This Crazy City

This Crazy City

Honduras has got a lot of bad press recently – and rightfully so. In an article on the Huffington Post it says -

Honduras has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries and is likely to have the highest murder rate in the world — 86 per 100,000

and this:

Honduras stands to break world records with its murder rate — estimated at 86 per 100,000 inhabitants — putting it ahead of war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, a study said October 13, 2010.

In the article where it lists Tegucigalpa, the city we live in, as the 5th most violent city in the world they use this picture – taken 3 blocks from my house.

The other day Quendi, one of the girls who used to live in our girl’s home, came over to our house. She came over so that Trina could take her shopping for school supplies. She got on a bus about 7 miles from where we live. Shortly after she got on two other guys got on and pulled out guns and knives and proceeded to rob everyone on the bus. They took everyone’s cell phones, money, jewelry, and anything else they had that was of any value. This went on for 15 terrifying minutes. This bus was headed to the market in the center of the city. These people were probably going to buy their food for the day. Quendi said that when the bus stopped everyone got off. There was no reason to go to the market now – no one had any money left. Those who were going for food were probably going hungry.

There is a ministry in Denmark that sends a lot of volunteers to Honduras. We have two volunteers from Denmark working with our ministry right now for the next 6 months. A few times a year all the Danish volunteers in Honduras come and spend a weekend with us in our ministry. It is usually about 20 people we host for the weekend. I have been working with the coordinator to schedule one of these weekends and I was supposed to call her last Wednesday but I forgot. I sent her an apology email and this was her reply:

I got robbed in a taxi today on the way home from work – nothing happened to me, but they stole my money, camera, visa-card and pincode and drove me around for 45 minutes until they dropped me off… I’m okay, but yeah, I haven’t really had the time to wonder why you haven’t called.

A couple weeks ago we were in Walmart (yes we have a walmart here) and needed some cash so Trina used her debit card in the cash machine in Walmart. We only use our debit cards for withdrawing cash, we never use them for purchases so it was pretty easy to tell where we used it last. That was on a Saturday and on Monday I logged in to our bank account online to see how much money we had. I was surprised to see four cash withdrawals from our account done in Lima, Peru. Peru is a long way from here and we have never been there. Apparently there must have been cameras and a skimmer on the cash machine so that when Trina used it they were able to steal our card number and PIN and then use that to create a new card and steal money from our account.

Right away I called the bank. There were four other withdrawals that were pending. In total, they stole over $1,000 from our account. Thankfully our bank covered it all and returned all the money to our account. The worst part is that now we don’t have our debit card and no way to get any cash until my family comes next week. This is the second time in a year that we have had our card stolen without ever losing our physical card. The first time, our credit card number was stolen by our waiter at a restaurant. The lack of security here is very frustrating. It isn’t safe to carry cash. If you hand someone your credit card they might steal the number. And if you use your debit card in a cash machine you might be watched and they might steal it too.

When I was talking to the bank the nice lady asked me if I had filled out a police report – she said it was one of their requirements. I said, “Maam, I could do that, but the police here are often times more corrupt than the criminals.”

Are we scared? No. Should you be worried about us? Absolutely not. Should you be afraid to visit? Of course not. You and I are no safer at home in our beds than we are on the streets of Tegucigalpa. I just saw on Facebook that a friend of mine from our safe little town chased someone out of his house, out of his bedroom, in the middle of the night. This stuff happens anywhere and the truth is, our security doesn’t come from the conventions of man but from God above. And honestly, I never feel like I am in danger even when I know I am in dangerous situations. I know I will probably be robbed at gun point some day. I know that will be terrifying and traumatic. But I know that God hears my prayers for protection and He hears your prayers for protection too. So why do I tell you these things. I hope it gives you a better glimpse of what we live with and encourages you to cover us in prayer and not only us but all those like us, who are working in dangerous places around the world. Pray that God gives us protection, courage, and boldness!

A Sacrifice

A Sacrifice

All so happy to be together again!

They’re Gone

My parents just left today, and we are sad. It was so great spending time with them, showing them the ministry, and especially watching them bond with Asher. We couldn’t be more grateful for the time and money they spent to come see us. It’s times like this that we never take for granted, and we truly do treasure.

Time Spent

We were fortunate to be able to show them most of the ministry and what we do. We went to the Feeding Centers, the Maternity Ward, and mom even braved the streets! We also took them to see some of the more beautiful parts of Honduras, including the statue of Jesus (El Picacho), and a little tourist town known as Valley of Angles. But I think what they really enjoyed the most was just spending time with their grandson, and who can blame them!

Asher loved to walk hand in hand with his Papa and Nana.

Sacrifice

So saying goodbye was not, and never is, easy. It’s a huge sacrifice for all three of us, and it…is…hard. Sometimes I just wish we lived back in Lynden so we could see each other whenever we wanted. And it’s difficult to watch Asher bond so much with his grandparents and then have to turn around and say goodbye once again.

Hello’s Are Good

But God never said it was going to be easy. We knew there would be many sacrifices that we would have to make along the way. And even though it is very hard to be without your loved ones, we are still confident that this is where God has called us for this season of our life. So while saying goodbye is never any fun, we always look forward to the many sweet hello’s.

A Little R & R

A Little R & R

Yes, the sand really is that white, and the water really is that turquoise.

We Need a Break

Chad and I have been waiting for the day when we could just take a break. Anyone who has worked or currently works in ministry knows the meaning of overload. So working in full time ministry definitely takes a toll on you. We told ourselves that moving here and being missionaries meant that we had to take breaks, at least every few months. We received this wise advice from many who had worked in full time missions, and we fully planned on giving ourselves a little R&R when needed. But time gets away from you, and before you know it 6 months have gone by and you are completely burned out.

Out for dinner one night with our friends.

An Island Getaway

Well, God chose to recently bless us with a much needed getaway. The three of us, along with two other missionary couple friends (a total of 9 of us), spent a long weekend on the island of Roatan, which is a short 1 hour flight from Tegucigalpa. We have always heard about Roatan and how beautiful it is, and we have always wanted to go there but just never had the chance. So when our friends John and Rebecca told us they were going and invited us along, we jumped at the opportunity for a little vacation.

DOLPHINS!

Recharged and Rejuvenated

We had a wonderful time. We swam in the beautiful blue ocean. We went snorkeling. And we even got to spend some time with dolphins! This little getaway also gave us the chance to get recharged and rejuvenated for our next season of ministry. We couldn’t be more grateful for that time away.

On a boat ride to see the dolphins!