A Letter from the Mission Field (Nov 1, 2012)

I have arrived in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, to officially begin my mission.  I am excited and a little apprehensive.  Since I am the first staff architect in this diocese, it is taking a little while to determine the focus of my work.     In the meantime, I am meeting with the people here and learning of their priorities. Before arriving in Tegucigalpa,  I spent three weeks in Copán, tuning my Spanish and attending the Project Honduras Conference for NGO's (Non-governmental Organizations).    

The economy in Copán, which is tourist dependent, continues to decline. Many people are suffering. The Ixbalanque Spanish School has laid off all their teachers, asking them back, only when the occasional student comes.  I was told that the school was empty for six weeks. The decline is a result the 2009 coup, the negative publicity regarding violence here and the recession in the US.

My friend Concepción, the pastor of the church of the Holy Spirit, is in an equally grim position.  He receives no salary from the dioceses anymore, depending solely on a $250 a month stipend from a church in Virginia, with which he supports his family.   In spite of his difficulties, he continues to reach out into the countryside, building missions and taking care of the poor.  

My friendships with Concepción and the teachers make the economic situation personal for me, and I can't help but worry about them. I was talking to another missionary, who expressed similar feelings. There is much to worry about here.
  
(This does not diminish the struggles of the unemployed in the US. I worry about them, too.) 

But please help me by keeping them in your prayers. See the prayer list below. 

Paz y bien,
Jack

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