Friday, January 20, 2017

Finished and Report

We finished the week tired but very pleased with all we were able to accomplish. As we celebrated with the staff tonight at a special dinner, we acknowledged that only thru Jesus Christ and our partnerships with the MAMA staff and the communities, is our success possible.

Our totals: 
Concrete floors=50, bags of cement=491, persons in the 50 houses=259
Deworming= 797 persons, Micronutrient vitamins= 1746 persons
Malnourished children found= 62
Backpacks of food, a Bible, and other gifts (left at houses with new floors)=36

The cement crew did the 10 floors for today close to the mission house, down the road from the nutrition center in the rural area. They said the homeowners were very poor but had agriculture. 
One family lost their home to a fire and are rebuilding a new one with material from the burnt house. It is impressive and appreciated when the homeowner and neighbors chip in to carry sand and water. 
One man walked up and down a super steep hill carrying water. The homeowner said he was not family but a good friend--that's true friendship!  

The medical clinic was super busy. Not the most courteous and respectful crowd, but we got thru the day with our highest counts of patients seen. 

We split up tomorrow as half fly home and the rest head to Copan. 
Thanks again for your faithful prayers,
Barb for the team

Thursday, January 19, 2017

La Victoria, Santa Cruz

Today we headed toward the zoo!  (There is actually a really nice zoo near the mission house.) We headed up the mountain after the community of Santa Cruz to beautiful mountain views, pastures, fields of neat rows of pineapple, coffee and sugar cane.  This was a new community for us.  It was fairly healthy although there were very many high blood pressures.  We had two children faint in the clinic today when they saw the blood from the anemia check…this was a first and we were fortunate to have medical student Kelly there to handle the situation. 
Our count for today was about 300 people served with deworming medicine and micronutrient vitamins.   
Each day our concrete teams are pouring concrete floors for 10 houses in each community we visit. Often there are minor logistical challenges that come along with these projects. Getting the sand, water and cement to the location can be a challenge and having enough people and space to work can also be a challenge. The first home one of our teams visited today had no running water in the area. This single mother and her two children have water delivered to their one room house, as they need it and the water delivery did not come. She was out trying to find ways to get water for the concrete, but it was going to take significant time so the team decided to move on to the next house, expecting that Felix, our coordinator, would work with her to find a solution so they could finish the work later. We were told later that as the team was leaving and she saw them walking away with all the tools and buckets she thought they weren’t coming back, that she wouldn’t get a floor for her home, and she broke down crying.  After the team finished two other homes, they returned and the woman was so excited and so thankful. She had worked, others in the village helped, and she had enough water for the floor to be done. We were going to make sure that she got her floor today. Her joy and gratefulness just overflowed. We know that this simple concrete floor won’t change her world over night, but we hope and pray that it is a blessing and a step towards a better tomorrow for her and her children.
Ruthie led us in devotions using the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  The author challenged Ruthie to look for things to be thankful for thru the day.  Ruthie shared all her discoveries with us-patience as people wait in line, the grandmom who is here to take care of her grandchildren after their mom died, to see older children care for younger siblings, and the doctors on our team taking extra time to care for one of the children who fainted, to name a few.  Ruthie challenged us to look for the many ways we can be thankful thru the day.
We look forward to serving close to home here tomorrow- here in San Francisco de Yojoa.  We are all healthy and enjoying serving together.
Thanks for praying us thru this week!
Barb and Loren for the team

Photos from the Concrete Teams

Many of the homes that we visit are far from the main road, only accessible by walking down narrow paths though the Honduran Country side. All of the sand and cement has to be carried in the same way and we have to carry our tools and equipment to each of the houses.

Some times the paths disappear and we need to cross streams and crawl under barb-wire fences.

One of the homes in the Honduran country-side. This small one-room, bamboo and mud-brick home was home to a family of six.  

Many homes have hammocks.  This one had an adorable occupant. 

Sometimes after you have finished a beautiful floor everyone is so excited to get back into the house to check it out. Even the family live-stock. This chicken was very excited to test out the new floor. It warmed Dave's heart to see that his new floor was already being used/

Our American teams work together with Honduran staff to complete the projects.Each team of 5 from the US is complimented with 2 or more Hondurans who work with MAMA. 

A small two room home.

This was among the smallest homes that we have worked on. This 6ft by 10ft, one room building, is home to a single mother and her 4 children.  

Sometimes the homes are spread out throughout the village and we need to load up the equipment into a pickup to be take to the next location.

Sometimes the homes are high up on the mountain-sides.  

Here's part of our crew finishing up a home out-side of Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, January 18

We had gorgeous weather as we traveled to Montanuelas, Taulabe, to a new community we had not been to before. The Community was fairly high up the mountain and the views were marvelous. The clinic saw 107 children, 73 women, 50 men, while the doctor saw 80 persons. The number of men was down as many were harvesting coffee.  Micronutrients were given to 94 families.
The construction group achieved a new record as we did 10 floors and 100 bags of concrete.  Don Rice, our long time finisher, remarked that one house today had perfect sand, the best of all the years he has been coming.  We also experienced touching moments as we worked today. One house was about 6x10 and housed a grandfather and his spouse who were caring for a single mom and her 2 children.  The grandfather and spouse were not related to the mother and her children, and the team was touched by the incredibly generous act that most men would never do. We also had opportunity to talk with home owners who pitched in and carried sand and water, and were very grateful to receive their new floor. We have a wonderful time joking, poking fun, and building comraderie as we drive to and from communities. We are also deeply appreciative for Ruth who stays on top of the laundry, for Isabel who has fed us wonderfully, and for all the MAMA staff who work behind the scenes before we arrive, and with us each day.  We closed our evening sharing stories about God's generosity and our opportunity to share that generosity throughout our lives.
Tim Weaver for the team

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday January 17 - Santa Fe

Today we went to a town called Santa Fe which was about 2 hours away.  This is a community that our January team has visited quite a few times before.  You might remember that this is Nolvin's community who Children Without Choices helped with his club foot.  The drive there was bit long with the first half being on a good highway and the second half being on bumpy back roads and going up onto the mountain.

The medical team was set up inside of a school in the community and saw approximately 99 families.  This community appeared to be fairly healthy.  We believe this partially due the consistent visits from MAMA teams.  In addition, the community is set on a hill requiring the people to walk the hills quite a bit which we also attribute to their good health.   Overall they had a good day!  

The concrete teams did 10 floors again today with a total of 97 bags of cement.  Dave did not have any issues with chicks today but a duck did try to get on one of the floors.  Since we have been to this community a fair amount of times before a lot of families already have concrete floors.  We had to hike up and down the hills to a couple of the houses but luckily a lot of houses we poured floors at were relatively close together.  The houses range in size .  One house that the group I was with poured a floor for was only about 8ft x 10ft (only 4 bags of cement) and was home to a woman and her 4 children.  Overall, everyone on the concrete crews was tired but had a good day.  

This evening we enjoyed a great dinner prepared by Isabella and nice devotional time lead by Ruthie.    Everyone is a little tired but in good health and looking forward to what tomorrow brings.  We appreciate all your prayers!

Eric (for the team)

Deep Run Mama Team - Jan 2017 Finishing a concrete floor.

Deep Run Mama Team - Jan 2017 Finishing a concrete floor.

Here is a video of our team finishing a concrete floor yesterday.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Jan 16, 2017

Isabel started our morning with scrambled eggs and, toast.  We all had a reason to smile on this bright day of sunshine as well as our meal.  We traveled to LaCeibita on steep mountain roads which were very bumpy.  Irish Meetinghouse road seems smooth in comparison. There were crops of corn on the side of the mountains, many banana trees, varieties of trees as well as colorful flowers. The long lengths of fencing was admired by the men. Fences are built by posts and trees that are trimmed like a post and barbed wire. It is an interesting way to make a fence and it helps to keeps steer off the road.
     When we arrived there was a small medical building so the dentist, the pharmacy, and the exam rooms were in this building. Lucky for us there was a church across the road. It was a bright airy building. Here we set up stations for vitamin A and deworming, blood pressure, hemoglobin testing, micro nutrients, registration of height and weight and test results and finally the donation table.
Aaron Clemmer, a seasonal volunteer gave out the donations as well as other jobs like set up and clean up. He is enjoying the work and had fun playing with the children. Marlon Hernandez helped me at the vitamin A and deworming station. He had lived in the USA for fifteen years but came back home to care for his mother. What a great asset for the team!  It is wonderful to have a fluent translator, because you learn so much more about each family. Karin Hernandez is a full time student studying tourism but had a break from school and she wanted to help. Karen's mom is Isabel the cook at the mission house.
The community showed up and the flow was a nice steady pace all day. The people showed patience and had great appreciation for the services at the clinic. Our team worked well with the locals. We had 60 families, 121 children, 74 women and 68 men and 103 bags of nutrients were handed out.
     The concrete team worked very hard on ten floors. They divided into two teams to accomplish this task. Mixing 99 bags of concrete took all day!
One team had a sixty year old man, Eusebio Euzman Diaz, that helped carry sand which is very heavy. The team worked on his home and learned that both of his sons worked security and they were both shot. He is raising their families. He was so appreciatie.
The only problem was Dave Rice had with a chick at his first house. After chasing her out and fixing his finished floor he moved to the next room. The chick returned and messed up his finished floor again. The chickens were not appreciated on the job!
  We didn't make it back to the mission house until dark. Isabel had dinner all set and we enjoyed our meal. Tim shared devotions and we prepared for our next adventure. We were all blessed as we went through our day and I am sure our team will enjoy tonight's rest.
Keep praying for us.
Ruth Hohenstein

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Safe Arrival

We had a smooth day of travel- all flights were good and bags arrived in one piece. Since we are all return team members (Eric and Loren a few years back) we settled in quickly, unpacking and organizing the donations on the nice shelving in the new bunk room wing. We were welcomed with big smiles by our friends Mary, Karen, and Isabel. We are blessed to have Aaron Clemmer (volunteer for the team season) and Kelly (Dinora's niece) joining our team. We enjoyed Isabel's wonderful fried chicken for dinner and some football on Aaron's computer. The guys are mentally preparing for all the floors to be poured in the week ahead. The word is there are some pretty big floors (10 baggers). They started eating their gummy vitamins in preparation!  We look forward to a good week of work. Thanks for your prayers. 
Barb for the team. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

team #33

Our 33rd team to Honduras is preparing to leave on January 15, 2017.  We look forward to a great week pouring many cement floors.  We are hoping 50 homes will have new cement floors by the end of our trip!
Coveting your prayers for health, energy, and safety.
Joe, Ruth, Karen Hohenstein, Jake, Barb, Eric, Don, Loren, Dave Rice, Tim Weaver, and Chris Trauger