2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Work Begins in Earnest

I think Juan is enjoying his job of being the “Time Leader” way too much. This morning began with his “wake-up” music through a megaphone. I can’t believe he packed a megaphone, but I do believe he’s doing a great job. We are also called to meals with music – most of the time with the music played to start a horse race. When Juan has a job to do, he makes sure that he does it well! Thus, Susan, Jordan got to enjoy reveille to wake up this morning. Maybe Juan will turn him into a morning person.

We let everyone sleep in until 6:30 a.m. Breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, and beans was served at 6:45. Since the house wood had not yet been delivered by the time we finished eating breakfast, everyone went to work on our other projects. Bunk beds and picnic tables began to form in short order. Several missioners emptied the donated materials from the black duffles. And, Joe and Tom undertook our new project alongside the agricultural military representatives – vertical gardens. It was fun to watch them brainstorm ideas and then actually put all of them to use.

In between all of that, students played with the children, tried conversing in Spanish, were reminded to stay hydrated, and noticed all the things around them. The delivery truck showed up with the wood for our three houses. That wood had to be stacked to avoid any warping. (Bruce, if  you’re reading the blog, we want you to know that this is the wettest wood we have ever received.) We think they brushed on the green treatment stuff right before loading it into the truck!

I hope the photos I’m including today will give you an idea of all the projects that took place solely on the school grounds. At 5:30 we all came together for Mass, our first of this mission trip. It was impromptu and come-as-you-are, which Fr. Matt said is basically how we are doing everything here.

I’ve heard several comments of how delicious the food is. Lunch was tortillas with beef and rice. Supper was Linda’s favorite – enchiladas. We’ve been having watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, and bananas throughout our meals. Someone told me that Lucas is eating meals, but I think he is also eating plenty of peanut butter.

We had our junta outdoors tonight. It was a little cool, and the lights kept turning off. From what I’m hearing, I think our mission trip is off to a good start.

Tomorrow we are getting up thirty minutes earlier so we can begin making the families’ gift bags and framing up the houses. We’ll make sure everyone stays hydrated as we work in the sun tomorrow. Hope you’re enjoying the blog. We are definitely enjoying your comments, which are read at the end of junta each night. Thanks, all!

Sorting materials

Working on the vertical garden

Setting plants and drip irrigation in place

Stacked up bunk bed parts

Close look at the vertical garden

Carrying pallets into place

Getting everything even and solid before planting

Putting in the plastic bottles

Taking a break in the shade

Pat teaches the girls how to set up the bunk beds

Working on beds

Building picnic tables

Garden work

Honduran children also like to help

Empty concrete pads, awaiting our houses

Carlyn and Matyas practice for Mass. Erin enjoys the music.

Bunk bed work crews

Visiting a classroom

Unloading wood for houses

Unloading house wood

Daniel checks out the garden site

You can never have too many helpers

Making sure the wood is cut to the correct size

Using pallets and empty pop bottles to make a garden

Using a past picnic table to cut wood for a new one

Sorting donated materials

Joe gives directions for cutting the bottles

After pallets are rebuilt to hold bottles for the garden

The agricultural military agree on the garden spot

The guys await their next instructions


  1. Looks like you've been busy! Can't wait to hear your stories Mas! Miss you!

  2. Good morning! I love waking up to seeing all that you’ve accomplished. Praying that today is another great day. All is well on the farm Tom and James, Laurie

  3. It is wonderful to see the hard work you are all doing for those in Honduras.
    Seeing the interaction of the missioners and the Honduran children that is priceless.
    Thank you Carolyn for all of the updates and photos. It is always exciting to hear and see what is next for you all.

    Chris-- Jacob and Michelle are coming this weekend to help celebrate Emma's birthday. Question for you- They will be staying in your room so can I take your 'smoked skin' and put it in a bag in the garage for the weekend so it is not an over powering smell for Michelle? If not where can I put it?
    David asked me yesterday if we are going to make our blogs fun like what we did when Jacob was on his mission trip... I told him that I don't really know if that is possible since you were here and most of the funny things kind of happen to or because of you:) so we are wondering if we will get to read any funny blogs from Honduras since that is where you are?
    Tessah wants to go in your room all the time. And Sarah said that she wants to sleep in your bed sometime while you are away. Emma keeps saying she misses you.
    Madeline said that she misses you too.
    I think that is the same for all of us. Yes, even David.
    Well it is 6:20 a.m. and I am being summoned by Emma and Tessah to read 9 books. They have both been up since 5:00 a.m.
    Emma says she loves you!
    We all do!
    Do great things!!
    Mom, Emma & Tessie

  4. Thanks for the tip on how to wake Jordan up in the morning. I'll be looking for a megaphone on Amazon immediately!

    Mark & Jordo - Jeremy worked the track boys hard yesterday so Derek was shot when he got home. After Jeremy saw it was Derek's birthday he said if he would have known Derek could have run one less 300. Derek's response was "yeah right!" We did, however, manage to get wings for his birthday since it was "wing Wed" at the Dugout. Grandma brought over the traditional coconut creme pie but I'm sure it will be all eaten before you get back so no sharing this time. Enjoy every experience over there! I still have to get to my projects you two assigned me: tournament bracket & tax paperwork!

  5. Love the pics of the Honduran children "helping" with the projects!
    I am sorry that I missed the fiesta at which you drank all those 2L bottles of soda for the vertical gardens ;-)
    Weather report: Wednesday was so warm that no jackets were required. Friday a wintry mix will return and promises to plague us for the weekend.
    All is well at the Outpost. The 4-wheeler is covered in mud from Mick's fields. I think his equipment is big enough to smooth over the ruts Jackson made. We have go-pro video to document (or incriminate) the fun! Jackson says it's so wet, the ruts are filling back in.
    Love, Teri & Jackson

  6. Wow, reading this blog brings back so many amazing memories! Brady, I hope you are having fun doing God’s work, and creating memories to last a lifetime.

  7. Thanks for sharing all the updates. It is amazing to see the work that you do down there each year. These kids will cherish these memories. Dee I hope you know that what you are doing on this trip is exactly the stuff that Grandpa did on each of their trips. They planted flowers in Alabama and built many bed (just out of cedar) in Puerto Rico. So proud of you to help us all continue on. I may have laughed a bit when I saw the pink gloves and bandanna. I know just how tough you are, but you still have to have that pageant girl moment too. :) Can't wait to hear your stories.

    Love, Patty, Grant, and Lauren

  8. God bless you all for the great work you are doing.

    Terry and Jane Hoffman

  9. 2nd period English IV here:
    John wants to tell you that he won shotput at Dordt. Beat that, Luke! Hey Jordan VonArb, I won at rules twice since you left and I still honestly feel so bad for you.

    We are all thinking about you as you work in Honduras! - Mrs. Schilling

  10. Thank you to all the student and adult missioners for your sacrifice of service and allowing us to share your experiences through this blog. It is uplifting to see all the smiles in the pictures! (I hope Abbie isn't too crabby from Juan's wake up calls. Ha ha...) We are continuing to offer prayers for your mission.
    Stu & Donna

  11. Jordan - PS just finished my bracket. I couldn't decide what method to use this year: roll the dice, flip a coin, cutest point guard, best mascot . . . In the end I decided speed method so had it done in under 30 secs. I have North Carolina going all the way. I bet your worried I'll beat you. LOVE YA!

  12. Accounting class- we miss you all very much!! Currently watching the NCAA tournament and of course Mrs. Westhoff is trying to incorporate accounting into it(not even surprised at all) can’t wait to have the full class back!! Xavier is being his normal self, not doing anything and John is still arguing everything! Xavier says the streaks are going well!! Can’t wait to see you all!!
    Love, Ned and Katelyn!!!!

  13. TNT Youth Group offered up prayers for the missioners and those being served at our gathering last evening. Blessings to you all! Jerry Ripley on behalf of TNT Youth Group.

    Kathryn, remember Uncle Billy from "It's a Wonderful Life", " I'm all right, I'm all right!" We pray that you are all "all right. Love to you KVR!

  14. Hi all great people from Gehlen Catholic helping those in need! I send you greetings from central Europe. I like your blog a lot.
    Matysku/Matyas we hope you to be strong and healthy as soon as possible again, please thank to your teachers and guides for taking care of you. We are fine at home. Your grandma is preparting sweets for Saturdays double birthday party of your uncle and cousin. THe cake is so huge that we can not push it into the refrigerator. She wants to decorate the surface in a very special way she keeps in secret, we are really curious what it will be. Definitely it will be very tasty. WE all wish you to recover soon. Wendy, Jan and Aneta with love

  15. Wow, I am impressed to see all the pictures of the great work being done!! It has to feel like Christmas for the local people, so exciting!!
    Brooke, we all miss you a bunch! Cara is counting down the days until you get back home & Tiff is loving taking over your room in the basement (Might be the cleanest I've seen your room in years)........
    God bless you all and thanks for making a difference!
    Andy, Tami, Austin, Tiff & Cara

  16. Kathryn, you know your Dad and movie quotes! Hahahaha!

    Kaleigh is pretty much running the show since you've been gone. She's choosing the menu, sitting in the front seat and has control of the remote.Ha! We miss you very much and are counting the days!!!

    We are so proud of you and love you very much!!! Mom

  17. Great to see the pictures and all of you working so hard! MaKenna - the house is very quiet with just dad and I here. I'm not sure I am ready for this next year!! Glad to see your hat wasn't smashed in your bag and looks like you are getting a lot done! I miss having you here and can't wait to hear all about your experience! Keep working hard - we love you and will see you soon! Mom and Dad