Johnny Cash used to sing a catchy song called "I've Been Everywhere" that probably captures the feeling Cesar and I have at this moment in our travels. Since doing the rodeo in Agua Blanca, Guatemala, we have been to quite a few places. Yesterday, when relaying some information about our travels back home to Bill Burrows, I realized that describing all the places we have been and are going is something of a "where's Waldo" kind of activity.
I have been wanting to update you on all that we have been doing, but truthfully, we have been so busy going places that I couldn't keep up. Even so, we would really appreciate your continued prayers. Here’s a geographic tour of where we have been and where we are going.
Where we have been so far...
After Agua Blanca, we were in Jalpatagua, Guatemala, with the rodeo team. Then we were in Jutiapa, Guatemala, with the rodeo team.
After sending that team home, we drove from Cesar's house in Amberes to the Atlantic coast near Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and leapfrogged into Honduras near Puerto Cortes. From there we drove to San Pedro Sula and picked up Julio Mendoza, a guy who we worked with in the prison in Lansing. (He's doing well, and I can't wait to share some of his story!)
From San Pedro, we drove to Tegucigalpa and then up into Catacamas where we have been staying for most of this past week. Each day here, we have met a group in a different place in this region. Last Sunday we were at the rodeo in San Francisco de la Paz. Tuesday, we were on a ranch near Poncaya with a dynamic new Christian Rancher group. Yesterday we were in Culmi laying the tracks for a team to come there in the next year. Each of those events and places went super well...but not everything is going well...
National University of Agriculture in Honduras in Crisis...
In the past few years we have been relating to this university located here in Catacamas in various ways. We even were prepared on this trip to present an outline of a program on Relational Leadership for their extension program. Well, a couple of months ago, the president of the university disciplined some students who had done a hazing kind of thing on campus, and in a crazy string of events, it blew up. The president resigned under pressure, and investigations are under way. Since we have been here in Catacamas, even though classes should have already begun after the Christmas holidays, no one is allowed on campus. Our main contact is in hot water over the situation, and we have not talked with him. Today, we are supposed to talk with his right-hand man, who is a dedicated Christian that we trust.
Even though this may sound like it has limited us, it really hasn't. We have plenty of friends and more than enough open doors to us that we have been continuing without slowing down much. We just feel bad for our friends. So please be in prayer for this situation.
Where we are going...
Tomorrow, January 21, we will be headed to Comayagua to a big rodeo there to speak to the bull riders and the rodeo leaders. This is near a big U.S. military base here in Honduras.
Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24 and 25, we are going to meet up with Julio in San Pedro Sula, where he is starting his first group since arriving in Honduras after getting deported out of Lansing prison where Bill Burrows and I served as his mentor last year.
To the jungle in Guatemala...
January 26, we cross the border near Puerto Cortes back into Guatemala. Near Rio Dulce, we will meet up with a team of soccer players who will travel from there with us to the jungle near Por Venir. There we will spend the week doing soccer competitions, evaluating water projects, and running a "marathon!" I put "marathon" in quotes, because Cesar has me set up to race the Kekchis from one village to another and back. We have no idea how far it is, but they are calling it a marathon! Supposedly it is on the new dirt road. I anticipate being humbled by the young Kekchi boys that can fly like the wind!
Nola comes to join us in Guatemala!
February 1st, we plan to travel back to Cesar's place in Amberes. February 3rd, Nola flies down to Guatemala to spend 9 days with us! On February 4th, Nola's birthday, we will be in El Jicaro with a group of ladies who came to our home this past August. Then we will do ladies events on the 5th in Jalpatagua, the 6th in Quesada, the 7th in Santa Rosa de Lima, and on the 8th we will be at a senior center in Santa Cruz Narranjo. The 9th through the 11th we plan to go to the pacific beach near Monterico.
February 12th, we fly home!
As I write all this, I guarantee that something will change. It always does. But your continued prayers as we come and go are always appreciated.