Honduras update from Jill "We stand to pray to Señor"
We are once again privileged to hear from Jill Sherman, one of the WOV Columbia-Willamette team members, about their continuing trip in Honduras.
First – the weather report – blue sky, light breeze, probably mid seventies. I know you all want to know. Inquiring minds and all that.
We eat breakfast on the veranda and then head out in our Mafia vans. A word about our drivers – one is Roger, our tour guide, and the other is Dana, our incredible WV liaison. They are both intrepid and skilled and drive into places that would cause Richard Petty to blanch!
Today was ADP San Matias day – oh what joy! I have been looking forward to this day all week. I love ADPs. They are the working arm of WV out in the communities and universally have excellent delightful staff and warm and welcoming hearts. We always feel like royalty there and today was no exception. We were greeted by Maritza, the manager with smiles and hugs. After some introductions, we headed to a large room and were enchanted by children from the arts program just started recently. Guitars and voices serenaded us and then young people swirled in with full skirts and white outfits and delighted us with 3 Honduran dances. A highlight for us came when some of the men came over, held out their hands and led us onto the floor for an enormously fun if much less skilled dance! It was so much fun and yes we have pictures.
A very tender and precious time followed as we had the privilege of praying for Maritza as she continues in her challenging job.
We then walked into the town center – picture dirt streets, little houses and buildings with tile roofs, a few chickens and the occasional pig or horse. Today is World AIDS Day and most of the town had gathered to recognize this time. We weren’t there for it all but loved our little part which included coming up onto the stage and briefly introducing ourselves. More music and dancing and then we were off, feeling completely blessed by the people and the time.
Then our bunch took time to munch our lunch. (Sorry – a brief Dr Seuss visitation).
Next we visited another sweet maker with an actual work room and some staff but a similar process as our earlier visit.
Then more fun began! We went to a project where the folks are beekeepers. Well – some of us got totally suited up in our official beekeeping gear and marched off to the hives, looking for all the world like some HazMat team. As the bees swarmed around us, we watched the keepers smoke a hive and then remove the panels of honey comb. Back to the village and saw the honey spun out in a hand cranked centrifuge. It was great!
Now one would think that was enough for one day but NO – we Women of Vision are intrepid so we marched on to visit a very successful cooperative of over 400 members, farming a very large area. First was our usual inquisition as we gathered info – then off to a field to see newly planted peppers – and finally to another field to see mature plants. Now this all sounds innocent enough. However, it was getting late in the day and darkness was descending. Our final trek was in the dark on very bumpy dirt roads, over a stream, through some gates and final arriving at the field. With flashlights leading the way, we marched out to see the peppers! It was very funny and a lovely story to have in our repertoire.
There is so much more to tell you, but I really must wrap up. The stories of the people with these businesses are so worth hearing and will be told another time.
A final note – prayer seems to bathe most all of what we have seen, from public gatherings to meetings to events. People all stand during prayer and God is called Señor, which I just love. Today was a day of great richness as we experienced so much of God’s love shown to us through the people we met. Another occasion of asking who really is the least of these. I think it is me.