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Building Bridges to Honduras | First Presbyterian Church Grapevine

HOI Mission – August 8-14, 2015 First Presbyterian Church, Grapevine, Texas

Of our nine-member team, two were making their tenth trip, several have done it a handful of times, and three of us were on our first ever mission trip. Because HOI worked so closely with our mission team leader, we arrived full of expectation and excitement, not nerves. Throughout the trip, we were in the excellent hands of the HOI team and under the watchful eye of God. It was a trip full of hard work, friendship, and exploring what the HOI ranch director called “building bridges”, between God, the villagers, and amongst ourselves.

Our assigned village, Octoal de la Contienda Gualaco, has 134 residents – including everyone from babies to elders. Of the thirty-five homes, eight needed latrines, thirteen needed pilas (water infrastructure), twenty-two needed cement floors in some rooms, and eighteen needed the new fuel-efficient eco stoves. This is not counting the number of families that were without stove chimneys. During our week, we worked along side the villagers to build two latrines, four pilas, and two eco stoves, install a metal roof, and lay more cement floors that we could count. Additionally, our team has a long history of bringing medical supplies to the ranch clinic; school supplies to the village school, church and, to the HOI schools; and dozens of soccer balls and 400+ tennis balls. Our team included a retired teacher and the educational director from our church, two wonderful women who along with several others shared stories of Christ through three afternoons of Vacation Bible School. It was hard to tell who enjoyed VBS more – the children or their families!

our family in Ocotal - comp
While the work was hard, getting to know the villagers was priceless. Neighbor helped neighbor, older children watched younger children and did family chores so the mothers and grandmothers could work on the construction projects. Elder villagers passed on cement making and construction skills to the younger generations. And, numerous teenagers showed up every day to work on projects!

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As a former HOI executive director told us on the bus from Tegucigalpa to camp, “The villagers don’t say thanks for helping them build latrines or a new roof. They say thanks for giving them hope and new friends. They know we care, we take off work to come help them, and we give our time and energy for them.”

While it was heartbreaking for us to leave the village, we know that we cannot solve all problems, but we can “create opportunities.”

FPCGV Mission Team

FPCGV Honduras Mission Team (2015)

Thank you, HOI, for creating the opportunity for us to come to Honduras, for protecting us, and for creating a wonderful ranch environment.

Submitted by: Beverly Chernoff