2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Friday, April 7, 2017

Heading Home

Friday, April 7, 2017 – Last Morning

Blessed indeed!

It was our last night and our last “Junta” (which means gathering) and we were standing in the light of the moon. We are feeling blessed indeed as we reflected on the experiences and people that have so deeply touched our lives this week. It was an extra long “Junta” as we heard special messages from Carolyn Bickford and Richard Seivert. There was a lot of sharing and even some teary eyes as we expressed to each other the impact on each of us of these last 10 days. Lives have been changed: for each of us missioners; for those we were able to help here; and hopefully for you our blog followers. The moon has increased in light each night simply by reflecting the light of the Sun back to us. We have stood in the light of Christ reflected back to us from these beautiful Honduran people. Our challenge is to continue to reflect the light of the Son in the way we live our lives from here forward.
It’s Friday morning, our last in Honduras. The early risers are already enjoying some of the rich Honduran coffee and already at work packing and inventorying all of our tools and supplies for next year’s group (s? Kuemper?). Soon we will all be up and packing. We are invited to the assembly that begins each school day for a special send-off. We will say our last goodbyes and head for the airport and our long journey home. (Thanks for prayers for a safe and quick trip.) There is sadness in leaving but joyful anticipation to see loved ones again back home.
Thursday was a flurry of activity. The crew at the houses was putting on the finishing touches. The houses are not only wired but have electricity hooked up. Everything was cleaned and staged for the presentation in the afternoon and a new bunk bed and wood cooking stove delivered. A missioner noted one day that the mother of the house removed her sandals when she came into the house to answer a question. Even though they were still under construction, she was proud of the house and showed the respect with which she and her family will care for it. Back at the school bunk beds were being completed and leaders were tying up loose ends.

After lunch the entire Kuemper Catholic Mission Honduras Team walked one last time over to our houses for the presentation to the families. Official paperwork was signed and Fr. Doug prayed a blessing and then the big moment . . . A rep from the  Kuemper adult team presented the keys to the family and they opened the door. Our houses that we built with the help of so many back home are now Their Homes! And the first thing the new owners did was to invite us to share their new home “mi casa es su casa (my house is your house)” is the attitude so prevalent here. A student rep from Kuemper hung the cross on the wall. They were blessed Wednesday evening at our final Mass and signed on the back by each missioner. There were teary eyes on the part of both the family missioners. We sang a blessing over the family and received words of great gratitude. “This help for our family comes from God through your hearts and hard work. Thank you. Thank you.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Final Full Day in Honduras

Thursday, April 6, 2017 – Morning

“The finish line is in sight.”
The crews are all out finishing up all our projects. They will complete the bunk beds and picnic tables by noon so families can begin to pick them up. A crew is at the house finishing the final details on wiring and locks. They are cleaning and will stage the house for the blessing and presentation of the keys this afternoon. We are very excited for that ceremony. Later this morning we will have ALL the smaller children come out the to the bleachers where the girls will be fitted with one of the pillow case dresses (Thanks to all the ladies who worked on those in Carroll and Sioux Counties as we have 329 dresses.) and all the boys will get a t-shirt. Principal Jessica wants to get a picture of the whole bunch afterwards.
Yesterday we had a full day on our excursion. Our first stop was the “Casa de Monterey.” This is the main center from which all 42 projects of the organization of ACOES founded by Padre Patricio. It was overwhelming as it was like a beehive of activity. The concept is impressive. The organization is run by young Hondurans who volunteer part of their time and continue their studies as well. Many of them come from rural areas where due to lack of opportunity they were unable to continue their studies. They have missed 3-10 years of school before resuming in this program. Some are now studying as engineers, architects, lawyers, nurses, teachers, etc… The philosophy is to identify young people with talent and drive and give them the opportunity to not only succeed but to help the needy of their own country.
We then went to the beautiful compound of the Mother Theresa sisters. Some of the missioners helped feed the dozen at risk or handicapped children. There was also a before/after school program for poor children in the neighborhood and home for the elderly. The sisters are indeed an inspiration through their ministry of compassion.
Tegucigalpa traffic is something to behold as we weaved our way through and incredible maze of busses, trucks, cars and mini-taxis. Thanks to the skills of our bus driver we made it up to the National Park and the statue of Christ on the Mountain that overlooks the city. We had a nice picnic lunch in a shelter before going exploring. It is a beautiful park and a fabulous view from the statue overlooking the valley and city below. It was nice to take in some of the beauty of this country and to just relax. Though it was in the 90’s yesterday, there was a breeze that made it very pleasant.

Traveling and the new experience still take a lot out of us so back at the school we relaxed before supper. We had our final Mass together after supper. Jesus tells us “the truth will set you free.” Fr. Doug talked about our experience and the challenges and joys of discovery new “truths.” Most of all Jesus challenges us to be open to the truth that we are all brothers and sisters. We also blessed the two crosses that will be hung in the houses after the blessing. Fr. Doug also blessed the religious items that some missioners bought on Sunday. Our “Junta gathering” closed out our day before a well deserved rest in preparation for our final full day in Honduras.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Traveling around Honduras

Great Day Traveling around Honduras

Katelyn Schulte

Happy birthday Amy!!! Hope you had a wonderful day! Sorry I missed all the fun but I will be back home very soon! I found a little something down here that reminded me of you… a little birthday present. Happy 13th birthday to my favorite (and only) little sister.  Don’t trash the basement too bad…
Love, Katelyn

Hello to family and friends in Iowa and Minnesota. We visited Christ on the mountain today and it overlooked the city, was  so glad we had the chance to do it, beautiful. We are nearing the end of our mission here in Honduras, and It has been fulfilling in many ways both for the people we have met and for us, but must admit I am ready to come home.  Love and miss you all.  Te amo Karen  see you Friday

Lauren Promes
Hey family! Two more days till I get to see all of you! If you wouldn’t mind I would love if you guys brought me some sweatpants for after the plane;) much appreciated. I look at the photos almost 3 times a day every day, I love them so much!
            p.s. @CarrieDickman  Kate would love to also have some leggings and a hoodie!

Dan Mc Carty  MacII

Mission is great, students are great, team is great, Hondurans are great, masses are great, the love and support form all of you is great, and God is great.  PeacefulJoy  Love you Fam

MiKayla Blum

Hey fam bam! I am almost done here. This experience has been so great! I can’t wait to see you mom…. and the rest of you on Friday. lol I also can’t wait to see my dabbing friend and dab with her all night. So be ready for me!! I miss you guys so much. I love you!!

Megan Pudenz

Hello fam! Thanks for all the comments that you’ve put on the blog! I love all the letters and pictures you gave me! I make sure I open them every morning! Miss and love you all so much and I can’t wait to see you Friday!! Btw I do know how to use a hammer thank you very muchJ

Kyle Ricke

Hello Mom!! The Mission has gone great and has gone by really fast! And yes I did do my laundry…. I tried to have someone else do it.. but that didn’t go over so well :\  Cant wait to see you and Dusty on Friday!! Remember to bring a phone charger cord…. Really missing my music hope your ready to jam out to music the whole way home J  Love you and can’t wait to see you Friday!!  Can you also tell Brian thanks for getting the tickets to Garth!!!!!!! Safe to say “Friends in Low Places” was stuck in my head all last night!! See you Friday!!

 Carroll does a good job of recycling, but here their strength is reusing.  Bottles are good example. They funnel water from gutters to 55 gallon drums, a bottle on the end of a stick is a scoop shovel to clean out ditches, and used water bottles are used by the clinic for IVs. We have been doing our part by marking our 2 water bottles per person so we can refill the same ones for the time we are here.

The internet is becoming more accessible to us here but the students and many adults have been off the grid for this trip. We will have some catching up to do when we get back, but this writer doesn’t miss responding to messages constantly. It is a wonderful experience being off the grid for the longest time since it was invented.

While we help the poor here today we learned about poor that aren’t visible at the school we are staying. In the past year 500 blind and deaf children hid in homes have been identified and are been helped. We have seen many parents working hard to help their children, but a few sell uniforms donated to them so their children can go to school for the money. I heard the story of a mother that left her young children at home for days while she visited someone.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Work Day #5

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - afternoon

The Kuemper group continues to have unusual experiences here. Monday night after our Junta Gathering the power went out in Nueva Capital. We are told this is a rare experience. It was a neat experience to be dark up here on the mountain but still see the lights below in the city. Fortunately it did not last a long time and cheers were heard around the neighborhood as the lights returned. The thunderstorm earlier not only refreshed the parched land but seemed to refresh our missioners as well. There was much more energy in the group as the students gathered to talk with the Honduran boys in the hall. There was a lot of laughter from a group of adults gathered in the library as well.

Tuesday dawned bright as ever with freshness provided by the rain. A crew headed to the houses. The interior of house two is completely painted and we only need to finish the bottom half on the exterior. House one is wired for electric and door locks installed. We should pretty much have the houses completed by the end of the afternoon other than some special touches.

A group of Students and adults stayed at the school to visit all the classrooms this morning to teach the songs to the children. Things went more smoothly this morning. They alternated between classroom visits and building bunk beds.

We continue to deliver the gift bags. One girl this morning lived way below where the school is. It was quite a trip by pick-up. She told the students that she gets up at 4am in order to get ready and then walk 1 hour 45 minutes to school in order to be there by 6:45am. These kids really are amazing.

This afternoon was more of the same. We finished the houses this afternoon!! (Just need some final touches.) We finished delivering the gift bags!! We continue with the classroom visits and work on the bunk beds. We will be leaving early in the morning for our excursion. First we will go to see the Statue of Christ that stands high above the city. Then we will travel to the Mother Theresa Home to help with feeding some very at risk children. We’ll return for a late lunch at the school. Time is flying by and we are set to finish strong on our projects and soak in the joy found in our new friends here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Work Day #4

Monday, April 03, 2017 afternoon
I guess those prayers were answered quickly. Just in time we returned from the work site to be hit by a thunderstorm with some torrential rains. Hopefully it hit the area that was having the fires. Even though it is far from here, we could see the haze over Tegucigalpa. Perhaps we also sent some of our sunshine to Iowa per requests.
It was a productive day again. 16 of the gift bags have been delivered and most of the missioners have shared in the joy of presenting to the families all the donations sent from Iowa. There were many smiles from the children and the parents were very appreciative. House one has been painted completely on the inside and half the exterior. House two was completely built by mid afternoon and we have a good start on the painting. We began to visit some classes in the morning but had to suspend it for now as all crews were busy. Hopefully tomorrow we can get to many more of the rooms.
The thunderstorm sent us inside for awhile to relax before dinner (or supper if you prefer). We will have to do a bit of mopping up as there were some leaks in the library. Quick thinking by grabbing buckets and moving mattresses, etc… kept everything mostly dry. We look forward to another evening in Honduras. We have moved our visit to the Mother Theresa home for needy children to Wednesday in order to wrap up the work on the houses tomorrow. God bless you all and thank you for the prayers.

Dan Messerich – 4/3/17
 Day 6 here in Honduras. I feel like I finally got the time to set down and type a line or 2 to you all back home. We came in last Wednesday and we’ve been busy working here. It is kind of fun and interesting trying to communicate in Spanish. I hear it’s cold and rainy there. We are getting all the heat and dryness down here. The locals say it cold here, but I’m sweating a lot. I hope the weather is nice when I get back. I’m looking forward to hanging outside with you in the warm Iowa sun.

Ed Heim     4/3/17
Hello to all back in Iowa.  The weather today has been hot and remains dry, unlike what I hear about Iowa.  We are staying at a school here in Honduras, and it’s interesting to watch the students gather for school. They can’t wait to get inside.  Helped deliver gift bags to a few families this morning and they appreciate it so much, it was very gratifying. The houses are coming along and painting began today. The parents of these students should be proud of them - I know I am.  Thanks for all the prayers that everyone has sent our way, and to Karen “ miss you”  te amo

Janet Klein
 We didn’t blog how much Dave is missing you (Gregg) because he can’t hardly get the words out with a dry eye.  Thanks for all your support and the support all our friends and families have given us to make this mission possible.  We are having a great mission!!!!

Fr. Doug
 Hi mom, thanks for the blog post. Hello to all the Christ the King and St. Mary parishioners. Thanks for your support and prayers. The week is going quickly but we are getting a lot done. I really enjoyed one of the girls from the house we are building. Her name is Rosita and is ten years old. She wanted a picture with me today and told me she did not want us to leave on Friday.