2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Friday, March 27, 2015

And So It Ends...

What an emotional day! Our morning began by delivering three of our bunk beds to the homes we built. We had enough mattresses to install them with the beds. We returned in time to play soccer with the students at their 9:30 recess. It was the United States vs. Honduras, and the Honduras team was pretty young. Each team scored during the game, but I believe the Honduras’ team scored a goal just before the end of recess to win that game. The missioners continued playing soccer with the PE classes for almost two hours. We were all glad that they had an opportunity to play some soccer before leaving.

The highlight of our trip came when we had our ‘handing over the keys’ ceremony with each family. We started at Hilda’s house (Bruce’s). Marta read the contract/deed for the home and everyone signed the paper. Then Fr. Doug read Psalm 127 and presented the cross made by the men on the team. We turned over the key and hung the cross inside the house. Fr. Doug blessed the house and finally the missioners sang the blessing song. 

We next traveled to Ludi’s house and repeated the ceremony. Our last stop was at Paola’s house. At her house Dilcia, Paola’s mother, read a speech she’d written, expressing her heartfelt gratitude for everything the team had done for her and her family. There were plenty of thank you’s and tears and hugs before we left their house. Oh yes, we took a group photo at each house.

Upon returning to the compound, we distributed the rest of the gift bags. The rest of the afternoon everyone showered and relaxed. 

After supper we had Mass outdoors, which ended with a commissioning ceremony – similar to how we were commissioned to travel to Honduras, except this time we commissioned each other to carry on our mission at home.

We had our final junta meeting and headed inside to finish packing our carry-ons and check bags. As I type this blog, I can still hear students visiting with each other in their rooms even though I’m sitting in the hallway. I know they are processing their trip, and that’s a good thing. They may still need to do that for a long time.

Thank you to my fellow chaperones for helping me on this mission trip. Thanks to every student missioner for all your work on the trip, from doing chores to building homes. Thanks to Marta Sosa and her helpers for the planning work necessary for our successful trip. Thanks to ACOES for allowing us to stay on the school grounds. Thanks to Julio for watching out for us and driving us around. Thanks to Carlos for our bus trips and for also helping on the construction of the homes. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Francis Seivert for all the preliminary work he did, as well as the work he did while we were here. Thanks to Richard Seivert for everything he has done, and continues to do, so we can have successful mission trips into Honduras.

Every missioner has just experienced a life-changing mission trip. My prayer is that this is only the beginning.

The house of Dilcia (mom), Enrique, Paola, and Javier with us


  1. Dear missioners, looks like you guys have been really busy over the last 10 days. I want to apologize for not being able to welcome you into my country; however I’ve been following the blog day by day, waiting for Mrs. Bickford to update everyone with the progress you made through the day. Congratulations on meeting all the goals you had for this mission trip! I’m sure it has been a life changing experience for all the team members, as you witnessed the poor conditions in which some of my fellow Hondurans live in. The fact that all team members decided to come to Honduras and change people’s lives is truly admirable, each and every single one of you has been given the opportunity to increase your spiritual life through such unique experience. As my grandfather always says:” take pride on what you do, and you will know you are doing it right”. Missioners, you can definitely be proud of yourselves, for what you have done and accomplished over the last few days! I’m sure the people you helped don’t have how to pay you back, but in return you have gained many true loyal friends who will always remember you with love and gratitude. Gehlen mission Honduras has done great things through the years, providing food, clean water and now homes for the most needed of Honduras. Everything this organization has accomplished has been thanks to the outstanding response of the good people of your community and the communities around le mars, who support this noble cause. On behalf of my family and fellow Hondurans, thank you all missioners present and past generations, alumni, parents, medical teams and just everyone who has been involved with the program.
    Rest up, safe travels and may God bless every single one of you and your families!
    Your Honduran friend,
    Fabio Rivera

  2. All day yesterday as I have thought about the mission team a song keeps playing through my head. When I was a Jr/Sr in high school our choir accompanist played piano for a duet called Dewy & Swen. One of my favorite songs of theirs went like this:

    May The Lord go with you as you carry on your way. Give you peace and joy and strength to last each day. As the flower reaches up for the sunshine, may you ever reach for him. And as his love takes root and grows deep inside you. Let it glow as a light that never dims.
    As you know that He is here at this moment, no He'll never leave your side........(I hum this part as I cannot remember the words).....May the Lord go with you as you carry on your way give you peace and joy and strength to last each day.

    Blessings and safe travels today. Morgan, we all cannot wait to see you!

    Love Mom

    PS: Fabio- great to see your post. Hope you are doing well.