. But it was well over a 1000 consults. It could run into 1400 or so when the final count is given. But I am not at all impressed with numbers, though they tell their own story.
Rus Rus Hospital During Medical Event
Miskito Peoples Arriving from Nicaragua
They Came in Great Numbers … Full of Hope
RR Hospital Nurse Ingrid Miranda Hard at Work
Ingrid’s Daughter Caren Served in the Pharmacy
This event had me traveling back and forth to Puerto Lempira taking patients who were qualified for minor surgeries. It was long and tiring work, but it was at the time fulfilling … and what needed to be done. Besides, I love to travel through that amazingly beautiful forest.
Stopping for a Selfie … Nicaragua in the Distance
RR Hospital … Where Hope Is Found!!!
The medical team of eleven was a true blessing and hard working. They gave so much energy and so much compassion to so many needy and grateful people. I am deeply grateful for them and their willingness to come from so far. They came from the United States, Canada, and from London, England. Yes, all the way from England. Gather that. God is good and people do care.
In Great Numbers, They Came
And They All Received Care
February 2019 Medical Team … MAG & IHS Teams
This event proved to be a seven-week mission event for me. But I am so grateful to God for all of it. It all had a purpose. God met the needs of so many … spiritual, physical, and even emotional. God met me many times and often in the most surprising ways this time around.
Again, I thank all of you who give so much and pray so hard so that I can continue to follow God’s leading and calling on my life. I am willing to go as far as necessary no matter what cost or sacrifice. He is worthy of my love, my loyalty, and my life.
Thank you for helping me serve the Living God!!!