McCanns in Honduras

Let the nations be glad & sing for joy!

Vacation and a Slow(er) Week

Last week, right as our team was leaving, we packed up as well and headed to Mexico for a 72 hour vacation.  You’d think because we live in Central America, a trip to Mexico would be nice and quick, but it took us 3 flights and a bus ride to get to Puebla, our weekend destination.  Puebla is a big town outside of Mexico City.  It has a very European feel to it, complemented with hundreds of historic churches and cathedrals.  But the best part for us was the great food, the mild weather (no humidity!), and the hotel pool.  Lucy loved her daily swim and nightly bath in a real tub, we loved the dry, cool air and the delicious food, and Ellie is as happy as anywhere else, just along for the ride.

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Once we returned, we had our first chance to take a breath since our new summer intern has arrived.  Sarah arrived the same day as the last team, and had a fairly hectic week of adjustment.  This week we’ve had a slower pace that even included a beach birthday party and a morning river trip.

Yesterday, we were back at it with our weekly kids club.  We started off with some water games to cool off, and then headed inside for 30 hot minutes of singing, a gospel presentation, and a coloring craft.

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As you can see in the picture, Lucy is becoming more and more comfortable with the kids in Armenia (it only took 6 months!).  Yesterday she wanted to be first in the water line, and then let some kids carry her inside, and even colored with older boys picking on her the whole time.  She has really turned into quite the brave adventurer.

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July 28, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | Leave a comment

Last Day with Sovereign Grace

Today was our home church’s last day here in Honduras.  It has been so great for us to visit old friends and rekindle relationships.  Yesterday they helped put on a health clinic all day, and those who weren’t working took lots of the neighborhood kids up to the river.  Today we continued house construction, and then took the afternoon off for a quick beach visit.

Here are a couple pics from the last few days.

Marie, Laura, and Donnette learning how to make baleadas from Teresa.

Marie, Laura, and Donnette learning how to make baleadas from Teresa.

Walter and George entertaining Luke during some downtime.

Walter and George entertaining Luke during some downtime.

It was so great having our church down here for the week.  It is sad to see them go, but we can’t wait to host them again some day.

July 17, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | 1 Comment

Charlotte Comes to La Ceiba

Late last Saturday night, we welcomed our home church from Charlotte, NC, as our third mission team of the summer.  We spent over three years at Sovereign Grace Presbyterian, so it was so exciting for us to see old friends , make new ones, and work together here in Honduras.

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The started their week on Sunday with a pancake breakfast at our place, afternoon worship at our team house, and an evening out in Armenia Bonito at a local church service.  For the past three days, they’ve been working hard on construction.  Everyone is getting involved shifting sand, mixing concrete, and moving and laying bricks.  In between are breaks to pick up trash, advertise for our English class, and play with the ever-present kids.

The Brick Line

The Brick Line

On Monday, after construction and lunch, the team helped us put on a Kids Club by playing games, performing a skit, leading songs, and helping with a craft.  On Tuesday, the afternoon involved an English class which the teams helped with, along with more soccer with the boys.  And then today, after a long morning, we headed out to the local swimming hole with lots of boys and girls for a nice, refreshing dip.

Lucy, Elizabeth, and Donnette, taking a little break.

Lucy, Elizabeth, and Donnette, taking a little break.

So far the team has been great.  There have been a few delays, crowed cars, and the usually heat and humidity, but they seem to have taken it all in stride.  Some of the women even stayed back yesterday to help Lindsey cook some food for our teams in August.

It has been a blast to have our church here, and the time is flying.  We’re sad to see them go this weekend, but can’t wait to have them back again soon.

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | 1 Comment

Diplomatic Meetings and Summer Mission Teams

For the past few weeks, our website has been dominated with the political happenings in Honduras.  And yet despite the chaos, our ministry has continued to move forward.  Last Sunday (6/28), when Zelaya was removed from power by the rest of the government, we had a short-term team here with us in La Ceiba.  It was a Sunday, so we didn’t have much planned, but the team stayed inside anyway, just to play it safe.

Our most recent short-term team, 14 youth and adults from two churches in Georgia.

Our most recent short-term team, 14 youth and adults from two churches in Georgia.

The next few days we continued to work on construction projects, kids club, and English classes.  Once the team left, we took a break (attempted our failed vacation), and began to prepare for the rest of the summer teams.

Despite the recent news of meetings between the two sides in Honduras (more on that in a second), our planned teams for the rest of July and August still have a tough decision to make.  Do they continue with their travel and ministry plans despite the political situation, or do they postpone their trip for a later date?

Costa Rica Meetings

Zelaya (left) and Micheletti

Both the old president, Zelaya, and the new president, Micheletti, have agreed to meet in our old home town of San Jose, Costa Rica.  The Costa Rican president, Oscar Arias, has volunteered to serve as a mediator between the two sides.  This task will not be easy, as Zelaya has said he is “simply listening…to see how they [Micheletti] are planning their departure.”  On the other side, Michelettie is standing just a firm, stating that “under no circumstances will he agree to the return of Mr. Zelaya to power.”

July 9, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | Leave a comment

Whose Flying in Honduras?

Well, Zelaya can’t get in and we can’t get out, so no one we know.

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Lucy, not happy to be waiting in line at 6 AM.

This morning at 5:15 AM we showed up at the San Pedro Sula airport to find out that our airline, TACA, had canceled all their flights for the day.  So we and hundreds of our new best friends waited for hours trying to get out of Honduras.  The reason for the cancellation?  The former President of Honduras, Mel Zelaya, was trying to fly into the country.  A warrant is out for his arrest, the new government says that if he sets foot in the country he will be arrested, and yet for days he has been promising to return today (Sunday).  Ironically, although TACA knew this, they told us the flights would go on as scheduled and didn’t make any effort to contact us once they were canceled.

We tried to get to Mexico, our vacation destination, on another airline, but to no avail.  They couldn’t even guarantee us tickets for tomorrow, so we cut our losses, bought a bus ticket, and arrived back in La Ceiba this afternoon.  Mexico just wasn’t in the plan for us this time, but with ticket vouchers good for up to a year, I am sure we’ll make it there.

A jet with Honduras ousted President Manuel Zelaya on board departs from Dulles International Airport.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

A jet with Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya on board departs from Dulles International Airport. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Of course once we got home, the excitement didn’t end.  This afternoon, Zelaya took off from Washington, DC, for Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.  Ignoring all the warnings, he called on his supporters to show up at the airport to welcome him home.  Although he naively asked them to be peaceful, there were protest and the military was called in.  As the plane approached, the military was dispatched to all four of the international airports in Honduras (Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Roatan) with orders to arrest Zelaya.

As we dined on our deep-dish, Hot Cheese crust, gigante, supreme Pizza Hut pizza, we watched on television as Zelaya’s plane (on loan from Venezuela) circled the airport in Tegucigalpa, looking for a spot to land.  The military was covering the runway, so eventually the president gave up and headed for Nicaragua (UPDATE: El Salvador).

As are watching the news now at 7 PM here in Honduras, we still have no idea what is coming next.  Zelaya is close by in El Slavador, and he has said he will find another way into the country.  We are still very safe out here in Honduras, but we’re eager to see how it all plans out.  And now, with our new-found vacation time, we might just head up the river again:

Elli and Lucy taking a break and having a snack on the beach of Rio Congrejal

Elli and Lucy taking a break and having a snack on the beach of Rio Congrejal

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | 3 Comments

Another Day in Honduras

After an eventful Wednesday, there is not much to report here on a quiet Thursday.  We’ve been working all morning and trying to figure out our travel plans for the weekend.

The paper this morning had pictures of the rally yesterday.  Here is a group of peace marchers beginning to gather at the beach:

La Prensa march

Side note: The ocean in the background looks incredibly blue and inviting, but alas, even though we live not more than a few miles from the beach, this water isn’t clean enough to swim in (at least not clean enough for us particular gringos!)

As far as support for Honduras goes, the majority of the world, including the US and the UN, continue to back Zelaya.

Yet despite this condemnation, the new government of Honduras continues to stand firm, and the national media remains predominantly anti-Zelaya.  This political cartoon that appeared in today’s paper gets the point across pretty clearly:

The robot represents Mel Zelaya (carrying the illegal ballots that started the crisis), while Chavez holds the controls.

The robot represents Mel Zelaya (carrying the illegal ballots that started the crisis), while Chavez holds the controls.

Recently, according La Prensa, a Honduran newspaper, a few countries have moved to support the new governemnt.  Italy, Egypt, Israel and Taiwan have all backed the new governement, while both Panama and South Korea have voiced sympathetic words.  Even an American senator, Jim DeMint from South Carolina, spoke out today, stating that the Hondurans have made a “heroic stand for freedom and rule of law.”

Of course theirs is the minortity opinion.  Both sides are refusing to give in, and the more we talk to people around the country, the more we realize no one has any idea what is going to happen this weekend.  Zelaya is scheduled to return on Saturday, with the new president swearing to arrest him if he sets foot in the country.

Only time will tell.

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | 1 Comment

Peace Rally in La Ceiba, Honduras

This afternoon, hundreds of Hondurans from La Ceiba and surrounding areas gathered together to march for peace and democracy in Honduras.  Yesterday, in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, where all the violence has been reported, there was a similar rally held.  There, thousands of peaceful supporters of the new government gathered to make their voice heard.  It came as a stark contrast to the scattered acts of violence that came from a very small group of ex-president Zelaya’s supporters.

Peaceful march down "14 de Julio" in La Ceiba.

Peaceful march down "14 de Julio" in La Ceiba.

After the girls had naps and a quick dip in the baby pool, we headed downtown to watch the march.  Hundreds gathered, mostly dressed in white for peace or blue and white for Honduras, and peacefully walked with flags, signs, and chants such as queremos paz (“we want peace!”) and Hon-du-ras! It was a very prideful moment for us to see hundreds of Hondurans gather together and make a stand for what they believe is right for their country.  Though there was a big military presence, it wasn’t needed on this group.

Marcher holding a Honduran flag in the shape of Honduras labeled "Peace"

Marcher holding a Honduran flag in the shape of Honduras labeled "Free"

We hung towards the back, stopped for ice cream, and then spotted the military beginning to assemble.  When we first showed up downtown, people warned us not to go to Central Park or the adjoining government building, that was where the Zelaya supports were gathered.  As we drew near, we saw a small group of angry looking protesters, mostly dressed in red.  Although nothing bad was happening yet, we knew this was our cue to leave.  Military had walled off the road, presumable keeping the two groups apart.

Honduran military blocking the road to Central Park.

Honduran military blocking the road to Central Park.

Back in the car, we headed home to our quiet neighborhood.  It was an informative afternoon, seeing hundreds of Honduras peacefully rallying for peace, while a small, angry group of Zelaya supporters protesting.  Zelaya has pushed back his return trip to Honduras until this weekend, so please continue to pray for peace in Honduras.

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Our Blog | 1 Comment