Operation Central America

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

June 17-18 - In Their Own Words

OCA Blog for June 17-18, 2006

Hey everyone this is Nolan and Aaron. The day started off after a good night, we won our basketball game against the Honduras All Stars, where Dave Dahl had a phenomenal 20 points, Aaron worked it down low going to the line a ton and ending with 15 points and Nolan ended with 8.
This morning we woke up at 7:30 and headed to the Church. We ended up working with concrete, finishing up a sidewalk that was started yesterday. We finished half of the sidewalk today. We are looking forward to the game tonight at 4 in the scorching sun, and also sinking our teeth into a triple classic at Wendy’s tonight for dinner. We are having a great time here and are looking forward to telling all the stories when we get home. Hi mom-Aaron…….Hi Mom-Nolan (and Dad----Nolan and Aaron).

Hola everybody this is John Hann. The whole trip has been great and today, so far, is no exception. The mime team has not performed yet today, it’s about 1 now, but we will perform a little later on. We did get to hang out with the medical team and the childrens team today. That was pretty fun, we didn’t do much but we got some really good team bonding time in. We ate a fresh lime too, it was muy delicioso.
Well, I need to go, but I hope everything and everyone is well back home, and I wish dad a very happy fathers day!

Just a quick note to tell you that your kids are great. I can’t begin to tell you about how amazing they have been- great attitudes, a heart to serve, and joy to spread the word of God. I wish I could tell you personally how great they are.
I’m starting to feel a little sad that I won’t be spending the 2nd week with them. But I know I will be one of the first at the airport on Sunday ready to welcome them home with hugs (and probably tears). I leave on early Monday and it will be hard to say goodbye to the wonderful locals that we work with here. I think I have been most impressed with our bball boys- today I realized that they have spent more time in ministry serving than they have playing basketball. What amazes me is that they are so willing to do whatever needs to be done. These guys are just amazing to be around. God did such an amazing thing by putting them together this year and every student on this trip. Today I stayed at the church with BBall as they worked on projects. Half the team worked on a cement floor while the other half cleaned windows, painted, cut the lawn with a machete and picked up garbage. I didn’t here one complaint. They were just so willing to serve.
There are currently 2 sick students. Are you wondering how they are or what they do during the day. Well Annika Johnson and Laura Stadler are staying at the hotel. Megan Hamilton has been with them during the day/night and watching after them with meals, monitoring medicine and just being a friend/mom to them. They are getting better and it sounds like Laura will make it to dinner tonight and we expect Annika to be coming to church tomorrow. We are taking good care of them – They are even getting some special stuff like cold water to drink and extra TLC from Megan. Megan has been such a blessing to me and others on this trip. It’s so great to see a student go from student leader to leader. I hope that in years to come some of these kids can be a leader on this trip and see for themselves just how rewarding it is to serve in this capacity. I am truly blessed and am thankful for all supporters, friends and family. Brian and Tim have also been just a great joy to be around and I know they both are excited to see family back home but yet will be sad to leave here in many ways.
Thanks to the menefees for the wonderful note to me and the rest of the leaders. I have it in my bible and it lifts me up whenever I come across it.
I wish I had a Chinese proverb for you mom and dad but I will just let everyone reflect on our team verse for the year Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Laura did make it to dinner on Saturday night and is feeling just fine now. Annika was sick for two days and is better today. In fact, as of Sunday afternoon we do not have one sick student or staff member. Praise the Lord that everyone is well as we head off for some R & R!)

Hi everyone, this is Andrew Loo, one of the OCA leaders.
So how was my Saturday you ask? Be prepared to read one of the longest entries on this trip. You’ll laugh, cry, and you’ll want to pray even harder for us on the trip.
The day started out at 7:30 am, a great breakfast of scrambled eggs and black bean puree. Then finally the first not-freezing shower in a week! The day continued perfectly while we, the service team, built wooden beds at the place where 13 other guys and I were staying. 12 pm rolls around and Jaime Lopez comes by to check on our progress. He sees that the work is finished and agrees to take us back to the church, but first he needed to go around the corner to pick up the bag lunches for the rest of the team.
Matt Volenec wasn’t feeling well, so for part of the morning he was taking a nap in the house. When he woke up, he was in disbelief because at that moment a water pipe had burst, and water from the ceiling was pouring on the floor. At least 10 other guys were staying on that floor of the house, so everything had to be moved. Unfortunately, Andy Frost’s bag was right under the torrential waterfall, so most of his stuff got wet.
As usual, plans changed and the service team was back in action with only several towels and buckets to clear out at least 3 inches of water off the floor. During the cleanup I had told Eddy, one of the drivers to come back in about 2 hours to pick us up, he agreed and left us several bag lunches for us to eat at the house.
About an hour and a half later, the owner of the house, his wife, and the team finished drying everything. The goal was accomplished and we were waiting for the next job but no one came back to pick us up.
I felt completely useless because there was nothing to do around the house. At 4pm one of the service team leaders asked me if I could understand how to use their cell phone which was in Spanish, that they had borrowed in case of an emergency. My hopes for transportation were high until the operator said that all of the numbers that were in the speed dial were incorrect. I was disappointed but I tried my hardest to stay positive.
Finally at 5 we were picked up and taken to Wendy’s (yes…Wendy’s) where we met the rest of the team for dinner.
Matt was still feeling pretty badly with a temperature and an upset stomach but we couldn’t leave him alone in the house.
At Wendy’s, Brian decided to have me accompany Matt back to the house.
On the way back to the house, we thought it would be a good idea to get some soup for Matt because large fries and a frosty aren’t exactly the best remedy at that point. At the gas station we bought a box of cup noodles but after we paid for it the guy said that they didn’t have hot water.
We then drove 10 minutes to the church we were working at because they had a kitchen but it took them over 30 minutes to boil the water for us. Finally we thought that we could go back to the house and get a chance to rest but when we arrived there at about 8, the door to the house was locked and neither of us had a key. The driver and I both had cell phones but the calls just didn’t go through. Luckily the owner of the house lived several blocks away so we drove to the house but no one was home.
Feeling desperate, tired, and frustrated, we went back to the house to try one more time just to make sure that the door was locked. This was one of those times that when something isn’t working and you get someone to help you, magically it’s fixed all by itself and you fell like an idiot. Well it was certainly locked so we went back to the car to try to call someone. 20 minutes later the owner drove up to our car and told us that he forgot to give us the key. He opened the door and left the copy on the counter. Matt and I were grateful for his help and went back to the car to get our stuff. On the way back into the house, the door closes on its own and is again locked from the outside.
We basically stood there stupefied because our day obviously wasn’t long enough. I had Matt stay at the house while I went back to get the other key. During that time, Matt tried to open the door but to no avail.
About 10 min later, I had the owner come to the house in hopes of finally getting some rest and what do you think happens? He turns the knob and opens the door without using the key at all. We felt so stupid…
So that was my adventure through Siguatepeque, Honduras on Saturday June 17, 2006.
Matt is doing fine now and we are all looking forward to R & R on Sunday.
“What did I learn today?” you ask.
Well I learned that quite possibly, God was trying to teach me patience, improve my leadership skills, and quite plainly, he was giving the Service team an afternoon of quiet time to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the big group.
I can honestly say that this day is an easy candidate for one of my most difficult days in Central America, but it surely was a day were I learned about myself, being a leader, my teammates, and the ways that God works in my and everyone else’s life.
If I think about what happened today, it’s strange to realize that if Matt wasn’t feeling sick and wasn’t sleeping near to where the water was leaking, there could have been a much MUCH more serious problem with the leak if we had left at 12 and came back nine hours later.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Greg Krech

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there to give you a hug but this is the best I can do… I hope your day was wonderful and I will make it up to you! This trip has been amazing, I have learned so very much. One week until I fly home, then I will share all of my stories. I am alive as you can read but I have had many adventures. Tonight we are at a hotel and its very comfy…. THERES A POOL!!! I have been able to meet many interesting and kind people from Guatemala and on from Minnesota. We have worked very hard and I’m ready to start the yard work at our new house I CAN POUR CEMENT and I can Synch like a pro!! It’s pretty sweet. I love you both very much and hope all is well! And Dad happy Fathers Day!!


Laura Stadler

Hey! This is Steph!
Today is our first day of rest and I am loving it. We just got done working for two days which were amazing! We saw over 300 people at the medical clinic and we survived the toilet flooding! I am not talking about a little spill I am talking about a major over flow. It took over 3 rooms and we had to walk though all the waste. It was gross, so if you have a child on the medical team doesn’t let them bring their shoes home! I am excited to get refreshed and start working again. We may complain at times but we all love it. The medical team works all day and it is stressful but even though all of that we want to work even later in to the night to help as many people as we can, but we can’t do that. So if you could pray for us for keeping stress low that would be great! Thanks!

~Steph Snyder

p.s. Happy father’s day dad! And I got dibs on the car when I get home!

Hey everyone, it’s Matt Volenec,
I figured I had to write because yesterday was absolutely wild. (Happy Fathers Day dad! How’s the gluten free toast?) Honestly I don’t even know where to start. Andrew did a pretty good job of covering everything above, but I figured I’d put a more positive spin on the events of the day ;-)
I’m on service team, and yesterday we happened to be working in the house I was doing my homestay at. We spent most of the morning putting together bunkbeds for this place – getting it set up as a seminary. Mid-morning I startred feeling a bit sick -- just that general food poisoning that some seem to be getting. (Don’t worry mom, I’m felling much better now.) Anyway, after we finished with the bunkbeds I decided to go lay down since I’d been living there and all my things were upstairs. I got some rest and the guys woke me up in time to leave for lunch. As I got dressed and got my things together the others waited outside for our ride. When I left my bedroom I was completely stunned to see a torrent of water raining down from the ceiling tiles in the hall. I was pretty confused because I had just woke up… I didn’t understand if it was raining outside or what was going on. It took about 5 minutes before the we found out a pipe had burst, and there was already almost 3 inches of standing water on our floor. Anyway, just one more way God can use the bad for good… If I wasn’t sick I’m pretty sure the whole house would have been ruined.
Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Dear Joe,
Happy Fathers Day!!
Love, Claire

Greetings from Honduras! It is gorgeous here and the hot showers are to die for!!! This is day one of our recharging time, before we head to our next service city. Please pray that the Lord will work in a mighty way while we prepare for what He has for us when we return to Guatemala. Oh the stories the medical team could tell. Reporting them here would not due them justice. We have provided services for approximately 130 people per day. We have had to buy additional medication a few times.

We have an amazing God who is doing amazing things in us and through us. We have been able to give needed medication and have had the joy of teaching and praying with each person. Each team member has become proficient in taking histories, vital signs and filling prescriptions. The people are so grateful. We leave at the end of each day feeling tired but grateful for the opportunity God provides to be His hands and feet. They are giving us far more than what we feel we give them. Please know that the team members are growing in ways they didn’t anticipate, and it’s exciting to see. They are a joy to me and I’m so proud of them.

Thanks, Kyle, for managing the internship and the boys at night which allowed the three of us to go on this fabulous trip together. We love you and are praying for you as you teach in Brian’s absence. We love you Kyle, Cameron and Colin!!!


Mom, Dad and Bret

Hey family and friends!
I am having an awesome time here! Our medical team has seen over 530 patients so far, and it has been an awesome experience! God has definitely been doing some awesome things over this trip for the EnTirE team! Being here has really been life changing and it is helping me to see life in a completely different perspective. Well I love you all and I miss you! LOVE YOU!!


I MISS YOU GARRETT!!! Can’t wait to see you!!

Hey this is Tp3 just checkin in to say wazzup!! Its been an awesome week so far. From building houses in the rainforest to breakin up concrete in Siguatepeque, its been sweet. We’ve seen God work in amazing ways and we’ve been building great unity within the team. Hope everyone in the states is well and we’ll see you all soon!


Hey everyone back home, it’s me!!!! Vinesha. Well I’m sure my dad wont check this because he and the internet aren’t friends, but Happy Fathers day!!!!! I miss all you guys. Honduras is absolutely amazing, I love it more than Guatemala, I think I’m in love, thanks Ty for leaving all those msgs… I technically haven’t read any of them yet, but I think I got the idea, I’m sure I could guess what you were saying, you still have one more week! HAHA It seems like we’ve been here forever already, ok well I’ll talk to you all later, I’m taking lots of pictures. Ok love you all bye

This is Ryan Flynn saying hello
Today we said goodbye to Siguatepeque after two wonderful days of ministry. We traveled to our rest and relaxation destination, a hotel in Copan, Honduras. Happy fathers day Dad. I love and miss you all.
Ryan Flynn

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!! This is Jill and Alli and we just wanted to tell everyone at home that we miss you all and we are having lots of fun in Honduras! We just got to our R and R hotel and went swimming and had nice HOT showers!! Tomorrow we are going to the Copan Ruins. We have two more work days in Huehuetenago and are looking forward to it! We have lots of pictures and stories to share with all of you when we get home! Love you all! Can’t wait to hear from you!!
Love, Alli and Jill

Happy happy happy fathers day! Hi mom and dad! How was your fathers day? I hope all is well, I’m sure youre doing just fine without your baby girl. You’re probably doing all fun things and eating nummy food.. I’m currently craving sweet potato fries.. keep that in mind por favor(please) so mom, in the medical clinic I have seen A TON of worms, worms IN people. Ive also seen malnutrition, colds, and not one but TWO surgeries.. I got to open some packages and “assist” the doctors it was saweet.. At one of the clinics the toilet overflow, poop pee water alllll over, it was crazy. Little girls without shoes trying to help. All the people have been so thankful for our helping them.. In campur all the old ladies would hug and kiss you, it was very, let’s say, touching. Right now I’m havin’ some R&R in a very very nice hotel. I’ve realized I really like your cleanliness mom by being in campur. I can’t wait to come home, drink a glass of water out of the faucet, sleep in my cushy bed, and shower without flipflops. I’ve realized it’s the little things I’ve been taking advantage of. Anyways, keep me and my team in your prayers, keep trixie happy and have a good day! I LOVE YOU!

Love, Linds

Hey Hey!!
HappY FATHERS DaYJ I hope that things back at home are going good! Tell Erika I say hi and that I hope shes having fun w/out me…were currently are in a very very nice hotel for R&R day in Honduras. We got to go swimming today! Finally, a shower without buckets and that has heated water! The medical team that I am on is such a great experience. All of my friends are on it and it definitely has some good laughs. My Spanish is getting pretty darn good! I have so much to tell u guys from our host family to the long bus rides so I cant wait to see u all on Sunday night. Their treating us Very well just to let u know! Luv u all and miss u!



  • At 11:47 PM , Blogger Tyler Gray said...

    Wow how only one week can go by so slowly... It's really nice to hear everyone finally in good health...
    (Vinnie)- I am getting really anxious for the return, and there is still not a second that goes by that I don't wonder what amazing thing you are up to, and if you are doing alright.. Please stay safe, and I am prayin' for ya.... Love ya,

  • At 5:35 AM , Anonymous Hann Clan said...

    A week from today you will all be home and you will not be the same as when you left - the anticipation is bittersweet.

    JOHN HANN - good to finally hear from you. Keep your spirits and your arms up! Love you. -mom

  • At 8:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Very good to hear that all are now well. GOD IS GEAT! Our prayers continue for safe travels and ministry. Jay & Rita Bancroft.

  • At 8:24 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

    It seems you have all been experiencing some tough conditions. But your attitudes seem positive and you have the will to perservere. This week we will pray for endurance and grace. Thank you all so much for what you are doing.

    Aaron, thanks for writing. We love you. Mom and Dad

  • At 10:19 AM , Anonymous dan volenec said...

    already have 3 ebay bids on my piece of toast. glad you're feeling better. regarding the flood - way to be in the wrong spot at the right time! all of you AND those you are serving are in our prayers. MAV, drock and kitchy ... aarundo scored his first goal ever yesterday on a legit breakaway.
    love daddio

  • At 11:51 AM , Anonymous MJ Crocker said...

    It is so awesome to hear from you. You can't believe what a thrill it is to hear about your days, your experiences and your spirit! and such a thrill to hear it through so many voices. You are all such wonderful storytellers. It was also relieving to know that you are all well. I bet the warm shower felt like heaven. You are missed here, but we know you are doing amazing things there. Can't wait to see you, your pictures and hear your stories on Sunday. Jill your mom and dad say hi from the cabin too! love you. :)

  • At 11:57 AM , Blogger Jan said...

    Yikes - glad you all are finally able to have hot showers and relax a little. Thankful that all are feeling better.

    Matt and Andrew, sorry to hear about the frustrating day (especially when not feeling well) but thrilled to hear how God is using you all in every situation.

    Ryan, praising God that you are staying healthly. Keep eating your acidophilus tablets and drinking lots water. Hope your snacks are holding out! Love you lots.

    Thoughts/prayers - day and night for you all.

    Jan Kitchen

  • At 12:24 PM , Anonymous James McCoy said...

    Hey Patrick,
    It's your long lost nephew. I havn't seen you in so long. How are you doing, not even your parents know. You should write your mom is going nuts. If I don't hear from you soon they said I might get your room. How is Honduras and the locals. I love them. They are happy with what they have, as everyone should be. I havn't been there in a while though. Have you seen the PFC clinic and the new house? Are you going to be at the family reunion there in 07. That would be wonderful to see you again. How's your mission going. Well seeing as how I have so many questions you better write back answering everyone and others.

    Love your anoying Nephew James

  • At 6:28 PM , Anonymous mark said...

    Great news on the health scene. Hannah if you have a chance to "approve" comments on your blog, it might be interesting to see. Keep those feet steppin' out. We look hearing more, but for now we are praying for a great week as you guys finish well.

    Love, Dad

  • At 8:51 PM , Anonymous Knowland & Ada Loo said...

    To all the leaders and students, after reading your posts...YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!! simply because you so willingly have traded for two weeks the comfort and safety of your homes, your iPods, ISP, MP3s, PCs, TVs, cell phones; for cold showers, long days of hard work, restless nights...all in the name of God just to help our fellow brothers in another country and to spread God's word. Keep up the good work, we will all continue praying for your work and your safe return.

    Andrew, we are proud of you, your work and your dedication...as well as your approach to "Expect the Unexpected"
    Miss you

    Mom & Dad

  • At 9:43 PM , Anonymous becky sullivan said...

    Michelle Olson

    Thanks for the message - it is exciting to hear how God is using the team to help people and share the gospel. It sounds like you have had some experiences that you will long remember, including the overflowing toilets - We love you and keep all of you in our prayers Love MOM

  • At 10:37 PM , Anonymous Patti Schell said...

    Love the photo of my sweet boy with Pastor Brian.
    We are praying like crazy and love the updates.
    Derek e-mail Dad ASAP about being on radio show poss.Wed.
    Hey Josh-- HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You'll remember this one.
    Keep up the great work and make the most of this til the end!

  • At 10:52 PM , Blogger ian-sue-n-trixie2 said...

    Hi Linds - thanks for the fathers day wishes! We sure miss you around here. Trixie has taken over your nice soft, warm, dry bed ;) We went up to Cumberland for Grandpa's birthday, and to Leach Lake for Fathers day, everyone say's hi and we are all praying for you and the whole mission group! Keep up the good work and get r done!
    Love Dad, Mom and Trixie!

  • At 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nolan.Great to finally hear from you!You and the team have worked so very hard and have travelled long distances-many hours.Nice to have some R and R in one of God's beautiful creations.The hot showers and triple classics must have been incredible!We can't wait to hear the stories and see the pictures.We pray for safe journeys,good health ,high spirirts and continued great works .Try and write again.Love you .Mom Dad Lauren and Evan.

  • At 12:03 PM , Anonymous Dean Schilling said...

    Hi John Hann... You look like Marcel Marceau himself in the photo posted June 19th... We're inspired by your trip!!

    Keep blazing,


    Suzanne and U. Dean


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