Last Post While in Honduras!

Hey readers!  I wanted to write very quickly while I have some time.  As many of you know, Mary-Lang and I are returning to the States on Tuesday.  I say that with such mixed emotions.  I am ready to see my family and friends, but want so badly to stay here.  What an excellent experience this has been.  As Mrs. Pam and I talked about last night, we have gotten a great taste of the blessings and obstacles that those in missions face.  

Even though we have less than 48 hours left, we still have SO much ahead!  Tomorrow we are finishing several things, and then teaching in the school.  We are teaching the middle and older girls about budgeting for a small business, how to price things, and then the differences between REVENUE and PROFIT.  This lesson is going to to apply directly to the bakery, which beginning in a week or two the girls will begin running.  

God has done so many incredible things during our three weeks here.  We have gotten to know the girls so much better, and fallen even more in love with them than before (if that’s possible).  And in just three weeks, ML and I have started so many great projects that are going to impact this ministry and the community.  The website, the bakery, the basket project, all are things that when we return next year, I’m praying we find have become integral parts of Project Talitha Cumi.

The thoughts of leaving this place bring tears to my eyes.  But I have so much joy and hope, trusting that great things are ahead for PTC!  While this is the end of this trip, our work with Mrs. Pam and PTC is not done….in fact, it’s just beginning. And I can’t wait to return with our team so that they can see all the amazing things that God has blessed this ministry with.

I will probably continue to post from time-to-time updates on the ministry and on the projects we’re working on.  I ask that everyone continue to pray for Mrs. Pam, the staff, the girls, the community, and our team.  Much is still to be done as we pursue this vision that God has given our ministry.

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Education, Evangelism, and Entrepreneurship

VISION.  I believe it is special gift that God reveals only to those who both seek it and are responsible enough to handle it. Yet, EVERYONE seems to have one.  Companies have mission and vision statements, people have visions for the rest of their lives, couples see the vision of their lives together as one.  And we all know that one of the biggest challenges in Christianity today is seeking GOD’s vision for your life and “dying to self” – giving up your own vision, no matter how grand and elaborate it may be.

I believe God does equip certain people with the ability to be a “visionary” – someone who can consistently look at the big picture, plan ahead, and then lead others to complete the vision.    And every so often, a visionary chooses to pursue God’s vision, not their own.  This person always does great things for the Kingdom.  Folks, one example of such a person is Pam Demott, or “Mom” as she is known as by so many.

To say Pam Demott is one of my heroes is an understatement.  Her walk with Christ with both admirable and challenging.  Her devotion to serving others is contagious.  And her firm stand on her beliefs and principle is unwavering.   And to top it all off, she is like a second mom to me.

I know humble Mrs. Pam is probably dying as she reads this right now, so I’ll cut to the chase.  Project Talitha Cumi is the life-changing ministry it is today because Pam has consistently chosen to pursue God’s vision for her life, rather than her own.  Girls’ lives are changed each and every day, the Gospel is spread, and people are ministered to, because of her leadership and devotion to the ministry.  Sure, she isn’t a “one-man show;” many great staff members, board members, teams, etc.  together make this ministry what it is, but her visionary leadership, rooted in scripture and prayer, has allowed this ministry to rise above many “tough times” and continue spreading God’s Word.    

I first visited PTC in May 2011.  Our Anderson University Team spent many months figuring out how we could best help this ministry.  Our hearts were instantly sold out to this cause, but we needed some direction as to where we needed to “plug in.”  When Enactus took over the project, we knew what our organization’s objective was: to evoke entrepreneurial action to empower the lives of those in need.  Our Enactus team specifically has a large focus on education, so our clear first step was to begin teaching the girls here at PTC about business and financial principles, teaching them how to save money, budget, and other important skills needed to run a small business.  I think for a while, I personally thought this would all be theoretical.  I wasn’t sure if the girls would have the chance to actually put these skills to the test.  I mean, teaching marketing to middle schoolers?  What’s the point of that?  We don’t even do that in the States!  However, as we’ve seen, this has all been part of God’s vision.

The first entrepreneurial project our Enactus Team became involved with was Café Cumi, the process of marketing the coffee beans grown on PTC’s farm to avid coffee drinkers in the States.   This was the result of a vision that God revealed to Mrs. Pam.  Allow the girls, who harvest and roast the coffee, to understand the process of working to produce a product, and selling it to generate revenue.  The idea that Mrs. Pam and our team developed was for this “coffee money” to be placed in savings accounts for each girl, so that they are earning money, but it is being saved to provide them start-up money when they turn 18 and go to college, start their own business, etc.  While this business is still in its early stages, God is already blessing the partnership between PTC and our Enactus Team.  We have become great “business” partners, but more importantly, great friends.  I honestly consider the staff here to be some of my best friends.  They have hearts of gold. 

However, here is where the story gets exciting.  Mrs. Pam approached our team last fall and shared that she felt God had laid on her heart that PTC needed to do more ministry in the community.  She referred to the ministry as a “black hole for blessings” – all these blessings were coming in from teams, interns, staff, etc., but little was going out.  (What an awesome philosophy – if our goal in life was to bless someone else each time we were blessed…the world would be a much better place)

Mrs. Pam is all-too-familiar with the poverty in this area of Honduras.  She knew the most effective way to minister to “locals” is to improve their quality of life and financial standing.  So Mrs. Pam and our Team began working on entrepreneurial projects that PTC and our Team could complete to better the lives of those in Honduras.

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 The first need that God revealed to Mrs. Pam was that of a group of local women we know as the “Basket Ladies.”  This group of 14 women comes to the farm each week that a team is here and sells the baskets they hand-made from pine needles and colored thread.  It takes them days to make these baskets, they walk between two and three hours to sell them at the PTC farm, and sell each one for about $10.00 USD.  How crazy is that?!  These baskets are BEAUTIFUL.  There are about five sitting throughout my house already, and another five are in my luggage waiting to join them.  You go to Charleston and see hand-made baskets made with less quality and not as attractive selling for $100+.   And perhaps the most moving part is that most of these women are single mothers, and with this income they attempt to provide for their children.  When we asked the women what they used this basket money for, our responses included food, medical care, clothing, and their children’s education. (Example of a basket is below)

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We decided to act on this.  Our goal was to develop a website, where PTC could sell these ladies’ baskets to people in the United States via the Internet.  The prices would be increased, but the additional proceeds would be returned to these women in the form of a love offering and also scholarships to pay for their children to attend school.    This website has been one of the biggest projects ML and I have worked on while here in Honduras.  Additionally, this once-competitive group of women is now developing a co-op business partnership, where they can work together to ensure the success of this business.  This teaches them teamwork and how to really utilize their talents to develop a product for the marketplace.  Name for this business?  Keeping with the theme, we’ve entitled it Canasta Cumi.  Canasta is Spanish for basket.  Clever right? J

Launching in the next couple of weeks, viewers can buy more than these baskets.  The girls here at PTC are going to begin donating their beautiful artwork (paintings, sown handbags, etc.) to be sold on the website to add to the scholarship fund.  What an amazing opportunity?  The girls are using their God-given talents to give other children the gift of education.  We’re calling this incubator business Cumi Arts!  The coffee, PTC tee shirts, and more will be available online as well!

As we see over and over again, God’s plan is always greater than ours.  For me personally, it has been incredible to see the “pieces” of my life fit together in a way that could only have been orchestrated by the Creator of the Universe.  Let me back up to where our Enactus Team has been teaching the girls about running a small business (including economics, budgeting, marketing, etc.)  God has provided our ministry with the opportunity to open our own business here in Yamaranguila, allowing the girls practice at business and the ability to learn valuable skills that they can use in adulthood. 

In just a few weeks, the doors will be open at Cumi Café, a bakery and coffee shop sponsored and managed by Project Talitha Cumi.  God provided Mrs. Pam with an excellent facility for this project at a great price.  And so, we have been working hard to prepare the building to serve delicious coffee and treats!  (Below is the building before we started) 

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What didn’t look like much to begin with is quickly becoming a vibrant space that is going to draw crowds from the nearby church and bus station. While this bakery is going to allow some of the girls to learn to bake goods and how to manage the day-to-day operations of a small business, it is also a platform that our ministry can use to spread the Gospel with those in Honduras.  When a customer walks in to Cumi Café, they will be greeted by smiling faces and provided Christ-like service, all while uplifting Christian music will be playing in the background.    Both incoming travelers and locals to Honduras will be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind environment.  Indeed, this bakery will be used for evangelism. (Below is what it currently looks like.  Much more is still to be done)

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As you can see, when I get asked “What is it that you’re doing in Honduras?” a one-line response is pretty difficult to come up with.  So what I will say to close this post is that God has provided a three-part vision of Education, Evangelism, and Entrepreneurship for Mrs. Pam, this ministry, and our Enactus Team.    Together, we are not only changing the lives of our girls here, we are changing the lives of those in Honduras who need help.  Those who need Jesus.

Party with the President! (Seriously)

Yes, I have met the President.  Okay, maybe not OUR president, but I have met the President of Honduras!  

Yesterday, Mrs. Pam, Angie, ML and I went into Yamaranguila to look at a property the ministry has decided to lease to start an entrepreneurial opportunity for some of the girls (more to come on that later 🙂 ).  When we were coming into town, we passed by soldiers and policemen and a helicopter which had landed in a field on the side of the road.  Mrs. Pam said that based on the amount of police and troops, it must have been the president.  There were probably 20 soldiers total, so me being an American (and knowing the grand efforts that are taken when our President travels), I doubted the Honduran President had just landed in our small village.  But..I was wrong!

We went to the building and on our way back, we passed the President and his patrol in several SUVs.  It really was him!  Honduran President Pepe Lobo (what a name).  I hear he’s not too popular “around these parts.”  Those of you who know me know that I am fascinated with politics and the governmental system.  Mrs. Pam decided to hurry back to the farm, get the girls on the bus, and drive them back so that they could hopefully meet, or at least see the President!

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On our way, we stopped at the field where the helicopter was parked.  The troops let us get together and take a picture in front of the helicopter.  When we got to town with the girls, the President and his staff were speaking in the Town Municipal Building.  It was packed, but we eventually made our way in on the side and got to see the townspeople presenting him with gifts.  There were people everywhere, so I took turns placing our little girls on my shoulders so that they could see their President.  As Mrs. Pam said yesterday, if they don’t become aware and appreciate their political system now, they may never.  And what a unique opportunity to let them experience it!

After we heard the group speak, we went back outside to wait to watch the President leave.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mrs. Pam had approached one of the President’s staff members and asked if he’d be willing to take a picture with our girls.  She shared with this lady what the ministry is all about.  She responded “He’d be glad to.”

When he exited the building, the lady approached President Lobo and pointed him in our direction.  He maneuvered through crowds of people and headed straight for us.  I have not been that excited in a long time!  Not only was I thrilled that I was about to meet the Honduran president, so I was so grateful that the girls were going to have the opportunity to meet their leader.  What a blessing!

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The President talked with our girls for some time.  Each girl greeted and thanked him, some of the little girls even hugged his waist; an embrace which he returned.  His staff then pointed him toward Mrs. Pam, the Director of the Ministry.  He talked with her for several minutes.  It was so awesome to see them interact and just for her to be recognized for her selfless ministry to the girls and the community. The President thanked her for all that she did for the nation of Honduras.  I thought that was awesome until what happened next!  He asked her what she needed from him to continue her ministry.  He asked if she could benefit from a new TV and DVD/Blu Ray Player.  She responded that she most certainly could – it could be used with the curriculum at the PTC school.  Just like that, he turned and wrote her a check personally for her to use to buy the TV and DVD/Blu Ray.  We were all stunned. 

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It was a great morning we had!  The girls absolutely loved it, and I know Mrs. Pam connecting with the President will be helpful to this ministry in the future.  She even invited him to dinner at the farm the next time he’s in the area.  

When we got back, we had church and then a late lunch.  The team that was here prepared a huge feast for the girls and the members of the community who joined us for church.  It was their last day on the farm.  We were also joined these past few days by the Robinson family, the family that is working on formally adopting Mariela and Francis.  They were in the Capital City having tests done and stuff, so they dropped by for the weekend.  So we had our “goodbye ceremony” last night for both of these groups, and took them to the bus station this morning.  It was so sweet to see all the girls get up at 5:00 AM this morning to say their goodbyes to the team, pass out bracelets, and letters, and give final hugs!

Now we’re here on a quiet Sunday afternoon.  Just us and the girls!  This is our final full week here in Honduras and I know great things are ahead!  Please keep ML and I in your prayers as we continue our ministry here.

Love y’all!

Chase

With Service Comes Sacrifice

Hi all! I apologize in the delay for this post.  It has been a busy few days!  So many wonderful things are happening!  I feel led to be extremely open and transparent in this post.  So here goes….

I know it was God’s plan for me to be here for these few weeks.  I have felt that call since we left in March.  Mary-Langston and I could barely finish the school year due to our excitement for being here.  I would argue this is a crucial time for us to be spending a few weeks here on the farm with the staff and the girls.  We are working on starting a lot of new programs for the ministry.  We have reorganized some important paperwork and forms that will be used by incoming teams and interns.  I really feel that God is using us to bless this ministry, and vice versa.

However, one could also argue that this was not a good time to “skip town” and go on what some might call a three-week vacation overseas.  I just graduated from Anderson University, and have been looking for a full-time job.  To up and leave during the application process worried me a bit.  In fact, I spent two days at an interview in Springfield, MO just two days before leaving to come here.  Having a great career in a company where God can use me to glorify him has always been important to me, so I’ve been taking the job search seriously.  Unfortunately, I have to say the job search diverted my attention somewhat from preparing to come here.  I think my interview in Missouri brought to realization that my time with or near my family may be coming to an end…and honestly, that scares me.

Those of you who know me know I’m the last person to ever be “homesick.”  I’m usually the one suggesting trips and my parents having to entice me to come home for a weekend.  But when I left home to come here, I just lacked the peace that I usually feel when coming to see all my Honduran friends.   And to be honest, for the first few days, I was extremely homesick. Funny how things work out.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, homesick never meant “I’d rather be home.”  Each moment since our arrival here has been amazing.  These girls are such a light in my life.  But I think just having such instability back in my “home life” did not allow me to fully be here.  The staff will tell you every few minutes I get on the internet, I’m looking for jobs or talking to my family. I guess this is a good lesson to cherish your time you have with family…you never know what could change. 

After a few days of being “mopey” and missing the fam, I think I realized this very well could be the Enemy trying to prevent the great things that God has planned for these few weeks.  He works like that, I think, utilizing your emotions to prevent you from reaching your potential as a follower of Christ. I also have been reading scripture about having peace in God’s plan, which I clearly was not doing in regards to the job search.  So with the support and prayer of one very special friend, I decided I was going to push through this and devote myself 110% to being here.

And man, since that time, has God not being doing incredible things.  This week alone, ML and I reworked the team and intern documents and forms, which is a HUGE help to Mrs. Pam, who now has organized packets of information to distribute via the internet.  We identified an e-commerce website builder which we are going to use to build the coffee/basket sales website.  We led devotion earlier this week and surprised the girls with Project Talitha Cumi wristbands that we had made and brought down with us.  We then decided to renovate the “PTC Store” here on site, where they sell coffee and stuff to teams.  Angie, Rosa, ML and I spent all day yesterday painting the shelves, while some workers cemented the walls.  In a few weeks, the store is going to look colorful, bright, and inviting.  It’s going to be one of the highlights of the farm.  

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Today was slam packed of stuff!  First thing this morning, the basket ladies showed up to sell the team some baskets. Of course ML and I had to buy some.  They remembered us from the meeting we had with them in March!  We got to talk with them again about our plans to sell their baskets to people in the United States, and turn around and use the profits generated to provide them a love offering. These women work very hard for very little income.  And almost all of them have children to support, many as a single parent.

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After that, Mary Langston and I joined Angie to take Mariela and Francis into town to the doctor.  The girls did great! I was so proud of them.  Mrs. Pam took them home, and so Angie, ML and I spent the day in town waiting for Mary to get out of school.  When we got back, we played around in some mud.  Haha, close, but we actually are lowering the big fish pond to get some of the fish out and move them into the new pond.  So Pam, Mary Langston, Cynthia and I put the big boots on and jumped in!  We tried for about 15 minutes to catch some fish with a bed-sheet.  Needless to say, we came back empty-handed, but with huge smiles on our faces.  (I’m sure videos and pictures of this will surface on Facebook eventually).

I know what you’re thinking (I would be too)….”Chase, why must you include all these details?”  I say all this to come back to my originally sad story.  I was so homesick and uncertain about life, blah blah blah, and so on and so forth.  But God has really shown me these past few days that ML and I are here by His plan and for His purpose.  I would also go as far as to say that why my blood family may not be with me, I am amongst family and friends.  I wouldn’t trade my friendship with any of these girls, or the staff for the world.  Why yes of course, I’m learning that you have to sacrifice to serve others.  I see Mrs. Pam, and Angie, and Rosa, and so many who are invested here and witness that.  But God never called anyone to serve only themselves.  Philippians Chapter 2 states to “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  What I’m learning here is that yes, sacrifice is needed, but the rewards of serving others, as God has commanded us to do, reaps benefits on this side of eternity and the next, far greater than anything we could imagine.

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We are a Part of Something Bigger!

Mary-Langston and I arrived in Honduras on Wednesday and have been having a great time.  Of all the things we’ve learned so far, I think what God has shown me the most is that we are a part of something bigger than us.  We are but a small part of the Lord building His kingdom through international missions.

This shouldn’t be a surprising revelation to anyone who has traveled to Central America.  More than likely, you were joined on the plane by several teams, each with their own size, make-up, destination, and objective.  I always notice these teams, especially if they have matching shirts (my friends will tell you..I am slightly obsessed with the concept of matching shirts).  One team in particular caught my attention – they seemed like a great bunch of people.

When we arrived to the San Pedro airport, Mrs. Pam and Mrs. Angie picked us up, and recognized this team that I had noticed on the plane.  They had worked with this team in the past.  Everyone chatted for a brief time, and then we were on our way.  I didn’t think much about it at the time.  However, our staff and the girls decided to go to a nearby church on Sunday morning, and there was this same team!  Of all the places in Honduras for this team to be, they were doing ministry right in our “neck of the woods.”

One of their members gave the message (translated by one of the church members), and when it came time for the invitation, he asked his team to come down front and prepare for pray for anyone who needed it.  The sermon centered on how many of us say we give our lives to Jesus, but often hold on to one thing, one sinful nature that we are not willing to relinquish to the Lord.  It was a great message, and several people came down to be prayed over at the end.  The morning was powerful for me.  God was definitely moving in the church.  That team also announced that they were holding a women’s conference and a children’s conference this week for members of the community.  I think during that service, the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that although what we are doing here at PTC is invaluable and pleasing to Him, we are a part of something bigger.  Missionaries, teams, interns, churches, etc. are all across the world right now, each with their own talents, skills, and direction from God.  Together, as one Church, we are building His Kingdom!

I was also reminded of this point when Mrs. Rosa, one of the staff members here at PTC, and Mary-Langston went on Saturday to pick up a team from the SP Airport.  The team is led by Tim and Ana Carey from Pennsylvania. They bring teams down a few times per year, so they are familiar faces here on the farm.  Their plan while here is to install soccer nets at local schools as a form of ministry.  Kids here LOVE soccer, you’ll learn that early on.  But I thought, what an amazing way to grab these children’s interest, while bringing them joy and being able to meet and share the Gospel with them.  Again, I was reminded that teams may bring completely different ideas, activities, or projects to the mission field, but together we are glorifying our God.    In our “circle up” devotion this morning, one of the girls read Colossians 3:17, which states “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Such a fitting verse for this blog post.  Whether it be installing soccer nets, hosting women’s conferences, or developing a coffee business, do it all in the name of the Lord.

Semi-related to this, I have been reading Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love.  In Chapter 2, he reminds that we were created solely to glorify God.  Our lives are too short and insignificant to live for ourselves.  I am just as guilty of this as anybody.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in “me” and carrying out the daily tasks of my life that I forget that everything I do should be to honor God.  Chan used an illustration that stuck out to me. He asked readers to imagine a movie.  You are an “extra” in a movie.  You are shown for two seconds in one scene, with no speaking parts.  However, the movie is all about God.  God is shown from the beginning of the movie to the end.  God is the main character in each scene, and each scene reveals something about God to viewers.  We would be crazy to think that movie is about us.  We were in it for just two seconds! There’s no way we could be the center of the movie. No one would go see that movie just to see us for such a brief time. But, as Chan points out, that’s how many of us (myself included) often live our lives.  What a powerful illustration. Everything we do should be to honor God and bring him glory, not ourselves.  As the verse states above, let everything we do, both word and action, be in the name of the Lord.

In other news, we are having a wonderful time!  I have been getting better at driving the stick-shift.  Drove the SUV home from church yesterday (with Pam giving me guidance, of course).  The start-off was a little bit…exciting, I guess is the best word, 🙂 but we were all set after that.  ML and I took some of our school supplies to the school here on the farm.  Miss Zuri, the principal (below) had written us a list of what each classroom needed.  It is such a blessing to be able to provide these supplies to both our school and soon, schools in the area. Thank you to everyone who contributed supplies.  They are making such a difference here!

Until the next post…love you guys! – ChaseImage

A Little Background Story

Hi readers – thanks for checking out my very first blog post!  Mary-Langston and I successfully arrived to Honduras on Wednesday and God is already doing big things!  Before I start posting updates on what we are doing, I thought it best to share how I became involved with Project Talitha Cumi.

In the spring of 2011, one of our Anderson University professors, Dr. Gordon Smith approached me about taking part in an exploratory trip to a girls’ foster care ministry in Honduras. The objective was to examine the feasibility of utilizing coffee beans grown on the ministry’s farm land to create a business, raising revenue for the ministry and the girls. It was a huge question to say the least: I had never been on an overseas mission trip and I was only a sophomore at the time.  The thought of providing advice on how to start up a business was intimidating to me.  However, as working with PTC has allowed me to see many times, God can do things through you that you never would expect to be able to do on your own.   So I joined two other students and Dr. Smith in our first ever trip to Project Talitha Cumi in May 2011.  We had a fantastic time!  We built relationships with the 30+ girls here instantly, and returned home with a long list of things we wanted to do to minister to these girls.  And for me personally, I felt a new passion developing within me.  No doubt one that God has planned to set in me long before I realized it.

The next school year, the Anderson University Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE Team (now known as Enactus) decided to get involved in our university’s new partnership with PTC.  I was asked to serve as Project Manager for SIFE’s efforts with the ministry.  The first thing we did was set the date for our next trip: May 2012.  With the other two students who went in 2011 now graduates from AU, I feared we were not going to be able to get students to take a week of their summer to do mission work in Central America.  Boy, was I wrong – we had 18 people sign up to join us on our 2012 trip to PTC.  

One of the things we identified as a way we could help PTC was to develop a computer lab within its school.  The children had little to no computer skills.  So for the months prior to our departure, we worked to have local businesses donate computers for us to revamp and ship to Honduras.  Again, God showed how faithful He is.  When we were hoping to receive five computers, we received 12.  We placed Microsoft Office and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing on 10 of the computers, and had them shipped ahead of us to the ministry.  Through this, I learned that one of the most powerful ways God has answer your prayers is by bringing other people into the mix.  God provided Doug Davison, an IT staff member at the University, who not only signed up to join us on the trip, but also was instrumental in preparing these computers.  I have met many Godly men and women in my life, but I have to say that few could match compassion and integrity with Doug Davison.

Our team of 18 spent our trip teaching the girls business principles and financial literacy.  We taught everything from economics to budgeting to practical tips on saving money.  It was amazing not only to see the amount that the girls learned from these teachings, but also the friendships that were made during such a short period of time.   I always remember especially our times of devotion and prayer together.  It amazes me how well-read the girls are in Scripture, and how they strive each day to live their lives according to God’s Word.  These girls each come from bad circumstances, and each have empowering stories of hope and overcoming obstacles in life.  It is eye-opening for me to see how mature these girls have become in their relationships with Christ.  I think our team saw on this trip (as we always do) that although we travel to PTC planning to teach the girls, it is actually US that learns the most from them.

This past year, I had the great honor of serving as the President of our SIFE/Enactus Team.  However, I was able to stay involved in our team’s work with PTC.  The project was led by a team of great students, all of whom I am so blessed to call friends.  We spent this past year not only expanding our financial curriculum (adding marketing, accounting, etc.) but also taking the first steps in several entrepreneurial endeavors.  First, we took the first steps to begin this coffee business mentioned above, which we have tentatively named “Cafe Cumi” after the ministry’s name.  The idea is that the proceeds raised from these coffee sales will be placed in savings accounts for the girls, for them to use when they begin their journeys in adulthood! (college, starting a business, etc.).  Also, these funds will be used to allow the PTC girls to themselves go on mission trips to minister to others.  This is a big goal of Mrs. Pam, the Director (and one of my heroes).  

We also began efforts to help those in the surrounding community of La Esperanza and Yamaranguila.  We met with a group of local basket weavers about teaching them to develop a co-op business where they can work together to sell their baskets!  God also laid it on the hearts of the staff and our team to create a website to sell these baskets to those in the States.

The trip this year was a huge success!  11 of us came down during spring break in March.  We were able to make new friends and reunite with old ones!  As I always get really sad when I have to leave the girls here, I think the trip in March was a little different.  I had been worrying all week how I could stay involved at PTC since I was about to graduate from AU.  I had several conversations with PTC staff about it, but still had such a worry that my time with these girls was coming to an end.  

However, that was clearly not God’s plan for my life.  While on the way home in March, I felt an unmistakable call from the Lord to stay involved at PTC even after graduation.  Through a lot of prayer and conversations with Mrs. Pam and our Enactus team, I decided to return to PTC this summer as a short-term intern to continue working on these projects that our Enactus team has been working on.  My goal was to be a set of hands “on the ground” here to progress these efforts of our team, while ministering to the girls and others in Honduras.  And of course, God provided for this trip.  He provided wonderful friends and family who have supported me with prayers, financial donations, and school supplies to bring with me.  He also provided me with an amazing teammate, who I am so blessed to have been best friends with for several years now. Mary-Langston Willis joined me on this trip.  Her heart for missions and serving others is something that I have always and continue to admire and strive to become.  She is a one-of-a-kind girl, and I know God is going to use us in mighty ways over the next few weeks.

Ephesians 2:10 states “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  I am so excited that Jesus has me here these next few weeks to glorify His name and expand His kingdom.  Thank you for your support, and I hope this blog shares with you all the exciting things that we are experiencing here in Honduras.

Love you all! – Chase