Pastor Juan Sanchez is back in Honduras after spending a year in Valencia, Spain. We are so thankful to our Lord for his return. Since January he has taken back many of the duties that he previously had including pastoring the Manacales Church, leading the Honduras board, supervisoring our churches in the North Coast and serving at the National Coordinator. This year we plan on new churches being planted, regional seminars and conferences, retreats and also a few national youth, women, pastors and wives conferences at El Arca Campground. Some of his responsabilities include organizing these conferences and follow up. We are excited to have Pastor Sanchez back. He is very valuable to our ministry and has been with Iglesias Comunidad de Amor Internacional since we started in 2001. He is a very capable pastor and leader.
We are so excited about our new church plant in Las Tuzas, Tela in the departmento (state) of Atlantida. The church is growing fast. Three months ago I spoke by phone with Kenia, a woman from las Tuzas, Tela who currently lives in NYC. She owns a lot of land in Las Tuzas and we asked her to donate it to our church (which is in her community). She instead offered to sell it to us for $15,000.00. We don’t have that kind of money so that is why were asking her to donate it. Well, one of her older brothers accepted the Lord in our church and all his family attends our church. Recently, his mother came to visit him from NYC and she realized that our church is doing good work. She asked her daughter to donate the lot to the community for us to build a church. Miraculously, the Lord touched her heart and few days ago she decided to donate it. PRAISE THE LORD!!! There is going to be a church building there as soon we have the funds to do so.
Also we are in the process of building 6 rest rooms with showers at El Arca Camp. We would like to use the existing building that can accommodate 90 people as a dormitory for many activities for our churches and many other churches from the Danli area. We have had many requests for the use of our campground facilities. We just started to raise the funds to buy 45 bunk beds at a cost of $270 each. Can you help our camp by donating one bunk bed?
We deeply appreciated the support that many of you are given to our ministry.
Dr. Hector Newman
Every year, I make the effort to connect with our ministry in Honduras and experience a different perspective. That meant that this year it was my turn to switch it up again and come on the medical mission led by our medical director Dr. Patrick Reeves.
On Saturday, January 19th, sixteen of us from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Michigan woke up very early to travel to Honduras. This particular trip was very meaningful to me personally because it is the first time that I got to travel with members of my new church plant (Reset Church) in Rhode Island. Most of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island team gathered at Logan International Airport really early to try and prevent any delays with TSA check in. I had heard that the government shutdown was creating some unnecessary check in delays in airports all over the country. To our surprise, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was on our same flight. We met the rest of the Michigan and Massachusetts team at Miami International Airport where we boarded the flight together. There were seventeen of us on this team and we were happy to arrive safe and sound in Tegucigalpa. Awaiting us was my dad, missionary Hector Newman, with his unfading characteristic smile.
On Sunday, January 20th, we started the day by celebrating Ashley Reeves' birthday. Ashley is Dr. Rick Reeves' wife and has been to Honduras many times on previous medical missions. We headed to El Arca Camp with the whole team. As part of her birthday wish, Ashley had requested to be baptized. It was a special occasion as well because the baptistry was being dedicated to the Lord. Rev. Dr. David Kilpatrick, who is the Senior Pastor at West Medford Baptist Church and serves as Mission Honduras Chair was very influential in donating the needed funds to complete this new baptismal pool. After the dedication, he performed the baptism and we all rejoiced with Ashley. Later in the afternoon, the youth in our mission team left the hotel to go to a special pre-teen/youth service. Ethan Pino, the youth leader at my church, preached to the youth on the topic, "Don't Miss the Point." It was a very blessed service. Afterwards, we hung out with the children and teens. An hour later, we dedicated the sports court at the Cofradia Church in Danli. This is the same sports court that Judy Margetts, Jonathan DiLuglio and I worked on with some college students from Rhode Island last March. The sports courts looked incredible. The dedication ceremony for the sports court was especially touching to Judy Margetts because Dr. Hector Newman unveiled a beautiful plaque naming the court after her. As tears rolled down her eyes in surprise, I caught a couple of tears streaming down my face as well. The plaque also had a dedication to the young college students from Rhode Island who invested a lot of effort, time and money for its completion. Just last year, our mission team then had seen all the filler soil poured and the more than 120 loads of dirt to level the court. We were so ecstatic to finally see the court completed. The children and youth looked extremely happy. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Judy and I received plaques for our fundraising efforts and then Judy had the honor of shooting the first basketball. Even though it was an air ball, we had fun seeing the next 20 children, teens and adults try to get the first bucket in. I also had the chance to kick the first soccer ball to the goalie. After the dedication service of the, "Judy Margetts" sports court we moved inside the church for Sunday service. I was already under a lot of unspoken pressure. You see the church service began at the same time our beloved Patriots were playing in the division championship. We had an amazing worship time with the praise and worship team of the Cofradia church. With the game in mind I went to the pulpit to preach. You see I was always taught that God comes first in everything so I was not going to cheat anyone out of a spiritual blessing just in the name of a football game. My message was titled, "Breakthrough" based on the passage in Mark 2:1-12. The spirit of God worked through the message and forty minutes later I was making an altar call. What a day! This is what mission trips are all about. Mission trips are all about getting to know the locals, while getting to know your fellow team members, while continuing to know more about God.
On Monday, January 21st we left the hotel and for the next hour rode our bus to Teupasenti, El Paraiso. This is where we were located for the next four days helping those in need of medical assistance. When we arrived, there were many people patiently waiting for us under the sun and in the shade. That night, after the brigade concluded, I joined the board of Iglesias Comunidad de Amor International for an executive meeting. It is always great to hear from my colleagues the wonderful news about our ministry amongst our churches in Honduras.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, we went back to our medical site in Teupasenti. I love this church because it is on the side of the road in the belly of a big mountain facing a picturesque forest. The weather was lovely compared to the freezing temperatures of New England. At the end of the day there was a lady that seemed to be in a rush to get done with her medical visit. I asked her, "Why are you in such a hurry?" You see the Honduran culture is very laid back so this caught my attention. She looked at me, pointed to a mountain behind us and said I came from the other side of that mountain and it's going to get dark soon. I asked how long it took her to get to us and she said 3 hours. She had 3 little children with her walking another 3 hours up a mountain while the sun sets was all I needed to know. I immediately helped her get through the line. What a great reminder to never take any of the conveniences that we have living in the USA for granted. God has placed all of us in places where we can make a difference whether it is locally, nationally or internationally. Later on in the afternoon we celebrated Samantha's 17th birthday with a piñata party. That night Dr. Kelly Wemple, who had just arrived from Michigan, joined the rest of the team. Later on, Dr. Kilpatrick preached at the night at the Cofradia church service. The message was focused on the excitement about sharing Jesus.
On Wednesday, January 23rd, the youth from our team went to El Arca campground to spend the day building the bathrooms for the dormitories. The rest of the team went to Teupasenti to continue with the brigade. At noon I took the youth to one of the many hills on the property. Every hill at El Arca is named after a mount in the Bible. Right in front of the mount you will see the name of it posted on a piece of wood. I decided to take them to Mount Zion. This is the hill that caught fire last March and our courageous teens stopped it. The hill looked way different this year. It was green and at the top there are many benches to enjoy the amazing sight. Once at the top I had everyone sit in a circle and we had a time of intimacy with the Lord. After a brief time of meditation on God's word we prayed for each others needs. It was such a special moment to share with the youth.
On Thursday, January 24th, we all gathered for our last day of service. Throughout the week Pastor Hector, Pastor Kilpatrick and myself took turns praying for people and preaching to the crowds waiting to be seen by our medical team. Our teenage team members played soccer, gave away bracelets and toys and connected with their Honduran friends. In the middle of the day Suzanne, who is a nurse, said to me, "Pastor I need you to talk to this couple and pray for them. They are going through a rough time." I waited for the couple with 3 children to see the doctor and get their medication. When they were coming out I grabbed some chairs and sat down to talk to them. They went on to tell me that they recently lost their 9 year old boy due to a stray bullet on Christmas day. The mother started to cry and looked away from me. I could see her sorrow and my heart felt her agony. The dad had this broken look on his face. You see it was almost a month to the day that their son was senselessly killed. I sat there for a while and talked to both parents. I mainly listened and then gave them a word of Biblical counsel. I grabbed Pastor Toribio Santos (our local pastor) and layed hands on the family and prayed for God to comfort them. When we were done praying I gave them a big hug and blessed them.
On Friday, January 25th, we stopped by El Arca Campground on our way back to Tegucigalpa. During the week two of our team members rededicated their lives to the Lord and decided to be baptized. Dr. Kilpatrick baptized them. It was a wonderful time. These are some of the stories and amazing experiences that the Lord gave us during this mission trip.
Overall our team helped around 861 patients with medications and treatments for all kinds of medical conditions, including: diabetes, infections, high blood pressure, arthritis, carpal tunnel, asthma, acid reflux, dental infections, vision difficulties, and more. Everytime I go to Honduras, I feel blessed and come back filled with more energy and passion to continue to do the work that the Lord has set for us to do. I can't wait for next year. Will you come with us next time?
Pastor Enrique Newman
A few weeks from now we will be celebrating the blessing of receiving the GIFT, sent from heaven to us, Jesus Christ. This is the time when we also exercise our own goodwill with others by sharing the good news of Salvation, as well as giving presents to those we love and care for.
I encourage you to REMEMBER your MISSIONARIES around the world that are counting on you, so they can also celebrate a blessed Christmas with their families.
Send your Christmas gift for us to:
c\o Ray Riddle
41 Fairview St.
Hingham, MA 02043
MUCHAS GRACIAS AMIGOS
FELIZ NAVIDAD AND BLESSED 2019
Hola, amigos! September was a very busy month for us with many special church activities in our churches. It is also the month of Independence in Honduras so there were celebrations all over the country.
We celebrated our Youth Conference in the southern zone of the country in the departamento of Choluteca. Over 85 young people came together to worship and learn at the conference. The speaker was pastor Carlos Banegas who spoke about two every special themes: "Testimony Versus Society" and "Addicted to Walls." Our young people learned about ways to handle their daily testimony and how to put down the mental walls that prevent them from following the Lord.
The second conference was held in Danli, El Paraiso (located southeast of Honduras). It was the annual regional women's conference and the themes were: "Overcoming Stress," "Living with an Abusive Husband," "Women with Free Hearts" and "Empowered Women." These conferences helped them have a better biblical understanding on how to be free and wise women during difficult times in our society. We were blessed with the attendance of over 90 women at this conference.
Another recent event happened the last Sunday of September. This day is the selected day of celebration of the Bible. In 1987, our congress passed a statue in which every last Sunday of September would be designated as the day of the Bible. Over 3.5 million Christians marched in parades throughout the country. All our churches across the country participated in this public testimony of the Word of God by giving honor and proclaiming that we have to be guided by his holy word.
Jose Martinez, is the new pastor at the Satelite Church in Choluteca. He is doing very good work with his family, and the church is growing.
Finally, we are in urgent need of sponsors for 13 children that need help to continue their studies at the Newman School. These are children are talented, loving and bright but their parents can't afford to send them to school because they are very poor. Each student sponsorship is $50/month. We encourage you to contact us if you are interested.
Dr. Hector Newman
My friends, we just had a successful medical mission this past August. We spent four days assisting hundreds of people that came from the surrounding villages to Rio Blanco, Intibuca. Intibuca is one of the most beautiful departmentos (states) with a population of 240,000 and located in the most mountainous area in Honduras. The Lenca community where the team worked has a community of about 500 people.
This amazing medical mission team of 12 people was led by Dr. Patrick Reeves. The team came from various parts of the U.S.A. which included the states of Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida and Texas. Including the Honduran medical counterparts, our team had 16 medical volunteers which included: doctors, nurses, dentists and a pharmacist. Other non-medical team members focused on translation services, ministry with the children and helping out anyone in need.
The Lenca Indians walked for one, two and three hours through the mountains to be medically treated. Patients were treated for a wide variety of conditions, including: diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma/COPD, headaches, acute injuries, infections, dental issues, and vision difficulties. In total the team helped 879 people.
We are so thankful to everyone that came to serve the Lord in this brigade. It served as a testimony to to the people to see the Lord’s presence through their service. This month, we also welcomed Dr. Patrick Reeves as our new Medical Missions Director of Iglesias Comunidad de Amor, Internacional (ICAI).
We would like to thank Nikki Jackson from the bottom of our heart for the past 8 years helping us as the Medical Missions Director. She will continue to be involved in medical missions in Africa.
Dr. Hector Newman
These past few weeks we have been praying for a place where to plant a new church. In the beginning of July the Lord led us to Las Tusas in the departamento (state) of Atlantida. Las Tusas is a small village, close to the city of Tela in the north coast. Two weeks ago we connected with someone that has been to that community so we decided to take a visit ourselves. We walked around the community and met many of the locals. We explained to them what we where doing there and they expressed their desire for us to start a church and wanted us to comeback again. They were friendly and fed us a delicious meal. We saw the need to start and plant a new church and we told them that we would be back. Last weekend we went back and invited people to our first church service. On Saturday, July 28th, 15 adults and 11 children came to hear the message. On Sunday, July 29th, we celebrated the first Sunday school, which was taught by Sonia my wife. I also preached to the about 20 adults that showed up. Many committed their lives to the Lord and others consecrated their lives to the Lord’s service. We are very thankful with our Lord for this new opportunity to expand the Lord’s Kingdom in the northern part of Honduras.
Three years ago, I became the pastor of the San Cristobal Church in Danli. One of the first things that I did was to identify someone from the congregation that could be trained to become the local pastor. After much prayer and searching, we identified one person with the right qualities and gifts of a pastor. His name is Delmer Rodriguez, 32 years old, married with two kids (a teenager and a one year old). With the support of people from our churches In the U.S., he received a scholarship to attend El Seminario Teologico Centroamericano (Central American Theological Seminary), in Danli. After two years of working side by side with me he became my assistant pastor while continuing his studies at the seminary. On Sunday, July 15, we installed him as the new San Cristobal Church pastor. Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for your faithful support of our pastors through scholarships.
In El Arca news, we recently had another addition to our animal family. Our cow Florida gave birth to a beautiful calf which we named, Turquita. We are very excited, for this beautiful calf and for the fresh milk.
Currently we are in need of funds for many of our ministries including: student scholarships, administrative costs and our missionary's monthly expenses. We encourage you to partner with us and help us to continue with the Lord’s work in Honduras.
Dr. Hector Newman
Friends, we took the month of June to evaluate our whole ministry. Our national board and our supervisors got together to work on the evaluation report. Below is a summarized portion of our ministries evaluation:
Dr. Hector Newman
The rainy season is here! It started in May, which usually brings lots of flooding and property destruction in many parts of the country. These past weeks the rain and heavy storms hit heavily in Honduras. Our property was no exception. We were hit with one of these storms and many trees fell down causing damage to part of our property fence and the roof of our grounds-keeper's house was half destroyed. Overall we had about $2,000 in damage to our property! No bueno. However, we trust the Lord will provide funds to restore the damage that we incurred.
With the guidance of the Lord we have opened a new field for ministry at a place called Monte Carmelo in Villanueva, Cortes. Our leader there is Roberto Cortes. He lived 6 years in Minnesota, USA, and now he is back with his family. This new church plant already has about 20 people attending. They are currently meeting in a provisional building. We are already seeing the move of the Lord's spirit within this new congregation and people are getting saved.
Finally, we welcomed a new member to our burro family. We named him FRIJOLITO, who was born earlier this month.
*If you would like to contribute to the repair of our property fence and the roof you can do so by sending a check to:
Massachusetts Board for Mission Honduras
c/o Ray Riddle
41 Fairview St.
Hingham, MA 02043
Please include: "Property Repair" in the memo line. Thank you and God Bless!
Dr. Hector Newman
The Lord continues to move among us in many different ways. Our churches are growing and people are getting saved. We are having lots of success reaching out to young people. Our church in Danli had an outreach day which included a worship service and sports activities. Many youth attended and had lots of fun.
During this past month many projects were finalized. We finally finished the water system at El Arca. After many years of fundraising, drilling and building we can now say we have completed that project. When we relied on the village water we were without water almost everyday. Today, El Arca, has its own water system. Now all of our property has clean and safe water from our well. We are very thankful for the Massachusetts Board for Mission Honduras in Boston, the First Baptist Church of Hingham, MA and Hands of Mercy Global Ministries in Michigan. Additionally, we would like to thank many other individuals who have made this project possible. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.
We also finished the construction of the multi sports court at the Newman School in Danli, El Paraiso. The court construction was started by the youth mission team that came down in March. It is a dream come true for our school. Now hundreds of children, teens and adults have a place to enjoy playing sports like volleyball, basketball and soccer. Thank you so much to all of you who donated time and funds to make this possible .
Also, this month we had the visit of the Mission Honduras chair, Rev. Dr. David Kilpatrick who flew from Boston to visit for a few days. We took Dr. Kilpatrick to see many of our new projects in places like: Rio Blanco (the Indian Lenca region), Cofradia, Cortes (new church building) and in Danli (new sport court) and to El Arca (new water system). His visit to our home and to our country was a great blessing.
My dear friends, thank you so much for your faithful support to our entire ministry in Honduras. May the Lord continue blessing you.
Dr. Hector Newman
On March 11th our team of 10 (including baby Luna) arrived in Honduras around noontime. We loaded up the two trucks and then drove an hour and 15 minute towards the El Arca property where we would be lodged. One of the many benefits of traveling with youth is their attitude towards flexibility. This was the first time a mission team has ever stayed overnight at El Arca. This trip was of particular significance for me as it was my wife, Brigid, and daughter Luna's first trip to Honduras. I was a little concerned with how people would react to having a baby next to them on the flight but baby Luna was awesome! It helped that she has her mom's looks and her abuelo's (grandpa) smile.
Once we arrived at EL Arca and settled in we had lunch. Let me tell you, the food was spectacularly delicious! The BEST I ever had on any mission trip either hosting or as a guest. I had made plans with one of my best childhood friends to stop by with his family to meet my family. We left Rhode Island at 3AM and with daylight savings time change we were so out of it. I was trying to stay awake before my friends came over but I had to take a Honduran siesta to recharge. Five minutes into my 85 degree, lovely weather nap, I heard my dad calling me and telling me my friends were at the EL Arca gate. We spent some time together and it was wonderful to see them meet my family. Not soon after, it was time to get ready to go to church and worship. Worship? Noooo! I was still super exhausted, to say the least, and on top of that, I had the privilege of preaching. Exhausted, tired, drained, sleep deprived you name it I had it. I had no idea how my sermon would go as I had never been this tired before a message in my life. I prayed and left it in God's hands. That evening the team and I left to the city of Danli where we would be worshipping. We had a wonderful time singing praises and listening to special music and prayer. Jonathan shared his testimony in Spanish about being thankful. I preached in Spanish; the title of my sermon was, "When everything goes wrong" based on Acts chapter 28. After the 2 hour church service we headed home and I slept like a baby.
On Monday, March 12th we started our first day of work at the school site. The goal for the week was to prepare the area where the multi-sport court would be filled and leveled before pouring the concrete. The team was well rested and ready to go. We helped stomp the first 8 truck loads of filler soil. Additionally, we mixed cement and poured it into the base blocks of the retainer wall of what would be the basketball court. At some point, we were trying to water the soil and needed longer hoses. After two longer hoses were purchased we connected them and immediately noticed issues with water leaks. I thought to myself how easy it is to take things as small as hoses for granted. The hoses were brand new but of poor quality. I kept thinking how back here in the States we could have had 4 or 5 choices of hoses compared to maybe 2 low quality from the hardware store in Honduras. After trying to stop the leaks we continued watering. Eventually, we hired a water truck to help out with the water and got the job done.
In the middle of the day, Judy Margetts and I drove to the supermarket to get food for the team. On our way back to the school we stopped at a red light. A kid started cleaning the window of our truck. With the air conditioning on and the tinted windows up he could not see us but we could see him diligently working to clean the already clean windows on my dad’s truck. I opened the window and he said to me “Deme un Lempira porfa” which translates to “Please give me one Lempira.” I asked him how old he was and he said 13. I asked him why he wasn’t in school and he said my parents pulled me out. I understood that his family was so poor that they could not afford to send him to school. To help out his family he is out on the streets cleaning car windows at red lights. I pulled out some money, way more than the”Lempira” (which is equivalent to almost 5 U.S. cents) he asked me for, I told him”God bless you” and we drove away when the light turned green. The rest of the day we played soccer and volleyball with the school children. When the time came to get ready to go back to El Arca my dad received a call from his wife, Sonia. My dad looked at me and said there is a fire approaching our property go back with the team and see how you can help. I was thinking "OK, this is different." I got the guys on the team and we headed the 30 minute drive to El Arca. We arrived at El Arca to see the left back part of the property on fire right before the mission’s property line. The team immediately sprung into action to help. Some were bringing buckets of water, some neighbors came over and helped as well. The El Arca’s groundskeeper came over with a backpack sprayer filled with water. He started containing the fire line at the top of one of the hills in El Arca. Three of our youth, Jonathan, Quintin and Brennan, had a plan they had learned while at camp in Rhode Island. The wild fire kept closing in on the property and they decided to put the skills they have learned at camp to work. They used a pickax and shovels to delineate that property line from the brush. This would help contain the fire and help preserve the pine trees. Their quick action and experience were put well into use by the training they had received as scouts and working at a camp in Rhode Island.
On March 13th, Brigid took time to teach EL Arca cooks how to make scrambled eggs. It's not that they didn't know how to make them but she taught them how to make American scrambled eggs per my dad's request. After another delicious breakfast we left for the school. The team worked diligently filling in the retainer wall with cement. In between breaks more soccer was played with the students and some of the construction workers. Later in the afternoon, after we had worked and had lunch, Brigid and I took the team on a hike. For years I had been wanting to go to "the cross" in Danli. The "cross" is the highest viewpoint in the city of Danli. The hike to the top of the cross was steep and the trail was made with stone. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the top. As we were heading up one of the neighbors said to me "I give you guys credit going up at this time of the day". It was in the middle of the day and about 86F dry heat. The teens were up in front and I was the last one to arrive at the top. Let me tell you every effort to make it to the top was well worth the spectacular view of the city. The hike to the cross in Danli, check!
By the time we returned to El Arca we were all hungry for dinner. Brigid then asked El Arca cooks to teach her how to make tortillas. The cooks felt good teaching her and it was a reciprocal experience since she had just taught them earlier in the morning. Brigid's first tortilla came out with holes and was half burnt. She kept working on her craft and as I walked out they said to me "she learns fast." That night after we had rested, and by that I mean taken wonderful afternoon naps, we headed back to Danli for church service. This time I preached both in Spanish and English. The title of my message was, “When everything goes wrong, but you’re still faithful.” This was part two of my first message on Sunday.
On March 14th, Brigid taught 4 english classes at the Newman School. She was excited to share her gifts with the children of Honduras. She worked with children in Kindergarten to 6th grade. At one point I walked around to see how she was doing and the kids were loving her instruction. I could see games, and songs and exciting techniques being used to teach English to the students. On this day we continued compacting and finished filling in the soil. We watered it down and left it ready for the next day.
In the afternoon we headed to the Los Robles Church. Los Robles is a very poor community located within a 10 minutes drive from the school. When we arrived, the church was open and about 8 children where sitting inside. Soon after Pastor Catalino arrived and after a short greeting we went inside. He told us that the children would be arriving shortly. I know this meant in Honduran time. We started to unpack the food and donations we were to give out later. A woman from the community, whom I recognized approached me and said, "You are pastor Hector's son right?" I responded, "Yes, I am". She said oh because I told Pastor Catalino that you were his son and he was surprised. She didn't know that this was the first time I had met Pastor Catalino. A few minutes later the pastor's wife arrived and minutes later we had around 55 children who had come out to the church. An 8 year old from Los Robles Church started by praying a wonderfully simple prayer. They sang a couple of songs and then I came up to give a quick greeting. Soon after, I introduced Jonathan DiLuglio who then led the children in a couple of activities. After those fun craft activities were completed, we fed the children peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, distributed toys, hats and dresses. The children were so happy and thankful. We left with smiles on our faces knowing that we had just made someone's day.
That night we found out that we still needed more funds to complete the project. The contractors had estimated that we would need about 8 truck loads of filler soil. When that was not enough it went to 16 truck loads. We ended up using about 40 truck loads!!! Our team met and Jonathan DiLuglio encouraged us to finish what we started. The next morning the team contributed a total of $2050! What a team! We came together and raised the rest of the funds to finish the school's multi-sport court. Praise the Lord!
March 15th was our final work day. There was a lot of stomping and leveling the truck loads of filler soil. The team also had a special day with the Newman School students. They sang songs and made crafts with the school children. Judy Margetts, our scholarship director, talked, visited and took pictures with many of our sponsored children. I was busy with Jonathan working on the sports court dimensions and measurements. We even traveled to a nearby Christian school to gather and research more information.
On the last day, many stated that they wanted to return and felt sad saying “adios” to the students, especially after the school children were heard saying we will see you mañana.
On March 16th, the team enjoyed the sights and flavors of Honduras traveling to a picturesque little town town an hour and 10 minutes from Danli. Then at night on our last team debrief we had a special meeting. We talked about what the trip had meant to each of us and shared our feelings about the experience. At the end of the meeting I held a gold pin ceremony. This year's recipient was Gary Ellinger from Massachusetts. The Mission Honduras gold pin is awarded to short-term volunteers who have been on 5 or more mission trips with us. Gary worked really hard and we enjoyed having him on our youth mission team. This was Gary Ellinger's 12th mission trip. He is 77 years young. Judy Margetts, a past recipient of the Mission Honduras gold pin, was also presented with a special edition Mission Honduras writing pen for her service and 17th mission trip to Honduras. This fall she will be joining our medical mission to Honduras which will be her 18th trip. Additionally, this was Jonathan DiLuglio's 8th mission trip and first as a team leader. Jonathan, has been serving with Mission Honduras since 2012 and has been part of the board since 2017 as Youth Coordinator. This was my first time traveling and working with Jonathan on a mission trip. He did a fabulous job leading us and we worked well together. We are so blessed to have him on the Mission Honduras team.
The youth mission team consisted of students from the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, and the University of New Hampshire. Their majors include computer science, comedy writing, applied mathematics, doctorate in pharmacy and international relations. We are so thankful that these young students decided to take time from their spring break to come to Honduras and serve!