We are glad that we can send you another update this month. Here in Honduras we are moving into the hot dry season. There has been little rain since we returned in early February. The roads are dry and dusty, the sky is clear and the temps are warming up. Thank God he has us in the mountains where it is cooler than a lot of other parts of Honduras.
With a few more months of school under our belts, every day brings more knowledge, practice and experience with Spanish and the culture around us. One of our primary tasks upon returning to Honduras was to find a vehicle that we could use to venture out into the mountains and discover the area God has prepared for us and is preparing us for. That search for the truck is still underway. We are being patient to find the right vehicle within our budget and rugged enough for the mountain treks.
This month, we had the opportunity to work with some missionary friends in the mountains around La Esperanza. A team came in from the states and did a “Dad Camp”. This was a new ministry to us but it turned out to be an amazing outreach. The camp is to strengthen the relationship of dads with their children. The missionaries went to two local schools to invite the children and their dad to come out. (Since many children don’t have a Dad in the home, moms, pastors, teachers or other relatives came along with the child.)
It was a wonderful time of learning, playing and bonding. There were sessions for the dads, sessions for the children and sessions for both together. Everyone loved playing the games and watching the dads have fun and be silly, an unusual thing for Dads to do here. It was fun to watch the dads and kids play and laugh together. There were also some real bonding time; like when the dads wrote three words describing what they see in their child on a triangle and then presented it to the child at the next combined session. Overall, there was a great turn out, a great time and children and their dads gaining more insight and love of each other. We heard later that there was also one salvation as a result of the day, God knows how and when to touch a heart.
Here in Honduras, Día del Padre, Father’s Day, is in March so our American Dad’s get to celebrate twice every year! I’m starting to think our school is a “party school”-ha, no we’re a school full of the joy of the Lord! Of course we had to have a party in honor of the Fathers who attend or work there. The children made cards and bow ties for each of the Fathers and learned 2 songs to sing to them, one in Spanish and an English one also. We had cake and coke and lots of laughs. Thanks to Barb who makes delicious cakes!!
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a special time here in Honduras. The week from Palm Sunday to Easter is similar to our 4th of July week in the states, its vacation time! The cold months are over and the heat is fast approaching. Many businesses and schools shut down this week while families gather together; many go to the beaches or lakes or just relax at home. For the Catholic and Christian folks, Good Friday commemorates Jesus Christ’s passion, crucifixion and death. The neighboring city of Comayagua celebrates this day with a procession of Catholic priests, a float of the last supper, a band and flags as they walk through the city. The roads are decorated with “carpets” of brightly colored imagery created out of dyed sawdust, flower seeds, coffee beans and pasta. Those who create the carpets work through the night forming beautiful pictures to honor Jesus. Comayagua has upheld this tradition for 40 years and it now brings in many tourists and photographers to enjoy the day.
This week, Semana Santa, happen to fall at our end of the quarter break so we had the week off to rest and enjoy the culture. On Monday we visited Cerro Azul Meambar National Park with friends from school and climbed the Panacam Mountain which rises to 6,824 feet above sea level. This was a challenge for us but we made it to the top! Actually we were not sure we were at the top but we had gone as far as we could make it and decided to slowly head back down the trail. Our friends (the young folks) went ahead and later told us we were actually at the top, as they left us, the trail headed downward. The views along the trail were amazing! This mountain is categorized as a cloud forest since clouds cover the top for much of the morning. It really looked and sounded like a tropical forest with its dense wet vegetation, insects and birds singing and vine covered trees. Much wildlife has been seen there, pumas, raccoons, snakes, but fortunately we did not see any of these.
We enjoy our time out as we practice our Spanish, learn the culture and adapt to new surroundings but we never forget why we are here, it’s Jesus. He has given us an abundant life and a bright hope and we want to share that with others. We are warming up to a new life in Honduras, praise the Lord!
Gene & Robin Willis
If the Lord leads you to support our ministry financially, all gifts are tax deductible and should be mailed to:
Heart of the King Ministries
115 Creden Pl
Alabaster, AL. 35007
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Click this LINK to view our Honduras photo gallery (newer photos appear toward the bottom of the gallery). We will continue to add photos to this gallery.