Headed home…

Headed down island (it is what the locals say) to Oakridge at 8 am with Kevit, then Alex will take me to the airport. My goal is home before midnight…fat chance…

Missing my island friends already…

Love you all!

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Last full day in Helene…

Well it is my last full day in Helene. Got to see baby M and E and hug them both. Got almost all of Larry’s wish list done. He asked me to hang a door in his house, but I could not find the hardware.

Spent all morning with Teddy. He is such a good, hard working, Christ following man. Love him so much. While I am looking forward to going home, in many ways THIS is my home. Getting to learn the dialect and the culture.

I love this great team that God brought together specifically for this time. I will miss our daily devotions and prayer time. I will miss Leighan’s positive attitude, smile and love for her kids and God, I will miss picking on Brittany and her heart for God and people, I will miss Heather’s steady, consistent hand and checking on how people are really doing, I will miss Hormond, his humor and knowledge and practical joking. I will miss my good friend, Teddy, his love for God and his call to the people of this island and his sacrifices and trials to stay here. I will miss Z and spending time with him every morning.

Tonight I got to journey to Barbaret one more time to help teach English to the workers there. It is a great boat ride and the guys are so fun. Had great fun tonight with the guys. It seems like in every group their is one comedian, tonight Leighan and I had Damian. He is so funny. He ended the night doing mime impressions because this weekend they are having a Central American Mime convention. Who knew that kind of stuff actually happened? Sounds like an episode of Saturday Night live. Supposed to break a world record according to Damian.

I am taking a boat to Roatan in the morning with one of the local boat drivers (Kevit) since I am the only one headed out, so the expense of the clinic boat does not make sense. $100 vs. $6. then Alex, one of the drivers we use regularly in Roatan will pick me up at the dock and take me to the airport. I will be ridiculously early…but saving lots of money. Then I should have time to write some more. Have to get to cleaning up Larry and Sheila’s abode.

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Alligator Search, Bee Keeping and Briquettes and a new neighbor

We went for a short boat ride with Hormond today, all the way around the island in search of the elusive alligators. We were in Hormond’s brother’s little boat…kind of a bathtub for the 5 of us. Heather, Brittany, Leighan, our captain, Hormond and me. I saw an alligator when we took the Crawfords down island for their departure, but Heather, Brittany and Leighan have not seen one yet. This was a good opportunity to get to experience something intentional as a team. (minus Ted who was holding down the fort). Great ride, great pix (which won’t upload on the equivalent of dial up here) and great laughs. Great for morale and great for a quick suntan.

In the afternoon, ByBy came by to see the beehive. The compressor was not creating enough PSI to use the pin-nail gun so we had to use screws to put it together. The instruction manual appears daunting to me, and kind of overwhelmed ByBy. Fortunately Teddy said he would help ByBy with it. Apparently someone on the island had a bee keeping suit and they were going to inquire if it was still around.

Another vistor was Algie. He is a young man, sold out to God that wants to develop U12, U14 and U18 futbol (soccer) teams for the kids on the island. He is doing all the legwork to figure out how much it costs. In the end, Algie’s goal is to be able to get kids together so that he can share HIS love of Jesus with them on a regular basis. I have seen him with the kids and been on visitations and done VBS with him…he is an amazing evangelist. So excited to see HIM so excited. This will be the only official team that these kids have ever been on and Algie is just bubbling with excitement. He has mentioned it to some of the young men and they are excited too. Great to see hope being shared. More to come on how we can all be involved in this outreach ministry.

Also worked with the Peterson briquette maker with ByBy, Ted and Hormond. Showed them how it worked and explained that they will have to play with the materials to figure out what works best in this environment. Come to find out virtually every home uses about 50% propane and 50% wood to cook with. The wood is used in clay fireplaces outside and the propane is used in small bottles inside. These briquettes are currently being made in Uganda. Greg Oakes was kind enough to get one donated to Helene, along with the plans and instructions so that they can build more of them. Again, when I can download pix, I will flesh this out. If you google Peterson briquette maker uganda there are some links to pix of this in action. Very excited about being able to create micro businesses here.

We have a new neighbor…the horse that wanders the island decided that the front lawn of the Methodist church, which is right next to the clinic was a great place to have her new baby. And it is a tri-color paint! She is gorgeous! Again, pix later. Sorry Sheri and Madison that you missed this little one. SOOOO cute. Pix to come later…

Blessings friends. Thank you for all your prayer cover and support.

On to my last full day on Helene…what adventure awaits today?

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Last Sunday in Helene…

Sorry, been busy and a little tired so this is a late posting.

Saturday night we had Hormond join us for dinner. It was a Greek feast. Brittany is an awesome cook and since she got to do the shopping this week in Roatan we had Greek food, including homemade Naan bread and taziki and homemade garlic hummus…it was amazing! Having Hormond join us for dinner was an added treat. He is such a nice guy and does such a good job making sure we are all okay. He really is an asset. We got to see his girlfriend of 4 years, 6 months and 10 days, didn’t get to meet her you understand, just see her…seriously, he knows how many days…it has led to some interesting conversations. Natalie, his girlfriend, lives in Roatan so they mostly talk on the phone. At the end of our dinner we invited him to join us at church in the morning and to our amazement, he did join us. Leighan, Hormond and I wandered by Js house to see if he and Z might come with us to church. J and Z declined. Hormond was pretty adamant that the Northside church was the only one he would go to…he got all dressed up…black dress shoes (I have only ever seen him in flip flops) long dress pants and a really nice Sean Jean shirt. He was quite spiffy.

We were quite happy to see Pastor Teddy preaching. He brought the Word! Come to find out Hormond used to attend Teddy’s church every Sunday when he was little and Teddy said that he and his brothers were always early. Quite funny to hear Teddy address Hormond as “stranger”. Good service all around.

We invited E, J, M and Z to come to church with us on Saturday while we were changing M’s dressing, but she felt like she could not come because people would judge her and condemn her. She was not comfortable going into the church building. So I suggested that WE could have church on the porch. Just Leighan, Brittany, Heather, E, J and M and me. It was awesome, thank you so much for your prayer cover. We read out of the Children’s Bible chatted some and then Brittany played some songs and we sang. It was awesome to be able to create a family church environment that E felt comfortable in. At one point, E said God is all we have. Really an awesome moment of God working through E to all of us. I will be blogging more about the transformation that we saw in E throughout our stay after I return home. It was an awesome final Sunday for me in Helene.

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Interesting day…

Spent the afternoon on the deck with our friend, J. Helped
Brittany stitch up a gashed head of one of C’s nephews. Bled
quite a bit. He was drinking rum last night, got in a fight and
whipped a guy named R. This morning, R ambushed him and hit
him in the head with a rock, a sharp rock. Pretty deep wound. 11
stitches, but in the US probably 20. Prayed with him, chatted with
him, asked him if the rum was worth this much pain. You know how I am.
He told me several Bible verses. I suggested that there are several
men on the island that would be willing to talk with him about his
drinking rum and turning his life around. He said really? I said yes,
that if he came back around on Monday that he and Teddy and I would
sit down for a chat. Please pray for S that he come back on Monday and start a conversation with Teddy.

Helped Brittany McGyver some colostomy bags for little M. We got the last 2 on Roatan when we were over there dropping Madison and Sheri off on Friday. The next short term team is bringing some down, but we are trying many different solutions with the materials on hand.
Invited E to come to church with us. She declined because she does not have “church clothes” and because she is afraid of being the object of ridicule at the church. I then
suggested that WE do some Bible study and singing on the deck and she
agreed. So, we are doing church (Bible study and some singing) for E, M and J tomorrow
at 4pm on the deck or maybe on our front porch so we are out of
eyesight. Please be praying for this impromptu service.

Anyway, a day in the life…

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Out in the community

Hi Friends,

We have had the opportunity to get out into the community on many occasions on this trip.

Sheri and Madison got to go out on medical visits with Miss Brittany. They went down to the Bight, which is one of the villages on the island. They went to see Miss Indiana, who was very awake and alert. (Miss Janet, she says she hopes to see you soon)! They checked in on her, made sure that she had all the medications she needs, and prayed with her. They made a couple more stops along the way to check on folks that had visited the clinic and needed follow up; blood pressure checks, clean bandages, etc. It is a great way to connect with the communities and minister one on one.

In the evening, we went down to Jeralyn’s restaurant to watch the US vs. Honduras soccer match. We thought it started at 7pm but it started at 6pm so we missed the entire first half…score nil to nil. The restaurant was packed with young men, and when the gringos (us) showed up, they all left…it was half time, so that was part of the issue, but it was funny. So, we ordered a soda for each of us and settled in, Miss Brittany was up chatting with Jeralyn and bought some of her mangoes (it is the beginning of mango season here), which she said she has too many for her family to eat and sells off most of the crop. The US team finally broke the deadlock and went on to win 1 to 0. We cheered! The islanders who had come back in to watch did not. We told Jeralyn to have a good night and headed out, only to find Hormond outside. We had invited him to come with us, but he had other plans. Funny that he ended up at Jeralyn’s. Maybe he is getting used to us being around. He is a really funny guy and very smart. Pretty quiet, especially when short term teams are around, but he is quite the practical joker and fits nicely into our family. Madison has come to think of him as a brother.

So, lately, Madison has been filling many roles around the clinic:dish washer, teacher, pillow injecter(Miss Brittany was showing her how to properly give an injection, and so she grabbed a pillow from upstairs and gave it a shot. Mr. Pillow did not really enjoy it.), receptionist, etc. She especially loves helping in the clinic, but today she got very sick and fell asleep right through the work hours;). By the end of the day she felt much better and drank a big mug of herbal mint tea (decaf, of course).

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Normal week…

Hi Friends,

We are having a normal week for Helene…
Helene Christian English School is open this week, so life kind of revolves around school. Around 1pm the kids and the teachers start to arrive. Madison has been working ‘crowd control’; getting water, playing games, and staying with the kids on the deck while they wait until classes start at 1:30. Today, she also helped with a pair of kids reviewing the basic reading that they have learned. Between that and the English classes twice a week on Barbaret, I think we have a natural teacher on our hands…

The clinic was open Monday, so Sheri spent her afternoon assisting Miss Brittney with needs there. Some of the things you see are difficult because we have little access to the medicines we need. However, we make due with what we have and do our best. We saw a little boy that had cut his knee last week. When we initially saw him as we were walking through a village on visits, it was apparent that is was too late for stitches. The Mom ended up bringing him to the clinic, his knee is now infected and not getting better. We cleaned it as best we could, bandaged him up, and ended up making an antibiotic for him (we had to calculate the dosage based on his weight and make it from larger dosage pills that we had on hand). Please pray that this little guy heals quickly. He was in pain, but very stoic and quite the trooper. Madison was also able to help in the Clinic and practiced giving injections into a pillow. Teacher or Nurse – I’m not sure what we have on our hands, but it has been a blessing to see love and compassion pour through this young lady onto the people of the island.

In other news, it has been raining here…and rain in Helene is, well different than rain in Oregon. The gutters on the clinic are 6″ PVC pipe cut in half…when the clouds open up here it pours…literally. It was considered a mild tropical storm. Many boats on the Northside got swamped and ended up burning up their bilge pumps (more water was coming in than the pump would pump out and the bilge pumps overheated), so the boat owners (virtually everyone as we are living on an island) were out in their boats all night bailing out the water with buckets. Many dorries were submerged and their diesel engines and electrical systems were damaged. The positive thing is all the water sisterns on the island are full. It was a long drought, but it appears to be over.

Update on Mr. C (the man that the Spring Break team built a new home for) has been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks, but in the morning, he is being taken by boat to the mainland for a surgery that could not be performed in Roatan. He is in pretty tough shape, he came to the clinic the day after we arrived and was bleeding through his belly button and in severe pain. He was taken down island (to Roatan) and has been in the hospital there for almost 2 weeks because the Drs. had never seen a case like his.

So, that is some of the day to day life here on our favorite island. Please be praying for Mr. C that he has travel mercies, can be properly diagnosed and the Drs are able to perform the surgeries he needs for a complete recovery.

Sorry, can’t add pix to this as we are working on what amounts to dial up…not much bandwidth.

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