Posts Tagged ‘honduras’

Do you have trouble becoming distracted?  In the Movie “Up”, this is humorously captured whenever a squirrel shows up or even the mention of a squirrel takes place.  Retaining a sharp focus upon the task at hand is a necessary trait for success.  The ability to articulate a definitive vision and goal, and then determinedly stick to the plan to achieve them is a critical element of success.  This is true on the grand scale of nations and armies as well as in our personal lives and with daily activities.  During our week in Honduras, we got to see this dogged determination play out in a fun and inspiring manner when we went “fishing” with Erlin and his father.

IMG_6725 The gentleman in the yellow shirt is Erlin’s father and Erlin is the young man in the middle of the green boat.  That was our vessel for the trip into the bay on that sultry Thursday morning.

Getting into the bay required weaving through a mangrove forest down a narrow channel until we got to bigger water.


Erlin’s father knew the waterways well since his living was made plying the waters catching fish and crabs and performing whatever odd chores he could find.  Fernando made it a point to take us on this tour not only to give us a picture of what every day life looked like to the locals, but to give this family a little income.

IMG_6863  We passed a few other fishing boats.  The term fishing was used rather loosely to refer to any activity around the water that entailed catching food for the dinner table whether it was fish, crabs, oysters, shrimp or whatever.

IMG_6747Twelve year old Erlin sat beside his father acting as the first mate.  As we made it out into more open water I looked around for the life preservers.  IMG_6749  I realized then how much our lives in the US are regulated.  There were not only no life preservers, there was no load rating on the boat, no throwable floatation devices, actually there wasn’t much at all other than a small boat that resembled a dugout canoe with a rather antiquated 25 horsepower motor, one gas can and nine passengers.

When we got into the bay we traveled for about 20 minutes along the mangrove covered shore.  Having covered three or four miles through various channels and streams to get into the bay I realized we were a long and arduous distance from any civilization.

Now I mentioned yesterday that the village was called Playa Grande which can be translated as grand or large beach.  Well, I have to say the name had to be applied either in jest or as very wishful thinking.  Up to this point we had seen nothing resembling a beach.

The heat of day, the gentle slap of waves against the hull, and the buzz of the boat motor had lulled me into a drowsy state. Suddenly I noticed the wind created by our movement die down and the motor idle back.  We then turned into the beach for our picnic.   IMG_6824

At the risk of chasing a squirrel, I want to make a point about different perspectives.  To our new friends this was their understanding of what a beach was like.  I expect many of my readers got a little chuckle as they saw this beach that doesn’t exactly fit the picture of a beach most of us have.  Perspective is huge isn’t it.  To all of the young people and to many, if not most, of the adults in Playa Grande their experiential base is what they can see within a days walk of their home.  The broad sandy beaches that we associate with a beach simply isn’t within the experience of most of the people of Playa Grande.

As we ate our mangos and drank our drinks, a discussion between the men broke out about whether they could catch crabs here to show us.  They thought it was possible, but they would have to move away from the beach to do so.  Erlin, listening intently to the discussion, said there were crabs close by and he could catch one.  A little smack-talk ensued which seemed to only strengthen Erlin’s resolve.

IMG_6833The men spread out and disappeared while Erlin walked a few feet and away and shouted, “there’s one down here!”  (Fernando was giving us the play by play interpretation since all the conversation was in Spanish.)


We watched as Erlin started digging furiously into the mud.

Every now and then he would stop to listen.  Then he would dig speedily again.  IMG_6842

He was down on the ground reaching as far as his short arms would reach trying to get his hand into the crab hole and around the crab.IMG_6848

Finally he shouted and Fernando announced that he had a hold of a crab.  A minute later Erlin walked back to the group with his prize.

It was really fun to watch this unfold as Erlin was the first back to the beach with a crab.


This vignette reminds me of what the author wrote in Hebrews 12:1-3IMG_6853

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing out eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him He endured the cross, scoring it shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

Our vision is to be and do all that God created us for and Jesus died for us to walk in.  A steady focus upon the Lord combined with a consistent, determined pursuit to know Him is the path to an abundant life in Him.

Paul states it in a similar way in Ephesians 3:12-14.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

I am so thankful that we had an opportunity to spend this week in Honduras.  It was especially gratifying to see the Lord touch and change lives – ours as much as anyone’s.  And I will never forget the lesson of a persistent young man with mud up to his neck, a grin from ear to ear, and a wriggly crab in his hand.


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