ROATAN


We arrived 2 weeks ago to house that is owned by a woman from Durango. (Terry Anderson) We were originally renting it with the intentions of looking at all that the island has to offer. Long story short, the house has worked out perfectly. Close to the colonia, room for a dog, (big concern given security issues on the island) and the kids love having the space to play in the yard. A new concern is those darn killer coconuts. We have a tree that has produced over 100 nuts that smash potted plant, crack tiles and certainly have potential to take someone out. Our local arborist showed up with a few sections of rope and a machete. The job is not done but at least it is underway.

The work that Henry and Frances have been doing here over the past years is so evident to us. People around the island do a double take when they see this good looking bald guy driving the truck that islanders recognize as LW4R’s. I smile and wave at the confused onlookers and they do the same. Many outside of the colonia are aware of the work that is being done as well. An article in the local publication was printed last month which certainly heightened awareness around the island.

Prior to our arrival, a large concrete storage tank was recently completed and pipe was run to many homes that sit close to the top of the village. Our timing could not have been any better. God allowed us to witness the impact of water being brought closer to many. As we walked up the hill, there was a great deal of excitement. The families that lived on top of the hill were about to get water. Until now, families at the top were required to walk down the hillside 200 meters every 8 days to get water. Everyone in the family participated in this exercise. We witnessed children as young as 6 walking with old plastic containers (coke bottles, milk jugs, anything that did not leak) down the hillside to a faucet. Those families that are fortunate enough to have their own faucet will fill anything. Refrigerators make for good storage containers when they are turned on their back!

At roughly 5:30pm, on our very first day here, we found ourselves standing on top of the hillside with the sun just about setting and a nice breeze blowing. The anticipation of what was about to take place was even greater than the six pack opening at Purgatory!. No longer were women and children going to be forced to make the trek down the hillside for their water. Once the valve was opened, they would get water right outside of their house every eight days.

The LW4R team was in place. The tank was full, and the customers were ready to receive their water. The valve was opened and the pipes were flooded. Within seconds, we could hear cheers from families closest to the tank followed by those further on down the line. It was truly an amazing moment. Something so simple, something that we all take for granted, made for so much joy in the life of many here on Roatan. And there was Henry, taking no credit, but rather pointing upwards, thanking God for this great miracle.

We have wasted little time getting involved with the other component of our mission. Kerry and the kids have committed time to a school within the colonia. As one could expect, the kids were the least bit happy about attending a third world school where nothing but spanish is spoken. It was even a little daunting for Kerry. Given Kerry’s willingness to bring her skill and passion of teaching english, the school was more than willing to include our children. All three are attending a third grade class with the intention of learning spanish. Sink or swim!! Kerry is not only teaching 100+ children in the school two days each week, she is providing an english class for teachers as well. Amazing how much they want this!

The journey to Roatan has been very long and our anticipation of life on the island has grown with each passing day. Now that we are here, the emotions are hard to describe. We look forward to sharing the day-day with you. More to come soon. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We could not do this without you! God bless.

16 replies
  1. Jenni Riberdy
    Jenni Riberdy says:

    hi guys… how great to read about your wonderful experience on the first day there. i’m sure the emotions of everyday life there are so rich. i look forward to hearing more, and keep you in my thoughts and prayers!! xo jenni

  2. Cuntz Family
    Cuntz Family says:

    Absolutely love the update ~ You all are doing awesome!! We couldn’t be more proud, and we send you all of our love, thoughts and prayers to help uplift your mission in this beginning phase. Did you name your dog Coco after the coconuts?? 🙂 Just kidden!! Ana wants to say, “We miss you!” Lots of love and all of our best wishes always ~ Jen, Dave, Martin and Ana

  3. Dio Cifuni
    Dio Cifuni says:

    Hi Guys,
    So excited to hear of your accomplishments in Roatan! Thoughts and prayers to you!
    hows your spanish? kids have to be excited about a new puppy, its so cute!
    Did you get the soccer equipment lined up? let me know if i can help.
    Dio

    • Kerry
      Kerry says:

      Hey Dio,

      Maybe I should call you “he gave”, “it gave” or when I don’t like you “she gave”. After all you are the past perfect form of dar. Anyway, I hope that you are well. Things are moving along down here. The kids really like our new addition. Rocky is a boxer -shepherd mix. In addition to being a pet, companion, he is to be our watch dog. Thus far he has turned out to be the farthest thing from a watch dog. He never barks, and is always sleeping. I guess two out of three is not too bad!

      We have spent the past few weeks getting situated. I spend my days primarily doing what I did at Mercy. Talking!! It has been a surprisingly easy transition……….in some ways. I have made a number of new friends. Kerry and I are starting a english as second language( ESL) program. We meet with approx 25 villagers twice a week. Additionally I have put together a baseball program in the village for roughly 25 kids. I have several gringo friends here who have been a big part of a little league baseball program. One of the guys is a latin american scout for the Cincinnati Red’s. Given their efforts, it has been relatively easy to make my program gain traction. Again, those rep skills are coming out in me. Go for the low hanging fruit or take the path of least resistance. All and all things are going well. I do see soccer in the future. Hopefully we will have a location for soccer before long. They are all crazy for the game. They play on any level surface, regardless of its size! Honestly, they are waiting for YOU!

      I have spoken to Kate. We are still in line for the old gear. If you could, give here a call and round that stuff up and we will go from their. Maybe would be the one to help distribute it when you come down. Mark’s house is ready and waiting. I walk past it on my way to the colonia.

      How are things in good old Durango. I do miss you guys.

      Pura Vida

      Mike

  4. Yvonna and Bob Graham
    Yvonna and Bob Graham says:

    Great to read the letter and know what’s happening to you! BTW, Sam the Cat is doing fine. Everyone loves him.

  5. Erin Hughes
    Erin Hughes says:

    What a fabulous adventure. What an important, enriching experience. A few more months and you’ll all be fluent and dreaming in spanish. All the apprehension will be gone and this community will be your new best friends. A relationship indescribable to those who haven’t served in this way. You’re missing another windy spring here. Too bad, eh? The nights are finally warm and the last trees are budding. The river is brown and high. May is crazy for everyone. How wonderful to just turn away from the rat race and focus on God’s will for you and the people of Roatan. Thank you for your efforts!
    Erin

  6. Ginny Dignum
    Ginny Dignum says:

    !Que bueno! Thanks for the update I am sure you will all soon be dreaming in Spanish.

  7. Linda & Chuck Yoos
    Linda & Chuck Yoos says:

    Thanks for sharing this exciting part at the beginning of your beginning at Roatan God is so good to have you there to witness the water “at the top of the hill” and have you share it with all of us. Your descriptions were wonderful!
    Chuck and Linda Yoos

  8. sandy/lee campbell
    sandy/lee campbell says:

    It sounds like life is challenging, rewarding and full of adventures for all of you. What’s the dog’s name — something appropriate to your new language or location?
    We thought of you today as we noted that the Animas is running high and muddy — remembering our great trip down the river with you.
    Blessings and prayers to all of you.

    Sandy and Lee

  9. Bill/Peg Hoffman
    Bill/Peg Hoffman says:

    It’s amazing to see how the things that we take for granted are so appreciated when given to those without them! Good luck on all your adventures!

  10. Kim Harms
    Kim Harms says:

    What an exciting time. It sounds like everything is working out so well. I know the schooling will be hard, but I know you can all handle it and what a great experience.

  11. Dewbre
    Dewbre says:

    Hey Mike! Good to catch up with you. Thanks for the update. We miss you guys in CR. Glad to hear you are settling in now.

    Did you get my fb message asking about the farm you worked on? My nephew and family are moving to CR in July or August and were wanting to ask some questions to someone who has done it. Could I put him in touch with you? I won’t without your permission. Email me your reply: skdewbre@hotmail.com

    Take care and love that family,

    Steve

  12. Jon & Linda
    Jon & Linda says:

    Thanks for the wonderful update! What a blessing it must be to finally arrive for God’s work. All of us at 1st Pres are keeping you in our prayers!

  13. Jenny Houle
    Jenny Houle says:

    Hi Guys! So great to hear from you! It sounds amazing over there. What a great story about the water and all the cheers that occured! I cant even imagine the emotion that you all must be feeling watching all the Roatan people. Great job!

  14. Lesli Slater
    Lesli Slater says:

    What an amazing story you continue to live! Continued prayers for being able to use your many talents in such an appreciative community!

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