Firstly, Martin’s truck is up and running again and he is beside himself with joy!
The exchange of engines was completed on February 17th while the kids and I jumped around and squealed with delight at hearing the diesel engine roar to life again. After several test runs to La Ceiba and lots of little adjustments we made the trip last week to the capital city of Tegucigalpa to continue to work on Martin’s graduation papers. The battle continues to get all of his grades onto his transcript. The lawyer has been such a help in this area but admits that she has never seen so many problems before. Martin just said, “Welcome to my world, the world of the foreign student…” ha/ha/ It has been an ongoing battle for the past eight years trying to keep it all straight. Slowly but surely they are getting the classes and grades returned to his transcript, one by one. We are praying for it all to be completed very soon. As for graduation, the date has been moved yet again! I know, it’s hard to believe, unless you’ve lived in Honduras for the past 13 years – it comes as no shock to us. They are now saying that graduation will take place on the 27th of April. We are guessing that really means sometime in May. So the decision was made to fore go the walk in cap and gown and just receive the diploma and a handshake without the formal ceremony. So Martin will submit all of his paperwork and receive his formal letter of completion in the next 3 weeks and we will leave on our much-anticipated trip to the States. Which brings me to our next piece of good news…
We have purchased our tickets to the States and our departure date is March 26th. We applied for new passports for the kids last week in Tegucigalpa and Martin will be picking them up on the 16th at the U.S. Embassy. So yes, our last bit of good news is that we are “Walmart Bound”… as the kids would say! We are counting down the days and beginning to pack up the house and prepare things for our trip back. We’ll have to finish our last quarter of school while we travel around, but Samuel and Rachel have assured me that it is perfectly fine with them to work in the car as we drive from place to place itinerating. ha/ They have already planned their first day in the U.S. After landing in Miami at 4 p.m. they would like to drive to the nearest Walmart, run through the front doors and shout to all within earshot, “WE’RE BACK!!!” and then just run though the place breathing in the smell of the States…. ha/ha/ Then it’s back on the interstate to the nearest Cracker Barrel restaurant, then straight to Grandma’s house. They have it all planned out, and are having a blast planning and talking about it constantly. Their joy is contagious and we are all smiling inside and out.
We have a busy last few weeks planned before our departure to the U.S. and many things to get accomplished. We would certainly appreciate your prayers. Martin’s transcript and classes must be resolved in order to get his letter of completion, and he certainly needs God’s favor with those in authority in order to get this accomplished. There are lots of preparations we need to make in order to leave the clinic secure. We plan to have the pastor’s son in Rio Viejo house-sit while we’re gone in order to keep out intruders, but new door locks, etc. must be made in order to make it more secure. The kids must finish up the 3rd quarter of school while helping Mom pack up the house and bag up things in order to keep the humidity from ruining books and pictures while we’re gone. We haven’t quite fixed all the roof leaks, or maybe I should say that new leaks are constantly springing up to replace the old ones. So we must leave things packed up tight to keep out critters and rain and humidity while we are away. Martin would like to make one more trip out to Las Minas. The kids and I will go with him this time since the truck is now running. And he will be making weekly trips to Tegucigalpa in order to finish the graduation process. Lots of little things and big things to do over the next three weeks and we would certainly appreciate your prayers.
Last month Martin was able to make a trip to Las Minas with fellow missionaries who provided the school children from 1st – 6th grade with brand new backpacks donated from a church in the U.S. The public schools in Honduras begin in February and our friends and fellow missionaries in La Ceiba, Darrell & Becky Fillpot, had just received hundreds of brand new backpacks filled with school supplies to be given away to needy children in Honduras. We asked if Las Minas could be included in their choice of villages and they gladly accepted our plea for help. So few people are willing to travel the three hours up into the mountains, crossing rivers and driving down roads that are difficult even for a 4×4 truck to cross. But the Fillpots not only agreed, but transported two hundred backpacks, a ministry team from their church with a portable sound system, and had an entire presentation with music and dramas for the students and parents presenting the gospel message to them before the backpacks were given out! It was a great day and we are so thankful to them for their contributions to the school children of Las Minas. Martin was so excited to be able to provide these very needy people with such a wonderful gift. As you can see, even though his year of Social Service is over, his love for the people of this area continues. I am sure we will be making a trip to Las Minas as soon as we return to Honduras.
Our last piece of news today is about a new addition to our family. NO, I’m not pregnant. ha/ We have a new puppy! Martin brought home the cutest little brown mutt from Las Minas on his last trip there and we have fallen in love with this tiny thing we call “Sugar”. She is the most adorable mutt, and has quickly become a part of our family. She will one day be our barker to warn us of visitors to the clinic. Her parents are both small dogs, so she will not get much bigger than she is right now and she is so smart already. I’m sure the people of Rio Viejo will come to know her quickly as she greets our patients. She mostly barks at pigs and just follows the patients around, but we hope she will soon learn that she must stay at the clinic and not follow every patient home. I’ll try to get a picture up for you to see our little “Sugar” from Las Minas. We plan to take her back to her Mom before leaving for the States and they will keep her while we’re away for 3 months.
Well, I will sign off this update with something I’ve been wanting to say for so long now…
See you in the States in a few weeks!!
Big hugs and much love from the Williams of Rio Viejo to all of you there,
Wendy & family