We are really enjoying our time at the Spanish Institute of Honduras. There is a great sense of community here among the students and teachers. For instance, there is a weekly Bible Study at the Institute. We have delighted in being with folks from so many denominations (from us Presbyterians to Pentecostals, Baptists, Mennonites and non-denominational) sitting together in a circle studying God’s Word together. I think that really makes Jesus smile to see His Church together as one. The Institute plans occasional field trips- we have learned more about coffee and pottery. Also, since classes are one on one you can get out and about with your teacher to try new things in Spanish. Everyone but Lilly has now gotten a Honduran haircut in Spanish.
Airplane Arrival in Honduras
Sean left for the US at the end of September for a 2 week process of preparations, actually flying MAG’s air ambulance down to Honduras, and then air strip check out flights for our newly launched Honduran team. It was a super intense 2 weeks for Sean, but rewarding, as we’ve been working toward these goals for a long time. The first leg of the ferry flight was down to the Florida Keys with an overnight stay. The next day was to Cozumel Mexico where they refueled (and lots of customs paperwork) and then in to La Ceiba Honduras. The following morning they made the long awaited flight into our remote base in Honduras. The total flight time down was 16.5 hours. The next week was filled with runway check-outs and currency flights for our Honduras team pilots. Sean had been on the flights to ferry the airplane up to the U.S. for refurbishments 4 years ago, so it felt really good to get the airplane “home” again. After its time of refurbishment and its service in training missionary pilots, the airplane can again be a tool in the Lord’s hands to save lives and spread the Good News of Jesus’ Kingdom here in Honduras.
First Landing at Rus Rus
Other Ministry Opportunities
While living in Sigua we have gotten involved with a wonderful missions minded church. Our first Sunday in their midst they invited us along to minister to a family living in really difficult circumstances in the nearby mountains. Also in our first 2 weeks, Carmen had the opportunity to speak at our Honduran coworker’s church in Olanchito (about 8 hours away in a different department in the country). They were having a week-long conference on the family and Carmen preached in Spanish on “The Work of the Holy Spirit in Families.” Soon after Carmen had the privilege of officiating our Honduran coworker’s wedding. It was a beautiful (& hot!!) event. Weddings are certainly a cultural event- this became extra clear to Carmen as she worked hard to understand Honduran wedding customs. Her Spanish teacher Enma was a great help to know which questions to ask and what is typical in a Honduran wedding.
One of the delightful things we’ve discovered while in Honduras is that the various missionaries here (again across organizations and denominations) are quite organized! One of the fruits of this is an annual camp for Missionary Kids in Honduras. This is a vital ministry as many MKs don’t quite fit in all the way in Honduran culture, nor their passport culture, but identify most readily with other “3rd culture” MKs. Then of course COVID has been an isolating experience as well for them in different ways than even U.S. kids. Chances for them to connect and fellowship are wonderful. This year’s camp was during Sean’s absence so it was a great distraction for Carmen and the kids. Carmen was excited to jump into youth ministry for a week as a counselor for a cabin of teen girls as well as the camp small group leader. Lilly and Nathan had a fun time with a few kids they already knew and making more friends too. Everyone needed a negative COVID test to participate, so after that it was wonderful to enjoy great Bible teaching, fellowship, play, and learning about what others are doing to build God’s Kingdom throughout Honduras.
The above has been our “highlight reel” thus far. There have certainly been challenges too. We’ve also gotten to experience many of the typical landmarks of spending time in a developing country- electricity issues, water issues, transportation issues, tummy issues, cultural challenges, teammates with Dengue, constant fatigue from all the newness, and plenty of ambiguity. We feel the stress of our in-between role- one foot in the HQ team and the other one with the Honduras Team. All people and places we love so much. Even in the challenging days we know that God is in this beautiful and complex season and working through it- some ways we see now and some ways we will learn later. We are so grateful for your prayers and financial investment in God’s Kingdom!
In Christ’s Love,
Sean & Carmen