2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Celebrating in San Luis

Rachelle, Ali, Mike, Sr. Juanita, and Carolyn split from the group this morning to attend a major celebration in San Luis, another of Fr. Bonilla’s parishes. We traveled to San Luis via mototaxi. I regret not taking a video of Mike trying to fold himself into the taxi, which had metal doors like carnival rides and a tarp for a roof. Our group of 8 (Tacha, Sylvia, and Noelia – our cooks were with us) squished in for the 20-minute ride.

According to the girls, the celebration began with pre-game (or pre-Mass) at 9. We experienced lots of singing, accompanied with actions. The first song alone lasted 20 minutes or more. The whole celebration was to dedicate the new center that is next to their church. It’s a beautiful center with a kitchen, dining area, salon, beds for 64 or more people, and bathrooms. After more singing and celebrating, all moved to the church to share Mass with the Bishop of Comayagua. (Francis, Richard, Linda, and Carolyn met the bishop this past summer while on the planning mission.) Mass began at approximately 10 – everything in Honduras is approximate – and lasted until 11:40. Fr. Bonilla thanked the bishop at the end of Mass, and also gave a special thank you to our mission group of students working in El Picacho. Our group was specially invited to the celebration, which is why we sent a representative group to the dedication. After Mass it was back to the center for the ribbon cutting and more singing and dancing. Our group dined with the two priests and the bishop. I had a nice conversation with him. He wanted all of us to know how appreciative he and all Hondurans are of the work our youth does in his country. He asked how Seivert was doing and DID remember our summer meeting. He even said that he watched our last PowerPoint and was greatly impressed with it. I presented him with a mission shirt and cross, telling him our director wanted him to have it to represent our relationship and connection with him and Honduras.

Our bus collected us in San Luis on their return trip. The El Picacho group was much dirtier than we, but all of us were hot. The temperature continues to climb so we are taking it very easy this afternoon. After showers, some took a siesta, some went to the park, and some are playing just outside the compound with the youth. Some even visited the local grocery store; well, anyway, the Honduran version of one.

Everyone enjoyed a noon meal of beef, rice with carrots & pataste, and tortillas. Tonight’s meal appears to be Honduran tacos. They mix cabbage and hamburger, put it on a flat hard shell, put fresh tomatoes on top, as well as parmesan cheese. It is one of Linda’s favorites.

Tomorrow starts Holy Week. The procession begins at 8 from the edge of town. Jesus will ride a burro through town to the church while the congregation waves palms and sings during the procession. Then we’ll run for the bus take off for the malnutrition center in Sulaco. I’m excited to see  Virginia’s (Stick Lady’s) house.

Dedication Mass

Trevor's job to keep Frank clean for the day was a success

Water tank base

Joe B. with a little friend


Conor carries Ali's, Mike's, and Rachelle's loads for the day

Dateline: El Picacho Mountain Top Central

Here are some very recent photos (within the last hour) of the team bringing the sand up the mountain to the tank site.  They are almost finished with this process.  It's about 85 degrees.  The group is doing very well and taking breaks and sitting in the shade when taking a break.

Mr. Francis

Dateline: Mountain Top Central

Hello to all.  It is currently 0815 hours on Saturday 31 March 2012 and I am sitting on 6 bricks up on the top of the mountain in El Picacho where the well will be built, starting either later today or no later than Monday.  The Gehlen team is hauling bags of sand up to this location so that when we get the 96 pound bags of cement here the foundation for the 10,000 gallon tank can begin.

The exact location 14 46'54.6" N and 87 28'37.8".  The altitude is 1496 meters.  We have a thermometer with us and we will be able to capture the exact temperature on this mountain top where the team is working.  Just like the 2nd house in Nuevo Capital, there is no shade.  The team is hauling the bags of sand up the mountain in an assembly fashion through a coffee field  We will be sending photos as soon as my camera gets here.  You can tell I am working really hard sitting on these bricks (carried up here yesterday) typing this message.  Life is really tough for me!  We will watch the kids real close today because it is really hot.  They will drink water and water mixed with gatorade.

Mr. Francis

Friday, March 30, 2012

Missionaries Blog

Mick Sitzmann: Hi mom and dad! Having so much fun here! The kids are amazing and I really wish I knew more Spanish!  Ill talk to you guys later and Dad I just wanted to tell you that these people who helped us work today make you “tough guys” at home look like complete pansies! Love you guys!! See you in nine days!! Tell Monica I say HI!

Ali Galles: Hey mom! Hey dad! Honduras is amazing. The kids are teaching me more Spanish than I have learned all throughout high school. It’s improved already today so much. The work is tough. Carrying bricks up the mountain was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do. My arms are way sore. Tomorrow we start digging! Yay! (sarcasm). Love you guys and I will see you in nine days!

Chad Langel: Hola la familia! J Jaajaja. (hahahahahaha lolz). I miss you greatly! This is from Joe also! We are having a great time down here and working extremely hard. The old man is hanging in there so far, I suppose. We are hoping that the baby is going to wait till we are back so tell Katie to suck it in!! Other than all that, see ya in nueve dias! (9 days). ;) p.s. the kids call me Chip instead of Chad lol it’s too hard to pronounce!

Micah Neary: Hey everyone! Miss you all! I am having a great time here in Honduras. I am working my tailfeather off. Miss you Morgan!! The people here are amazing and fun to talk to and be around. The food here is also really good. The weather is nice at six in the morning. Other than that it’s really hot. I’ll see you all soon! T-minus nine days! J

Rachelle Lipp: Words can’t explain the feeling you get as you enter a brand new country. My first airplane ride was amazing! I couldn’t ask for smoother travels and all our bags came in. We are so blessed in the United States and no one should forget that.  I actually like the rice (to my surprise).  The food has actually been delicioso.  The view from the top of the hill for our project is amazing.  God is so amazing.  I met a 12 year old girl today who reminded me so much of Krista.  There were five year olds who were carrying more bricks than me.  Alright, I miss you all.  Love you Mom, Dad, Andrew, Marisa and Krista.  Do the chores. Hasta luego!

Trevor Bouma: Hey family and Steph! I have been having a great time in Honduras.  The work has been very tough, but the smiles on the kids’ faces makes up for all of it.  The food has been surprisingly good.  Everyone around here is extremely nice and fun to be with.  I will see you in nine days. Love you and miss you! Shout out to Jordan Thomas Langel!

Joe Begnoche: Hello fellow Bag-O-Nachos! I’m doing well here.  All of the kids are very cool.  I still don’t know Spanish very well, but I’m trying to communicate as well as I can.  The weather is hot but pretty good.  The view at the top of the mountains was pretty awesome and I’ll have to tell you when I get home because I didn’t take any pictures of it, yet ;). The food is surprisingly awesome and nothing goes to waste here.  I have a huge tan line in the middle of my forehead- I wore my bandana a little low today… Tell Kendall “hi” for me somehow and I’m still writing her letters. See you in nine days, I miss you already! I’m super excited to see you when we get back.

Lauren Eide: Hello Mom, Dad, and Brenden! Today we went up to the mountains and carried bricks up a really steep hill/mountain peak. I’m gaining muscle. Yes, I actually did carry the bricks.  I met a lot of kids tonight. They really like to hit while they play tag.  They liked my blue eyes and blonde hair.  The airplane landing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  The food hasn’t been too bad.  Today I took a shower that lasted less than a minute.  Yes, I DID.  I can’t wait to see you, I’ll try to blog again.

Austin (Dean) Meyer: Hey Mom and Dad and Emily and Tyler. It’s my birthday today! It was different waking up in a different country today. They sang to me in Spanish for my birthday. Yesterday I almost got killed by a dog. No big deal. I have learned more Spanish today than I have in high school. I’m telling all the kids to call me Dean. They love it. Drinking lots of water, stay hydrated! I also ate beef jerky with ants on it (good source of protein) (God’s punishment for eating meat today) I did laundry today for the first time. It wasn’t very good.  Love you and miss you. See you on Easter!

Alec Mousel: hello family, friends, and Brittany if seivert taught you well enough to use the blog. Its pretty warm here. Shout out to Jordan for being a good friend. I’ll let you guys go now because this blog is already way to long so adios and see ya’ll in a few days. Your friend in Christ-Alec J

Ross Ruhland: hello everybody I’m still alive and kicking. My junta bud trevor has been looking out for me and keeping me alive. He is a great man. Missing my mommy. Shout out to Jordan and Asmund as well as all my buds in crafts. Peace and Blessings.

Megan Heissel: Hey Mom, Dad, Cole, and friends! This has been quite an experience so far. Today we threw bricks up a hill/mountaintop. I am going to be so sore in the morning I can already tell. Waking up at 5:30 AM is a little difficult but you hardly notice because it is already light out. Time seems to be going very slowly but I am enjoying every minute of it.  The people here are so friendly and welcoming.  I met a little girl, Molly, and fell in love with her. It will definitely be difficult to leave! Love and miss you guys! J

Brittany Loutsch: Hey Mom, Dad, Donald and the rest of the family, hope all is going well back in L-town. To the seniors- keep the halls in line especially Seivert. I would like to thanks Coach Ryan for making me work hard in track because I dominated carrying up the bricks to the top of the mountain. Hope the CYO meet went well! I am thankful for staying in Spanish because I can actually carry a conversation on unlike the guys.  A little girl thought me and Dean were brother and sister: I laughed so hard. The plane ride was awesome I loved it.  We taught some of the kids Bird(Bert) is da word so they could remember my name. Ross and I are champs at pinochle beating Trevor and Joe 1,225 to 225. Que Verguenza! I am not sure at this point if I will make it out alive, but Kim Kardashian did mission work in Haiti so I think that will be my inspiration. Miss you guys!!!! See you soonJ

Beautiful Scenery

Today we worked on the mounta in a mile high - BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Had a busy day carrying bricks and no I did not hurt my back. I made one trip from bottom to top but Dave made up for me.  When we did the assembly line then I could participate.  It has been great getting to know everyone we have an awesom group.The Honduran people have been very welcomeing and wonderful to get to know - a smile says a million words. We miss you but having a wonderful time. 
Dave and Janet

Work Begins

The village of Picacho welcomed us this morning with speeches and applause. Everyone was anxious to begin, but perhaps a little less so when we saw the pile of bricks and sand that had to be carried up the mountainside. Frank let us know that we were standing a mile above sea level, and that really made everyone anxious to carry bricks and sand up the mountainside.

Our missioners are fast learners, however; they only made a few trips carrying bricks before they set up the line to toss bricks to each other. It made the breathing required for mountain climbing much easier. The missioners worked hard, but did take their required rehydration breaks. We enjoyed wonderful weather this morning. The sporadic breezes kept us from overheating.

Our missioners defnitely noticed the poverty apparent in this country. They also noticed some of the nice, colorful home we have occasionally seen. Many of them already have children latched to them. The girls enjyed a game of duck-duck-goose with a few of the chilThedren. They've learned we all smile in the same language.

The village ladies fed us a lunch of fried chicken, rice, tortillas, tomatoes, and lettuce. It reminded the students of Lally's. Many villagers enjoyed the meal with us. The bus ride back was quiet and more than a little bumpy.

We enjoyed our first cold shower of the trip. The missioners stated it was one of the most enjoyable showers they'd ever experienced. We are now taking it easy. We'll then sort our donated items in the salon, work on our junta books, and eat supper.  Oh, I almost forgot. The guys learned how to do their laundry using the pila. Carlos, our bus driver, gave them a laundry lesson, and then just shook his head as they all tried their best to copy his methods. They need a lot more practice!

We'll cool off at the park tonight and play with the local children. Look for more blogs to come, and PLEASE send comments our way. Happy 18th Birthday to Austin Meyer today!

9:15 a.m. Report from Picacho

Greetings to all readers.
Carolyn just called me from Picacho. The connection was almost perfect. Hopefully she will continue to have strong signals throughout the entire trip in both Esquias and Picacho. Picacho is high in the mountains above Esquias and about a 40 minute drive by bus. The team has already started work on the water project but she did not go into details. She said everyone was healthy and looking forward to the day.
They have been invited by Fr. Bonilla to the dedication ceremony of a new parish center in San Luis tomorrow. It is a work day for our kids so I think they plan on sending a small delegation. We were partly responsible for this new center and I personally am pleased it is finished.
While on the phone with her the bell rang and my second period study hall came in. I put it on speaker phone and some of the students talked to her. It was fun for everybody.
She promises to blog again tonight if the signal is good and strong - also to send pictures.
Take Care, R. Seivert

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gehlen Team Arrives in Honduras

It's been a hot, dusty, long trip from Omaha to Esquias, but we have arrived. I believe everyone is ready to go even though they are tired from the trip. Once we hit the gravel road to Esquias, everyone learned what bumpy roads are really like.

We picked up a water bottle for everyone before leaving Tegucigalpa. We also made a pit stop in Siria before our bumpy ride began.

All missioners have pitched in already. They unloaded the 50 lb. bags from the pickup and bus, carried in some food supplies, unloaded their personal belongings, and changed into shorts as quickly as possible. We are definitely experiencing a sultry evening.

After a supper of rice, refried beans, beef, salsa, and tortillas, we had a quick orientation. Right now I've send all youth missioners to the park with the men chaperones. We all agreed that it's much cooler there. The women are doing a few needed chores around the compound. Tomorrow the students will take on those chores, along with the beginning of the work in Picacho. Our first 'junta' is planned for 8 p.m. our time. I have a sneaky suspicion that many of us will be in bed early.
ALL bags arrive in Tegucigalpa

The girls help carry the bags into the salon.

Dave drops the bags to Chad.

Austin is happy to pitch in.

In Esquias

Greetings to all readers.
Carolyn called me at 5:30 our time (4:30 Honduras time).
They were in Esquias, their home for the next few days.
Everyone was healthy and unloading the bags and food from the truck and bus.
They were going to have an orientation meeting within minutes and get acclimated to their new home and rules.
They were tired but yet full of energy.
Very hot.
Carolyn will try to blog later. But, don't be surprised if it doesn't work.
They are fine and safe.
Take Care, R. Seivert

Santos Photo and Pila Photo

Dick and others. Just a couple of pics of Santos earlier today and one of the pila in Neuva Capital at the completed house. Santos was good. Much different than 2 months ago.
Mr. Francis

Out of Airport in Tegucigalpa / In Waiting Hands

Greetings to all readers.
Carolyn called me at 1:15 p.m.
All team members were through immigration, baggage claim, and customs. All were healthy and ready to go.
Guess What?
All 46 bags came through !!!!!! Go figure.
In any case the kids were loading the bags on the bus as she was speaking with me. I assume they will leave for Esquias withing a few minutes.
They have promised to call me or blog shortly after getting to Esquias - that could be late afternoon. It is a good 3 hour ride.
Will keep you posted. Take Care, R. Seivert

Wheels Down in Tegucigalpa

As you can see our Mission Team landed safely at 12:27 p.m. our time. It will take a good hour to go through immigration, baggage claim, and customs before they load the bags on the bus and head to Esquias. I will keep you informed as I hear. R. Seivert

Wheels Up From Houston

As you probably already know the team is in flight from Houston aboard flight number 1625. I spoke with Carolyn once they were all on board. I will monitor their flight all the way to touchdown and blog when I can.
Take Care,
R. Seivert

Wheels Down in Houston Early

As most of you have seen the Gehlen team landed in Houston quite early. Just spoke with Carolyn a few minutes ago and they were already at their connecting gate - the kids were already off hunting for food. They got into Houston before we even got back to LeMars.
The morning was okay. The team was on the bus at 3:50 and we were on the way to the airport. It took us much longer to get through ticketing than normal because of the crush of people - I have never seen Omaha airport that busy that early in the morning. However, we were able to get through security and to their gate with only 10 minutes to spare - but they made it. Now let's hope for a good flight into Tegucigalpa.
Will post again when they have wheels up.
R. Seivert

Last Message

From Abbey Myers:

As we are about to touch down in Houston, Texas and begin a 'USA' chant, it is safe to assume that everyone is happy to be back in the states and on their way home to the lives we are used to. We are all excited to take a hot shower, flush a toilet, send a text, and sleep without earplugs. Along with all this happiness to be home though, there is also some sadness. I feel sad to be home for many different reasons. While in Honduras we were able to form friendships even with a language barrier. Saying goodbye to these friends was extremely hard because we know we will not be seeing them again. It was hard to say our goodbyes to the kids whom we had gotten used to seeing daily and reassuring them that we would be back 'manana'. It is reassuring to know that along with building homes and teaching English we were able to instill a sense of hope for the people of Honduras. By simply being there, we were able to tell them that we care and want to help them have more opportunities and a chance to do something different. Going into this trip I did not know that one of my missions would be to spread hope for opportunities and change for the better. I also did not expect to leave this trip with the impact that it has had on my life. Trying to tell people about our time in Honduras will not give what we experienced justice. Most of our experiences were good while others will be difficult to discuss. We did what we came to do and we know that the rest is in God's hands.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heelan Returns

The Heelan team walked up the runway shortly after 8:15, to the cheers of their families and the Gehlen Catholic Mission Team. Although the Heelan team was sad to leave their Honduran friends, you could see the joy on their faces as they hugged their family members.

The Heelan Team has now passed the torch on to the Gehlen Team, who boards their first flight at 5:40 Thursday morning. Our team will be doing a water project in the small village of Picacho. We'll try to keep you posted with as much information as our internet signal will allow. If we can't get through, you can count on Richard Seivert to post our blog with the info we'll send via cell phone.

Stay tuned for the next mission team excursion!

Houston to Omaha Wheels Up

As most of you have seen flight 4372 to Omaha is in the air and estimated to arrive 10 minutes late (8:16 p.m.). See you at the airport. R. Seivert

Heelan Wheels Down in Houston

As most of you have seen already, Heelan landed in Houston 10 minutes early. I spoke with Mike Wostoupal and everything was right on schedule. Will keep you posted as much as possible. R. Seivert

Wheels Up

Greetings to all.
Wheels are up and Bishop Heelan is on the way home.
Will try to give an update in 3 hours or so.

Heelan Team Through Security

Francis just called (noon our time). The entire Heelan team has checked through security and is ready to fly. Remember they fly at 12:15 Honduran time (1:15 our time). Will keep you posted. R. Seivert

Final Goodbyes

From Tony myers:

Our last day in Honduras has been one of the most emotional days so far. Everyone seems ready to see their family and friends, but no one wants to let go of the relationships that have been built. All in all, the experience of this mission will never be forgotten by the students, chaperons, and hopefully the Honduran children. The point of the trip was to make a difference and better the lives of the people we met. After being here for a week, I have come to realize the generosity and love of the Honduran people made a difference in the lives of the Heelan participants. During our nightly "junta" last night a question was asked. "Who has gained more from this experience, the giver or the receiver?" Literally, the Honduran families have received more in the sense of material items like clothes, school supplies, and other everyday needs. However, I believe the giver has gained more from this experience. We have learned of the poverty here, the needs these people have, but most importantly, we have learned how everyone deserves to be loved. I have truly learned money cannot buy happiness. Family, friends, and the relationships we build are the most important things we have. We are on our way to the airport to head back to the states! Pray for safe travel and we will see you soon!

Waiting to go

Just a short message.  The team is ready to go to the airport. The  bus will be here at 0900 hours.  Here are a few photos of the completed house with the main work team (you can see the pila to the left) and the other house with the main group that worked there are standing on the completed foundation.  Many more photos. You can also see the latrine team.  I will call my brother Dick when the wheels are up.  God bless.  Mr. Francis

Everything On Time

Have just checked both flights and weather in all three locations. Flights are on time and weather looks good. The team leaves for the airport about 9:00 a.m. Will keep everyone posted on all I know. We leave with the Gehlen team at 2:30 this afternoon and until I get into Omaha with them I won't be able to communicate. Once I get to the motel I should be able to get back on line and keep you up to date. Will see all families at the airport tonight.  Take Care, R. Seivert

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


From Jack:
So something crosses my mind as I watch Father Cosgrove and Padre Patricio make the wine together at Mass. The language barrier doesn't divide us. At all. People can come together over religion or simply a common good. And then I realize that's what we've been doing the whole time. I had no idea what Salim, Carlos, or Julio were saying, and we still managed to build a house together. So I guess what I'm saying is that I believe, at heart, people are truly indivisible. There is a mutual language of humanity between everyone and a common goal happiness. Languages, borders, and oceans may separate people, but when I smile at a Honduran, they smile back. So I'm feeling connected and worldly, despite the fact I don't even know the entire Spanish alphabet. Minor details.

Bittersweet / Freedom in their Hearts

From Megan and Abby

I would describe today something like bitter sweet. We went to the work sites for the final time, and took pictures of our progress with the families. We also went to classrooms and handed out shorts, shirts, shoes, and toothpaste. I have never in my life seen kids so happy to receive a tube of toothpaste or a shirt that is a 3XL. I am ready to come home and see my family and friends, but at the same time it is hard to say goodbye and leave when there is so much to still be done. Also, HAPPY 14TH BIRTHDAY ADAM!!! Good luck on your permit test :) -Megan
Hola amigos! Today was probably one of the hotter days but it's been great so far. I'm excited to go home but know it will be extremely heart-breaking to say goodbye. The freedom in all of these people's hearts is amazing. They inspire me to appreciate what I'm given and all the oppotunities I have. I've also learned to simply be happy constantly because no matter where these kids are or what they are doing they have a smile on their face. They always drop what they are doing just to give you the biggest hug and grin. See you all soon! Adios! :) -Abby

Bishop Heelan Mission Honduras

Greetings from Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras ‘Changing Lives.’

As I look forward to the Gehlen portion of this year’s Mission Honduras program, I cannot fully appreciate that adventure without first and foremost speaking to and about Bishop Heelan Mission Honduras; toward the end of their very special journey. It is Tuesday morning at about 7:10 a.m. our time and most of you are just getting up in New Capital and the school of St. Terese de Jesus. You leave for Tegucigalpa tomorrow morning and your return home to the United States.

Many of you will experience, and maybe already have, a feeling like “I don’t want to leave Honduras, not just yet anyway.” Thoughts like, ‘there is so much to do, how can I leave such a beautiful people and all these children.’ I echo my brother Frank’s sentiments found in his morning blog.

We at Gehlen know those feelings and those thoughts all too well. We have them with each and every journey into Honduras and it never seems to change. Only time will tell how each of you process this experience and how it might ‘play out’ in your lives. I hope and pray that your time spent with the poor will have been worth it. It sure seems like it has on reading the many messages you have posted on the blog.

Please accept my deepest thanks and admiration for what you have done, the friends you have made, and the lasting bond that you formed with so many. I want to thank each and everyone: Fr. Cosgrove, Pat Jones, Mike Wostoupal, Jo Ann Sawin, Ramon Alcaraz, Sister Joan, Francis, and Julio. I want to thank Marta Sosa, your cooks, all the directors of St. Terese de Jesus, Fr. Patricio, and all others that helped make this mission a success. But most of all I want to thank each of you mission students that ‘put yourself out-there’ – that got out of your comfort zone; that looked, held, smelled, and lived with poverty. What a great group of adults and students you have been.

The world is a little better place today because of Bishop Heelan Mission Honduras and all the work you did. The ‘Power’ of young people - it is truly amazing. I wish each and every one of you the best in the future – no matter where you go or what you do. But please, I have only one request.  Never forget those amazing young people you have met – the children of Honduras.  If you ever need me or my brother Francis we promise to help you in any way.

Take Care Bishop Heelan Mission Honduras.

Richard E. Seivert

Casa Uno

From Paul Jacobson:
Hello to all back home! First off I hope everything is going well and having a blast back in the states and at school. We're definitely all having an amazing experience down here and are all loving every minute. We're going hard at the two houses and they're both definitely coming along. Wesley, Nick, Tony, Jeremy, Kyle, and I are hoping to finish the first house tomorrow. Pat, Ramon, and the rest of us site 1'ers have the first house completely sided and lathed. We also started on the roof and have about 3/4 left for tomorrow. Victor, the official contractor, has the pila looking awesome. So much progress has been made but more importantly the people are noticing we're making a difference. Though it may seem small in the scheme of things it is still something. All Hondurans are so happy to be alive and they always have smiles on their faces. Bonds are forming with all of us here but also with the Honduran people and children. The language barrier can't hold back smiles, hand shakes, hugs, and soccer games. Still loving it here and excited to see everyone soon!

A day for goodbyes

As I sit here next to the internet tree I look out from my hill perch and wonder what the day will bring.  It is windy and cool again this morning with a haze in the air.  We had rain last evening (not enough) which makes for this cool morning.  The team members are still sleeping.  It will be a difficult day for most as they travel to the work site, the classroom, or the homes that many will visit today. It will be a day of goodbyes.  To the families that many have spent these past days building a house, working on the foundation of another house, or digging a latrine.  I know the emotions that will be shared.  The one house has a few pieces of the roof to be put in place and then it is done.  The door and window have been ordered and hopefully will be here today.  We plan to paint the one house which will make it last much longer.  Some of the kids will finish the latrine at the other site.  Only 1 1/2 foot more to go.  The team has a number of packages made to give to families during their home visits while others have to complete a project in the classroom that started last week.  All seem healthly.  It will be a busy day.  It's time to do it! 
God bless to all.  Peace, and thanks to all the parents of the Heelan team, husbands and wives of the chaperones for letting me be a small part of this very successful team trip.   Much has been accomplished.  For these young adults, it is just the beginning.  I wish them well.

From Internet Tree central
Mr. Francis

Monday, March 26, 2012

Senior Prom


From Abbey Myers:
High tensions, swollen thumbs, sun burns, and strange bites: the results from only a couple hours of work. In the matter of an hour the first house should be finished! It only needs half a wall and the roof. It feels great to look at the house and know that we were able to build something from nothing. The second house is another story. It is slowly coming along but it is extremely hard to know that we may be leaving it unfinished. It is also hard knowing we have to leave on Wednesday. Many of us have learned valuable lessons, formed friendships, worked hard, and are beginning to realize how painful it is going to be to say goodbye.


From Fisher:
The last couple days have been pretty chill. No work and lots of relaxing. Saturday we had some intense games of soccer and I think we are all proud to say that we won two, the number of games played does not matter. Yesterday we went to the valley of the angels and shopped I got some cool stuff and I think in the end everyone was happy and happy to leave. We also went to a coffee place that was neat and we ended up enjoying the fruit more than the coffee. It was an overall good day, shout out to the Sunday Night Crew and my family miss you all and can't wait to see you

Early Morning Wake Up

From Mike Wostoupal:

Heelan Families -

Ramon and I got the Honduran boys to wake up our boys with GRANDE wake up songs! It was absolutely hilarious.

The girls' dorm is locked so they received a couple of loud rooster calls from me.

Buenos Diaz!

Senor Woz

Buenos Diaz!


This last day has been filled with contemplative thought and a few tears. If you remember from one of my previous entries, we are building the house at site two for the Cabrera family, three boys and a mother. Kevin, one of the kids, has been particularly fun and kind. He calls me Bajo Jack because I'm the shortest of the workers. I was aware that there wasn't a father in the picture and was also aware that Kevin's mother was ill, but sadly, I didn't realize how sick she is. Her disease is terminal and there's no possible way to get treatment for her. So how is this fair? Kevin, a kid like any other you'd meet is living in a shack the size of a toll booth with a deathly sick mother, no father, no education, and no opportunities. I'm hurting, I really am that I can't do more. It forces me to come to the conclusion that life isn't just. My initial reaction is to feel completely powerless. There's disease, crime, and poverty running rampant throughout this country and all I am is a teenager with a shovel. But that's just it, that's exactly what I am. If life isn't justice then it is the duty of the privileged to make it just. I never truly realized it before, but I am lucky to be who I am and I have a civic and a moral duty to help out those less fortunate. I understand that there is only so much that I can do, but it is still something. It matters to me and it matters to Kevin and his family. If everyone can recognize and act on this call to service and unity, then maybe we can make life a little more just and better. What are those paintings where all the dots make a bigger picture? I guess everyone's acts can come together in the same way. I guess I'm one of them. I hope I'm one of them.

Jack G. OB

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More photos from Nueva Capital

Hi to all.  I am sitting here at the airport with Joann as she waits for her flight.  We have downloaded a few photos from her camera.  Most are of Sister Juanita and others fitting little girls with pillow case dresses as well as her sowing class along with a couple photos of team members visiting homes and providing a pack of supplies.  You can also see a pic of the kids from Heelan.  Have a great day.

Joann and Mr. Francis

Prayers Requested

This is a photo of little Cynthia from Mother Teresa's Children's Home in Tegucigalpa. My brother Francis sent it to me last evening - taken by one of the Heelan students.
Mission Honduras LeMars has been dealing with Cynthia for the past few years, providing the orphanage and her mother and family with necessary items to live(one of the many children we take care of - thanks to Francis). However, this is a sad sad story. The family is from New Capital where the Heelan team is working and staying. A couple years ago MHL rebuilt part of their home - new roof, new latrine, new pila, new beds, etc. I would imagine a good number of the Heelan students got to meet Cynthia yesterday.
Cynthia is dying and there is absolutely no doubt about her condition - she was born without one chamber of the heart - nothing can be done. Two years ago the decision was made by the orphanage to let her go home to die - to be with her family. However, the decision was reversed when they realized her mother would not be able to care for her adequately.  I personally was happy to know she would remain at Mother Teresa's for the wonderful care she receives. It now makes me sad to know her health is deteriorating. I don't like this very much but I realize this is what takes place in developing countries all over the world - not just Honduras. Sometimes I feel so powerless.

Richard Seivert
Marta and I both think Cynthia is very bad. Just out of the hospital esquela. She looks really bad, has no energy and is very cyanotic. Really sad. Maybe the last time I see her.
Mr. Francis

Eye's and Heart Opening

From Madeline:

I am definitely starting to miss my family and friends. I think about everyone a lot. Today as we visited the orphanage I realized these kids find hope and faith in the simplest things. Like a balloon. I think the situation of the entire country has sunk in. It is extremely hard to find words to explain how I feel. I want to understand how people live like this but I don't think I ever will. I know it is the only thing they have ever known but still it doesn't make sense. My heart is starting to ache for these people. We live at the school and have had the opportunity to talk to the students about their future plans. A lot of them want to go to college and be successful. A few days ago I saw these dreams as inspiring but today I think I realized these kids will barely get the chance to fulfill their dreams. One thing that I do know is even though these kids might not have the life I want for them they are happy. Every time I step into a classroom or a little kid sees me I get showered with hugs. It is hard for me to understand how a child can live in a hut, barely eat, and yet show a complete stranger such unconditional love. It is something unexplainable. I want to be happy for these children because of their happiness but I just can't stop thinking about their future. For now I am having difficulty with these things.

Another beautiful morning in Neuva Capital

 It's about 6 am and another beautiful cool morning as I look out over the various wooden homes of some of the thousands of residents that live in Neuva Capital towards Tegucigalpa.  I will let the team members blog about their day yesterday.  Mass at the cathedral was great.  Food and then a trip to Hogar Don de Maria (Mother Teresa's home).  Today the team will leave around 8 am for a visit to the Basilica of Suyupa.  Then on the way to Valley of the Angels their will stop and see a coffee growing operation and see the process from growing to selling all at the same place.  Then off to Valley of the Angels.  I will take Joann to the airport for her flight home today and will stay at the airpot until wheels are up on the flight.  I will then travel to Valley of the Angels to join the team members.  Mass will follow upon returing to the school. I wish all a happy day.  God bless and peace.  I am attaching a few others pics from the other day that did not get sent.  Mr. Francis