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Honduras Mission Trip- June, 2017

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Honduras Mission Trip- June 19-26, 2017

               Fourteen parishioners just returned from a week long mission trip to our Twinning sister parish, San Francisco de Asís in Texiguat.  They included:  Father Juan Valdes, Chris Brokaw, Adrian and Rick Daves, John Evans, Tori Hexamer, Claire Lacy, Behira, Jaira, Loema, and Suyen Salgado, Mary Kate Shanahan, and Diana and Emily Wysocki.  Due to road construction on the major highway from Tegucigalpa, the usual 4 hour trip to Texiguat took over 6 hours.  Everyone was exhausted from a long day of travel.  This meant also leaving at 3:00 am to be sure we reached the airport in time for our return flight.  We visited the communities of Hachero, Jinicuao, Vado Ancho, Texiguat and Jobal.  The weather was more typical June weather with rain each late afternoon or evening.  The temperatures were milder, in the 80’s because of the cloud cover.  This is good news for the local farmers due to the drought of the past few years.

               We held eye clinics on four days.  We saw 400 people and dispensed 125 prescription glasses, 180 readers, 300 sunglasses and over 200 bottles of eye drops.  There were many happy faces when people had their vision improved.  The sunglasses will help protect patients’ eyes from the sun.  This should reduce cataract development in the future.  While half of our group took turns working in the clinic, the other half would either accompany Padre Juan Pablo or Father Juan in visiting the sick and elderly in their homes surrounding the villages or play with children.  They were joined by parishioners from Texiguat.  This involved a lot of walking in the hot, humid conditions.  In the homes the priests anointed the sick and distributed communion.  Our group sang and prayed with the families.  We distributed food packets provided by the local parish.  We also distributed rosaries, crucifixes, aprons, and children’s dresses.  The people were extremely happy to receive the sacraments as well as to have visitors come from so far to visit them.  This was a very emotional experience for everyone!

     On Sunday we held a retreat with 200 youth from six communities in the new church in Jobal.  Mary Kate Shanahan, Chris Brokaw and local leaders put on an interactive program, allowing for discussion, singing, doing skits and doing a craft project involving writing of religious sayings on rocks with markers.

      Due to your generosity we were able to bring another 60 water filters.  Our four Water Women Teachers will begin teaching women in the communities soon, so that more and more families can have pure drinking water and decrease the incidence of water-borne diseases.  You also helped to bring much needed medicine and vitamins that Sor Dorly distributes in her clinic as well as to other health centers.  They often do not have enough medicine to dispense even if they are seen by a doctor or nurse. You are making a difference.

    Integral to the Twinning relationship is prayer, solidarity, charity and compassion. Love of God and love of neighbor was richly on display.  This past week we prayed, ate, danced, worked, laughed and talked together.  We were “one body in Christ”.  We were able to share many resources that you helped provide through your donations and your third Sunday contributions.  As much as we gave, however, we received even more in the way of prayer, hospitality, and friendship.  The people of Texiguat send their love and gratitude to you!