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Scorching sun can't stop mission team's day three efforts

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lipscomb Associate AD Brent High reports in from Honduras on day three of the Softball mission trip.

Day three is in the books. Everyone is physically spent. Eight more hours of largely moving dirt one wheelbarrow load at a time to fill in the foundation of the house filled our day. The first two days we’ve been blessed by the clouds and cover Tropical Storm Ernesto has provided. Today we experienced quite a bit more sun. Today reminded us that we are extremely near the Equator. Every time the sun came out between Noon and 3 p.m. we felt it immediately. There are a few sunburned necks and ears, mine included, but another day without incident or injury is another blessing to count.

As Alex Ross said today, “If I don’t come back from this trip looking like Thor something is wrong!” This is hard, hard manual labor. It’s unforgiving. It doesn’t allow for rest. The truck pulls up and dumps a huge load of dirt partially on the road beside the building site. We have to get it off the street and into the building footprint before the next load arrives. Our group began to despise the roar of the big Mercedes truck making its way through the nearby streets as it got closer to our site. Almost every time we had just finished scooping up the last wheelbarrow load of dirt when a new load arrived and put us back at square one. We did make a lot of progress in filling in the footprint. I would say we’re probably 35% done. It will be a challenge to our group to try and finish that part of the job by Saturday.

This afternoon the half of our group that didn’t do food deliveries yesterday got to do so in and around San Marcos de Colon. Most of these people live in what we would describe in the U.S. as chicken coops. They were all extremely appreciative of the food. Some cried. It provided a serious jolt of reality to our team and gave all of us a deeper appreciation of what we have back home along with a challenge to be better stewards of our resources.

Today we spent a great deal of time with the children in the neighborhood that surrounds the build site. We brought a gigantic suitcase with us we affectionately call “Santa’s Sleigh.” Inside were dozens of purple Lipscomb jerseys, candy and several different deflated sports balls. We told all the kids to gather round, that we had a “regalo” for them (gift). We handed them a brand new futbol (soccer ball). They immediately went to work playing with it in the street. Then we distributed Lipscomb jerseys to all of them. More and more kids started pouring into the street. I would estimate we handed out about 20 jerseys today. The kids wore them all day long. Then we gave them a baseball bat and ball and some tennis balls. Our girls pitched to them in the street and let them hit. They had a blast. We distributed most of the candy and some frisbees. Needless to say our girls were the hit of the neighborhood. The kids brought them the soccer ball and asked all of them to sign it. Then they spent the rest of the day trying to match the names with the girls. It was a very neat experience to witness. The end of the day was marked by the kids approaching each and every one of our girls wanting to hug them. Dozens of “hasta mananas” (see you tomorrow) filled the air as we got in our trucks and headed back to the refuge.

I would be remiss not to point out that I have the most amazing wife on the planet. Today is the 15th anniversary of the day Emily Pleasant married me in Waverly, Tenn. It’s difficult being away from her especially today but I am so blessed to have such a warrior in my life that fully supports my work with these athletes at Lipscomb.

Once again, let me thank all of the donors who made this trip possible. I hope to be able to share with all of you a detailed report outlining the return on your investment. I am so proud to be affiliated with Lipscomb during weeks like this. It’s truly what makes Lipscomb special and why being a Bison is such a blessing.

Please continue to pray for us.

Blessings,
Brent