Love Honduras 2019 Mission Team Report
by Betty Manning
When Jesus is asked, “what is the greatest commandment of all?”, His answer is stated in Mark 12:30-31, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. This was the recurring theme of our Mission trip to Honduras the moment folks began to gather at airports, throughout the week, and as we departed on Saturday. When I first heard about the Love Honduras veterinary mission trip, something tugged in my heart. I had never been on a mission trip that big…could I be of help to people that far away? What about the language barrier? What about safety? What about the Rabies pre-exposure vaccinations (eeck)? Could I afford it? Because my children were still in high school, I didn’t feel I could leave for a full week at the end of May, when it was a very busy time at home. This year, I inquired about the trip and I heard, “We would love to have you on the trip,” and I began to pray that if it be Gods will, things would fall into place. And they did. From the timing of graduations, to the rabies vaccines being covered by insurance, I took these as my signs. I will admit, I was very anxious about the trip. I spoke with a very dear friend, Dr. Ashley Simon, who was going on the trip and had been previously, about what to expect. She gave me the basic run down on what we would do, what to pack, etc. What she didn’t tell me was how overwhelmingly loving and supportive the group was! From the minute I met some of the team in Houston for our flight to Honduras, I was welcomed with open arms.
Saturday was basically a travel and get settled in day. We attended a group dinner that night that was prepared by a Honduran woman who also cooked a wonderful breakfast for us each morning. We all introduced ourselves and went over the agenda for the week ahead. Sunday was a time of worship. We attend a small church in the city of Siguatepeque, where we were staying for the week. We sang, read scripture and fellowshipped with the local people. We then were treated to a fabulous lunch and dance program from the locals. That evening, we all pitched in and put together packs of pencils, combs, soap, and toothbrushes that would be delivered to the local schools by the vision team. Monday was our first day in the field. Each morning we met at the town square for a devotional by either Rev. Jay George or Rev. Ripp Hardaway, and announcements for the day. After breakfast, the vision team headed out to the local schools. The rest of the group rode an old school bus to the local coffee co-op, COHORSIL, which was our local sponsor for the week. We broke up into five small vet teams, loaded with supplies for the day, and headed out into the countryside (sometimes a 2 hour trip on very bad roads) to work with the local people deworm and vaccinate dogs, cats, chickens, cattle, horses, pigs and burros. The livestock of these people are critical to their survival. Although the people of Honduras are very poor in material things, they are very rich in love and happiness. Each day we were greeted with smiling faces, welcoming arms and strong helping hands. We also delivered large bags of beans and rice to the local schools in the areas where we were working. The children at the schools were so excited to see us. We took time to visit with them, love on them and give them a little treat. By the end of the week the vet teams treated 5608 animals and the vision team examined 1835 school children, and found 274 that will be fitted with glasses. I would like to thank the many companies who donated their products to make this trip possible. One example of this corporate generosity is my employer (Merck Animal Health), who donated vaccines and dewormers for the trip. Thank you to Dr. Jeff and Terri Jorgenson, and all of the members of Vet Team #4. Ya’ll made the trip extra fun! So, when Jesus asks us to love our neighbor, it’s not just in our own communities or our own country, it’s an unconditional love without borders! Thank you again to Team Love Honduras! Hasta el ano que viena!