Saturday morning, Jan 25, Charles, (my friend from church) Sharron, (my daughter
in law) and I (Kevin) met at my house to begin our journey to San Pedro Sula
Honduras for the second week of a building trip with CWE (Construction For
Worldwide Evangelism). This would be the first trip for both Sharron and
Charles. Sharron had been excited about going ever since she saw the pictures
from my previous trips to Bolivia and St. Kitts. She was a little uneasy about
what was to be her first flight, and her first trip out of the USA but still
excited. Charles was scheduled to go on the Bolivia trip less than a year ago
but was unable to make it. My son Brian drove us to the Tampa airport, we were a
little early so we grabbed a bite to eat before meeting up with the rest of the
We then went down the ticket counter and met the rest of the team. I had been on trips with two of the people before and knew a couple others but most of them were new to me. We checked our bags and were soon on our way.
We flew from the
short flight from Tampa to Miami, Sharron enjoyed the take off and was beginning
to feel at ease about flying, I had forgotten though to warn her about landings.
When we landed in Miami it must have been a little more rough than she had
expected. The look on her face was priceless. Too bad I didn't have the camera
ready for that picture.
While waiting to board the airplane in Miami we took the opportunity to meet the rest of the volunteers and learn a little about them. Most were from Florida, a few from Michigan, two from Iowa and two from Georgia. We soon boarded our flight and were headed for Honduras.
After a short flight of less
than two hours, we were landing in Honduras, Sharron was full of excitement, the
mountains were beautiful and the land was green. The area had seen a lot of
rainfall in the preceding weeks.
We entered the airport and were waiting to go through customs when we saw Paul Puleo (he was on the first weeks crew). They were preparing to board their flight back to the US, we were able to spend a little time with each other, greeting old friends and meeting new ones. One of the volunteers on the first week was a Deacon from the church we built in St. Kitts just five months earlier. It was nice to see him again. He looked like he had been really worked hard. Often times some people see the pictures we take and think we are on mini vacations. It's had to work with a camera in your hand, so you don't often see the hard work and long hours that go into the building of the church.
We met some Hondurans from the Inglesia Bautista Faro de Luz and they helped us load our bags into a truck and believe it or not, our first stop was McDonalds. Whoopee! We had a few burgers and fries and soon went to our new home for the week.
We arrived at our house and
while the ladies were preparing lunch, the men paired up and went through the
neighborhood inviting people to visit the church. I was with Charles. I know
very little Spanish but Charles knows even less, about the only Spanish word he
was able to pronounce correctly was "no". We had fun though. I was a little
uneasy about starting up conversations with people in Spanish and then not being
able to continue. I really need to learn to speak Spanish.
While at one house I noticed a horse grazing in the next yard, not a common site in Florida but apparently pretty common in Honduras, I saw many of them.
The next morning was Sunday. We had breakfast and then headed to church. Services were held in a building on the same property as the job site so were were able to look the job over before going to church.
During church, some of us shared testimonies of how God had impacted out lives, and of how we came to be on this trip. We sang songs and worshiped together. The first Sunday morning on these trips is always exciting to me. I get to meet new people and see how others around the world worship God. It is nice to know that God is in every country.
After services we were able to
meet the people of the church. Sharron immediately headed to the children's
Sunday School where she met a little girl with the cutest little curls. She
helped her put stickers on her shirt.
I wandered around and found a makeshift tent that was used for Sunday School class.
As I walked into the new building I found Charles playing jump rope with some little girls. I hadn't seen this side of Charles before.
We went back to the house and
there I met some of the neighborhood kids. They loved having their pictures
taken, The little boy in the picture is (Yeffrey) Jeffrey, he would never smile
for a picture but as soon as he saw his photo on the digital camera, he would
smile every time. That is a smile I hope to never forget.
Later that afternoon some of us took a walk and checked out the neighborhood.
While returning home we met some more children, again they were happy to pose for the camera.
Monday morning were had breakfast then left for the job shortly after sunup. We had come to work were ready to go. The carpenters had a stack of wood with which to make trusses, so they began laying them out and setting up a template on the floor of the existing building. While they were building trusses, Charles and I began laying block.
We were quite blessed to have many hands to help. Milton, a man from Georgia got the job of demo man. He cut all the blocks that needed cut. That was a very dirty job. He never once complained. I really enjoy working with people who work hard .
Ray volunteered to be mud man,
he mixed all our mortar and concrete. That and block cutter have to be the
dirtiest jobs as far as block laying goes. I don't know, I only lay block three
weeks a year.
We had a good team.
That afternoon after lunch, the ladies came up to the job site to look around. Charles and I took a break so I posed for another picture with some kids from the church.
We had a productive day of work, the carpenters built all the trusses, we had most of the walls finished. I snapped a photo of Bryce buying a blanket from a man on the street. Aren't the mountains in the background beautiful?
We left the job before sundown and the ladies had dinner ready. Could you imagine what it would be like if we men tried to build a building on an empty stomach. The ladies have a lot of work to do on these trips, feeding more than a dozen men and keeping them healthy all week is hard work. I am glad I talked Sharron into coming, it was nice to have someone on the inside.(big desserts, extra helpings) This trip, the ladies were Rebekah, Diana, Sharron and SueEllen. Rebekah is from Michigan, the day we arrived it was cool out and when I said I was chilly she started calling me "Poor Southern Boy" so in turn she earned the nickname "Yankee Girl".
She and Sharron seemed to bond real well. Diana and SueEllen attend church together in Tampa, and you already know Sharron.
Pastor Sam, the missionary, was over for dinner that night and brought his wife Maria and his daughter Joy. We all got to know each other better over dinner.
After dinner came dominoes, it's amazing how well you get to know people while playing dominoes. After working hard all day it is nice to have some fun and fellowship around the table.
Tuesday morning the carpenters put the trusses on and we finished the block work.
While laying the last wall, I overheard a man introducing himself, he said his name was Marty Howell. I thought the name sounded familiar, I asked a few questions and found out that his brother is a missionary supported by my church in Florida. Marty called his brother and that afternoon we met with him and posed for a picture. It was good to meet with someone I had only seen in pictures.
Wednesday we were finished with the block and decided to add a little to the wooded columns out front, we thought it was a nice touch.
Charles and I started installing the ceiling purlings. We found out real fast that the board we were standing on would not hold both of us at the center at the same time, so Charles held the boards and I walked across the board and nailed them in place.
Again you don't see them in the pictures but Milton, Harold and Ray made all our cuts and did all the foot work, Charles and I had it pretty good. All we had to do was measure, hold and nail.
The kids met us on the street again on our way home, they just liked talking to us and having their pictures taken. They were a friendly bunch.
Since it was Wednesday, we had an evening service. I joined Luis and played guitar. The mosquitoes were out that night.
One of the ladies in the church had taken the girls shopping in the afternoon, her name is Macky. Sharron asked me to get a picture of the shoppers.
Thursday was to be the last work day. Charles and I pulled the forms off our columns and poured the other set. By this time all our helpers had been taken to other projects and I had to mix the concrete myself. I sure did grow to appreciate Ray after having to do that. Notice how clean Charles is, his job that morning was to tell me how to make concrete.
That afternoon, Charles took charge of getting the job site cleaned up for the next crew and making their job a little easier. I helped Ted put the ridge cap on the roof.
Toward the end of the day, Sharron and Rebekah came up to the job and helped out a little.
We posed for a picture just before we left the job site on thursday. Pictured in this photo is, Back row Harold, Teddy, Kevin (me), Charles (looking down) Bryce, Middle Row, Milton, George, Dan, Bryan and Ray, Front Row Troy, Tim, Daryl, and Rick.
That night we played more dominoes. By this time, we had some pretty big games going. Everyone was getting in on the fun.
Friday morning we decided to have our group devotion time early, so Marty Howell, his wife and children came over and shared their testimonies with us. We all shared a little some even cried a little. Marty passed his crown on to George. This was George's first trip. If you want to find our what the crown if for, you'll need to come on a trip too.
That day we did a little shopping and then Charles, Sharron and I met up with Paul Howell, the missionary we help support. He took us to two different churches he had started. His wife is Lois, and daughters are Katie and Brianna.
Saturday morning came and it was almost time to leave so Sharron and I went down the street for a few more pictures with our new friends.
We went down to the Church for a group photo and then loaded into the cars to head to the airport.
Just minutes after taking this picture of the ice cream man, someone came up to the car I was in and told the driver something in Spanish. I asked what was going on, the driver said that they just got news that the Space Shuttle Columbia had crashed. When we arrived at the airport, we saw the news on the TV. but could not understand what was being said.
We boarded the airplane and headed back to Miami where we missed our connecting flight back to Tampa. We had to rent vans and drive home. I arrived home at about 3:00 Sunday morning. We of course sat up a while and shared all about our trip.
This is the finished building, This photo to the right was taken on the fourth week of the trip.