2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Houses Are Taking Shape

We had a bit of a slow start to the morning. It seems like that happens a lot. We feel really organized, but then the wood doesn’t get loaded fast enough, or the military truck is later than expected, or the plans get changed a little. It’s hard to comprehend without being here.

Even with that slow start, a lot was accomplished at the work site. Two houses are framed up, and the other will be finished shortly after lunch. One house has one full wall sided. The plan is to start painting the first house tomorrow. I’d say that is pretty fast!

While that was happening at the work site, 5 girls, Linda, and Nancy started making the gift bags for the families of the kindergarten children. Poor Juan – we had him running in all different directions. First he attended “formacion,” where all 1,000 students are together in the concrete bleachers to start the day. He explained the vertical garden project and its importance, while Joe and Tom demonstrated the garden. Then he went to the classrooms to see which students lived near each other. Next he let Linda know which ones were grouped together so the bags could be delivered in an orderly and efficient manner.

Julio stayed at the work site so he could drive some of the students back to the compound for a bathroom break halfway through the morning. He took those students back to the worksite and then returned to the compound to take the gift bag deliverers and the children on their deliveries. Parents, at all times our missioners are accompanied by Julio, Honduran soldiers, and at least one or our chaperones when they are outside the compound area. NO ONE ever travels alone. The house sites are all together, so most of the missioners rode in the military transport truck to get to the worksite. It is not far to the site, perhaps 5-6 blocks, but it is not an easy trip. So you can understand a little, picture this in your minds – driving uphill through a harvested cornfield, with a few little trenches dug in from pouring rain, and through in a few good sized rocks that would take out the bottom of you pickup if you tried to drive over them. That’s a pretty fair description of their ride up and back is the same but downhill. Of course, the gift bag deliverers face that same drive, but they have to travel further to several houses. But, if Juan did a good job of grouping them, all those houses should be within a few blocks of each other.

The missioners are hard at work as I am typing this. Most of them are at the work site. Except for the roof, they hope to finish one full house today and make a good start on the second. The final house will be framed and possibly have a wall or two. A small group is in the library putting together the last of the family gift bags. They’ll also put together approximately 15 smaller gift bags for all our Honduran helpers. All those donated items are benefitting more than 100 families! The items are also benefitting multiple schools and clinics.

By the way, we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and multiple types of fruit for lunch. Breakfast was pancakes, fruit, and Honduran oatmeal. I was happy to see that many missioners were willing to try the “osmil.” It tastes like oatmeal, but I could not feel a single oat in mine. I think we all agreed that we prefer our oatmeal.

Mya, Addison, and all of Mrs. Lehmann’s first graders, we LOVED getting your message. We hope more classes will send us comments on the blog. They are lots of fun to read to everyone. Mya, I hope you are reading lots of books and taking those AR tests. I want you to love reading as much as I do. That goes for all you first graders!

When the missioners return late this afternoon, I’m going to have some of them writing their own messages to you so I can add them to the blog later. Since all the cameras are with the missioners at their work spots, I’ll add the photos later in the day. Check back tonight to see the photos and missioners’ messages.

Computer/internet problems again tonight. Sorry for the delay.

loading wood to go to house site

Krista has a new friend

Riding in the military transport truck

Carrying materials to the site

Getting started

Framing the house

The rock has to go so a door can be placed there

Brady;s buddies

Caden plays with the children

The team puts up the first wall

Working on the middle house

Juan explains the vertical garden project that Joe & Tom put together

Jordan packs a family's gift bag

Gift bag deliveries to the houses

The team breaks for lunch

A young boy receives the first "Shoe That Grows"

The girls make sure his special shoes fit properly

Missioners' blogs:

Addison Hirschman
Hello all, I first want to start off by saying when Cindy said this would be the best decision as parents they could have made, it was so true, and I’ve only been here 2 days. The relationships I have made already will be with me forever. Yesterday was so much fun building the vertical gardens; it was so awesome seeing all of us working together so well. Today, I helped build the houses and put together bags. I have used a hammer and a.., ah what is it called…, OH a DRILL more today and yesterday than ever before, and that’s enough time to know that being an employee and H&H someday is not in my future, but it is so much fun! These kids are so beautiful; their hearts glow, despite having nothing. I am not and will never be ready to leave them. I have so many stories to share and I cannot wait! The food is actually sooooo good. Mom, you have some MAJOR competitionJ. The most surprising thing to me is the amount of trash present. It just covers the lands, and it’s very unfortunate because this place could be so beautiful. There are no garbage cans so they just throw it on the ground. I wish you could all be here to see this firsthand - the kids, the school, the homes, and so much more. I have already been given more than I could ever imagine. I love and miss you all so much, but I will see you very soon! I am so so so excited for the days ahead; it keeps me up at night. Adios amigos!!

Krista Lipp
Hello everyone! This place is so different and special in its own way. The amount of pure happiness that is in this school is incredible. I have received more hugs in the last two days than I have ever received before. The kids are so loving and caring. They offer the food, jewelry, and money that they have. I’ve enjoyed the projects I have worked on so far! I’ve already learned how to run a drill and a saw (there are pictures to prove it), and I can’t wait to see what else I will learn! The food here is delicious so no need to worry, Mom. Haven’t even needed to resort to a peanut butter sandwich yet! Missing you all! Los amo a todos!

Erin Hoffman
I am in Honduras! This has been the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and it’s only day 3.  In the past three days, I’ve assisted with the building of the vertical gardens for the school and the three houses for some deserving families of Nueva Capital, Honduras. I am just as klutzy in Honduras as I am in the USA; on day two I smashed my hand into a pallet and bruised up some fingers and ended up with a nice, crispy, sunburn on my neck.  Most of my time here has been spent behind the camera capturing photos of our amazing missioners and all of our hard work. Right now I am wishing I would have taken Spanish instead of four years of French.  Every time I attempt to say something in Spanish it ends up coming out in French.  I know I have said “tres bien” instead of “muy bien” at least 10 times.  I am trying my best to learn some key phrases so I can talk with the students in the school yard.  I have gotten used to the long days, the cold showers, and I have even been eating rice. Over the last couple of days I have been able to witness the compassionate hearts of the people of Honduras. I am looking forward to the days to come and to coming home and telling you all about it. I hope you all have a great day and make good choices. Love you.

Brady Livermore
Hey family, I am doing well. I am really enjoying the food here and having a blast hanging out with the kids. I found a little girl named “Nici” who taught me how to dance. I love and miss you guys.

Jordan and Mark Von Arb
Happy belated birthday, Derek! We couldn’t tell you yesterday, but we thought of you nonetheless. Hopefully you are spending time with mom so she has somebody else to talk to besides the dog and doesn’t get too bored checking up on the blog every 5 minutes. Mom, keep on the commenting. We love it!! ;) Anyway, we are busy at work most of the time and doing well. (Jordan has gotten up every single day) Miss and love you, Fam!

James Kellen
Hi everyone. Honduras is great. I love it here. The food is good, the kids are so nice, and I like working on the houses. Don’t worry about me. I am having a blast. I am learning more and more Spanish, trying to make conversation with the kids. They are so energetic and are always excited to see me. Love you all!


  1. Great to hear all is going well. Jared we all love you and miss you. Can’t wait to hear about your experience

  2. Hi Jared! Are you enjoying the food? I know that is one of the exciting reasons other than helping people on why you wanted to go! Are you drinking plenty of water? Just so you know Influenza B is still hanging around LeMars so that is a good reminder for everyone there to wash your hands well and drink your water!! I have been talking with Josie daily over text messaging. (don't worry, I don't blow up her phone like you normally do) She says "hello and she misses you and hopes you are drinking plenty of water" Breezy asks about you daily and misses you a lot as well as Trevor and Jenna! Love you lots ~Mom
    P.S. Sending a shout out to my co-worker Kayla-miss you to girl-see you soon!!

  3. Looks like great progress! Awesome job team!

  4. Hey AJ it’s your Advanced Biology class! We miss you getting Mr. Brown off topic (we are actually learning for once). Hope you are having a great time serving Honduras! Can’t wait to hear all your stories when you come back. :)

    Maddie, Jena, Claire, Gooch, Cam, & Mr. Brown

  5. Good to see all God's helping hands at work. We love the pictures.
    Steve and Jordan, All the family in Minnesota enjoy the blog and send their prayers and love. Sadie is missing you both she wonders around looking for you. Jordan, good to see you working without a cell phone in hand. McKenzie is making good use of your phone, not sure what all she is posting I guess you will find out when you get home. All, enjoy the warm weather we are in a winter weather advisory for Friday, calling for ice.....��

  6. Hi Everybody, We are very happy that everyone is enjoying the music in the morning. Juan spent all day trying to put that together. It is amazing how much work you have done it in these few days. We are keeping all the missioners in our prayers.We can't wait to hear more! Catalina,Valeria and Gigi Uribe

  7. Hi Rebecca! Looks like you are staying busy there. You missed Ethan's concert tonight. He loved the music and danced to it. We are all missing you and want you to have a wonderful experience. Love, Mom, Dad, Brittany, Ethan & Beau

  8. It has been so fun reading about the progress you guys are making!!! Sounds like you are eating very well too!!! Can’t wait to see more pictures!!!! Love and miss you Eli!!!!!

  9. You guys are doing such amazing things, and changing these people's lives forever. Take it in as much as you can because it will be over before you know it! Enjoy the time you have with the Honduran people! So proud of you Eli!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi Eli it's your favorite aunt Amanda, we are missing you so much. Mason says he needs to keep busy so that he doesn't think about how much he misses you, he thinks maybe if he goes to the farm to see the calves that would help. Haha. Owen thinks maybe your hurt and need a paw patrol bandaid, not sure what that's about. And Evan is making you pictures for when u get home. Love the pics of the kids surrounding you, just like you are here!! Please tell Caden I miss his wave every morning, and tell Lucus we made him a haircut for as soon as he gets home!! So proud of all of you!
    Love, Eli's favorite aunt, Amanda:)

  12. Reading the blog entries of the missioners is so inspiring! I have to keep checking the blog to make sure I'm keeping up.
    Abbie, we all miss you (even Drew who's home on spring break) but are so happy that you are able to be part of this outreach. We can't wait to hear about your experiences. Love you!
    Dad & Mom

  13. Good Morning missioners and as well as Jared! This message that I am sending this morning is extra special as I am sure Jared is missing my morning greeting when I wake him every morning "Time to Rise and Shine, Give God Your Glory Glory, Rise and Shine, Give God Your Glory Glory...." Any one sitting by him will probably see a smile on his face as he is shaking his head and underneath his breath saying "Oh Wow Mom, Really?"...Who does wake their kids like this every morning or are mine kids the only lucky ones?? Jared I wanted you to know that I don't think the rosary beads have left Grandma Sanny's hands since you left and that she has a constant prayer line going with God for you and the missioners to keep you all safe! What would we do if we didn't have Grandma's prayers?! I love you, keep up the good work, and Josie and I are so very proud of you and all your hard work! Love Mom

  14. Good morning everyone! I read this quote yesterday from a devotional and it is so fitting had to share "our live's are to be lived for God's greater glory - not our own selfish desires". You all are truly living for God's greater glory but what you are doing in Honduras. You should all be so proud of yourselves!

    Jordan & Mark = Yes you know I am constantly checking the blog. I had decided to just check first thing in the morning but then Carolyn snuck one in yesterday afternoon so good thing I keep secretly checking. Derek has ventured out of his mancave long enough to eat dinner with me otherwise yes it's me & the dog and the laptop working on photo books. Hope you two enjoy your time bonding together. Love you both

  15. So happy to hear things are going well. Thanks for the message James, I can’t tell you how good it is to hear what an awesome experience you are having, I miss you but it sure makes it easier. Meredith and I are doing well and there haven’t been any wild running around at night thankfully. Unfortunately our Jackrabbits last yeasterday by 7 to the stinkin’ Buckeyes! All is good, we need to go down and feed and head in for green and jean day! Mere says hi, we miss you and dad. Nathan has my back, a little snow in the forecast today and Monday. Wednesday looking good! Love, mom

  16. Love hearing about the progress that is being made. The pictures of everyone working so hard and bringing smiles to the children's faces. Makes me so very proud to say that my child(ren) is or have been a part of this Mission.
    Chris we are so very proud of you! Keep working hard. You are awesome!
    It is Emma's birthday today! And boy is she excited. I asked her how it felt to be 5 her reply, it is fun to be 5!!!!" She already knows this after 10 minutes of being awake:). She also said it is 'Queen Day'
    We all love you very much! Miss you tons.
    David is trying to fill in the void for Tessah by putting her on his shoulders... Not the same I guess. She is not a fan... Not tall enough?
    Have a super day.
    Mom Dad Madi David Sarah Emma (Queen Emma) and Tessie

  17. Well, hello there Patrick! hope that everything is going well. Drake is good and Addi is on a hunger strike as well as doing nothing but staring out the window looking for you. Saying hello to Abbie, as I was with your mom last night, she misses you tons! Love seeing all the pictures, will continue to pray everyone stays healthy and that you continue to make a difference. Patrick, I thought about sending a really mushy note, but I didn’t want to make you turn red. (Lol...sorry, I just had to say it) Anyway, hope you are doing well, miss you!

  18. Hey guys, looks like you all are having fun! Well Caden, the Cavs lost 113-105 last night. Lebron has 35 points, 14 boards, and 6 assists. Green had 18, Korver 16, and Clarkson 14. They’re in the 4th spot in the East but are only a half game above the Wizards in a tight Eastern Conference race. The NCAA tournament started yesterday and two big upsets occurred as #11 seed Loyola (who Cole really hyped up) beat #6 Miami on a deep buzzer beating 3. Also, #13 seed Buffalo DESTROYED #4 Arizona, a team many had in the final four. My bracket is looking pretty good so far, but I’m sure that’s going to change today. I hope everybody is healthy and getting a lot done down there. I’m sure the weather is better than here, as we’re supposed to get some more snow, and as Chris would say, that’s hardly for me! Can’t wait to see you guys when you get back as school is getting very boring! Sending thoughts and prayers!

  19. Hey Brooke and Chris: You are missing a great movie 1st period in religion. The whole class misses you! And you're missing out on the school mac and cheese today!
    Carlyn: Happy Birthday!

  20. You are making great progress. The food sounds terrific. You will miss the ice and snow we are to have today. Love all the pictures. Hard to believe a landscape so rocky and uneven. Daniel, you will be proud 4-h cow no. 175 had a calf on her own and all is good. Enjoy the friendship and young lives of children you are experiencing. We here in Iowa just get to enjoy more snow. Mark/Susy Kesenich

  21. Hey Claire, Jordan, Lucas and Eli,
    Its your 2nd period religion class. Its lonely with only three people in the class. Hope you are all doing well and having a great time!
    PS Happy Birthday Carlyn. Miss ya :) -Ally Aquino

  22. Yo Eli! You on your way back yet? Plenty of work I could use some help with! Instead of watching the tournament games last night, Dave had Grant, Grayson, and I setting six wooden posts and running two strands of barbed wire! I think we will probably be finishing that project Saturday morning (in the freezing rain)*insert eye rolling emoji. I'm glad I'm not the only one that will be talking about cows, Susy! Faith had a little 80# heifer calf last night, and still waiting on M-12. Dave has had a few calves at his house, but we have been kind of slow the last couple of days! Planning on washing Trice here one of these days, I think he's getting lonely.

    Your Grandparents asked me to tell you Hi for them and that they love and miss you!

    On a more serious note, I hope you're having an absolute blast down there! It makes me wish I would have come with you every picture I see! Put your whole heart into everything you do, these memories will stick with you forever, I promise. So proud of you and the rest of the missioners! I hope Lucas is finding something he likes to eat, and Caden isn't eating everything in sight!

    Did you get that picture to the correct little one at the school? I wish I could have seen the look on his face and their house now! Take care, miss ya big shooter.

  23. Hello missioners! It has been a blast keeping up with all you have been doing! You have such a great experience right now.. make sure to stop and look around once in a while to soak it all in. You will miss it later!! It sounds like you are getting plenty of time with the kids.

    Lucas-- Love an miss you! I'm glad to hear you are eating the meals. I know how you can be haha.. Proud of you :) Today is my last day at my first student teaching placement (saying bye will be hard!) and all of my 3rd graders wanted to pray for you and everyone on the trip this morning after I told them last week about the trip! Lots of prayers and thoughts were sent your way from them. <3

    Love you Luke and best wishes to you all as you continue your journey!!
    Mariah McCarty

  24. Hello Missioners! The 4th hour 8th grade religion thinks the food sounds good and AB was able to tell us what the vertical garden labels say. We are praying for you every day. Mrs. Kellen and the 8th graders

  25. Hello Matyas! We know you had some health dificulties. We hope you will recover soon and we are looking forward to seeing you on pictures from your mission again! Wish you and all missioners a lot of new experience, fun and great time. Matyas, we love you all!
    Honza (and Veni and Aneta, of course)

  26. You are all doing such great work. A special shout-out to Steve and Jordan Larson - we are thinking of you and hoping you are having a wonderful experience. Nice photo of you, Jordan, getting gift bags ready! You look happy.

  27. YEAH, thanks so much for the awesome shout-out to our class! We feel very special! We are working very hard in AR and we all reached our 100% goals, we are looking forward to watching the Cars movie to celebrate. We enjoy reading about what you eat, we love fresh fruit and can almost taste it. Our whole class decided today that they all want to go to Honduras when they are seniors, how cool is that! They also want to tell you that they LOVE the blog and we pray extra for you all daily! Mya and Addison have been very strong and are super proud of Grandma Bickford and Grandpa Joe. Lucas, Tanner says hi and you are a great lawn mower guy! Love, Mrs. Lehmann's 1st grade

  28. Hello missioners!!! Love the student comments!!! It touched my heart!!!
    Great job all!!!

    Kathryn, your smile on the army vehicle made me think of the time your Kindergarten class went on a wagon ride at Afton Apple Orchard. (Those smiley eyes!!!) Also, the photo of you peeking out of the house made me laugh out loud!!! Keep working hard and enjoy your time.
    We miss you and love you very much!!! Mom

    Sending prayers to all!!!

  29. Hi Caden and everyone, Hope all is well and you're loving every minute of it! Enjoy the rest of your time! Love the pictures too!
    I'm sure Alec is making you happy with the updates, even though the Cavs lost!
    Love ya, Mom, Dad & brothers

  30. Hey Eli!! Dad wanted me to tell you he misses you and is ready for you to be home! We are all watching the blog closely! Mom told me dad got up three times last night just to check it! We are all so proud and hope you are thoroughly enjoying it! Can't wait to hear all about it! Can you tell we all miss you and are thinking of you?!

  31. Aj and Miss Hoffman- I'm glad to read you guys are loving this experience so far! It's been weird not talking to you two but can't wait to hear all about this trip! Thinking of you :) love ya both!! ps- your classroom is going good Hoff.

  32. Carolyn, please bring Mary Hartman a bottle of vanilla. Thanks so much!!

  33. Hey Chris since you did not respond to my question. Out goes the 'smoked'skin. :).
    "And the rain rain rain came down down down and the rain rain rain came down." (What movie is that quote from?)
    Love you much!

    Inspirational quote for everyone-
    "I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, let Him use me to change the world for one person." -Katie Davis

    Remember you are all changing lives.
    You are all awesome!
    Love and miss you Chris

  34. Hello and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Carlyn!! I hope you enjoy this memorable birthday! Miss YOU ALL sooo much. It’s very cool to see all that you are doing on the blog. Abbie, Kayla, and Brooke the first track meet went pretty well and don’t worry there will be snickers in the track bag when you return (you can thank moe and I for that:)) Hope you guys keep enjoying your time...you inspire us all!
    Much love, Katelyn Langel
    PS Alexa I have sent you many snaps to open when you return :)

  35. Oh man Brady! Cannot wait to see those dance moves ;) & Trent says hi.

    As for everyone else, enjoy this trip, keep up the amazing work, and do not forget the sunscreen!

  36. So quiet here without you, Todd and Alexa! I know most people would think they are the quietest people in our house-neither of them have much to say and are very shy! Ha Ha! All of you have been with them enough by now to know they can be very entertaining!! The boys and I are loving the pictures and enjoy the blog so much. It brings tears to my eyes to read and see the pictures of how attached you all have become already. Thank you for being so courageous to leave the comforts of home to do God's work. Bless you all!!

  37. Missing you Mason! You would be crabby if you were here,the farm will be a mess after this ice/sleet we are having. Hope you are having fun while you are doing such great things! B & Mike say Hi too!

  38. Great photos and updates, and it looks like you are all rocking it with your work, and with enjoying the locals. Glad to hear the food is good. Keep up the good work and we will continue with the prayers! It is very quiet around here without you Kathryn. Kaleigh is getting her uninterrupted time in on Fallout. The walls are up on the stage for the play, now just a little paint and they will be ready to go. We had to secure the wall better so Aubrey can slam the door hard without the wall falling over. We are proud of you and pray that you are having an awesome experience with your team, with the projects, and in learning about another culture and the people you are there to serve. Love, the papa!

  39. Happy 18th Birthday, Carlyn Grace! Please don’t expect to have a destination birthday every year! Sending lots of love south!

  40. It sounds like all is going well. Krista I loved seeing your picture and reading your blog. I was a bit worried they left you in Miami! All is well, streamed Caileb's game last night at state basketball, he played a lot and did well. They won, so semifinal tonight. My NCAA bracket is busted, yours is doing well. We all miss you, but know you are doing wonderful things! Take care! Happy Birthday Carlyn πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆ

  41. This is Bryan on Alec’s phone because mine is being stupid. I miss you boys so much, and school is dead and not fun at all without you. Caden- when you get back I’m breaking the clean record ;) today I’ve never been so close to getting 320, and right after I got 275 got 4 lol. Eli- get your butt back safe and sound because I miss having our little talks in the morning. I love all you boys and as soon as you get back, we’re playing Poker. Don’t make any plans :)

  42. Hi Delanee, Dad and I watch the blog everyday, well I check it all the time even though I know it doesn't change. We love seeing the pictures and everyone is smiling! Miss you, love you! Mom, Dad and Derek

  43. LOVE LOVE all of the pictures!! Thanks so much:) Missing you tons Brady. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Are Caden and Jared talking about next year yet?

  44. Hi, AJ. Miss you, but it looks from the pictures like you are having a great time! Why am I not surprised that you would hijack someone's phone? We all enjoyed your post. As always, "Have fun and Pl/ray Hard!"
    Love ya!
    PS-both of our Jack's teams lostπŸ˜”, the women went to OT.

  45. Okay you guys are not going to believe this, but for the first time ever, a 16 seed beat a 1 seed. The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) took down Virginia tonight 74-54. It was UNREAL. The Madness is real.

  46. Hi missioners! I've loved keeping up with your progress and all that you have accomplished so far! James, I'm glad you're enjoying the time down there, enjoy it while you still can! :) I can't wait to hear all of your stories, see you soon!