Lipscomb Associate AD Brent High reports in from Honduras on day one of the Softball mission trip.
The lightning, thunder and rain from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Ernesto have made for a dazzling backdrop as our mission team of 17 has gathered around the fire at Mission Lazarus in Jayacayan, Honduras in the Choluteca province. We got here around 4:30 p.m. local time (they are an hour behind us in Nashville) bringing an end to 13 hours of travel that began this morning at 3:30 a.m. at the Allen Arena loading dock.
11 of the Lipscomb players and their coaches, along with Brian Ryman, Alex Ross, Ryan Terry from the Bison Golf team (our Spanish-speaking interpreter) and I all got here safely and without incident. For all but one of the girls on the team, today was their first-ever trip outside the United States.
We stepped out of the airport and into a downpour as we loaded our luggage into the back of four Nissan pickup trucks. Several of us wrestled with blue tarps and rope and did our best to keep the water at bay. We made the three-hour drive from Tegucigalpa to Mission Lazarus. All of the girls commented on the radical form of driving that is normal to this part of the world. There are no rules. Two of our vehicles were stopped by immigration officials and everyone inside had to produce their passports and documents. The heavy rains this summer have washed away large chunks of the main road between Tegucigalpa and Choluteca. The normal players were all accounted for including wandering cows, pigs, massive potholes, mudslides, weaving bicyclers, massive buses, chickens and small children playing literally inches from the incredibly dangerous roadway.
After an incredible meal of steak, potato, corn, tortillas and bean dip with chips, all of the girls are playing a game called Mafia. Most of us didn’t have much sleep if any last night. We’ll all be turning in fairly soon unless a game or three of Farkle breaks out.
Wednesday morning weather permitting we’ll be headed into the town of San Marcos de Colon to help build a house. We will also be delivering food boxes to several families in the hills near the refuge.
I am so thankful for Mollie Mitchell and Whitney Kiihnl. They were the ones who had the vision for this trip as seniors on the Lady Bison Softball team last year. They made it happen. Whitney is in P.A. school at Harding University in Arkansas and couldn’t come with us this week. Mollie is here and starting to make the transition from player to coach. Both of them had tremendous influence and impact as players. This week their influence and impact may very well extend farther than they ever dreamed.
Dozens of donors helped make this trip possible. This is the kind of trip that makes Lipscomb unique. God continues to bless us with supporters who see the vision and faithfully step up to make vision a reality.
We are all mindful of the Lipscomb track team while they are in Haiti. Our hearts are with them as they serve across the Gulf of Mexico.