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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Unexpected Journey: Day 1

January 17, 2013

Justin (left) and Bill (right) filming a game of marbles in Punta Piedra
The sole purpose of Bill Neal, Justin, and Steve of the Lifeway team being down in Honduras was to film what God is doing today for a reissue of the book “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry Blackaby.  These guys had never been to Honduras and were invited by Tony Ponceti.  Also along for the ride as Tony's project architect was Ed Alvarado of Texas Baptist Men and Vice Consul of Honduras in the United States Lilian Gomez.  

Why was I there? Well, Tony invited me to both see some of his projects and to show Lifeway a bit of what non-Baptist organizations like AHMEN are doing in Honduras

Pastor Nehun wants to learn more about how to clean up his community.
Today the plan was to travel from Tocoa to Iriona.  The night before when I found out where we were going I immediately sent an email to Pastor Nehun and Byron Morales to schedule a meeting with some of the available community agents.  I wanted to finally meet them and evaluate their opinions of AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative community development workshops.  After sending the email, and for the first time in Honduras, I got immediate results.  Pastor Nehun emailed me back and asked me to meet him in Cusuna.  Not wanting to miss filming and a chance to share AHMEN with the world, I immediately wrote him back to clarify that we would be in Iriona and not Cusuna.  No answer...

On the road to Limon, we stopped at all the usual spots.  We stopped to film the vistas of palm plantations in Icoteas, fording streams inside the palm plantations, and of course, Piedra Blanca.  even got the team to stop and film the Deaf School in Plan de Flores! 

Mariana is on the left.  She is the founder and chief operator of the School for the Deaf and Disabled in Plan de Flores.  Here she is pictured with her family and Vice Consul of Honduras to the U.S. Lilian Gomez in the center.

We were off schedule, and I told Nehun we would be arriving in Iriona around 9AM.  As we neared Punta Piedra I began to get nervous whether Nehun would be waiting on us in Iriona or whether he got tired and returned to Cusuna.  When I saw a familiar face on a motorcycle passing in front of the van, I knew I had to give up on my dream of being on camera that day.  I told our driver to stop the van and let me out.  With apologies before permissions, I told the crew I was sorry I had to leave.  In complete faith I ran over to greet the familiar face.  It was Nehun!

International Man of Mystery: Pastor Nehun Flores!

 Nehun proposed a meeting with eight community agents: Claudia, Mery, Lydia, Belkis, Patricia, Carlota, Irene and Jacinto.  I could not have been any more pleased.  The nine of us talked about particularities of the program, what they most enjoyed, and whether or not the workshops would further or hinder Garifuna culture.  The stories of an awake, inspired, and active group of community agents were true.  They all spoke of growing confidence.

From Left: Mery, Nehun, Lydia, Patricia, Claudia, Belkis, Jacinto, Irene, Carlota
When the van came rolling back through town I knew I had missed out on some fun.  I hoped I hadn't hurt any feelings by not staying with the team, but I felt like I had to do what I did.  From conversations with the team, the book Experiencing God  is about doing exactly what God tells you to do when God tells you to do it and to not stop doing it until you get further instructions.  I don't know if I God has ever told me to do anything except continue working in Honduras, but I know God put me in a position today to further ensure the success of ASI-Cusuna. 

Maybe tomorrow I will get a chance to talk on camera about AHMEN.  For now, I am content having made seventeen new friends new friends from Cusuna and the U.S.

Together, we are the difference.

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