Sometimes God shows up in the smallest of details. When you add them all up it begins to paint an incredible story that can only be explained with him.
As I write this update, all 27 of us have safely arrived at Mission Lazarus in Honduras. There are seven current baseball players (Ty Burstrom, Blake Fonfara, Jaesung Hwang, Chad Shannon, Aaron Spragg, Brandon Thomas and Jordan Zelhart) and one recent baseball alum (Gil Rehwinkel). There are five men’s golfers (Taylor Combs, Blanton Farmer, Nate Mueting, Ryan Terry and Dustin Wilder). There are two women’s golfers (Sabrina Ferreri and Sarah McFarlin). There are two cross country/track athletes (Katie Collier and Alexander McMeen). There is a men’s soccer player (Kyle Erickson). There are four other students (John Egger, Lacy Hartselle, Matt Johnson and Kaela Pennington) on the trip. We won’t refer to them as NARPs (non-athletic regular people). Samuel Montoya, a native of Honduras and a member of our Lipscomb event management staff, is here and going to be carrying a lot of the interpreting load for us this week. There are four old guys – Scott Spragg (Aaron’s dad), James Zelhart (Jordan’s dad), T.J. McCloud from Lipscomb missions and myself that round out the team.
Our team started the day split up in Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando, Tegucigalpa and Wichita. The fact that we’re all here together sitting around the fire in Jayacayan, Honduras is amazing in and of itself. So many things had to go right with flight schedules, connecting flights and the always arduous four-hour journey in four vehicles from Tegucigalpa to Mission Lazarus. We are indeed thankful.
It’s thrilling to already see fruit coming from this trip. For several of our trip members this is their first time outside the United States. For others it’s their first mission trip experience.
The first 45 minutes of the drive out of Tegucigalpa were largely silent. The sights, sounds and smells of Honduras bring you to a very still place in your soul. You are aware. You are empathetic. You are saddened. You are maddened. You are appreciative. You start asking a lot of questions that hopefully ultimately lead to personal growth and a changed world view that ultimately will lead to real change both here and at home.
All 10 of us from the inaugural trip last December (affectionately known as the A-Team) are back. Ryan Terry and Kyle Erickson were so changed by their experiences in Honduras this past year that they decided to spend the better part of this December including Christmas here. They have been here for three weeks working with Mission Lazarus and Jovenes en Camino doing a variety of construction and farming tasks.
Tomorrow we will attend a small Church of Christ congregation on an island just off the Pacific coast. Starting Monday we will be hard at work building a brick house for one of the local preachers and his family. Their old adobe house, like many here, was severely damaged by recent flooding. We’ve been told to expect lots of kids at the work site, just as was the case in August when the softball team served in San Marcos. They were overrun daily with dozens of children wanting to play.
Probably the most surreal yet encouraging thing that happened today happened as we were driving on the Pan-American Highway about an hour away from Mission Lazarus. Matt Johnson spotted a young boy walking on the right side of the road wearing a gray Lipscomb t-shirt with purple and gold lettering.
One shirt at a time. One brick at a time. One piece of candy at a time. One smile at a time. One story of the reason we have hope at a time.
Lord willing, the power and internet will stay up long enough each evening for me to send a daily recap. Check LipscombSports.com each day for the most recent update. We truly appreciate your prayers and encourage you to continue to lift the team and the people of Honduras up before our Lord.