Sunday, June 24, 2012

Getting to Know the Culture

We have had a wonderful Sunday worshiping with the local missionaries and the community!  This morning our group and the missionaries and their families met and worshiped together.  We sang some and then Mike Pettengill preached from 1 Timothy 1:12-20.  We learned about why God does not want us to have idols and the effect that the preaching of the gospel will have on a listener.
After the service we loaded up into their 15 passenger van and took a tour of the city, and La Fe, where we will be working this week.  We drove up to the coast and then back through town where we learned a lot about the local culture.
coast line
La Ceiba is one of 3 major cities in Honduras, and is known as the partying city.  The majority of downtown consists of bars and clubs.  The women of the town have many children which are often fathered by different men.  It is rare for the children to have a father figure in their life.
local bar
La Fe is a very poor city that basically consists of squatters that have taken up residence.  The locals are in the process of officially owning the property of La Fe, but at this moment the government could still come and uproot them if they wanted to.  The mayor of La Fe will be helping to lead all of the construction we work on this week.
The culture of La Ceiba and La Fe consist of two main groups of people:  descendants of the Mayans and the Garifuna.  The Garifuna culture came from an uprising on a slave ship.  The ship was shipwrecked on the Caribbean coast and La Ceiba was one of the main places where they took up residence.  The two cultures do intermingle, but both have their own separate religions and traditions.

Small glimpse into La Fe
 The local infrastructure came about when Dole stationed in La Ceiba to harvest pineapples and cantaloupes.  Dole provided lots of jobs for the local community and running water through parts of the town.  Dole no long ships out of La Ceiba as the coast is too shallow, but the products are still harvested here and shipped to a bigger port.  
We also learned that the name of the town, La Ceiba, comes from a tree called la ceiba.  This is a large softwood tree which was once used to make life vests.
La Ceiba tree (sorry it wouldn't rotate the picture).  White stuff is insecticide.
After the tour we came back to the compound and were taught a course called Darkness to Light.  We learned about the incidence of child sexual abuse and the signs to look for if we suspect a child is being abused.  This is evidently a big concern in this area, and the missionaries are trying to help with this problem.
Around 4pm we went to a local church called Iglesia Gran Comision (Church of the Great Commision) which met at a local school. The sermon was on lives that inspire.  The passages used were Matthew 16:24-25, Galations 2:20, and 1 Peter 1:14-15.  The main point was that Jesus should be our inspiration.  We are consecrated to God, we have a clear vision of where we are going to go when we die, heaven is our home, and we respond by showing compassion to help others in need.  We should live to be an inspiration to others that they may also follow Christ.  We sang lots of upbeat songs that were led by a full praise band.  The singers who led the music had very beautiful voices!
After church we came back, had supper, and were orienteered on what we will be doing tomorrow.  Some of us will be helping with the local medical clinic and the rest will be constructing a sidewalk.  In the afternoon some of us will go on home-visits to get to know the people of La Fe.
It was great to hear from y'all in the comments!  Megan has had a great birthday, along with 2 others here.  We are also very excited with having Marcia on our team and can't wait to work with her tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

What a great entry!!! Learned a lot about the area and the pictures helped too!!! Whoever is writing this, thanks! Sending lots of prayers for a quick adjustment to the climate, tummies made of Teflon, baggage returned to rightful owners, and most importantly the group's ability to inspire the people to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Bryan Wright said...

Wonderful information on the Culture and insightful. Thank you so much.
Praying for the Calvary 14 and the
Honduras 5 that the Lord of Shalom will give you all His Shalom continually in every single circumstance and that the Lord will be with you all in most special ways! 2 Thess 3:16

Pastor Bryan