Coming Alongside

Marilyn Koedyker:Reflections on my first trip to Honduras

The plane left Grand Rapids early Sunday morning, and after a dash through the Houston airport to make our connection, all of us arrived in Honduras. Bill and Lori and some of their Honduran friends and family met us at the airport with cold drinks and fresh pineapple!

Time and again on this trip, the grace of God was so evident. Travel safety and good connections were just the first sign of His goodness. After loading our stuff and ourselves into 4 pickup trucks, we headed north from the capital city of Tegucigalpa. We met all 10 boys and their house parents, Ada and Chema, at their home in Comayagua. This is one group that Casa de Esperanza helps. They not only fed us and told us about their dreams for the future, but also prayed for us and our mission for the upcoming week. What gracious hosts they were for welcoming us to Honduras! It was obvious that the grace of the Lord is in their hearts and lives as well.

We all stayed at a house that is rented by the mission. This allows space for groups and also storage space for the dental and construction equipment. We soon learned that water was only sometimes available for showers. Whenever it was our turn to get it from the city, it trickled into the tank and we were once again supplied. God again gave us grace in sending the right contact to fill the tank until we could get more. What a welcome shower after a very long and hot day of travel!

The next five days were filled with greeting people and serving them through dental care. Imagine a pop-up dental clinic. We drove to a church or school in pick-up trucks loaded with supplies: gauze, chairs, tables, sterilizing bins and liquids, and dental instruments. We also had prizes for the kids and copies of the New Testament in Spanish for all. There were always patients waiting for dental care, either for cleanings or extractions. Again, God granted grace to this team each day with safety and energy to carry out the tasks for the day. In spite of the fact that a flu bug hit the team, there were always enough people to carry on. It is also significant to note that our 2 dentists did not come down with this bug. No one else could have performed the extractions. God is good!

Volunteers Mikayla and Marilyn hand out supplies in the dental clinics

Members of our team also built a set of kitchen cabinets for the home of Julio and his family. He is one of the church leaders and he cooperates with and supports the Casa de Esperanza in a variety of ways. Two footbridges were also reconstructed for safety reasons.
These bridges are used by a small community of people, one of whom is Amalia, one of the original six girls that Bill and Lori met 20 years ago when they visited an orphanage. God also gave us grace in allowing us to meet the other five of this original group of girls. What a blessing to know that they are growing in their knowledge of our Lord and Savior due to this mission that started many years ago.

Top: The Footbridge leading to Amalia’s House (before)
Bottom: The Footbridge our Team constructed with help from the boys (after)

Along with the work, we had time to get to see some of the beautiful places in Honduras. A wide variety of green trees, mountains, spectacular landscapes, colorful blossoms, and fresh growing fruits, interesting birds and butterflies and waterfalls, as well as abundant sunshine, were a welcome sight for this group of people who were tired of Michigan’s winter.

A highlight of the trip was worshipping with the Christians at the church of Siguatepeque, the town in which we stayed. Their sincere faith and praise of Him was evident in their singing and prayers. Their praise team is also mentoring a junior high praise team. They are intent on passing this faith on to the next generation. After the service, many of the church members joined us at the house for dinner and fellowship. We heard testimonies of folks who have been particularly touched by the ministry of Casa de Esperanza. These people are being trained with skills and the gospel to go forth to their people in Honduras to proclaim Christ as they minister to the needs of the people.

This is what Casa de Esperanza is doing. They are coming alongside, training and supporting capable people for the future of Honduras for Christ.

I should mention that it was God, in His grace, that put this group together. We were a rather hodgepodge group of people with a smattering of skills that came together for the purpose of ministering. No one, other than the dentists, was particularly recruited, but each served a purpose. As we left Honduras, we knew that we had been the hands and feet of Jesus in that place. Special thanks to Lori and Bill DeWitt for hosting this group and for carrying on this ministry. We were in good hands while we were there.

A rather hodgepodge group

Let’s continue to pray for those involved with this ministry, Casa de Esperanza, that Hondurans may know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Marilyn Koedyker, 2019 Casa de Esperanza Volunteer