Sunday, March 18, 2012

No mas, Tomas

"No more, Thomas", which rhymes in Spanish, is our dear driver, Gustavo's favorite saying. In other words, we are finished. (We have to mention that Gustavo's other favorite saying is "Vamanos", which means "Let's go!")
It was an amazing day, full of blessings for all. We spent the day in the community of Gracias a Dios with Pastor Juan. He walked us around the community, meeting many of our penpals, getting to know our brothers and sisters better and hearing the stories of their lives. It was a beautifully hot, sunny day and we walked all over the community and beyond.
We walked to the land that has recently been purchased for a new church building. Pastor Juan told us of his vision for the congregation.
The highlight of the day was a surprise Father's Day party for Bob, our group leader. We were all touched by the wonderfully decorated sanctuary and by the long line of people who came to give him hugs and cards and gifts. The prayer for him by Pastor Juan and the people was a Spirit-filled experience that we will not forget. They served us lunch as well, a delicious meal of Power Chicken take-out food. It was a tremendously thoughtful and generous gift to us.
So we conclude our time here full of memories and blessings. We will continue to process what we have seen and learned and pray that God will direct our thoughts from here. We thank you all for your prayers and for following along with our experiences.
Sharon for the team, signing off

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Purchasing, Pool Party, and PIZZA!

We began our day at the straw market in San Pedro Sula. An overhelming array of handmade Honduran items were available to choose from. Sharon was our money exchange expert as well as being very good at bargaining. It was a successful shopping experience for all of us.We went from there to the Mennonite Church in San Pedro Sula for a chicken barbecue dinner. The youth group holds a chicken barbecue three times throughout the year and always has a sell out crowd. After trying the chicken we can understand why.

We hosted a pool party for the MAMA staff, their families and about 20 community members from Gracias a Dios. The weather was perfect for a day in the pool and the big beach ball Colleen donated was a real hit! It was fun to watch Brandon, Brent, and Bob having as much fun as the children and they were certainly the most popular members of the team in the pool. The afternoon went very quickly and we ended it by gathering for a pizza party by the pool. We said goodbye to our Honduran brothers and sisters with warm hugs.

It was a day of blessings for all.

Ruthie for the team

Friday, March 16, 2012

Last Hoorah

Today the contruction team went back to the village of Santa Rita. We continued our work on the water tank. Yesterday we worked on taking off all the plaster from the outside of the tank so today we mixed contrete to replaster the outside and inside of the tank. The villagers had already started when we got there so they started with the inside of the tank. They asked Brent to help them throw plaster on the wall. After a while Bob came in to help than later Brandon also came to help. It was not something any of us were all that good at so there was a lot of scrapping the concrete off the floor to throw at the wall again. Once we were most of the way around we got out of their way so they could finish the last little bit. We then had time in the afternoon to get to know the people and kids better. Before we left we handed out gifts that we had taken for the people of the village. We had hats for the men, scented lotion for the woman, and books and beanie babies for the kids(And of course lots of candy for all).

The medical team had a very exciting trip on their way to their village. They came to a place where there was no road but someone had made a bridge out of six logs, three wide for each tire. Everyone got out of the car until they were on the other side. Once there they set up their stations in a school made out of bamboo and a thatched roof. The school teachers helped organize the people since there is no pastor and no church in the community. It is a new community only nine years old.

We regrouped back at Villa Nuria for a time of relaxation. Around 6:30 Gustavo and the whole gang came to pick us up to treat the group to a meal at none other than Power Chicken!!!!! We had our meeting and then went to bed.

brent writing for the team.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minor cuts and scrapes

The entire team spent the day in Santa Rita, serving the community in a medical clinic and with water tank repair. Several of us have minor cuts and scrapes from our work, but thankfully nothing major.

The guys spent the day on the top of the hill above the community. They chipped plaster off of the outside of the brick water "tower", which is more of a large water retention basin. They worked with the men of the community with chisels, chipping and chipping. Bob supervised, always waiting for a chisel, as there was never one "available" for him.

The medical team saw almost 200 people, everyone in the community who wished to be seen. It was a fairly healthy community with no major issues. Connie continues to work with her translator, Megan from MCC. And Sharon and Rolando work well together. Phyllis is in charge of the pharmacy, with her capable assistant, Kathy. And Ruthie is giving out deworming pills to all.

We spent time with the Mennonite pastor of the community, Pastor Normandi. We had lunch at his house, heard his marvelous testimony, and enjoyed the delicious empanadas that Aurora made us.

We are enjoying working together as a team, laughing and talking, growing and processing what we are seeing. Brandon and Brent keep us entertained with their antics. We thank God for each other and for the strength we need for each day.

Sharon for the team

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God gives us strength

The medical group traveled to Barcelona in Chaloma, a community close to yesterday's community. Again, we set up in a Mennonite Church building. We saw most of the community, a total of 213 persons. We were blessed by many, including a younger-looking 102 year old woman, a smiling disabled 11 year old, and 3 lovely girls named Kathy, Ruth, and Sharon. We also have heavy hearts for those that need more help than we can give. We prayed for the mother who had tears for her son, for the woman with the extensive leg wound, and for the sick baby of the Pastor. And again today, we were thankful for the help of Luis, a medical intern and for Megan, the Mennonite Central Committee staff person. We look forward to the strength the Lord will provide as we have 2 more days of clinic.

Our construction crew began the day with Pastor Juan stopping in at the house of a sick person to pray for her. Brent, Brandon, and Bob went into the house with Pastor Juan where a mother was laying in bed, wrapped in a blanket, and shivering almost out of control. Pastor Juan immediately began praying for her, asking God to take away her fever, and to heal her. After a few minutes, the woman stopped shivering, and seemed to relax. We left her and went to Rigo's house, and Pastor Juan went back about 2 hours later, and she was feeling better. We had given her a couple of Tylenol to take, but she hadn't taken anything. Praise God for the strong faith that Pastor Juan has and uses daily in his walk through the community.

We continued working on the house - nailing up the rest of the plywood on the sides, and then later building the door and the window ( actually all wood ).

At lunch our crew talked with Pastor Juan about his vision and goals for the community, as well as how we work with Proyecto MAMA. He also told us about another family in which the father had disappeared a few years ago - in a neighboring community, and he wanted to look for sponsors for the two daughters. We hope to go visit this family on Sunday, when we take a journey with Pastor Juan through the area surrounding the church.

Well, I think Brandon and Brent have become offical members of Gracias a Dios and of the Prince of Peace church now - the children especially love them, and can't wait to see them when they arrive in the community.

Praying for a good night's rest and good day tomorrow.

Going now for some rabbits,

Sharon and Bob, for the MAMA team - March 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Another beautiful day in San Pedro Sula! Team is doing really well, having a great time together as well as having an amazing experience with the people in the communities. Tonight, the group was treated to ice cream by Brent Geeman, a tradition started by Barry a few years ago.

The construction team was back to full force today, with Brent, Brandon, Bob, Pastor Juan, Donacio, and Rigoberto. We finished leveling the ground, and mixed concrete till about noon.
Aurora had made us lunch, and Pastor Juan's wife, Maria, heated it up for us - lots of plantains with meat. After lunch we started nailing the exterior 1/4 inch plywood to the structure, and got 2 sides finished. The challenge was that the house is built on a steep slope, and there was no place
to stand, as ground level outside of the house is about 20 ft below! So, Brent and Brandon were often hanging out over the edge trying to hold a nail with one hand and hammer with the other. I heard 'oops' a few times, but we managed to finish 2 sides before it was time to leave and get ready for Gustavo to pick us up around 4:15. Today was not as hot as yesterday, and we had a roof over our heads too which protected us some from the sun. We enjoyed the day together, working hard, but also having time to spend with Pastor Juan and many children from the community. Brent and Brandon bribed the kids with lots of lifesavers.

The medical team went to La Davis, in Choloma, about 3/4 hour ride from our hotel. Today they had a new member join them - Megan, a volunteer with MCC in San Pedro Sula. She is fluent in Spanish, and comes from Houston Texas - on a 3 year assignment with MCC. Also, the medical student, Luis, was with us again today. The group held the medical clinic in a Mennonite Church, with Pastor Dennis working with the MAMA staff to keep the lines moving. I wasn't there, but this community takes first place in how well it was organized. Somehow, as Sharon described it, they hung trees from the rafters of the church to hang sheets from, to form walls within the church so the doctors would have their space, as well as the pharmacy, etc. And, besides this, they had their youth group help show people where to go next. They all wore black shirts, with the church logo, and walked with people from one station to the next.
Another amazing event was the feeding of the 30. Aurora made lunch for our group - about 10 people. But all of the people that helped in the clinic, including our team, MAMA staff, community members and the youth, numbering about 30 - were all fed with lots of food for each. They said she just kept on pulling more food out of the pan!

Tonight the group is relaxing - playing a game that somehow Kathy talked them into. Luckily, I couldn't play as I was chosen to blog this evening. At this moment, Phyllis is acting out Angelina Jolie - for those of you who can imagine this !!!!

Thanks to all for your prayers. We are all doing well, learning more and more about the conditions in this country, and enjoying most the blessings that we are receiving from our dear friends - Dinora and her family, Gustavo and Aurora, Pastor Juan and his family, the families and children in Gracias a Dios, and the staff of Proyecto MAMA.

Time is passing quickly, but hoping to make the most of the days remaining here in SPS.

Written for the MAMA team - March 2012, Bob Moyer

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Long Ride but a Great Day

We began our day early because of the long drive. While the drive was quite long, it was a beautiful one with mountains surrounding sugar cane and grass fields as well as small farms here and there. We arrived at Aldea Buenos Airea, Yoja around 9:00 and set up our clinic at the Mennonite Church there. Many families were already at the church waiting for us to arrive. A medical student intern joined our team today, working on the medical cards (thanks, Colleen, for the great card system) and taking blood pressures. Our nurses, Sharon and Connie along with interpretors Rolando and Brent found their day to be so much less stressful than Saturday's clinic because of the intern's help. Phyllis, Kathy, and Dinora, our pharmacists had a very busy day, but handled it very capably. Kali, Dinora's niece and I gave out the deworming pills. We saw over 200 children today as there is a school on the hill just above the church and all the children came to us. I will miss Kali very much when she goes back to school tomorrow. She has been such a blessing to me.

We had a very good clinic day, due to the pastor's good leadership. While he is very young pastor, he is clearly a man after God's heart and has a passion for both God and his community.

The construction team (Brandon and Bob) worked in Gracias a dios with help from pastor Juan Denacio, Rigoberto, we hauled fill from down the road into the house to level the floor then we hauled some sand up from the river. We enjoyed lunch and got the see the new property. then we had a lighter afternoon when we hauled a few more loads of sand and talked with some children. all in all a great day

Ruthie and Brandon signing off

Sunday, March 11, 2012

opps II

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweet arrival
we left church this moring at 2:30 and picked up sharon on the way to Newark. Our plane left on time but we had to hurry in atlanta to catch teh next flight. We arrived around 1:00 with all of our bags except for one and came to the Villa Nuria got settled and unpacked. Aurora and Dinora made us an excellent dinner. We got the meds ready for tomorrow and now the group is getting some much need rest. Tomorrow we have a medical clinic in Gracios a Dios we are all excited.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayerson behalf of the entire team goodnight


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Clinic Day in Gracias a Dios

The entire team spent the day at a medical clinic in the community of Gracias a Dios. We saw a total of 287 people, which felt like it must have been the entire community. Overall, it is a fairly healthy community. We saw alot of itchy skin problems, lot of coughs and cold complaints, some high blood pressure, and lots and lots of general aches and pains. There are several people who need further followup from the MAMA staff or Pastor Juan.

We are so thankful for the resources we have to help, for the wonderful support of the the MAMA staff, for the prayers of our families and friends at home, and for our health and safety. We are still waiting for one missing suitcase to arrive from the airport, so we are praying for that to arrive as it contains items that we still need for clinics next week.

God is good. He will continue to supply our needs.
Sharon for the team