McCanns in Honduras

Let the nations be glad & sing for joy!

Counting School Supplies

Over the past few months we’ve been collecting school supplies for some of the kids, schools, and churches here in Honduras.  School is starting up in a few weeks, so all the kids have their lists and the school supply stores are crowded.

As funds and supplies have been coming in, we’ve been counting and organizing them, which is no small task.

Here is Lindsey and Ellie organizing some of the supplies.  Ellie has loved getting in the mess, playing for the pens and notebooks, and even chewing some of the erasers off the pencils.

We plan on giving out most of the supplies this weekend, so then hopefully Ellie can go back to playing with normal toys!

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January 27, 2010 Posted by | Our Blog | 1 Comment

Vision Trips

One of the privileges we’ve had on the field is hosting potential missionaries on a vision trip.  One of the steps in becoming a full-time missionary is of course finding a field in which to serve.  Since our field is new and starting up, we are of course looking for new missionaries to fill out our team.

This past week we hosted two families looking at moving down to Honduras to join our team.  We spent the week showing them around, putting them to work, hiking up the beautiful Honduran mountains, and really getting to know each other.

It was a good week of encouragement and challenges for us.  The vision trips are always a special time for us to share our hearts and vision for Honduras, and to encourage others as they seek to bring glory to God’s name around the world.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | Our Blog | Leave a comment

Our first year in Honduras

Exactly one year ago we landed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with a two year old, an infant, and 9 heavy bags.  One year later we have two little girls, lots more luggage, and a years worth of experiences.  In thinking about how to summarize a year that really can’t be summarized, we kept coming back to the people.  Our year long experience and on going adventure has been formed around  literally hundreds of people and relationships.

In light of that, here are 100 people who have loved us, annoyed us, made us laugh, made us cry, pushed us, pulled us, served us, demanded of us, and formed the story of our first year in Honduras.

At the airport, exactly one year ago today.

Mr. Mike.  A renaissance man of sorts in our family who serves as our boss, teammate, friend, and most importantly, one of Lucy’s favorite playmates.

Erin is our go-to for all things medical, as well as a whirlwind of thoughts and activities that keeps us all going.

Our girls with Lukas, Maddy, and Noah.  Life ain’t easy for missionary kids, but this group always kept us on our toes and found joy in the smallest parts of our lives.

Luckas and Noah’s dad, Bob-the-Builder, was invaluable in setting up our house and making it a home.  He also was also an awesome encouragement and partner in prayer for the few months we overlapped.

Christina worked side-by-side with Bob scrubbing and sewing for months on end.  In addition to her hard work, she will always be be associated in our minds with Oneida.

Christina was the first step in a multi-step process of loving this girl, Oneida.  Discarded and abused, Oneida has been loved on by each of us in so many different ways, her growth and warmth has truly been one of our favorite stories of the year.

Another favorite story started with this boy, Carlos.  He came to kids club one day with his brother, and didn’t say a single word.  I colored and talked with him for what must have been 30 minutes, while he just stared me down.

Over the next couple weeks, we got to know his brothers Tonito (on the left), Darvin (right), as well as his neighbors Ever (red) and Tony (funny face).  Funny fact: Tonito has a Carolina Panthers jersey, while Darvin has one for the Charlotte Bobcats, boys after my heart.

Finally we got to know their mom, Yami (right), and her friend, Yessinia (left).  We’ve become good friends, and Yami even cooked the lunch this year for 200 kids at our Christmas party.  They both also quickly befriended Erin, one of our summer interns.

Erin lived with us for a month to help with the girls, and she quickly became part of our family.  She was a great partner with Lindsey, and her ability to always laugh at her self kept us entertained during a hectic summer.

Following Erin was our second summer intern Sarah.  Sarah also lived with us for a month, and through her excellent Spanish (though with a Barcelona accent) built some neat relationships in Armenia.

Here she is at the river with Oneida and Wilma.  Wilma is one of the toughest girls around, so we were shocked when she started crying as Sarah was saying goodbye.

We will also always associate this crew with Sarah.  Gabby and her sisters Blanca Luz and Blanca Estella, and their friend Alejandra.  These girls always travel together and love to pick on us.

Gabbi especially has a heart for Lucy, chasing her down whether Lucy likes it or not!

In fact most of the kids in Armenia love to hold our girls.  Here is Walter (and his little brother, Andri), an innocent-looking teenager with good heart and a love for American culture.  If you have been to Armenia, you know Walter.

Alicia is a sweet girl who loves to serve and gets along great with the ladies on our team.

Walter’s cousin, the infamous George, tries so hard to be cool and tough, but is just a little boy at heart.  When no one is watching, he loves to hold Ellie.

Leili also loves our girls, and even takes the bus one hour both ways just to play with them for a few hours.

But it isn’t just our team and Hondurans who we’ve come to know and love.  We experience the year together with the Tippy family, a wandering group with no eye for the future who challenge us in how we live and love others.  Amanda and Lins, always fashionably practicle, even at a jungle swimming hole.

Amanda’s husband, Jared, and Abner, a Honduran pastor.  Abner has been a good friend who continues to amaze us with his patience and servant heart.  He and his wife Kelly have become good friends and helpers as we continue to navigate this new culture.

All their kids together, Abner Daniel, Little Lucy, Suzanna, Big Lucy, Ellie, and Jude.  These kids were so great for Lucy and Ellie, and always ready at the drop of the hat for a KFC play date.

Some friends from early in our time here were Andrew and Adrianna, here posing with the pinata at Lindsey’s birthday party.  We miss them and their parents, David and Megan, who are now in the US for a while.

Amanda, William (not pictured) and Liam were friends from back home in Georgia who were formed a special bond during some difficult few months here in La Ceiba.

Lucy’s newest friend is Natasha (or Watasha, as Lucy calls here).  Natasha’s parents, Mike and Cindy, are missionaries working at an orphanage in Armenia.

Of course Lucy will never be lacking in friends while she is in preschool at Owen’s Boro.  Though timid at school, once home she loves to talk about her teachers and friends like Iris, Marcela, Chatti, Antonito, and Ginma.

Marianna is a new friend from down the street who has been so generous to us, even inviting us over to celebrate Christmas with her husband Marlon and his family.

Her kids, Santiago and Rebecca, are great playmates for Lucy, even though every time they hang out Lucy ends up going to bed around 9 pm!

Of course no conversation about friends can end without mentioning our old interns.  Josh, Andy, and Jamie joined us in Costa Rica, visited us in the hospital with Ellie, ministered with us, and even traveled to Panama with us (pictured here).  We cannot imagine our first year without their help, friendship, and enthusiasm.

Andy holds a special place for us as he lived with us and we got to see first hand how hard he worked, how much he served, and his weird obsession with juggling and balloons.

The interns were so involved that we remember each of them through through some of our good friends in Armenia.

Eduardo and Andy were super close when we came, and Eduardo got pretty offended when I took his spot as Andy’s helper in the health clinic.  It took months for me to build his trust and friendship, but today he is one of the best friends I have out there.  Loyal, welcoming, and always sure to make sure I don’t take myself to seriously.

If I ever want to make Iris smile, all I have to do is say Jamie’s name.  I am not sure if she likes me, or just wants to hang around hoping I will call Jamie, but either I’ll take what I can get.

From day one, Josh told us to look out for Alejandro.  Though not around too often, he has the best smile in all of Honduras and makes my day when he does come around.

Another boy, though not connected to the interns, is Samuel, Oneida’s brother.  This may be the only picture I have of him being still, as he is a crazy little boy who loves climbing trees, jumping off trucks, and tackling you at a moments notice.  Like Oneida, we have all taken turns showing Samuel how much we love him.

Speaking of crazy, our year wouldn’t be complete without mention of our deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, here represented on a sign made by protestors.

This fall, after the excitement of the summer, Sarah came and joined us for a few weeks to help recover from our teams.  She was a great help and brought some energy when we a felt like sleeping the days away.

Also some new friends from this fall, David and Olga live up in the mountains, but came down last month to have their first child, Abigail.  They even brought down some coffee that they grew, harvested, roasted, and ground themselves.

We’ll close with some of the kids who brighten our day on a daily basis.  Wilson, Avi, Danni, Adan, Issac, and Jocson are just some of the boys who love to help and play, and are not nearly as tough as they think they are.

Jessica, Joanna, and Nancy are some older girls who have befriended Lindsey and love to chate and take care of our girls.

Not Pictured:

In our neighborhood, Dona Olga is a sweet lady down the street who loves to spoil Lucy.  We stopped by her house on Christmas Eve and she gave Lucy a slice of pizza, straight from the delivery guy!  Also our neighbors Alma and Nelson love making faces at our girls, and Nelson is especially helpful with our home improvement projects.

We’ve had people in and out of our English classes, but Denis and his cousin Kenya have been faithful attenders and extremely grateful for their opportunity.

On the weekends, I’ve been playing in a local basketball league and made friends with guys like Pato and Shefik, who despite living in a futbol nation, can hold their own on the court.

On Sunday’s we attend a local church led by Pastor Allan.  Allan and his wife Waldina have been very welcoming to us and prayed for us on numerous occasions.  A newly widowed mom, Joanna, has welcomed us as well into the church and always whisks our girls away so we can enjoy the service.

We also met Ronnie at church, a young guy who suffers from TB and lives on the street, but who the church is trying to help get back on his feet.

Of course out in Armenia, we could go on and on with all the people who have meant so much to us.  Gloria is another young mom who Lindsey has befriended.  Santos is the community leader who has been a great asset to our ministry, especially in our multiple construction projects.  Ramon and Dunia are a young couple, whose little girl Naomi gets a lot of Ellie hand-me-downs.  Pastor’s Melvin and Ireini have welcomed and helped our ministry in many ways.  Hassie, Marcos Antonio, Jose Louis, Tonito, Jessica, Tony, and Norita are just a few of the dozens of kids who come to our weekly Kids Clubs.

We are humbled to think about each of these people and the role they have played in our family.  In has been a joy and an honor to know each and every one of them, and we thank God that he put them in our lives.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Our Blog | 3 Comments

Frente Frio

Translation: Cold Front.

Yesterday, with no warning, we were hit by a massive cold front here in Honduras.  We had just returned from a trip to the islands and on our way home from the airport we could see the clouds forming for a big rainstorm.  That day, Saturday, it started raining at 3 pm and didn’t stop for 36 hours.  The rain not only flooded parts of the north coast of Honduras, but it brought with it the coldest weather we’ve had since we’ve been here, dipping down in the 50’s the past few nights.

You can see the clouds forming on the mainland the day we flew home from the islands.

Now that might not sound too cold to you, but to our accustomed bodies it feels like the low 40’s.  Lindsey and I have been putting on layers of T-shirts, cuddling up in blankets, and turning off our bedroom fan for the first time in a year.  Although we are outwardly complaining about how “freezing” it is, inside we are loving being cold for the first time.

On the ministry side of things, we are picking up where we left off with English classes and Kid’s Club today and tomorrow.  This morning we were even looking around for extra sweat shirts to bring out to some of the folks in Armenia.  The cold nights are even colder when the only clothes you have are a tank-top and shorts.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Our Blog | Leave a comment