I have decided that the only way to write about everything going on down here during the COVID-19 (and still write about other things as well) is to start a series called The Corona Chronicles…what do y’all think?
Well, to start it all off with, I guess a lot of y’all are out of the loop, so let me bring you up to date with what’s been going on down here recently. We are still in total lockdown, and the total cases (as of right now; I just checked) are currently at 519, and we’ve had 47 die, and 31 recuperate. Thankfully, in La Ceiba, we’ve only had 12 cases.
People are allowed to go out on a certain day of the week, depending on what number their ID ends in. Each day of the week (aside from Sunday), 2 numbers can go into town. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but for example, my ID ends with 6, so my day to go into town is Wednesday.
Seeing as today was me and my parents’ day to go to town, we three went together in the van (which is technically against the law, but God opens doors, y’all!) We went all over Ceiba today, and it was a sobering experience. I’ve been to town a couple of times, but today was the first time I had been in the grocery store we go to. I also went down into the market place with my dad. You know what the funny thing is? Before this virus, we rarely went to the market place, but I have a feeling that even after this is over with, we now have contacts that we will still keep in touch with and go and buy from every once in a while there.
Earlier today, we (my dad and I) dropped off my mom at the grocery store…after eating a baleada. I have to add this in because anybody who has come down here (or studied about Honduran cuisine) knows how important they are to Hondurans (not to mention how yummy! 😋) It had been months since I had an authentic baleada, and it was a little piece of heaven! 😁 After dropping my mom at the grocery store, my dad and I headed down to the market place. The police had blocked off the roads 2-3 blocks away from the actual market place, and so people had to walk in a few blocks, buy what they needed, and take it back out to their cars (a few blocks away). It would have been a big problem for us, because we were buying a lot to make bags to give away to some of the kids who come to our Sunday school class.
Thankfully a policewoman let us park closer so that we could load the stuff directly into the van. It was a blessing because it was a LOT of stuff! lol I was able to go into our grocery store and into Walmart for the first time in 6 weeks, and it saddened me! I knew you would all want to see pictures, so I made sure to take a few while in town. Here are some from La Colonia (our grocery store).
I can’t believe how things look now, versus how they looked before…everything was soooo empty! There was only one entrance open, where they disinfect your shoes and hands. I didn’t take any pictures in the market place, but I also took pictures coming out of Walmart when we loaded all the stuff into an already full van. Here are a few pictures!
It still feels weird to wear a mask everywhere, and what is even weirder is that it is becoming the new normal!
We went out to give a few bags of food away to some of our children’s church kids and their families, and I don’t think my heart has ever felt so heavy before (maybe a handful of times in my life). It has to be one of the worst feelings in the world to turn people who are hungry away because you don’t have enough food to feed the whole neighborhood. It was such a sad feeling when people started coming out of their houses to watch us. We were only able to buy a certain amount of groceries and had a list of 10 families that we could help, but it was a horrible feeling to have to turn people away. I feel that if we would’ve started giving food away, we might have been mobbed. There is so much need in our country, and seeing all the little CC kids hungry was
a little very overwhelming.
One highlight of the day (that made me feel guilty afterward) was that we were able to eat takeout today! Thank God for Nicha’s Burgers!
There was one thing that broke my heart the most and really made me want to cry. We stopped by the church and went inside. I went up to the sanctuary to see it, and the only thing I wanted to do was sweep, mop, wipe down the chairs, and pray for a while. I hope that I am able to do that soon. I love the house of God, even though I haven’t been able to go for a while. We are so far away from it that it’s not possible to go and clean it, though I wish I could. The sanctuary was set up like it had been 6 weeks ago at our last Sunday morning service…chairs spaced out and everything!
The only thing that was strange was the pews in the back that were shifted to block the back door after our church was broken into a couple weeks back. (That in and of itself is another story of God’s hand moving and of us learning how to trust.) It was like I was having Deja Vu seeing all the seats, but hearing the deafening silence. I felt like my heart was about to break, and I think I felt a smidgen of what Jeremiah felt when he heard the walls of Jerusalem were fallen down; all I wanted to do was sit down and weep. I was reminded about how important the House of God should be to each and every one of us. I understand and acknowledge that God’s house has taken place in our homes during this time, and I have no doubt that He’s still moving despite the virus. However, there is nothing like walking into the sanctuary and temple dedicated to God, and to Him alone. I’m sorry for that long paragraph, but I feel very passionate about the house of God. How I wish I could be there to pray and worship every morning, or live close enough to go and live stream all the church services from there. God knows what the future holds, and I hope and pray that things change soon!
I saw the vision board we put up at the beginning of the year, and the pictures of the Bible Studies during the first couple of months. I also saw the list of the names of all those who signed up to be useful in 2020 in reaching souls, praying, fasting, and evangelizing. I had a lump in my throat, and I felt a heaviness in my heart, but I also know God has a perfect plan.
If not for anything else, I don’t think there is one person who doesn’t miss the church and wants to be back in service in the actual sanctuary. I believe God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, so if not for anything else, then He allowed it to get the attention of those who were taking congregating with our brethren for granted. I will never look at a normal church service as normal again…my heart will be filled with gratitude, remembering these days when we wanted to be at the House of God so badly. I love God and His house. ❤
On the way home, we had a van full of things (that usually happens when you only have one day a week to be out and about and get everything you need in town). My mom and I took a selfie in which you can kinda see how much stuff we had, but not really. Here you go:
Please help us pray, because my dad is trying to get a salvoconducto, or a pass or some sort, as a Pastor to be able to move around with more freedom. Apparently, it has been really hard to get during these days, but we are praying that God would open that door. We would appreciate all the prayers we can get! Also, continue to pray that God would provide and open doors for us to share food with others. I believe that God is going to perform notable miracles in these coming days, and I believe that multiplying food can be one of them. Just help us pray that God would continue to provide and that He would lead us to those who are hungry for more than only food.
I guess that about wraps up my day for today, but if you noticed in the title, I mentioned that I almost got arrested. It might’ve been just clickbait, but it might also be true…here’s the story:
Ok, so this is a story from last week. I haven’t been able to finish and publish the post, so I added it to this one.
On Monday I was going to pick up Francis from Miss Lori’s house (where she works 3 days a week), which is inside a gated community we live close to. This is a little hard to explain (I hope I don’t confuse y’all) but we have a 5-star hotel in the small community we live in, and inside the gates to that 5-star hotel are houses and villas. So Miss Lori lives in one of those houses on the hotel property.
Anyways….back to the story! There are two ways to get to the hotel from my house: the back (dirt) road, and the main (highway) road. It is rare that police are out and about in our community, although we had heard some rumors that they were coming every few days and checking people’s IDs and checking them for masks. Well, I had neither a mask nor the right ID number to be out and about (since the day I’m allowed out is Wednesday), but I still took the main road. The trip to Miss Lori’s place was uneventful. I stayed there a few mins talking to Miss Lori while Francis finished up and took some things out to the car.
When we left a few minutes later, I was brilliant and decided to take the main road yet again. There was a motorcycle in front of me, and all of a sudden, he slammed on his brakes and started to do a u-turn in the middle of the road. I was
patient and understanding pretty ticked off (because if I didn’t have pretty quick reflexes, I could’ve hit him; I wasn’t even going fast!), but I just passed him. As soon as I passed him, I realized the reason for his sudden u-turn…there was a police truck straight ahead of us. The police truck was turning around, going the opposite way, putting me behind it. My natural instinct (knowing I wasn’t legally allowed out on the roads) was to pull into an empty lot and turn the car around. As soon as I did, I told Francis “that must’ve made me look really suspicious!” Technically, they probably wouldn’t have even noticed me if I hadn’t suddenly turned around…but they did and turned back around and started chasing me.
I didn’t notice until we were on the dirt road heading home, which is when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw what looked like a police truck. My blood kinda ran cold for a second (I’d never been chased by a police truck before 😂), and then I chilled out (pun very much intended). I calmly asked Fran “Is that the police truck behind us?” She turned around and (not so calmly) said “Oh Jesus! It’s the police, it’s the police!” (In English.) For you to better understand how humorous this was, I insist on spelling it out to where you can read it with the accent she used. She said it like this: Oh Jee-sus! eets thu poleez. 😂 I was starting to get a little nervous, so I told her to start praying because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
When we came to a T in the road and I turned toward my house, and the police followed me, I knew I was the one being chased (as if I shouldn’t have already noticed that long before). When we were getting pretty close to the house, I told Francis to call dad and let him know what was going on; I was acting a lot calmer than I felt (which was a little terrified). She called him and asked if someone could open the gate, and the started laughing nervously and said: “please? the police are chasing us!”
All this time, I kept checking my rearview mirror, but the police never turned their lights on. When we got to the curve
literally right before my house, I turned down the AC (because it’s super loud) and asked Fran: “did you hear something?” Once I turned down the air and leaned toward the window, I heard the sirens behind me. I immediately stopped and rolled down my window. The police truck stopped, and the officer got out of his truck (left the door open) and walked toward me pointing a gun at me. That was a first! 😁 I was kinda surprised, but I honestly didn’t feel nervous…I just realized that it wasn’t a play gun and that it had real bullets in it. Oh yeah, and that it was pointed right at my heart. It was a pretty exhilarating experience! 😂😂 I might be the only person who sees that as something exhilarating (my adrenaline was pumping, that’s for sure!)
When Francis saw the gun, she said “Oh Jesus!” I can kinda vaguely remember that, but it’s fuzzy. Thankfully, I’m not the kind to shake and quake during a scary situation; I do things and then I shake after it’s all over. After we got out of the car, the policeman asked me to walk away from the car. I knew that acting snarky would get me nowhere, even though I was thinking “Hello…do you think I will be going anywhere with you pointing that gun at me?”
I got out of the car, and he lowered the gun and asked me why I hadn’t stopped. I told him that as soon as I heard the sirens, I stopped. He didn’t seem to believe me and repeatedly asked me if I had loud music on, to which Francis and I answered that I didn’t. He then asked me where I was from; I told him I lived right around the corner, but he kept asking me again and again. Finally, he was like “Where are you from originally?” I was like “Oh! I was born in the US, but I have lived here since I was 2 years old, so I guess (technically) I’m more Hondruan than I am American.” He finally stopped asking me about it after that.
The policeman asked me several times whether or not I had a firearm, to which I answered that I didn’t (I mean, I can’t even own one legally, since I’m an American citizen). He checked under all the seats in the car and found a ziplock of dill seeds that Miss Lori sent for mom. He looked at me suspiciously, and asked: “What are these?” I kinda wanted to laugh, because I didn’t even know the name in Spanish, and thought I was really in trouble then. I explained that they were seeds of some sort, and he just looked at me funny, because he thought they were drugs! 🙈
He asked me for my license (if I had one) and after seeing my ID number on it, told me I wasn’t allowed out on the streets. I knew that, but there had been no option but to go pick up Francis from Miss Lori’s house. He asked Fran for her ID, and told her she wasn’t allowed out either, until Wednesday. I asked him what we could do in the situation involving Miss Lori, because she needed someone to check up on her, and had no living relations. I told him that our family took care of her. He told me that Francis was only supposed to go to work on Wednesday. I talked to him for a few minutes, explaining the whole situation in detail, and explaining that we had a permit at the hotel and the guards knew me, which is why we could go in in the first place (because they’re not supposed to be letting anybody in right now). I told him that Miss Lori talked to the management and that it was all arranged.
Bro. Leo and Dad came walking up after a few minutes, and they eventually let us go, but after they let us go, Francis and I couldn’t stop laughing! We’ve told that story countless times, and it never ceases to amaze me at how God watches out for and protects His children. The young man who lives with us told me that he was positive that if Bro. Leo and Dad hadn’t shown up, they would’ve arrested Francis and me, and probably taken us to jail (for at least 24 hours). That would’ve been a unique story (because no one in my family had ever been to jail (especially not the one in Honduras), but as my mom says, God had mercy on us and spared us from that unpleasant experience. I am thankful, and I couldn’t go without testifying about it! I mean, it’s not every day one gets chased by police, has a gun pointed at their chest, and gets accused or carrying drugs. (I mean, do I look like the type to carry drugs? I know I’m a little funny, but I didn’t know it was that bad.) 😂🙈🙄🤦♀️🤣
There have been a couple of interesting things happen during this time. There was also another day when I went into town (actually the first time I had been to town since this mess all started; Friday before last) where there were 3 of us in a vehicle. It is technically illegal, but there was a great need and no other way, and we saw God perform many miracles and multiply the money that was sent to buy stuff with. Even unbelievers had to admit that only God could do something like what He did that day. The Lord is certainly good to us!
I’m sorry I’ve delayed so much in publishing a post…I have been incredibly busy lately and it seems there is always something going on and things that need to be done. We have been doing many things I never would’ve expected to do, one of these things being potty training the 2-year-old living with us. It has been interesting, to say the least!😂😂 I said all that to say this: if it takes me a while to blog, that’s why. Not to mention the church service schedule I have. I
enjoy love going to church, and that always comes first, even though I love the blog dearly. God has spoken to me and given me answers to many prayers and given me direction in the midst of confusion, and all of this from these online and in-home services I am attending. I travel around quite a bit; in a week, I am usually in Plaster Rock, NB, Canada, Porto Alegre, Brasil, Brewer, ME, and La Ceiba, Honduras (obviously, lol). Occasionally, I am able to make it to another church service here and there, but every week is different for me, so I can never know!
I guess that brings you up to date with everything that’s going on these days. As always we appreciate your prayers because “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Ebenezer: Thus far the Lord has helped us.
God Bless, and thanks for reading!