Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Lipscomb Associate AD Brent High reports in from Honduras on day wto of the Softball mission trip.
Day two was quite possibly the most difficult day of manual labor in any of our lives. After a 7 a.m. breakfast of French toast we headed to our work site in San Marcos de Colon, just 10 minutes from the Mission Lazarus refuge.
We are working on a house where the executive director of Mission Lazarus will ultimately live. The other major project currently underway is a large warehouse on the Mission Lazarus property. There is another group here this week from the Northwest that is working on that project.
Today we started at the house site at 7:30 a.m. The house was just coming out of the ground with one level of stone on the foundation. Our first order of business was moving over 30,000 pounds of boulders to the middle of the work site. The first load was on the side of the street. We formed a brigade line and moved those in about an hour. A second load in a large truck couldn’t make it up the hill to the work site. The slope was much too steep (I’d guess about a 35% grade). We had to bring the boulders up the hill one wheelbarrow at a time. It was backbreaking work.
From there we split up into different tasks. One group carried dirt from the road to the inside of the house footprint one wheelbarrow at a time. We had about five wheelbarrows going at once. Another group worked on mixing and delivering concrete to the Hondurans building the foundation. Others were responsible for digging out areas of the floor that were higher than the foundation with pick axes and shovels.
There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the kind of work we did today. The girls on the team were nothing short of spectacular on the work site. They moved hundreds of thousands of pounds of dirt and rock and concrete today and not once complained. There were times we had to stop and rest for a few minutes and many times we had to re-hydrate as it is extremely hot here. But these girls impressed everyone at the work site and all of the people in the neighborhood who watched us work all day. It became very apparent early in the day that no one around here has ever seen girls work the way our girls worked today. The word “fuerte” – Spanish word for strong – was used by the construction workers and those watching on the street literally dozens of times today when referring to our girls. I told them I expected us to set a single-season home run record this year.
There were several non-chain gang feeling moments today as well. We had a chance to give away some Lipscomb jerseys to some small children nearby. They loved them. Kelsey Cartwright started playing soccer with some kids in the street. At first it was one kid. Then it was many. The rest of the day our girls took several different opportunities to play with them. They taught them how to hit using a shovel as a bat. They played volleyball with them. They played lots of soccer. The kids fell in love with the girls immediately. They asked to have their pictures made with them.
Half of our group headed into the mountains this afternoon to make food deliveries with a local pastor that works with Mission Lazarus. As we shared memories of the day around the fire tonight it was obvious those encounters made a deep impression. Heather Morgan talked about seeing a house that five people including four kids live in that’s smaller than her dorm room. Dee Baddley used some of her limited Spanish to tell a little girl that she liked her shirt. The girl gave Dee a hug.
We are so blessed to have Ryan Terry from the Lipscomb men’s golf team with us as our translator. Our interactions with the local people are much deeper and sweeter with him serving as a go-between.
I’m no college coach but I can’t think of a better way to build team than something like what we’re experiencing this week. These girls are obviously drawing closer and closer to each other. For the freshmen and transfers it’s a God-send.
Today marked another day without any significant issues. Everyone is happy, healthy and safe. Mission Lazarus is an extra-special place. I look forward to many more Lipscomb athletes having the opportunity to experience this place in the years to come. Honduras is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere (Haiti is #1). Choluteca, the province where we are in Honduras, is the poorest part of Honduras. Yet these people exude happiness and joy like none other. They are teaching us too.
Lots more dirt work on the agenda for tomorrow. We have all come to despise the word “piedra” – the Spanish word for rock
Once again, from all 17 of us down here representing Lipscomb and more importantly representing Jesus, let me thank all of the donors who made this trip possible. It’s our vision that every Lipscomb athlete have the opportunity to experience what we’re experiencing this week in Honduras and what the track team is experiencing in Haiti. With your continued support that will be realized.
Please continue to pray for us. We really do see and feel the results.