Friday, March 13, 2020

The team and children from Arena Blanca gathered in the schoolyard after the hygiene stations were completed.
The First Presbyterian Church of Aiken provided funding for construction of the clinic at Arena Blanca. Members of the congregation, Mary and Steve, got to see the completed building first hand.
The gauntlet of clapping children greeted the team as we proceeded to the school.
Steve helps give the children fluoride treatment, while Cindy and Chuck provide support.
The piñata was a big hit, and when it was hit …
… the kids had a free-for-all for the sweet treats.
Members of our Honduran support team included Germaine, David, Carlos, Pablo, Lucia. Maynor, rear, of course, was in charge of the projects for the team. Joselyn and Marcos, not pictured, were also instrumental in our week.
Suyapa and Lupe kept the team well fed throughout the week. Allison, Suyapa’s daughter, kept everyone smiling.

The Parable of the Sower was an integral part in what we brought to the children through our VBS presentation. We certainly feel like we planted seeds, as seeds were planted in us.

Thursday, March 12 2020

The kids of Tejeras enjoy receiving their weekly rice and beans.
The team helps stain tables for the school in Tejeras.
Young boys work all day for 2 dollars forming bricks out of “special” dirt.
Before the bricks are formed, the “special” dirt is mixed to the proper consistency. The boys work all day and give earnings to their family, instead of attending school.
The owner shows the team how he prepares bricks before they finish in the kiln.
Chuck, along with the rest of the team, hands out beans and rice to the local residents of Tejeras.
Mary Maddrey helps sand the tables before staining. She is the director of the preschool at First Presbyterian Church in Aiken and a member of the congregation. This is her first trip to Honduras.
Steve Salzman wasn’t always lying down on the job during the week. Steve is retired financial accountant from AGY. He attends First Presbyterian Church of Aiken.

We started the morning off singing, “Jesus Loves Me” during our early devotion time. This song carried us through the day.

“Little ones to Him belong … .” In the boys and girls of Tejeras we saw His children.

We big ones are also His children. “For the Bible tells me so.”\

Wednesday March 11, 2020

Dom Martorana hands out a deworming pill to one of the children.

After early morning devotion and a scrumptious breakfast, we headed up the mountain road to the school at Los Panales. Our first activity was a four part hygiene clinic: hand washing, deworming pill, learning to properly brush your teeth, and a fluoride treatment.

Jeff Wallace puts toothpaste on each brush before the brushing demonstration begins.
The boys favorite part of the hygiene clinic is “escupir.” The best translation for the word “escupir” is A GOOD SPIT.

After over 50 children participated in the VBS Parable of the Sower, it was time to have some outdoor fun.

Kids enjoyed playing with the parachute. They had lots of fun tossing the tennis ball up and down.
Jeff Wallace, using his iPhone, gives a history lesson to the Honduran children about sites in South Carolina.

Jeff Wallace and Dominic Martorana are both on their first Honduras mission trip. Jeff has lived most of his life in Aiken and is a retired editor of the Aiken Standard. He attends St. John’s United Methodist Church. Dom (pictured below) was raised in New York City and was a career carpenter. He is a member of St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Aiken.

Dom Martorana used his carpentry skills to help build bookshelves.
Team members put together and finish bookshelves for the school.

Los Panales request from the team was to help construct three badly needed bookshelves. The principal and teachers thanked us many times for all the work that has been done at the school, including today’s shelves.

“We know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to His purpose, all things are working together for good.” Romans 8:28

Tuesday March 10, 2020

The team went to the school high in the mountains at La Montarita where we conducted a hygiene clinic for the students. Chuck teaches a student proper hand washing techniques.
The students were given a deworming pill, learned about brushing their teeth and received a fluoride treatment.
New desks and benches were built and painted for the classrooms. Mary enjoyed painting the desk and herself. Fortunately, there was enough paint for all the furniture.
The new desk to the left (before painting) replaces the deteriorating old desk to the right.
The teacher and head of the parent association were enthusiastic about the gift from HAF.
Kindergarten donations from First Presbyterian Church in Aiken helped provide funds for the swing set that was delivered today. Mary Maddrey, director of preschool at the church, stands in the back row.
The mission team had a father and daughter duo, Pop Buice and Kelli Roof. This is Pop’s second mission trip to Honduras, and he is a retired accountant who attends Williston United Methodist Church. Kelli lives in Columbia, SC, and attends Shandon United Methodist Church. She has two precious kids and enjoys outdoor adventures with them.
Kelli’s AP student, Angie, left, and her parents had dinner with the team. They enjoyed meeting for the first time and getting to know one another.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6: 9-10.

Monday March 9, 2020

The road to Arena Blanca was slippery and treacherous, and Cindy Fuller made the decision to turn back for the safety of all.

Sometimes God’s plan trumps ours. The plan to drive up the mountain on a rain-slicked paved road to a school at Arena Blanca was quashed by unsafe conditions.

The team’s schedule for the day was altered.

A Tejeras child smiles as she learns about the Parable of the Sower.

A quick decision was made to visit the school in Tejeras where we presented a skit on the Parable of the Sower to eighteen precious children.

Coloring sheets and crayons were handed out, and the children used their creativity to bring the picture to life.

The time concluded blowing and popping bubbles to delighted laughter.

The 3rd and 5th grade children learned the Parable of the Sower and enjoyed coloring the booklets.

Before lunch we traveled to the community of Milpa Arada and visited Jose Santos Guardiola school to deliver fans.

While there the team presented the skit to a class of 3rd and 5th graders. They were then given a booklet and coloring pencils to illustrate the message. The class was given school supplies and a Frisbee to enjoy for the rest of the year.

Team member Chuck tries out the dentist chair in Dr. Laura Garcia’s new office. She was one of AP’s first students.

Everyone loves a success story and Dr. Laura’s is a remarkable one. She was one of AP’s first students and completed her dentistry education in Honduras. Last year she opened her first office in Quimistan in a recently built structure with new equipment. If you need to schedule a cleaning, call 8823-3608.

Roxanne Turnipseed stands in front of the orphanage that she and her late husband Sam started Quimistan.

Tranquilidad Foundation sprang out of HAF and serves abandoned children in the Quimistan area. The team got a brief tour from founder Roxanne Turnipseed and learned of its proposed mission to place children in homes with loving families.

Chuck Scarton and team leader Cindy Fuller help a Tejeras child color.

Team leader Cindy Fuller is in her fourth mission trip to Honduras. She is a retired United Methodist preacher and lives in Aiken, South Carolina.

Chuck Scarton is on his second Honduras mission trip and is a member of Saint Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Aiken. He is a retired engineer.

A team leader does whatever it takes to get the mission accomplished. Cindy Fuller and a Guardiola student peck at the seeds along the barren path, illustrating the Parable of the Sower.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Tejeras children learned about Moses and the burning bush from their Sunday school teacher, Sandra Rojas
More than 80 children sang songs of worship to praise God during the Sunday school hour.

With the birds calling in the distance, the team met on the front porch for a devotion about feeding the hungry and taking care of the needy. And thats what we did.

The squatter village of Tejeras is located along a busy highway with the church just yards from the semis roaring path. That does nothing to dissuade more than 80 children from learning about God’s love for them.

Kelli Roof and Mary Maddrey feeding the hungry children of Tejeras.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink …” Matthew 25;35.

The Sunday School children were fed and served drink by our team. The children receive a similar meal by Honduras Agape Foundation (HAF) three more times a week.

During the Agape Promise (AP) middle schoolers Sunday bible study they performed a praise dance and skit for the members of the South Carolina team.
AP high schoolers discussed concerns in their lives and futures.

AP students in the middle school and high school meet in their own groups and at separate locations where they worship and share with their leaders and one another.

We enjoyed fellowship and food with both groups bringing us back to the Bible verse that started our day.

The team realizes the impact HAF has on these students and their religious and educational growth. Our team is humbled to play a small part in God’s plan for them.