Daily Journal of Life in Honduras
August 24th 2001Friday The Arrival
Finally, after over two years on deputation, I have made it to Honduras safe and sound! I flew out of Monterrey, Mexico where I attended a four day conference in the Grace Bible Baptist Church where Bro. Raul Reyes is Pastor. The theme of the meeting was the Inspiration and Preservation of the Spanish Bible. They had the information, and for four days they gave it too me! They showed unequivocally, and without a doubt how the 1960 Spanish Bible is a Roman Catholic, Ecumenical Bible taken from the Alexandrian (Roman) manuscripts Vaticanus and Siniaticus. They also showed the connection between the Roman Catholic Church, and those on the 1960 Translating committee. They even showed the connection between the Catholic Church and the Bible societies and how the Vatican gets a cut of the profits (I believe it was 10%) on every Bible sold. I mean they had documented evidence. Then, we compared verses in the 1909, 1865, 1602, 1569, and others. We studied Manuscript Evidence, and the history of the different Bible Societies. We studied the Hebrew and the Greek. We looked at the Spanish dictionary. And, I saw with my own two God-given eyes, that any Bible, in any language, after 1881 was a corrupt bible that used the Wescott and Hort text.
But, the thing that really got me was that they said the Bible Societies have taken the place of the church. They have taken it upon themselves to "hold, change, and print" God's words. And, by so doing, they have stolen the job of the church. How true their words rang out. We have let a bunch of liberals take and twist God's pure words, and tell us what should and should not be in the Bible. Because of that, there are many different versions of the Bible now (in English and Spanish). And, it's all because the church didn't do their job. They are the ones who are supposed to keep God's word (Rev. 3:7-10). But, they have given them away to unsaved, wicked, liberal men just because they claimed to be "smart" and "scholarly." And, the gospel has suffered for it since. God help Christians to wake up!
The main theme of the meeting was the pure words of God, and that's what they wanted. So, they rejected all modern versions, and went back to the 1602 Valera Bible from the Protestant reformation (which, by the way, was about the time we got our King James). This Bible has been known as the standard Spanish Bible for many centuries, and all others are compared to it. (Even the 1960 had to use the name to be called a Bible). But, Cypriano de Valera himself (who put out the edition) said it wasn't perfect and that it was just a revision of the 1569 Bear Bible from Cassiodora de Reina. And, he wrote in his preface that it was the best he could do, and he invited someone to revise it, and bring it more in line with the pure words of God (from the Textus Receptus).
Well, these guys in Monterrey took old Reina at his word, and have been undertaking the project. They are using the King James, and the Textus Receptus to do the job. What impressed me was their motive. They were not doing it to sell it and make money off of it, nor were they desirous of vainglory. They simply want the words of God in their language for their church! If no one else accepts it, so be it. But, they want to please God! And, they want his words!
So, I got a blessing from them, and will study what they do. So far, I believe that their New Testament is the purest word of God yet in the Spanish tongue, and the good thing about it is that it is the 1602 text, which I am for. But, until it is more readily available, I'm forced to use the 1909 Reina-Valera, as it is the only available Bible I can get. Plus, it is much less corrupt than the "RSV based" 1960 Reina-Valera.
During the meeting, a missionary family named Doyle and Dixie Johnson put me up. They were wonderful hosts. Today they had a man at the church take me to the airport to leave for Honduras. My flight left at 11:00, and flew to Mexico City. I had to pay extra though because my bags weighed over the 70 pound limit. In Mexico City, I changed planes and flew to Guatemala City. From there, I flew to San Salvador, and then to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It was a long trip, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the scenery of Central America. It was beautiful. And, what really got my attention was how small, and how poor Honduras was. Mexico City had over 27 million people in that city alone, and it was gigantic from the sky. The city went as far as the eye could see from every direction. For miles and miles it continued on in the horizon. It blew my mind to think of all those souls. Yet, Honduras has only 6 million people in the whole country. What a comparison! How many are the souls that need to be won!
Not only that, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guatemala City, and even San Salvador all had beautiful airports with many beautiful buildings around them. But, when I landed in Tegucigalpa I could see the poverty almost immediately and was shocked how run down the airport looked. I knew it was the poorest country in all of Central America, but I hadn't really seen first hand the difference. It didn't seem too poor when I came the first time, nor the second. It just seemed like anywhere else. But, I guess I didn't have anything else to compare it with. Honduras! What a poor country, and what a tremendous need!
When I left from Monterrey I was a little excited, but also tired and passive at the same time. Inside I was glad I was going to live in a foreign country and start a work in a new place. But, my attitude was one of complacence. I knew this is what God wanted me to do, and I knew it was going to come soon, but my outlook was not one of fear and concern. I looked at it as just a change that was inevitable, and now was as good a time as any. Inside I was saying, "Well, the time has finally come Robert ole boy. Here goes nothing. Step out on faith, and trust in the Lord! Don't expect too much, but also don't do nothing. Do your duty, and let come what may!" This was my attitude, and I guess has always been. I've learned it's always better to take life as it comes to you. Whatever happens, happens. And, when it does, deal with it. Don't spend your time worrying about it, or planning on what to do if this happens, or what to in this case, or what to do if he does this, or what am I going to do if... etc. Just trust God, and do it one day at a time, and if you're doing right, God will let it all fall in place (Psalms 118:6 and 8). This is my attitude on life, and I must say I believe it is a good one. I'm happy, and have no worries. I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that he is able, to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day, and meet all my needs according to his riches in glory!
I finally arrived at Tegucigalpa at 5:45 P.M. Honduran time. Bro. Abel Bonilla picked me up at the airport, and took me back to his school. He told me he had just changed buildings several weeks before and this one was not as big as the old one. He told me that he didn't have too much room, but I could stay as long as I wanted. It just would be a hard thing because I would be staying in one of the classrooms, and would have to be up and out every morning at a certain time. I said that would be fine, and I would try my best not to stay too long as I don't want to be a burden to him. He kindly offered the room as long as I needed it, but I could tell it was a nuisance to him. The Hondurans have a word for this, they say "mas cargo." "More luggage." Or as we say in English, "Extra Baggage." So, I plan to move out as soon as I can, and try to find a place of my own. I hope to find a place closer to Colomoncauga, and be able to commute to start the work there.
August 25th 2001 Saturday A Day of Disaster
Today was an interesting day to say the least. I woke at about 7:30 A.M., and did my daily Bible reading. Then, Bro. Abel Bonilla and I went to town to see the lawyer about my Residence Visa. We found out that I was missing one paper in order to complete the process. So, the lawyer would draw it up, and it would have to be faxed to my mission board. After they received it, then they will have to send it to New Orleans to be notarized, and after that, it will be faxed to us here. But, who knows how long a period of time it will take, and they said that when I did get that paper, that it would take probably another month to complete the process. Then to add to the problem, I can't get my car until this process is complete. But, "se la ve." This is life in a foreign country.
After visiting with the lawyer, we went to the bank so that I could open an account. Well, we learned that I could not open an account until I had my Residence Visa. So, I'm stuck without a bank until I get my paperwork done. What a blessing. But, that's okay, I'm sure it will all work out. Plus, my bankcard works just like a Visa card, so I'll be able to get money on it that way. So, even though everything does not seem to be going my way, I'm not worried. I'm sure it will all work out in the end.
I plan on going to Colomoncagua this weekend, and speaking to the men there. I hope I can find them, and tell them of my situation. And, I hope to find a place to live close by. Abel told me that it's possible that I could get a private tutor in Spanish in the village of La Esperanza, so I will pursue that avenue and see if any doors will open up.
Also, I ran errands with Bro. Bonilla today as well. He seemed a little different than he was the last time. He seemed "strung out" and aggravated at something (I hope it wasn't me). I guess with all the new pressure of moving to a new building, unpacking, school starting up soon, and not having water in his house for more than 3 days, his mind is preoccupied. I hope to get out of his hair soon, because I know he has a lot on his mind, and a lot to do.
Tomorrow I was asked to preach in the service. I hope it goes well, as my Spanish is improving. It's funny, but I couldn't speak Spanish very well in Mexico. But, as soon as I got off the plane here, I could think clearly, and speak much better.
August 26th 2001 Sunday First Sunday Service in Honduras
I had wanted to be in Colomoncagua this Sunday to preach to the men there. But, it was too far away, and I would not have had time to make it by bus. So, I stayed here at Bro. Abel's church. Bro. Abel had a Sunday School Service about Genesis chapter 3, and it was very good. Then, I preached the Sunday Morning Service. My topic was "obedience." I showed from the Bible that we all need to obey someone. Christians need to obey God, the lost need to obey the gospel, citizens need to abide by the law of the land, women need to obey their husbands, etc. Then, I showed them the obedience of Christ as he died for us. I believe it went well, and they really enjoyed it. Through the message I was able to put in a few jokes as well, and they laughed and laughed. It was neat to be able to tell a joke in Spanish.
After church, I went with the pastor and his family to a Chinese restaurant. It was very fancy. Too fancy! They bought me dinner and we talked a while. Then we went back to the Pastor's home, and I called my Dad to get my password for the Internet. After he told me what it was, I was finally able to check my email! I had quite a few messages, and was glad to check up on my correspondence. After that, the Pastor took his wife and daughters to the mall, and he dropped me off at the church. I was so tired, I hit the sack and slept for several hours. All in all it was a good day. Tomorrow, we visit the lawyer, I hope to find out some more information about Spanish schools and a place to live.
August 27th 2001 Monday A Day of Preparation
Today I woke up at about 6:00 A.M. in order to be awake and ready when the teacher came to the school at 7:30 A.M. Today was a day of preparation as tomorrow will be the first day of school for the students after their summer break. The name of the school is Tegucigalpa International Christian School, and Bro. Abel Bonilla is the principal there. I just found out that it was started in 1992, so shortly they will be celebrating their tenth year anniversary of the school.
As I waited for Bro. Bonilla to take me to the lawyer at 9:00 A.M., I met some of the teachers that are going to teach in the school this year. They seemed nice, and I enjoyed meeting them. Bro. Abel said there are about 50 children in this school, and that it is an A.C.E. program (all of which is in English).
At 9:00, we went to the lawyer's office, and I was able to learn more about the paper that I needed, and what is involved in obtaining it. I also paid half of the lawyer's bill ($400), and learned that it would take about a month before I could obtain my legal Residence in Honduras.
After visiting the lawyer's office, Bro. Abel and I went to town to get some things done. I mailed off a few letters, and then went to change some money. Unfortunately, the bank's computer was off line, so I was only able to change a check for $100 that I gave to Bro. Abel, and he gave me cash for it. Then, he deposited it in his account.
Then we went to two different language schools to check them out. One was called Conversa, which I found on the Internet. They didn't have too bad of a price, but their building was run down, and they were really pushy. So, we went to another school, and it was much nicer. They wanted $8 per hour for private lessons (compared to $5 at the other place), but they also had a much better staff, a fuller cirriculum, and nicer facilities. Plus, they offered to me longer hours during the day, and better teachers. So, I decided to take classes there 8 hours a day, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then take the bus out to Colomoncauga on the weekends. I will be in this program for the next four weeks, and possibly more.
Finally, Bro. Abel said that I could stay at his house, rather than the school, as they were able to get water again. And, because I have my classes for such long hours, and will go on the weekends to Colomoncagua, I don't feel like I'm such a burden on him anymore. The school is close to his home, so I won't be far away, and he really doesn't have to worry about me much. It worked out good all the way around!
August 28th 2001 Tuesday Back to School
Today was my first day of Language school. I went at around 11:00 A.M. to the bank to change some money to pay for the first week. It was 3,168 lempiras or about $200 American dollars. I figured I could afford this as I don't have to pay rent right now. After that, I went to the pastor's church and school to eat lunch. While we were eating, the pastor asked me to teach once a month in is "Bible Institute." Once a month 9 or 10 young men meet on a weekend and learn the Bible for several days. And, he asked me if I would take over every month and do it. I said sure. I plan on teaching them "The 7 Mysteries in the Bible."
After lunch, I went to language school and from 1 o'clock until 6 P.M., I had classes with the secretary there named Janine. She gave me a test to evaluate my knowledge, and then gave me some private lessons. She said I have a lot to learn, and entered me on about a 2nd Grade level. (I thought I knew more than that!)
She also had me do some hours on the computer. Supposedly you are supposed to learn something on the computer, but I got bored with it as the questions were very stupid, and it seemed like a waste of time. I hope I don't have to use the computer much. I'd rather learn one on one.
Tomorrow I am supposed to have two private teachers. One from 8 until 12 in the morning, and the other from 1 until 6 in the afternoon. The first teacher is going to teach Grammar and verbs, and the second will teach pronouns, and vocabulary. I hope all goes well, and I am able to learn quickly and correctly.
August 28th 2001 Wednesday My New Teachers
Today went by very slowly. I guess it was because I spent 8 hours in a classroom! And, another 2 hours at home studying. But, I believe it did me some good. I learned quite a few things. However, we covered so much that I hope I don't forget it! The first thing I learned was that you always say "por" after "Gracias." Never say "Gracias para..." That's incorrect.
My first teacher showed up at eight and taught me for four hours. He was from Spain, and spoke the true Spanish. I had trouble understanding him at first, but once I got the hang of it, I could understand him perfectly. Then my next teacher came in at 1:00 and taught me until 6:00 in the evening. He is a Honduran, and he speaks very fast. It took me about 20 minutes to get used to the way he talks. It is so different from the Spanish Castellan language. But, all in all I enjoyed the day, and am glad I am taking these classes. I hope that it will stick as they are cramming me so full of stuff, it's hard to remember it all. But, I can already tell a difference after one day of class.
August 29th 2001 Thursday More Schooling
Today I went to school again. I learned a lot yesterday (so much in fact that I couldn't remember it all). And, after 9 ½ hours of teaching, I came back to the Pastor's house exhausted. It was a long day!
I learned some interesting things today. My first teacher, named Tomas, is a Roman Catholic. He said that he studied with the Jesuits for three days, and afterwards quit because it was too hard. Plus, he told me that Queen Elizabeth was a man. What a thing! So, I'm being taught by a Jesuit Catholic for the next month.
I took a bible to a young man named Gustavo who is a guard at the school of idiomas. And, I gave him a gospel tract with about 24 pages. He said he read it all, and liked what it said. Then, as I was waiting for Bro. Bonilla to pick me up, I witnessed to him and told him the history of America and God's divine providence in it. But, I didn't finish. I'm praying I'll get to witness to him some more.
August 30th 2001 Friday Going to Colomoncagua
Today I left Tegucigalpa for Colomoncagua at about 6:30 A.M. I rode with Nelson and his family (my lawyer) who were headed to San Pedro Sula. They were going to drop me off at Siguetepeque on the way. Also, we took with us Nelson's wife's sister named Myra, who is a lawyer as well. She's very nice. And, I talked to her a lot about the Bible. We arrived at Sigutepeque at about 8, and had breakfast at a wonderful café there. Then I loaded my bus and went to La Esperanza to catch the 11:00 bus to Colomoncagua. However, I arrived too late and I missed it. So, I had to spend the night in La Esperanza.
September 1st 2001 Saturday Pressing On to Colomoncagua
Today I awoke at around 6:45 A.M. After a freezing cold shower, I checked out of the hotel and paid the 140 Lemps for my room. Then I went out to a café nearby where I ate last year. The food was great, and I watched the soccer game between the U.S. and Honduras. The U.S. got the pants beat off of them 3 to 2, and the Hondurans went crazy! I could here them hooting and hollering down the streets bragging about their team.
Also at this café, I met two "gringos" who have a farm in La Esperanza. They said they would help me anyway they could if I end up living there. Their last name was McCracken.
After eating, I went to the bus station and passed out tracts until my 11:00 A.M. bus left. I was so saddened to see an old woman begging for money, and so burdened for her, that I gave her 7 Lemps and a tract. She took the money, but said she couldn't read. How sad. After 5 hours and a flat tire, we arrived in Colomoncagua. I went and found the lady I gave a bible too the last time, and gave her the picture I took of her. She was very thankful!
Then I found the place where I spent the night there before, and rented a room. Tomorrow I'll see all the guys that I came to see.
September 2nd 2001 Sunday Seeing First Hand the people and the Need
Today I woke up around 6:30 or 7:00 A.M, and went outside and to my surprise saw hundreds of people everywhere. They were here on their day of meeting where everyone gets together to sell and trade goods. So from about 7 to 10, I passed out over 500 tracts. I also met Jose Oscar Vijil Ramos too. He wanted me to go and meet his brother (who he said is an Assembly of God pastor). But, I told him I had to leave tomorrow, so we put it off until next week. They still want me to teach English to the kids, but I don't know yet about a church. I guess I'll find out next week.
I also went to the "Baptist" church today for services at 10:00. I found out they were "Missionera" (whatever that means). The service was pretty good. He preached on "Standards" (against women wearing pants), separation (from the world), and against fornication. But, at the end, it became Pentecostal. And, as they prayed and swayed with their hands in the air, the Pastor kept saying, "Somos Pentecostales, Somos Pentecostales" (We are Pentecostales). Well, I braved it out just to see what would happen next, and the Pastor lined all the church members up and asked them who hadn't yet been baptized with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I was so mad! The only "Baptist" church in this area is "Pentecostal" as can be. So, I left as soon as I could. Later I met Rafael (16 year old kid) that I met last year. I talked with him quite a while and bought him a drink (peach juice). I asked him if I could have Bible Studies with him every week, and he said, "Yes." He really wants to learn the Bible. But, he attends the "Missionera "Baptist" Church." So, I pray I can teach him the truth.
September 3rd 2001 Monday The Trip Back to Tegucigalpa
Today I left Colomoncagua at 3 o'clock in the morning. It was a long trip, but finally after 13 hours, I arrived in Tegucigalpa in the afternoon. After leaving the bus, I walked downtown and visited several different "Christian Book Stores" in Spanish in search of a specific book about the history of the 1960 Spanish Bible. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find the Honduran Bible Society. They mostly sell the 1960 and other versions after that. But, they did have a few 1909's. So, I bought one for Rafael to take to him next week.
I also ate downtown in a little café. I ordered a "Licuado" of Papaya and Banana. It was fantastic. Also, I ordered a Torta with chicken and beef. What they brought me was a joke! It was nothing but a white roll with a very small amount of chicken and one small strip of beef. I was hungry though, so I ate it. I just won't make that mistake again!
Finally, I took a taxi to the Airport, and called Bro. Bonilla to come and pick me up. While I waited, I went to Burger King across the street and bought myself an extra large coke. I took it outside and waited. After a few minutes, a few kids came up and asked me for some money. I didn't give them any. Then they asked me for a drink. I didn't give them any. Then, they told me that all "Gringos" were wicked because they never gave people anything. So, I gave them both tracts. One took it and said he'd read it. The other ripped it in half and walked away. And, to think I was going to give him the rest of my pop!
Well, after a while they came back and I talked to them some more about their soul. But, they wouldn't listen. They kept talking about their "Priest." What a sad thing! The Catholic Church has taught them to be ungrateful, unthankful, and to beg for a living.
Before I left, I gave my pop to the younger one who didn't rip up the tract. And, I told him that not all "Gringos" were evil. Then I patted him on the head, and I left.
September 4th 2001 Tuesday A Day of Struggle
Today I went to school again. I had classes from 8:30 until 6:00 in the evening. It was a long day, but I learned a lot. After school, I came back to Bro. Bonilla's and rested.
The last several days, I've had to battle something I thought I'd never have to battle - the urge to go home. When I came to Honduras, I made up my mind it was for good. I'm going to stay here for life (or until God tells me otherwise). But, the last several days this old flesh has really been working me over good. It's been saying, "Well, you've had a hot shower everyday in Florida, but not here." And, "You don't have to get up this early in Florida." But, I've kept putting it down. Often thoughts would race through my mind like, "I hate Spanish! What a dumb language." And, "Honduras stinks!" But, then there would be times that I'd think the exact opposite.
Today was the hardest, as I fell ill. I had to leave class in the afternoon and go to the restroom with stomach pains. Then, when I got back to the Pastor's house, I threw up. Because of this, my old flesh reared its ugly head and said, "You don't get sick like this in Florida!" That was the last straw! I had to get down on my knees and pray. And, I had to remind myself why I was here. I didn't come for me. I came for two things. God (first and foremost) because I believe he called me here, and for the Honduran people. I want them to hear the truth and learn the Bible.
So, hopefully I can keep this in perspective and try to keep Christ and the Honduran people on my mind. And know that whatever I go through, Christ has suffered before me, and whatever happens, I'll gladly go through it for the sake of the gospel, and for the souls of the Honduran people.
September 5th 2001 Wednesday Another Day of Struggle
Today I felt much better, although my stomach did hurt a little bit all day long. But, I endured it and went to my classes. For lunch I had some Chicken soup, and that seemed to calm my stomach down a little. In my last four hours of class, I was very tired, and exhausted. I almost fell asleep in class twice. But, after a break and a glass of water, I was wide-awake and ready to continue.
For the last several days, some things have weighed heavy on my mind. Today, I was thinking about several things in particular and trying to consider my ways (Hag. 1:5,6; Prov. 6:6). I've been thinking about what I'm here to do. I've seen several areas that need a church, and would even be easy to start one in. But, am I here to start churches just to say that I did it, and to look good in the eyes of others, or am I here to obey God, and do whatever he tells me whether it is big or small, whether there is glory in it or not. Should I go to Colomoncagua (a place in the middle of nowhere), and beat my brains out for several years trying to start a work that will probably be very small anyway? Or should I go to the cities and try to start a work there and get "numbers," and impress my supporting churches.?
I don't want to serve God to get any personal glory out of it. I want to do what he wants me to do. But, oh what pressure! In the eyes of the "brethren" you are doing nothing unless you start a big work. I look at guys like Judson, Livingstone, and others and they never really started a big work. But, they did open a path and pave the way for others to do so. I just want to be where God wants me, and to be doing what he wants me to do. But, sometimes it's hard to know exactly what that is. God give me grace! God give me patience! God help me to put you and your desires first, and not do anything just to please the flesh, or look good in the eyes of others. Help me to be true, honest, and faithful until the end. And, please God, guide me to where you want me to be. Light the path brightly that I might see clearly. For in the darkness I will stumble, but with thy guiding light, I shall see that which you have prepared for me!
By God's grace, I'll do the best I can to do what God wants me to. Whether their be glory in it or not, God's way is always better than my way, and the glory is to be his, not mine.
September 6th 2001 Thursday Much Study is Weariness of the Flesh
Today was another long day of classes. I learned all about Pronombres, Superlatives, Adverbs, Direct Objects, Predicative modifiers and much more. Loads of fun! But, suprisingly I'm actually understanding this stuff. And, I'm actually remembering it! How much all this grammar will help me with Spanish is yet to be seen, but I'm glad I'm learning it. Already I can tell it is helping me with sentence structure, and conversation.
After classes ended at 5:00, I had a Bible study with my last teacher for an hour. It went well. He said he was a member of the "International Church of Christ." Immediately I thought he was a Campbellite, and believed that water baptism is essential for salvation. But, from talking with him, he seems to know his Bible, and they seem to be a different denomination than the "Church of Christ" in America. So, I look forward to talking to him some more and learning more about what he believes.
Today I showed him all about the different versions of the Bible in Spanish, and how everyone after 1881 came from the corrupt Vaticanus and Siniaticus texts. He uses the "La Bible Del Mundo Hoy" or something like that. It is a very corrupt bible, as many verses are missing. But, he didn't seem to care. I hope his eyes are opened to how important it is to have God's words (all of them!)
Also, he gave me a Bible study about "The Character of Christ." It was pretty good. It had four points. They were: 1. His Love. 2. His Convictions. 3. His Authority. 4. His Example. It was such a great topic, I'm thinking of using it for a sermon.
After coming back to the Pastor's house, I spent a few hours catching up on my email correspondence, and then prepared for the long journey ahead of me tomorrow to Colomoncagua.
September 7th 2001 Friday Day of Travel
Today I left Tegucigalpa at 6:10 A.M. I arrived at Siguetepeque at around 9 o'clock. There was a terrible accident on the way, and traffic was backed up for a mile or more. As we neared the wreckage, we were told that a container from a semi-truck had come loose. After flying thorough the air, it came to rest upon a minivan, smashing it flat! The whole family on board was killed except the mother. And, I think she died later. I saw the van, and it looked like it was fairly new. Thus, the family probably was fairly rich, and had some money. And, I thought about how quickly death came for them. They got in their car early that morning probably bound for San Pedro Sula for a day of shopping, or to see relatives, never even thinking that this day would be their last. Yet unexpectedly, they wound up in a wreck, and probably woke up in hell. How sad is the death of the unsaved! If only someone could have gotten to them first with the gospel.
Because of this wreck, I was unable to take the bus to La Esperanza as it was a 2-3 hour trip, and I would have missed my 11:00 bus to Colomoncagua. So, I decided I'd take a taxi to La Esperanza. It cost a a whopping 500 lempiras! That's about $33 American dollars. But, I gave my word that I'd be in Colomoncagua on Friday, so I paid it. That's the most I've ever paid to go 66 kilometers, but it was worth it for the sake of the gospel.
I arrived in La Esperanza at 10:30, and made my bus. After 4 hours, I arrived in Colomoncagua. Jose Oscar Vijil Ramos wasn't there, so I got a room at Don Angela's (where I usually stay). After an hour nap, I awoke and went outside, and found my friend Rafael. We had a Bible Study from 5 to 6:30 P.M. He enjoyed it, and asked me to teach him more bible next week! So, every week I plan on going to Colomoncagua and teaching the Bible.
September 8th 2001 Saturday Finally we meet
Today I awoke at 6 o'clock and went outside to look for Jose Oscar. I could not find him, so I sat in the park and waited. I made a new friend as a 5-year-old boy named Milton came and sat by me and talked with me. He remembered me from the Sunday before when I was passing out tracts, and he asked me for one. I asked if he could read, and he said, "Yes!" I gave him a tract, and sure enough, he read it!
Then, I asked him to have breakfast with me at the cafeteria in town. We went, and during the course of the meal, he told me about his family, and how his father had died. I tried to witness to him, but he didn't seem to understand.
After breakfast, I walked into the center of town (the concrete soccer field), and found Jose Oscar. He introduced me to his brother and a warm reception followed. He told me his brother was an Assembly of God preacher. And, that I was going to his house today. As I walked to the car that was to take us to the little aldea (village) of Santo Domingo, I told the pastor why I was an Independent Baptist, and not a Pentecostal. He seemed a bit perturbed. Later at his house, he told me he had started 7 churches, and wanted me to work with him. I respectfully told him I could not, as I don't agree with their teachings on tongues and that a Christian can lose his salvation. I used scripture to prove my point, and told him my motive was to start a church that taught and preached the word of God correctly. A five-hour Bible Study followed in which we commenced studying of the 7 mysteries in the Bible, and Dispensational truth. He ate it up! He enjoyed it so much, that he asked me to teach him more Bible. So, next week (Sat.), he said he was going to walk the hour and a half into town to let me teach him some more. I plan on teaching about Eternal Security, and as he believes a Christian can lose their salvation.
At 5:00 P.M., the pastor and I walked to Jose Oscar's house 30 minutes away, and I talked to him, and ate some tamales with his family. He told me that he was very busy with politics, and to wait until after the November election before he was ready to do anything. (But, in his letter he sent me, he told me he wanted to learn the Bible, and learn how to win others to Christ). So, it seemed he was beating around the bush.
After dinner (and a brief Bible Study on why woman are not supposed to be pastors), the Charismatic pastor and I walked to his house, where we finished studying the 7 mysteries in the Bible. Then, I went to sleep satisfied in knowing that I had taken a stand for my beliefs, and had told them my motives from the front so there would be no misunderstandings. And one more time I told the pastor that I would not, and could not work with Pentecostales.
September 9th 2001 Sunday Off to La Esperanza
My day began at 6 o'clock in the morning after a long night of tossing and turning, and being unable to sleep very well. I awoke from the bed in which I was sleeping, and then went and rested in the hammock (which was much more comfortable). After resting 20 minutes, the pastor asked me to study more Bible with him, and to teach him more about the 4 spirits in the Bible. Then his wife brought us breakfast. As we ate eggs, fried bananas, beans, and cheese, I again explained that I was in Honduras to preach, start churches, and teach the bible, and not to work with other missionaries or pastors (especially Pentecostal ones). I don't know if he heard me or not as he said he thought we believed the same, and thought we could work together. So, the next Saturday, I will try to point out the differences again.
At 8:00, I caught a ride with a group going to La Esperanza in their small Japanese pickup truck. They were nice enough to give me the front seat, and I rode in comfort the whole way. Plus, I was able to witness to the young man driving named Benjamin. I gave him a tract as well, and I pray that the seed planted will grow into eternal life. I also pray that I'll have a chance to deal with him again, and that he'll get saved!
At almost 1:00 P.M., we arrived in La Esperanza. After giving them 40 lempiras for the ride (about how much the bus costs), I took off down the street to find a hotel when I ran into a Gringo named Scott McCracken. I met him the week before in a café and he told me he owned property in La Esperanza. He asked me where I was going, and I told him I was going to a hotel, but if I could, I'd like to find one of the Independent Baptist Churches in La Esperanza, and attend services there that evening. He offered to take me to one, so I went with him. On the way, he asked me how it went in Colomoncagua. I told him all about it, and he asked me what Pentecostals believed. So, I used that opportunity to witness to him, and tell him what the Bible says versus what they believe. He to my knowledge is not saved, and he didn't sound too interested. But, he got an earful whether he liked it or not!
At the campground of one of the Independent Baptist Churches, I met a man named Thomas Sweeney and his wife Rhonda. They are medical missionaries to Honduras. They travel to different areas and hold "campaigns" and "brigades." And they were nice enough to allow me to stay at their house that evening. I had a delightful time with them. What a blessing as well to take a shower for the 1st time in 3 days, and shave for the 1st time in 5. It was wonderful to have a nice warm shower again.
Also today, I met two pastors of two Independent Bapt. Churches in La Esperanza. They were very friendly, and one of them invited me to preach at his church anytime I could. This is an offer I just might take him up on.
September 10th 2001 Monday Off to El Paraiso
Today I left La Esperanza at 5:00 A.M. on a direct express bus to Tegucigalpa. I arrived there at around 8:30. From there I took a taxi to the airport and called Bro. Abel to come and pick me up at Burger King (across the street). After eating breakfast there, and waiting until about 10:00, Carlos (Abel's chauffeur) arrived. He took me to Abel's school, where I waited until Bro. Abel was able to take me to his house so that I could send an important message to my mission board via Internet about a paper I need for my Residence Visa.
After sending the letter, and packing a few things, an hour later we went back to the school. From there with three other men (a pastor and his two sons), I went to the bus station and took a bus with them to Danli. From there, we hopped a bus to El Paraiso. There I will be teaching Bible classes for several days.
After getting off the bus, we had to wait 20 minutes under an overhang for a very heavy rain to stop. After it quit, we went to the church. There I met brother Pablo (the pastor) whom I had preached for the year before.
Evening Services started at 7:00 P.M., and I taught for 2 hours on "Dispensational Truth." I had 8 students. They meet here once a month for about four days for what they call "Seminario." And, they want me to come every month and teach. We'll, see. But, right now, I'll do the best I can to teach the next few days.
After the service, I spent the night at the home of an elderly lady in the church and her husband (one of the students), and was shown no little kindness. They were very friendly, and went out of their way to see my needs were met.
Before turning in, I experienced intense stomach pains, which were relieved only by spending much time in the bathroom. But, after relieving this tension, I felt much better. These stomach pains have come quite frequently since I've been here, and I've learned to get used to them. And, usually after a trip to the restroom, and 20 minutes or so in agony, they pass.
All in all, it was a good day, but it was very long. However, I'm glad I've at least got something to do. (Sometimes I think that I have too much to do as Honduras is wearing me out!!!)
September 11th 2001 Tuesday Day of Teaching
Today I awoke at 7:00 A.M., after another night of tossing and turning. I never could sleep well in a strange place, and the last several days, it seems I've been in a different place every night.
After what felt like a freezing cold bath in a bucket, I ate breakfast, and then went to the church with Santos (my host). I commenced teaching at 8:00 and went until 10:00. And, again they had me teach from 2:00 until 4:00 P.M. We studied four mysteries, and have 3 more to go. Also, today I was asked to preach the evening service tomorrow in the other church here in El Paraiso. It was started by this church as well, and is in the poorest part of town. I look forward to it!
Also today I looked at my feet and noticed that I had a rash on my feet as well as a toenail that was infected. I think the rash is only heat rash as I've worn shoes a lot here and my feet are always hot and sweating. The thing I hate the most about Honduras is that you always have to wear shoes, otherwise you will get one of the worms that I was told about that comes into your body in between your toes, and goes into your stomach. After some time, while you are sleeping, it works it's way out through your mouth, and then lays its eggs and dies. I definetly don't want that worm! But, I sure am sick of shoes!!! At home I never wear them. But here they are a necessity.
I also heard about the terrible disaster that took place in New York today as I was walking downtown. I looked inside of a Pulperia, and there on a huge screen television, they showed the twin towers burning. Stunned, I stopped to listen and know what happened. "Terrorists!" They continually claimed were the culprits. "Maybe this is the wrath of God on America for her wickedness," was my first thought.
September 12th 2001 Wednesday Teaching, Preaching, and Sickness
As usual, I didn't sleep too well in a strange place. So still feeling unrested, I got up at around 6:45 A.M. I prayed for a while, and then was called to breakfast a little after seven o'clock.
After breakfast, I took another shower in a bucket with my friend Mr. Cockroach. He's got to be the biggest cockroach I've ever seen, and boy is he ugly! I've seen him a lot the last few days in the bathroom. But, I just can't seem to bring myself to kill him. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm afraid too, or maybe I know it will make a mess if I do cause he's so big, and I don't fell like cleaning that up. So, I just scare him away with my flashlight whenever I go to the bathroom. Let bygones be bygones, I guess.
Today I taught class again for 4 hours. But this time it was from 10–12, and from 2–4. I finished about the mysteries of the Antichrist and Babylon the Great. I only have one more to teach and that's "The Restoration of Israel." I have two hours tomorrow to do that.
This evening I preached at the other church here in El Paraiso. I felt awful as during the day I developed a stomach ache and cold chills. But, I wanted to go anyway and preach. My message was about "5 definitions of sin in the Bible." I had to yell through the whole message in order to be heard as there were many young kids running around the church and screaming. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a misbehaving child! But, amazingly the harder I preached, the quieter they became.
After preaching, I went back to my room to rest as my stomach hurt immensely, and my arms were so very cold!
September 13th 2001 Thursday Day of Sickness and Excitement
All night long I felt horrible. I kept waking up every 45 minutes to run to the bathroom with diaherra. I couldn't believe how much stuff was in my stomach, and how much kept coming out. Just when I thought my stomach was empty, I'd have to go again. Then, around 6:00 A.M. I threw up. Surprisingly this helped ease the pain a lot.
After waking up at about 7:00 A.M., I ate crackers for breakfast hoping this would help my stomach, and keep me from having to continually use the bathroom. It helped a little, and at 11:30 A.M. I finally finished my teaching with the last of the 7 mysteries.
Then, Bro. Abel and I left El Paraiso on the 1 o'clock Express Bus to Tegucigalpa. I feel asleep on the way, but was suddenly awakened when the bus driver slammed on his brakes. When I came to my senses, I heard what I thought was firecrackers (as the Honduran day of Independence is only a few days away). But, then I realized that it was gunshots! Then people on the bus began to panic, and everyone hit the floor. Everyone that is, except for me. I wanted to know what was going on. As I looked out the window, I saw several men running from several other men who were shooting at them with guns. Then Bro. Abel yelled to me really loud in English, "Robert! DOWN!!!" So, I locked both my window, and pulled my knife out and slid down in my seat. Not wanting to be in middle of the gunfight, the bus driver floored it, and we made it through safely. Everyone was relieved, and even started smiling and joking about it.
Afterwards, Bro. Abel told me that those men shooting were "Bandeleros" and thieves. They were probably trying to steal something from someone. He also told me that he was scared to death. But, to tell the truth, I wasn't, and I rather enjoyed the excitement! You never know what might happen in Honduras!
September 14th 2001 Friday Travel and Thought
After arising at 3:50 A.M., 10 minutes later I was on my way to the bus station with Pastor Abel. Tegucigalpa is so quiet and peaceful in the early morning hours. At 5:00 A.M., my bus left for La Esperanza. I arrived there at around 9:30 A.M., and went to my favorite café to eat breakfast. Still feeling queasy, I only ate a little bit and I ordered a Papaya and Banana Licuado.
At 11 o'clock, I was on the go again on the bus to Colomoncagua. I sat next to an old man named Luis Del Mis who said he was 77 years old. He also had beer on his breath, but he was very talkative. I learned a lot talking with him.
After arriving at 3:45 in Colomoncagua, I went straight to my little room that I rent, and went to sleep! At 6:00 P.M., I awoke to find it was raining, but not pouring like it was before. I walked up to Rafael's house, but he was not home. On the walk back, I met my little buddy Milton. Then Rafael saw me, and yelled to me. I took them both to the café and bought them a coke. Afterwards I ate at Rafael's house, and then went back to my little room. Tomorrow I'm supposed to teach Bible again.
Today I thought a lot about something I've been struggling with a lot lately. All of these Hondurans here in the mountains have their own place to live. It may not be much, and they may be poor, but it's theirs. And, I want so much to have a place to call home (even if it's not permanent, and I have to move later). I want a place to rest, to study, to plant a garden, and not always be on the go so much. I guess this is something that all human beings want. I just hope I can find someplace. Even the idea of having property and building my own house is intriguing. But, now all I can do is wait for my Residence Visa, and my car before I do anything else. Plus, I've got to wait until December to talk with Jose Oscar about starting a church (after he finishes his job in politics). I'm also thinking about finding a place to rent in La Esperanza until then in order to be closer to Colomoncagua. But, that is up in the air. We will wait and see.
Also, lately I've felt like I'm getting the run around here. Sometimes I fell like I'm coming here for nothing. But, I guess I'll continue coming until the Lord shows me otherwise. And, if he does, I'll move here. I just wish I knew now where I would end up. That would make things easier. But, the Bible says, "The just shall live by faith." God help me to do so!
September 15th 2001 Saturday Day of Independence?
Today is the day of Honduras Independence. But for me it was a day of bondage to sickness. I slept in today until about 8:00 A.M., as I still felt bad and needed the rest. I went outside at 8:30 A.M. to look for that Pastor that was supposed to come and let me teach Bible to him. He never showed up. So at 9:30, Rafael and I ate breakfast at the café. I had soup, as my stomach was still a little queasy. After breakfast I went back to sleep until around noon. Rafael went home and said he'd come back at 2:00 P.M. But he didn't show up until 5:15. And, then he listened, but didn't seem interested in our Bible study.
I'm still wondering if my time here in Colomoncagua is well spent. Can I start a work here? Or am I just "popular" as I am a gringo and everyone likes gringos? All I can do now is try and take my Pastor's advice and get to know the people and love the people. Then when they know that I am for real, they will listen. But, now I think they just want to be seen with the gringo.
Plus, they don't seem too interested in Bible studies. The Pentecostal Pastor didn't show up today, and my friend Rafael didn't seem too eager to study the Bible when he was here. I wonder why that is.
Also today, I talked to several drunks as I walked around town. They struck up a conversation with me and I witnessed to them. These people are hard to deal with because they are very religious. Plus, they are very prideful of their heritage. I'd say they are kind of like the mountain people in Virginia or North Carolina. They will smile and agree with you on just about everything, but you're not going to change them (at least not easily).
In the evening, Rafael invited me to his church. It's a Pentecostal church, but out of respect for him, I went. It was awful! They had a woman preacher and she bored me to death. Then as we walked back to my room he asked me how I liked the service. I believe I offended him when I told him it was an abomination to God to have a woman preach in the pulpit, and it's against the Bible. He asked me where it said that, so I gave him 4 scriptures and the references for them. I don't know how he'll take it, but I told him the truth. We'll just have to wait and see if he'll continue studying with me.
September 16th 2001 Sunday A Day of Rest
I left Colomoncagua on the 3:00 A.M. bus. As soon as I arrived in La Esperanza, I rented a hotel room and hit the sack exhausted and still a little sick. At around 1 or 2 o'clock I went into the center market and bought a long sleeve shirt as I have been quite chilled lately. Also, I bought some medicine from the drug store called "Suerro."
I planned on going to church in the evening at one of the local Independent Baptist Churches, but it rained very hard all night, and I was unable to walk the two miles to the church as I was afraid I'd get even sicker. So, I rested that evening as well.
September 17th 2001 Monday One Move to Another
Today I arose feeling exhausted, but not sick! I left La Esperanza today at 7:30 A.M. My bus arrived in Tegucigalpa at around 10:30. I felt much better today, and decided I could finally eat again, after not eating for the last few days. So, I had lunch at the Pizza Hut downtown (it was awful).
After calling Bro. Abel, I waited at the supermarket for my ride. Juan Carlos took me to Bro. Abel's house, and there I was informed that I was to move as Bro. Abel's brother is coming for 2 weeks. So, at six in the evening, I took all my stuff and moved in with my lawyer (also a member of Bro. Abel's church). Hopefully at the end of two weeks, I will be able to go and pick up my car. Until then, I'll continue on with my schooling.
September 18th 2001 Tuesday School Again
Today I started Language School again. It was a long day with classes beginning at 8:30 A.M. and lasting until 5 o'clock that evening. But, it was profitable, as I learned a lot of useful things. Also, my second teacher gave me a test. Tomorrow I will find out how I did.
September 19th 2001 Wednesday Encountering the New World Order
In school today I learned some things about Europeans and their hatred of America. My first teacher is from Spain and he took several hours to tell me about the "European Union" and it's goals. He, like so many other Europeans, is completely for this "union." It's awful how brainwashed they all are. They believe that the way to "achieve peace" and "have liberty for all" is by unity. This is the same line that caused the destruction and eventual downfall of America before, during and after the civil war. They claimed unity is the greatest virtue, but it led to the loss of many personal freedoms, as well as state rights.
For people to come together, then they must be like-minded. And, to be this way, they must destroy, shut up, or suppress all those that don't agree with their beliefs (which usually are humanism or communism). So, this "union," when it comes to fruition, will suppress true Christianit,y as its push is always from the secular humanistic God-denying school system. (I believe the public school system is one of the most powerful tools the devil's got!)
But my teacher's biggest alibi for wanting to have unity in Europe is because America is too powerful and needs to be stopped. He said no one nation, or person should have too much power (but this is what the antichrist will have, and they are setting all this up for him). He said America is a "terrorist nation" who picks on other nations, and she deserved what she got on September 11th. According to him, America is just a big bully and thinks it is better than everyone else. Then he mentioned Grenada, Panama, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, etc., and how we had no business attacking those countries (and in this aspect, he's right!) But, he said that we as a nation are a "bully" nation that terrorizes and victimizes other nations to show them we are the biggest and best nation in the world. I never really thought of the U.S. this way, but there is some truth in his reasoning.
I don't agree with everything America does, but it's still the best nation in the world because of its foundation on personal freedoms and liberties for everyone. But, this doctrine is a threat to the New World Order that must be squelched, and if the Lord tarries, and Europe gains power, then America is in for it.
God help America to see before it's too late the need to get back to the Bible! And, God help Christians to wake up to the reality that they won't have their freedom to worship forever. And, they need to win souls NOW!!! For soon it will be outlawed and those doing it will either be exiled or killed for their beliefs.
Tomas, my teacher, also discussed religion and his beliefs about it. He said he was a Catholic by birth, but not by conviction. He also told me how corrupt the Catholic Church is, as well as all religions, and because of this he doesn't trust or confide in religion. "They are all fake and after nothing more than money," he said. After letting him speak for more than an hour, and listening to his point of view, I rebutted with, "I am with you! Religion is nothing but a farce, and is after nothing but people's money!" He looked at me with a shocked look, and said, "What?" (He knew I was a missionary and couldn't believe I'd say such a thing). Then I explained to him the difference between Religion and Salvation. Religion has always been an enemy of the cross, and always shall be! And, I told him how the Catholic Church is a false hope, and how the mass is an abomination in the eyes of God, and is telling God, and the world, that Christ's sacrifice (once and for all on the cross) was not sufficient. And, that the blood of Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven (and not wine either!). He listened but rather cautiously. I pray that I was able to plant a seed that will stay with him the rest of his life.
Men like this are very hard to deal with because they have been burned too many times by "Religion." They are skeptical because that wicked Catholic Church has shown its true self to them. Thus, they think all "religions" are the same. I think about how many times the Catholic Church has shown itself to be a hypocrite, while at the same time saying it's "the true church of Christ." Because of its sins, many a person (like Tomas) has been turned off completely to the Bible, the Gospel, and God. Unfortunately, they will ultimately end up in hell. That makes me mad! God give that whore (Rev. 17) double of what she deserves for damning so many countless millions to hell!!! And, God give me wisdom and love to witness to and win them to Christ!
September 20th 2001 Thursday Emotionalism, Feminism, and Catholicism
I woke up this morning exhausted, as I spent 8 hours in classes the two days before, and about 4 hours studying and doing homework in the evening. It's been a lot of work, but it's worth it. I'm learning a lot. Not only am I learning Spanish, but I'm learning about the Honduran people as well. How greatly has the Spanish culture affected this people! Most Hondurans themselves are from Indian descent, but they have a culture that came from Spain. Having a teacher from Spain has really helped me a lot to learn more about the thoughts and feelings of the people here.
Probably the greatest observation I've had is how emotional the Spanish are. And, I've seen that in the Honduran people as well. They are very quick to react to something, whether it be in anger, joy, appreciation, or disgust. And, many times it's been a kind of feminine emotionalism that I've seen. For the longest time I couldn't figure it out. Why is feminism such a big thing here? In this country they are pushing very strongly "women's rights" and there are many people (men included) that are very feminine in their expressions, emotions, and actions. Why is this? I finally came to the conclusion that it is the Catholic influence that produces this phenomenon. The Catholic Religion is the worship of Mary, and she is a woman. As they exalt her above Christ Jesus himself, they also exalt her qualities as well. And, this is why so many people are effeminate here and in Spain.
Yet, at the same time, there exists still here in Honduras (from the Indian culture I guess) a Macho attitude of "Men are in charge and women are to be under them." You see this more in the rural areas. But, in the towns, the women have been "liberated." And, those who adopt the American beliefs of "women's rights" and "ERA" look down on those women who are happy in their service to their husbands.
So, I guess you could say that Honduras is in a time of transition. They still have their Indian roots, but they are diminishing quickly. And, the Spanish culture has established itself here very strongly, but it too is gradually giving way to the American influence that has been here since the 1970's. Everyday more and more it looks like America here. And, I constantly find myself sarcastically saying, "Thanks a lot America!" when I see more and more of our evil ways being picked up by the Hondurans. God help me to witness and win souls and get to them first before America does!
September 21st 2001 Friday Is the Door Still open?
At 3:30 A.M my day began. After packing and taking a quick shower, I called Bro. Abel, and he came and took me to the bus station. My bus left Tegucigalpa at 5:00 A.M., and arrived in La Esperanza at 9:00 A.M. After checking my email at my favorite Internet café, I was on my way again at 11:00 A.M. to Colomoncagua. I arrived there at 3:45 P.M and immediately met up with my friend Rafael. I told him I couldn't stay all weekend as I planned to go to Santa Rosa de Copan tomorrow to pay Bro. Doss the Money I owe him on the duty that he paid for my stuff.
So, Rafael and I had a Bible Study about the 3rd Mystery in the Bible in our series of seven. Then we went to eat, where I hooked up with my buddy Milton as well. They call him "Padrecito" because he is always begging and mooching just like the Catholic Priest (Padre) here.
Today I learned something though. I saw why I was their friend. It was because I had money. They kept asking me to buy them things and I said, "No!" After that, they quit asking, and left in a hurry. All they wanted was a handout from the rich Gringo. I didn't come to Honduras to start a welfare system. I came to bring the gospel! But, to them they think you're not a "missionary" unless you give them "things." I don't want to give them "things," I want to give them Jesus and his words!
Also today, Rafael didn't seem too interested in studying the Bible. He kept looking at his watch and telling me that he had to be done by 4:30, so he could go and check on his animals. But, it looked to me like just an excuse. So I am asking myself this question: "Is God closing the door on Colomoncagua?" Already the "Patronados" told me to come back later (in December after the election). And, now the boy I'm giving Bible studies to does not seem interested. What to do?
Well, I've decided to continue with my Spanish Studies in Tegucigalpa (at least until December), and then come back and see if the door is at all ajar or completely shut. And, I might as well come every weekend that I can to teach the Bible to that young man as long as he will continue to listen to me.
September 22nd 2001 Saturday Unexpected Meeting
Some people say that there is no such thing as fate. And, others say that God is a God of circumstances. I don't know if this is true or not. But, I do know that sometimes things happen that are more than just "a coincidence." Take today for example. As I was waiting for my bus to leave La Esperanza, the Pastor of one of the Independent Baptist Churches there came and sat down directly behind me (Pastor Jacobo Nazar). I didn't recognize him at first, and then after several minutes it dawned on me who he was. I had met him two weeks before. We talked the whole way to Siguatepeque, and he offered to give me one or two of his men in his church to go with me on the weekends to Colomoncagua and visit house to house. What a blessing! Maybe with their help, I can start a work there after all. We'll wait and see.
The rest of my day went well also. In the afternoon (after 12 hours traveling by bus), I arrived in San Jose where Bro. Ronnie Doss is, and where all my things were shipped. Everything came safely, and nothing seemed damaged or destroyed. So, God protected me today, and allowed my things to come to Honduras unmolested as well. (Bro. Doss even said that they didn't even open the container when it got here). So, God seems to be guiding my path.
All I need now is my car, which is supposed to arrive next weekend (Oct. 2nd). When I have it, I should be able to do more.
September 23rd 2001 Sunday At the Orphanage
One thing I haven't lacked here in Honduras is the opportunity to preach. I preached in Bro. Abel's church the week I arrived, in the church in El Paraiso the week after, and then today I was asked to preach the morning service in the small community of Trinidad (about 10-15 miles from San Jose). I preached on "La Obediencia," and I had a great time. I believe the Pastor's name is Jose Carlos Cabenas, but he just goes by Carlin. And, he's a very intelligent fellow. I talked to him for some time while waiting for our bus to come and take us to the church. And, when I told him about Colomoncagua and what is happening there, he said something I'll never forget. He said, "Don't let them tell you what to do, or then they are over you and are your boss!" Do what God tells you to do, for he alone is your boss!" That's so simple, yet so profound! I'm so glad I met him and talked with him.
In the evening I went to Bro. Ronnie's church and heard him preach. I had a wonderful time, and I still am amazed how he could keep over 100 children in one building for an hour and a half and keep them all quiet. What a feat!
After service I took a shower and went to bed. But, before bathing I had many kids come up to me hugging me and talking with me. What a blessing these kids are! Oh how I'd like to start an orphanage as well, if the Lord permits. How awesome it is to be able to train them up right when they are young. God, if it be your will, show me, and use me in this way.
September 24th 2001 Monday Bugs and Buses
Today I awoke at 6:00 A.M., and immediately jumped in the shower only to find that I had misquito bites all over my body. I remember waking up time and time again in the night and scratching, but I thought it was just a dream. But, it was real, and I itched all over. I slept under a misquito net too, but somehow those suckers got in with me and stung me good! If I never see another misquito again in my life, it will be too soon!!!
After my shower, I hopped a ride with Bro. Doss to San Pedro Sula, and from there jumped a direct bus to Tegucigalpa. I arrived about 2:00 A.M. and then took a taxi to the Supermarket to wait for Juan Carlos to pick me up. The bus trip from San Pedro to Teguc. cost about 50 lempiras (about $3.50 in American dollars) and the taxi ride was about 40 lemps (just under $3.00's American).
While waiting at the supermarket, I passed out about 100 tracts. It was good to have some to pass out again. I distributed all I had before, and while in San Jose, I picked up some more for my travels. The more the better!
After that, I went to my lawyer's house and did the rest of my homework, and then I went to bed exhausted and worn out from a very long couple of days!
September 25th 2001 Tuesday The European Mentality
My Spanish classes resumed again today, and I once again began my studies. It was a long and agonizing day, and I was so ready to go to my little room and rest. But, I endured it (but only by falling asleep once or twice in class).
Although it was a tiring day, I also had an opportunity to witness to my teacher from Spain. He is very "opinionated" and loves to tell people what he thinks and believes. During one of our breaks, he handed me a newspaper article to read, and said, "I don't agree with that, then he walked away.
It was an article from a Honduran newspaper about "Christian Morals." It was pretty good, and stressed the need to live a moral life, without premarital sex, homosexuality, or living a promiscuous lifestyle. After he came back he told me what he thought about it. When I told him, that sex before marriage is a sin, and the bible calls it fornication, and forbids it, he just laughed. He said it was "a natural thing," and couldn't believe that God would be against it. That's your Europeans!
Also he told me that he was for contraceptives, and against the Pope for speaking out against them. Then he began telling me about the problems with the world today. He had three things he thought were a fallacy. They were Marriage, Education, and the Police. And, he explained why these things didn't work. He also said that he couldn't believe in "religion" as there are many different religions, and they all use "the Bible," but they interpret it differently.
After listening quit attentively, and trying to see where he's coming from, I asked him this question, "We have a lot of problems in this world, don't we?" He agreed with me. Then I asked him, "Why do we have these problems?" He couldn't answer me. So, I told him it was because of sin! He just laughed. But, then he contradicted himself when I asked him this question: "What is your final authority in this life?" He said it was MAN! What a thing! He couldn't see that the very thing that he trusted in, was the very thing that was damning him to hell. He could see the sins of others and blame them for everything, but couldn't see sin in himself, and his need for salvation.
After that I told him that my final authority was not man (because he has big problems) but is the words of the living God! And, I don't want an interpretation of it. I want to know what it says!
He listened but then he told me this. He said, "The last two years in Honduras, I have lost most of what little faith I had in religion, the Bible, and God!" Why? Because he said that everybody claims to be a Christian in Honduras, but lives like the devil. Sadly, in this, he is correct.
My prayer is that God would help me to be a better witness to this man! Before he left, I gave him three tracts and asked him to read them. They were, "Justified by his Blood," "Why is Mary Crying," and "Are Roman Catholics Christians?" I pray that he will get saved, but he is sure hardened to the gospel, and the truth. God open his eyes!!! To be saved, he must first get his eyes off of others, and look at himself. God, show him his true sinful self!
September 26th 2001 Wednesday The Deception of the devil
I spoke with my teacher again today about God, Salvation, and the Bible. And, he said some things that not only were awful to hear, but even more awful to think that someone could believe as he does. For example, he said that God was not perfect, that God never wrote any book, and that Jesus Christ was just a man. With this attitude, and these beliefs, it's almost impossible for him to be saved. But, what's incredible is that he said that he still wants to stay true to the Roman Catholic Church. What a thing! What power tradition has!
Today I learned first hand the fruit of Humanism, Socialism, Communism, and Roman Catholicism. Each one offers no hope whatsoever. They all teach the same thing: "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you will die." According to their doctrines, the only thing a man has to live for in this life is himself. So, why not drink, cuss, smoke, fornicate, lie, cheat, and steal; as long as you get away with it? That's the teaching of these "religious" systems. How sad! They offer no hope whatsoever in the afterlife. In fact, their main goal is to get one's eyes off of eternity and on the here and now.
I've got to give the devil credit, he's done his job well. Millions are deceived by these false demonic systems and will die someday and wake up in Hell. And, many will not even know where they are. They'll wonder why they ended up there. How sad this is.
Satan has deceived the masses into thinking there is no Hell, or that it is just a joke. And then when they die, they will end up in a place that they didn't even believe in, or if they did, they made fun off. How horrible, how hideous, how ruthless is satan! How dirty and underhanded are his devices! And for all eternity, his only pleasure will be to laugh and mock at those in Hell that he deceived! How cruel are the tender mercies of satan!
May he burn in the fiery pits of a smoldering Hell a billion times hotter than the sun, and may his pain be worse than a thousand painful deaths! May the Lord heap on him ten thousand times ten thousand more than he deserves. And, may he not only suffer for all eternity, but feel regret and remorse for his crimes and by this his punishment be afflicted more cruelly. God, damn the Devil! The sooner the better! Even so come Lord Jesus!!!
September 27th 2001 Thursday Opportunities to Witness
Still feeling sick, I went to school again today. Tuesday I had a pain in my throat. Yesterday it was in my ears. And, today it was in my chest. It seems to be moving all over. I'm getting better I think, but also I still feel awful. But, I have already paid for my schooling, and regardless of how I feel, I must go.
Today I learned a mountain of things. We studied the "Expressions Catrachos" (Catracho is what the Hondurans call themselves), which are Spanish words that are used only here in Honduras, but not in other Spanish speaking countries. Also, we studied about Joined words and Separated words, Negations, and The Sins of Dictation. Plus, I had a test today as well.
Also, during the day, my teacher brought up religion again (even though he said that's a subject he never talks about). He began to tell me a few things, and I began to witness to him. This led to a discussion about "The Races" and where did they come from. I told him about Noah, and he three sons, Japeth, Shem, and Ham, and how from them came the three main races: Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid. He enjoyed this a lot, as he is a history buff, but I seriously doubt that he believed much of what I said.
During our talk, an Italian fellow came and sat down with us and joined the conversation. He too brought up the subject of religion, and said about the same thing as Tomas. He said he was a Catholic as well, but didn't believe in everything the church said because of its hypocrisy. He said that all religions were nothing but business after nothing more than profit. Further he stated that the Catholic church was nothing but a "Mafia." My, how much discernment the heathen have!
Then, he proceeded to ask me several questions as he knew I was a preacher, and I tried to answer them the best I could. Also, I gave him the tracts, "Why is Mary Crying?" and "Are Roman Catholics Christians?" He said he would read them.
But, that's not all that happened today. In the morning, before my classes started, I had a good opportunity to witness to one of the maids there at the school. I asked her if she were to die today, where would she go? She replied in a matter of factly tone of voice, "Hell!" So, I asked her if I could tell her how to go to heaven. She agreed.
I witnessed to her for about 15 minutes. But, it was like I was talking to a brick wall. It was like the words had no affect. It was like she couldn't think! I don't know if it's the Catholic influence or the American influence, but something has blinded these people to the truth. Maybe it's because I'm in the city, because in some rural areas, it seems the people are more ready to listen, and respond. But, here in Tegucigalpa, the capitol (the rich area), the people don't respond well to the gospel. I noticed this also as I witnessed to one of the guards named Gustavo. He's a really nice kid, but he doesn't want to get saved. And, when I witness to him, he just smiles and laughs. Well, this makes me aggravated! Here I am trying with all my heart to show them how to get the most important thing in all the universe – Eternal Life! But, they look at it as something of no importance. What is it with these Honduran people?
So, while witnessing to him, I tried everything I could. I asked him if he was a sinner, and he said, "The biggest!" So, the problem wasn't that he couldn't admit that. So, I took him to the law, and he admitted that he had broken it and was in need of a Saviour. But, there was no conviction. So, I did the best I could to paint Hell as hot as I could with the limited vocabulary I had. And, then I started to see something. He listened intently, and the smile disappeared. He understood what I was saying and kept saying, "Whew!" or "That's awful!" But, then when I told him he needed to get saved, he said, "Later!" or "Uh huh!"
I guess the problem with Honduras and the Honduran people is that they love their sin too much. Not only that, they don't like to think about Hell, Judgment, and Eternal punishment. They are a carnal people. And, I pray daily for wisdom on how to deal with them.
September 28th 2001 Friday A Day of Relaxation and Realization of God's Grace
After over a month of being here, and running around like a dead chicken with my head cut off, I finally had a chance to rest. I was sick all day with a chest cold and really needed the opportunity. Plus, it was good to catch up on my studying, Bible reading, and email correspondence. It was wonderful not to have anywhere to go, or anything to do. No pressure! What a great feeling! But, it was only for a day. Tomorrow I am off to La Ceiba. And, after than I'll go to Puerto Cortes to pick up my truck. So, as good as it was, like all good things, it can't last forever.
Also today I received some interesting news. The bus that I usually take to Colomoncagua from La Esperanza was in a wreck today and four people were killed. How awful! And, just to think that I would have been on that bus if I wasn't going to La Ceiba tomorrow, is too much to swallow! God sure is protecting me here in Honduras! And, I wonder if it isn't because of the prayers of the saints. How merciful is my Saviour. And, when I see how he has protected me over and over again, it just makes me want to serve him more.
September 29th 2001 Saturday On the Road again!
Well, I left Tegucigalpa at 6:30 A.M. on the fanciest bus I've ever ridden on in my entire life. It had fancy seats, stewardesses, and even televisions. And, every so often they brought you drinks and food. I felt like I was on a first class airplane ride! I'm not used to this! And, it was all for only 200 lempiras (about 14 or 15 dollars). It was a direct bus to La Ceiba, arriving there at about 1:30 P.M.
After getting off the bus, and walking all over La Ceiba with my luggage, I was drenched with sweat. So, I finally checked into a hotel room to spend the night. After a shower, I went to bed in the hopes of getting over this cold.
September 30th 2001 Sunday Reunion
Today I checked out of the hotel and walked the mile and a half to the church I visited back in 1998. When I entered the courtyard, and heard them singing I felt like I was home again. Then when I walked in the back of the church, I saw my old buddy Dario and he smiled when he saw me come in. How great it was to see all my old friends again! It had been 3 years, but they all remembered me. And, Dario said it only seemed like a year.
So, much has changed in these last three years though. Many people had gotten married and had kids. I was shocked to see this! But, oh how sweet it was to have fellowship again with the brethren. I hate to leave, as I love these people so much! Plus, La Ceiba is such a beautiful place!
Today from the top of a small hill, in which we had service (it was a small village of squatters), I saw the ocean again for the 1st time in a month. Oh, how my heart longed to go to it. To jump into it! Oh, how much I long to sit in the sand and watch the swells roll in! But, my life is not my own. It's a life of surrender, and I must sacrifice that which I love must for the sake of the gospel.
October 1st 2001 Monday The Trip to Puerto Cortes
After leaving Bro. Perfecto's house at about 8:00 A.M., I went to the bank to open an account. There was no problem doing so as I knew the president of the bank (she is missionary Walter Bush's sister). Then I got on a bus and headed to Puerto Cortes. On the bus, a young lady bought me a coke and talked to me the whole way. She was nice, but I only tried to talk to her about the Bible. Before she got off the bus, she gave me her phone number, but I quickly tore it up after she left.
After arriving in Puerto Cortes, I went to the office of Luis Martel and hired him to be my agent and help me to get my car when it comes in by ship. Afterwards, he took me to visit Bro. Arturo Paulau (whom I met back in 1998). I was received with no little joy. Over and over Pastor Arturo kept telling me how good it was to see me again. I wonder if this was how Paul must have felt as he traveled from church to church and had sweet fellowship with the brethren. You can't help but love them.
Finally, in the evening, I went to the church with Bro. Arturo. They have prayer at the church every evening from 6-7 P.M. What a blessing! After this, Bro. Arturo took me back to the same hotel that I stayed in back in 1998. It looks like I'll be here for several days.
October 2nd 2001 Tuesday My First Soul
At 10:00 A.M., Bro. Omar (from Bro. Arturo's church) came to the hotel to get me and take me to town. I had to go to the office of Immigration as my passport was overdue. I am supposed to get it stamped and extended every 30 days. And as I arrived here on August 24th, I was supposed to have gone to have it extended on or before September 24th. But, I forgot. So I had to pay a late fee of 20 lempiras (about $1.50).
After this, Omar and I went to the "Christian Bookstore" and I bought a book in Spanish. Then, we went to by some Licuados. I had a Papaya and Banana, and he had a Papaya and carrot. After talking and studying bible for about an hour, we decided to go across the street and preach in the park.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that streetpreaching "didn't work" or "turned people off to the gospel," I'd be a very rich man. But, in my experience it's been the exact opposite, and something good always comes out of it. Today was no exception. After preaching, I was able to lead a 76-year-old man to the Lord! He spoke English and Spanish, but preferred to talk in English. And, I've never seen anyone so happy about getting saved!
After he accepted Christ Jesus as his Saviour, he said to me, "Tell it to me again! It's such a beautiful story! I want to hear it all over again, it's so wonderful! How much love he had for me!!!" He also said, "I've heard preachers on T.V. for over 20 years, but I've never, ever in my life heard it as plain and simple as you made it. How wonderful it is!" Then, he said that he was going home to tell his wife and children about what happened. What a blessing! God is good! To Him be the glory!!!
October 3rd 2001 Wednesday Reflections
I took a long walk on the beach today. It was filthy as trash was strewn all along it. But still it was good to see the water again, and to sit and watch the waves as they mounded up and fell all over themselves. It was good to smell that old familiar smell of saltwater and fish. And, how great to feel the warmth of the sun, and feel the cool breeze blowing off the ocean. Yes, it was good to be home!
They say that home is where the heart is, and I guess that's true. My house in Florida might be where I grew up, but to me, anywhere the ocean is, that's home! I grew up on the water and to be apart from it is torture and vexation of spirit. But, oh how good it is to be here and be next to the thing I love the most (outside of Jesus Christ himself).
And, today I realized even the more how much of a sacrifice I'm making by leaving my home (the water) to go to the mountains and try to start a work. But, for Christ it is worth it. And, I've learned from the Prophet Jonah's mistake that you can't be bitter or angry at God. You must surrender to his will. So, I'll do my best to serve God and be thankful, even though I know I'll always miss the water.
October 4th 2001 Thursday Finding My Car
Today I must have walked at least 5 miles. With my friend Omar we went to the harbour and walked all the way from one side to the other. Finally, we found my car. It was dirty but in good condition with nothing damaged. Then we walked to the office of Luis Martel to see about getting it out of the Aduana (Customs). It seems there was a slight problem though, as there were two cars coming (one for me, and the other for missionary Ronnie Doss). And, both cars were in the name of this other missionary. But, after several phone calls, we were able to have the Bill of Laden separated, and my car changed to my name so that I could pick it up. However, I won't be able to pick it up until tomorrow, so it looks like I'm stuck here in Puerto Cortes for one more night.
Also, we passed out the rest of my tracts today (about 300). Now, I need to get some more.
October 5th 2001 Friday How do You Get a Car Out of Customs?
Today I finally thought I'd get my car. But, things don't always work out like you want them to. It turns out that I won't be able to obtain it until Monday. So, I'm stuck here in Puerto Cortes until then.
My day went like this. Most of my time was spent in the downtown area, and at the harbour getting my paperwork together to get my car cleared through customs. They said I couldn't get it without my original title. So, Omar and I went to the Post Office ourselves, and picked it up. Then, with my title in hand, and other important papers, we went to my agent and he gave us a young man named Yovani to help us. With him we went to the administrator and he told us the paperwork was no good, even though we had two or three papers that said my car should be in my name, and should be released to me. So, we went to the agent here of the company that sent the car, and they said they'd fix the problem, and give us the paper that we needed. Then, they told us to come back after 1:00 P.M. After going back (just Omar and I), they hadn't done anything. So, with the paper that I copied (saying that the car was to be transferred in my name), I talked to the boss, and he said he'd get right on it. He did, and with the corrected bill of Laden sheet, we went to the administrator, and then went to the parking lot to find my car. There I got my keys, but was told I needed several more papers, and several authorizations. By this time it was 2:00 P.M., and they closed at 3:00. With the papers we had, and with the hope of getting them processed before 3:00, we went to the office of Aduana. But, as luck would have it, we got a woman who didn't want to work for some reason. We gave her the papers, and told her we were in a hurry, but she just looked at them and kept on reading her magazine. So, needless to say, we didn't get my paperwork done in time, and this caused me to have to wait until Monday to get my car. And, it's all because of a lazy woman. How sad!
Anyway, I'll make the best of it, and go to church at Bro. Arturo's on Sunday. But, one thing I've learned about Honduras is that nobody's in a hurry (except when it comes to driving). Plus, I've learned as well that life in Honduras is a life of waiting and waiting and waiting. Maybe God's teaching me patience.
October 6th 2001 Saturday More Bad News
Boy was I not kidding when I sad that Honduras life is full of waiting. Today I got a call from Bro. Abel Bonilla in Tegucigalpa, and he told me that he would be gone all next week and that if I came there, he would not be there to help me. And, I'm dependent upon him for the time being as he knows of a place for me to live, but only he knows how to get there. So, I have to wait another week before I can go to Tegucigalpa. This is really starting to get crazy! I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm really starting to lose confidence in others. I'm about ready to write off everybody, and start doing things myself. It'll sure be good when I have my own place and can do just that!
So, I'm thinking about going to Utila (the island just North of here) and visiting Bro. Earl Howell there. I might as well since I have a week to wait. And maybe he can teach me a few things while I'm there with him. We'll wait and see.
Today I spent doing a lot of reading as well. I read two booklets in Spanish, and did some homework. Also, I took a long walk around Puerto Cortez and saw some more of the city. I also bought a liquado and boy was it good! Usually I buy a Papaya and Banana one with granola and vanilla. But, today I tried a banana and carrot one. It was very good as well.
Also today I went for a swim in the bay. It was great to go swimming again! But, I think I got a little too much sun as my face and arms feel a little bit burnt. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a missionary or just on vacation. All this waiting is driving me nuts, as I want to get busy with the work that God has called me here to do! But, all I can do is wait, and do as much as I can until then.
October 7th 2001 Sunday A Day of Service
A brother from Bro. Arturo's church came and picked me up from the hotel at about 10 minutes til 10:00 A.M. to take me to church. I had a great time there, as I heard Bro. Omar preach. He did a good job, and was really letting it rip.
I went to a brother's house after church with Bro. Arturo and his family. There we had Pizza and Buffalo wings. Then at about 2:00 P.M. we went soulwinning where Bro. Arturo won about 5 people to the Lord . Then at 5:00 P.M., church started again, and I was asked to preach. I preached on "obedience" and did the best I could, but I need much more practice with Spanish. Sometimes I'm able to preach better than others and tonight was one of those "others." It was horrible, I thought. But they said they enjoyed it and learned a lot. I hope so.
October 8th 2001 Monday A Day of Rain, Rage, and Realization
Today I really thought I'd get my car. Boy was I wrong! We tried though. And, we kept getting the run around. Finally we got all the paperwork done, and only lacked two signatures – that of the administrator, and the subadministrator. They told us to come back at 1:00 P.M. So, we did. Then they told us they were busy, and to come back later. So we did. Then they said that they didn't feel like working today, and to come back later. I was furious! There was no reason for this! They just don't want to work is their problem! But, this is how things work in Honduras. I don't like it, but I'm entirely at their mercy.
I also found out today that there is a hurricane coming named Iris, and it should make landfall tonight. Just what I need – more problems! So, I don't know if I can get my car tomorrow or not. It all depends on the weather, and the temperament of those in charge.
After running around all day in the rain, and getting the run around from the Aduana (Customs Office), I took a bus back to my hotel. The busses here are awful! It's not uncommon to see many buses that have scripture posted inside or signs that say, "The Blood of Jesus Has Power" or "I love Jesus" or "The Lord is my Shepherd" etc. But, when you ride in one, the driver has loud, wicked music playing. And, most of it is in English. They don't even know what they are saying, they just like the beat. But, the music is awful. It's full of dirty words, filthy lyrics, and suggestive noises. I hate it. And, it's so loud, you can barely hear yourself think! It's horrible. But, that's your religious crowd for you. They claim to know and love God, but live like the devil. These people don't need more religion, they need salvation to bring them out of that mess!
But, inspite of the wicked music, every now and then I do get a chance to speak to, and witness to those on the bus. I'll start a conversation, and then begin witnessing. And, then there are times when someone starts talking to me. Take today for example. I sat next to an old man that smelled of beer, cigars, and sweat. I was very quiet and was busy trying to keep from gagging. But, I watched the fellow. The old man didn't move. He just stared out the bus window in a pensive state for some time. Then all of a sudden, the old man looked at me and said, "We are all sinners, aren't we?" I was a little startled from such an abrupt question. I responded, "You bet we are! The Bible tells us so." Then he began to ask me more about God and the Bible. I gladly answered his questions. Then, after a long pause in our conversation, he said to me, "Well what if you've killed two people in your life?"
I must admit I was a little taken back by the question. But, the only thing I knew to tell him was, "The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth from all sin!" He looked at me and said, "Wow!" Then he said, "There are a lot of deceivers in this world aren't there?" I said, "There sure are! That's why I only go by what God says in his holy word, and not what man says." He stared at me and with a look of realization on his face, he said, "That's it! You're right! God's word is all there is!"
Then he got off the bus after telling me he would read the tract that I gave him. It seemed to me that he was seriously thinking about eternity, and his sins. I wish I had more time to talk to him. I sure hope he gets saved.
October 9th 2001 Tuesday Finally my Car is Liberated!!!
Finally I got my car today!!! Hallelujah!!! We went early to the office of Luis Martel, and he took us to the car. He apologized the whole way, and said he was sorry that it was taking so long. There we met a young man named Jamie. He wasn't working for his agency today, so Bro. Martel asked him to work for me. This young man worked his tail off all day! And, he did more in one day than we were able to do in a week! After getting all the appropriate signatures and paying all the little fines and fees, I finally drove my car of the impound lot. How great a feeling it was to have my car again.
It cost me about 2500 lempiras for everything, and then Bro. Martel only charged me 600 lempiras for his services. That was far less than what he told me before. I think he felt ashamed that it took so long. So, my patience paid off. Now I can finally get around faster and do more in Honduras. The only problem is that now it will cost more with gas as expensive as it is (over three dollars a gallon).
I really learned a lot being without a car for over a month. Here, in Puerto Cortes, I walked to many different places. And, how small the world seems when you go by foot! Then, Bro. Omar took me places on his bicycle, and how much faster and farther you can go on a bike. It's incredible in comparison to walking. It opens up a whole new world to you. But, oh how sweet it is to travel by car. Honduras is at your fingertips. You can go so much farther and do so much more. I can tell you I have a new found respect for those that are without a car, and I can say I've been where they are!
After getting my car, I went to about 15 different stores with Omar trying to get a few things that I needed. Also, we went to just about every car parts place in town trying to find a trailer hitch for my car. But, no one had any. Finally we ran into a sister from one of the churches here that Bro. Earl Howell started, and she said that her husband could get one, or make one for us. So, we went to their house, and her husband put their son to work on the project. After about two hours, he had made a trailer hitch from scratch, and welded it together. Then, they told me there was no charge! They wanted to help me because I'm a missionary! And, what's funny is that the young man who put it together is named "Angel." So, I can say (without being Charismatic or wishy-washy) that an Angel helped me today!
October 10th 2001 Wednesday The Trip To Utila
After leaving Puerto Cortez today at 7:00 A.M., I arrived in La Ceiba at a little before 11:00. There I had to purchase some new clothes as all of mine were dirty. Then I called Bro. Walter Bush to ask him if I could leave my car at his house. He agreed, and even offered to take me to the airport.
The plane ride to Utila was very short. It only took about 15minutes. When we arrived, we landed on a dirt runway. It was a very rough landing to say the least! Pastor Julio Cordon met me there and took me to the church.
The evening service went well. I preached on "Obedience." God was very good, and gave me clarity of speech and of thought. The pastor told me later that that was just what the church needed.
Also, I got to see an old friend again. Bro. Wilmer Vasquez is here from Cuyumel. I met him there back in 1998, and spent a few days with him in Puerto Cortes as well. He remembered me, and even had the Dispensational Chart that I gave him then plastered on the wall of the church here in Utila. How great it is to know that you're remembered. And, even better still to know you've made an impact in someone's life.
October 11th 2001 Thursday The Trip to Jewel Key
I awoke today at about 6:35 A.M. After reading my bible, I went downstairs and ate breakfast with the pastor and his wife. We had German chocolate cake and coffee (what a thing for breakfast!)
After my shower, a brother from the church named Franklin took me to see the brand new airport and runway they just built on the island. It's huge! And, no one knows why it was built. Utila is a small, misquito infested island, and at night from 12 A.M. to 6 A.M. they turn off all the power to the island. So, it's a mystery why they would spend so much money for such a big airport that will be used very little. Maybe it is just to impress the tourists.
After viewing the airport, we were about to go up a little mountain that they call "Pumpkin Hill," however, we were attacked by a swarm of misquitos halfway up, and almost got stuck in the mud. So, we reconsidered and quickly turned back.
At about 12:00 P.M., I rode a small launch out to Jewel Key where brother Earl Howell lives. Boy, what a beautiful little key! He said that about 2 to 3 hundred people lived there at the most, and all the homes were of the beautiful English beachstyle décor. The water was beautiful, and so clear that it was incredible. You could see the bottom everywhere you looked, and thousands of beautiful fish were everywhere. Also, the people were quite different. Most of them spoke English, but with a rather peculiar accent. It was kind of a cross between a Jamaican and British accent. But, oh how nice the people were. This little key had no crime, and everyone knew everyone else, and went out of their way to help one another.
It was good to see Bro. Howell again too! He looked a lot older, but he's as healthy as a horse. He was very nice, and I enjoyed being with him. I had hoped to learn some things from him, and glean some of his many years of experience as a missionary. And, sure enough, I did get some good advice. He told me the best thing I could do is have a helper, or other brother in Christ to go with me as I visit and try to win people to Christ. And, how much better it would be if it was someone from Honduras. He also taught me that I ought to have patience, and not get in a hurry or try to do it myself; let God work it out. Just be faithful and do what you know you should. And, like the last time I talked to him, he stressed the importance of prayer. Oh how true this is!
Also, he took me for a walk to his church there and showed me around. It was really not much but an old wooden building, but to me it was beautiful. Plus, it sat right on the water, and you could watch the swells come in as you looked out the window. I loved it!
He said they had two services there on Sunday. The morning service is in English, and the evening service is in Spanish.
I stayed that evening at his house. How wonderful it was! He lives right slap next to the water, and continually you can hear the surf crashing on the concrete bulkhead. Plus, the breeze off the water was pure sublime, and so refreshing, not to mention cool. I had to turn off the fan in my bedroom in the night, as I got too chilly.
All in all it was a wonderful visit, and I learned some things and really believe that it was worth the trip. I hope I can return again and real soon!
October 12th 2001 Friday Yet Another Day of Traveling
I arose at around 6:35 A.M. after having slept like a baby! The crashing breakers lulled me to sleep like the sweetest lullaby ever heard. But as I awoke, happily in my blissful state, enjoying this land of paradise, I also was aware that I had to leave today. And, I found myself overwhelmed with the desire to stay and never leave. So much like home is this place, and it's everything I ever could have wanted in this life and more. But, like all good things, it must come to an end.
So, at about 9:30 A.M. I boarded a small fishing boat for Utila and said my good-byes to the Howells. They invited me back, and said next time I need to stay much longer. I hope I can.
After arriving in Utila, I got on the yatch with four other guys from the church and headed to La Ceiba. By plane, it's only a 15-minute trip. But by boat, it takes a little more than 45 minutes.
After arriving in La Ceiba, I took a taxi to missionary Walter Bush's house and picked up my car. From there, I drove to Copan, Honduras to see Bro. Ronnie Doss, and to pick up my things that he so graciously was keeping stored there for me. I arrived there at about 7:00 P.M. after getting lost for about 2 hours in the huge city of San Pedro Sula. But, I arrived just in time for their church service, and was able to hear Bro. Ronnie preach a good message. After that, I took a long, hot, much needed shower (as it's terribly hot in Utila, and one constantly sweats like a pig). Then, I turned in exhausted from a very long week.
October 13th 2001 Saturday A Day at the Orphanage
I started the day by going down to the river to wash my car. I had about 8 young boys helping me, and together we got that car to shine! After that, I drove to the warehouse and began packing up some of my stuff. I loaded my chester drawers first, but it's a good thing I unloaded it beforehand, because we found a rat in it! The kids were terrified! We tried to kill it, but it got away, and then later, it bit one of the kids. He was crying and had to go to the infirmary. I felt sorry for him.
After loading up all that I could into my car, I took a short nap (still exhausted from all my traveling). Then I awoke at the sound of thunder. Boy was it loud! And then the sky opened up and let loose a very heavy rain.
After it stopped, I went visiting with Bro. Doss. We visited several families. One family was a Christian woman with 2 kids. And, her husband had left her for another woman about 15 days before. How sad this is, but it happens in Honduras all the time. Then we met another lady with the same problem. And, her husband left on the same day as the other one. There is so much sin and infidelity in Honduras. They need the gospel so badly.
In the evening, I preached at the prayer service for about 20–25 minutes. I preached on "The Definitions of Sin," and what the Bible had to say about it. Then after service, I talked to Bro. Ronnie. He told me some good advice that he learned from Bro. Lee Robertson at Tennessee Temple. He said that every man needs 5 things to help him in the ministry. They are:
1. To know for sure that he is saved!
2. Believe the Bible (KJV) is the word of God!
3. Know for certain God's will in his life (and do it)!
4. Have a good Christian wife .
5. Know how to handle money.
Also he told me that God blesses those who help 3 classes of people. 1. The Poor, 2. Widows, and 3. Children. Which is what I want to do!
October 14th 2001 Sunday A Day of Preaching
Today I was asked to teach Sunday School in the boy's class ages about 8 or 9 to 13 or 14. I preached to about 50 kids on the topic of "Some Things Eternal" from Hebrews chapter 9. It went well, and afterwards I asked them if they weren't saved to raise their hand. About 4 or 5 did, and I went to each one and questioned them personally to see if they understood the question. Then I sent them to talk to a young man named Tito (their SS teacher), so that he could tell them how to get saved. Afterwards I asked him if any got saved and he said, "No." I guess they weren't ready, but I'm glad we planted the seed. One thing I don't want to do is pressure anyone to make a decision like so many other "Soulwinners" do just to get numbers so that they can brag about what they did. If they don't show an interest, then they aren't ready. And, these kids didn't seem ready to me, or Tito. One boy I asked afterwards if he wanted to get saved, and he said, "Oh well, maybe tonight." You could tell his heart wasn't in it.
In the evening, I went to a place called San Antonio and preached there for the 17 year old pastor named Nilo. I preached once again on "Obedience." It went well, and I invited several people that were passing by to come in and listen. Several young teenagers did just that, but they left right before the invitation laughing. How sad.
Also, Bro. Ronnie told me today that all total there are 14 churches around this area that came from the orphanage. That's a real blessing to hear. I hope God will use me to do even half as much as they have here.
October 15th 2001 Monday Another Move
I left Santa Rosa de Copan at around 7:00 A.M. today bound for Tegucigalpa with my car full of stuff. I left a lot of other stuff there, but I plan to come back for them later.
I arrived in Teguc at about 12:30 P.M. There I went to my lawyer's office to call Bro. Abel Bonilla to take me to my new place to live. (I'll tell you what, I'm getting awfully tired of playing musical houses. This will be the 3rd family I've lived with since I came here. I'm really looking forward to getting my own place eventually. But, now it looks like I'll have to live with another family until the middle or end of December, after I'm able to finish more language school). Well, Bro. Abel wasn't there, so I had to wait (always in Honduras) for several hours. Then he called and told me to go to his school where I had to wait several more hours for him to arrive. From there we went to my new home, and I began moving in. The cost of the place is 2500 lempiras a month (close to $170 a month). And, it's a very big, fancy house (too fancy!). The family is Pentecostal (which I'm not to fond of) and are really tight. All I get for my money is the room. If I want food, I have to drive somewhere to eat. If I want my clothes washed, I have to go and do it somewhere. I even have to park my car several blocks away at a gas station, and pay the night watchman 20 lempiras to watch it for me. But, of course my host here said to think of them as "family." Some family!
Tomorrow I plan to drive all the way back to Santa Rosa de Copan (over 5 hours) and get the rest of my stuff. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a missionary or a Truck Driver, with all this driving. But, it must be done. I just pray that God will keep me safe and help me. Amen!
October 16th 2001 Tuesday Experiencing and Learning a Little Bit More About Honduras
Everyday I'm learning more and more about Honduras. And let me tell you that Honduras is full of surprises. I guess that's why I like it here so well. You never know what is going to happen. Nor do you ever know what you will see! Take today for example; I was driving to Santa Rosa de Copan, and right there in the middle of the road was a horse's head on a stick! Someone had cut its head off I guess, and had put it on a pole on the side of the road as a joke. But, somehow it got thrown into the street. What a thing! How often do you see that in America?
I'm also learning about the Honduran people. As a whole, they are very backwards in a lot of things that they do. They do things that most people would know better than doing. For example, I saw a sign on the side of the road today that said, "Don't put rocks in the road!" Now you would think anyone with common sense would know not to do that. Yet all the time, there are rocks in the middle of the road, and you see kids putting them there. All I want to know is WHY?
Honduran people are also very dirty people. They leave trash all over and don't pick it up. They don't have good hygiene, and they don't bathe regularly. They need a lot of help in learning things that we take for granted.
Talking to Bro. Doss' wife today, she told me that a new girl came to her house from the orphanage and was in awe the whole time she was there. She kept looking all over and all around everywhere. And, finally she said, in a rather stunned and surprised tone of voice, "There are no flies here!" Sadly, it was probably the only place she'd ever been in her life where there were no flies! Flies, disease, and trash are everywhere in Honduras.
October 17th 2001 Wednesday From Copan to Tegucigalpa
I drove all the way from Santa Rosa de Copan to Tegucigalpa today. I arrived in town around 1:00 P.M. and then went to the Mall to check my email. Afterwards, I went across the street to a place called "Pricemart." It's just like Sam's Club in the U.S. There I bought a membership card for 330 lempiras (about $20 American), and purchased a very small refrigerator and a microwave. Hopefully this will keep me from eating out too much, and eventually save me some money. Also, I plan on keeping a lot of fruit on hand and making licuados with it. Hopefully this will keep me healthy.
I've already lost several pounds since I've been here, and when I look in the mirror, I see the man I used to be before I started deputation. I've been losing weight a lot since I've been here, and it's probably because I don't each very much. So, now I plan on eating, but only healthy stuff. No more fast food!
October 18th 2001 Thursday Errands, Haircut, and Correspondence
I slept in late today (about 8 o'clock) as I was exhausted from so much traveling. Plus, I've been very busy trying to unpack everything as well. Today I spent doing much work on my computer trying to catch up with my correspondence.
Also, I went to get a haircut today. The lady did a fairly good job, but I think she cut it a little bit too short. Let's just say that before she started, I used to have side burns. Now, I don't.
Also, I spent some time reading and trying to plan some things for tomorrow. I've got so many errands to run, that it's unreal. I hope I can get them all done.
October 19th 2001 Friday Day of Running Errands
I had to run all over town today on several errands. I had a horrible time as I had nothing but problems. I'm really learning to hate Tegucigalpa!. It has roads that twist and turn so much that it's hard to know where you are going, or where you came from. And, today I got lost many different times! I stopped for directions one time, and the man told me to take this one road and go straight all the way till it ends, and then turn right. Well, I followed it, but it was anything but straight! It did about 4 hairpin, horseshoe turns before it ended! But, that's Honduras!
At least I'm learning the city, and feel comfortable driving here. The only problem is getting lost. But, I guess that's a part of it.
I started my day today by going to the Kodak store in the Mall and getting some pictures made of myself for a church in Illinois. I tell you I really hate spending money on vanity. But, sometimes it must be done. Then, I spent the rest of the day on a wild goosechase trying to find a store that could make a life size picture of me for a church in Wyoming. Finally, after about 4 hours of driving around, I found the store and put in my order.
In the evening, I parked my car at the gas station again, and began witnessing to the guard there. He's a young man named Nelson. I gave him two tracts last night, and asked him if he read them. He said yes, and asked me some questions about them. He said he didn't understand why one of the tracts said that you can't be saved by going to church. So, I explained to him, that Salvation is not in a church, it's in a person! I showed him several more verses, but he began to look away and say Hi to others as they walked by. So, I could tell he wasn't very interested. So, every night that I go there I'm going to try more and more to see if I can't witness and fill him full of verses. Plus, I'm going to pray for him, and beg God to open his eyes to the truth. I pray he gets saved! He's such a nice kid.
October 20th 2001 Saturday A Day of Study
I wanted to go to Colomoncagua today, but I had so much correspondence to catch up on, that I thought it'd be better to stay here and do it. The longer I put it off, the bigger it gets. So, I spent the day writing letters, and after about 14 hours, I almost finished!
I also scanned a good discipleship book that I found, and put it on my computer. Then, I printed off as many copies as I could, as I plan to use it. I'm going to mail a copy to two people that got saved, and gave me their address. I hope it will help them.
Also today, I listened to the teaching class on the whole book of 2nd Corinthians by my Pastor on tape. It was good, and I learned a lot. I also took time getting everything packed and put together. I don't know how long I'll be in this place, so the more I have packed, the easier it will be to leave.
So that's about it. It might not sound like a fruitful day, but I sure did get a whole lot of things done! Tomorrow, I plan to go to Bro. Bonilla's church and visit there. They don't have service in the evening though, so I hope I can find a church to go to in the evening. We'll wait and see.
October 21st 2001 Sunday A Sunday here in Tegucigalpa
God sure is good! I had a wonderful night's sleep. The bed here is a queen-size bed, and I don't think I've ever slept on a bed this comfortable! Usually I have trouble sleeping, but I've been sleeping like a baby ever since I've been here. So, I give praise to God for that!
I left here today at 9:00 A.M to go to church at Bro. Bonilla's. Thank God I didn't get lost on the way there. These roads twist and turn so much, that it's unreal! I arrived there a little before 9:30 and waited. I waited, and waited and waited. I thought church started at 9:30, but no one was there. So, I figured that maybe it started at 10:00, but no one showed up. Finally at 10:15 Bro. Abel and his family showed up. And, church started at 10:30.
The services there are very strange. They sing and give testimonies for about 30 minutes, and then they dismiss at 11:00 for Sunday School, during which Bro. Abel taught on the first two chapters of the book of Job. We stopped at 5 till twelve, and that was it. There was no preaching service! I was very disappointed.
After church, I asked Bro. Abel if I could take him and his family out to lunch on me. I wanted to give him something for helping me so much. He said that they already had plans, so I didn't get to be a blessing. Maybe some other time he said.
Then, I went to the Supermarket and bought some groceries for this week. It's unreal how expensive everything is here. It costs close to $7 for a 12 pack of Charmin toilet paper. And, the food is expensive as well. For example, it cost $5 for Welch's grape juice! For a six pack of Ginger ale in a can, it costs over $3 dollars. Also, I bought some olives, and it cost close to $5 dollars. I believe I need to change my eating habits! I just can't afford it here.
After coming back to my room, I was invited by the family I'm staying with to come to a Birthday party for their two daughters. They were both born in the same month. They had Strawberry Short Cake, and boy was it good! I appreciated their kindness.
I was unable to go to church in the evening as the other Independent Baptist Church that I wanted to go to was not having services this evening. Neither was Bro. Abel, so I had to miss church. I hate to do so. But, here in Tegucigalpa, there are very few good churches, if any.
October 22nd 2001 Monday Another Day of Running Errands, But Not Getting Much Done
I looked in the mirror today, and saw an old friend. It was someone I hadn't seen in a few years. It was a thin me. I've been losing weight here and today I really saw it. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't see the fat American that came here several months ago. I saw a man that was much thinner! I saw what I looked like before I started deputation. And, it's good to be skinnier. I guess it's all the banana and carrot liquados that I fix for breakfast. Or maybe it's that I just don't eat as much as I used to. But, when I do eat, I only eat healthy. Not only can I tell a difference in how I look, but also in how I feel. I have a lot of energy lately. This is really great!
As for today, I spent most of the time running errands (or at least trying to). Here in Honduras, when you go to get something done, it seems like you don't accomplish much after the day is over. That's how it went today.
First, I went to my lawyer's office to see what was taking so long on getting my papers for my Residence Visa. They did not know. So, we called the Honduran Consulate and found out that they wanted more money in order to finish my paperwork. It seems they needed an extra $55 dollars in processing fees before they could finish my paperwork. What a bummer! So, I called my mission board and they were not there. I emailed them though, and told them the situation and asked them to take care of it for me as soon as they could. I have only one more month that I'm allowed to stay in this country until I have to leave. So, I hope I get my Residence Visa before then. If I do get it, then I'll be a legal resident of Honduras, and will be allowed to stay here I believe it's either 2 or 5 years. Then I'll have to go through the whole process again.
After visiting my lawyer, I spent some time at the mall waiting for my 2:00 appointment at the Digix store. I have a life-size picture being developed there for a church in Wyoming. I don't know why they want it, maybe they just want me in church with them each week. But, nevertheless they asked for it, so I'm going to send it to them.
At the Mall, I ate lunch at Subway. It's not as good as in the states, and they hardly give you any meat or any fixings. But, it's good for you, and I try to eat there when I am at the Mall.
Speaking of the Mall, that's probably my least favorite place to go here. That place is nothing but vanity. Everywhere you look, there are things that are just for show. And, everything is super expensive! I just feel so out of place when I'm there. But, that's the only place I know of around here to check my email, and to buy office supplies for the discipleship books that I'm printing. So, I go there about twice a week. Also, when I'm there, I do my best to get out tracts. As of yet, I haven't been kicked out! But, you try that in a Mall in America, and within 2 minutes, the security guards are all over you! Things are a lot different here.
At 2 o'clock, I went to Digix to get my picture, and they said it wasn't ready and to come back around 4 o'clock. Well, I've been through this before. So, I gave them an extra 30 minutes and showed up at 4:30. Sure enough, it still wasn't ready. And, they told me to come back tomorrow. Par for course!
Also, I went to the U.S. Embassy today. I wanted to tell them who I was and why I was here. I don't know what will happen with this war, but if something bad happens in this country, I thought it would be good to let them know where I am, and how to reach me.
After this, I went to the Post Office today to mail all the letters that I wrote on Saturday. Well, it turns out that today is a Federal Holiday. So, the Post Office was closed. I don't know what it was for, but it seems to me that is about the fourth Federal Holiday they've had in the last two months that I've been here. How many holidays do they have in this country?
After my long day of not accomplishing much (but at least trying) I drove my car up to the gas station that I park at everynight, and witnessed to the other security guard there. I gave him a tract the night before, and I asked him if he read it. He said he did, and that it was very good. I asked him if he got saved, and he said, "No." I asked him why he doesn't get saved, and he said he just wasn't ready to repent. I guess he had some things in his life that he loved more than Jesus Christ. But, I asked him if he were to die right now, where would he go. He got kind of teary eyed, and said, "To Hell." I asked him if he wanted to go, but he wouldn't answer, and then he made like he didn't want to talk. How sad. I know that he knows his need for salvation, but he just doesn't want to do anything about it. I pray that God will shake him up, and take whatever it is that is keeping him from getting saved!
October 23rd 2001 Tuesday Back to School Again!
I started classes again today. I learned a lot, and was glad to get back into the swing of things after being away for so long. It was good to see the people there again, and they were impressed at how much better I was speaking in Spanish. I guess it's true, practice does make perfect.
In my first class with my first teacher, I asked many a question that I had been collecting. He answered everyone, and taught me a thing or two. He also taught me about some of the History of Spain, and the different languages they speak there.
One thing I thought was funny, is that he told me that he thought Spanish would be the national language of America in less than ten years. I kind of chuckled under my breath. But, he thinks Spanish will overtake English, and become the world's largest language. But, I know better. English is so widely spoken, and reaches so many countries, that this will have to be the language that the Antichrist uses to unite the world.
My other teacher did a good job as well. He told me that I have learned just about every grammatical rule and law in Spanish, so now we can move on to other things. And, he started by teaching me about Semantics, Orthography, and many other things. Also, he started teaching me about the different types of Poetry.
I'm really enjoying my classes and learning more about the Spanish Language. It's easier than I thought it would be. But, I still lack good writing skills, which is one thing I really want, and need to do the job here.
October 24th 2001 Wednesday Another day of schooling
Schooling went well today. I really enjoyed it. I started the day by asking questions again, and getting the answers I needed. I remember a teacher I had in High School who told me, "Smart people ask questions!" I never have forgotten this, and I try to practice it.
Also, I had to take a test today. It was a questionnaire really that I am supposed to answer in Spanish. I have done it once already, but I am supposed to do it again, as a guide to my teachers to see how my language skills are progressing. It's a long test, and I hate it, but it must be done.
I left class a little early today as I had some things I needed to mail at the post office. I got there before they closed, and mailed off all the packages I needed to send. But, when I went to pay for them, they couldn't make change for my 500 Lempira bill. So, they wrote me an IOU, and told me to come back tomorrow for my change! What a thing! Imagine if the Post Office in America didn't have change and told you to come back later. You'd really have serious doubts! But, such are the ways here in Honduras. So, tomorrow after class, I'll head back to the post office for my change.
Finally, I want to write down one of my poems I wrote in Spanish. It's nothing much, but my teacher was impressed. The first thing he asked me was, "Who did you copy it from?" When I told him I thought it up myself, he could hardly believe It. It goes like this:
En un cerro él murió
Un hombre fiel, sin engaño
De buena gana su vida dio
Pero sufriendo mucho daño.
Translated it says:
On a hill he died
A faithful man without guile
Willingly he gave his life
But suffering much pain.
It loses a lot in English, but in Spanish, it's powerful!
October 25th 2001 Thursday Things I've Seen, Heard, and Thought
Everyday, it seems, I encounter something new, strange, or different here. Some of these things are things I'd never see in the America. Take today for example. As I was driving down the road, a school bus pulled in front of me, out of which the tailpipe bellowed so much black smoke that I could hardly see out of my windshield! The people behind me couldn't see either, so we all had to pull over and let him get way ahead of us. The fumes smelled so bad that I could smell them in my truck with the windows closed! Can you image that in the States? A bus like that wouldn't get two miles before a cop would pull it over, and give the driver a ticket for emissions! But, things such as this are common in Honduras.
I also see some things that others don't. Most people are so busy with the toils and cares of this life that they wouldn't notice them anyway, but I do. And, sometimes they make me chuckle. Yesterday for instance, as I was leaving the Post Office, I saw a boy and a girl holding hands. The girl was talking and the boy was as quiet as he could be. Yet, he was leading her by the hand at a rather brisk pace. I could tell by the look on the girl's face that she was disgusted, and talking bad about someone or something. And, I looked at the boy, and I could tell what he was thinking. By his expression, it was clear as day that he was wishing with all his heart that she would just shut up! As, I looked at that, I laughed within myself, and thought, boy does he have his hands full (literally)!
Then there are those small things that I notice. They might not mean much to others, but they catch my eye. They are so small, they are hardly worth writing about, but I get a kick out of them. Today, for example, I was waiting at a stoplight in a line full of cars stopped and waiting to go. We were all on a steep slope going upwards, and when the light turned green, everyone went backwards several feet in unison, then took off! It was a thing to see. It was like they were synchronized, or like they planned it. It surprised me that no one hit anyone behind them! But that's the way they drive here. Just about everyone has a standard, so as they climb hills, they go back before they go forwards on these many mountainous roads. And, it's quite a spectacle to see about 20 cars all going backwards and forwards together. It reminded me of the waves of the sea crashing on the shore, then going back out to sea.
As I was driving back to the place that I live, my thoughts began to wonder, as I felt a little more pensive than usual. And, as I entertained thoughts of how great it would be to go home to glory, heaven became a little bit more real to me today! There is nothing for me down here (physically anyway), and more often than not I think about how great it would be just to go on home! Not only would I have rest, peace, joy, and happiness, but I'd be in a perfect sinless environment with no sin forever more! Glory!
But, about the time I starting thinking about suicide, and why I shouldn't just go on home now, I thought to myself, "Yeah, that's the easy way out!" (It sure is!) It must have been the German blood in me that kicked in then, as I began to think, "I don't want to go the easy route, I want to go the hard road!" (The harder the road, the more rewards in Glory!) So, I made up my mind, that no matter how hard things get, God's going to have the be the one that takes me home. I might want to go, but I'm not going to take myself there prematurely. His time is best, and I'll wait on him. But, until that time (and the sooner the better!), I want to do more for Him. Thinking about going home and getting out of this mess, and not thinking of staying here and taking others with you is the epitome of selfishness. And, I need to put my desires down, and put others first. But, still the longing in my heart says, "Even so, Come Lord Jesus!"
October 26th 2001 Friday A Day of Traveling
There are times when I don't feel like much of a missionary. I keep thinking that someone else could do a much better job than I could. But when I look around, I see that there is no one else. And, if I don't do it, who will? This is what keeps me going here. I can't go by my feelings, I must go by what I know is right!
Today, however, I did feel like a missionary. As I drove the four hours from La Esperanza to Colomoncagua on the long, lonely, mountainous roads with hairpin turns. It dawned on me how far away I was from civilization. Also, I saw how much danger there was around me. As I traveled, I saw two accidents. One was a truck that had turned over on its side in a ditch. I stopped and handed out tracts to the thirty or forty people there crowded around it. They told me that a bus was coming, and that this truck had swerved to miss it. Luckily, everyone was okay. Then, after another hour or so of driving, I saw a bunch of people on the side of the road looking down the steep ravine. I stopped, and gave them all tracts too. As I looked down to see what they were all looking at, I saw that a big banana truck had gone over the side. They told me that its tire had blown out, and that caused it to go over the side. Thank God no one was hurt here either. But, oh how dangerous these roads are!
At this stop, I picked up a hitchhiker and witnessed to him on my way. I gave him my bible and told him to read to me some verses out loud. I witnessed to him for over an hour, but he didn't accept Christ as his Saviour. He said he wanted to "Study it out more first." You get the same excuses here, as in the states.
Upon my arrival in Colomoncagua, I encountered my friend Rafael, and talked with him for a while. Then, I found a place to park my car. After this, I went and rented the little room that I usually sleep in for $2 a night. Tomorrow I plan on going to visit people and try to win some to the Lord. I pray the Lord gives me some fruit for my labour.
October 27th 2001 Saturday A Day of Witnessing
What an interesting day I had today! I awoke to the sounds of a man in the room next door praying the rosary out loud. How saddened I was to hear his vain repetitions, and to think that he was actually trusting in his own goodness and works to get him to heaven. This made me get out of bed and pray for all those like him.
After breakfast, I visited as many houses as I could from 9:00 A.M. til 2:00 P.M. And, I encountered many different people. In the first house, I met a retarded lady with a limp, who had been hit by a car and broken her leg. It had been 4 months now since it happened and she didn't go to the doctor. So, she walks funny, but does well inspite. I also met a Catholic "woman preacher" who says that she preaches at her Catholic church quite often. I thought that a little odd. But, thank God, by the end of the day, two people had gotten saved!
Most people I visited were Catholic. They were lost, but used so much of the same terms that we use in talking about the gospel, that it was tough to get through to them. I had several people tell me that they were all "sons of God," and "born again" by the Catholic Church. Plus, many told me that Christ died for the sins of the whole world. They believe that! But, they've never made it personal, and trusted in him for their own sins to be taken care of.
Many are hung up on works for salvation. Some say salvation is only by works. Others believe that salvation is by faith, but with works too (they get this from James). So, I found myself continually going to Ephesians 2:8,9. Also, many of them told me that no one can know that they have eternal life. I used 1 John 5:13 and John 3:16,36 to show them differently, but it was like they couldn't understand it. I'll say this, the devil has done his job well in making a lie look so close to the truth, that many can't see the difference. I pray that God will open their eyes!
At 3:00 P.M., I went and visited my friend Rafael, and had coffee with him. At 4 o'clock, we had Bible study, and we continued studying the 7 mysteries in the Bible. I taught about the Rapture, and he enjoyed it a lot.
After this, I went to the café here and had dinner, where I encountered my little buddy named Milton. I bought him a coke, and talked a while. My server was named Madgalena, and I was able to talk to her a little about salvation. I also gave her a bible. I asked her if she was saved, and she said, "No, I'm worldly." At least she was honest! I plan to speak to her more, and pray she'll get saved!
So, that was my day. It was fruitful, and I got out about 100 tracts or more, and 4 or 5 Bibles. I pray God will use them.
October 28th 2001 Sunday Not Your Typical Sunday
Today, I think I turned a town up side down. First, I went and passed out over 500 tracts in the town square. Most people come down from the aldeas (surrounding little communities) in this time to do their buying, selling, or trading of their goods that they've made. So, there are always a lot of people. After passing out close to 20 Bibles as well, I decided to streetpreach. I don't know why, but when I saw all the people standing around, I got a little bit scared. It is one thing to preach to a bunch of fat, lazy, God denying Americans on a street corner. But, to streetpreach in another country, in another language, in a place you've never preached before, that's something else.
I started to preach once, but when I saw even more people coming down the road, I got scared. So, I bowed my head and prayed right then and there in the town square. When I finished, I was about to start again, when several people approached me and began talking to me. After speaking to them I thought for sure I'd go ahead and preach, but then a truck pulled up playing music so loud, I couldn't be heard. So, I prayed again. I asked God to help me. I was nervous as could be, and now the devil has tried to stop me from doing this several times. But, I've purposed in my heart that I'm going to preach. So, I prayed and asked the Lord to make me mad, or give me courage, or something so I could preach! Then, when I opened my eyes, there was a young man standing there who proceeded to ask for 20 lempiras. I asked him why he needed it, and he told me he needed food. I asked him if he worked, and he said, "Yes." So, I said, "If you work, how come you have no money?" Then he gave me a sob story about how his family was dead, and he lived alone and on and on and on. By this time I was starting to get a little upset, as I smelled liquor on his breath. So, I said, "How many beers have you had?" He said, "None!" I said, "Don't you lie to me, I can smell it on your breath! Now, how many?" He told me, "Two." I asked how much he spent on beer, and he said, "Forty lempiras." By this time I was mad, and I bawled him out good! I said, "Don't you come asking me for money for food when you blow all your money on beer!"
About that time, another man came up and started talking to me and said he knew the kid. I asked him if the boy's parents had died, and he laughed. He said, "No, he lives with his mother!" Then, I really flipped my lid. I was furious! I called him a liar, and a drunk, and told him not to ask me for money, as I'm not going to buy him another beer! By this time, he decided he didn't need the 20 lempiras as badly as he thought, and he suddenly felt led to go to the house. So, he shook my hand and said, "I've got to go." To the which I replied, "Go ahead then!"
By this time, I had drawn a crowd, and many people had gathered around me to see what this "Gringo" was doing yelling at this Hondureno. So, I saw my chance, and took it.
I preached on Salvation, and was shaking the whole time. I didn't know what to expect preaching out here for the first time in the middle of nowhere. I figured, if they were going to kill me, at least I want my last sermon to be my best! So, the more I preached, the bolder I became.
Surprisingly, they turned off the music in the truck that was blaring, and people actually stopped and looked and listened. It was great! Then I had to figure out how to end this thing, so I said, "Some of you have already gotten a gospel tracts like this one," as I pulled one out of my pocket and held it up. "This will tell you how to get saved!" I said. "Now, who hasn't gotten one?" Then I went and passed out more to those who didn't get one yet. What a blast!
After that, I left and drove the 4 hours back to La Esperanza rejoicing that God protected me and kept me safe! On my way there, I picked up about 3 hitchhikers, and witnessed to them the whole way as well. They were all very nice, and listened intently. I gave a Bible to one of them.
After this, I visited the church of Pastor Ramon Galeano whom Bro. Arturo Palau told me about. I really enjoyed the singing, and the preaching. I've been told that the other Baptist Churches here in La Esperanza are going Pentecostal. It beats me. But, it was good to be in a church with the same atmosphere as the one back home. After the service, they treated me better than I deserved, and feed me and gave me a place to stay. Thank God for Christian hospitality!
So, that was my day. I look forward to doing it all over again next week!
October 29th 2001 Monday Traveling and Spending Money on the Ministry
The howling, screaming wind knocking on my bedroom window awoke me this morning. I was surprised how cold it is here in La Esperanza. And, the freezing cold gale force winds make it seem like a bone piercing coldness. It hasn't frozen, or anything yet, but I did see my breath when I went to eat breakfast with the pastor.
After one last cup of coffee, I told Pastor Ramon goodbye, and drove to Tegucigalpa in the windy, rainy, muggy weather. Once in Tegus, I visited my lawyer, and there called my mission board. They have the letter I need for my residence visa, and said they would mail it to me as soon as possible. What a blessing, as I need this paper very badly!
After this, I went downtown to 2 different "Christian Bookstores." In one I spent over 2000 lempiras on tracts. After this, I went to the Sociedad Biblica of Honduras, and spent 2800 Lempiras for 36 nice new 1909 Spanish Bibles. They are getting harder and harder to find. I hope that people send me some from America, because buying them here costs almost twice as much.
Also today, I went to get my Passport renewed. I thought I was only allowed 30 more days, but they are going to extend it for 60 days. I hope I have my residence Visa before then, but if I don't, I've at least got some extra time!
October 30th 2001 Tuesday A Day of Cold, Cold, and Colds
I awoke this morning feeling pretty good. The only problem was that I was freezing cold. I don't have a blanket here, and I was cold all night long. So, I had to use a big beach towel for covers. When I awoke, I made myself my usual Banana and Carrot Liquado. After packing up and getting ready for school, I went outside to find that it was as cold as it could be. And, I don't have a jacket. I left all my warm clothes in Florida. I figured, why would I need them here. Boy, I sure wish I had packed them.
During the course of the day, I began feeling worse and worse. Halfway through the day, I was so chilled, that I needed a jacket. But, I didn't have one. By the time classes ended, I was sneezing over and over again, and feeling really rotten. But, yesterday I invited my lawyer and his wife to dinner to thank them for letting me stay at their house for some time. So, I took some vitamins, and went to their house to pick them up. We went to Pizza Hut, and I bought them dinner. We talked for a while, and I really like them, they are great folks.
After dinner I took them home, and got under the blanket they let me borrow, and went straight to sleep.
October 31st 2001 Wednesday Feeling Awful
This morning, I awoke quite early as I needed to study for my test today. I still felt awful, and now my throat was hurting me as well. So, I did my homework as fast as I could, and then took a cold shower (there is no hot water here in the place I'm renting). That didn't help me too much to say the least. But, at least I was clean. After taking my vitamins, and my Liquado, I went back to bed for about 30 minutes feeling so awful.
At school, I learned a lot of good things, but I don't remember much as I took several Actifed tablets before hand, and was tired all day long. I kept taking Vitamin C most of the day, and drinking Hot Coffee in the hopes that the warmth would help my throat.
After leaving school, I went to a place here in Tegucigalpa called "Pricesmart." (It's like a Sam's Club in America). There, I bought myself a jacket, and a blanket. At least I'll be warm from now one.
November 1st 2001 Thursday Another Day at School
Today I opened Pandora's box in class with my second teacher named Gustavo. I asked him to preview my Doctrinal Statement that I had translated into Spanish to see if it had any spelling or orthografical mistakes. Well, I guess he thought he wanted me to check it for doctrinal errors, and when he got to the part that I said that I believe in Eternal Security of the believer, and that a Christian can't lose salvation, he about flipped his lid! He ran and got his Bible (a perversion), and tried to show me I was wrong. Sadly, with the version he was using, many verses on the deity of Christ, and eternal security had been removed or changed. So, it was hard to get through to him. I plan on giving him a list of verses to look at next week. I hope he reads them.
November 2nd 2001 Friday Ojos De Agua
I left Tegucigalpa at 8:00 A.M., and arrived in La Esperanza much earlier than usual. The reason being, that I found a short cut out of Tegus (Tegucigalpa) that was much faster. I'll definitely go that way from now on.
In La Esperanza, I went to the house of missionary Thomas Sweeney and his wife. They are medical missionaries here, but do much more than just work with medicine. They do a little bit of everything. Tonight they were going to a village called OJOS DE AGUA ("Eyes of Water") about an hour and a half outside of La Esperanza to evangelize, and show a "pelicula" (a motion picture) about Christ and the gospel to the people. They do this very often in many different villages, and they invited me to come along. I was curious to see what they did, but even more so was I curious about what was being presented by these "peliculas." So, I tagged along with them to see what it was all about.
I had a great time and really enjoyed myself. We visited the whole village, and passed out tracts. Before they showed their film, they asked me to preach to the people for 15 minutes, so I jumped in the back of their pickup, and let 'er rip about hell, judgment, and Salvation to the 50 or more people standing on a small embankment. The people listened intentively, but I think some got mad as a few of them walked off.
After that, I watched their film that they presented to the people inside of a public building that we were permitted to use. I found it to be pretty good. It presented the gospel rather clearly and showed man's need to trust Christ. Afterwards, they didn't press anyone for a decision. They just said that they would come back later and preach some more and try to start a Bible study. I liked that, as they are not just about getting people to raise their hand so they can count numbers. They genuinely want people to get saved, but they aren't going to try to force them too. That impressed me. They want them to understand the gospel first. So, they looked at this as "tilling the soil" for future endevours.
After packing up all their equipment, we drove back to their house rejoicing that we had planted some seeds.
November 3rd 2001 Saturday Another Day of Visitation
It was cold last night again. So cold in fact, that I had to sleep underneath 4 blankets! Is this Honduras? But at least I was warm.
In the morning, I finally got to take a nice warm shower for the first time in I don't know how long! It must have been at least two or three weeks since I've had one, and it was wonderful to have such a luxury again!
After packing up, I left La Esperanza and Thomas Sweeny's house at a little after 6:00 A.M. I arrived at Colomoncagua at around 9:30 A.M.
After eating breakfast a Elena's Comedor (eatery), I went to work visiting houses until around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. One young boy named Denis was very close to accepting Christ as his Saviour. I could tell he was under conviction and really listening and thinking. He said he realized his need to get saved, and he wanted to, but that he thought he didn't feel right about doing it right now. So, I poured it on him about Hell, and I could tell he was "feeling" something as his eyes would water and shiver when I read verses about the lake of fire, and torment. But, I guess he chose to put it off until later. He just said he didn't want to take it right now.
Also today, I met a man from San Marcos who broke his arm. He'd been out of work for 23 days he said, and went to a Doctor in El Salvador. But, he was here in Colomoncagua now to get his arm looked at on Monday. He was very tired, he said, after walking four hours from his village, and very hungry (although he wouldn't say that he was). I could tell he was a very nice, and humble man, so I asked him if I could buy him lunch. He was very surprised, and thanked me immensely after we had eaten.
After lunch, I went to the house of my little buddy Milton, and visited his mother. I witnessed to her hard, and gave her a Bible. She listened and took it with thanksgiving, and hugged it when I gave it to her. But, she would not accept Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. All in all, I passed out 5 Bibles total today.
Then, I went to Raphael's house to give him a few things. I had what I thought was an old corngrinder that I gave him to make tortillas. Come to find out, it was a meat grinder, and it didn't work right with corn. But, it did a wonderful job on making refried beans! So, they really enjoyed it.
While there, they offered to wash my car while I was visiting. So, I went and hit some more houses. When I returned, my car was as clean as it could be! What a blessing!
At around 4:45, Raphael and I started on our Bible Study. Several other people came and listened as well as I taught on the mystery of the antichrist. They really enjoyed it, and asked many questions. Afterwards, I went to my little room, and went to sleep still feeling a little sick, and very tired after a long day.
November 4th 2001 Sunday From Colomoncagua to La Esperanza
Today I passed out almost 30 bibles and over 400 tracts. I also preached on the street and had many people standing around, staring, and listening. I preached on "Sin."
After preaching, I left Colomoncaga at 11:00 A.M. and headed to La Esperanza. Madgalena (the cook and waitress at the comedor), asked me to take her niece or cousin or something (I always get them confused. Everyone is related here) with me to La Esperanza when I left Colomoncagua. So, I said, "Sure!" I witnessed to her and her 10-year-old daughter the whole way. I also gave her a Bible when we arrived at La Esperanza.
On the three hour drive, we not only talked about the Lord, but several other things as well. One topic that I found interesting was the war in El Salvador from 1979–1988 or 89. She said that as a kid, she remembers sitting on the top of Mount Picachito (in Colomoncagua) and watching them drop bombs on El Salvador. Also, she told me that over 10,000 refugees came to Colomoncaga during that time. But, they have all since gone back. How interesting this was to learn.
After arriving in La Esperanza, I encountered two Gringos from California (The McCrackens) that I had met in the internet café here a month or so before. I talked to them for a while, and once they found out that I was looking for a place to live in La Esperanza, they decided to show me some houses for rent here. So, we drove all over and saw a few. Afterwards, we drove to their ranch, and saw the house they are building there. It was 10 miles outside of town, and it was so peaceful and quiet. It was beautiful!
After this, I went to Pastor Ramon Galeano's church again in the evening. I had a wonderful time, as they are such friendly people. And, they have so much joy too. They are always singing hymns. I like that!
November 5th 2001 Monday The Trip Back to Tegucigalpa
I arrived in Tegucigalpa today at around 10:00. I was exhausted, but I did need to run a few errands. First, I went to the mall and checked my email. Then I went and had lunch at "Subway" there. It's definitely not as good as America, but it was the healthiest food there. I ordered a Roast Beef Sandwich, and savoured every bit of it.
After driving back to my little private room that I rent, I laid down and took a nap. I was so very exhausted! I slept for over three hours. Then I arose to start on my homework that's due tomorrow, as well as print up some discipleship books and Bible Inserts on my computer.
At 7:00 P.M., my host here asked me to drive her down the street to pick up here daughter from the bus. She gets out of college, and her bus arrives at a certain point at around 7:00. It is only about 3 blocks from the house here, but her mother is terrified of letting her walk it alone. She is always talking about how dangerous it is here and in this area. I believe I can now say that I know how Lot felt in Sodom. And, I wonder why he stayed there. I'm looking forward to getting out of here in a month or so, and finding a nice, peaceful, private place to live in La Esperanza (or the surrounding area). I hope that I can get a place that's outside of the city and away from others. We'll just wait and see.
After we arrived back at the house, my host asked me to show some of my pictures of Colomoncagua to her daughter. So, I did. Also, I showed her my Pastor's paintings in his book about the Apocalypse. She was very impressed, and asked a lot of questions. I also gave her Chick's comic books about the "Alberto" series, which explains a lot about the Catholic Church. She said she would read them, and tell me what she thought. I hope she learns something.
November 6th 2001 Tuesday School Days
Today I told them at my language school that I would be taking classes this week, but next week I would not. I'm getting a little low on funds, and I needed to take a week or two off to allow me to build up some more income. Also, I have absolutely no time to do much of anything. On Monday, I travel to Tegucigalpa from La Esperanza all day. Then on Tuesday through Thursday, I have classes 8 hours a day. And, then on Friday, I'm off to Colomoncagua for the entire weekend. So, I hardly have anytime to do much of anything. And, I need a week or so off in order to run some errands and do some studying.
In classes today I learned a lot from Tomas (my first teacher). But, Gustavo (my other teacher that teaches me in the afternoon) has been teaching me some very weird things. He's been teaching me college courses I'm sure of it, and the subjects range from Poetry to Communication Skills. We studied topics such as "The mediums of Social Communication," "How to Analyze a Narrative Work," "Poetry and Blank Verse," and more. He even has me writing fairy tales now. I guess he knows what he's doing, but I'm paying to learn Spanish. I've already learned most of this stuff in English Composition class in college. But, he assures me that it will help me with Spanish, so I'm going along with it. (For the time being anyway).
I also gave Gustavo a list of about 25 verses on "Eternal Security" today. Since our last run-in last week, I thought it was important to give it to him, so he would be able to see what the Bible says for a change. I hope he looks up every verse and realizes that eternal life is a free gift, and those that accept it, can't lose it.
It was also interesting today when Maria, one of the maids at the school, was looking down from upstairs at us, and she saw Gustavo and I sitting on a couch during our break. She knows I'm a missionary, as I witness to her and everyone there. And, everyone there knows that Gustavo is a "religious" man that goes to church. So, she said to us jokingly, "You are both sons of God aren't you?" I said, "I know I am!" Then I turned to Gustavo, and said, "How about you?" He looked straight ahead, and said, "Um, yes." Then, she said, "Well, Ray (one of the teachers there) and I are sons of the devil!" I know she was just joking and thought it was funny, but how sad it was. And, even sadder still that it's the truth. But, that's pretty much the attitude here in Honduras of many people. They make jokes and laugh about the Bible, the devil, Hell, and other things. They are a carnal people, and things eternal don't seem very real to them.
After returning to my little private room I'm renting, I spent some time printing out some more books and Bible Inserts in Spanish on my computer. Then, I went up to the gas station (several blocks away) where I park my car to pay the night watchman to watch it. He was late in coming today, and I wanted to make sure he got his money, so he would keep an eye on my car. Also, I gave a bible to one of the workers there named Guilmer (Really it's Wilmer, but they pronounce "W" as "Gu"). He was delighted to get it.
I then went back to my little room and on the way my hostess told me that she read some of the comic books I had given her daughter about what the Bible says about the Catholic Church. She said she really enjoyed it, and learned a lot. Also, her daughter told me that she read one or two and let a Catholic friend borrow one to read it. So, we'll see what happens there.
In the evening, I felt very hot. It was very cold outside (and inside), but my whole body was burning up. I hope I'm not coming down with something again. Well, just have to wait and see. My hostess said she would get the shower fixed soon, so at least I should have some hot water then. The sooner the better. Maybe it will help me and keep me from getting sick so often.
November 7th 2001 Wednesday Learning More About This Country
Today I learned a lot more about Honduras and Hondurans. For more than an hour, my first teacher taught me all about "The Problems of Honduras." He told me that the three biggest industries here were:
2. Arms (guns)
I believe he's probably right, as sad is it is. But, from what I've seen, there is not much mechanical industry here, and what there is comes from America.
He also told me that to him, the two most important needs that Honduras had were Education and Health. Many people here are continually sick, and according to him, it's because of a lack of Hygiene, and not eating right. So many here don't bath everyday, nor do they eat healthy. They usually eat the same food everyday – beans and rice. So, they are suffering nutritionally. It's a common thing to see many undernourished people. But, with the rich people here, it's not uncommon to see them usually overweight. Tomas said it eloquently when he said, "Eat to live, don't live to eat." There's a lot of wisdom in that statement.
He also told me how he helped to start several free clinics for children here. He said that many times, people would break in and steal things. They would even break the windows with rocks just for fun. He told me how irritated it was to try to help these people when they don't appreciate it. They don't even respect the fact that you are doing it for their own people. But, this is Honduras. He said the problem is that everyone has given them handouts here, and because of that, everyone has their hand out. They don't work for their own things, they only wait and beg for someone to give them what they need. How sad, that other countries, by their perpetual giving, have made this a country of beggars.
Tomas also told me that the three biggest problems in Honduras (outside of health related ones) were:
1. Ignorance (lack of Education)
2. Corruption (from the government level down)
People here will lie and steal and cheat, and smile while they do it. They will even steal your stuff, and when you come around, they will run to tell you "someone" stole your stuff, when they are the ones who did it! Tomas told me this, "Here, you work very, very hard for very little results!" He also said that here, "It's always Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow!" And, there is a lot of truth to what he's said. I've seen a lot of this so far, and I hope I can start a work in this country inspite.
Tomas, in his worldly wisdom, knew all the problems, but he did not have the answers. I asked him what he would do if he were president of this country. He said, first he'd institute better education and make it mandatory for all children. Then, he said he'd push a massive program to teach people how to eat right and keep themselves healthy. That sounds good, but that won't get the job done.
Education won't help much because "Education without salvation is damnation!" And, trying to get the people to be healthy won't help because you have to educate them to have good Hygiene. And, most of them won't listen.
The only thing that will help this country, and these people, is the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the words of God. You can't change this country overnight. You can't even change the people. But, God can! If one trusts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, it will change that person! And, the Bible will be his educator. Only the Bible will help him to live clean. That's what they need! They need the new birth, and the old book!
November 8th 2001 Thursday School, Verb Tenses, and Comic Books
School was long and boring as usual. But, I did learn a lot. Tomas taught me about verbs in the "Subjunctive Present" and Subjunctive Imperfect" tenses. And, Gustavo taught me about "Publications," and how to write "a Publicity ad." Will I ever use this? We'll see.
One interesting thing was that I took the whole set of Alberto series comics to school with me today. I was going to give them to Gustavo to read. But, when I started my first class, Tomas saw them, and asked me what they were. I told him, and said he was welcome to borrow them, and read them if he liked. He said he would really like to read them. He told me he was an "Atheist," but he liked to study different religions as he liked to learn. How did he put it? Oh yeah. He said, "I don't know if God made man, or if man made God." I quickly corrected him and said, "Oh, I know that God made man, but then man made their own gods." He agreed. But, even funnier, was when he said later, "Dios Mio! (My God!)," when something startling happened. So, I know that deep down he believes in God. He just doesn't believe in much else. I hope these books touch his heart and show him the way of salvation as he used to study under the Jesuits (as did Alberto) and he also is from Spain (as Alberto was as well). Maybe God will use these comic books to show him the light.
November 9th 2001 Friday The Journey Continues...
I awoke today around 6:30 A.M. and prepared for my journey to Colomoncagua. I left Tegucigalpa at around eight o'clock and arrived there at around 2:00 or 2:30 P.M. It was a long and very bumpy ride as I discovered my shocks are worn out, but I made it safely. I hope I can buy some brand new ones soon.
Once in Colomoncagua, I ate a late lunch, and then studied for a while. Then at about 6:30, I had cena (supper) after which I studied some more.
Raphael showed up here at my little room around six o'clock in the evening to tell me that he's going to La Esperanza tomorrow on the bus. But, he said he would be back in the evening for our Bible study.
He also told me that it wasn't good to give away Bible's to everyone. He said that to many people, it's just something they want to have, but they won't read it. He said I should only give them to Christians. But, I don't know what else to do. God said his word won't go out void (Isa. 55:11). And, I know if I can get at least one in each house, then each person in the village will have access to it, if they want to read it, at one time or another. So, I'm going to keep giving them out. What they do with it when they get it is up to them.
November 10th 2001 Saturday Not Your "Typical" Visitation
At around seven in the morning I got out of bed and read about 8 or 9 chapters of the book of Jeremiah. Then I did a bible study on "Hell." I was surprised how many times in the Spanish Bible (1909) that the word "Hell" was changed to sepulcro (grave) and one time to "gehenna." I didn't like this, but when I checked the 1960, it was worse. The 1909 has the word "hell" (infierno) in it 30 times, whereas the 1960 version only has it in it 9 times. Big difference! And, I couldn't find "hell" in the Old Testament of the 1960 one time! It was always changed to "Seol" (Sheol).
After studying, I went to eat breakfast. As I was eating, a man came to me and asked me for a Bible. I wondered how he knew I had one, but I didn't ask. Word travels fast in a small town, and I'm starting to get a reputation in this town as "the man who gives out Bibles." So, I went with him to my car and gave him one. He said he lived in San Miguelito which is an hour or so away. And, I've tried to limit my giving only to those who live in Colomoncagua, and then only one per household. But, I hated to tell him no, so I gave him one. All total, I handed out 5 Bibles today.
After breakfast, I did some visiting and had the opportunity to talk with many people. I spoke with several people who had tears in their eyes when I spoke about Hell. One lady wouldn't look at me as she was under so much conviction. But, most of them just don't want to get saved. They will listen, and you can see they are thinking, but they won't respond.
As I continued visiting, I walked right into a bar without knowing it and began passing out tracts. There I almost got assaulted by two drunks who kept putting their arms around me. One shook my hand and wouldn't let go for about 5 minutes. But, I stuck it out, and got out as soon as I could. Once outside I met a kid who said he was saved, and had a pretty good testimony. I gave him a Bible and talked to him for sometime. It was funny to me though, as he looked just like my friend Abraham White!
The next house I went to, I witnessed for almost an hour and had two professions of faith! One was named Ever of 15 years of age, and the other was named Hugo, 23.
A few houses later, I got into an argument with a Catholic family in their home. We argued for about 30 minutes. The grandmother got so mad, that she walked out of the room. So, I kept on trying to talk to the daughter who kept on going on and on and on about her church, traditions, and her priest. Our discussion covered many different areas. But, "Works" and "Interpretation" were the two biggest topics. She believed that works were essential for salvation. So, I read every verse I could think of that said it was not of works, but of grace! (Eph. 2:8,9, Rom. 4:4,5, Gal. 2:16, etc). Then the discussion turned to "Interpretation" and I was accused of interpreting those verses that I read to her. She said she needed a priest to show her the interpretation of the bible. I told her I didn't want the interpretation, I wanted to know what it said! Men are liars (Rom. 3:4). God is not. "Only God, only scripture!" I kept telling her over and over again. Finally I guess it sank in as things calmed down. So I excused myself and left as soon as I could. But, before leaving, I gave her "Are Roman Catholics Christians?" and "Why is Mary Crying" to read. She said she'd read them, then go to her priest for the interpretation. How sad.
At 2:30, I went back to my room to rest and to study for my teaching tonight. At around 3:30 P.M., there was a knock at my door, and it turned out to be Rapael, who had just gotten in on the bus from La Esperanza. He said he was ready to study the bible, so we went to his house, and studied about "Mystery Babylon the Great..." for about an hour.
At around 5:30, I went and ate dinner at my favorite little comedor. After this, I went to visit the house of the two young men that said they trusted Christ as their Saviour today, and was very disappointed to find them there drinking beer. One didn't show up, but the other one was a boy named Mario who made a profession several weeks before. So, I did the only think I knew to do, and studied the Bible with them for more than an hour. I preached about living holy, separated lives for God, and how we should keep ourselves from sin. They listened. Then, I tried to leave several times, but they kept asking me many questions about the Bible, which I thought was good. So, I stayed and showed them more verses. They asked me to come back every Saturday and teach the Bible. I don't know if they were serious, but I hope so. And, I hope they can get on tract, and get their lives straightened out for God!
November 11th 2001 Sunday Whiskey is the devil in Liquid Form...
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise! (Proverbs 20:1).
I saw first hand today the effects of liquor. In the morning, I found Rapael's older brother (Pablo) in the street drunk. I tried to take him home, but he fell down in the street. People were looking and laughing at him. But, I didn't think it was funny. So, I picked him up and walked with him all the way up the hill to his house. At his home, he passed out in the street. So, I woke him up and told him he needs to go inside and go to bed. Finally he did. I was so mad! Not so much at Pablo, as I was at those devils down the street that sell that liquid sin! I walked by the bar and just glared at those drinking, but especially the bartender. I wish he would get saved and quit selling that mess. Even better still, I wish all the drunks would get saved, and put him out of business! One of these days I'm going to preach against that place.
At around ten o'clock, I street preached again in the middle of town square. I preached on Hell as long, and as hard as my voice would allow me. Afterwards a drunk came up to me and asked me where Hell was. I showed him a few verses that said hell was down. He said, "Oh, thanks!" And, then he wobbled off.
I left Colomoncagua today at around 11:00 A.M. On the way, I stopped in the little town of San Marcos to eat a few Pupusas (tortillas with cheese and beans inside). While there I saw a man staggering down the middle of the street screaming and smoteing his chest completely oblivious to the fact that anyone else was around. I asked someone next to me what his deal was, and they said he was "borracho" (drunk). That wicked devil's juice strikes again!
After arriving at La Esperanza, I couldn't find any of the other missionaries there, nor the pastor, so I decided I'd just drive on to Tegucigalpa or as far as I could. I made it Comayagua, and stopped as I was exhausted. There I got a motel and spent the night. I was very tired after a long day, and was glad to rest. But, I was still mad at that hell which is called alcohol. If only Billy Sunday were still alive and spoke Spanish, I'd have a campaign for him here in Honduras.
November 12th 2001 Monday The Express Car Wash
I'm "experiencing" Honduras as they say, more and more every day. Sometimes I see things that make me laugh. Other times I see things or go through things that wear me out! Today, for example, I got my car washed. They told me it would only take about 30 minutes. But, an hour later it still wasn't done. I sat there and watched the guy do it. He did a great job, but it took him over an hour, as he kept doing the same thing over and over and over again. I'm still not sure if I paid for one carwash or seven. But, at least it was clean. That's the main thing.
After my car wash, I had them grease my car for me and clean my air filter. After that, I drove on to Tegucigalpa, where I bought another case of 32 nice new Bibles to give out. I'm about to go broke buying bibles, but at least I'm laying up treasures in Heaven. To me it's worth it. I just wish some of my supporting churches, would get in on the act. They are really missing out on a blessing (not to mention some rewards in glory) by not sending bibles.
November 13th 2001 Tuesday Repairs
Today I had to do what I hate the most – spend money! It's great to have money, but to spend it is not fun. It hurts sometimes! Especially when you are getting low on funds. But, it must be done.
So, I went to Midas at around eight o'clock this morning and had some new shocks put on my vehicle. I asked them to check my brakes as well, and sure enough the two front ones were shot. So, I ended up spending about 4500 lempiras ($300 American) on new brakes pads and four new shocks. But, it needed to be done, and I'm glad I got it over with.
After shelling out the dough at Midas for my truck, I went to a little Mechanic's shop down the road to get a power steering leak fixed. The top hose was leaking, and it was bone dry every three or four days. I was constantly having to fill it up. Thank God, they were able to fix it and finish it in the same day. But, that was another 735 lempiras out of my pocket (close to $50 bucks).
After picking up my car at around 4:30 P.M., I took it back to where I was staying and looked it over for damage from my trips to Colomoncagua. Sure enough, the horn had broken off inside the motor from all the bumpy roads, and was hanging down on the side of the fender. I fixed it to the best of my ability, and fastened it to the side of the fender with some screws. (I hope it holds). After this I looked at my tires, and found that they had worn down terribly since I got here. Looks like I'll have to buy some new ones soon. That's another load of money down the drain. But, maybe I can do what the Hondurans do here, and buy some innertubes to make them last longer. I've seen many a car with bald tires, but they just keep on running them. When a tube gets punctured, they just take the tire off, put on the spare, and then get the tube patched up. You've got to admit, these Hondurans are really practical.
After parking my car up at the gas station, I walked home and spent the evening trying to catch up on some correspondence. It's nice to have this week off from language school, and to have a chance to get some things done.
November 14th 2001 Wednesday All Day at the House
Finally I had a day of rest! Well, almost. I spent most of the day on my computer writing letters and studying. The day just went by too fast as I had so much to do, and I still didn't finish everything. But, thankfully I was able to get most of it done. Tomorrow it looks like I'll have to go to town and run errands all day. So, I guess I'll have to put off some more things until later. I have an idea for a "Discipleship Course" of 9 lessons that I'd like to get started on writing. But, it looks like I'll have to put them off until another time. The Lessons will be on:
#1 Salvation and How to win others to Christ
#2 Eternal Security
#3 Baptism (in the church vs with the Holy Spirit at Salvation)
#4 Church Attendance
#5 The Christian Life (sanctified, Spirit filled, and soul conscious)
#7 The words of God
#8 The Judgment Seat of Christ vs the Great White Throne Judgment
#9 2nd Coming of Christ (the rapture first, and the Second Advent after)
Well, that's my idea anyway. I've read so many different discipleship courses (in English and Spanish), and am not happy with any of them. They never give enough information. So, I hope to someday be able to get started on this project, and then use these booklets for new converts.
November 15th 2001 Thursday Errands
I started my day by paying my host here (Dona Enma) 2500 lempiras to be able to stay here another month. She was grateful. Then, I went to town and ran errands all day. I also got a much needed haircut, and spent two hours on the internet writing everyone back. Correspondence is long and tedious sometimes.
In the evening, I went to Bro. Abel Bonilla's house and took him and his family to dinner. It was my way of thanking them for helping me when I first came here.
After dinner, I parked my car at the gas station, and talked with my friend Nelson there for over an hour. He wants to learn the Bible, but he hasn't gotten saved yet. He knows he should, but he says he wants to "study it out more."
While we spoke, I saw one of the funniest things I've ever seen. A drunk came up to us and asked us for some money. He said he had a brother in the hospital, and had a sheet of paper from the police that said he had "permission to ask for money" in order to pay for the bill. It was a permit to beg on the streets! That blew my mind! That was too much! It was signed by the police and everything. And, here this man was, drunk as a skunk, asking for money. I don't know if he had a brother in the hospital or not, but if he had money to buy beer, he sure had money to pay for his brother. So, I didn't give him a dime. I only gave him a gospel tract and said, "Adios!"
November 16th 2001 Friday Trip to Colomoncagua
After leaving Tegucigalpa at around 9:30 A.M, I was pulled over by the police for the first time a little ways past Comayagua. They had a roadblock set up and were stopping everyone. It went smoothly though, as I showed them my permit to drive, and my Driver's License. They said everything was fine and sent me on my way. I was surprised how nice they were. I also gave them tracts before leaving, and they thanked me for them.
In Colomoncagua, I met Raphael and went to his house. We decided to go to El Salvador tomorrow and pass out tracts and he wants me to preach on the street. So, I look forward to that.
Also today, I had the privilege of passing out 4 bibles. When I first came into town, and got out of my car, the first thing that happened was that someone asked me for a Bible. I guess that I'm becoming known as "the guy who gives away Bibles."
November 17th 2001 Saturday Visitation in El Salvador and Honduras
Today, Raphael and I left Colomoncagua at around 6 o'clock in the morning. We drove about 45 minutes to the first main town in El Salvador, named San Fernando. There we visited a few houses and passed out tracts. The village was very small so we didn't get to preach on the street. But, I did visit a few houses, and spoke to those inside about the gospel. They were very friendly, and invited me in at every house. But, their response to the gospel was one of apathy. Maybe it was because they are so steeped in religion. Or maybe it was because they had never heard it before, and were skeptical. Either way, it was hard to get anywhere with them.
In San Fernando, we also ate breakfast. We had "Pupusas" (tortillas with cheese inside and a small salad on top). El Salvador is known for it's Pupusas, and I can now say from firsthand experience, they are wonderful!
We also encountered the Salvadorian Army there in the little village, and the soldiers were very nice as well. They helped us a lot, and allowed me to give tracts to all the soldiers. They also told me not to worry about my car, as this was a "free zone." That means that there is no border patrol around. So, I didn't have to worry about showing papers or anything like that.
After leaving San Fernando, we went back to Colo (what the people call Colomoncagua for short), where Raphael and I visited until about 4:00 P.M. We gave away about 6 Bibles and had a great time. In one house, we found a sick old woman that was well up in years. She said she hadn't eaten in three days. So, we came back later with some food and medicine. She was very thankful, but unfortunately, she thanked "the virgin Mary" rather than Jesus Christ. We tried to witness to her, but she didn't understand.
Also, we visited another house where I spoke with a family for sometime. Here, I saw a grown man start crying as I witnessed to him, while his family laughed at him and the gospel. How extremely opposite were these two reactions.
After finishing visitation and walking up to Raphael's house, we stopped at one house on the way. Raphael told me that the priest lived there. So, I knocked on his door, and introduced myself. He invited us in, and began talking to us. He didn't look like a priest as he was not dressed as one. He was wearing blue jeans, and a regular white T-shirt. And, he was very sly in the way he spoke.
While there, I asked him one question. I said, "If you were to die right now, where would your soul go, heaven or hell? He couldn't answer. He fumbled around for sometime, and then told me that my question was "locura" (absurd). Then, I began to read him scripture, during which he proceeded to keep putting his hand up in the air and telling me "that's enough!" He said that my question was only to make people think. "Exactly," I told him! But, I guess that's something he didn't want to do. So, after reading him a few more scriptures (against his will), We left. Raphael thought that was great. He kept saying, "That priest doesn't know anything about the Bible!" That is very true.
After that, Raphael and I studied the Bible at his house. We finished our series on "The Seven Mysteries in the Bible," by completing the mystery of the Restoration of Israel. Next week, I hope to start teaching about "Dispensations." And when we complete that, I want to teach him books in the Bible verse by verse starting with Paul's epistles.
At around 7:00 P.M., I went by myself a block down the street to study the Bible with Hugo. Mario didn't show up tonight. But, Hugo was there, and he sister. They really listened, and enjoyed studying the Bible. It's a hard thing to study there, as his father is a drunk, and continually comes into the room and bothers us. But, we got through it, and they want me to come back next week and teach some more.
All in all, it was a hard day, but it was worth it. I got out a total of 5 Bibles today.
November 18th 2001 Sunday The Trip Back to Tegucigalpa
I woke up today at around 7:30 A.M. to the sound of music blaring very loudly. I went outside to investigate, and found that it was coming from a truck with big speakers in the back. They were playing their political songs for their Presidential Candidate "Maduro." Because of this, all day I had these words rolling over in my head, "Los Catrachos unidos con Maduro" (Hondurans united with Maduro).
At around nine, I had breakfast. Then I studied and prepared a message to preach on the street about "Sin." Unfortunately, I was unable to preach because the music was too loud, and I could not compete with it.
At around eleven o'clock, I left Colomoncagua and took Raphael's pregnant older sister with me. She lives in the next town up the way called Camasca. I asked her if she was saved, and she said that she didn't know. So, I spent the next 20 minutes witnessing to her as we drove.
After I dropped her off, I began feeling quite sick. I broke out in a heavy sweat, and I had cold chills all over my body. I turned the heater on full blast in order to get warm, but I still was cold. So, instead of stopping in La Esperanza, I decided to drive all the way to Tegucigalpa and rest.
I arrived there before nightfall, and after securing my truck in the gas station up the street, I went to my little room. There I hit the sack feeling both exhausted and cold.
November 19th 2001 Monday A Day of Rest?
There is so much that needs to be done, yet so little time. I wanted to go to town today and get a few groceries, as well as change the sparkplugs in my car. Plus, I needed to check my email. But, all of that was put on hold as today I spent most of my time in bed.
I actually felt pretty good, but my body was still cold, and weak. Many times, I'd get up to walk, and my legs would want to give way. Yet, I still had enough energy to keep from falling. I don't know what it is, but mentally I felt fine. It was just my body that was weak. For this reason I couldn't sleep much today. So, I spent most of my time reading, and working on the computer. I hope that tomorrow I feel much better, as I have classes starting up again.
November 20th 2001 Tuesday To Classes and Home Again!
Today was a very weird and mixed up day. Bro. Abel called late last night, and said that I had to go to my lawyer's office today at 8:00 A.M. So, I went, and there they informed me that every month, I have to report my income to the Office of Tourism. I must prove that I am changing at least 1000 American dollars into lempiras every month. With my lawyer we went to this office and gave the man there my paperwork. He said I could fax the information each month, which would be a blessing, and would save me having to make a trip to Tegucigalpa every month.
After coming back to the lawyer's office at around eleven, I drove the 2 or 3 minutes up the hill to my language school where I was able to start classes again. But, I still felt very weak, and very cold. So, at 12:30, feeling like I was going to vomit, I told my teachers that I thought I needed to go home. They said I looked bad, and didn't have the right color in my face, and recommended that I should. So, I left and went to my little room, where I dropped down on my bed, and I slept for close to 5 hours, sweating the whole time. Hopefully that will help me to get better.
Then in the evening I spent some time working on my computer, reading, and preparing for my Bible study with Raphael on Saturday.
November 21st 2001 Wednesday Day in Class
I went to class again today, and this time I actually made it all the way through. I felt much better as I purchased some Mint Tea yesterday evening before parking my car in the Gas Station up the street. Also, I had my morning liquado today, and all of my vitamins. All these helped, I'm sure. And, today I felt a whole lot better!
My classes started late (as my teacher didn't show up to 9:00), but things went well. Then, my next teacher didn't show up at all! So, they gave me another teacher to take over his classes. It ended up being a young woman from New Jersey. She will be my teacher tomorrow as well, as they told me that my other teacher (Gustavo) is out of town this week.
In the evening, I went to my little room and had Nachos for dinner with Ginger Ale. I don't know if that's my favorite meal or not, but it's certainly the easiest to fix! And, after this I hit the sack still feeling a little exhausted from my sickness from yesterday.
November 22nd 2001 Thursday Another Day of Classes on Thanksgiving Day
This day went by very fast, and I was quite surprised how quickly time flew. I had classes with Tomás in the morning, and we talked about a lot of things. I learned about "Locuciones Verbales," (whatever those are), and then some. We also talked about Classical music, and found out we liked some of the same stuff. That was neat, and I believe that Tomas is beginning to see me as a real person, and not a "narrow minded bigot" that "hates the Catholic Church." I hope that being friendly with him will open the door to more discussions about the gospel. He told me yesterday that he read two of the Chick comics that I gave him, and will read the rest of them later. I hope so.
In the afternoon, I had classes with Joselyn again. She is very nice, but jumps around a lot on her subjects. Gustavo, it seems, is more prepared, and teaches on more "temas" (subjects). But the thing is, he is as boring as sin! Joselyn, however, is more entergetic, and keeps me from falling asleep. I guess it's good to have several different teachers, and see how they are different.
Also today, I spoke with one of the German teachers there at the "Academia de Lenguas Internacional." I said, "Guten tag, Weht get es inhen?" to start a conversation. Then I said a few more words in German (which were all I knew). We talked for a while in Spanish, and she told me she knew Colomoncagua, as she went there one time, and worked with the priest there (I guess the same one that I talked to the other day). She was very Catholic, and kept talking about her church. Well it just so happened, that I had a German tract with me, "Das War Dein Leben," so I gave it to her. She was very surprised, and very thankful. I hope she reads it.
After classes, I went to the Mall to check my email. I finally finished after an hour and a half. Then, I had my shoes shined, where I witnessed to the boy for some time. After this I went to the supermarket to buy some milk and Bananas for my Liquado tomorrow.
After leaving the Grocery store, I went up to the Gas Station to park my car. There I met Nelson (the security guard), and I asked him if "¿Todavía aceptó Jesucristo?" (If he accepted Jesus Christ yet?) He said, "No." I asked him if I could talk with him for 10 or 20 minutes about it, and he said, "I have all the time in the world!" So, for close to 45 minutes, I went all the way through John chapter three, as well as 1 John 2, 1 Peter 1:23, 2 Cor. 5:21, and more with him. He listened, and then after it was all over, he said, "I need to get more prepared!" I said, "Hombre! (Man!) you are already prepared! All you need to do now is act!" But, he said he didn't want to right now. He said he would think about it, and then in a week or so he would. I hope he does. Only God knows what's keeping him from getting saved. And, my prayer is that whatever it is, that God would take it away!
November 23rd 2001 Friday Short Weekend to Colomoncagua
I left Tegucigalpa at around nine o'clock, and arrived in La Esperanza around 12 or 12:30. There, I went to see Missionary Thomas Sweeney and his wife. They invited me in, and we talked for a while. A little later, they showed me a house up the street for rent. It was a nice house, but a little too small, and there was no place to park my car that was secure. So, I passed on that deal.
At two, I left for Colomoncagua, and "llegué" (I arrived) there at about 4:30 P.M. After eating at Magdelena's comedor, I found Raphael and we talked a while.
At seven o'clock, I went to Hugo's house and taught him about the second mystery in the Bible – Christ in you the hope of Glory! It went very well, and he listened very intently. Praise God we didn't have any interruptions! His drunk father, who is always interrupting us, was sleeping, and his family went to La Esperanza, so I was able to teach him one on one with no distractions. And, I really had my faith strengthened as I read this verses again with him. I guess you get so busy sometimes you forget some of the promises of God. But, to see them over again, and to know that eternal life is a free gift is a real blessing. How great is God's Salvation!
Tomorrow, I'll be going to La Esperanza. They said that things might "get out of hand" on Sunday with the elections coming up. Plus, they say traffic will probably be bad as well. So, I figured it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, I plan on going to church with Thomas on Sunday to see how it is.
November 24th 2001 Saturday From Colo to La Esperanza to Ojos De Agua and back
I left Colomoncagua today at around 9:00 A.M. On the way I picked up six or seven different people and witnessed to them. Several of them smelled like horses. I guess it's because they don't bathe much here. I'm getting an idea of what it must have been like during the Victorian Age. They didn't bathe much back then either. And, to tell you the truth, after a while, you get used to it, and it doesn't bother you anymore.
I also gave away one Bible today to a man that I gave a ride to. He was a Catholic man, and argued with me a little, but he listened when I said, "The Bible says..." After this, I bought him a coke at San Marcos, and sent him on his way with several tracts to read, and the Bible. I hope he reads it, and gets saved!
Once in La Esperanza, I hooked up with Thomas Sweeney again, and went with him to the little village of "Ojos de Agua" for some discipleship there. He told me that two weeks ago, a wonderful thing happened. A Catholic "lay" priest, named Arminio, got saved! And, while we were there I got to meet him. He really enjoyed learning the Bible, and hearing the truth.
After coming back from this village, I took a hot shower (for the first time in a long time) and went to bed. It was a good day, and I enjoyed my fellowship with Bro. Tomas.
November 25th 2001 Sunday Election Day!
Today was quite an interesting day. It was Election Day for Honduras, and many army soldiers were all over to make sure the elections didn't get out of hand. Because of the elections, there was a lot of traffic today, and a lot of crazy people! Everyone had their flag on their car of their favorite candidate. And, many people were frantically waving their flags at others as they drove by. It was a sight to see.
In the morning, I went to church with Bro. Sweeny, even though it was against the law. (Supposedly, the constitution here forbids any kind of meetings on Election Day and that includes churches as well. But, many churches don't pay attention to this, and have services anyway, as they don't inforce this law).
It was a very nice church, and "Hermano" (Brother) Jacobo was the pastor there. I was hoping to hear some preaching, but they only preach in the evening service. In the mornings, they have "discussion" time. Their Sunday School consisted of breaking up into groups and going and looking up several verses about a predetermined subject, and then discussing what they thought the verses meant. Even though it was my first time there, the pastor asked me to take a group upstairs and go through several verses with them about "Fidelidad" (Faithfulness). So, I did. We had a good time, and I hope they learned something. But, I still believe that there is no substitute for good old fashioned Bible teaching – verse by verse. If God allows me to start a church here, that's what I plan to do for "Sunday School," and then preach afterwards.
After service, I headed back to Tegucigalpa. But, before leaving, I found that my car wouldn't start. The battery had power, but it didn't have enough juice to crank over. So, I popped the hood, and found that a lot of battery acid had leaked out while driving these bumpy roads. Well, it just so happened that Bro. Thomas had a Instant Battery jump-starting kit, and he lent it to me to take with me to Tegus. It started my car over immediately, and I liked it so much, that I went and bought one as soon as I got into town. It's a real lifesaver, and a necessity in a place like this.
All in all it wasn't a very busy day, but it was fun to see how crazy these people are for "politics." They think that's the answer to all their problems. But, it's not even close. I hope I can be faithful in showing the truth of God's word and teach them what they need more than anything else – Jesus Christ the Lord!
November 26th 2001 Monday Blowing More Mullah!
Well, I had to do it again. I had to do the thing I hate most – spend money! And today I spent a good bit of it. I started out the day going to get my car cleaned. As usual, it was a typical Honduran car wash; it took over an hour! They did a great job, but it just took them so long. I guess I've still got that American mentality of "Don't just do it good, do it fast!" But, I'm learning. Thomas Sweeny says that the Honduran's motto is "We might not be good, but we're slow!"
At the car wash, I met my teacher Gustavo. I believe I was as surprised to see him, as he was to see me. We chatted for a while, and he told me that his friend owned the car wash, and that he had gone to Miami for two weeks. He left Gustavo in charge while he was gone. And that's why he wasn't able to come to classes last week. But, he said he'd be there tomorrow. He also gave me a good price on the wash.
After the car wash, I went to about six different places trying to find a new battery for my car. I went to Pricesmart, and they told me that theirs were too small, and that I needed a bigger battery. I went to Comayaguela, and they told me that they had a battery, but they would have to cut the adapters that I had, and put on new ones. I said, "Uh huh! No way!" Then I went to the AC Delco store. They said that they didn't have one big enough, as most of the cars here in Honduras are Japanese jobs. So, they sent me on a wild goosechase to about four other places, and I didn't find a thing. Finally, I stopped at a little Cooper Tire shop on Boulevard Suyapa, and they told me that they didn't have one, but they could order one. So, I waited as they called around to different places. Then they told me that their distributor had one, but it would take an hour or so to get in there. With my patience wearing thin, and my eye twinkling with a glimmer of hope, I said, "Do it!" So, they had someone send it over. It was exactly like the one I had, only a different brand name. And, it worked like a charm! Only thing I didn't like was the price – 1,300 plus lempiras (about 85 dollars).
Also during my "quest for a battery," I had several other things I needed done as well. I have a chart from Gloryland Baptist Church that is about five feet long by two feet wide. It is about Dispensational Truth, and it has the whole Bible lined out on it. I love it, and have been wanting to get it translated into Spanish, and use it for teaching. The only problem was that it would take me forever to do all the drawings, lines, borders, etc. So, I took it to several places to see if they could copy just the lines and drawings, and I would fill in the words in Spanish.
Well, Digix said they couldn't, but said Quixote could. So, I went to Don Quixote's art store. He said he could, but didn't want to. So, he told me to go to Xerox. There they told me that they could and would, it would only cost around 1600 lempiras (a little over a hundred dollars). That was very expensive! But, they also said that included the chart itself, mounted on a foam pad and a CD in which it is saved on. After I translate everything into Spanish and write it in, they will scan it again, and save it on my CD. Then, if I ever want to make more, and give them away, it will only cost about 15 dollars each. Well, I figured it was worth it, as this will be an excellent tool in teaching the Bible. But still, I hate to spend money!!!
I also spent several hours trying to find one little socket wrench to fit my sparkplugs so I could change them. What a fiasco that was! I must have asked for directions 10 times for "Larach & Compania" the largest hardware store here. I got all sorts of answers! Many people here don't know their right from their left! Several times I was listening to what they were telling me, and they would point to the right and say, now you go left! Then I'd say, "You mean right?" And, they'd say, "Yeah right!" and point to the left. What a mess! But, finally I found the place in spite of their directions. And, I changed my plugs when I finally got home.
Also today I found a very unpleasant surprise. I noticed that both my front shock absorbers (that I just bought two weeks ago) were broken! Both of them were busted and just hanging there straight up. I called Midas and told them, and they said just to bring in the truck and they'd fix them as they were under 6-month warranty. But still, they shouldn't have broken in only two weeks! I wanted the most heavy duty they had, and they assured me that they were them. But still I wonder! That road to Colomoncagua not only is wearing my car out, but wearing me out as well!
November 27th 2001 Tuesday New Shocks, New Inner tubes, New Teacher
I went to get my shocks fixed first thing this morning. It took them several hours to replace them, but they were under warranty, and I didn't have to pay a dime! That was a real blessing. Plus, they put a different brand on as well which are supposedly better. The new ones are a GM product, so I hope they hold up. They said if they break again, bring them back within six months, and they will replace them again. I sure hope these last!
After this, I went and had four brand new innertubes put in my tires. That road from La Esperanza to Colomoncagua has worn my tires out quickly, and I don't want to get a flat. So, I bought these tubes as a precautionary measure. I hope that I can hold on to these tires until they go completely bald before I have to buy new ones.
Everyone else here uses innertubes in their tires as well. You know what they say: "When in Rome, do as the Romans." Well for me, it's, "When in Honduras, do as the Hondurans!" And, most tire shops here specialize in patching up these tubes. So, if I do get a flat, all I have to do is look for the nearest tire place, and pay a few bucks to get my tube patched. That's a lot more efficient than buying new tires!
Around 11:30 A.M., I finally made it to my classes. They told me that I should just come back at one in the afternoon and start then since I had come in so late. So, I went to Burger King and ate and killed some time.
At 1:00 P.M. I started classes. They told me that Gustavo had called in and said he couldn't make it today, so I got Jocelyn as my teacher again. She is very nice, and taught me a whole lot of new words. They are mostly slang terms, but I'm glad that I'm learning them.
During the course of our studies, she asked me, "What's the difference between Catholics, Evangelicals, and Baptists?" This opened the door wide to be able to witness, and I was able to explain to her how someone needs Jesus Christ as their Saviour, not a religion. "Religion can't save a dead horse!" I told her. She laughed and laughed. I also gave her some gospel tracts to read as well.
November 28th 2001 Wednesday Another Day of Surprises
I got some news today. They told me that Gustavo will not be coming back. He called and said he didn't want to teach anymore. "Que bruto!" (How rude!) He didn't even have the dignity to give two weeks notice. So, I had classes with Tomas in the morning, and Joselyn in the afternoon.
Tomas taught me a lot of things, and he and I talked a lot as well. He told me that he's been all over the world, to many different countries. At 39 years of age, he is a world traveler. I also learned a lot more about him today. He told me that he was married once, to a woman from the Dominican Republic, but she divorced him. Plus, he said he had a child here in Honduras by a women. I thought he was married, but he told me that he's not married. He just had the child out of wedlock. How awful! But, he doesn't think there is anything wrong with it. Europeans!
Joselyn and I studied and read some of the newspapers from here. I was appalled at how many mistakes they contained. I might not know Spanish perfectly, but I know enough to know a mistake when I see one. And, these papers are full of them. Also, we talked about the Bible some more, and I was able to witness to her. I don't know if she listened much, as she seemed to be listening just to be nice. It seemed to me that she just wasn't very interested.
In the evening, I went to Xerox and picked up my Bible chart. They did a good job on it, but they didn't put everything in that I wanted. That's okay though. I can still use it. Now I have the tedious job of translating it into Spanish and writing it all in on the chart itself. Once I am through, it will be a wonderful tool to use in teaching the Bible!
After going to Xerox, I parked my car at the gas station, and asked Nelson if I could study the Bible with him again. He said yes, so I went through the entire chapter of Romans chapter three with him. He listened, but he still didn't get saved. I've never seen someone so chalked full of gospel buckshot, yet still not want to get saved. I told it to him straight, man to man. I said, "if you don't get saved, God is angry with you (John 3:36), and he'll put you in hell!" Not only that, "Your sin is that you're full of pride, and you deserve to go there if you reject Jesus Christ!" I told him plainly and correctly. But all he would say was, "Your right, and I will get saved, but later." I sure hope he does. I told him that "Jesus won't keep knocking for long, and then he just might move on. The more you reject him, the harder your cold heart gets!" I felt liberty to talk to him this way, as I love this poor kid, and I really want to see him get saved. Plus, he is interested in hearing the words of God. But, for the life of me, I can't figure out what it is that's holding him back. I guess it's just that old sinful pride!
Walking back the two blocks to my little room from the gas station, I met a guy on the street who saw that I had a Bible. He turned his bike around and came back to talk to me. He said his name was Randy Herring, and that he was a missionary here too. But, he said he was from the Assembly of God church. I spoke with him a while, and he seemed to know a lot of Bible. The only place we differed was with Eternal Security. He said a person could loose his salvation if he wanted to. (What a crazy thing to say. Who in their right mind would want to lose eternal life???) Anyway, I talked to him a while, and tried to get him to think, but he didn't see it. I pray that God will open his eyes, and show him that it's grace through faith that saves a person, and that keeps that person saved until the end (1 Peter 1:5).
Thus ended a long day of witnessing, studying, and running around. Tomorrow I get to do it all over again! What a thrill and a joy to serve a living God! And, what a joy it is not knowing what tomorrow will bring. It's never a dull moment here in Honduras!
November 29th 2001 Thursday Tomas, Joselyn, and Nelson
Today went by fairly quickly. I had a good class with Tomas, and learned a lot. He taught me several things that I'd studied before, but I seem to remember them better when I learn them the third or forth time. I guess I learn better by repetition.
I also met his sixteen-year-old son today. His name is "Gerson." Tomas named him that because it means "I feel a stranger in a strange land." And, I guess that's how Tomas feels here in Honduras. He hates this country. He's always talking about how awful it is, and how much the people lie. He says he is only here for his son, and in one more year (at the most) he plans to move somewhere else.
Tomas also told me some more about the History of Spain, as he remembers it. He told me when Franco came into power there, the government only recognized one religion – Catholicism. He said that it was the law that everyone had to go to mass. He further stated if someone didn't show up, then the priest could write a letter to the police, and they would come to your house and get you. That's worse than the German Gestapo! But, that wasn't the worst of it. He also said, that as a boy, he remembers seeing the cops beating people outside of the Roman Catholic Church by his home. He said the reason was that they wouldn't "gingaflex" (bow down on their knees and make the sign of the cross), each time they passed by the church. He said if anyone was caught passing by that church without doing this, they were beaten until they did. How wicked is that so-called church!!!
My classes with Joselyn were interesting as well. We studied about "The History of the World" from one of her textbooks from High School here in Honduras. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how many mistakes there were in these books. Not only were there punctuation mistakes, but spelling as well. It would be funny, if it wasn't so sad. While reading, I constantly had to stop and ask, what is that? She would say, "That's a mistake. It should be..." But, in spite I learned a lot.
This book not only taught Evolution, but Creation as well. At least they give both sides of the story (unlike America). But, unfortunately they gave more pages to Evolution than to Creation. Also, as I read about the history of early civilizations, and I noticed how everything matched perfectly with the Bible. They talked about Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Media-Persia, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and more. Every thing lined up exactly to the letter with what the Bible says. That was a blessing to see.
Also during class, I showed Joselyn my book on "Ruckman's Apocalypse" with all the pictures. She looked at it and asked many questions. This opened the door to witness even more. It seems to me that she is kind of sour to the Catholic church as well, but as far as I know, she isn't saved. All I can do is pray for her, and keep preaching the gospel.
In the evening, I parked my car at the gas station and had a Bible study with Nelson again. I took him through the entire chapter of Romans 10, and he listened. And, praise God, he finally trusted Christ's shed blood to save his soul!!! What a blessing that was! I told him that I'd continue having bible studies with him as long as I was here. Plus, I'm going to start him on this discipleship series I have. I hope he learns some things from it.
November 30th 2001 Friday Trying to Get to Colomoncagua
I started my day with a good old Banana Liquado. After which, I loaded as much of my stuff as I could into my car to take to La Esperanza. My plan is to move the middle of December there, and "poco a poco" (little by little) move my belongings into a missionary's house there. He has a spare bedroom, and said that I could use it to store my stuff until I find a place of my own.
At 10:00 A.M., I went to see Bro. Abel Bonilla. We talked for a while, and he told me I was more than welcome to stay at his house as long as I needed, as he is planning on going to Australia for a month. So, I might just take him up on that.
I also had to ask him about how to conduct my finances here. The law says I have to change $1000 American dollars every month into lempiras. And, I must have proof from the bank to send to the Department of Tourism that shows I am doing it. So, he showed me the paper work I needed, and told me how he did it.
After this, I had to run an errand. It was a typical Honduran style disaster. I wasted three hours trying to get something done, and still didn't get what I needed. Here's how it went. I received a telegram from a church in Mexico that said they wanted to support me. And, on the envelope, it said to go to Hondutel to find out how to respond. So, I asked around and found the nearest office. There, they told me they had no idea about telegrams, and I would have to go to the downtown office. Well, I didn't know where the downtown office was, and apparently they didn't either. They told me just to go downtown and ask around. So, I did. Finally, I found it. And, there they told me that they couldn't contact the person who wrote me the telegram, as they had written the phone number down wrong from him. "Sorry!" was all they could say. So, I wasn't able to make contact with the Mexican Pastor. Thank goodness I have his address, and can write to him.
While downtown, I got an idea of what it's like to be a Honduran Street Vendor. While walking to Hondutel, I stopped at one little booth and asked the man there to put a battery in my watch. He opened it up and then took the old battery out. When he put the new one in, it didn't work. He fooled with it for about 10 minutes, then got up all of a sudden and said, "I'll be back, just sit right there!" And, before I could say anything, he was gone with my watch, and he left me there with all his merchandise. My first thought was, "I'll never see that watch again!" But, not knowing what to do, I just sat there and watched the people go by. I must have set there for about 15 minutes when he came back with my watch. He said, "Here you go, good as new!" He told me that he had to take it to his friend to fix it. But how "unprofessional" to run off and leave your merchandise number one, and number two to take someone's watch and walk away with it. But, this is Honduras, and many strange things like this happen here.
After taking a taxi back to my car from downtown (I can't stand driving down there as I always get lost), I left for Colomoncagua. But, I was so late in leaving, that I only made it to La Esperanza, and had to spend the night there at Bro. Thomas Sweeny's house. After unloading my stuff (and finishing just before dark), I went to a special church service with him at his church. It was a service to honor graduates from the schools here (their classes end now, and then start up again in February). There was singing, preaching, and cake. It was a good time. After this I went back to his house to sleep exhausted from a day of traveling and running errands.
December 1st 2001 Saturday A Day of Visitation, and Getting Mad at Sin!
Today I drove to Colomoncagua and visited all day long. I gave away a total of 12 Bibles as well. I also had one profession of faith. His name was Elmer Trejo, age 32, and I must have reasoned with him from the scriptures for about 30 minutes before he trusted the blood of Jesus Christ to save his soul. What a blessing!
While visiting, I met all sorts of people, and was able to sit down in many homes and preach to them. I'm still surprised how much you can say here without offending the people. They just smile and look at you and say, "Is that right?" On occasions, I've even tried to insult them, and their church on purpose to get a rise out of them, but they just sit there and smile. They are so cold and passive! Would to God they'd respond! I'd gladly like it if they'd yell and scream at me. Anything is better than just sitting there like a bump on a log and smiling, and laughing when you talk to them about Hell! Now, I know how the Old Testament prophets felt when they preached to Israel – a cold and stiffnecked people.
At 5:00 P.M. I taught Raphael about "Dispensational Truth." He was tired and looked like he wasn't listening, but he told me later that he was paying attention, and he enjoyed it. He just didn't get any sleep last night.
At 7:00 P.M., I went to Hugo's house, and he was "busy" with things so we didn't get to study the Bible. But, I read him some verses anyway. Before I left, Pablo (Raphael's brother), staggered into the house drunk. He stood behind me and listened as I read a few scriptures. Afterwards I took him to his house where I found he had a bottle of "Guarro" (moonshine!) in his pocket. I said, "Give me the bottle Pablo!" He said, "Nooooooooooo!" So, I told him he loved sin more than he loved God. He almost started crying, but he wouldn't give me the bottle. So, I said, "Goodbye then! I want to help you, but I can't help you unless you give me the bottle!" But, he wouldn't do it. So before leaving, I told him he needs to remember that if he's saved (says he is), that whatever he loves more than God, will be taken from him by God! And, I said I'd be praying that God breaks his good leg so he can't go to the bar anymore. Anything is better than sinning against a holy God! Then I left him and walked away with him crying, "No, No, No!"
While walking down the hill from his house, something stirred within me. I got so mad that I walked right into the bar that sold him that junk and put my Bible on the counter. I said, "Good evening gentlemen, it's time for God's word of the day!" Then I read Proverbs 20:1 out loud: "WINE IS A MOCKER STRONG DRINK IS RAGING; AND WHOSOVER IS DECEIVED THEREBY IS NOT WISE!" I heard the bartender say, "Whew!" Then I slammed my Bible shut and said, "Good evening gentlemen!" And, left. I saw them all out of the corner of my eye pause, and look at each other, then in unison say, "Buenas Noches" (Good night) in a rather polite, yet surprised manner.
I was mad! After leaving the bar, I walked toward my room and preached to everyone in my path! Drunks were everywhere and I let them have it! I tried to give one a tract and he screamed at the top of his lungs, "NO! I don't want that paper!" "Fine then!" I said. "It's a free country, you can go to hell if you want to! But just remember Jesus saves!" And I walked away. Then I encountered four boys by another bar. I gave them all tracts and rattled of a few verses and said, "Read that cause I don't want you to go to Hell! And, Jesus doesn't either! That's why he died in your place!" Then, I walked on to my room with steam still coming out of my ears. How much I hate sin!!! I have an idea of how much God hates it now as well.
I might get killed in this country, but at least I want them to know that there stood a man among them that preached the truth, and wanted to help them. And, a real man is someone who can say "NO!" to the world, the flesh, and the devil!!!
December 2nd 2001 Sunday The Trip Back to Tegucigalpa
Well, unfortunately I didn't get to preach on the street again today. I was all ready to, and had my message prepared, but the people had moved around a bit, and had taken my only good preaching spot. I sure hope it's open next week. If not, I'll preach to the wall if I have to.
So, I left Colomoncagua early and came back to Tegucigalpa. Before leaving I always get a kick out of looking at my car. On the road from La Esperanza, there is so much dust, and by the time I make it to Colomoncagua, my car is covered with it. And, usually someone thinks it's funny to write things on my car in the dust. Last week, someone had written "Hola Guapo" (Hello Handsome). But this week they wrote, "Viejo Tonto" (Old Fool!) That's just too funny!
On the way to Tegucigalpa, I stopped at a restaurant called, "Los Jarros" (The Clay Pots). They serve typical food from Argentina. And, boy is it good! From there I drove back to Tegucigalpa and spent the rest of the evening working on my Bible Chart that I still haven't finished translating.
December 3rd 2001 Monday A Day Spent Working
Most of my day was spent working on translating a Bible Chart from English to Spanish. I had hoped to finish today, but only was able to complete about half of the chart. It is very complex and very tedious work. However it will be a valuable tool once I ever get it done.
I spoke with Nelson today, and he told me he went to church yesterday downtown at the Baptist Church there. That's a pretty good sign that he got saved if he went looking for a church! He said he enjoyed it, and the preacher preached hard. He likes that.
In the afternoon, I went to the Mall and checked my email and then bought about 500 lempiras worth of groceries (About 30 American dollars).
After this I went back to my little room and spent my time printing up booklets and working more on that chart. It was a fruitful day in that I felt that I got something done, but I sure could use about 5 more days like this one in order to complete several other projects I have in mind.
Tomorrow it's back to school. I hope all goes well, and I learn something. I've really enjoyed it these last several months, and wish I could stay and learn more. But, I must go
December 4th 2001 Tuesday An Interesting Day at The "Academia de Lenguas Internacional"
Classes went well today except for a little outburst in my first class. It seems Tomas got a little bit angry when Ray (one of the teachers there) came into my class and asked him a question. Tomas started yelling and getting mad. It was quite a thing to see. I learned a few new words today as well, but they weren't the kind of words that I wanted to learn.
It seems the argument was over the Spanish tongue. They asked Tomas to correct some of their teaching material, as they know he speaks the true Spanish (from Spain). Well, he spent a whole week doing it, and then they went back and changed some of the stuff he fixed. He said they were ignorant and didn't know Spanish at all. And, their changing it back to Honduras slang really upset him. He even had to leave class for about 10 minutes to cool off. Well, I didn't know what to do, so I just set there peacefully and waited. But, I sure didn't like to see that. Not only did I not like to see Tomas mad, but I also didn't appreciate Ray marching into class without knocking (Nobody knocks here. They are so rude.), and bringing these things up while I'm in the middle of a class that I'm paying for. But, such is life here in Honduras.
During my break I asked a woman teacher from Germany if she would translate one of my favorite songs, "Lily Marleen," from German into English so I could know what old Marleen Dietrich was singing about. She did it gladly and said she'd give it to me tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.
In the last half of the day, I had classes with Yoselin (I found out that's how you spell her name. All this time I thought it was Joselyn). She put me to work translating articles out of the newspaper from English to Spanish. While I was doing it, she would ask me questions, and seek my advice about her boyfriend and other things. I tried my best to answer her questions, and witness to her, while trying to do my work as well.
At 5:00, I went back to my room and began working on a few projects. I also did a little on my Bible Chart as well. But, I think it will be quite a while before I am able to finish it, as there is so much to do in the mean time.
December 5th 2001 Wednesday More Classes, and a Visit to Nelson's house
What a wonderful day I had today. I started with a great tasting Banana, Carrot, Watermelon, and Pineapple Liquado. Then I read my Bible and got ready for classes. I had a great time with Tomas and learned a lot about him. From talking with him today I got to see his heart and that in reality, he is just a wicked dirty man who needs the Lord as his Saviour. On the outside he looks nice, and acts nice, but really he's just an old sinner. I sure hope he gets saved, but he's one tough nut to crack.
Also, he brought his son to class with him, and the three of us talked about a lot of things. I feel sorry for his boy, as he is teaching him so many bad things. I pray that he will get saved as well.
In classes with Yoselin, I told her that I wanted to translate one of my books into Spanish. She offered to help, and said she would even finish the rest of it in her free time at home. That was above and beyond the call of duty! My prayer is that she will get saved as she has to look up the verses in order to translate them correctly into my book about the Study Notes for a Christian.
After classes, I went to the gas station and picked up Nelson and took him to his house. I had a wonderful time there with him, and was able to meet his "women" and their child. He told me they were not married, and I told him that they needed to get married. He dropped his head and said, "Yes, we sure do need to!" I hope they do.
While at his house, several neighbors came over and talked with me. One in particular was a young lady named Concepción Molina. I spoke to her for a while, then I pulled the Bible out and began preaching about Salvation. She was Catholic, so I started in on how the Catholic Church lies, steals, cheats, and deceives. Well, most "Christians" don't use this approach, as they are afraid of "offending" someone, but I do. And, I back up what I say with scripture. So, after about 45 minutes dealing with her, she finally said, "You're right! The Bible is right, and they are wrong." And, right then and there she trusted Jesus Christ as her own personal Saviour! What a blessing that was. Some "Christians" would never have done it that way, but I just want them to know the truth. And, the truth is that this "religion" is damning their souls to hell. Until they see that, and turn away from it, they can't be saved. So, I attack the root of the problem first thing.
I'm not interested in just getting someone to say a prayer, so that I can brag about it in my prayerletters as some "Missionaries" do. I want them to know, understand, and accept the truth. I've learned that Catholics love to say prayers. They will repeat a prayer faster than you can drop a penny. But that's in vain, as they are trusting their prayers rather than the Blood of Jesus Christ.
I remember in Colomoncagua several weeks ago when I took Raphael with me visiting. We visited the house of one very old woman who was very sick. I began witnessing to her, but Raphael butted in. I decided to let him go ahead just to see what he would do. Well, he told her she needed to get saved, and that she needed to repeat this little prayer, "Lord, I'm a sinner, I come to you, and trust you and you alone to save me, Amen!" Well, she followed him, but this is how she said it, "Lord, I'm a big sinner, and I come to you and Mary and trust you and the virgin alone to save me, Amen!" And, she said it in sort of an agitated tone of voice like, "If I say this, maybe they will leave me alone!" When we left, Raphael was saying that she got saved. I had to tell him otherwise. There was no conviction, and she didn't understand completely that it was in Christ and his sacrificial blood atonement alone. She was trusting in Mary and her church. So, I'm very careful to make sure a person sees the light, and understands that religion can not save them! This is what I'm teaching Raphael, and he's beginning to see it.
So that ended my day. I'm not at all interested in how many prayers I get. I'm interested in seeing lives changed by the saving power of Jesus Christ. And, I've really seen a big change in the life of old Nelson. He is really "bringing forth fruits meet for repentance." I hate to leave Tegucigalpa now with so strong a convert. Maybe I can come back once a week and teach him the Bible. I sure do love this kid.
December 6th 2001 Thursday A Day of Travel, Joy, Shopping, and Pain!
I left Tegucigalpa bright and early this morning on my way to La Ceiba. Before heading out, I packed my car full of stuff to take to La Esperanza on Friday and put in storage.
I arrived in La Ceiba at around 1:00 in the afternoon. And, immediately I went to the bank there to get some cash. After this, I drove to the Honduras Bible Society to buy the 1569 and 1602 Spanish Bibles. They didn't have any but told me to come back later in the evening (6:00 P.M.), as they would have a courier bring them by bus. I did as they said, and returned later, but found that they only had the 1602. So, I bought it and was glad to be able to find a copy as I believe they are out of print.
After visiting the "Sociedad Biblica," I went straight to my old friend – the water – to see how it was doing. I pulled up at the beach there and was awestruck. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was a light onshore wind, and there were 2 foot glassy swells peeling off in perfect rights around an awesome point break! The spot was about a ½ mile from the pier here, and not a soul was in sight. I just sat there on a rock, and marveled in the peace and tranquillity, as these perfect swells came bellowing in. That "old man" of which Paul speaks came back to life today as I wanted so badly to go surfing. I wished I had my longboard, and I imagined myself rocketing down the face of these little mountains that came rushing in to shore. How beautiful and perfect were these waves!
Well, after about 20 minutes, I couldn't stand it any longer, so I put on some old pants and a T-shirt and jumped in. The water was wonderful! And, I walked out to the swells and just enjoyed watching and feeling them break over and around me. The undertow was fairly strong, and they broke steep. It would have been great to spend the day riding them. The bottom was rocky, however, and I cut my foot up pretty bad on something down there. I looked at it, and it had cut a pretty deep gash, and had even left a rather large chunk of skin dangling around. So, after swimming some more and letting the saltwater cure it (and praying that no sharks would come around), I walked back to my car in the sand and gravel bleeding everywhere. I wonder if that wasn't the judgment of God on me for wanting to go surfing. Maybe he was just reminding me that I've got a job to do, and going surfing again would just hinder his purpose for me being here.
Well, to make a long story short, I looked in my car for some medicine, but didn't have any. So, I did the best I could, as I had to "improvise." I scraped the gravel out of the wound with my car keys and disinfected it with listerine. After this I cleaned it with shampoo. This did the job until I was able to go to a drugstore and get some Hydrogen Peroxide, Antibiotic ointment, and bandages. Surprisingly it didn't hurt to badly.
In the evening, I rented a hotel room, and made plans to leave early in the morning for Santa Rosa de Copan and Bro. Ronnie Doss' orphanage. I'm supposed to have several cases of Bibles there waiting for me that were sent from the states.
December 7th 2001 Friday Finally I arrived in La Esperanza
I went from hot to cold today (weather wise that is), as I left the warmest part of Honduras (La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula), to the coldest part of Honduras (La Esperanza). I started the day using the A.C. and ended it having to turn on the heater. And God knows how much I hate the cold!
First I drove to San Jose to see Bro. Ronnie Doss and pick up my Bibles. After a long four and a half hour drive, I finally arrived there, only to discover that the container had not arrived yet. It had been hung up in customs, and Bro. Doss had left today for San Pedro Sula to try to get some paperwork in order to get the container to his orphanage.
So, I talked with Bro. Calin in charge there, and he said he'd notify me when the container comes in. So, that was a wasted, costly trip .
From there, I took "the back, back roads" to La Esperanza. It took three hours to finally arrive there, but the view of the mountains was breathtaking (even though the roads were awful), and that made it worthwhile.
Once in town, I immediately went to Bro. Thomas Sweeney's house to unload my stuff. After this, I visited Pastor Jacobo and was happy to hear that he had read the book I gave him about the Spanish Bible issue. He is very interested, and wants to learn much more. Also, he wants to switch to the 1909 Reina-Valera in his church, as he sees the errors in the 1960. What a blessing to see people respond to truth the right way.
After a great visit, I went back to Thomas' house and ate dinner with him and his wife Rhonda. Then I turned in being so very exhausted from traveling so much. I thought my traveling days would be over when deputation ended. But, it seems that they have just begun.
December 8th 2001 Saturday Dead Tired, but Doing the Best I could
This day was not exactly the best one I've ever had. I didn't sleep too well last night, and then I had to get up early to go to Colomoncagua this morning. I was still so exhausted from traveling to La Ceiba, and wished I could rest more. But, you can't always get what you want.
When I made it to Colomoncagua, I got a flat tire, and had to get that fixed. Then I wasn't able to visit as much as I would have liked as my foot hurt too bad to walk on. So, I didn't get too much done today. I did get to study some and finish reading a book about Dispensational Truth. I used much of the information to teach Raphael at 6:00 P.M in our Bible study.
From 7:30 P.M till 9:45, Hugo and I studied the Bible. He really enjoyed it. And his sister said that they wanted to come to church if I can get a place to meet here. I really hope I can.
Before our Bible study though, I had to help Hugo put his drunk Dad in bed. He was too heavy for Hugo, so I had to do most of the lifting. I was so surprised to see and feel that he was nothing but skin and bones. That liquor is killing him. I hope someday I can meet the man sober and give him the gospel.
December 9th 2001 Sunday The Battle Rages
I wish I could put on paper the struggle that I'm feeling inside. Sometimes I wish I could leave Colomoncagua and never return. That place is wearing me out (and my car as well). This old flesh says, "They are all a bunch of drunks and Catholics, and they won't get saved anyway. You're wasting your time Robert old boy!" But, then I remember if I don't take them the gospel, who will? Nobody!
Then I have to struggle with the urge to go home as well. I so much want to go back home, but not to stay, just to visit. I know God wants me here, and I accept that and don't mind too much being here. But, I sure would like to see home again just one more time.
I remember Bro. Ronnie Doss telling me one time, "Everyday it's a battle here." I'm starting to believe it. Not only do I have to battle the flesh, but I must also fight this desire to go home as well. Then there's the desire to quit working here in Colomoncagua too. When Nelson got saved, I had no where to send him. There is no good Bible Believing church in Tegucigalpa. Part of me wants to stay there and try to start a work, as there are more souls there in that city to be won, and they seem more receptive to the gospel. But, then I remember how God got me here in Colomoncagua and I believe this is where he's called me. So, I guess I'll just have to keep on trying here in Colo until God tells me otherwise. Sadly (and to my shame), I find myself hoping that he will, and soon. God help me to be thankful, faithful, and joyful. Amen!
December 10th 2001 Monday Bad News, Bad Health, Bad Day
Yesterday I arrived in Tegucigalpa around 3:00 P.M. I was dead tired as I looked at my odometer and realized I had driven close to 700 miles in the last few days. What a distance to travel! And, what a short time to do it in.
Upon my arrival yesterday, I went straight to my "habitacion" as they call it here, and took a good three hour nap. After this, I went to the Mall to check my email. There I got the most awful news. My uncle "Tooter" was killed last Monday in car accident. How saddened I was to hear these terrible "noticias." I wished I could have gone to the funeral. But, these are the kind of sacrifices we missionaries must make to serve the Lord. At least I was able to visit him before I left to come here in August. I'll always remember him the way he was then.
Today I arose feeling miserable. I had a pain in my "panza" (slang term they use here for my stomach). It stayed with me all day long, and I had to go to the rest room quite a few times. But, thankfully it went away in the evening.
My day today didn't amount to much either. I went to my Lawyer's office for our appointment, and found out I had my days mixed up. It's tomorrow that we are supposed to go to get my Residence Visa Card. With this I'll have many a more privileges here in Honduras. (Not to mention that I will be legal). All I lack after this will be to get my Honduran License plates for my car, and then I'm good to go for five years in this country.
The rest of the day was spent shopping for a few important items (shaving cream, vitamins, etc.). Then I went back to my little room to rest.
December 11th 2001 Tuesday Finally I'm a Honduran Resident!!!
I went to my lawyer's today, and ran downtown with her and got my paperwork finished. I am officially a Honduran Resident now! It will take 30 days before I can officially get my "Resident Card," but they gave me a piece of paper that said I have all the rights and privileges as if I had it already. Now all I lack are my two Honduran license plates (for the front and the back). But, that will be another month or so before I can get those. Also, I paid my lawyer today, and I'm in the clear. They said I wouldn't have to pay them anymore. All in all, it only ended up costing me $800 dollars. That's pretty good from what I hear.
The rest of the day I spent running errands and getting a few things taken care of. I was still sick all day with a rather bad bellyache, and went back to the house as soon as I could. I've had a bout with old Montezuma and his revenge the last couple of days, and I'm ready to get well.
In the evening, I went to the Gas station to pick up my buddy Nelson to go to his house and study the Bible. He said he wanted to, but they made him work tonight as well. Immediately though, he asked when I could come again. I told him Thursday would be good and we made plans for then. I hope he doesn't have to work then, as he is really excited about learning the Bible. He is even witnessing he tells me, and passing out tracts. What a blessing!
December 12th 2001 Wednesday Classes and a Classical Concert
My day went by pretty fast it seemed. I had classes today with Tomas and Yoselin. They went well. Tomas covered some basic things that I had already learned, but it was good to review. Yoselin helped me translate some things from one of my books into Spanish, and I'm looking forward to getting it done soon so I can hand it out here.
I also had a wonderful opportunity to witness to Yoselin today. She listened to every word, and even took notes. I started by asking her, "Have you ever been born again?" She said, "I don't know!" So I said, "Can I show you what the Bible says about how to be born again?" She said, "Sure!" Then I took her through it. When I got done she said, "That's pretty good! I like that!" Well that was great to hear, but I asked her when she got saved, and she said she didn't know, but has always believed in God. Well, I took her through it again, and showed her the verse in James that says even the devils believe in God (and tremble) and I said, "But they aren't going to heaven!" "I see," she said. Then she said, "Well, if the Bibles right, I'm trusting the blood of Jesus Christ and nothing else!" "Amen!" I thought. But then when I asked her when she got saved, she said a long time ago. So, that's one of those things. I don't know if she did get saved, or if she is saved, or what. But, she listened and seemed to understand it. She even took notes and said she was going to go home and tell her mother about it. So, what do you do? I'm just thankful to have had the chance to tell her. And, whether or not she is saved, I guess I'll just have to wait till we get to the other side to find out.
After classes, I had a splendid evening as I went to downtown Tegucigalpa to hear the music of Carl Orff and his work "Carmina Burana" presented by the Honduras Philharmonic Orchestra. Tomas loves this piece and told me about it. In fact, he has been trying to get me a copy of it on CD. I had never heard it before so I thought I'd go just to listen.
Well, the orchestra did an awesome performance, and the music was pure sublime. I really enjoyed it. I guess you can say I got my yearly dose of "culture." I usually don't like those things, as they always seem to glorify man. I despise that. I want to glorify the God who created man! But after the concert was over, I was so surprised to hear that the conductor thanked God. Now, I know he probably doesn't know God from a watermelon, and more than likely he isn't saved. But, it was good to hear that anyway. Just give all the glory to God! Man doesn't deserve a bit of it!!! That's what I'm saying.
December 13th 2001 Thursday New Tires and New Problems
I went to school this morning still feeling very sick to my stomach. This is the fourth day now that my stomach has been bothering me. The pain comes and goes, and it is very queasy. It feels like it's some kind of stomach virus. Maybe it will pass with enough vitamins and time.
My classes ended today at 12:30. Instead of staying for lunch, I decided to go home. Or at least I tried to. When I left the school building, I noticed my car had a flat. So, I spent the next 20 minutes or so taking that one off, and putting on the spare. Then I drove to the tire shop down the hill from my school. There I asked them to fix the inner tube if they could. Well, they took it out and found that it had a huge split in it too big to patch up. And, they told me that those tubes were not the right ones for my car anyway. Well, I was thinking, "Then why did you sell them to me if they weren't the right ones?"
They showed me how they could easily get pinched inside the tire, and then split and explode. So, seeing as how my tires were almost bald anyway, I asked them to show me new tires. They did, and then I called my Dad in the states to see if he thought they were a good deal. He told me they were, and said he'd buy them for me, which he did! What a blessing!
They put them on in typical Honduran style. What should have taken less than an hour took close to two and a half, as they are always laughing, joking, and making it a point not to work too fast. And as usual, I had to stay there and make sure they did the job right.
At 2:30, Tomas (my teacher) walked by and saw me there and asked me what was going on. I told him I was getting new tires. He was glad to see that. I asked him where he was going and he said he was going to take a Taxi home. I told him to save his money, and I'd gladly take him there. He agreed, and as soon as they finished with the tires, we left for his house.
After dropping him off, I went to the mall to check my email. I also looked up Carmina Burana on the Internet to find out more about it. I learned that the music was written around the time of the second world war by old Carl Orff himself, and was praised by Adolf Hitler and his third Reich. I also wanted to see if I could find the words to it, as I wanted to know what they were singing about. Tomas told me that Carmina Burana means "Profane Poems." And, the words to the music came from old Latin Catholic manuscripts found in a monastery in Germany. The reason it's called "Profane Poems" is because these poems were written in the middle ages by Catholic monks and glorified drinking, partying, and revelings. This is why Tomas likes it so, as he says, "It mixes worldliness with spirituality." Well, when I read the words that were translated in English, I was appalled! They had written about everything from child molestation to homosexuality! So, I had to repent and ask God to forgive me for going to that concert. The music might have been beautiful, but the words only glorified sin! And, that's all the world really cares about anyway.
When I left the Mall, I noticed that my car was leaking antifreeze. So, I drove up the road to the Chevrolet dealer, and asked them what the problem was, and how much it would cost. They told me the water pump was shot, and that it would cost 5000 Lempiras to fix it (about $400 dollars). Plus, they said that they would have to order the pump and it would take over 4 days to get there. Well, I didn't feel like waiting, or paying that much if I could help it. I bought a whole bunch of parts for my car before leaving the states, and I believe I bought a water pump as well. I think it's in a box with the rest of the parts that I moved to La Esperanza, so tomorrow I'm going to drive there and see if I can find it. If I do have it, then maybe I can save some money. But, if I don't have it, then I am completely at their mercy, as Chevrolet parts are hard to find in this country. Just about every car is a Japanese job.
In the evening, I finally was able to go to the house and begin packing. The plan is to come back next week for one more week of classes, and then after that, stay in La Esperanza for good, and look for a place there to live. But, tomorrow I hope to move out completely from this house here in Tegucigalpa, and move all my stuff into the warehouse of Missionary Thomas Sweeney in La Esperanza.
December 14th 2001 Friday The Trip to La Esperanza
Today I packed up the rest of my stuff and moved it all to La Esperanza. Once I arrived at Thomas Sweeney's house, I met a pastor friend of his and his wife that came from the states to visit. They were very nice and plan on staying here in Honduras with Thomas and his wife until the 26th of December.
After our introductions, Darryl (the pastor) helped me to unload my car. After this we went to the local garage to pick up Thomas' van that had been there in the shop for four months. (It seemed there was a break line leak, and it took them that long to fix it). After airing up the tires, and filling up the power steering pump, Thomas drove the van to his house, and I followed him in his car.
In the evening, we all sat around the gigantic fireplace at Thomas' house and talked. It was a long day, but the rest and relaxation around the fireplace made it all worthwhile. It was also good to hear English being spoken again, and to be able to carry on a conversation in it.
December 15th 2001 Saturday The Conflict continues
Since coming to Honduras I've climbed many a mountain top, and sunk into many a valley. My life here has been up and down, up and down, up and down. Sometimes I'm on top of the world and as happy as can be. Other times I'm down in the dumps and just want to leave this backward country that continually wears me out. This has been my life as a missionary.
This bitter struggle rages on inside of me continually, and sometimes I even feel like quitting. So often I wish I could just go home. But then there are other times that I actually enjoy it here in Honduras. However, I do wish the Lord would call me to another part of the country, as this place (Colomoncagua) is really getting to me!
Well, today the battle grew quite thick. And, after I arrived in Colomoncagua this morning, I found myself in my little room that I rent here struggling with several things. I tried to spend my time in bible reading, prayer, and meditation, but my old sinful mind kept thinking of excuses for reasons to leave this place and never come back. I continually found myself wanting to give up, and take the easy way out and say goodbye to Colo, and go somewhere where they are interested in the gospel.
After some time, God taught me something, (or rather reminded me of something I already knew), and I looked upon it and received instruction well. I came to the conclusion that my biggest battle isn't with the world, it's with myself! It's easy to fight the world, just get away from it! But, it's much harder to fight the flesh as it's always with you. The problem isn't with Colomoncagua, the problem is with me. They are lost and in need of salvation. But, whether they accept it or not, is not up to me. All I'm responsible for is whether or not I give the gospel to them. But, oh how this flesh has a problem with faithfulness! If it doesn't see results, it wants to quit. But you can't look for results. You must do right because it's right! The Bible says that the just shall live by faith! And that's exactly what I must do. Walk in faith, not by sight, and fight the flesh!
The thought that God planted in my brain today was that you can separate yourself from the world (and you should!), but you can't separate yourself from your flesh (your stuck in that prison until death or the rapture). So, it's an ongoing battle if you are going to walk in the spirit and overcome as a Christian. Results don't matter, nor do they make you spiritual. Whether or not you are faithful determines your spirituality. And, getting your eyes on results or on the world will greatly hinder your Christian development.
The last thing I want to be is a worldly Christian. I've done my best to separate myself from this world. But, so many Christians have not. The spend their time in television, newspapers, current events, fashion, fads, and the "newest Hollywood films!" I don't want that junk! We Christians are supposed to be a separated people – separated from the world! The Lord knows it's hard enough to fight the flesh, but then when you add the world to it, it's 2 against 1! No wonder most Christians have quit on God, and joined the enemy. They gave given up because it's "too hard." And rather than fight, they make excuses to justify their sins.
Then there are those who have separated themselves (to an extent) from the world, but they are just plain carnal and fleshly. It's all because they won't fight! I don't want to be this way. I say if you give in to the flesh, eventually you'll give in to the world! And, we need more Christian fighters in this world that will battle both with perfect zeal!
So today as I thought about these things, I made up my mind to fight my biggest enemy – the flesh! I want to wage a full fledged war against it! I believe it was Charles H. Spurgeon who said something to the affect of: "If you win more battles against the spirit, you'll fail to be spiritual, but if you win more battles against the flesh, you'll grow as a Christian." Well, I want to grow! God knows too many "Christians" (and I use the term lightly) have a knowledge that we will win the war (through Jesus Christ) so they just figure, "What's the use of fighting if we're going to win anyway?" That kind of thinking is out of Hell, and is how a sissy thinks! A real man (like the apostle Paul) would fight no matter what! God give us more men who will stand in the gap and slash, gash, cut, and thrust with that double edged sword of the Spirit! And help me to do so as well!
I believe the Lord showed me that we as Christians ought to fight for several reasons. First and foremost to give glory to God. When we please the flesh, and put up a white flag to its desires, we don't please God (and the truth of the matter is that we, in reality, please Satan himself). We need to please the very God of glory who saved us, created us, and called us to live holy.
Secondly, we need to walk in the Holy Spirit of God so that we can be yielded to God's commands. So many carnal, and yeah, worldly Christians nowadays miss out on God's will in their lives because they are listening to the world or the flesh rather than God himself.
Finally, we ought to fight for souls to be saved, our heritage to be preserved, and that book that saved our souls. If we give in to the flesh, we'll do nothing for God. But if we'll kill our old wicked, sinful, vile selves (by dying daily) we can yield ourselves to the service of the King, and get the job done. God help us!!! And, God save the King!!!
December 16th 2001 Sunday The Slough of Despond
Yesterday I tried to do some visitation, but that old flesh got me down. Instead, I wasted several hours in self pity and despair. When I finally did get things right, and found enough courage, boldness, and gumption to go knock on doors, the very first house I visited rejected the truth and told me they didn't want the Bible that I offered them free of charge. Discouraged, I tried some more, but it was the same story.
The Bible teaching with Raphael went fairly well, but Hugo didn't show up tonight for our study. I stayed there almost 45 minutes waiting for him, but he never came. So, I went back to the house downcast, and downtrodden. Once again I tried to strengthen my faith and beg God to show me that this is all worthwhile. Reading a little bit encouraged me some and stumbling across Jude verses 20-25 helped a lot. But, I still found myself worrying about whether or not I'll ever be able to start a work in Colomoncagua, as these people only think about money, sex, alcohol, and soccer. It's so hard to reach them with the gospel. Then if you do, and they do make a profession of faith, it's even harder to get them in church, or teach them the Bible. God give me grace to continue on as a faithful minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ no matter what happens!
My despair from yesterday was added to this morning as I awoke to find the following written in the dirt on the window of my car, "I think that evangelists that preach the gospel are stupid!" Well, that got me down a little bit. At first I laughed, but at the same time, I got a little mad. My heart stirred within me, and that made me want to preach even harder and meaner. So, I did just that, and Glory be to God, I found what I was missing to help me in the fight.
After throwing my stuff into my car, I firmly grasped my Bible, and marched over to the center of town and preached a message about "The Gospel" to the people there in the town square. It was a typical scene. About 50 or 60 people were gathered around listening to the message. Some were half-heartedly listening, while others were very attentive. One woman in particular grabbed her Bible and came and stood about 15 feet in front of me and listened to every word, and even looked up the references. I heard her say, "Amen" more than a few times. (Afterwards she told me see was from La Esperanza and attended church there). But, most of the people just stared in apathy as they looked at something that many of them hadn't seen before – a street preacher bellowing forth the words of God. Those that had, weren't too interested, but heard it whether they wanted to or not.
But, I did learn that the more I preached the happier I became. The more my joy was restored as I knew that this is what I'm here for and this is the only thing that will really help these people. Preaching the eternal words of a living God, and knowing that it is alive and able to pierce and change the hearts of sinners, strengthened my faith considerably. Whether they listened or not, is their business, but preaching the word encouraged me and brought me up out of that slough of despond and brought me closer to that celestial city!
I did the best I could to preach about the need to come to Christ Jesus for salvation, and the hopelessness there is without Christ, not only in this world, but in the world to come. Plus, I also made as clear as I could the truth that Jesus is the one and only way to heaven, and that a church, a priest, or your good works won't get you anywhere with God. Because if you are trusting in those things, you are telling God that what he did on the cross isn't worth anything! And, this is by far the greatest sin of all!
Preaching! That's where the power is. That's where the joy is! That's what God has chosen to save the lost, and what he has called me to do. And, true joy can only come when one does what God commands. Well, I hope they heard and understood the message. But, if they didn't I can rejoice in the fact that I pleased God by preaching his message of Eternal Life to all those who will come to his son.
I enjoy preaching. And, I want to continue doing it, because for most of these people, that will be the only words of God they will ever hear. I don't know if it helped them, but is sure helped me, and raised me out of the mire and got me back on track climbing the mountain again to that cloudy peak of which I long to be!
December 17th 2001 Monday Getting the Chart Copied, The Car Fixed, and the Gospel Out
Last evening I worked late for several hours translating a bible chart into Spanish, and finally completed it this morning. The chart was done by Bro. Vernon Hanson from Gloryland Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and appears to be patterned after the charts in Clarence Larkin's book on "Dispensational Truth." He did a great job, and made it very understandable and concise. I really like the chart and when I finished, I took it downtown to the Xerox company to have them laminate it, and make me about 5 copies to give away. It will end up costing me about $100 dollars American, but it's worth it in order to get out the truth.
Also, I went to town to get my car fixed. I did have the water pump, and all I needed was for them to put it on. I was surprised how quickly they did it, and even more surprised when I saw the bill. They charged me a "Rush charge" because I asked them to get it done as fast as they were able. That was okay, as I needed it ASAP. In all it ended up costing about $200 American dollars.
While they were fixing my truck, I walked downtown and went to the bookstore and bought a few books. I plan on reading as many books as I can get my hands on in Spanish to help me learn how to write better in Spanish. So, I bought several books in Spanish including several plays by Shakespeare and Machavelli's famous work "The Prince." Those are classics, and are written well. Maybe I can glean some good things from reading them.
Honduran books are written horribly I've found, as I am reading one now. It is called "Mis Tias Las Zanatas," which means My Aunts the Crows. It's written by a nationally acclaimed Honduran writer, but his writing skills are atrocious, not to mention the fact that he makes up words as he goes along. My teacher Tomas knows Spanish like no one else, and even he has problems with this book. But, at least I'm learning the way they speak here too.
Downtown I went to the Bible Society of Honduras and bought some more 1909 Bibles. They didn't have but 11 left. Yet there was a truck outside unloading tons of boxes of the corrupt 1995 Spanish Bible. It's all about supply and demand. I guess the demand is for corrupt bibles, as today everyone wants something new (see the Athenians in Acts 17).
Today I learned that the 1909 is known as the "old version," as I asked to purchase some. And, in this "New Age" where everyone wants something "new," the "old" version is out. How sad it is that people go for what's "popular" rather than for what's right. They don't even study the issue. They just take the "scholars" for the final authority. But, they are so blind as a bat, that they don't even see that they are producing Bibles that are more and more corrupt and more and more in line with the Roman Catholic church and it's doctrines. Regardless of what people do, I'm going to stick with the "old" landmarks, and keep on preaching it.
Also today I was able to give some tracts out to several Mormons. After I gave them to them, I gazed upon their faces as they fell when they saw what was on front of the tract: "Justified by His blood!" I don't know what they did with them, but at least they got the truth for once in their life. But, how sad that there were three of them, and only one of me. I guess you could say in this instance that the ratio of those preaching the truth and those preaching a lie is three to one. God please call more Bible believing missionaries to Honduras!!! It is so wide open, yet so few want to come.
December 18th 2001 Tuesday Back on the Mountain
I climbed up a little bit higher today up that spiritual mountain of the Christian life, as I walked in the joy of the Lord. I guess once you get down as low as you can go, there is no where else to go but up. And, I enjoyed being up there today and smelling that mountain air and getting above the clouds where the eagles soar. I was happy as I could be all day long, and had the joy of the Lord in my heart. I just enjoyed being saved.
I started my last week of classes this morning with Tomas, and listened to him speak about all sorts of subjects. He should have been a history teacher as he constantly brings it up so much. But, I like to learn about it, and enjoyed it when he taught me more about the history of Spain, and how, and why the conquistadors (as well as the Colonialists) came to Central and South America. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as it gave me more insight about these people.
Classes with Yoselin went well. Most of what we did was read all day long. She had me read a book in Spanish, and corrected me when I pronounced the word incorrectly. I must say I learned a lot, and feel like I'm really getting the hang of being able to read in Spanish. Like they say, "Practice makes perfect!"
But after classes was when I got an even bigger blessing, and got a boost up old Caleb's mountain. A little before dark, I went with Nelson to his house in Carrizal (a suburb of Tegus, and the poor side of town) to study the Bible. After eating dinner there with him, he told me that his "women" (that's what the men call their mates here), needed to get saved too! Well, I started a Bible study with them, and talked about how to win a soul the Lord. And, after our study, Zenia (his "women") trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour and got "born again!"
What a blessing to see Nelson's joy and the smiles on their faces when she got saved. Things like that make it all worthwhile.
December 19th 2001 Wednesday Politics?
I woke up a little late today, as I didn't have my alarm to wake me up. (It's packed along with all my other stuff that I already moved to La Esperanza). So, after reading my Bible, and taking a quick shower, I walked (at a rather brisk pace) the several blocks to the gas station where I leave my car every evening. After talking to my friend Nelson for a few minutes, I was on my way (in a hurry) to the "Academia Internacional de Lenguas" for my regular eight hours of classes. Thankfully I wasn't late and arrived just a few minutes before my first teacher did.
Even though I had to rush to get to classes, my day went by very slowly. I was so ready to get out of there, as I was tired as I could be. Also, I'm starting to get a bad taste in my mouth in that place the longer I stay there. What Tomas has taught me is true. Hondurans do lie continually, and for no reason. And, I'm beginning to see it firsthand. Most of them put on a big show, and make you think they are as friendly as can be, but most of the time it's because they want something from you. But then, when you leave the room, immediately they begin talking about you behind your back. That may not be true about everyone, but I know it's true about this school. Most of the people that work here are exactly that way.
And, not only will they talk bad about someone behind their back, sometimes they will do it to their face. Take Fanny for example. She was the secretary there at the school the last couple of months. Many people there said that she was always lying and talking about others. Well, it doesn't matter to me, and when I hear that kind of stuff, I just ignore it. (That's second grade type behavior as far as I'm concerned. People ought to just grow up!) But, one day, she took things too far and called Yoselin (my teacher ) the "b" word to her face. Well this caused a big stink and a rather bitter and awful argument ensued. The next day, the management called Yoselin and Fanny in to figure out what happened. And, to make a long story short, Fanny ended up getting fired. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Yoselin is dating the owner's son, but either way, Fanny had to go. Well, that kind of stuff doesn't make a bit of difference to me. I can't see how someone can take such as that so seriously. I'm the kind of person that just laughs at that kind of junk.
But, I stepped in it the next day when I curiously and unknowingly asked where the secretary was. I got an earful from Yoselin, and was told more than I wanted to know! I just don't like hearing about that stuff. That's your "Dallas" or "Payton's Place" or "General Horse puddles" mentality. And, that's why I don't like to get to close to others. You usually end up getting hurt! So, I let it go in one ear and out the other. But, I'll sure be glad to go as I'll be able to separate myself from other's messes.
Also, I was told today that the owner of the school went to the bank, and took a lot of money out of the general account to use for her own personal needs. I guess she's entitled to do this, as she is the owner. But this left the school "high and dry," and hurting for money. And all day, my teachers were bickering and complaining about how they haven't been paid for over two weeks. They are very angry about it, and from what I picked up, there is not enough money in the bank to pay every teacher, so someone is going to have to go without. Everyone there was on edge, and just about ready to fight to make sure that it would not be them.
So, I'm looking forward to being able to leave that atmosphere. I believe I have a good testimony there, as most of the people like me, and hate to see me go. But still, I can't help but wonder if it's because I'm a Christian man who is honest and doesn't talk bad about others, or if it's just because I'm paying more money for classes than anyone else there, and they hate to see that income go. Anyway, that's their problem, and I don't want to play their silly games of gossip and deceit. I learned many years ago that Politics is nothing but lying to others, with others, and about others just to get ahead. That's not the kind of person I am, nor as a Christian should be.
So, I'm just happy that I was able to attend classes there and learn as much Spanish as I did. Even more rewarding was being able to witness to everyone there, and keep my testimony. I hope they will take that and see what a true Christian really is.
After classes, I went to Xerox in downtown Tegucigalpa to pick up my Bible Charts. Well, they weren't ready yet. They told me to come back tomorrow, and they would be. But, that's the exact same thing they told me yesterday. I'm getting used to this, but I still don't like it. So many people here don't know what it is to do "good business." Nor do they say like we do in the states, "The customer is always right!" Here it's, "The customer is always a burden, and I'll get what he wants just to get him off my back!" How unprofessional!
Later in the evening, I traveled to the Mall to check my email. After this, I went out to eat at a fancy restaurant (a rarity for me here), and tried an Italian place that Yoselin told me about. It was called "Tre Fratelli," and it was excellent. For less than $10 dollars American, I was served a meal so big I could hardly eat it all. The meal included a Caesar Salad, bread, and all the Fettucine I could eat. It was definitely worth it, and I thought I'd splurge for once, as I will be living in La Esperanza soon where there are no places like that whatsoever.
All in all it was a good day, but I must say that when the Bible says, "...the way of transgressors is hard" in Proverbs 13:15, I now have a better understanding of why that is. You reap what you sow, and you get what you dish out. Keep your mouth shut, don't talk bad about others, and you won't have to worry about it coming back on your head. But, oh how hard headed are the heathen at times. They want to say and do, and never have to pay. But, if you do dance with the devil, you will get burned. How much better it is to get saved and live your life for Christ!
December 20th 2001 Thursday The Last Day of Classes
My last day of classes went by very fast. Too fast in fact! And, the more I thought about it, the more I hated the idea of leaving. Over the last couple of months, I've really gotten to like these people (in spite of the fact that they aren't perfect), and I found it to be a grievous thing to have to leave them. But, I guess it's time to move on. And, move on I must. Even though I don't like the politics and bickering and such, I did learn today just how much I like the people here and care about them. And, I can honestly say that it hurts a little bit to have to leave them. I hope the best for them, but most importantly I pray that they will come to the saving knowledge of the truth through Jesus Christ!
My very last class with Tomas went well, as he went over a few more things with me that he said I needed to know. He also told me that the best advice he could give me was to "immerse" myself in the Spanish language, and learn to think in it. Then I would do okay. He also gave me his address and phone number, and asked for mine as well. He told me he wanted me to call him when I had my own place, and let him know how things are going. Also, he'd like to visit me there as well. Maybe I'll be able to see him again someday.
Classes with Yoselin were good too. She gave me a book that she wanted me to read about the battles between the Indians and the Spaniards back in the 1500's. She said she really enjoyed reading it and thought I would as well. She said that not only will it help me to learn more Spanish, but it will teach me some history as well. So, I was appreciative for that.
When my final class ended, I was invited downstairs, where I found everyone standing around there waiting to say goodbye to me. They even had a cake and everything! I was so surprised! That was so very nice of them. They didn't have to do that, but I was glad that they did. I believe I'll miss them even more now because of it.
After my surprise going away party, I drove to Xerox again to see if my Bible Charts were finally done. Well, par for course, they weren't! So, I asked why and they told me that their printing machine wouldn't work, and that their computer had a virus in it. They said they'd tried, but just couldn't get it to print. So, frustrated as could be, I told them I'd like to see for myself, and asked them to show me. Well, they did, and the funny thing was that it actually worked! They acted all surprised about it, and said, "Well, it didn't work before!" Who knows if they really did try or not? I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But, all I know is that this is starting to get very ridiculous!
Now that the machine starting printing, I asked them if they would have all of the charts copied and done tomorrow seeing how the machine works now, and I plan on leaving for La Esperanza in the morning. They assured me it would be done. Well, we'll wait and see.
From Xerox I went to the gas station to find that I had no place to park my car. There were cars scattered everywhere! So, I parked up the street and then walked back to ask Nelson what was going on. He said that the Assembly of God church was having services tonight, and many people parked their cars there at the gas station without asking. He also said that many of them that got out of the cars were dressed very worldly, and were using bad words! He said they were "wicked devils!" And, he said they were not very "Christian" if they were going to church like that. How much perception this boy has! So, I told him that we should just put a gospel tract on everyone's car that parked there illegally. He loved that idea, and starting putting tracts on every car he could find!!! He really got on fire and enjoyed passing out tracts.
While at the gas station, I heard a lot of loud music across the street and asked where it was coming from. Nelson told me they were having a carnival at the civic fair grounds here, and there were many people over there. So, I got a handful of several hundred tracks and told Nelson, "I'll be back!" Then I walked on over and began handing out tracts to everyone I saw. Old Nelson's zeal as a new Christian stirred me up as well, and I was glad to get out some tracts too!
Upon returning to the gas station, I found that it was closed. Everyone was going home, and only Nelson was there by himself working the night shift as the security guard. He said that today was a shift of a whole 24 hours! I don't see how this boy does it, but he does that quite often.
So, we sat and talked awhile about several things, and then I went back to my little room to spend my last night in Tegucigalpa. Tomorrow I plan to go to La Esperanza and try to find a place to live there. So begins a new chapter in my life in a new place. I know not what awaits me there, but I look forward to it!
December 21st 2001 Friday Leaving Tegucigalpa (or At Least Trying To!)
I awoke this morning as soon as I could. After a shower, I loaded up in my car the remaining things I had in my little room, and then said my goodbyes to Dona Enma (the owner of the house I was renting the room from). She was very sad to see me go, and almost started crying. She gave me a big hug as well, and told me I was welcome to come back anytime I needed a place to stay.
After leaving the house, I drove back to my old Language school to pick up some papers from Yoselin. She was supposed to bring the papers that she had translated from my book. But, she forgot them. So I left her my address there in Tegucigalpa, and she said she would mail them to me. I guess I'll have to get them the next time I go back to Tegucigalpa.
From the school, I traveled to the Post Office, and found a note saying that I had a package. But, when I showed it to the clerk, he told me it was in the downtown office. I had no idea where that was, so I had to ask them to make me a map. They did happily, and then I was on my way.
I drove directly to Xerox next, and found that they had still not finished with my charts. They said they would be done soon as they had four printed already. But, they still needed to laminate the one I did by hand, and cut the other ones to the right size. So, instead of waiting and losing time, I took a taxi to the downtown Post office, and I claimed my package. It turned out to be my clothes that my Dad mailed me on October 15th! It sure did take them a long time to get there! But, at least they finally made it.
From the Post Office, I returned to Xerox and found that they had finally finished everything! I was as happy as a stuffed pig in a blanket to see that. Finally after waiting what seemed like forever, they had finished. When I went to pay for them, I jokingly asked them if there was a discount on them as I had to wait for four days to get them! They didn't find that too funny and charged me the full price.
By now it was getting close to lunch time, and my day was almost half over. Plus I still needed to check my email before leaving and do a couple of more things. So, I ran to the Mall, and took an hour or so to check my email and write everyone back. Then I ran a few more errands and finally filled my tank up with gas and headed out in the afternoon.
I made it to Siguatepeque when I felt too tired to continue on. So, I found a hotel for the night, and went to bed as soon as I could.
December 22nd 2001 Saturday Finally in La Esperanza
I must have been more tired than I thought as I woke up as around 9:00 A.M. this morning. For me that was very late, and I hurried to get ready to go. After a few minutes I was in the office turning in my key, and checking out of the hotel. Before leaving, I met a man named Pete who started talking to me in English. He told me he came as a missionary to Honduras as well, but he was beaten up and robbed in Tegucigalpa in the central park one night. They stole all his money and broke out his teeth. So, he was in dire straights, and wanting to go back to the states. He was working at this hotel, and trying to save up enough money to get to Nicaragua and the airport there to fly back home to Tampa Bay, Florida. I felt sorry for the guy, but there was nothing I could do for him, except pray that he makes it home. I also gave him several things I had in English to read as they stole his bible as well. I hope he gets back to the states safely.
Upon my arrival to La Esperanza, I went to several places trying to find someone to show me the homes that are available here to rent. I went to Hondutel (the phone company) first to use their phone and call the real estate agency. Well, no one answered. Afterwards, I went to their office with the hopes that someone would be there. But it was vacant. With no where else to go, I went to the house of Bro. Thomas Sweeney, and found that he wasn't there either. So, I ended up having to go to a hotel to spend the night.
Before going, I got in touch with Pastor Ramon Galeano, and he helped me to get in touch with someone that has information on a house for rent in Colonia Lempira (a suburb here). Tomorrow at 7:00 A.M. I'll met with a man who knows about it, and he'll take me to see the house. We'll see how that goes.
December 23rd 2001 Sunday A Sunday in La Esperanza
I awoke early this morning freezing cold! (It's always chilly here in La Esperanza during the night as it is the highest city in all of Honduras). After a wonderful hot shower, I packed up and drove up the road to the pastor's church so that I could be on time to meet the man who was to show me a house. He showed at the appointed hour, and together, we went to Barrio Lempira to see the house. It was a small house with only two bedrooms and one bathroom (which was filthy!). But it had a big living room, and a pretty nice yard. However, it was in a very run down neighborhood, and I didn't like it all that much. Plus he said the owner wanted to rent the place for 300 American dollars! I told him that was too much.
After the man dropped me off at the church, Pastor Ramon rode with me to see a place called "Llano de La Virgen." He says he likes that area. And sure enough, it was a quiet, peaceful little community. There we talked to a man that said he knew of a house for rent for only 2500 Lempiras (less than two hundred a month). So, we invited him to come with us, and show us the house. He did, and it was awesome! It turned out to be a huge home with a lot of land. And, it belonged to a missionary named Harold Priday who worked here in Honduras for many years. From what I understand, he has moved to Siguatepeque to start a work there.
The house had 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, as well as a huge attic area above. The home was completely constructed of adobe bricks, but was painted both inside and out, and looked pretty nice, but it was very dusty and dirty. Another problem I could see was that the roof was made of sheets of tin, and looked a little old and rusty. But, other than that it looked like a nice place to stay as it was in a quiet and secluded area. Also, Thomas and his wife live just up the road within walking distance. So, it looks like a good deal. The only concern I have is that it will be more room than I can use. Maybe some people will come and visit me from the states. That would be nice!
After viewing the house, we called Bro. Priday, and he said he would come on Wednesday and show me the place. Hopefully we can draw up a contract then, and I'll finally have a place of my own to stay in. The thing I like most about the place is that it has a ton of property to go with it, and I can use that to plant whatever I like!
In the evening, I visited Pastor Ramon's church, and was asked to preach there. I did just that, as I preached on the subject of "Some things that God hates!" I thought it went well, and I really enjoyed myself. But, when I was getting toward the middle of the end of the message, the Pastor got up, and walked to the front and sat on the front pew. Well, what do you do? So, I asked him, "How much more time do I have?" And, he said, "You're fine, keep preaching!" So, I did. But, it sure bugs me when people do such as that.
Afterwards they told me that they enjoyed the message, and wanted me to come back and preach some more. Also a young man came up to me afterwards and asked me if I had a Bible Institute, because he really wants to learn the Bible. Well, I told him I didn't but I want to start one as I love to teach the Bible. I also suggested to him that if he wanted to, we could have Bible studies sometime, but I told him that he needed to ask his pastor first.
December 24th 2001 Monday A Day of Working
I spent the night last night at the house of Bro. Thomas Sweeney and his wife. They were nice enough to offer a room out back to me as their guests are still there from South Carolina.
I slept very well, but was still cold in the morning. I believe that if I ever do get a place of my own here, the first thing I'm going to do is buy about 5 blankets in order to make sure that I'm always warm in the morning. I so loathe the cold!
At around 8:30 A.M., Thomas, Darryl, and I went to the Baptist Church here where Jacobo is the pastor. There we did a little clean up work at the church, and I was able to mow the yard. It used to be that I was paid to do such as that, but now I'd almost pay someone to let me do it. I enjoy it so much! Sometimes I wish I could go back to this type of work and do it again. I love working in the earth with the soil, grass, flowers, plants, trees, etc. I'm learning that many people have the same desire. All most people want is a place to call their own, and a place to plant a garden, or flowers, etc. They just want to have a place that is their very own. And, this desire is with me as well. How wonderful a thing to have a place to call home, and to come home to everyday. I guess this is a driving force in the lives of many. But, at the same time, I need to make sure that I don't make that the most important thing in my life, as it may be that God will call me to another area at anytime.
After working at the church, we had lunch there, and Pastor Jacobo talked to me about starting a Bible Institute here in La Esperanza. He said that he thought I would make a good teacher. Well, I don't know. Maybe God is trying to show me something here. Anyway, he told me that they have a course, but all the teaching is done by videotape, and is continued through correspondence. Well, I told him that my desire is to teach verse by verse through the Bible as well as all the classes that I had in Pensacola Bible Institute such as Church History, Theology, Advanced Theology, Manuscript Evidence, etc. I want to equip young men for the ministry so they can go out and win others to Christ and start churches themselves. This is my desire. I don't know if he understood that, but that's what I want to do. So, we'll wait and see what happens. Whatever happens, I don't want to teach other people's material. I just want to teach the Book.
December 25th 2001 Tuesday A Day to Do Nothing
The sounds of fireworks going off kept me up all night, but I was able to sleep in a little in the morning to make up for it. The cold made me want to stay in bed as I didn't want to get up and face it. It's always so cold here.
My day was spent with Bro. Thomas Sweeney and his wife Rhonda and their guests Darryl and Diane. We spent the day talking, eating, and working. Rhonda fixed one of the greatest meals I've ever had, and we had a huge sweet ham as well. Also, we went outside today and did some pruning on some of the fruit trees here. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and wish I could do some more.
In the afternoon, I walked out in the field behind Thomas' house and petted the horses. I spent some time with them, and wanted to ride one, but it seemed a little bit too skittish.
So that was my day. I had hoped to have been in my own house by now and had a place to stay. But, it was good to be able to spend some time with others. Tomorrow the man comes to talk to me about renting the house up the road. I really hope that I'll get it.
December 26th 2001 Wednesday A New Place to Live!
I woke up early this morning to see Bro. Thomas and his wife off. They took Darryl and Diane to the airport in San Pedro Sula, and said they had some things to take care of in Tegucigalpa for the next couple of days. They expect to be gone until around Saturday, and have left me to watch after their house.
At 9:00 A.M., I went up the street from here to look at the house for rent. After waiting a few minutes, Missionary Harold Priday met me there, and we looked over the house. I really liked it, and he liked the idea of having someone rent the house who wants to fix it up. He said that the money I will pay for rent will go right back into the house to fix it up. Also, I can do some things as well, and take them out of the rent. So, it turned out to be a good deal for the both of us. After talking a little bit more about I few things and agreeing upon 2500 Lempiras a month, we shook on it. Now I have my own place to live!!!
I also inherited a "vigilante" (that's what they call a night watchman here) named Castillo whom I am to pay about a hundred dollars a month. He is my "go to" man and will be working on keeping the yard up, watching the house when I'm gone, and doing any other little errands that I need done.
In the afternoon, he and I started working on the house. We sweeped all the floors and took all the screens out and washed them. Then we went out to the well to look it over. It hadn't been used in some time, and the water was a little dirty. So, we drained all the water out, and tomorrow we plan on adding a bunch of Clorox to it as the spring fills it up.
In the evening, I slept at Bro. Thomas' house. I started a fire there in his house, as it was very cold in the evening. My new house has several fireplaces as well, and I'm looking forward to using them.
Tomorrow I hope to start moving all my stuff into my new house.
December 27th 2001 Thursday An Interesting Day
I went to Siguatepeque today (the closest big town from here) to check my email. But, most importantly to get some money from the bank. This of course is no easy task in Honduras. When I withdraw money, I have to get a piece of paper called a "Comprabante de Divisas." I'm supposed to get this paper to prove that I'm changing 1000 American dollars a month into lempiras. Then, I must take this paper to the Department of Tourism here in Honduras. If I don't, I could lose my Residence Visa. So, this is an important document.
Well, when I asked the bank how I could do it, they told me I had to write a check from my account in the U.S. and deposit it into my account in dollars here. Then, I have to wait 30 days before I can withdraw this money. And when I do, then they will give me this paper.
The problem is that I deposited a check on December 6th. Thus I have to wait until January 6th before I can withdraw money. But, I don't have the time to wait as I'm getting low on money. So, on a wing and a prayer, I went to my bank in Tegucigalpa last week and asked the woman behind the desk if she could give me a "Comprabante de Divisas" if I use my debit card, as it takes dollars directly from my account in the states. I knew that they said you weren't allowed to do this. But in Honduras, if you get a precedent, then they have to do it. If they did it once, they must do it again. And sure enough, the lady at the desk didn't know that she wasn't supposed to, so she did it for me. I was so happy!!!
Yesterday I went to my bank here in La Esperanza to try it again. I waited in line for over 45 minutes, but when I finally did get to talk to someone, they didn't know what a "Comprabante de Divisas" was. So, I decided I'd drive to Siguatepeque and try it there. Maybe they would give me one. And, sure enough the lady behind the counter said, "Well, if we did it once, I don't see why we can't do it again!" That's how you do things in Honduras!
While at the bank, I had a guy come in and said to me in English that he wanted to shake my hand. I said, "Why?" He said that it was because he knew what Bible School I went to. I don't remember his name, but he was a Mennonite Missionary working there in Siguatepeque and he was from Pensacola, Florida. He used to have a construction business there, and he said that several guys from Pensacola Bible Institute worked for him for some time, and sure enough I knew who they were. How small of a world it is!
I'd never been to downtown Siguatepeque before, and thank God the Mennonite man drew me a map to show me how to get to the Hardware store and several other places. That saved me some time, and kept me from getting lost.
Also in Siguatepeque I had a man pull a gun out in front of me and show it to me. He was sitting in a little Mexican Restaurant drinking beer. When I sat down to eat, he started talking with me (or should I say yelling at me). He said that I should have a beer. I told him I'm a Christian and I don't want one of those. That made him a little bit nicer. Then I started talking to him about the Lord. He said that no one ever talked to him about the gospel or the Bible in his life. Then he stopped and looked down on the floor and said, "The Bible is a beautiful book!" I quickly agreed with him, and witnessed some more. I also gave him a tract. He said he'd read it.
After putting the tract in his pocket, he pulled out a gun from his little knapsack and held it up in the air. I always wondered how I'd react to such as this. Well, I wasn't startled or anything. I just said, "Yeah, that's a nice gun!" Then he put it up. I think he was just testing me to see what kind of man I was. I think he liked it that I wasn't scared. Then he told me about how his life used to be very rough and how he used to shoot people. Well, I didn't ask anymore questions. I just let him talk. Then my food came, and he left me alone. I sure hope he reads that tract though. He said he would, as he needed to change his life.
After finishing my meal I walked over to him, and shook his hand and said it was nice to meet him. Then I looked him in the eyes and said goodbye. His cold dark eyes were empty and void. I could see his need for salvation. I sure hope he does read that tract and get saved. A man like that has nothing to live for, and nothing to die for.
In the afternoon, I moved a lot of things into my new house, and then until eight o'clock in the evening did some little fix up jobs to house with the help of my vigilante Castillo. After we finished, I went back to Thomas Sweeney's house to rest from a very long and interesting day.
December 28th 2001 Friday Running Errands in La Esperanza
I woke up at around 5:45 today to go out and fill up the water tank at Bro. Thomas' house. They have a water pump, and every morning he pumps water from their well to the cistern that is about 20 feet in the air. Then gravity feeds the water into the whole house. The problem is that the pump doesn't work during the day, as the electricity at this house is very weak. So, you have to wake up very early before anyone else is up, and turn on the pump on until the cistern is filled up. Otherwise you won't be able to use it later in the day as people are using electricity and there is not enough power to run the pump.
After a shower, I went to my new house and picked up Castillo. We went to town to run a few errands. We went to Hondutel (the phone company) to ask about having a phone line installed. They said they didn't have any. Next we went to the water company to see if we could get them to hook us up to city water. They said that we needed several documents before they could start. But, only Harold Priday has those. So, we have to wait for him to come before we can do that. From there, we went to the glass shop and had a couple of pieces of glass cut to install in two different windows in the house. And, then we went to a wood maker's shop to get a few pieces of wood cut for the border of one of those windows. Also, I had the wood maker start on making me a table that I can use for my computer. If he does a good job, I might ask them to make another one.
We returned in the afternoon to the house and put in the window. Then we swept the whole house again (it surprises me how dirty the place gets. An adobe house is very dusty). And, after that I spent some time unpacking a few things.
Tomorrow it's off to town again to get some more things, then I can finally start unpacking completely. I'm looking forward to spending my first night in my house by myself.
December 29th 2001 Saturday A Day of Clean Up, Shopping, and Staying in my New House
Today was another long day. I went to town most of the day shopping for some things to fix up the house. I bought a few tools as well for working in the garden (shovel, clippers, wheelbarrow, etc). And, I also got a car wash. Unfortunately, it rained very hard afterwards and mud was everywhere. So, my car got dirty again.
In the evening, I mopped the floors in my new house. I also did a bunch of odds and end jobs as well. Now, I've got to buy some things that I really need (like a bed, a pillow, some blankets, a desk, a kitchen table, etc), in order to get situated here. I really like this place, but it sure does get dirty quickly. Hopefully I can keep the place clean. It's a whole lot of house for just one person.
Also in the evening, before spending my first night in my new place, I played my violin for some time. I enjoyed being able to play and sing with no one else around to hear me. It's great to finally be out by yourself.
The only problem I have is that I lack water here. There is plenty of electricity, but the well doesn't feed the house. If you want water, you have to turn the pump on, but even then the water is still dirty. And, it's not clean enough to wash with. What a drag! Hopefully the city will connect their water here soon. That would be nice!
December 30th 2001 Sunday Working Some More
I was awakened this morning by Castillo who had a man with him bringing firewood. The man had a cart full of wood pulled by two oxen. We all unloaded the wood on the porch and then I paid the man 80 lempiras for it (about 5 dollars). It was a lot of firewood! It took Castillo and I over 3 hours or more to cut it in half, and that was with a skill saw. But, at least I have enough wood to make sure I'm warm at night.
In the afternoon, I did some trimming on some of the trees around the house. I also cut through the jungle that was the courtyard of the house. Castillo cleaned it out for me, and it looks wonderful now. There are many roses there too, and I trimmed them back a little as well. I look forward to seeing them bloom.
I also worked upstairs a little bit connecting the electricity there. There were several lights mounted in the attic there, but they didn't work. So, I put in new switches in order to be able to have some light. I don't plan on using that area, but I wanted it to be there just in case.
After working, I went to Thomas' house to take a shower as I still don't have any water as of yet. The well is filling slowly, but is still dirty. I'm kind of leery of using it.
I also did a load of laundry at Thomas's house as well. Then I spent the night there too. It was good to not have to sleep on an air mat on the floor. I've got so much I need to do, and so much I need to buy still. I need a washer and dryer, a bigger refrigerator, a bed, a desk, and much more. All of which I'll slowly have to get as time, money, and my schedule allows. Until then, I've got to learn to live with what I have.
December 31st 2001 Monday Traveling to Santa Rosa de Copan and more...
Today I left early in the morning to go to Santa Rosa de Copan to pick up some Bibles that were supposed to come in on a container to Bro. Doss. I wish that everyone here had a telephone but they don't. Bro. Doss doesn't have a phone and I don't either. So, all I could do is just go there and hope that the Bibles came. Well, they didn't. They said that there was another container coming in January. I hope the Bibles are on that one. But, it sure is a pain to drive all that way (about 90 miles) and find out that you went that way for nothing.
After driving to Bro. Doss' I went ahead and drove to San Pedro Sula as it was closer to go there than to go back to La Esperanza. Once in San Pedro Sula, I went to Price smart and got a few much needed supplies. My debit card expires next month, so I thought I'd use it one more time.
After shopping, I noticed that it was a little after four in the afternoon. So, I decided to get a hotel in San Pedro as it was five hours back to home, and I didn't feel like driving during the night time, especially on this night (New Year's Eve).
Tomorrow I'll head back to La Esperanza, and get busy doing some more work on the house. Plus I want to get some seeds planted soon as well. The more I plant, the more I can eat and save on groceries!
So ends the year 2001. It went by rather quickly as I look back on it. But, as I went through it, it seemed to drag on. I guess that's always the way it is.