All posts by Honduras Agape Foundation

10Mar/16

March Dental Trip – Wednesday

We spent the day in the beautiful Honduran mountains. After an hour and 20 minute ride up the mountain, we arrived at the village of Teo. There were about 100 children from the village waiting in a circle just outside their classrooms to greet us.   After the teachers welcomed us, a student greeted us on behalf of all the children. Then numerous children came up to give each of us several colored picture drawings that they had done for us. The pictures were superb! Several of them were pictures of Jesus – we will cherish them forever.

Then we began the hygiene clinic with de-worming, hand-washing, teeth brushing, and fluoride rinse. The children were very cooperative and everything went well.

It was then on to VBS – the Bible story of Jesus calming the storm (in Spanish), and then a craft project to build tiny sailboats from materials we brought. They also played a game in the school yard that simulated rough seas.

The dentists then did quick dental exams to determine which children will come to Quimistan tomorrow for dental treatment.

The adults and teachers from Teo fixed a wonderful lunch for us, with fried chicken, vegetable soup (with Honduran vegetables), and rice. It was super!

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After lunch, it was then on to Arena Blanca, another small mountain village. In this village we completed a similar hygiene clinic, VBS, and dental exams.

While in Arena Blanca, we distributed clothing and flip-flops to all the children in the school. Then each girl received a special gift – a home-made dress made by wonderful ladies in Aiken. The dresses were beautiful and the girls loved them!

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At the end of the afternoon, we came back down the mountain – a very rough, dusty dirt road – very tired, but thankful for the great times we had.

Just before dinner, we had a special treat – we visited Tranqulidad where we saw the beautiful babies who are getting great care there. Sam also gave us a tour of the overall place. We loved it.

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We are now a tired mission team, but after a good night sleep, we will we ready to welcome another beautiful day in Honduras, most of which will be spent in the dental clinic in Quimistan.

09Mar/16

March Dental Trip – Tuesday

Today was the first full dental clinic day. The dentists and hygienist were able to treat numerous children.

In the morning, 11 children (with their teacher and a few moms) were brought down the mountain from the small mountain village of Los Panales.   The children that came were the ones assessed to have the most severe dental problems. These wonderful children are shown below with our team.

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In addition to the Los Panales children, the dentists also treated several Agape Promise students. Many of these students also had their teeth cleaned by the hygienist.

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A special treat today was having a local Quimistan dentist, Dr. Gema, come to the clinic to help our mission team dentists with the dental treatments.

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While the children were waiting to see the dentists, Ben & Anna entertained them with a soccer kick-around, blowing bubbles, coloring, and similar fun activities.

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When the Los Panales children and adults were ready to go back up the mountain, they expressed their sincere thanks to us for everything. We thanked them for coming and gave their teacher a soccer ball for their small school. Below is a picture of them leaving (all 17 or so of them) in a small Toyota truck.

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After finishing the dental work, the team went to help feed the children of the Tejeras roadside community. HAF now sponsors 5 meals a week for these families. When they were finished eating, the team distributed clothing and flip-flops to the children.

DSC03256DSC03258DSC03262DSC03273 DSC03275Tomorrow it’s back to the mountains to visit the villages of “Teo” and Arena Blanca.  Stay tuned…

 

08Mar/16

March Dental Mission Trip – Monday

What a wonderful day in Honduras! After devotions & breakfast, the team, joined by Gloria’s daughter Bessie, headed up the mountain to Los Panales where about 50 beautiful school children and several additional younger siblings met us. We began with a hygiene clinic, which went well, even though several of the children really would have liked the de-worming pill to taste a little bit better. (I probably would not have enjoyed that part either.)

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Dr Patty & Dr Randy then did a quick dental exam on the older children to determine which most needed dental treatment. The 11 selected will come to Quimistan tomorrow for the dental treatment.

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Then came the surprise highlight of the day – all the school children sang several songs for us. What a treat! Even for some of us that don’t understand Spanish, it was wonderful!

The team, led by Anna, then held a Vacation Bible School for the children – Jesus calms the storm. Patty & Anna told the story, then the children divided into two groups. Each group made beautiful sailing ships made of corks, a paper sail, and a toothpick for the mast. The children decorated the sail with various types of stickers. They looked so great! The group that was not shipbuilding was kept busy playing with a small parachute and beach balls. The goal was to keep the beach balls on the parachute while the children were shaking the parachute to resemble a stormy sea (like the sea before Jesus calmed the waters.)

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Before leaving Los Panales, we distributed dozens of handmade donated dresses to the young girls, who were thrilled!

 

 

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After lunch, we unpacked the dental supplies and set up the dental clinic at the Gracias a Dios hospital. The dentists then took some time to treat the first few children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In all, it was a super day in Honduras! GOD IS GREAT!

16Oct/15

October Mission Trip

We have a mission team going down to Honduras on Sunday, October 18.  The team will visit most of the villages that we work with and evaluate potential projects for 2016.  The team will also conduct some VBS and hygiene clinics.  The team returns on Sunday, October 25.

Team:

Michael, Tom, Leslie, Erin (Aiken, SC)

Jill (Atlanta, GA)

Richard, Melanie (Starkville, MS)

Please pray that the team has a fruitful and safe trip.

01Aug/15

Climb every Mountain

Spent most of the day with Maynor and a friend/driver, Wilmer. We visited the Tejeras location, where the latrines and pila have been completed.

Tejeras shelter, latrine on far end

Tejeras shelter, latrine on far end

Latrines with pila in middle

Latrines with pila in middle

I was surprised and blessed to see that our feeding shelter/church is in use as a Kindergarten. The municipality agreed to provided a teacher so that the young children would not have to walk a mile plus along the busy highway to the nearest other school.

Tejeras Kindergarten in session

Tejeras Kindergarten in session

Up the mountain we went to Los Panales where the villagers – with the help of HAF donations for materials and some mission team sweat – have completed a new kindergarten.

Loas Panales, new kindergarten in background

Loas Panales, new kindergarten in background

We found another class in session and enjoyed learning my Spanish counting with the kids. The railing and skilled labor was provided by the local Mayor.

Uno, dos, tres.....hmmm, what's next?

Uno, dos, tres…..hmmm, what’s next?

Down the mountain we went, then up the mountain we went – to Tierra Amirilla (Yellow Earth) a new village to HAF. This village of approx. two dozen families has a small school and had requested help with their water system. We met with the school teacher and then walked to inspect the water system. I had not realized or inspection would become a ‘school trip’.

Tierra Amarilla - School Trip!

Tierra Amarilla – School Trip!

The community had built a capture tank (collecting water from a spring) and laid out/buried pvc pipe to gravity feed the various homes several years ago. The capture tank leaks so badly that the system no longer works.

Tierra water collection tank

Tierra water collection tank

No longer holds water

No longer holds water

Patronato discussing the tank repairs and other needs from the top

Maynor inspecting the tank repairs and other needs

We met with the teacher, the patranato and water board leader. For over a year all of the families have been having to haul water from the river – a half-mile walk. They have raised half of the funds needed and HAF is blessed to be able to fund the other half of the materials needed. The village people will do all of the labor.

Down the Mountain we went, then up the mountain we went – to La Montinita. This village is and ‘old friend’ of HAF and has a kindergarten in need of repair. Classes are often held in one of the local churches because of the poor state of the building.

Existing kindergarten in La Montinita

Existing kindergarten in La Montinita

Interior

Interior

Side view

Side view

HAF will try to raise funds to restore/replace this kindergarten in the coming year.

Down the mountain we went to Gloria’s home where designated donations are being used to expand her small home. Gloria has taken in two young ladies who had no stable home. The home originally designed for three (in one bedroom) has been holding five.  The expansion construction is well underway.

Gloria's back porch being closed in

Gloria’s back porch being closed in

Side of home

Side of home

Front corner

Front corner

Up the road – not the mountain we went. WHEW!, had my quota of jostling for the day. Joined into the fun at Tranquilidad, getting the children’s home in show ready condition (more work to do) for the dedication on Sunday.

Toilets installed and working

Toilets installed and working

TQ dining room - tired missionaries doing their blog

TQ dining room – tired missionaries doing their blog

TQ Kitchen area

TQ Kitchen area

31Jul/15

‘Dan Solo’ – sort of

As always I had an interesting drive up to Quimistan with members of the Tranquilidad board. I have traveled with them to be present for the dedication of the Tranquilidad children’s home on Sunday. The home looks great and is in some ways stunning considering the condition of the land that was purchased just a few years ago. Tranquilidad (TQ for short) is an ‘related’ to HAF because TQ was founded by the Turnipseed’s who were involved in the early years and founding of HAF.

A tremendous amount of work, frustration, sweat, tears and prayers have yielded a home that will care for needed children in the Quimistan Valley. I think I can speak for all of HAF, when I say we wish them the best and know that His hand will continue to guide their mission.

Maynor and I will the opportunity today to travel to many of the 2015 construction efforts that HAF has been able to support. Truly amazing how much your donations, along with the hard work of the mission teams and the local villagers, have produced this year. More to come…. from a place far, far away ….. but very close to my heart.

29May/15

28 Mayo 2015

The Last Mile

Today is our last full day of activities here in Honduras. Rather than fervently working on a project today, we travel back to Teo because the community leaders and teachers had asked that we return and celebrate the work on the school and community. We loaded up early in the autobus and traveled the long and winding road back up the mountain to Teo. We have seen little rain here in the valley, but the roads in the higher elevations were horrendous and the sippy hole gigantic… Pablo did a great job of keeping us safe and an even better job of not getting us stuck in the middle of one Olympic swimming pool size mud holes.

After we arrived, several of the team members went on a short hike up the mountain and gazed at the border of Guatemala… Some stayed behind to guard the infamous magical music machine from Hodo’s collection. There we sang songs while some locals entertained us with their musical talents. I did not understand the words, but it sounded wonderful. The remaining members ventured out into the community and ended up at the local pulpria, which is not a pub, but better known to the gringos as a convenience store to sit in the cool shade and sip on a cold Coca Cola and chat with the locals about the price of rice in China… Que Pasa and Larry spotted a newly deliver batch of machetes and purchased one for personal protection… Thank goodness there was not a 3 day waiting period for a back ground check. The hikers arrived shortly after that and were drenched in Honduran humidity while gasping for air to fill their depleted lungs. No rest for the wicked my friends; the Hondurans were yelling at us, ‘Venga’ which means to come along.

We were told that the B-B-Q would be held on the river and it was a short 15 minute walk… Yea Right! 15 minute walk in Honduran translate to a 40 minute gringo! We traveled down a narrow goat path dodging mud holes, grassy trails (watch out for snakes) across two streams and finally crossing the river to a sand bar where the grill was set up and the food was being prepared… The grill was not quite a Webber grill master; it was more like a Ford truck wheel on a stand and the food was cooked over homemade charcoal… We swam in the river with some children from the school, did a little sun bathing, now officer Donnie looks like a lobster! After the meal we packed up and took the 15 minute Honduran hike back up the trail to the village and departed amid the showers of gratitude from many gathered to wish us well.

Along the journey back to Quimstand Pablo Francisco saw a snake lying in the road… He slid to a stop and proceeded to pick the darn thing up and started playing with it! Taunting those, like me who only dislike 4 kinds of snakes, live one, dead ones, poisonous and non-poisonous ones… That is one crazy dude! We arrived at the compound shortly thereafter, cleaned up to eat out tonight at our favorite Chicken Joint, Gorditias followed by some Futbol at the indoor stadium. Then we again returned to the compound to begin the process of packing up to head home tomorrow. We miss our families and I know they miss us very much as well. This has been a great mission trip; I want to thank everyone for your love support and dedication to this project. For the prayers, financial support, text messages, emails to keep us in tune with the events that have transpired while we were away.

Tonight I sign off as the Blogmaster for 2015 with some lyrics from the band Cinderella and their song, “The Last Mile”

I got a long way to go before I reach the light of day… Monkey’s on my back I gotta find a better way… Same old story never get just what you want… The more you got the more you want… Sometimes you do and then you don’t… I guess I’ve always been a travelin’ man… Cause when I’m movin’ I can make a stand…

And walk the last mile…

Cast of the 2015 WUMC Mission Team in order of appearance:

Senor Jefe Chris                                         Chris Lakey

Marco Francisco Valle Valle                  Mark Reavill

Jefe Mater                                                   Jerry Kilby

Hodo                                                              Tom Schardt

Officer Donnie                                           Donald Thornton

Hunterzilla                                                  Hunter Combs

Nico                                                               Nick McNeil

Wilur                                                             Will Stutts

Rosie                                                             Perry Lowe

Larry                                                              Lucie (Lu) Cooper

Que Pasa                                                      Kay Hayes

Madster                                                       Madison Hayes

Special thanks to Daniela Reyes, Maynor Casstillo, Pablo Castillo, Maynor Villanueva, Mario Orellama Transportation, Sandra, Gloria and Delmin kitchen staff, Honduras Agape Foundation, Wilkesboro United Methodist Church, Asbury & Hanes Grove United Methodist Church, Lewisville United Methodist Church, and to our families and friends, those who helped in many ways to support us this year; God Bless and good night.

Marco Francisco Valle Valle

28May/15

27 Mayo 2015

Dotting the I’s and Crossing the T’s

The new day brought forth an urgency to complete the jobs assigned to our team, for the time draws near that we will return to the land of honeydew and we shall drink the milk of paradise… Before I get too emotional I would like to compile a few thoughts and comments on our daily activities.

The team took a brief side trip this morning to La Montanita to visit our friend Rosa and her children. Tenida was at school, but Karlos entertained us as always. Senor Hodo, a man on a mission, came bearing many Regalos (Gifts) of love. Two years ago when we began to work on Rosa’s house, he fell in love with the Rosa’s children… which is not a difficult thing to do here. He was not able to come last year when we built the bedroom on her house, but the connection was formed with this family that even a language barrier could not separate them. I am reminded of when Jesus commanded that we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind and strength and to love others as well. I have seen much love between my brothers and sisters with the people of Teo, Qumistand, Tejerias and the other communities that we have visited this year. Every time that I come to Honduras, I come with the hope of making a difference or sharing a blessing for someone, but as all ways, I am the one who is blessed. While at Rosa’s home, she brought out a photo that Michael Norton took while I was here last October. Rosa, me and the children… The smile on her face when she showed it to me caused my emotions to cascade over me like a waterfall; I just simply had to walk away… that is the kind of love that I am talking about, the love of God’s beautiful creation, because she was created in His image. These are my words, but I know that I speak for everyone here; they would agree that the love of Jesus has been poured out unto the people of this land.

Enough mushy stuff, time to keep the readers entertained with the witty and often confusing lingo of this author… We returned to Luz de Valle school around lunch time today to complete the Mayan Pit of Doom while Senor Jefe Chris the Scorpion King, Hodo, Officer Donnie and various others preformed some seriously needed repairs to the plumbing in the schools bathrooms. The Mook was once again sifted and tossed about, doused with a liberal democrat amount of agua, stirred and carried to the pit to be packed tightly in the joints of the bricks. From the ashes arose the Pit of honor to a towering level near that of Que Pasa height… 32” tall. Today was an interesting in the field of Mook, because I had multiple Mooking partner; first Que Pasa, but she had to retire because we did not have the wood to build scaffolding for her…  then Madster, Larry and Rosie, each took a turn Mooking with me, but soon they too fell away with exhaustion. The celebration began shortly before the first playing of Pink Floyds ‘Pulse’ album was finished; the Mayan Pit of Doom was completed! We gathered around the Pit to pay homage with a ceremonial Mayan dance of dedication while the sacrifice was being prepared… Whom shall we sacrifice?  Earlier this morning, some of our team had decided to sacrifice Juan Pablo Montoya, because we had hiked the trail of Doom in search of the legendary Chili El Diablo this morning. Much to our sadness and disappointment, there was no intestinal inferno peppers to be found… Amid our disappointment Pablo said, (rough translation) “Oh, you can buy those peppers in Qumistand.” His fate was sealed at that moment! We ventured back into the uncharted jungles of La Montanita to join up with those left behind… The Pit was filled with debris from the school, Pablo placed on a rack to be grilled… alas no one had a match to start the fire… By Grace he was saved.

We said our good byes to the school teachers and remaining students and traveled to Tijerias to walk along the road and hand out bags of beans and rice to the families that lived there… The food gave us a chance to share in our blessings as a team but more importantly it gave us the chance to share Love of Jesus and pass out Bible tracks written in Spanish. We returned to the compound to dine on chicken tortillas, to fellowship with one another and sing songs of praise. Daniela’s uncle brought in the café and honey order tonight so that we can savor the Honduran experience after we return home this weekend.

Marco Francisco