Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby shower/birthday party

On Sunday the 26th of April, our family threw us a baby shower since we won´t be here when the baby comes. (By the way, for anyone who hasn´t heard yet, Jenny is 4 months pregnant with a baby boy!!) It ended up being a baby shower/ birthday party since my (Jenny) birthday is on the 27th.

It was hysterical at the baby shower because they made all of the guys blow up balloons and stuff them in their shirts where they had to remain all evening. We played a game where Shaun and to feed Jenny from a baby bottle filled with soda. We were racing against 2 other couples to see who could empty the bottle first. We finished in second place. We also played a bunch of other games, we had some food including a delicious cake and we even got some gifts. It was a wonderful cultural experience and we had a blast! The only requirement our family gave us is that we need to come back when our baby is walking so they can meet him!
The cake

The tradition in Honduras is that you are supposed to take a bite out of your birthday cake before they cut into it. But as you attempt to take a bite, someone always smashes the cake in your face!

Shaun.....he´s enjoying being pregnant way too much!

It was a pretty big party

This is us with our amazing host mom, Gollita, and one of the outfits that she got for our baby.


For the past three weeks we have been working at a school called AFE...this stands for Amor, Fe, Esperanza. The school is located right beside the city dump and was started 9 years ago by a gentleman named Joeny. Many people live at the city dump and they spend all day digging through the trash and garbage looking for paper, cardboard and plastic bottles to trade for money. They earn about 5 cents per pound of paper and earn about 1 - 3 dollars per day. They also dig through the garbage looking for clothing to wear and for food to eat. They eat what they find. We had the opportunity to visit the dump and see all of the people digging through the garbage. We took water along to give to the workers and as soon as we stepped out of the car with the water we were almost mugged because people were so desperate to get water. In fact, Leo had to drop the bag of water he was holding because he was getting surrounded on all sides and getting pushed around. As the trucks with garbage arrived at the dump herds of people would jump up on top of the trucks to be the first to dig through the garbage.

The children that attend the school at AFE are from families who live and work in the dump. In fact most of these children attend school in the morning and go to work in the dump all afternoon. Most of the children do not shower, they are dirty and smell bad. They wear the same clothes day after day because they do not have anything else. The school was started in an attempt to get these kids out of the dump and give them a chance to do something different with their life.
Jenny and I taught four first graders (Maria, Dania, Paola and Carlos) who ranged in age from 7 - 11 years old (many of the children do not know their birthdate or age). At first we were told that these four students were learning small words. But Jenny and I quickly realized that they did not even know the alphabet. So for the past three weeks Jenny and I have been teaching them the alphabet...and we are excited to report that three of them know pretty much the entire alphabet!
The four of us (Shaun, Jenny, Gina, Leo) also taught a gym class together. Each day we would take a different age group and we would have one hour of gym class. We played a bunch of different games with the kids and they absolutely loved it.
All in all our time at the garbage dump and school was very eye-opening and something that we will not soon forget.
Some of our 3 grade gym class buddies

Shaun playing "Pato, pato, ganzo" (duck, duck, goose) with the first graders

Jenny and.......Jenny. This cute little girl was in our 2nd grade gym class and believe it or not her name was Jenny too!

Shaun and Gina playing "freeze tag" with the sixth graders. In this picture Shaun in the one on the ground "unfreezing" one of the girls!

This is a picture from up at the garbage dump and you can see all of the people gathered digging through the garbage. Also you can see hundreds of vulture looking birds circling above.

Friday, April 24, 2009


For the past 2 Friday´s we´ve been working at an old folks home in Centro called Ceder. There are not very many ministries for old people. Most of the ministries are usually for homeless or poor children which makes this ministry kind of unique. A major problem they have in Honduras is that many older people are abandoned by their families when they can no longer make money for the family. They are left out on the street, homeless, and to fend for themselves. It is this group of people that the founders of Ceder have a heart for. Most of these people do not received visitors, not even from family members. Aside from finances, one of the major needs of this ministry is simply for people to come and visit to talk with the elderly. It makes me think about the nursing homes in the US and how often I and many other people neglect this generation of people.

Last Friday, Gina and Jenny helped to bathe and clothe the women who stay at the home. Since I worked at a nursing home before I wasn´t very intimidated (like Gina was) because I know that they can´t do it for themselves anymore. Some of the women were very greatful while others weren´t sure what we were doing or why we were doing it to them and they became defensive. One lady threatened to hit me with her cane and another kept spitting on Gina.
Shaun and Leo had the opportunity both Fridays to shave the faces of the men. For me, (Shaun) this was a very humbling experience. Us guys are very prideful and we like to do things for ourselves. Furthermore, we come from a culture where personal space is very important and the prospect of touching and shaving another man´s face was uncomfortable. However the men were very greatful and I had a wonderful time getting to know them.
We also tried to do a Bible story and a craft with them. During the Bible story, one of the women really wanted to watch TV and Kimberly reading the story alound was bother her so she kept turning the TV volume up louder than Kimberly´s voice which made it impossible for anyone to hear. For us it was quite amusing. Then we tried to do the craft which was decorating a paper plate with tissue paper. Some of them just loved getting a paper plate and didn´t want to decorate it. The others wanted us to decorate it for them so we ended up doing the craft while the old folks watched and told us how pretty it looked.
All in all, it was a great experience for all of us and a nice change of pace from working with mostly children. We had a great time just getting to know them.
Shaun with his new found friend, José.

Leo actually met this gentleman who had lived in the Bronx, NY.

They got along real well!

In this picture are the 2 ladies we told you about in the post. The one with the cane is the one who was threatening to hit us and the other one is the one who kept spitting on Gina.

Jenny with one of the sweetest ladies you´ll ever meet, María.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Semana Santa

Semana Santa is one of the biggest holidays in Latin American countries. Everybody has off of work and school for the whole week leading up to Easter. In most cities they also celebrate by making "rugs" on the streets using colored saw dust. They use cardboard cutouts as to form designs and then stay up all night Thursday night out on the streets making their rugs. The whole street down through Centro looked like one big can see in the pictures. It is easier to see than to explain.

Then on Friday night they have a big procession through town on the street where they made the rugs the previous night. The procession includes men from the catholic church carrying represetations of Jesus' life, the saints, and the virgin Mary. They also have a few guys carrying incense and there is also a small marching band. The streets are packed full during this time, so you can hardly move, but it was a really neat experience.


LAMR stands for Latin American Missionary Retreat. We spent the weekend before Easter in San Lorenzo, one of the hottest cities in Honduras. This was a gathering of all of the BIC missionaries serving in Latin America, there were about 25 of us total. It was a very refreshing and encouraging time.

After having completed 4 months in Honduras which included two months of Language Study and 2 months of ministry it was refreshing to speak with other English speakers. It was also fun sharing stories about our experiences in our different countries. We also had teaching sessions on Ephesians, we had worship times (in English!) and these were very encouraging times.

During this weekend we also had a chance to go back to Orocuina, the city out in the campo. We went there for the church service on Sunday. It was probably 100 degrees and we had the church service outside under the trees. There were pigs and dogs walking through the service and once again because most of these people have not seen too many white folks we were very popular. It was really neat to see that even way out here in the backlands of Honduras they are worshiping and serving the same God that we worship back home in the United States. It helps you to realize the impact that Christ can have on a person´s life. These people way out here accepted us as brothers and sisters.

We also had a little bit of free time to walk around the city or swim in the pool at the hotel. Also for fun, one evening we had a talent show...everyone had to participate. Darrin Horst´s talent was my absolute favorite. He chose 5 people and took them out of the room. Then he came back in and setup two tables lengthwise against each other to make one long table. Then he covered the tables with a table cloth and placed items under buckets on the table. At the place where the two tables joined he had one of is friend hide under the table cloths with only his head sticking out and then he placed a bucket over his head. Then he brought the first contestant back in and told them that this was a race. They had to run down the length of the tables and remove the buckets and shout out the name of the object underneath. Unbeknownst to the contestant was the fact that a person´s head was under one of the buckets. I think all 5 of the contestants nearly had a heartattack when they lifted up this bucket. I wish we could upload video footage, because it was hysterical (our connection is too slow to upload video).


Our second ministry assignment was in a poorer part of the city called Nueva Suyapa. We worked at a school there for 3 weeks. The school was called Genesis. It was a pretty well organized school going from grades, Kindergarten - 12th grade.

Jenny and I spent the first 4 hours of the day tutoring kids in reading. All of it was done in Spanish, these kids were not learning English. I think we read "Huevos Verdes con Jamon" (Green Eggs and Ham) about 40 times...each day! By end of the 3 weeks we had become pretty attached to some of the students that we had been working with and it was sad to have to leave them. Gina spent most of her time working at the day care centers in the area and Leo was working at Jerico (where Gina and Jenny had spent the previous three weeks).

One of the highlights during our time at Genesis was the relationship we built with our lunch lady, Juanita. We went to her house everyday for lunch and she was an amazing cook, we actually got to eat vegetables at her house!! It sure beats all of the rice and beans we have been eating for every other meal. She also had a wonderful grandson named Paulo...he was the cutest 2 year old you would ever meet. He ate lunch with us everyday and became our entertainment. His favorite game was to name all of the fruits pictured on the table-cloth. But to him each fruit was cacahuate (peanut).

In the afternoons we did a number of different things. The first week we did a children´s program for about 25 - 30 second and third graders. We did a puppet show, a snack and a craft. The kids just loved it and wanted us to do it every week after that. We also got to spend some time working in a garden that they are trying to get started and also we helped work in a women´s baking group.

Friday, April 3, 2009


This past Saturday we visited a waterfall about 4 hours north of Tegucigalpa. Leo's friend was here and so we took him along and we also took Rachel and Ronal (other friends) and Ronal's brother. We left about 7:30 and traveled on the wonderful roads of Honduras (thanks mom for the Seabands!!) over montains and potholes until we finally arrived around 11.

The waterfall was beautiful. It was really nice to see something other than cars and buses which is what we get here in the city. After treking down the mountain to get the best view of the falls, we went swimming in the stream above the falls. The water was pretty warm and very refreshing since it´s been about 90 degrees everyday here!!
We stayed until about 2 and then headed back to Tegucigalpa. On the way back we stopped at a small place on the lake to eat. The choices were fried fish or fried chicken. Shaun and I each decided to eat fish and we even got to pick out our own fish to eat. They fry the fish as is (bones head and all) and then put it on your plate and serve it to you. Delicious! The view from the restaurant was beautiful. It was really nice to spend a day outside the city!!
(Kara, in these pictures you can see my baby belly!!!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thank you Girls Club!!!

A special thanks to: Sydney, Zoe, Jenna, Laiken, Bekah, Sophie, Monica, Faith, Emily, Keely, Katie, Megan, Amanda, Hannah, Faith Anne, Holly, Jocelyn, Anna Sarah, Vanessa, MaraBeth, Kalee, Naomi, Alexis, Courtney, Bailey, Colleen, Samantha, Kelly, Lilly, Natalie, Carolyn, Maggie, Janelle, and Kierstin. (If we forgot anyone we sincerly apologize but we think we got everyone!)

This week we wanted to give a special thanks to the Girls Club at Five Forks BIC for their support. We received from them a big box of goodies which as you can see we have already started to enjoy!! We also received homemade cards from each one of the girls. It was really special for us to read the encouraging messages that they sent to us. So, to the girls club, thanks so much for all of your support and we look forward to being able to share our stories with you when we return.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Micah Project and Jerico

For the past 3 weeks we've been at our first ministry site. Shaun and Leo were at the Micah Project and Gina and Jenny were at Jerico Ministries. The Micah Project is a ministry that was started in 2000 by a gentleman named Michael from Missouri. He takes homeless boys off of the street and gives them a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and even gives them an education. Most of these boys are found on the street addicted to sniffing glue non-stop (the common, cheap drug used among many young people here). Some of the boys have used other drugs as well and even get involved in robberies and assault.

15 of the 16 boys who entered the program initially, have graduated from the Micah school and most of them are now in college, some in the US and some in other parts of Central America. We took one day and went to visit some of the other homeless boys on the street who have not chosen to enter the Micah Project. When you compare their lives to the lives of the boys who have gone through the program, the change in their lives is astounding.
Currently, there are about 15-20 guys living at the Micah House. Leo and I spent most of our time teaching English classes. We also taught a few classes on family values. The Micah Project also sponsors a poor colony near by. In this colony, they have built a school and help families build houses and find food to eat. Leo and I had the opportunity to spend some time sanding and painting a couple of the school rooms. It has really been neat to get to know the guys at the Micah House. While Michael is a Christian and even gives Bible classes, the majority of the Micah boys are not Christians. It gave Leo and I an opportunity to share with these boys what God has done in our lives.

Jerico Ministries started out as a ministry to help prostitutes. They would go out at night and share Jesus with the women trying to support their families (mainly their children) by selling their bodies. They bought a place for the women to stay and even helped them to start a sewing business to make money as an alternative way to support their families.
Now this ministry mainly works with the children of prostitutes. They have a school in the city and they also have a home out in the country for the more troubled children. Many of the teachers at the school have adopted these children as their own.
At the school, the children have devotions every morning before class. Class runs from 8-12 with a half hour break from 9:30-10. They get fed lunch at the school before their parents pick them up. Gina and Jenny taught English to a group of 7-9th graders every morning for 4 hours. We had between 3-4 well-behaved students. We had to teach in English which was sometimes a little difficult for the students. As my first experience teaching English, I think the students really learned a lot and enjoyed most of class. They really hated it when I made them write paragraphs!!! Overall, it was a great experience and I got to know some really great kids!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Costa Rica

On Thursday morning we got picked up at 4am to go to the bus station to head for Costa Rica. We had to go to Costa Rica to get our visas renewed so we can stay legally in the country through May. We left Tegucigalpa at 5:30am and arrived at our hotel in Costa Rica at 8:30pm. It was a 15 hour bus ride. We had to travel through Nicaragua (for all of you who are geographically challenged (mom)) and then an hour into Costa Rica.

On Fri we swam at the pool all day, watched TV in our air conditioned room and ate. Sat looked exactly the same as Fri. Then on Sun we decided we´d like to go to the beach so Shaun, Jenny, and Gina got on a bus and headed to Playa del Coco. It took us about 40 mins to get there, standing in an unairconditioned bus. But, when we finally arrived, it was worth it. The beach was really beautiful and we had a great time just relaxing and enjoying the view. It was a dark sand beach so the water looked a bit murkier than what we´re used. But, the water was warm and so we got in anyway.

We got to eat some pretty good food while we were down there. Shaun really liked the coffee at the hotel restaurant. They brought him out his own little pot so he could refill his own coffee. All the fruit juice was freshly squeezed and we even had lunch at the pool on Sun. Shaun´s holding some apples in one of the pictures that came from an apple tree right beside the pool. They were delicious but a bit different than the apples we´re used to.

It was a very relaxing weekend we only wish that it could have been a little longer. On Mon morning, we got up and left at 6am and arrived back in Tegucigalpa at 9:30pm. We hope you enjoy our pictures!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So, this past week we took a trip out into the rural area of Honduras, to a small town called Orocuina. We left Sunday around 12:30 and the trip was supposed to take about 3 hours. It was the 4 of us team members with Barry Horst and Nathan Bert.

About an hour into the trip we heard a strange rattling noise in the back right tire. So we pulled off to the side of the road to check it out. It didn´t take long to realize that the axel had slid back and now the tire was rubbing against the back bumper of the car. So...we called home to Kimberly Horst and told her that we would need her to bring us some tools so that we could fix the axel and continue on the trip. Til Kimberly was finally able to get the proper tools and find a friend to come with her, it was about 4:00 when they arrived. Then of course we had to wait for them to fix the tire.

The other problem we had was the heat! Tegucigalpa is cold compared to the weather south where we were going. It was probably in the 90´s or 100 degrees in the sun. Needless to say we had a miserable time waiting in the hot sun for 5 hours. Til we finally got going it was about 5:00 and we still had two hours to go. At about 6:00 it started to get dark. Traveling at night is never a good idea in Honduras as it is extremely dangerous. Furthermore, as we were now out into the rural area it is far more dangerous. And the last part of our trip was on a dirt road for 30 mins. The last hour of our trip to Orocuina was rather scary. But we made it safely.
In Orocuina we stayed with host families and did some evangelism in the streets. The houses there are a lot less modern than here in the city. We had an outhouse for a bathroom, dirt floors, cold bucket baths, and a fireplace for a stove. And lots of bugs and spiders living inside the house! The heat down there was almost unbearable, we went to bed every night soaked in sweat. And sitting around during the day, even in the just sweat.
Today we returned to Tegucigalpa. Unfortunately, on the way home we had more car troubles. This time it was something in the engine and the car completely shut down and wouldn´t start up again. So Jenny, Gina, Leo and I hitched a ride on a bus back to Tegucigalpa. And Barry and Nate waited for a tow truck to come and get the van. We arrived back safe and sound about noon. But I don´t think any of us will be riding in that van again any time soon! All in all it was a good week and we learned so much by living under those conditions for a few days.
Below are some of our pictures from the trip. The first two are from the car breaking down...THE FIRST TIME. The other pictures are from our stay in Orocuina. The roads in Orocuina, as you can see, are not even dirt roads, they are just big rocks in the middle of the road that you drive over. And the last couple of pictures are of our house and host mom in Orocuina. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bus incident!!

Last week we did street evangelism with Mike and Shaun´s parents. This was something uncomfortable for the whole team especially trying to go door to door in a different language. We learned a lot about allowing God to work through us and not relying on our own abilities. It was truly amazing to see God work throughout the week. 8 people received Christ during this time and we give all the praise to God. We also connected these people and many who didn´t receive Christ with cell groups from the church that we attend in hopes that they can continue to grow in their walk with Christ.

This week we´ve been working with a dental team from the States as translators and helping in anyway we can. Each morning we take a taxi to a hotel where the dentists are staying and then we travel on a bus with the dentists to the work site which is about 40 mins outside of the city. On Tuesday, Jenny woke up and was not feeling very well but decided to go anyway thinking that she would get better as the morning went on. However, by the time we reached the work site, she was actually feeling worse and was pretty upset. So, while everyone was getting off of the bus I was trying to calm Jenny down. Finally, Jenny and I were ready to get off the bus. But as I stood up, I notice that the bus driver had gotten off and the door was shut. I quickly ran up to see if I could open it. But I could not. And there is no lever in the front of the bus to open the door, you have to have the key. Unfortunately, everyone else was already up at the clinic and the bus driver was no where to be found..... we were locked on the bus!

First, I tried to climb out the window but believe it or not I couldn´t fit. Actually, I probably could have fit but it would have been very difficult to get out because those windows are really high up off of the ground. Besides even if I could have managed to get out there was no way Jenny would have been able to get out. Then I noticed that the drivers window was slightly bigger than the other windows. So, I was able to squeeze out of his window and grab onto a ledge on the house right besided the bus and I was able to swing myself to the ground! Then it was Jenny´s turn and she slowly squeezed out through the window and let herself down onto my shoulder and I then let her down to the ground.

Also, rather amusing was that Gina showed up just as Jenny was climbing out of the window and she got to witness the whole event. It was rather amusing although Jenny didn´t seem to think so at the time. But needless to say we got out and had a wonderful day working with the dental team!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This post is mainly for my mom and for all of you who really like the story of Lolita whistling at me. Lola only wakes us up about once a week now and only when she hears other people awake. She gets really excited and starts sqwaking and talking and whistling. Now she really likes it when I scratch her head. We're buddies.

New lunch!

We had a new experience yesterday at our house. In the morning while we were getting ready for our last day of language class, I was washing out our water bottles at the sink in the kitchen. As I was washing them out I noticed some kind of meat sitting on the counter beside me. Mami Gollita came into the kitchen and I asked her what it was. And she said, "meat....what do you think it looks like?" So I said, "tongue?" (with a disgusted look on my face) and she started laughing and I realized I was right.

Then we got home from language class at lunch time and the tongue was frying on the stove. Fortunately, we have to provide our own lunches so we were having peanut butter and jelly. As we were finishing our sandwiches, Mami Gollita brings over a plate of tongue and rice for us to share. Wasn't that so generous of her??? So Shaun ate most of it and Gina and I each tried a small piece just to say we've tried tongue before. It was not the most pleasant experience of my life.