Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fourth Quarter’s Ours – THURSDAY (Day 25)

It is unbelievable that a week has passed since my last update and now we are less than a week from being home! Like every football team in America preparing for the last 12-15 minutes of competition, we held four fingers in the air this week and declared, “Fourth quarter’s ours!” Okay, perhaps WE did not, but I did…

Please join me in praying that we will finish strong! God has given us a lot of great work to do here and we want to honor him through the finish line! Lord willing, Sarah and I will lead three more afternoon devotions (Friday, Monday, and Wednesday). I will potentially lead music and preach on Sunday morning and I will probably preach next Wednesday night as well! For those who are counting, that is eight times that we will be responsible for handling God’s Word in less than a week! Pray that we would realize the gravity of the task and trust the leading of God’s Spirit!

In addition to the teaching responsibilities, we continue to work around Emmanuel, particularly in the clinic. We have had some welcomed breaks from the clinic in the last few days but that will change. The volunteers will be very shorthanded in the clinic when we are gone, so we are going to try to pull a little extra weight in the coming days! You can pray for Leigh, Leah, and Owen as they get ready to staff a clinic that has been covered by 7-8 people at other times, or you could pray that God would eradicate Chicken Pox!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hola Gordito – THURSDAY (Day 18)

Sarah reminded me that I have neglected to share with you perhaps the greatest ministry we have had here and the most fun as well! We have been so blessed by the support of so many to get us here and it is our desire to share that blessing with others. One way we have been able to do that is by having Emmanuel staff families over for dinner! We have already shared meals with several of the staff families, some of the volunteers, and Evelyn (a young woman that Sarah sponsored for a few years). What a blessing it has been to share with these amazing people and to hear the incredible stories of how God is moving in their lives.

While we are on the subject of meals, it is no secret that I do not miss a meal. That fact has not been lost on the children at Emmanuel either! Tonight we were walking back to our apartment from having dinner with some of the volunteers. As we passed by the clinic, we stuck our heads in the window to say hello and see who was there. A few of the children have been in the clinic for two weeks and we have gotten to know them well. As always, they were excited to see us (Sarah really, they just tolerate me)! A beautiful 9-year-old girl named Natalia came to the window and I greeted her, “Hola Natalia.” With all of the excitement she could muster, she responded, “Hola Gordito.”

For those of you that are not chuckling already, “Gordito” translates something like “little fat one”.  How is that for the refreshing honesty of children? I am going to give it a little further research, but I am told that Gordito is actually a term of endearment in Spanish speaking cultures. My suspicion is that it is endearing when speaking to a chubby infant and it is a reminder to me to go for a run!

Please pray for the health of the children as Chicken Pox continues to spread among them. We know that Chicken pox is not necessarily dangerous, but it is very uncomfortable for some of the kids and creates a lot of work for those caring for them.

Walk Worthy,

The little fat one

Recipe for Disaster – WEDNESDAY (Day 17)

After a long, hot, Central American day, what are we going to do for dinner? Well the thought comes to mind that we do not want to cook anything on the stove tonight because that just heats-up the house and all we need is more heat! Here is the plan; we will make conventional macaroni and cheese in the microwave and stir-in some tuna for protein. Not a bad idea in theory, TERRIBLE in reality! Something about cooking in the microwave made the noodles sticky and nasty and the whole thing was a bust! I could not eat enough crackers or put enough hot sauce on it to make it tolerable…

Sarah and I both taught in our respective venues today. Neither of us felt great about the way the lessons went! Please pray for us on Monday and Friday at about 4:30CDT and on Wednesdays around 5:30CDT. We deeply desire for the Word of God to be real to these students, but that is the work of the Holy Spirit and we covet your prayers to that end.

Grace and Peace

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am calling today’s blog Halftime as a shout-out to my favorite holiday weekend of the year, the first weekend of September! College Football kick-off weekend! Oh, and Labor Day…who cares about Labor Day?!?! War Eagle, Go Army, and whichever Georgia team my wife is pulling for today (She said this is W The Family not W The Billy, so I had to include her team!).

Actually, the first thing that comes to mind when I say Halftime, surprisingly has nothing to do with a sporting event. It reminds me of a terrible book by that name that I read in seminary along with the Lakeview deacons. The book was roughly about reflecting on your life thus far and making the second half better or securing your legacy or some shenanigans like that! Some would say that I just did not get it because I was 22, reading a book about “mid-life”; that is possible, if not likely. Since then I have even heard one story about the tremendous impact that book had on someone and how they made great changes in their life to have a kingdom impact in their later years; hats off to Mr. Buford for his literary contribution to the Kingdom (

Perhaps I should have entitled this blog, I Digress; that seems to be a consistent theme! The real point is that today marks the halfway point of our stay in Honduras; Halftime! Back on the subject of the greatest game ever played, halftime IS a time for evaluating performance, making adjustments, and resetting strategy before beginning the second half:

The first half has been great. We have had some setbacks, battled some sinus/allergy problems in all four of us, we have seen an eye infection come and go, we have been very tired, and we have been asked to work in some areas that we did not expect to work. However, overall we have been blessed to be apart of what God is doing here.

The second half looks like it will afford us a little more time away from the clinic. That is great news; hopefully we will be able to pitch-in a little more at the preschool, school, toddler house, and the farm. These are places we can work and take the boys with us! It seems that we will have a more consistent place of service in Bible Studies and worship services. Additionally, we have some family reading and praying that we would like to catch-up on.

Please pray that the Lord would grant us health and rest in the second half of our trip. Pray that He would daily reveal to us the work He has prepared for us.

Walk Worthy!


Everything is kind of a blur! Clinic duties start to run together with Sarah's trips to the preschool and the toddler house. I check-in on the farm (La Granja) from time to time (must tend those carrots!)

We finally got our phones during this stretch. I am blown away at the thought of having a cell phone in Honduras! It is great to be able to keep in touch with staff and volunteers without having to wander the orphanage looking for them. Additionally, we learned a reasonably inexpensive way to call home! Praise God for the growth of technology around the world, may it be used to make HIS name great!

Friday, Sarah and I both started leading a regular Bible study. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they have studies divided by gender and age. Sarah is teaching the high school girls (walking them through Ruth) and I am teaching the high school guys (walking them through Titus). Any Mon., Tue., or Wed. over the next few weeks, pray for us around 4:00PM CDT as we lead these studies. It is our observation that many of these students have grown-up at Emmanuel with bible teaching, but they have not embraced a relationship with God. Pray that God would speak to them through His Word!

Saturday, Emmanuel hosted a soccer tournament with a few teams from the local town of Guaimaca and from Tegucigalpa joining in the action. It was good fun for everyone, especially William who talked to everyone about it; the conversation went something like this:
"You like Shoccer? I like Shoccer. My daddy likes football." It was difficult to hear him speak those words, but I appreciate that he knows there is a difference. I believe he likes soccer merely as a means to be "all things to all people"; otherwise, I pray that the Lord will deliver him from this desire on the day of his salvation!

I had the privilege of preaching on Sunday and hope to be able to fill the pulpit for the next two Sundays as well.

On Monday, three volunteers came in for a 10-day stay. We are excited to have them here. We are looking forward to a lighter load at the clinic and the opportunity to contribute in other areas like the farm and the toddler house.


Sarah sent Billy to the clinic at 6:30 AM on the one day of the week that we don’t have the 6:30AM shift.  As I previously stated, it's no big deal, I am a morning person anyway-ha!  It was only 45 minutes into the shift before I realized why there was an extra person working that morning!  Good news was I had time to go finish painting those corrals I started last week!

Monday (Day 8)

Billy got eye infection from Sarah.
Sarah and William went to town with Leigh (another volunteer from Alabama) and got the tour of the most reputable grocery stores, fruit stands, and perhaps my favorite, “My Little Bakery”(Homemade cinnamon rolls! It's a tough life here in Central America.).

SUNDAY (Day 7)

Church – There is a team in from Maryland and Pastor Drew preached.
Sarah got eye infection from Danny, her favorite little guy at the clinic.
Baby Gat slept from 8pm-4am…woooohoooo!
Owen (a volunteer from Kentucky) came over for dinner – chicken & rice (thanks to cream of mushroom soup from the container).


Sarah began shifts at clinic.
Container arrived – Glory Hallelujah! Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is in the container, bless His holy name! We have been anticipating the arrival of the container since Wednesday. We have eaten a lot of cheese toast, and turkey sandwiches (with local processed turkey that tasted a lot like bologna). We snacked our way through unpacking our goodies and I told Sarah, “ I am not sure I could be any happier at that moment, even if someone told me there was a new truck waiting in my driveway.” However, feel free to test me on that!

FRIDAY (Day 5)

Sarah and I both worked in the clinic. There are a few cases of dengue and a lot of chicken pox, so the clinic is very busy. With children running fevers, it is good to have volunteers in the clinic 24-7. Sarah got us signed-up for two 3-hr. shifts everyday. The only downside to this is that clinic duty is one place where we cannot take the boys with us, so one of us has to be home with the boys while the other covers the clinic. We work the 6:30-9:30AM shift (breakfast, bathing, teeth brushing, calamine application for the kids w/ chicken pox, stripping beds, washing sheets, etc.) and the 12:30-3:30PM shift (this shift is much easier as far as the workload, but that makes it a little slow).


Painted horse corrals in the morning and after lunch. I took-off a little early to go to town. The trip to town was fruitful. With some gas for our stove, rice, mustard, hot sauce, and a few other things, we finally got a break from plain turkey and cheese sandwiches and cheese toast.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It is our second morning to wake-up in Honduras, the boys slept well again, life is good, right?
Life IS good, but I am still REALLY tired. I have tried hydration, food, vitamins, and everything short of eating SPARK (see energy and mental focus supplement: ) straight out of the container!

The new plan is manual labor; get the blood pumping, work-up a little sweat, endorphins kick-in…let’s do this. The great thing about Emmanuel is there is never any shortage of manual labor! So what manly task will it be today? Chopping weeds with a machete, digging irrigation ditches with a shovel and pick axe, maybe building a new barn with hammer and saw?

Sur-vey says, planting carrots in the greenhouse! WOW! Does it get any manlier than planting carrots? And not even in a field, where I could at least have the testosterone pumping satisfaction of talking about the “tough day in the fields”…nope, me and grandma are tending our carrots in “casa verde” (that’s green house or literally house green, for those of you that are not “bilingual” like me – see Cuidado Piso Mojado). The Spirit within me reminded me to work as unto the Lord even in this geriatric task and I must admit it was all of the sweat and labor I desired and then some on this Central American morning!

By day’s end I had tilled, furrowed, planted, fertilized, and watered in hopes of producing 250 carrot plants…may the harvest be plentiful! I squeezed in a little clean-up/organization effort at “casa verde” and cleaned-up to go to high school men’s bible study. I spoke to the men out of James!


I am going to catch-up on here one of these days, but for now, I am going to bed! Sarah sent me to the clinic at 6:30 this morning on the one day this week that we DO NOT have the 6:30AM shift. You can imagine how thrilled I was, good thing I am a morning person ;)

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been unable to pinpoint the exact reason, but this trip kicked our rear! I get the concept of jetlag, but we did not even change time zones! Here are some possible reasons:

1-We didn’t sleep well in anticipation of the trip; we (meaning Sarah) were restless for at least a week thinking of last minute details, etc. (I slept like a baby most of those nights…meaning, I slept well. Now that I have two kids of my own, I am not convinced that “sleeping like a baby” is a positive thing.)
2-Monday was a long day.
3-We are at a higher elevation than home.
4-We sleep with the windows open here, so it is like being outside ALL the time. Maybe fresh air really does wear you down.
5-The work here is difficult physically and mentally. Whether farming or caring for kids in a clinic, we are physically active and our minds are constantly working between two languages!
6-Unlike our mission work in days gone by, we do not retreat to our room/tent to sleep, but to care for our own children. ***Hats off at this point to missionary families around the globe!
To top it all off, our battle is not with flesh and blood! There is a real spiritual enemy at work in the world that does not want us working among these children! I will refrain from unfolding this too far at this point; I am recreationally reading Piercing the Darkness and I might go a little overboard (ala Peretti) if I dwell on the spiritual battle for too long!

All that to say, Tuesday was a recuperation day. We walked around Emmanuel, we visited with children and staff, I attended the staff men’s bible study, and we had an authentic Honduran meal with Wade and Lourdes.  The fellowship was great and the rice, beans, eggs, and corn tortillas were a welcome break from turkey and cheese sandwiches.

Grace and Peace.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cuidado Piso Mojado

If you have paid any attention over the years, you could have learned a little Spanish just walking in and out of your local fast food restaurant or public bathroom. I was not surprised as I entered the restroom at the mall in Tegucigalpa to find a small yellow sign on the floor; what did surprise me were the words on the sign, "Caution Wet Floor". Or perhaps I should say, even more surprising was the absence of the words, "Cuidado Piso Mojado".

Pause here with me for just a moment...HOW did that happen?

Let's pretend for a moment that I was contemplating bathroom warning signs and I decided that we needed some written only in English; it's possible, maybe I want larger print, maybe I'm really taking to heart the belief that English should be the national language of the U.S.A., you name it! Whatever the reason I had for producing said monolingual beacon of warning, would I really expect to sell many of those in Central America?!?!?!

I say again, HOW did that happen?

I am going to take a stab at this one! There was in fact no ingenious meeting of the market strategy team where they decided to risk lawsuit by not warning their Spanish-speaking customers of the impending dangers of the wet floor. There was however a disingenuous mistake by a line worker at the local "cuidado sign" manufacturing plant, whereby an entire run of said signs came off of the assembly line without the Spanish text. The aforementioned worker is now unemployed and the citizens of Central America risk life and limb with no warnings in their heart language! At least the mall in "Teguc" got an amazing deal on "misprinted" signs.

Love Jesus, Love Others, Walk Worthy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

MONDAY (Day 1)

I will try to briefly catch-you-up to speed on the journey so far and I may elaborate more on specific events in the future.

We woke-up at 3:30 AM and departed Auburn as scheduled by 4:30AM. Not as scheduled, William did not sleep at all in the car! We made the airport with no problems and with a bit of Truett Cathy’s famous bird in our belly to ease the transition.

In our effort to stay in two bags, one was overstuffed by about 11 pounds and one was overstuffed by about 15 pounds. Praise God we brought a third bag with us so I stuffed-it, left 6 pounds of powdered milk with Pop, and we continued on the journey.

W loved his first ride in the "big jet plane"! Still didn't sleep at all, but G-man slept some for all of us.

We were greeted in Tegucigalpa by some friends and friends of friends from the orphanage. We made a stop at "Sam's" for some groceries(just the essentials to get us through till the container arrives (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, a little forshadowing). After "Sam's" we went to a local mall and had some Church's "what time's yo services" chicken sandwiches for lunch(we're really roughing it so far). Approximately 70 mile trip to Guaimaca takes a couple of hours but went without a hitch and we were there by 4:30PM or so…

Great part of the trip is that they are in the central time zone as well. They do not practice daylight savings, so they are currently one hour behind us, but close enough!

I've got to go to bed, but if you haven't caught the theme so far...SUPER SMOOTH! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Central America Drove Me To Blogging!?!?!

Blogging has been a mystery to me over the years! I must admit, there have been days that I thought, this would be a great day to publish my thoughts for the world to see; wait, I am not sure I have ever thought that at all! However, I feel that Twitter has eased me into the blogging world, albeit 140 characters at a time. Additionally, anyone that knows me would be quick to point out that I have no problem expressing my opinion and doing so loudly, I'm just not sure I want said opinions logged in the blogosphere for generations to...well, I guess that begs the question, why say it if you wouldn't blog it; I digress...

Sarah, the boys, and I are in Honduras and thought it would be nice to have one central location where folks could check-up on us! Here we are!