At 11 a.m. we walked until we found a pulperia that could serve us the Coca Cola in a bag that we all wanted to try. Everyone had a Coke in a bag and a small bag of chips, which cost me a whole $19. It was a fun break from all the activity of the day.
At noon our presence was requested at the afternoon assembly. Principal Jessica thanked us for our work and good example. The students sang the song they'd learned from Janet and missioners - complete with actions. We will repeat this at the 7 a.m. assembly tomorrow. One of the students read a thank you note in English, and an older group of students sang a song in English for us. I gave them a large bag of soccer balls that were given to us by One World Futbol. That usually gets the Honduran students pretty excited. Soccer rules here.
We had a late lunch, relaxed for a bit, and then took the walk to our houses. We started with the prayer service at Elena's house, built by Tom's crew. Father read from the Bible, Marta read the legal papers and appropriate signatures were procured. I turned over the keys to the house, and all the missioners sang the blessing song. The new home owners then led all of us into their homes. It was fun to watch the excitement of the kids when they spotted their new bunk bed and the items that were donated to them. They also appreciated the new stove and groceries purchased for them. We will also purchase a pila full of water for each family. After a group photo at Elena's house, we moved down the hill to Juri's house and repeated everything. That house was built by Bruce's crew. In each house we also hung the cross mentioned in yesterday's blog. The home owners pointed out where the cross should be hung and it was placed there immediately.
Our final house prayer service took place at Santos's house, which was built by Pat's crew. Santos read from the Bible, and the rest of the service continued as before. At this house Santos spoke, thanking all the missioners for helping his family gain a home. He was quite fervent in his gratitude, making an attempt to shake the hand of every missioner.
On the return trip to the compound - down the mountain and then up the steep flight of stairs, which by the way, Fr. Doug stated has 150 steps going down, but 200 when you climb back up - we came upon a stack of cement blocks. These blocks were partway down the mountain, but the man using them had to climb up the mountainside and then back up, carrying what he could. He would have taken him a few days to complete the task himself. Then one of the missioners said we should form a line and get all the blocks down for him. Thus, no one disagreed. They all lined up and finished the whole job before returning to the compound. The giving spirit of the missioners is very apparent for all.
After our return to the compound, most relaxed, but a few of us walked to check out the houses that were built last year. It was rewarding to find all of them well cared for.
Our final junta took place before supper. It was an emotional one, as I expected. Some of the Honduran children sat among us, not wanting to leave the missioners. After our usual discussion of the junta book questions, I read the letter that Seivert wrote to us. Knowing it was going to have a powerful affect on all, I made sure to take care of the business items at the beginning of the meeting. I'm glad I did because everyone was pretty much a basket case after I read that. If Seivert does not post that letter on the blog before our return, I promise to publish it on Saturday so you can all read the letter yourselves. It will also be nice for the missioners to see it, as they only heard it.
After a supper of enchiladas and fruit, we had mass. Then Fr. Doug had us all gather in a circle an do a "beginning" commissioning. You see, our mission has only just begun. That is why I titled this entry in the manner I did. All of us now have a missioner's heart. We need to take those hearts home and continue our missions!
As I finish this final blog, I hope all are asleep. It is difficult to settle down on our last night, but my wish is they will be awake enough to talk about their mission trip all the way home from Omaha. I look forward to seeing our welcoming committee in the airport!
|Pat wanted Julie to see Roman's bracelet.|
|The girls drinking their Coca Cola in a bag, just like Hondurans.|
|Jason stands at the garden entrance.|
|Kindergarten students eating their typical lunch.|
|Santos poses proudly with his family in his new home.|
|Waiting line to pick up bunk beds|
|Family poses with their bunk bed.|
|Juri's family tours their home.|