2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Monday, March 19, 2018

Are We Caught Up Yet?

It is already 10 PM as I start writing today’s blog, which means it’s 11 at home. I hope no one is waiting up for it. With all the chaos of today, I am enjoying the quiet in our room. Everyone else is in bed for the night, including my roommates, who have their ear plugs inserted and eye covers on so my light doesn’t bother them.

Why chaotic, you ask? Well, I’ll try to explain as best I can. One group of missioners went to the house site. They worked on trimming the doors, installing the door hardware, painting the doors, installing the wiring and the various things that go with that – light switches, outlets, and more. It took all of the day for them to finish.

Another crew stayed on the grounds. Tom had to finish setting up one of the vertical gardens so that the students are able to plant and maintain it. Once he finished that, he joined Dave’s crew, building the rest of the picnic tables and bunk beds. Except for the time to play with the children during recess, they worked on that most of this day.

One group took off with Juan and me to deliver the final batch of gift bags. Today was the first day that we saw a house with a dirt floor. Eight people lived in that house. The children loved taking the items out of the gift bag.

When we returned to the compound, our student missioners joined either the bunk bed crew or headed into the library to begin fitting the pillow case dresses (most of which were made by Sr. Juanita) onto the little girls who were led to the library. That made the hallway outside the library noisy and congested, since only 12 girls were allowed inside at a time, while the others had to wait outside. As soon as they finished giving away the dresses, they began fitting on “The Shoe That Grows,” donated by Joan & Mike Driscoll, to the students sent in by the principal. The girls struggled to make sure that every student who received shoes understood how to adjust them and also made sure the shoes fit properly before the children left.

Linda, Julio, and I picked up Frank in Tegucigalpa and headed to a Wal-Mart in order to purchase the groceries and supplies (donated by the Brad Dirksen family) for the three families who will receive the homes. Julio knew all the types of items that are needed to make meals in a Honduran home – rice, beans, tortilla flour, as well as items that we take for granted that they may not have – trash can, broom, and dust pan.
In between all of that, there were various things that had to be taken care of – too numerous to mention. Before we realized it, supper was ready to be served, and it was delicious, as usual.

Since many of our group have mentioned being fairly tired today, we decided to send them to bed a bit earlier than normal and to let them sleep until 6:30 instead of 6. We need to make sure everyone returns home healthy. We just are not used to the dust, climate, always having lots of people around, crowing roosters who can’t tell time, horns blasting, different environment, well, you get the picture.

I, also, would like to crawl into bed soon, so I’m wrapping it up. My final blog will be sometime tomorrow. I hope to blog partway through the day and then add a little more at the end. In order to do that, no missioners will be writing messages on our final night so I won’t need to stay up late to do the blog. Buenos noches.

Children excitedly removed items from a gift bag

Gift bag crew with famiily

Working on the last bunks

Tom works with a Honduran friend

Krista helps a little girl try on her pillow case dress

Beautiful girls wearing their beautiful new dresses

Some of the girls show off their new dresses

47 pairs of shoes were given away

Making sure it's a perfect fit

Students show off their "Shoes That Grow"

Carlos & his wife drove from San Pedro Sula to spend the day with Dave

Working on the bunk bed ladder while sitting on our picnic tables

Working on the team mural

Even though tired, missioners are ready to give rides

The guys are ready to eat

Under observation while working on a project

Food & supplies for 3 families

Doing a bunk bed demo for recipients

Working on the door trim 

Watching the action at the entrance to the compound

Fitting the "Shoe That Grows"

Taking a break

Delanee Nilles - Hello everyone! I want to let you know that this trip is more than I could have ever expected. I love it here, and I’m sorry Derek, but I might never come home. I miss you, Mom, Dad, Derek, Grandma and Noah! But more than anything, I MISS LILY!!!!!Mom- I wanted to let you know that I am eating everything given to me. The food here is amazing! I love hearing from you on the blog. I also wanted to let you know that I may or may not be bringing three more siblings home with me (lol). I now have a sister named Kimberly and another sister named Lexi, and also a new brother named Nelson! I love you all and am very happy you are keeping up with all my work here! Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers! (also s/o Xavier, the best streak keeper and another s/o to English 4 and Accounting I - miss you all!!)

Kayla Mayer - Mom and Dad, I would say keep me updated on how my bracket is doing, but I already know that it’s busted. L I love and miss you both. Hug Kylee for me, even though she’s completely abandoned me at bed time. Also, don’t worry. I haven’t gotten sunburned, am staying hydrated, and eating everything I’m given (which shouldn’t be surprising). Sara, thanks for keeping my streaks. Glad to know they’re doing okay. Love you and can’t wait to fill you in when I get back. Katelyn, thanks for filling us in on track and giving us the good news about the Snickers. Tell my hurdle girls hi and that I’m excited to get back on the track with you guys. Everyone, I love and miss you and am excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store!

Kathryn Ripley - Hello all! I am really loving it here in Honduras and experiencing so many new things. I can’t wait to come back and tell stories. Mom and Dad, I miss you guys a lot! I love hearing from you every day. I just want to let you know that I did hammer my finger, but it’s all good! I’m fine! To all my sisters, I really want to hear from you all. I’m missing you guys a little extra now. Kara, hi and say hello to Julius and Alex. Katrina, say hi to Peter and your Clinician Nexus team (free advertising lol J). And Kaleigh, how did I know that you’d become the boss of the house when I’m gone…. ;) I love you all and miss you!

Jordan and Steve Larson - HOLA!!! Sorry I had to, we, I mean, I have been speaking a lot of Spanish and had to start it off that way. I am having a blast here in Honduras and am not ready to come home. Mom- Yes I can work without my phone. I do not need it all the time. I hope the girls are not giving you too much trouble. Dad says he loves you, but he is a little busy right now so I am passing along his message. Kevin and Lynn- Thank you for the messages. They mean a lot to Dad and me while we listen to them during our junta meetings. I hope everything is good for you guys up there. Uncle Kevin, I cannot wait to exchange stories with you when we get home. I am super excited to hear about your hiking trip!!! Dad is having a blast and is actually doing work…for once lol. I know you two like to joke around with each other about that all of the time. Thank you all for your prayers!! They are greatly appreciated! Dad and I are having so much fun and have so many stories for all of you when we return. We love you all and cannot wait to see you once we return!!

Rebecca Johnson- Hi everyone! I miss you all so much, but I’m having fun. I’m doing well, and I’m sure Mom will be proud because I haven’t gotten burnt yet. I hope Beau is enjoying his week without me, and Brittany is keeping my streaks! I really hope Ethan is doing okay. I wish I could’ve watched his concert. I miss that kid so much! Hi Wyatt! I miss you too, and I can’t wait to see you and Britt in the play. I have so many stories to tell you all! I love you all, tootles!

Caden Kneip – Hi everyone! It’s amazing here; the kids are the best. Alec, thanks for all the sports updates. They’re very appreciated by me, but everyone else complains. So keep them coming! Bryan, don’t break that record without me there. You’re going to need my encouragement. Hope everything is going well at home. Miss you all and can’t wait to be back home. 

Carlyn Bretey- Hello everyone! Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, and birthday wishes! Having my birthday in Honduras was such a blessing, complete with cake and a piñata for those whose birthdays happen while we’re down here! I miss everyone back home. This experience has been so amazing. There are a few kids that I absolutely cannot imagine parting with in just two days. The food has been mostly good, Mom, but you don’t need to worry too much. This morning we had hot ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo for breakfast. Hopefully, Jackson isn’t tearing up too much land. I’ll see ya soon!

Jared - Hey everyone, Just thought I would finally blog and let everyone know I am doing great. The food is fantastic, and I hope the fridge is stocked for when I get home. Every day we wake up to Juan’s megaphone, which is a lot different than your little wake up song, Mom. The best part about this trip is the wonderful kids. Every day when we walk outside the kids give us many hugs, which is great. Also I have been drinking plenty of water, Mom. (Don’t worry) Dad, I am ready to see you and tell stories about my trip. There are many. Josie, I have been missing you, and I’m ready to get back and see you as well as everyone else. Finally, I’d like to say thanks to everyone that supported me and made it possible for me to go on this trip. It is way more than what I expected, and I am forever changed because of it. I will see you all soon, and I can’t wait. Love, Jared
P.S. Mom I would like some pizza for the ride home from the airport. Any kind you get will be great. :)  


  1. Bless you all on a hard days work. Well deserved couple of extra zzz's. Peace to you all.

  2. I was thinking about how you will be deciding which possessions to leave behind--like the apostles did when they chose to immediately COME AND FOLLOW. Then I opened Matthew Kelly's Best Lent Ever video of the day, and he focused on our relationship with money and things. He advised to give until it hurts. My guess is that you have witnessed such extreme poverty and developed such rich relationships with your new friends, that you will be able to detach from your stuff painlessly. He also quoted Mother Theresa: Jesus, motivate my actions with the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Live simply so others may simply live.” God's timing is perfect! Another Godincidence!
    Safe travels. We will keep you close in prayer!

  3. Happy 18th Birthday Jordan! (a day early but you will be traveling tomorrow) Looking forward to giving you a birthday hug on your big day as you return to the states.

    Prayers for all tomorrow as you prepare for your journey home. It's obvious from everyone's blogs how deeply you have given and received while you were over there. I can only imagine what you all are going through, but remember all the good you have done and all the way you have touched lives over there. Continued prayers for safe travels and see you all tomorrow night in Omaha. GOD BLESS!

  4. Sounds like you are wrapping up so many of the projects you went there to do! I know many of you are loving it there, but many of us are more than ready to have back here! Enjoy your last day there, hopefully there is not too much work left so you can spend some time doing what you would like before you heading for home. Love and miss you Alexa and Todd!! Alexa, let me know if there is something you want me to bring to the airport for you via you dad. Probably not a cheeseburger however!! Maybe you can get that in Miami?!?

  5. To all, I am so impressed by everything you have done during your trip! I am tearing up as I sit here and think about how much you have all grown from this experience, truly a life changing event!! Sorry Dad gets a little sappy sometimes....
    Brooke, we cannot wait to see your smiling face walk through the gate in Omaha tomorrow (I'll probably tear up with pride again)!!
    Safe travels to all & enjoy your last day!
    Love the Woerdehoffs!!

  6. Enjoy the time you have left missioners!

    Eli, I am finally back in Minnesota so I'm sure Mom and Dad are even more ready for you to be home so the house isn't so quiet! I can't wait to hear about your trip! Love and miss you!

  7. Happy birthday Mase! Dan jim Mase miss ya can’t wait till your back. It’s sure not as fun to raise hell around here without you guys. See u soon

  8. Caden: Lebron dropped 40 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 124-117 win over the Bucks. However, the Cavs are without Tyron Lue for the time being, as he’s out due to health problems. Kevin Love had 18 points in his first game back. Green dropped 14 and Korver had 12. Zizic had 13 sand Clarkson had 17 off the bench. The win kept the Cavs a half game ahead of the Pacers for the 3rd spot in the East. As of now, they’d have to play the 76ers in the first round.
    Narb: We won in Rules yesterday, so maybe we are good
    English 4 people: We were reading the blog and looking at all the pictures. One picture of all the girls came up and we noticed how much taller Addison was compared to all the girls. John goes, “Wait what about that girl in the middle. She’s like in the middle, kind of in the sky. She’s really tall and skinny.” We were very confused and kept asking him where this girl was that he was talking about. Turns out he was making a joke the whole time and was referring to a light pole. We all busted out laughing because it might have been the dumbest thing we’ve ever heard!
    Hope you all have a good last couple days down there, and we all can’t wait until you get home.
    See you soon, Alec

  9. Happy 18th to Mason today! I will embarrass you & Jordan a little as remember when you guys were quite a bit younger and having birthdays so close. You two would talk about hanging out in your incubators in the nursery at Orange City together.

    Carolyn & team - Words can not express the thanks and gratitude for all you do to make this trip happen for everyone. I am sure this is the first time everyone has been able to do God's work to this magnitude. Gehlen and Honduras are so very lucky to have all of you that make this happen.

  10. Hello Missioners! This is Mrs. Christoffel's 7th grade Religion class (period 3). We have been keeping up with your blogs everyday. We were wondering how hot it is there? It is snowing here today! We hope you have a safe trip home. See you in a few days!

  11. Wow how quickly your time in Honduras has gone by! Love reading the blog and seeing all the pictures! I’m sure leaving will be tough! I have a feeling you all have been affected by this experience in ways you didn’t even imagine. What a gift of your time and talents you haven given the people of Honduras! The fruits of your labor are very evident in the amount of projects you completed in your short time in Honduras as well as on the faces of all those you have blessed with your mission work.....especially the children. It’s hard not to get teary-eyed looking at the pictures of you all with the children. I can imagine most of you want to bring these kiddos home with you! I don’t blame you! We continue to pray for you all and the work you are doing and we pray for safe and timely travel home tomorrow. I know your families are anxiously awaiting your arrival home to them and we all can’t wait to hear the stories and memories that were made! I hope some day I get the opportunity to go on a mission trip. You kids are very inspiring!
    Blessings to all!
    Danielle Heissel
    P.S. Jared you have lots of younger kiddos anxiously waiting for you to come home. Carter keeps mentioning that another Tuesday night goes by without you at the house. Proud of you kid!

  12. Our class will be saying extra prayers this afternoon and tomorrow for safe travels. The pictures are priceless and are a real motivator for us to help with the up coming TFJO. Mya and Addison beam with pride as I read each blog, all of you are such an inspiration to us back here! We would love to have any visitors come into our classroom and share how your life has forever been changed by going to Honduras. Jordan, Zella says hi! Mya and Addison send lots of hugs to Grandma Bickford and Grandpa Joe!

  13. Happy Spring!!!

    Sending prayers for strength and endurance to finish the mission and for safe travels!!!

    Kathryn, I am very excited to have you back home!!!This is my last post until I see you tomorrow night. I love you sweet girl!!!-Mom

    Take care all -Ingrid

  14. Awesome updates! By the looks of the pictures you are completing a great mission. Prayers, Blessings and Best wishes for safe travel back Home (late tomorrow)!

  15. Hi Matyáš, I am truly touched by job you all accomplished. It is very rewarding to make a single person happy and you made happy the entire classroom! That is really something you can be proud of. You look a bit tired, not surprising, you will have a rest at school:-))). Wish safe and easy journey back to your host family. We are looking forward to see you at least via camera and talk to you. Here is everything fine, we are busy at work with Dad, as always. We go to Wroclaw with Aneta on Thursday for a fencing championship. Please keep your fingers crossed, she has high ambitions this year. And please let us know after you arrive regardless time, night, day, whenever. And please thank this wonderful lady for writing such interesting reports about your mission!

  16. Good evening missioners! As you gather for your last juanta, I just want you all to reflect on what a difference you have made to the families and children there in Honduras. You all have unique talents and used them as a team or maybe you tried something new these last 10 days, either way you should all be very proud of yourselves as we are of you back here. I would like to say Thank You to Carolyn for capturing the memories on camera. I am so excited to scrapbook these for Jared. Marta, thank you for feeding my son, he looks like he has gained 10 pounds in the pictures. Chaperones, Thank you for going on this trip to watch over our children and most importantly teaching and guiding them these last 10 days. Jared, thank you for the message. It was so nice to hear from you I cannot wait to give you a hug! Safe travels to all as you embark on your trip. Many prayers to you all. See you soon. Love Mom

  17. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing your time, talents and treasures with the people of Honduras and your fellow missioners. As your time there is winding down, take a few minutes and look at all you've accomplished, the lives you've touched and the friendships you've made. Because of you...three families are enjoying new homes, several have beds to sleep in for the first time, picnic tables are available, they learned how to grow vegetables in the vertical gardens and many were provided with gifts to improve their quality of life. But more importantly, they know how much they are loved by a group of missioners who left their family and friends and gave of themselves unselfishly to help make their world a better place.

    Thank you to all of you for sharing your journey with me and anyone else following along on the blog. It's been exciting to read about your days. I really enjoy the pictures...love seeing all you've done and the people you've helped. You truly are "Following God's Lead and Changing Lives".

    Prayers for all of you as you say your good-byes and for a safe return home. God Bless!

    Dennis...Proud of you for listening to your heart and sharing your God given talents with the Honduran people. Little did we know your first trip with Melissa a few years ago, would impact your life so much that you would make the trip again. Looking forward to having you back home. See you Wednesday night. Miss you! Love Always...Deb

  18. Happy birthday Mason, I am sure it has been one to remember! We are ready to have you home Tom and James, we had a little snow this morning so you can bring enough of the heat so we are done with it! Sending many prayers to all of you as you share your Junta this evening and for safe travels back to all of us tomorrow. See you in Omaha very soon! Laurie

  19. We are very excited to see you tomorrow night. You all should be very proud of all that you have accomplished during your time in Honduras. Carolyn, thank you for all the planning and coordination involved in the execution of this endeavor. Adult chaperones, thank you as well for the sacrifice of your time and for being proxy parents to the student missioners. We are looking forward to our late night reunion tomorrow night!
    God Bless,
    Donna & Stu

  20. Prayers for all of you this last evening in Honduras. I hope you all see the wonderful works you have accomplished these days. I hope you are as proud of yourselves as (I think I speak for many) we are of all of you. It brings me joy to think of all of the little kids watching and helping so intently. It is evident in the letters to home that it will definitely be hard for you to leave. Maybe for some it may not be good-bye, but see you later. Whatever your calling is in life know that right now you have answered a call to be followers of Jesus in such a way that has touched so many lives and for that you should all be so very proud.
    My last inspirational quote for the evening: "Those who travel broaden their horizons. Those who volunteer and travel broaden the horizons of others." -Unknown

    Walk with God in everything you do.
    Safe Travels tomorrow for everyone!
    The Begnoche Clan

  21. Hey there neighbor boy?? Safe travels home and see you soon. Lol...The neighbor lady ;)

  22. Happy birthday Mason!! It was hard not seeing you on your day,but so very glad you listened to your heart & made this trip. Thanks to all the adults that have given their time&talents to show these kids what part of being a Christian is...giving! Kids, you have been very selfless in giving of your time&probably a few of you learned some new talents;) Praying for safe travels tomorrow!!

  23. Safe travels for everyone tomorrow! We can’t wait to see you, MaKenna and hear all about it!! See you soon!

  24. Shout out to Mark! My tax project is done so hopefully you are ready bright and early for your appointment Thursday morning. We've had a possum on the bird feeder and now a weasel in the garage. I kid you not! Had to call Horkey to find out what I actually saw. Ugh! hopefully he leaves and goes eats our neighbors chickens. Apparently the bug spray doesn't work for rodents. The honey dew list is growing so you should have plenty to keep you going when you return. Thanks for taking care of Jordan and all the kiddos. See ya in Omaha, love ya

  25. Narb, you’re not going to believe this, but I kid you not, we won 3 times in rules today. John and I won a duo twice, and Bryan, John, this kid named Jaar12 from Mexico, and I won a squad. Maybe you shouldn’t feel so bad for us!

    1. PS: happy birthday bud! We’ll celebrate when you get home!