2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Visit to the Poorst in our Midst


As you’ll read below our day today looked much different than the past two.   Frank our guide here on the ground in Honduras took us to the feeding center in Talanga.  We were told this is one of the poorest parts of Honduras, this was evident in what we saw.  When we arrived we were swarmed by little ones who were dressed in their Sunday best for our visit.  We brought with us vitamins, toothbrushes/paste and of course……TOYS.  Word traveled fast when the toys were brought out and the crowd of children grew quickly.  Our kids had a blast distributing the toys and playing soccer with the barefoot children.  One child from a family of six who were working nearby gathering firewood wanted to play so badly, but was unable to because he had to help his Mom with the chore.  It was hard to see him left out.  They did eventually come over and get some stickers.  You’ll see two of them in the photo below in the white shirts.  It made everyone smile.  We were able to help cook and serve the meal and then see our vitamins distributed and toothbrushes and toothpaste used.  It was hard for us all to say goodbye but Frank promised us that he’d distribute more of our supplies to this facility.  So thank you so much to all of you who went out of you way to fill up our donation boxes and bags!   Upon returning to Esquias we were treated to a wonderful rainstorm.  The shampoo was brought out and the kids made good use of this much needed gift from the heavens.

Tomorrow we will find ourselves back on the trench line working up a sweat.  We’re hoping the rain will soften the dirt for us!!

Until tomorrow……Karrie, Mary & Fr. Jim

PS  Your kids continue to amaze us in their unconditional love for the Hondurans and each other.

Hola! To start off madre or padre if you could please visit the school and get my cars binder and my lit book with the white cover out of my locker that would be amazing. Second, it was another great day in Honduras.  We visited the feeding center in another village, and we were overwhelmed by about 40 or 50 kids.  We brought the kids toys and vitamins that will last them quite a long time.  By the end of the day I met multiple kids and gave them all the toy cars and silly bands which they absolutely loved.  Soon we brought out a brand new soccer ball for them which they taped up and will probably use for at least a couple of  years.  Tonight it poured.  So, Kia, Rylee, Elizabeth, Catherine, and I showered in the rain.  You will all be excited to know we are currently the cleanest here. We (Danielle), also, made our (her) mark on the dining hall wall by drawing our groups portrait. Hope you all are having a great time in the states! Much Love!

--Katie Kusser

Hey guys! It is Jordan S. We had a fun and rather exciting day today. First we went to a small village called Talanga and visited a soup kitchen that fed the children of the village. It was so amazing to be able to give them the vitamins, toothpaste, and of course toys! The kids were so excited, especially when we got the stickers out. They just about attacked Elizabeth and I! They had stickers all over; one even had 17 stickers all over his face and arms. We were also able to give them a soccer ball so the kids had quite the game going. When we got back to the compound, to our surprise we found a little friend. Well not so little. It was a giant gecko or lizard thing! Witt caught it and was holding it when it released its tail and ran away! As you probably guessed most of the girls were on chairs and benches… including myself! However, I did hold its tail and snapped quite a few pictures. Well I gotta go. We have to go pick up some firewood! Hasta luego! (See ya later)  

Hey everyone!  This is Dani.  Before I start talking about this exciting day, mom…could you please return those prom shoes?  I realized I don’t need them; thank you J Today was AWESOME!  We got to sleep in 30 minutes later, then, we went to Talanga where there was a soup kitchen for kids.  We brought all types of school supplies, vitamins, toys, hair accessories, and stickers!  The kids there were absolutely awesome, and they spoke to me like I knew Spanish…I just smiled and said “Si.”  There was one girl especially who clung onto me who covered herself in 14 stickers!  We drew our houses, and I tied a ribbon in her hair.  When we had to go, she just clung to my neck and would not let go!  Today has been my favorite day thus far!  When we came back to the compound, we found a lizard with an EXTREEMLY long and creepy tail on the wall.  Witt picked it up and its tail detached! AHHHH!  Now the lady who makes our meals is chasing everyone around with it!  Better get back to the card game.  Love and miss you all lots and lots, and I can’t wait to see you soon!


Hello! It’s Jake. Today was pretty laid back compared to the other days. We went to an orphanage and played with some kids. We pulled out a real soccer ball and all their faces lit up. It was such an amazing feeling. Every kid in Honduras has one thing in common.. soccer. They love it and make me look stupid haha. That’s pretty much all I have to say about today. Although something terrible happened today, my memory card won’t read in my camera. It must have broken somehow, but hopefully it still retained all the pictures and videos I took. Hopefully. But thankfully we have about 10 cameras, so there will be PLENTY of pictures. Anyway, hope everyone is safe and having fun! Love and miss you guys so much!!

-Jake Sully

Jay here, today rocked. We went to the feeding house and had a blast with the kids and parents. Yesterday was a different story though. A little kid named dennis stole my camera and took all 27 photos that it had, that little jerk! But I managed to get him back by throwing his flip flop off of our little soccer arena haha. We had a lot of fun, cant wait to see u guys still. Love u all!

-Jay Cooper        

Nicole and Dad (Tony),

We went to a children’s feeding center that feeds up to at least forty kids over lunch. It was in the village of Talanga. It was very high poverty. The kids had fun playing soccer with us and hopefully pictures will be posted. We did not eat there, but we packed our own sack lunches. Tonight we are having mass and doing our usual Junta it is a gathering of all of us and we reflect on the day. We miss everyone at home and hope you keep us in your prayers because it is extremely hot down here. Have you guys received any rain? Stephanie please don’t wear my jeans oh and dad says don’t bug mom about any sleepovers. Sheldon, you miss us? Little?  Love you guys! Goodnight!


Chaperone Mark……

What an awesome trip – the kids are great and make quite a team. Seems the guys gravitate to the nearest soccer field and the gals to the little ones – everybody pitches in and the days are flying by. The scenery is absolutely majestic here in the mountains, and the Honduran people are very happy in their un-harried lives. It is really neat to see how little stress there is here – there is definitely a lesson there for all of us on the STM team. Took a turn on the washboard last night – jeans came out clean, but a little stiff, so the locals tell me I need to rinse better. All my love to Theresa, Jen, Chris and Molly. Don’t worry, hon, I have your coffee order in the books!

Hola Miller family! Today we did not work, which was kind of nice because we got a break and were able to go to this other village and play with some kids. I don’t remember what the village was called because all of the villages here kind of sound the same to me. Anyways, there was this little boy there that met told us his name or age or anything, but he let us pose him for pictures. He was such an angel. There may be a picture of him on the blog, not too sure though. We were able to pass out toys and vitamins. They colored with the crayons we brought them and they managed to use alllllll of the stickers that we brought and put them all over themselves. Also, the little girls liked the hair clips, ribbons, barrettes, and headbands that we brought them. I got to play soccer again with them today. When we got home we made sure that playing pitch was in our agenda along with trying to figure out what to draw on the wall for our group. Also, as I got out of the shower, I heard everyone screaming and apparently they found some sort of lizard in the dining room. Well Witt caught it and it was spinning and then its tail fell off and ran away. That’s all for now! Hope to write to you guys tomorrow! Love you!

--Jordan M

My day was a little different than the rest. I stayed back at the compound recuperating from dehydration. I would have not said this last night, but today realize what a blessing it was to be sick. God continues to remind me throughout this trip that He is in control. Feeling under the weather provided me the opportunity to come to know Tacha, our cook, who nursed me back to health with all her “secret potions; manzanilla tea and delicious soup.  It tasted excellente and soothed my aching body. Tacha, an incredibly kind and loving woman, again showed me that love has no boundaries. It was also fun to spend some time with Tacha brushimg up on what little Espanol I know.  My precious time with her also included some time in Biology, where I learned about a rather scary looking relative of the lizard that had a tail at least 2 feet long or so it seemed. It was hanging on the shade and as I took a picture of it, it flew through the air. With Tacha yelling and chasing it with a broom, I supported her by standing on top of a chair!  ( Anyway, all is well and I look forward to rejoining the team tomorrow as we go to El Picacho to continue working on the project. My job tomorrow will be making sure everyone else stays hydrated and healthy! All I can say is, what beautiful people we are privileged to be with. I am grateful for the hard work of all the team and the beautiful way they continue to share their love with our joyful brothers and sisters in Christ.

Adios with love,


Hi everyone back home! Today I did not work which was really nice and relaxing. We went to a different village and visited an orphan edge. There were about 20-30 kids down there in a tiny room (imagine Katie’s room) I could not believe how many kids were there to receive probably the only meal that day. It was my favorite day so far because I met a Honduran named Karly (role the “r” and its Spanish haha) she was nine years old and was so pretty! She was constantly holding my hand and trying to teach me some Spanish words. We would color pictures, blow bubbles and put stickers on each other’s faces. I loved playing with her and making her smile. Little boys would jump on my back and ask me to run as fast as I could. Before I left Karly asked when she would see me again and I was sad I had to tell her she probably wouldn’t, she started to tear up so I decided to give her one of our drawings, a Jolly Rancher, and one of my bandanas that she loved. She gave me two kisses on my cheeks and said “Adios Amigo”. And boom it was my turn to start tearing up! I will never forget her. Once we got back to the compound sat down for a while and was taught how to play pitch by Mr. Dobesh, when all the sudden it started raining. All of ran outside and stood in the rain for awhile. It felt good even though it was only sprinkling. Everyone went inside while Kia, Dominic and I stayed out and sang when it started to pour we grabbed our shampoo and face wash and basically took a shower outside. It was so refreshing! Tomorrow we will go back to work in the mountains with the big muscles that I have now. (Watch out Luke, I might have you beat). Well I love you all and miss you like crazy! Time to eat dinner! Love you so much J Shout out to Tylor also! Love you guys! Adios!


Hola from Honduras again! Today was kind of relaxing… we got to go to the feeding center in a village with a lot of kids to see! We came with vitamins, toys, and some tooth brushes and toothpaste. I got to hand out the stickers and it was probably the best job.  I had a mob of kids around me for a while and they all wanted more! One boy had, I counted, diesisiete, or seventeen.  He was proud too! I got pictures with my sticker kids, and so far it’s one of my favorites.  We had rain today! Lots of it! And we were rinsed with the freshest water yet.  It’s the cleanest I have felt really!  Something I really liked to day was the bonding our group had on the bus! I think we spent the three hour trip playing 20 questions and other car games.  We are all getting really close on this trip. Well family, I am glad to hear my fish are doing swimminglyJ! I miss you all, but it’s half way until I’m home! Adios for today!

Love Elizabeth

Hola for the second time! Today was a break from work, because instead of going up to Picacho, we traveled to a village called Talonga, so that we could bring the kids at the feeding center toys and vitamins and play games with them.  I was especially mesmerized by this young girl that I unfortunately was unable to get the name of. She was sitting by herself in a corner, and I brought over a pink ribbon to put in her hair, and she was so shy she didn’t say anything, didn’t even smile. But she held my hand when we walked around for a little while, and that was pretty much like a smile to me. I also got the opportunity to meet and get pictures with two girls at the center whose names were Catherine also! I was really cool to meet girls that share the same name as me! Today it rained for the first time, and we all ran outside like we had been in the desert for weeks on end! A few of us even took shampoo and washed our hair, and that was my shower for the day! It was the highlight of the day by far. But I also had a cool experience today. During mass, especially during the Eucharistic prayer, I felt a sudden connection to God, which is what I have been waiting for this entire trip. We had mass inside and it had been really quiet outside for the entire mass, but when Father Jim said “this is my body, which will be given up for you” and held up the Body of Christ, I heard the wind blowing through the trees, and I just felt like God was right beside me! Anyways we all continue to pray for you and I am grateful for all the prayers and post that have been posted for us throughout the days. I think we all miss home a little bit but none of us are ready to come back yet! I know that I can’t even imagine the sadness of the day when we leave here, but we will all take a little bit of Honduras with us, and share it with others. To my family, I love you and I can’t wait to hear from you later on the blog! Tell Grandma we continue to pray for her up-coming surgery, and God Bless! Lots of Love, Catherine      

Hi Everyone,

I miss you all so much. Having all of Kevin’s classmates here has made me miss you more.   I know I keep bugging you to come with me some time but I really want to share this experience with you.  It’s amazing in different ways from last year but just as wonderful.  Today I got to help cook lunch at a feeding center in one of the poorest areas in Honduras.  It was humbling to be in the presence of the people who serve them every day.  I realized how we all play a part in the big picture.  How are things at home?  Are you surviving without me?  I’m sure you are.  I’m guessing you haven’t figured out how to write on the blog.  No worries, I know you’re thinking of me.   Going shopping on Sunday for trinkets and cigars…..I think you know who will receive what.  J

I love you all……Mom/Mary

Hi Guys,

I miss you all more than you can imagine and the perfect thing would be to have you all along for this journey. Thank you Dan for encouraging and supporting my coming…..I can see why you wanted me to come so much. Understanding the poverty and life of these beautiful people is something you can’t really grasp until you are immersed in it. It is a bit overwhelming though when you feel that there is so much to do and so many to help. We visited one of the poorest villages in Honduras today and children there were so precious and excited to see us. They clearly need so much but hopefully we were able to bring them joy today. Hope all is well there. We haven’t heard from you lately and would love to… Brendan and Mairin  how was the field trip? Declan, are you and your bro having fun? Liam, I haven’t met your buddy from the park yet but hope to before we leave.Moira Aislinn and Ciara …thinking of you too. Dan, I love you so much and can’t wait to see you.

God Bless you all,

Mom and Caitlin too J


  1. Wow! What a day. So great to read thru everyone's comments and stories. Thanks for sharing in such a way. Catherine G. thank you for sharing your God Connection. Its always there and its so wonderful to hear a young person share their experience to inspire others and hold witness. All of you are witnessing in a beautiful and wonderful way. What a blessing to have the blog and be able to share it with you. So A big Shout out to who ever is in charge of this. THANK YOU! Jordan S. what a little cutie you found! They are all precious!! I'm sure with your kind heart, it was hard to say good bye. With regards to the lizard, I would have been on top the next chair as well and I can't wait to see the pictures of the tail that fell off. Really? Wonder what God was thinking when He created that one? HA, HA. I Love you and miss you like crazy!!

  2. Hey Rylee!! haha I challenge you to an arm wrestle when you get back! Hope you keep Having a good time.LOVE YOU!
    -Luke Haugen
    P.S:Why do I have to prove im not a robot?haha

  3. Tonight seeing the pictures and reading the entries made me realize I miss you more and more each day. It's great to learn about your activities, though. I'm struggling finding the right words to reflect on your work there. It is truly powerful and life-changing. Thank you to everyone for your enthusiasm and love for those around you. Sheldon says he misses you, Nicole and Dad. We haven't had any significant rain, but sounds like tomorrow we will. With love and prayers, Mom.

  4. Karrie and Caitlin:

    It sounds like today was a special day! Please know that we are praying for you each day, and we know that you are touching the lives of the Honduran people - and they are touching you.

    Brendan and Mairin had a wonderful field trip. Mairin was very proud to have her oldest brother along, and Brendan has a deep appreciation for parenthood -- and particularly the challenges of motherhood.

    Karrie, I am so happy that you are part of this special experience. The kids now how important this is, and they have been wonderful. And it is amazing what you can do with Ramen noodles . . .

    Please continue to have a wonderful experience, with each other and with the Honduran people. We are anxious to see you next week.

    God Bless,

    Dan (and Dad)

    Hey Mom and Caitlin! We are missing you like crazy here, and we love following the blog day by day! Mom, I think you being gone on this trip has been good for all of us kids as everything that you do is so much more noticeable now that you're not here to do it! (especially making lattes in the morning:) Caitlin, track has been different without you and we are all counting down the days til you guys come home! We love you soooo much and can't wait to see you! -Moira, Ciara, Aislinn, Mairin and Declan

  5. HIkatie;
    WE JUST SAW THE PICTURES WOW;HOW GREAT OF n experience for you;l

  6. It was so good to see a blog post from our dear friend, Mark G. We were concerned that you were lying in a ditch somewhere with your pick and shovel! Thanks to all of you for looking after him and making sure he makes it out of that ditch every day - he's no spring chicken!
    Jordie Liz - we are proud of the work you are doing there and hope that you treasure every moment of this experience. We love you and continue to pray for you. Can't wait to see pictures and hear the many stories from your trip.

  7. Oh Jay, you make us laugh. We can just picture you terrorizing those little kids. Hope Dennis had some fun with the camera, bet he giggled the whole time. We'll use Tessa's card to get some pics developed. Great pic of you on the blog!!! Miss you and love you. Track-o-rama is tomorrow but it's going to rain all day!
    Loved the lizard story - Witt to the rescue!
    Catherine - God Rocks!!!!!!!!!
    Barb - glad you feel better - bring home the potion recipe!
    Karrie - don't fret about the ramen noodles, the kids are doing great!
    Chaperones - Thank you so very much for taking care of the team of kids. it is so reassuring to know they are in loving, capable hands. May God bless you!

  8. Wow! It is hard to express the feelings all of your comments, thoughts, pictures and shared experiences bring to those of us who read them tonight. All of you are experiencing the gift of God's presence in the beautiful people you are living with and serving...whether in play, work or during worship. While reading your blogs, I laugh, cry, smile, and hold my breath in amazement. We serve a glorious God! The pictures you all posted tonight, well, they say more than words ever could. Jay, the picture of you with your new friend...priceless! Jordan S., the eyes of the little girl you are holding...tell a story none of us have experienced.Caitlin and Catherine, the little one you are snuggling with...well, love freely given is never-ending...even when it hurts to say good-bye. The picture of all of you on the bus~the closeness you are experiencing is a gift from God, and meant for you to share with all around you! I am bursting with pride for all of you...God is good.
    Catherine, God speaks to all of us in so many different ways. We just need to keep listening. It sounds as if you are doing that:) I love you and miss you terribly, but am so very glad you are where you obviously should be at this time.
    Mark, am so very thankful that you are there to share this time with all of the kids, but most especially with our daughter. Also glad you haven't forgotten about the coffee! i do so enjoy my good coffee:) Please keep the messages and pictures coming. We look forward to hearing from you every day, love you Cacky and Mark! Theresa

  9. Sounds like all is going well! We miss you like crazy around here, but are very proud of you for living out your faith this way. You can imagine how Payton is whining about missing her sister. We love the upadates so keep them coming. we wait each day to hear from you. the pics are great too. Know that we are praying for you and all the team.
    Love Dad

  10. Dani- we are soooooo happy you are having a great time! We think about you all day!!! We love you! Enjoy this amazing expierence!! HUGS to you all!!! Love The Knowles gang!!!

  11. Dani- also wanted to add- Hug as many little kiddos as you can! You are changing so many lives!! Love ya- Jamie

  12. Great pictures and posts.. We have loved reading everyone's take on each day! Your stories are very touching, you are being the hands and feet of God and touching the lives of everyone around you... Sister, Matthew and Steven loved the giant lizard story.. you can imagine if they were there they would chase him down and capture him...pretty cool about the tail! Barb, sorry you were sick.. sounds like you were in good hands though! Catherine your story brought tears to my eyes.. thanks for sharing...Jay, glad to see you still have your coloring skills! :) Keep making memories (washing your hair in a rainstorm.. I love it!) Can't wait to see you next week! Love you!

  13. Hi Nicole and Tony, We all miss you. Stephanie always looks forward to checking your blog and photos each night. Sheldon says he misses you. You are in a very remote area. I'm sure there is alot of peace and quiet. After all your physical labor this week, I hope that you get to rest tomorrow, Sunday. The kids at South had Dakota Step Testing Wed., Thurs., and Fri. They were kind of wired by the end of each day, but we tried to keep parts of the days when they weren't testing without any homework or academics. Sheldon and I ate with Grampa Ed last night, and then Alan and Lacey came to eat later at the VFW and Grampa joined them for a visit. Today we aren't just getting pennies from heaven in the form of rain, but dollar bills I guess we'll call them. Tonight your mom and I will attend the last Black Hills Symphony Concert of the season. Keeping you all in thought and prayer as you continue to do the Lord's work for these very special people. Gramma Julie

  14. Elizabeth-What great stories and pictures everyone has shared. We feel as though we are on this journey with you. Your work on this trip has been an inspiration to us all. It is amazing how greatful people can be with so little...only a few stickers brought so much happiness. You are learning life lessons on this trip. God bless you all. Love you and miss you Tappy!! Monica and Kate

  15. ~Hey Jordan S! it is Cassidy and DAd! looks like you are having an amazing time. and of course working hard. it rained today! yayyyyyyyyy!(: your cat is going psycho she will never leave me alone,,, i strongly dislike your cat! dad's been riding ginger,, she is ready for rodeo and acting a touch motherly towards baby calves!!(who would have guessed ginger has maternal instincts!)we have a new baby bottle calf. and we need a name! its a boy. any ideas? well enjoy every minute there but hurry home because we miss you! love you.
    _ Cass and Dad<3

  16. Thanks Rylee you made me cry:( man i wish i was there with you all. God bless and have a great day!!!!

    Love & Miss you tons. ~Mom

  17. Mary and everyone,

    Well maybe I have this blogging thing figured out now.
    Happy to hear you are all safe, working hard, and having fun! The Casey crew must be fairing a litte better than the Duffy's. You left us with enough chow that we don't need to go on the ramen diet till about Monday. I will call Dan for recipes. We all miss you very much and can't wait till you return. I know that you are in your element down there! We are getting a really nice and needed rain here. Your plants should survive. It looks to me like you are being well trained in ditch and waterline construction. Maybe your crew could come out to Lyman County and do the same? Bison need water also;)Can't wait till your return. Be safe and work hard!

    Sr., Jr., and Bridget

    P.S. Somebody be sure to bring my wife home please!

  18. Yo tracksters! The meet was cold (as in 40-50 depending on clouds) and lots and lots of rain. All were frozen and soaked to the skin. Many of the Field Events got cancelled, aside from LJ and SP. You picked a good one to miss, but scott says you should expect to work your tails off when you get back (you have my permission to make him dig a trench down Harney Peak).

  19. Thinking of all of you. As I am reading all of your blogs, I see how you are changing lives yet I feel like your own lives are the ones that are changing the most. It is incredible to read your stories. Thank you for sharing! :) It's chilly and rainy here. Nan had her track meet, dad and I are still tired from Monte Carlo Night. We just got pizza and are going to watch a movie. Nan is going to have some friends over tonight. Please know you are missed and loved so much.
    Love you all the way to the moon, Mom

  20. Hi everyone!!! Elizabeth we have loved following this!! We are so proud and will post more soon if I really figured out the blog!!!!
    Abby commented that kids must be the same everywhere since they love stickers too!!
    Tappy you keep us posted okay??? We love you!!! Abs and Aunt Joanna

  21. Hi Jake! It's Skylar! Is there any chance when you get home, you can crack my back? Oh and I miss you and love you! Skylar

  22. So great to read all the wonderful stories last night..hope you can take a break from pitch to write to us tonight - Tessa...hint hint. My heart really swells with pride as I think about what you are doing and experiencing there. We sure miss you honey and all your songs. Sending love and lots of prayers, love mom..