From Honduras

Hearing A Call To Work For TerraMica

 

 

God speaks to me often. But it wasn’t until I was completely broken and had fully leaned into Him that I started really listening. I was there only a few weeks ago. Thinking I had the answers. I had my dream job. I had it all. Until I didn’t….

After weeks of prayer and healing, I heard the Lord, clear as day, telling me to use my skills to serve Him and for no other purpose. With this on my heart, I reached out to TerraMica. Only looking for advice as to where to start, I was stunned to tears when I received their response. They had been praying for someone to step in and take over parts of TerraMica that fit exactly into what I was in search of. You see, God shut the door to MY dream job, and so faithfully opened the door to HIS dream job for me. Serving Him.

So here I am.  Starting to work for an incredible organization as the social media/ content manager. Mother of 3 children. Wife to an incredible man supporting my work. My passion is photography. Capturing God’s beauty has called me since I was very young. For 5 years I’ve taken portraits of newborns and families. In studio and out. I have worked for various small businesses and magazines photographing products and events. Anytime I have my camera in hand, I find my love for photography grows. Which brings me here doing work that will be fulfilling in a way that I have never experienced. I will be traveling with TerraMica in the near future and will be there to document the incredible work being done. And I’m so excited to be sharing in serving the communities that so desperately need us to come along side of them and lift them up. Helping provide hope for their future. Christ calls us to put on hearts of compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness.

“Let us not love with words but with actions and truth”- 1 John 3:18

I am so blessed and excited to start this new journey with TerraMica! My hope is to not only serve with this wonderful organization to care for our global neighbors, but also encourage those closer to home to get out and truly care for people. It is my passion to train up my children in caring for others. I want the next generation to show compassion where the world needs it most. The only way to accomplish this is to be the example for them to see. So join me on my journey and let’s continue to heal and share the love of Christ.

 

 

by Jessica Contreras, TerraMica 

Treasures in a Wasteland

out of the ashes rises hope ….

It was mid-morning, yet the heat from the sun was already intense. From over the hill, smoke was rising up and blowing north with the smell of rotting and decaying earth. Vultures circled overhead, patiently waiting as Job drove towards the smoke and ash, turning onto the dirt road that led him to a discovery of immeasurable value. At first glance it appeared there was only fire, smoke, and mountains of destroyed and discarded waste in the city dump, but as Job gazed thought the haze, he saw children scouring the smoldering heaps, looking for something of value to take home. As he watched, his heart grew heavy, knowing these kids were seeking anything to make life better for their families … even the possibility of food that might still be suitable for the dinner table. Wondering where these children lived and if he could help them, Job decided to follow them home.

He was led to a community wrestling with the effects of poverty. A number of the families had little more to eat than red beans and tortillas, and many of the children appeared malnourished. His heart moved, Job was convinced that he and his wife, Adria, could affect positive change within this community. Read more

It Starts with Kids

There are no paved roads, sewage systems, landscaped thoroughfares, or places of commerce as you drive into Purna. The compelling story is the reality of the families struggling to keep their heads from slipping under the suffocating waves of extreme poverty.

Each day, the families in this enclave wrestle with the rigors of working from sunrise to sunset, living with hunger as a constant companion. There are the telltale signs in full bloom Read more

Building a Dream

He is a passionate man – passionate about his family, his home, his work, his coffee. Isabel Ramos Mejia is a coffee farmer in Honduras, devoted to his wife, Sofia, their seven children, and three grandchildren. Living for decades in a two-room adobe house, he dreams of improving the quality of life for his family.

Isabel and Sofia in front of their houses – new on the left, old on the right.

 

 

Working hard on his farm, he diligently tends to the trees that provide for their living, and he has little spare time. The coffee cherries grown on his coffee trees are harvested and processed, then sold, providing an annual income. Though they have just enough to make ends meet, Isabel continues day by day Read more

It’s a First … and Not the Last!

I honestly had no idea what to expect before my first missionary journey. It was far more difficult yet far more rewarding than I thought it would be. During our first team meeting I was told that I was going to be a dental assistant. Keep in mind I am 20 years old, on my first service trip, and barely floss. I have seen more of the human mouth than I ever hoped, but with that came the warmest smiles that were able to give me butterflies. The expression “it’s like pulling teeth” had nothing on the Honduran people: they were tough as nails. I witnessed one of TerraMica’s dentists, Marlon, pull out dozens of teeth, two tumors, and still receive nothing but gratitude from every single person.

There was one patient who couldn’t have been more than 8 years old and Read more

The Long Road to Serve

As I sit down to write memories of this trip, many come to mind. Memories of smiling children, feverish patients, muddy rivers, karaoke over breakfast, and amazing people.

For me, service trips are always about honoring the Lord, but also about the excitement of travel and seeing new places that most never get to experience. I love the opportunity to be taken into a local family’s home and learn about different cultures first hand. This was to be my 20 year-old daughter’s first mission trip, and I was excited for her. The night we drove to San Francisco to catch our red eye for Houston where we would rendezvous with the rest of the team, my daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, this is such an answer to prayer. I get to go and devote the next five days purely to Read more

Enhanced Senses

In my limited experience, I have come to find that there are two types of traveling. The first type of traveling is driven by the want to escape. Whether you’re escaping from your job, family, or just the stress of life, the point is that you want to escape your current location. The second type is driven by the need to explore. It is not motivated by the want to leave your location, but by the need to see, feel, and experience another. It is this kind of traveling that awakens your senses and opens your mind; and if you allow these experiences to change you, they will. Read more

Stepping Out …

Steven picking coffee cherries on a family farm in Guajiquiro, Honduras

It was in January that my fiancé and I decided to save for a service trip to Honduras! Although my Dutch passport had expiration issues, we still made it work for travel at the end of April. I was very excited as we were going to help build water reservoirs for impoverished coffee farmers in rural Honduras. As our departure date came closer, I began to feel concerned as I read and researched what to expect in Honduras. Two of the main cities have been rated amongst the most dangerous and violent cities in the world, so my worries were not unjustified. That being said, I have traveled quite a bit in my 26 years and I have never hesitated about visiting a new country – so these worries were a first for me!

The day we were leaving came fast, and both my fiancé and I were eager to get to Honduras, as this was also our first airplane ride and trip outside the country together. We had our checklist of what to bring and to wear – so we felt ready and in great hands as TerraMica operates there 52 weeks a year with full time staff on the ground.

Anne, Steven, and Jorge exploring Honduran roadside shopping

The descent into Tegucigalpa is very exciting and fun because Read more

Working Together – Pila Project

Not me, not you, just us!

After a long flight, my friend Andrew Gwin and I arrived in Honduras for a short trip to support rural poor coffee farmers by joining TerraMica in building “pilas” (water reservoirs). Exhausted but excited, our small team had much to accomplish … I admit, I felt a bit of pressure to get the most done with the amount of time allotted to us!

We arrived later in the evening so most of the first day was spent traveling and planning the next few days itinerary as we drove from the airport to our hotel with Jorge Sosa, TerraMica’s Honduras Country Manager.

How much could we possibly do with just the three of us? Keep Reading!

More than a greeting …

Buenos días, que le vaya bien!gracias …

It happens to be that I cannot find a proper translation of the phrase “Buenos días, que le vaya bien” in English. The closest I can get to is this: “Good morning, may it go well.” In my limited English, it being my second language, I don’t feel comfortable trusting this as an exact translation, but I hope you get the idea.

In my years I have enjoyed cycling, so much that many friends introduce me as “Oh, and this is my friend, the cyclist I was telling you about.” Most of them do know that I am a biologist, and in my younger years, I spent many days in my family’s coffee farm chasing bugs, climbing trees, eating wild berries, and scraping my legs and arms with branches, poison ivy and dirt. I enjoy being outside as much as I enjoy a good meal, being with friends as much as I enjoy being alone. All this to say, I am no extraordinary man.

Looking back in life it can be said there has been a series of events around me that have shaped the person you’d see today. Don’t get me wrong; far from orienting this short story to myself, I want to focus in on God’s providence and that bigger purpose. The Bible says the God wants us to live life and in abundance, to love one another, love God above all things, to do justice, mercy, and be humble before Him. In my journey to do so, I am enjoying every step along the way.

One morning while riding my mountain bike in a village not too far away from the city I live in, I found myself on a narrow trail Read more