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Showing posts from 2012

Lauro

I talked to Lauro the other night for the first time in almost 2 months, he asked me for 50 cents. I was fortunate for that request I suppose as the week prior I heard him through Duk's phone in the background declaring that he didn't know me and didn't ever want to speak to me.

Lauro is an enigma, I've written about him before both here on the blog and in my newsletters; he so desperately craves love and affection and someone to make him feel valued yet he always expects rejection and lonliness. He can demonstrate such strength and loyalty and true love but if ever crossed or let down he becomes like a lover scorned; vengeful, withdrawn, a shell of a person. This past year has been particularly trying for our relationship; when I first moved back down to Honduras in April he avoided me and my attempts to talk with him, when he saw me approaching he would simply run in the other direction. One day I caught him though when he wasn't looking; I grabbed his arm, said …

Now For Julito

For those of you that are so-minded, I would ask for prayers for my good friend Julito. His is a fascinating story to-be-sure, one though that I probably shouldn't publish on the internet just yet. If you want details, or to be regaled with a story that will knock your socks off, email me. Regardless, he goes in front of an Immigration Judge tomorrow to determine what the process will be for deciding his fate and status as an immigrant. Pray for God's will to be done in this processs and for direction in young Julio's life; he's essentially on his own in a strange land at the young age of 17. Good fortune or the Holy Spirit or both have brought him this far; pray that he continues to be led and that he is able to resist the temptations that seem to so easily ensnare many a young immigrant.

Julio Always happy, always so positive.

Sergio Brings Me Back

I realize that I've been less than diligent in my blogging lo' these many months; the very real grief that has set in as a result of being physically separated from my beloved community of Los Laureles only seems to intensify when I sit down to blog. Thus I've chosen to ignore this little corner of my world, hoping instead that it might die an inconspicuous death; mourned by none, namely myself. I find myself though being drawn back here as of late to bring to light the plight of dear Sergio - whom I miss with every fiber of my being. I have very real doubts that anyone other than hand-full may still be reading this but regardless, I feel led to ask for prayer for him.

He's in a bad way - after his baptism in July, for whatever reason, he never connected in with the local Mennonite church in La Ceiba, or any church for that matter. He's been adrift, allowing the winds of life to blow him where they might. He feels lonely, completely alone and purposeless. He wants…

What Doth September Hold?

The weather's turned here in Central Pa, decidedly I think; it's downright cold these days. As I was perched on the roof outside my bedroom window the other day I realized that this will be the first Pennsylvania Autumn that I've experienced since 2006. Feeling the cool breeze on my face, watching the first leaves begin to swirl down the hollow; I'd forgotten how much Autumn puts me in a cheery disposition. It's hard to be dour this time of the year - the very feel of the air makes me happy. Lately there seems to me nothing so delightful as making myself coffee and sitting on the front porch (or the roof) and watching the weather. I remember that about Honduras, that was one of my small joys - the daytime heat may have been sweltering but very often the evening cooled off just enough to enable enjoyable porch-stting and coffee-drinking. Oh and the rare rain storm always warranted a stoppage to work and a reason to sit, drink and watch. Funny how weather has that ef…

Those Honduran Mennonites Sure Don't Drag Their Feet

There was a baptism the other day at the Mennonite Church in La Ceiba. Almost 20 people got dunked in an ice-cold mountain river. Not simultaneously, but you get the idea.
Sergio, who had just accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior the week prior was among them. I don't think he imagined that he would be baptized quitee so quickly. Normally you have to take a 4-month long class at the church prior to your baptism. The pastor though, after talking with Sergio, decided to expedite the process and baptize him now.
Just so happens the baptism occurred while a group from Frazer Mennonite was visiting and Pastor Brenda Martin Hurst was the person that actually baptized him.
I talked to him that night via telephone and he said that he was grinning from ear to ear, that he was just so happy and felt like his life had begun anew. It has Checho, it has.

I'm an Uncle

Silas James Beach, Welcome to the World.

A Brief Sergio Update

I am thrilled to report that yesterday afternoon, in the middle of our scheduled discipleship class via Skype, Sergio asked if he could accept Jesus into his life as Lord and Savior. In that he was skyping from Maureen's house we called her over and through many tears from all three of us, she helped him say a prayer that confessed his sins and invited Jesus into his life. I am elated, proud of young Sergio and a little sad that I cannot be there in person. Please, more than ever, prayer for Sergio and the road ahead.

Sergio

Sergio & Rafael his Sunday School Teacher
I thought to update the blog with a post about Sergio (Checho), who in many ways became my chief focus the last 2 months that I was in Honduras. I wrote an article about him for the EMM's monthly magazine and I think I'll post that here and then give some updates.
From the June-2012 Missionary Messenger:
Our work in the garbage dump community of Los Laureles these past four years has revolved around offering hope. Hope in a way out of poverty through a quality, secondary education. Hope in a positive sense of self-worth through soccer teams, birthday celebrations and loving, Christ-centered friendships. Hope in Jesus and his transforming grace through Bible studies, church meetings and discipleship classes.There are many, many youth in Los Laureles that are learning to live by this newfound, holistichope in Jesus; allowing him to take their brokenness and the brokenness of their community and transform into something beautiful and n…

A New Journey

As many of you are now well aware - I am no longer in the employ of Eastern Mennonite Missions nor in Honduras. For the last 2 weeks I have been staying with my family in Williamsport, Pa reeling from the shock of being back here so soon and trying to take stock of my circumstances and the events that led me here. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality I will not go into details as it relates to my being released from service with EMM but I do feel it incumbent to write that I made decisions in my time there in Honduras that certainly necesitated just such an action on the part of the mission board. To put it bluntly, I am grieving; grieving my actions and decisions, grieving the impact that it has had on loved ones, grieving my severed relationships with my beloved community in La Ceiba, simply grieiving. I have never been quite so melancholic for so long and the road ahead seems ever so long. I should say that I am not directionless or spiraling into depression; I have found emp…

These Posts Are Far Too Infrequent

Life has been terribly busy as of late and every time I think I have an opportunity to post, something crops up to grab my attention. For now be content with these strange creatures below.
 Today Chicki (a strange creature in-and-of-himself), tried to sell me a pisote (not an opossum), a cuddly and affable creature that apparently lives on dogfood and has all his shots. It was all I could do to say no but the asking price of $250 helped me in the decision-making process.

Milagro.

Pray for baby Milagro and her mother. When I talked to her the other day she matter-of-factly told me that Milagro wouldn't be alive in 5 months. I can tell she's deeply saddened but is at the same time, enjoying every moment she has with her daughter.

The YES Team

Nutsy Castillo

Crazy Train showed up at my house the other day. The Laureles house, not the downtown one. I was inclined to run her off. But she came bearing flowers.
And wood. She's not all there, that one.

Carnival 2012, We Hardly Knew Ye.


 The Fiesta
The Hangover

Mennonite-ing Our Way

When I saw Marcos wearing this shirt this morning everything in me wanted to play the Mennonite Game with him and ask which Hunziker's he knew. Then I remembered that I was in Honduras. Here Mennonite names aren't Yoder, Smucker and Kolb but rather Velasquez, Lacayo and Green.

Lauro is 15

Lauro turned 15 the other day - I really can't believe that I met him when he was yet 11. We had a very private celebration at Maureen's house, just he, she and I..and some Tres Leches cake. Lauro is not into public displays of thoughtfulness but he very much needs attention and acknowledgement - this was perfect for him.

Lauro is an enigma, he is at once sweet and affectionate, compassionate and generous yet also easily angered, jealous, rebellious, and knows how to hold a grudge. His life has been one of rejection; his mother repeatedly abandoned them through the course of his childhood, leaving the family to beg for food from other families in the community while she shacked up with other men in Laureles. She finally left them for good when Lauro was 9, moving to the other side of the country with another man. Lauro then was a raised by his father until he got a new wife who in due time let it be known that she had no interest in raising another woman's sons. Lauro'…

Eastern Mennonite Missions

Going Where The Church Is Not... How Cacho got this shirt is beyond me - but he is definitely where the Church is not yet.

Honduras May Update

Greetings all from Blistering Honduras, I trust this finds you well and enjoying the beauty and wonder that is Spring in North America. We don’t have Spring in Honduras we have heat waves, blistering, incessant, inescapable heat waves – they’re not nearly as beauteous or wondrous, let me assure you. That little weather tidbit aside though life here in Honduras has quickly gotten back to normal – it’s been a little over a month now that I’ve been back after a 4 month break and I’ve been surprised and relieved at how smooth the transition has been. This then is my May update relating the events of the previous month, specifically as it relates to the transition back into life and ministry here. The Big Move Out A lot has changed from last year, principally my living situation - I no longer live in Los Laureles but rather am back living in the apartment I was in for my first 3 years in Honduras. This has been a truly mixed-bag of emotions; we (EMM) still have the home in Los L…

How Do You Celebrate Communist-Utopian Pipe Dreams?

This past Tuesday, May 1st, as I'm sure you all know, was the International Day of the Worker, that "cherry on top" of heady 19th Century Socialism and the reforms that it extracted from weak and ineffectual politicians, mostly of the European variety. If you have no idea as to what I am talking about it may be because the day was never anything more than an empty symbol, a kind of "finger in the eye" to all those Capitalist Fatcats, who apparently, by virtue of being succesful, aren't workers.
The day was originally intended to be an international holiday for all those unsuccesful-types i.e. workers, to commemorate the brave socialist martyrs that had gone on before and to rally for more workers' rights (is that noble task ever really over?); but it never quite worked out as such. Those of you living in the U.S.A. have never celebrated an international-style workers' fiesta on May 1st because 120 years ago old Grover Cleveland, in not wanting to g…

Home-Made Fun

mateo with cousins rene and guiselle

Laureles Is Gettin' Hot

It's a Thug's life for Jefferson
Until his older brother Junior gets in on the act, flashes his innocent smile and ruins the seriousness of the moment.
What's a Hommie to do?

Konrad's a Father!

The other day I was visiting my good friend Soplo. We've been close for some time and was one of Konrad's good friends as well. Some of you that have been reading this blog for a while now, may remember that Konrad Swartz worked with me here in Los Laureles for the first half of 2010. (his final blogpost here)
Anyway, as we were sitting there visiting, one of the 20 people that live in Soplo's sprawling home appeared with her newborn baby boy. She told me that he was born on my birthday and then told me that at the behest of our dear friend Soplo, she had named him Konrad Jose. I almost cried. It made me miss the original Konrad something terrible. I called him up at Eastern Mennonite University to offer my congratulations.
Konrad
Konrad

Keep Laughing Honduran Internet - You're Hilarious

Alright Internet, you win. Laugh your head off. Paying for an unusable service is a riot. An uploaded picture per hour is comedic genius.
I can still write though - you can't limit me there; so write I shall. It's been almost a month now since I've been back and life has quickly returned to normal. In a good way, in a pre-2011 sort of way. I don't want to disparage the year that I lived in Los Laureles - I really do miss it in fact, but the act of living there limited the amount of time I actually truly visited other people in their homes. People instead visited me and did so around my schedule. It limited my time for activities with the youth of the community, as much of my life was occupied by maintaining my home, caring for the guys living with me and searching for water. And it limited the amount of quiet, alone time I had - the only time I had to myself was either early in the morning or late at night. Now though that I'm back living where I was prior to life…