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The Good, the Bad, and the Grateful

March 18 & 19, 2023

The good news is that we have safely arrived! The Sus Manos and Danville groups took separate flights, but met at the airport in Comayagua, Honduras.

The bad news is that before the first flight ever departed, there was a change in plans. Team member Lori tested positive for Covid, surprising herself and leaving the team without a valued member. Once in Honduras, the Sus Manos group was met with some difficulty at the airport. The group was stopped by customs agents, where four of their five checked duffels were detained.

The good news is that after about two hours of discussions with authorities, with the help of translators, the group was allowed to leave.

The bad news is that they agreed to leave the bags at the airport, with plans to return for them on Monday.

The team finally arrived at Alfredo House by late Saturday afternoon, minus one team member and four pharmaceutical duffels, to no electricity and a brewing storm which put an end to plans for a Sunday excursion.

The good news is that not long after our arrival, the electricity came back on. The team was able to unpack and unwind just in time for dinner. Our first shared meal was delicious, as always. Our team leader Charles Hunt led a devotional about the individual gifts that each of us brings to the mission field, reading from Ephesians 4:11-12, which says “And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers.” Team members were invited to share with the group a gift that each of us has brought this week. As a group, we have brought patience, kindness, understanding, a willingness to help, and experience, among others. Charles also led the group in a centering exercise, encouraging the group to close eyes, let go of the stressors that preceded this trip, and to focus on the week ahead. Preparing for the week, packing, and traveling can all be stressors, not to mention unforeseen challenges such as losing a team member, having to adjust planned activities, and having to deal with customs difficulties. The first night was a great opportunity to regroup, refocus on why we are here, and prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for the week ahead.

Sunday included more shared meals and team bonding. Part of the day was spent counting pills and assembling bags of medication and baking soda toothpaste. Fernando and Lillian trained the group on the use of the Backpack EMR devices and explained what to expect in the week ahead. We weren’t able to go on an outing, but the team was able to have a delicious dinner together at Cabanas Agua Azul. Following dinner, David Helton led the devotional from John 13:5, 12-15. We heard of Jesus washing the feet of others in service and humility. We were reminded to glorify God through our service, support the work the staff is doing, and not the other way around. We are to be a reflection of Christ’s love where we go. We anointed each others hands and were given our crosses that we can give to others as we feel led during the week.

Although things did go exactly according to our plan the first two days, our team is trusting God’s plan. We pray for Lori's health and wellness, and we are so grateful for this team, these days together in Honduras, and for the opportunity to be His hands.

~Erin Thackston

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