By Lori Brown
The Hope United Methodist Church Mission Team departed New Port Richey on August 1 and landed in The Capitol city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. After a quick lunch at a local Pollo Supremo restaurant, the 15-member team, lead by Jean Howell of New Port Richie, traveled by truck and van three hours south to the town of El Paraiso, Honduras. The remainder of the day the team got settled into the ISIS Hotel, located in the middle of the town of El Paraiso and in the evening met for dinner followed by prayer/devotional time.
On Sunday the team participated in church service at the Methodist Church in El Paraiso, where Pastora Alba Lagos leads her flock. This was the first opportunity for many of the team members, including Lori Brown of Riverview, to meet those whom we came to serve. Sunday also allowed the group to set up the vision clinic in the nearby city of Danli, about a 30 minute drive north of El Paraiso.
We were at The Vision Clinic in Danli for three days and then moved to El Paraiso for two days and saw over 400 people and had the proper eyeglasses for over 360 men, women and children. The vision team felt very blessed to be the way the Lord used to restore sight to so many. The joy on the faces of people who have never seen clearly before was supernatural.
The group also had the ability to build concrete cooking stoves in 16 local area homes. The two stove teams, led by Frank “Bo” Pack, of New Port Richie, were joined by a few local men from the church to build the stoves. The stoves enhance the family’s quality of life greatly. The family can now cook indoors on a stove that pipes the smoke outdoors. Without the stoves, many families cook on an open fire inside the home.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) was led by Melody Look, of Sarasota. Look teamed up with translator Belkis Lainez, of Tegucigalpa, to teach VBS, two sessions per day for three days, reaching over 100 children. The VBS team brought the Word of God to an average of 80 students per day, culminating in nearly 100 at the last session.
The two-person fluoride treatment team was headed up by Lew Arnold, of Tarpon Springs, and aided by translator Karen Chan, of Tegucigalpa. Nearly 100 children, who had not recently received a fluoride treatment were treated by the team. On friday, the fluoride team was asked to go to a K-6 school near the church to preform over 300 treatments.
After arriving home the team was feeling tired but blessed to have brought the love of Christ to so many wonderful Honduran people. Visit hope-umc.com.