Monday, August 25

Missions: Honduras 2008

Just a quick note to let y'all know I returned safe and sound from Honduras on Saturday 23rd, flying into Pittsburgh, PA, around midnight. I went to church with the Ingole's and their church family Sunday morning before Bill Hoffman drove me home.

HONDURAS was awesome! There are so many things I could say about the place, the people, the trip itself, but I'll try and limit myself just a little...

We arrived in Roatán, Honduras, August 8th, drove across the island to a location across from The Key (a smaller island which never appears on maps and juts off of Roatán) and then took a couple boat trips across till we got our luggage and our team across...I must break quickly to mention our team consisted mostly of friends and church family to the Ingole Family, most of whom I had met at some time but only the Ingole's, Bill Hoffman, Pastor Joe (first week), and Michelle Harter (second week) did I truly know. Now, thanks to the trip, I can truly appreciate them and even better I can now call out most of the people in Jubilee church by name (that's saying something for me!)...back to the trip. We went to Brian's shack, which the guys would be tearing down and rebuilding during the two weeks we were there, and found all it's posts submerged under sewage water due to the recent rain. Bill Hoffman immediately responded with "we can't do this," however, as it turns out, the guys did manage to tear down the shack, dig holes, which they filled with cement, cement blocks, and more cement, and then add floor to the new building in the first week. And it was now stable. The neighbor across the path made a huge fuss, and continued to cause problems during the two weeks, then we found out she was into witchcraft and did intense prayer over the building between the morning and evening church services on the 17th. It did take till the very last minute on Friday the 22nd for the guys to finish the last bit of the new house (they finished by flashlight) before we left early Saturday morning.

THE FIRST WEEK, our team consisted of 12 people, then on Saturday two left (Pastor Joe and Pastor Amie) while 11 more arrived. It was rather full, then, at the mission house, but as I said before, I had a great time getting to know everyone...The first week, Monday-Wednesday, us ladies did a Bible School in the afternoon for the children of The Bite (the poor area, near the shack being torn down, and a Spanish-speaking area [The Key was mostly English/Island with little Spanish, while Roatán and it's Bite were Spanish with little English speakers present; yet they were oddly, only a quick boat ride away from each other!]). Wednesday morning, we also had a soup kitchen in the same building as the Bible School, and in the evening the Mission House where we stayed (which also has a school for the Key and a church) had its usual Wednesday Night church service which we attended. We saw almost 200 kids that last night in the Bite...Then Thursday we had a day off, for us ladies that is, and all but one of us went to a natural beach, which takes really long to get to, but was definitely worth it! Clear and calm, beautiful! Oh, and we stopped and shopped briefly on the way for little trinkets for family back home; maybe that's why the trip seemed so long!...Friday, while a couple of the ladies went to help the men, I and one stayed and rested--I was due for a nap!--and Emily went out boat riding/driving with three of her long-time friends from the area (they are now my friends to, we call them Yo, Jo, and Carretta)...Saturday Emily spent most of the day at the airport, dropping off two people and waiting forever for the next eleven to come, while Erin Fisher and I worked on making a cake at the neighbors, decorating it, then carrying it back over for Michelle Harter who's birthday we had missed because she was only coming in that day!

THE SECOND WEEK we did clinics. Monday and Thursday was in the same church as the Bible School had been in down at The Bite. Tuesday was quite a drive farther down the island, and Thursday was a long boat ride around a large section of the island. We saw nearly 700 people in the clinic over those four days, and blessed the people with medicine, care, love, and prayer. The first two days I was a gofer-girl (I ran between one nurses table and the clinic table for supplies), and the second two days, when Pastor Mike had to go back to help the guys, I took over the position of praying for each patient after they had been seen and giving them a little gift bag we had designed (various assortments of candy, pencils, rulers, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, cream or lotion, or other such little things they all appreciated!)...Friday was another day off for us ladies and once again we went to the beach, this time without any stops on the way there or back. And spent longer there before coming back earlier--we had to handle the Youth Service that night. In the end, most of the ladies helped the guys finish by flashlights and Emily, Michelle, and I were left at the last minute re-planning what we were going to do...

OH, and I forgot, the first Monday there Emily and I covered the chapel service for the school, and I shared my testimony of healing from the wheelchair. It was too early to be up and I crashed for an hour nap afterward, but it was good. All the more practice for the big Friday night...

YES, Friday, I preached for my first time! Not just sharing for a couple minutes, or giving my testimony, but preaching...Don't laugh, but I spoke on Zacchaeus and The Covenant of Friendship. Maybe you'll hear it sometime, or I'll post it here. At any rate, it came about because I opened my mouth and said I'd had something cooking. I was smart enough not to say it any sooner then that Friday, but I also said I had something because I felt the Lord urging me to share it and when we needed to come up with something at the last minute for that night, I thought "It's now, isn't it, God?" So I mentioned it...It went great! God was definitely there and was really hitting my interpreter. There were a couple times I had wait a while before she could speak again, once she sobbed and said "This comes straight from the Throne room!" and then, finally, she couldn't speak and a friend of hers in the back stood up and took over...I know I'm called to be a missionary, and through friend's and prophecies I've been told I'd preach, but now I can see it. I know God is moving me that way, and I'm glad He's using matter how great or small!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Blessing to y'all!
<>< Hannah Joy

Saturday, August 9

Today: Honduras and Angelina

I have set this post to automatically appear as I am sitting in the Pittsburgh Airport waiting to take off for Honduras! FINALLY! But while you all are thinking about me and holding me up in prayer for the next two weeks, I hope you'll also remember a very special person today as well...

TODAY, at about 5pm, my cousin Angelina will be marrying a wonderful guy named Josh. And boy, am I excited for them! It will take place back at home in Olean as I arrive in Honduras. I am terribly sad I won't be there (originally we were going to fly out the day AFTER, not OF, the wedding) but I want to give her and Josh a wonderful SHOUT OUT!

Angie & Josh:
Congrats you two! May this day be wonderful; as family and friends gather from all over, may you know you are truly loved and blessed. And may all your days ahead as one be truly God-filled and God-sent! May what occurs today in celebration be but a small representation of how much better it will get with each new day to come! God bless you both, and my prayers are with you as you fly to Hawaii tomorrow as well!

Tuesday, August 5

Busy week...

This'll be short...Man is it getting busy around here! I'm trying to get ready to leave for my friends' house Friday, so we can fly out early Saturday morning for Honduras (I'm so excited, but also nervous; it's the first missions trip I've done with this group of people, so we'll see what it's like)! I'm also working on getting the brochure ready for the women's conference we will have in Salamanca in September (and it's looking snazzy! Almost professional, if I might brag!)...on top of that all, this house is filling up with preparations and people for Angelina and Josh's wedding , which is also this weekend (congrats you two!)!

Friday, August 1

My New Doo...

Saturday July 26th: I looked over the internet and talked with my sister, Becky, on the phone. I tried to find out where they might do LOL (Locks of Love) locally, but all I could find is that they have an annual day for it. WAY back in May. But in the process I found the site for LOL and the instructions to do it myself! So guess what? Aunt Debby and I tied, cut, and bagged twelve inches of my hair! Yet it's still shoulder length...

Monday July 28th (late): we finally got some perm rods and a perm kit. For some reason none of the local stores carry it anymore, so when Cathy went and picked up her son, Tim, at the Buffalo airport she stopped by Sally's and got it for us...then Deb stayed up till almost midnight (she, Fred, and Weesy were leaving the next day, so it was then or a week later) and permed my hair. A long-time wish, finally come true! (one of these days, I'll do it when I've got long hair!)

This is me a day later, with my hair pulled back: