Whew! Twelve days flew by way too fast! It was like we had just arrived and then, all of a sudden, we were heading back stateside! Time really does fly when you’re having fun. After packing and goodbyes and some last words, we made our way to the airport. The ending was bittersweet. We wanted so desperately to see our beloved U.S. again. Yet, we felt like we were leaving apart of us back in Honduras this time. It was sad to have to say goodbye to all of the new friends that we had made. But, it was all worth it just knowing that we weren’t leaving a country that was exactly the same as when we had arrived. The Lord had helped us and moved on our behalf and our part was done. But, I’m sure each and every one of us was thinking “I sure hope I get to come back next year!”
After breakfast on Thursday morning, we head in to the mountains to a touristic town known as the Valley of Angels. This was beautiful valley set way up between some mountains. We were able to visit the many shops in the town and pick up all sorts of neat souvenirs. For lunch, we stopped there within the town and ate a popular typical plate known as pupusas which are like thick tortillas that are generally stuffed with cheese and meat. It was excellent! We then headed back to the property for some volleyball, corn-hole, and socializing before our flight out the following day.
Wednesday, we all got up fairly early and headed to have service at the Air Force base in Tegucigalpa where Bro Daniel preached. We then headed to the language school where the Honduran military and police were taught English. This was a wonderful experience because we were able to minister to these people in our own language! What a relief! James preached on salvation and many raised their hands saying that they desired to have God change their lives. We then moved on to the Police Academy where Jacob preached on coming out of the darkness of sin. This was an awesome service with an outstanding crowd. The cadets really backed Bro. Jacob and seemed to be excited at hearing his message. It was a truly wonderful message. Before heading back to the Sumner’s property that evening, we headed to get a meat plate one last time as a group. It was amazing! They cook the best meat in the whole world!
The schedule on Tuesday was basically the same schedule as the day before. But, we seemed to get a whole lot more work on this day. We were able to assemble every one of the benches for the kitchen and get them painted! We were even able to assemble the tables but they still needed painting when we left. We then headed to church for the last night of the youth campaign. This service seemed to be distinctly different from the first two services but equally as good. It was amazing to be able to feel the presence of God overshadowing us in this service. There seemed to be such a sweet presence that dwelled with us as we worshiped. Brother Pahlman preached that night on “finishing the race.” He emphasized the need of the Holy Ghost in each of our lives and how we must always keep the end goal, Heaven, in mind. God proved his faithfulness once again on our behalf and moved in the altar service and touched lives. Directly following the service, Bro. Alan gave the congregation the chance to testify about what God had done the services the past five days. This was absolutely amazing! It was wonderful yet humbling to hear about what God had been doing in lives without us hardly even knowing about it. God truly is amazing!
Monday morning, after sleeping in a few hours and catching up with some much needed sleep, the group split up in groups to get some work done. One group stayed at the property to start cutting, welding, and painting the frames for the benches that the group was assembling for the kitchen where the Sumner’s feed and minister to the locals. The other group traveled to the kitchen to clean and repaint the benches that were already there. All in all, it was a very productive day. We then cleaned up and headed to church again. Jacob preached a message calling us to come out of darkness and into the light of salvation. James followed up with a message on “getting out of the box.” Once again, people flooded the altars in search of help. There were several that seemed to really reach out to God and get the help they needed that night. It was such a joy to see God moving and personally touching the lives of others.
Sunday morning was unlike any other I had ever had before. It was really unusual to wake up and dress in jeans and go and put on skits. But, we had an excellent turnout for the morning and an excellent service as well. Brother Pahlman taught the adults Sunday school class while we finished up the last part of the children’s crusade. After service, we all headed back to the Sumner’s property where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and some awesome plane rides! “Do the Roller Coaster, Bro. Sumner!” Now that the children’s crusade was over, it was time to start the youth crusade. Bro. Daniel Threadgill and Bro. Aaron Hough were to preach the first night. Daniel did an awesome job preaching “Thank God for Jesus.” But, in the song following directly afterwards, God came by so strongly and touched us so greatly that it was difficult for us to just go on with normal service. God was touching people from the front of the church to the back and it was so amazing to see God moving. God anointed Bro. Aaron and he got up and encouraged us to “Stomp on Satan.” The altar crowded with young and old reaching out to God. What and amazing service!
Saturday morning, the group headed to the soup kitchen outside of Danli. We got the chance to serve tortilla soup to the people as well as do a skit for them which it seemed like all the children enjoyed. We then left to do skits for the Saturday schools around the city of Danli. We all really had a blast with the children. It was so good to see all the children that were being taught about God and it was quite a privilege to be a part of it all. After a stop at the local mall, we headed straight to the church where we proceeded to take part in the second night of the kid’s crusade. We had a wonderful service with the children that night. All seemed to particularly enjoy that nights skits. Directly following, the children really got in during the altar service. It was a perfect ending for a wonderful day.
Starting out Friday morning, we left from the Sumner’s property early in the morning and headed to the police station in Danli. There was a nice crowd of police and soldiers accumulated and we all enjoyed being able to minister to them. Jacob preached on coming out of darkness and several responded by lifting their hands saying that they desired prayer. After breakfast and some souvenir shopping, we headed to the Sumner’s church there in Danli to start preparing for the children’s crusade that started that night. Once finished, we headed to back the Sumner’s property for some rest and to get ready for that night. The children and some adults arrived mostly by bus at the church at around 7:30. We started with some songs and then dove right into the skits. The skit was, for the most part, hilarious in my perspective. It seemed to go quite smoothly even though there was the massive language barrier between us. After the skits and games, Brother Scott Sumner gave the altar call and approximately 30 kids that came forward for prayer. It truly was an awesome experience to see so many young children hungry for a relationship with God. After the crusade, everyone headed home for a wonderful night of sleep.
On Thursday, we headed out around 6:30 A.M. and, after picking up breakfast, we headed to have our first service with the communications squadron. Brother Pahlman gave a message on salvation and many seemed to want to know more about the Lord. Our next destination was the 6th battalion of Infantry. This was where the mission work with the military all started. Jacob preached on coming out of darkness and we had a wonderful time of worship together. Afterwards, the commanding colonel invited us to have lemonade with him which actually super tasty. We then traveled to Danli where we had service with the 110th brigade. Though many of the men in this service seemed preoccupied with their duties and tasks, we still were able to have a great service. I truly hope that we left something with them that God will use to change their lives. We then traveled to the 9th battalion. This was an awesome service! The Lord really moved and touched and at one point, the commanding colonel even came and sat on the front row. Needless to say, we were all very tired at this point. The traveling was starting to wear on all of us. It is amazing how the Sumner family is able to do all of this all by themselves. We headed back to the Sumner’s property where we ate and socialized for the evening. I do believe that most of us went to bed pretty early that night.
The third day of our trip started right after sunrise with just the men of the group heading to have service with the paramilitary group named the Cobras. The ladies stayed behind to catch up on their rest. We had picked up Brother Pahlman from the airport the previous afternoon and so he was the first to preach that morning. He gave a wonderful message on salvation and it seemed to sink in with the whole group. We then headed back to inner Tegucigalpa where we had breakfast and waited on the ladies. Once reunited with them we headed to have service with the 1st battalion. Jacob preached on leaving the darkness and did a great job of giving his testimony. It seemed as if his testimony really affected several of the men. After a quick lunch, we headed to the police academy. We were met by a wonderful group of excited young men and women as well as officers. They really got into the service with us and really seemed to have a desire to know God greater. Our next destination was the military academy. This service was such an encouragement to all of us. A group of no less than 250 cadets met with us to be in service. It was AMAZING! They all got in with us and really loved singing all of the songs at the top of their lungs. They especially loved “Father Abraham!” It was such a blast to be in service with this group. Brother Pahlman headed the service up with a moving message on accepting the Lord as your personal savior. We then headed back to Tegucigalpa where we stopped for another wonderful meat plate and then headed to bed.