Sunday, June 30, 2013
The President's Visit to Yamaranguila
When I woke up last Saturday morning, I only had a few things planned. One was to pay for some eggs I had put on credit the day before with a local vendor in Yamaranguila. We also were going to look at a store front to put a bakery. The Cumi Cafe' Bakery Store is going to be an effort to help the girls who are not going to college to understand how to run a micro-empresas, or a small business. The girls will sell their baked items and they will be selling their art work, crafts and the art work of some of the local artesanos of the community. We had no idea how our morning was going to turn out. As we approached Yamaraguila, I saw a large hot orange streamer flying from a pole at one end of the local soccer field. There were only a few people standing around and I thought that it looked a little strange, but I had other fish to fry and so I had my mind otherwise occupied. I went inside the store to pay my bill and to retrieve the key, when we found out that the key for the other store front was not there. I was with my interns, and they ran up the street to get the key to the store, while I finished my business with the grocer. I heard a helicopter and a large group of boys running, then more boys and then more boys. I said only the boys in the community are interested in a helicopter. I asked the owner of the store, "Who is Coming? He said the President of Honduras. Finally, I connected the dots. The interns returned and said that the owner had the key and he was in La Esperanza. I said, "No problem, let's call the farm and tell the girls to get ready to come and see the President." I also jokingly said, "I have some things I want to discuss with him." So we got to the farm, hopped out and got the girls wearing their PTC shirts, to jump into the bus. We had a the house moms and Pastor Bery, and the Robertson family, who were visiting, so we took another car. We had to get back because we had a church service at 2:00 p.m. We first ran by where the helicopter was parked at the soccer field. I went up to the military guys guarding it and asked if we could have our picture made in front of the helicopter. They said hesitantly, "Sure", then all the girls got out of the bus. It was a great photo. Michael Robertson and his son were acting like the Paparazzi had come to town and all the photos here in this blog is a result of their brilliance and boldness to just "take the picture". When we arrived the mayor's office was packed, and so I asked someone who looked official if I could go in, and they said, "Yes". It was like walking into a sea of people. You just kind of got sucked in when you walked through the door way. On the stage were the dignitaries, the President, the Ambassador of Peru, the local Mayor, Governor of the State, and the other officials of education. They were there to give the local families, a grant of money to allow their children to finish the school year. The secret service wore Central American white button up business shirts, that have big pockets on the bottom of the shirt. On one of the big pockets, was a large gold seal of their office. They had very starched white pants, and even a white ear phones. There was a guy who looked like he had a white navy uniform with his hat that stood directly behind the president. There were many people from the press there and we were all waiting for the program to start. The girls were waiting outside. After I had been there a while listening to the speeches, I got Pastor Bery to start bringing the girls through the door, so they could see the President. I stepped out and asked one of the secret service guys if we could get a picture with the President. He just nodded officially. I pursued conversation with him. I asked when could we do this. He said, in a very official voice, "I will give you the signal". So I confidently waited outside with the girls for the "signal". It took a while, the girls were getting hungry and the sun was getting very hot on our black-haired girls. My confidence began to wain, as I watched the girls, and I kept reminding myself we did have the church service to get to, but I got a word to "tarry". So since I don't use words like "tarry", I hoped I was hearing from The Lord. While we were waiting some people with the group, dressed very casually, came up and asked who we were. I told them and told them that the girls pray for the President and for the government officials. We chatted for a while and the guy with the grey v-neck t-shirt took the girls photos and then they got them printed and place them in a sleeved postcard with the President'd name and logo of the day, "El Futuro Es lo Primero". I thought OK maybe I was waiting for this. I would get some copies and give them to the girls as a remembrance of the day. But again, I got "Wait for it, though it tarries". OK. I was in. The President came out with his secret service the white SUV's cranked up and I thought this will be a quick photo. I was looking for the secret service guys. Our secret service guy, gave me a nod. I stood confidently with the girls, even though we were being pushed towards his motorcade. Finally one of our housemom's turned and said, "Listen, we are going to have our picture made with the President. If you would just move to the side and as she was saying that she was ushering them away from the girls and the President walks up. All the things I would have said, left me. He asked who we were, and I told him and the secret service guy said something along with the casually dressed guy, and President moved behind us and got the photo with the girls. I had stepped aside and so he talked to the guy in the white marine looking suit and he waved me up to speak with the President. The President asked me my name and asked me about the ministry. I told him a Reader's Digest version about out ministry and how long we had been here. He then asked me. "What things hinder your work here, that I could help you with?". I drew a blank and then I started sharing with him somethings. He responded to my questions and concerns, and then he asked the girls, "What can your President give to you today?". Stephani who was standing at his right hand said, "Just give us a hug". He said "Clearly I can do this". Then he looked at me and asked what did I need. I thought to myself, "I have so much, I really don't need anything". I said, "Whatever you would like to give us". He thought about uniforms, changed his mind when he saw they had uniforms, and then he said, "How about a tv with a blue ray player?" Stephani said, "Blue is my favorite color". I don't think she knew what the difference between a DVD player or a blue ray. I thanked him and told him that would be something we could use at the school with our ABEKA program. The staff had talked about it just the weeks before. The President asked me for my card, or anything with my name on it. I had a ministry envelope and Pastor Bery gave him the ministry business card that I had given to him a few days prior. The guy who in the Black shirt who was walking behind the President with the briefcase, popped it open and he wrote us a check for 10,000 limperas, or $500 USD and handed it to me. The President said "Thank you for what you are doing for the people of Honduras". I told him, "Thank you for what you are doing for the people of Honduras. You have encouraged them greatly by your visit here today. I hope you come back and next time we hope you can come and had a meal with us at our Ministry". He smiled, said goodbye and the girls hugged him and off he went. I was so excited that the girls got to meet their President. I want them to know about their political system here and if I could get them excited about it at an early age, that was a blessing, because I feel like they will help change their nation. The girls were wired, and we were all blessed as we walked back to the bus. Pastor Bery went with the grey t-shirt guy, and he gave him a bunch of photos of the girls with the President of Hondurans. While Pastor Bery was there, he talked to the Minister of Education, who offered his services also to our ministry. God had gone before us and gotten us everything we had need of. I thought about how "off the chart" excited I was. I had just been joking with the interns, about talking with the President and then there I was, talking with the President, through no effort of mine except to show up where I knew he would be. I felt like God was laughing at me, and reminded me that "Your words are powerful". We ran home and I gave all the girls and the staff and the Pastor a banana, and we walked up to the church and had service. Later we invited the congregation to come and eat a wonderful meal that had been prepared by Tim Carey's team. It was a blessed day. The waiting was long, and hot, and we doubted that we were supposed to wait at all, but we tarried and God brought it to pass. We need to be waiting for Him with that same patience. We knows what we need. He asks us all the time, "What can I do for you", and we either don't wait, or don't communicate. I pray that we all practice to pray, stay and tarry with God and communicate with Him. Blessings, the Honduran Mom who talked with the Honduran President.