Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adventures in Honduras

Five of us, Maria Lopez, Liz Peppiatt, Natalie Mantai, Astrid Emmerich, and myself (Ted Hogan) left Choluteca on Sunday to travel to Yamaranguila and then up a mountain via donkey to Agua Caliente. An indigenous people group, the Lenca, live up there. The Lenca no longer speak there native language. It was lost along with a lot of their culture in the 1920's. They are the largest indigenous group in Honduras.

Lenca house in Agua Caliente
We were like the United Nations of the Kingdom of God going there: one person born in Mexico, one person born in the United Kingdom, one person born in Russia, one person born in Germany, and one person born in the United States. It sounded easy enough when we were talking about going the day before but, to say the least, it wasn't easy. It was definitely worth it though. There is a quote from Soul Surfer that I love. "I don't need easy; I just need possible." This was definitely true for this five-day adventure.

Youth worship service at Mercy International in Yamaranguila
We left Choluteca for a five hour drive that ended up taking over seven hours. Twenty kilometers into our drive our vehicle, "Overflow", was running even worse then normal. We pulled over and prayed for the Holy Spirit's direction. We pulled over two more times, once when the engine stopped as we were driving, and another when there was no steering and we heard a noise. Each time we prayed and pushed through asking the Holy Spirit to lead us. This was going to be a common theme, pushing through and listening to the Holy Spirit, for every facet of our five day journey.

We arrived Sunday afternoon at Yamaranguila and were blessed by an amazing ministry, Mercy International, led by Henry. We had lunch there and then decided to push on to Agua Caliente. Before leaving, we wanted to pray for the youth who were having a worship service. These are kids who have troubled homes. I thought to myself, "We have fifteen minutes to do that before driving two more hours in "Overflow" and then traveling three more hours up a mountain via donkey before it gets too dark. Well.....the Holy Spirit had other plans for us. Three hours later, after prophesying, praying, and a fire tunnel for the fifty or so youth, we left at 7 pm for Agua Caliente. Twenty minutes later we were calling the staff from Mercy International for help because "Overflow" wasn't running right and we were sliding toward the side of the mountain due to muddy roads. I officially got the vehicle stuck in the mud on the way back to the base and had many from the community help us get out of the mud. To say the least, it wasn't an easy day, but worth it seeing those youth touched by God.
Our gear getting transported by donkey

Bus taken up to San Pedrito
Our three hour hike up the muddy trail to the Lenca village of Agua Caliente

Monday, we dropped off "Overflow" to the mechanic and set off on our now three hour bus ride to San Pedrito. If you've never been on a public bus in a Latin America country going up a mountain on a muddy road over sketchy bridges, I highly recommend it. We arrived in San Pedrito at 4pm and were met by Bengido one of our contacts. Most of us, 3 of the 5, wanted to push on through up the mountain that night to Agua Caliente. Then Bendigo asked us a profound question. What's your objective going up there? For me, our objective, was to push through that night till we got to our destination. Maria told him that we wanted to go house to house praying for the Lenca people, loving them, and telling them about Jesus. That was what I wanted to do but now was unsure if it was worth it to push through at night. We would only have four or five hours to minister up there anyways. The team was split on what to do. We finally made a decision to stay and minister in San Pedrito for the rest of monday and all of tuesday. There was a need there just as much as Agua Caliente. We had to get back to the rest of the team in Choluteca by wednesday night so we had limited time. When we told Bengido we were staying, he said, they are expecting you up in Agua Caliente. We looked at each other and didn't say a word. Would have been nice to know that little bit of info before we had this trying ordeal of coming to a resolution on what to do. That morning before our meeting, I heard the Holy Spirit say "unity and team." I told everyone but had no idea the depth of it.

We headed up the mountain just before 5pm. We had three donkeys for the five of us. We used two of them two carry our gear and the other one we rode on. It took us about three hours to get to Agua Caliente. The first hour or so there was light to see. Henry, from Mercy International, told us the hike is uphill both ways. He was true to his word. There was very little flat area. The last hour of the three our hike was in darkness with a flashlights that didn't illuminate very well in muddy unstable thick dirt on a cloudy moonless night. We finally arrived at our destination. A community of thirty-five Lenca families who lived with no running water or electricity. It wasn't easy, but worth it as we pushed through and listened to the Holy Spirit to the best of our abilities.

Going house to house in the muddy Lenca village of Agua Caliente

This lady and her oldest daughter gave there life to Jesus. Her back was healed of pain after we prayed for her
Tuesday we woke up to the sound of rain hitting the metal siding roof of the worship center we were sleeping in. This provoked most of us to pray for it to stop since we were going to go trampling in the mud spreading the gospel house to house and then hike down the mountain on the already muddy path. Over a course of five hours, we went to seven of the thirty-five homes, including our host for Agua Caliente, Bernardo. Bernardo and his family are one of only three families that went to the church established there by Mercy International. There hasn't been a service there for a few months because they no longer have a pastor there. Nine adults gave there life to Jesus and over ten children as we went house to house. We prayed for many people and one ladies back was healed of long standing pain. It was a life changing time for us. There are at least two more communities, Agua Dulce and Santa Barbara, of Lenca people above where we were that need to hear about Jesus.
Pablo gave his life to Jesus in the town of Agua Caliente

Bengido and Bernardo our hosts in San Pedrito and Agua Caliente
Wearily, we headed down the mountain. We had been pushing it since early sunday. We arrived back in San Pedrito at 4pm and had just enough time to eat and rest till we were to do the 6pm service. One woman gave her life to the Lord in the small budding church and as we prayed for the people two men received healing: knee pain healed and another man had neck/back pain healed.

This man was healed of pain in his shoulder and back

This man was healed of knee pain
 We had more problems withon thursday, Thanksgiving day. For me, it was totally appropriate to come back on a day of thanksgiving. To say the least, this five day adventure in Honduras wasn't easy , but it was worth it. the vehicle on wednesday which the mechanic told us could not be driven but made it back


  1. So proud of you guys.Grace and peace

  2. I found your blog through Pastor Bill in Panama. I believe he will be one of your next stops. Keep up the good work, I will be following your blog and you will be in my prayers.