Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | June 13, 2014

Thursday – Day 6

Day 6 and the team has officially become slap happy and giddy. There have been many instances that, under less exhausting circumstances, may not have even been THAT funny. However, I am sure for years to come, there will always be certain words and/or actions that may trigger an uncontrollable explosion of laughter. The best we can hope is that those moments don’t come during a homily or on a full bladder. We recognize how difficult it will be in this post to recreate those moments for you. Please don’t hesitate when you see any of the team in person to ask about “Chiky cookies,” “confessional charades,” the “pineapple stand,” “lemonade” and more… You might find yourself laughing along or thinking we’ve all gone “muy loco.”

The day started with Fr. Brian celebrating Mass at the elderly home. Minutes before Mass was to begin, it was discovered that today was a feast day in Honduras that is not celebrated in the United States. A different gospel reading left Magda to read it in Spanish and Father scrambling for a new homily. In the end, it all worked out, Mass was celebrated and the team was off to breakfast.

After breakfast we met with the team from Unbound (formerly known as CFCA) with whom arrangements had been made to visit Magda’s and Greg and Barb’s sponsored children from the Aldeas. We picked up the sponsored children and their families and treated them to a water park. The kids were in awe over all of the water park’s features. Even Fr. Brian got in on the action by commandeering the ship. It made for a perfect photo opportunity, however, it’s doubtful it will make Fr. Brian’s Christmas card. The leisure of the water park just may have the Archbishop questioning his pilgrimage. 🙂

After the children finished swimming, Magda and the Trum’s presented their sponsored children with gifts, such as a family Bible and clothing and games. Father blessed the bibles and the families were very grateful.

The park also boasted a resident monkey which Fr. Brian considered recruiting to be the next house seminarian. We’re sure Justin wouldn’t mind sharing his room.

After lunch, we traveled further up the mountain to visit the home of Magda’s sponsored child. The van could only drive on the gravel, rutted-out roads for so far before we had to get out and walk the remainder of the way. The home was modest with four small rooms—not including a bathroom which was just a small curtained-off area outside the home. It had a dirt floor, however, especially for our visit, the family had spread a carpet of pine needles throughout. It was their way of displaying how gracious and humbled they were to have us in their home.

After a quick tour of their home and a brief visit over coffee and cake, we walked a third of a mile to the community area where the women’s group gather. Unbound has assisted this group of women in coming together, helping them discover a trade in which, working together, they can create income. This income is split amongst the women to support themselves and their families. This particular group grows plants and flowers to sell. Currently, they are also building an area to contain the four pigs they are getting ready to purchase. The women welcomed us with open arms and open hearts. They sang and danced for us, then proudly showed us the fruits of their labor.

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We then departed for our trip back down the mountain stopping in one of the villages for sodas and water. It was here that Fr. Brian, like a kid in a candy store, convinced Greg to purchase a package of Chiky cookies. The cookies were a big hit with the team—or we were just THAT giddy—either way, we quickly consumed all but one package. Father Brian, looking for ways to spread more joy, decided he wanted to give the last of the cookies to some random child. Only in Honduras (well, at least NEVER in the United States), can a van full of people stop a child on the side of the road, roll down the window and have a priest hand out a package of cookies. The boy took the cookies without hesitation and was immediately filled with joy. He jumped up and down, grinning from ear to ear. This ended up being the highlight of Fr. Brian’s day.

As we arrived back to Santa Rosa, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand to purchase pineapples for the orphanage and elderly. It is here that we may—or may not—have tried to take off without Fr. Brian in tow. SOMEone may need to spend some time in the confessional for that one…

The orphanage was buzzing with excitement in preparation for the St. Anthony feast. The girls and nuns were busy decorating the chapel and orphanage. Fr. Brian and Greg were quickly recruited to help with some of the higher placed decorations.

After dinner, we watched a slideshow they had put together with pictures from the last ten years of St. Michael’s partnership. It was a beautiful trip down memory lane and a wonderful reminder of how far this mission has come.

We rounded out the evening with the first ever Battle of the Books with the girls. It was a HUGE hit and went off without a hitch. A big thanks to Jodie Seitzer and Jill Andersen for putting together all of the questions for the books and organizing the Battles before the trip as well as to Jane, Magda, Margarida and Barb for overseeing the Battle of the Books in Honduras – it was a blast!

A Final Thought:

Today, we witnessed more of the communities coming together for a common cause. The women in the Aldeas work together as a team to help provide for their families. There are no small roles to be played—everyone contributes using their own abilities as God has given them. Some are better leaders, some better note-takers (secretaries) and yet others are entrusted to oversee the finances.

Our own St. Michael’s team, united with a common cause and shared faith, came closer together as well. Over the past week, we have shared many strong emotions—we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we have found strength in each other and the service we provide. We’ve connected both spiritually and emotionally. We each bring forth our God-given talents to do His will.

The coming together of both these groups has left an indelible mark on our hearts. And neither will ever be the same.


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