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Honduras Mission Trip- June, 2016

July 3, 2016 - 9:45am
7243 E. 10th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46219
United States

Honduras Mission Trip- June, 2016

      Fifteen parishioners travelled to Texiguat, Honduras from June 21-28, 2016. The travelers were the following: Chris and John Brokaw, John Evans, Maureen and Molly Griffin, Doris and Adrian Daves, Tori Hexamer, Kim Melton, Mary Catherine O’Connor, Mary Kate Shanahan, Mitchell Struewing, Gladys Tarter and Stephanie and Grace White.  This was a unique trip in that 7 of the 15 travelers were from 16 to 18 years old.  The goal was for these youth to experience life in Honduras and help with the mission activities and at the same time to interact with the youth of our sister parish, San Francisco de Asís.
      We travelled by trucks to for aldeas (villages) around Texiguat.  These aldeas included:  Vado Ancho and San Andrés.  We started these days with mass in crowded chapels of these aldeas.  We then split into groups to visit the sick and elderly, hold an eye clinic.  We rotated daily with these activities so that everyone could experience these different ministries. 
        Some of the people would go with Luis, a seminarian, and local people and others with Padre Juan Pablo.  These were often long and difficult walks to these homes away from the village.  There the priest would anoint the sick and distribute communion.  Our people would give these very poor people bags of food supplies, tooth brushes,t-shirts, crosses and rosaries.  Most importantly our group could talk and hug these poor, elderly and sick people.  This was truly an emotional experience for all.
       Back in the aldeas, eye clinics were held either in the local health centers in Vado Ancho and San Andrés or in Sor Dorly’s clinic in Texiguat by members of our group with the assistance of our friends from Texiguat.  Over the course of 3 days we saw over 420 people that were tested and dispensed over 720 either prescription glasses, readers or sunglasses or a combination of these to meet their needs. Unique to these clinics was the level of involvement by the youth.  They had been trained to use the equipment to measure the patients’ prescription so they eagerly mastered this process.  However, in the clinics they also wanted to operate the computer program used with the reading machine to select the best possible pair of glasses for the patient.  After watching what John was doing this for a while, they asked if they could run the computer.  With a little practice, they soon mastered this task as well.  This allowed him to help answer questions in other parts of the clinic and to work with patients with more difficult eye problems.  What a God send!

      On Saturday and Sunday, Gladys Tarter, Chris Brokaw and Mary Kate Shanahan developed and put on retreats for the youth of both parishes.  Saturday’s retreat was in the village of Jobal.  The youth from 4 other villages walked for miles to come for this retreat.  Over 200 showed up!  The retreat focused around the concepts of prayer, solidarity, charity and compassion, key principles in the Twinning relationship.  The youth broke into discussion group and put on short dramas around the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Everyone prayed, sang, danced and interacted with youth from other villages as well as our youth from Indianapolis.

      On Sunday there was another similar retreat in the church after mass in Texiguat to a smaller group from the town.  After the retreat our youth then painted murals in the recently renovated pre-school.  Luis, their seminarian, designed the murals, but our youth drew and painted free-hand the design. As you can see they did a wonderful job to help the little children have an enjoyable school experience.  On Monday, we put on the finishing touches to the pre-school. After lunch the youth and many of the adults travelled up into the mountains and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall.  This is part of the water supply system for Texiguat.  In the evening we had a farewell party in which we shared with the people of Texiguat all of the memorable experiences of the week and thanked them for their abundant hospitality.

      We were truly blessed to be able pray, share mass and the Eucharist, talk, play, work, laugh and dance together with our friends in Texiguat.  This group was very special due to attitude of gratitude and the willingness to be of service by our youth, their parents and the other adult members.  Thanks for your generosity so that we could bring medical, dental optical and supplies to Honduras!