Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | June 23, 2016

Day 5 – Wednesday

The rooster crowed extra early this morning as the team ventured at 5:45 am to a local shelter to serve breakfast alongside a small group of volunteers called “ Amigos de Madre Paula”. Their mission is somewhat similar to a soup kitchen – they serve breakfast once a month to people waiting for care at the hospital and/or visiting relatives at the hospital. Additionally, they serve breakfast to expectant mothers across the street in another shelter. Volunteers prepare eggs, beans, tortillas and coffee in their homes served alongside crema and bread, additional supplies are purchased from fundraising efforts throughout the year.

When we arrived, there were about 50 men, women and children lined up at the small outdoor serving area. Many had traveled by foot for hours to wait for medical care. One lady showed us her dislocated shoulder and you could see the pain in her eyes – she had been waiting to be seen by a doctor for three days. This was a sharp reminder of the difficulties and challenges the poor face in Honduras. In spite of this, the expressions of gratitude by those we served was deeply moving. We moved across the street to the shelter that serves the expectant mothers. About 20 women were currently at the shelter. These women have also traveled long distances so they can deliver their babies in the hospital.

Our group distributed blankets made by students from our parish school. Each expectant mother shared their name, age, where they were from, if they had other children as well as if they were expecting a boy or girl. There were several first-time mothers – the youngest was 15. The Amigos de Madre Paula volunteers told us each breakfast costs approximately $40 per month. Our parish provides a small donation of support…we left feeling we could do so much more!!

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We returned to the elderly home and spent the morning doing a small craft project painting picture frames. Almost all of the elderly enjoyed having their picture taken. Before lunch, we visited Café de las Velas to pick up coffee and gift items to share with our parishioners during our annual fall 2nd collection. The coffee is delicious and we are glad to support this local business!!

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We headed to the orphanage for lunch and again were treated to a delicious meal consisting of roasted chicken and broth prepared from the chicken coop at the orphanage. After lunch, we had a variety of activities prepared for the girls. The team split and worked with various age groups. We distributed “Battle of the Books” materials to each team leader and gave instructions for their teams. These girls were excited to start reading and immediately started sharing the information with the girls on their teams. Another group started working on rosary bracelets in preparation for the devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother. Soon, the girls were looking at everyone’s wrists to make sure all had a bracelet.

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We also met with Sor Edit to discuss our project in Honduras, current and future plans and to share the donations from our parish. Our parish offers assistance in many ways. In the orphanage, we brought funds for operational expenses, high school tuition, tutoring and on this trip, we provided funding for renovations to the kitchen. We received bids for future projects including replacement of the roof for the chapel and walkway nearby. We will never forget the look of surprise, joy and emotion expressed by Sor Edit when she received the funds for the kitchen project. We feel blessed to be able to be stewards for our parish –and truly humbled by the heartfelt gratitude and constant expressions of praise to God offered by the sisters.

Early evening was highlighted by a devotion to Mary and a daily devotional called Mary, Day By Day was given to the girls ages 10 and up…you could tell immediately this will be a treasure for each. The girls answered questions and shared thoughts/reflections. They returned to the St. Michael room to paint a canvas honoring Mary. Our day ended with a lovely dinner and more time with the nuns.

Our mission here is different from many –our gift is to be present, to share in the lives of all who live and work in each home, to be united in our love of Christ in spite of our differences.

Paz y bien – Juanita (Jane)

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