We presented 19 diplomas for participants who completed the vocational training portion of their time in Puerto Lempira. This included instruction in harvesting trees for timber production. Then came basic sawmilling, planning lumber for construction, design and layout of simple wood projects, and the assembly and finishing of several projects. Each successful participant graduated with a diploma, a toolbox they had built, a set of carpentry and general hand tools to use upon returning home, and the basic understanding and skills to build and repair various things in their homes and communities. We spent one day designing, preparing, and constructing several benches for use in their churches. The newly made benches ("pews") were a great addition to the Leadership Training Center in Puerto Lempira.
All this activity and the corresponding results greatly encouraged Pastor Paul, who led the theological sessions, and Benjamin & Isabel, the LAM national missionaries serving in Puerto Lempira. They are already wondering when I shall return.
On a more personal basis, I find these mission trips encouraging but also very challenging. I am routinely taken outside my comfort zone and forced to step up in many ways. The great thing about stepping out in faith to undertake these challenges is that I always find a greater sense of God's sufficiency and provision to meet each demand or challenge.
This dependence upon God's enabling can include having to "MacGyver" some solution to repair some machine or perform some operation when neither the parts nor funds are available to repair or restore some needed equipment or solve some urgent problem or being asked to speak to several pastors or inmates through one or two interpreters to cover both the Spanish and Miskito speakers in the audience. During such occasions, your prayerful support is greatly appreciated because there would be nothing to report if it was up to me.
By John R. Steinmann