Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Winter" has come

Winter has come to Honduras. What does that mean? Instead of hot and humid, it's hot, humid and rainy! It does also bring a cooling trend in the evenings, I even used a blanket last night! It was joyous!

Our week: Today we welcome Pamela, she is a 2-week intern who is here to explore the possibility of full-time missions somewhere in the world. Welcome Pamela!

Tomorrow: I am headed off to Copan, Honduras for a conference on Honduras. There are many representatives of many private, or Christian, or philanthropic organizations that work in Honduras. I will be traveling tomorrow, the conference is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I return on Sunday. I am hoping that I will have a chance to go see the Copan Ruins while I am there.

This week we continue in our ESL class. Mike will be teaching my class and Pamela will be there to help out. Madison continues making up past homework and tests.

Overall a busy few weeks!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let The Blind Man Say, “I can see again”

Several weeks ago as we were walking through Armenia Bonito we met a man sitting in his hammock. After we talked with him a while he said, “ I am a Christian. But, my eyes are bad and I can’t read my Bible anymore. I miss it greatly. Can you get me glasses so I can read my Bible?”

While we hope to soon bring an eye doctor into Honduras, we do not currently have the ability to provide glasses.

Today is “Day of the Bible” here in Honduras and we handed out 200 free Bibles in Armenia Bonito. But, we did not want to leave our poor sighted friend out of the joy of the day. We found and purchased a large print, Spanish language, book of John.

At the end of our time in Armenia Bonito we went back to our friend’s house. Mike walked up to him and said, “You are the man with the bad eyes, correct?” After he confirmed the man’s malady Mike continued, “We have the book of John for you written in big words.” The man, wearing an old, broken pair of woman’s reading glasses on his head received the gift with great joy. He had a huge smile on his face and couldn’t stop saying “thank you”.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mayan Ruins and Cave Tubing

Yesterday the family took a 4 hour drive to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunia (pronounced Shoo-nan-tu-nia). The drive itself was amazing - there had been a HUGE storm and we had to travel through 25 miles of unpaved road. Because of the storm, the road looked more like a river, but our driver drove through like he was quite accustomed to it. Xunantunia was one of the centers of Mayan civilization that began around 400B.C. The disappearance of the Mayan civilization around 1200A.D. is still a mystery, and evidence to their continued existence up to 1200A.D. can be found at this site. It was an amazing walk into history as we were able to climb the high steps to get up to the top of the site. Afterwards we drove an hour back toward Placencia and went cave tubing. Cave tubing can only be found in Belize. We hiked 30 minutes into the jungle with a large inner-tube, jumped on, and started the 30 minute tube ride through these old caverns. Imagine an under-ground cavern complete with stalagmites and stalagmites, flow stone, etc. and a river flowing through it. At one point we all turned off our head-lamps and it was PITCH DARK! It was an awesome experience, and probably one we won't be able to do again.

The Road/River we drove through

The Mayan Ruins

Cave Tubing

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Placencia, Belize

Here we are in Placencia, Belize. It's located in a Peninsula, so there is water, water, everywhere. As English is the national language here, that's mostly what we are hearing. After having been out of the U.S. for over a year, it's a bit strange to hear nothing but English. With a population of only 501, it's a quaint village indeed. We have come because we have to renew our Honduras visa. The government requires us to leave country every 90 days for a minimum of 72 hours. So, we arranged a trip with my brother and sister-in-law to come to Belize. We had planned on doing some diving yesterday, but got hit by a whopper of a storm. The lightning and thunder were spectacular - but certainly not conducive to diving. So, it's day two, and after being attacked by about 200 mosquitoes in our house yesterday, we are ready for a new day. It looks like better weather, so we are hoping for the best. Here are some pictures taken out the front and back door of where we are staying. As you can see there is a canal on both sides of the house. It's actually pretty amazing.

View from the front of the house

View from the back of the house

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Long To Faith

Today a group from Faith Presbyterian Church in Irmo, SC heads back home after spending four days with us here in La Ceiba. They were here to determine how their church could best work with us and serve the people of Honduras.

Here is a 3 minute 38 second video to show you what went on:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spending A Little Time In A Senior Home

We have a team here visiting from South Carolina. Great folks. They are very energetic and excited about our ministry. They are gaining a great passion for the people of Honduras.

Today we went to the local old folks home, which is home to 25 seniors. The Director gave us a tour of the facility and we talked about the needs of the people and how we can be of service.

We all hung around and talked with some of the residents and sang songs. These people never receive visitors and any contact is good.

While we were there we noticed the television in the recreation area was broken. With no second thoughts our group decided they should all go buy a new TV for the home. In less then an hour the team from South Carolina had returned with a new TV AND DVD player for the home.

We all shared great passion for these seniors and look forward to serving them again soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Always Christmas, Never Winter?

These last 10 days have been like Christmas. First we finally got our two pallets of ministry supplies out of customs. Then we got three care packages back to back to back from my friend Mindy, my friend Dannie and Mike’s Mom. Then Mike came back from the US with a suitcase full of cool stuff.

We are swimming in coffee syrup from Starbucks. We have played nightly board games. We have gorged ourselves on candy. We have all enjoyed new undies. It is as if we are personally trying to demonstrate the meaning of gluttony.


The weather seems to be turning. While we don’t want to jinx things, it looks like the weather is becoming a LITTLE bit more tolerable. After almost a month with no rain we have had three days of rain in a row. It is still 95 degrees and 90% humidity, but, the rain has been making the evenings really nice.

The last update on this entry is THE CHIN. Those of you who have been around for a while will recall that at the age of six, Maddy busted her chin open doing her best Mary Lou Retton (yeah I’m from the 80’s) imitation. It required a number of stitches.

Well, a couple of days ago Maddy was doing a little dancing…ok…let’s get it out there…she was doing The Worm. And, she again busted her chin open. Where is a nurse when you need one? We placed her on the couch, I cleaned it and applied a few sutures. She is now healed and ready to bust it open again. Maddy helped answer the question, "Why don't Pettengills dance?"

The Chin

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Have Pickup

Thank you to everyone who made this possible. We are now in possession of a pickup truck! Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We were able to raise $8,000 towards the purchase and we want to thank everyone who wrote a check or prayed.

The truck is a Nissan Frontier, 2 wheel drive, 4 door, 4 cylinder, manual everything.

We had been taking the bus and walking everywhere. Let me tell you how vital this is to us…when we need to get out to Armenia Bonito (where we do much of our work) it takes 25 minutes to drive a personal car or 1 hour and 45 minutes to walk and take a bus. That is a 3 ½ hour round trip verses 50 minutes. This will free up so much more time for ministry.

It will be easier to get around, haul things, drive on bad roads, and it will be much safer. Amen!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Overview Of Our Ministry In Honduras

We recently produced this video to provide a brief overview of Honduras and the work we are doing. It is somewhat of promotional video that we intend to use to give some basic insight to churches or individuals who may be considering how they can be involved in what God is doing here in La Ceiba.

Enjoy this 2 minute and 11 second video:

Friday, September 12, 2008

English Classes and Clinic

Yesterday we started an English class in the community of Armenia Bonito. It was the 1st of a 10 week series. English is not taught in the public schools here, so almost no one in Armenia speak any English. We had 25+ people in attendance, all with a huge desire to learn English. We are so excited about the opportunity this presents to teach both English, and to present the gospel during the classes! We are going to be offering additional classes in the afternoons and on the weekend. After each class I will be offering a "mini clinic" as well. This way people will know the consistency of us being there. I checked many blood pressures and blood sugars - for those of you that this makes any sense to, I checked a lady with a blood sugar of 455, and a blood pressure of 160/110 . After much instructions about health, nutrition, and a huge insistence of seeing a physician, she was sweet, but pretty much blew off the idea of seeing a doctor. I have many glucometers that were donated by our first medical team, and after much instruction, I donated one to her so she can check her blood sugar daily. She is currently taking medication, but it's obvious between her diet and a probably need to change her medication, she is not in good shape. I hope to be able to monitor her weekly to see the progress she is/isn't making.

The clinic after English class

Our English class students

El Centro Comunal - where we host the clinic and the ESL class. This is a site for a future construction / youth team. We hope to paint, perhaps tile, and clean up the facility. It is used often, and is the center of the community - but it is need of much repair!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


My friend...

Well - I preach it everyday when teams are here. It is SO important to drink sufficient water when here. The humidity is so high, and it's so blammed hot here. Often people say "I'm used to that kind of weather - I'm from _______ ". However, what I try to explain is that in your home state, it may be this kind of hot with this kind of humidity - but it's different when living it in a 3rd world country. Here - there is no getting away from it. We don't have AC in the house - and there certainly is no AC in the village. We don't go to our AC office, and drive in our AC car. So, we are sweating, almost quite literally, 24/7. With rare exception, it doesn't cool off during the night - so I sleep with a wet towel to cool myself off during the night. Well...yesterday was no different. I was sweating from the minute I got up out of bed - took Madison to school, walked the 2 miles home. I walk/jog with my neighbor - 3 miles. Then - I had so many chores to do yesterday, it was about 4+ miles out and about. Then the 2 mile treck back to Madison's school to get her. All in all, it was about a 11+ mile day in the blaring heat. I was keeping track - drank 2 liters of gatorade, and 2 liters of water. However, by 2:30 in the afternoon I felt like I wanted to vomit. I was feeling light-headed - had to lie down and just chill. My husband came home (YEAH!!!!), and shoved my liter water bottle in front of me - I've had enough I thought, but being a diligent wife, I drank it all. The more I thought about it - I realized I had only peed once all day...hmm...bad sign...on the fringe of heat exhaustion - I finally took my own advice and quickly drank another half gallon of water/gatorade. Imagine to my surprise when I felt oh so much better! So, even though I was sure I had had enough water - I guess the bottom line is - you can never drink enough! I'm still feeling the repercussions of yesterdays bout - my body is still dehydrated, I can tell. But all in all - much better. So - DRINK WATER!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting the word out

Yesterday I spent the day by myself in the area of Armenia Bonito getting the word out for the English class we start on Thursday. We are excited about this new ministry as it will bring people in to learn English - and at the same time we will be exposing them to God's grace. Our class will include instruction in English through bible studies, reading comprehension through reading of the bible, and many other things. This class is open to all age groups. We have this class from 9-11am. This is both good and bad. Good because many children will be in school, so mothers will be able to attend. Bad because many children will be in school and the children will be unable to attend, and many of the fathers will be working. In the near future we plan on having an afternoon class and a Saturday class. However, because of our constraints with not having a car - being reliant upon the bus - it limits when we can have classes. But we know God has great plans, and even if 1 person shows up - that's an opportunity to share the gospel with that one person. Eventually, once we have a core group of folks, we would like to start a bible study. Please pray for our class that starts this Thursday!

Some of the children in Armenia Bonito

a house near the "town hall" where out classes will be held

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's finally arrived

Before we left for Costa Rica, our dear friends, the Hertzells, offered to store some stuff for us to have shipped at a later date. While in Costa Rica I started the process via the internet, of getting our stuff picked up and shipped to Honduras. That part of it went without a hitch. The company picked up our stuff, packed it into a partial container, and shipped it down to Honduras. Upon it's arrival we received notification that it was here - and that's where it went down hill. Let me just say - what it takes to get items into country, the documentation we need, license we had to get, and $$$ we had to provide took us over 1 month until our stuff finally arrived at our front door yesterday! Almost all of the things are for our ministry with a few exceptions. Mike had all of his books shipped, and we had some camping items sent as well. Other than that it was ministry stuff and it's such a relief to finally be in possession of these things! Woohoo!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Yesterday, after a hot day of working, our friends called us up and said, "do you want to go to the river?" Are you kidding? Oh yeah! This is a spot about 10 minutes driving from our house - amazing that you can go from city to this in 10 minutes. We enjoyed about an hour and a half of refreshing mountain water - jumping from rocks into the swimming hole, and sliding down waterfalls (very bumpy). Our friends have a lab who was in heaven and didn't stop swimming the entire time. It was a great time to just get away and relax for a little time and escape the stifling heat of La Ceiba.


Jack the lab with his big catch

Getting ready to jump off the high rocks into the swimming hole

One of the two small waterfalls

Madison and Michael before the jump

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The grass is greener on the other side of the road

Many times here you will see horses wondering loose. Owners do this to allow their horses to graze on the grasses near their home. We have an empty field right next to us, and we usually see this horse grazing freely there without fence or harness. Most of the times he stays right where he is supposed to. However, this morning, while Madison and I were waiting for a taxi to go to school, the horse decided to cross the street. Now keep in mind - this is the busiest street in all of La Ceiba. The horse started across the road, stopping in the middle of the street to do his business, and cars and taxis just drove around him because this is such a normal event here. The horse wandered to the other empty field - obviously looking for greener pastures. After returning home from dropping Madison off, the owner had come looking for him deciding that his crossing the street was just a bit too dangerous to wonder back by himself.

The owner retrieving his horse

The empty lot right next to our house (the wall on the right is our wall)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Shopping downtown

Red beans anyone?

Today I had to run downtown to have some keys made. While I was there I wondered through the outdoor market. There you can buy anything from shoes, clothes, beans, vegetables, watch repair, and even the meat market is there. It's fun just to peruse through the different venders to see what is available. I picked up some bananas, chile dulce (green peppers), cebollas (onions), zanahorias (carrots), y vegetables mixla (mixed vegetables) for soup. All in all, just a few dollars for all of it.