Sunday, September 25, 2011


The last day is always sad, leaving the kids behind.

We did what we came to do: finish the project helping run sewer line to the boys houses, preached, taught and loved lots of kids. Of course, with about 485 kids, we were outloved back. You feel like a rock star, walking along the 50 acres of developed campus and having your name called constantly, asking to have a picture taken with you, having a small mob of kids rushing you, wanting to touch you, talk to you, hug you.

We did what we came to do, but there is more to be done there, and leaving feels like unfinished business.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quick note:  View the video that Christine put together by clicking the link above.  Also Mark Holland's sermon has a link above.

Thursday by Chris...

Team Honduras is already growing a little sad, knowing that our week here is drawing to a close. We are going to miss these kids terribly. You cannot walk past any part of the campus while the children are out of school without being mobbed or hearing your name called dozens of times. It is truly a place where you are known and wanted every minute of the day.

Last night, we had the children who are sponsored by various team members in our team home for dinner of hearty chicken soup, cornbread and rice. For dessert, Neal Starling figured out how to make an ice cream machine work, and we had ice cream. One girl shared it was the second time in her life that she had tasted that treat.

Our physical project of laying a new sewer line for three boys houses is nearly complete and we should finish today.

Our days start early here, this morning at 6:15 today for “Big Circle” The kids gather in front of their homes every morning for small circle, where they stand in a circle, sing a few songs and have a devotional. Some of those have been given by team members. Friday is a day when all 485 kids gather in one large circle for a devotional. This morning, Linsey Wisdom will give giving the devotional from Luke.

Like all the team members, Linsey has stepped up to the many challenges here and allowed her gifts to blossom. This remarkable team has served these children and Hillside well, in ways that would make every church member proud.

--Christopher Quinn

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday...By Linsey

How majestic is our God, and what a testimony He has given us all in this place.

The children here attend church both on Sundays and Wednesdays (in addition to morning circle time daily and afternoon bible studies on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). On Sunday, we were so blessed to hear team-member Mark Holland's sermon on how much God loves us all. He spoke to the children telling them of belief in Christ as a bridge to life eternal.

On Wednesday, team member Greg Elder continued that message telling the children that they are not only loved by Christ, but that they are beautiful, regardless of the past, of what may have been said about them, or how they may see themselves. Christine Edwards, who has added so much to the trip with her music ministry, accompanied both sermons. But, on Wednesday, she had prepared an extra special message.

Collecting pictures throughout the week of children here at Emmanuel, Christine created a video to Mercy Me's song, "You are Beautiful."

What started as giggles across the congregation as children caught a glimpse of a well-recognized face or two soon turned to quiet tears as they read the lyrics in Spanish on the screen and began to receive the message. At the end of the video, Greg called anyone to the altar who was ready to profess their faith and receive Christ.

No one moved.

Christine had almost finished her song on the guitar in the still church when the first child stood up and approached the altar. And then another. And another.

Four girls led Cheri Orr by the hand to the altar and asked her to pray over them as they received Christ. These four were girls Cheri had ministered to both this year and last year when she came to Honduras, and here they were together, praying in a group and crying as they received their Savior. Likewise, one of our student team members, Ashby Kernea, was led by two girls to the altar. Ashby prayed in English while the Honduran minister translated her prayer over the girls.

By the end of the night, somewhere between 14 - 18 youth professed their faith, received Christ, and accepted their Lord and Savior.

Afterward, many other youth who had completed a class, like confirmation, were dunked in the baptismal pool as each received the sacrament.

Witnessing such a beautiful moment was powerful and emotionally exhausting for the entire group. Our bodies may be tired, but our spirits are renewed and remain strong as we head into another day.

Yours in Christ,

Linsey and team Honduras

Wednesday, by Chris

And we are past the halfway point in Orphanage Emmanuel.

It was perhaps the most powerful day of all for the team, a day of dirt and water.

After another day in the trenches, laying a sewer line and another day working with the kids, Greg Elder preached for their Wednesday evening service.

The service began with team members handing out hundreds of cards prepared by Hillside members with a short message of love printed inside. Christine Edwards led the music and a short drama she had prepared with the medium girls, followed by Greg’s message: Beautiful.

It was a powerful affirmation for these “throw-away children” that they are special and loved, Christine and Mark Holland had prepared a short video of photos we had taken of childrens’ faces, played to Mercy Me’ song, “Beautful,” and Greg followed his message with a simple but effective call to come forward and accept God’s love and forgiveness, and more than half a dozen did. Other team members were there to pray with some of these children that we ourselves have grown to love.

It was also a night for baptisms, and Greg got his chance, with the help of founder David Martinez, to baptize nearly a dozen teenagers.

After the service, Bent and Katrina, two Danish workers who were running the halfway house in Tegucigalpa, helping Emmanuel graduates find jobs, had dinner with us and told of of their work here, including a scary robbery and home invasion. They are back here in Guaimaca after the home invasion in order to give them some time away and rethink the work of the halfway house.

The beautiful part of coming to Orphanage Emmanuel is the variety of work available. School work, helping with the little ones, digging and’s truly a place where any member of Hillside could find a spot and share their skills. We are thankful for the opportunity to be here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The day started early for many members of the group. It was a slaughtering day for the pigs, and some of those with stronger stomachs experienced this first-hand at 4:30 in the morning. It means fresh meat for the orphanage, but made some members of the group a little queasy. This is life here at Emmanuel and survival.

Yesterday was another day of hard labor on the pipes. There was a brief reprieve from trench digging, but new challenges arose trying to figure the schematics to span a gully and support pipe above ground rather than below. In the end, having a new sewer line will be well worth the work. As it is now, there are leaks and seepage where the old pipe has just given way over time.

While half of the group worked on water line, the remainder of the group spread themselves across the grounds to find work where it is needed most. Some went to the school to work on administrative needs. Some stayed behind and work with the special needs children. Others returned back to the farm to collect eggs and catch chickens. There is always work to be done, and someone mentioned something about idle hands -- there is no time to be idle when meeting the needs of so many on a daily basis.

We went on a tour of Emmanuel. When the founders first bought the land, they thought they were buying a small parcel and a few houses that were standing. They learned upon signing the contract, they had actually purchased 1,100 acres of land. What a blessing!

There are now seven housing units for children, a toddler house; young, middle, and older girls dorms; and young, middle, and older boys dorms. The toddler house alone has 47 children under the age of four. Each area has a kitchen, where older youth prepare meals daily over an open fire pit. Other structures include a dental clinic for the dentist who comes each February, a bakery, a wood shop, a craft house, and the farm buildings. The goal is not just for survival, but to raise these children with a firm foundation in God's love, and hopefully some technical skills that they can take with them into the world when they leave this land.

The land is beautiful, surrounded by mountains. God's presence is truly felt from the moment you step on to the property and through each smile from a child and in the loving embraces we are met with daily.

Last night, we met with Katcha (spelling?) and Max, a married couple who have dedicated their lives to working here at Emmanuel. Katcha is Dutch and came here early on as a volunteer before she found her faith. She committed herself to the Lord on these grounds. Likewise, her husband Max, a Honduran native who traveled all over Europe before returning to Honduras, also found his faith here at Emmanuel..

They shared their story and said that one reason they love to bring the teams in is to spread the word of what happens here. They have both committed their lives on faith to do God's work, but they are unable to travel beyond these grounds to share the love of God. By bringing teams in, they are able to give a bit of themselves to the world beyond.

What a testimony to living in faith and following where God calls!

It is still early in the week, and I am sure there is more amazing stories to hear, and ways our lives will be touched. But for the time being, it is time to get to work.

God bless,
Linsey and Team Honduras

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Our first full day of work was very productive, from digging trench for a new sewer line for two houses where younger boys live to helping gather eggs from their chicken house.

The day here begins early, and some of the teen girls on the trip, Jessi Simmons, Ashby and Lexi Kernea, helped wash each egg off before stacking them carefully in crates. Orphanage Emmanuel  does what it can to be self sufficient, and they also have a house for fryers and raise pigs for meat.

Many of the women worked in the toddler house Monday, helping with the babies and little ones, they put on the skit of the Good Samaritan twice, once for girls and once for a group of loud and muddy boys. I am not quite sure why so many of these angels with dirty faces got so muddy yesterday, but we men who were working on trenching passed them as we walked to our house, and many of them were as crud-covered as we were. It may be just a by-product  of the rainy season and being a 6 or 9 year old boy, or maybe an impromptu wresting match or two had broken out, but as we walked by them with tools over our shoulders they looked at us and we looked at them and I’m sure both groups were thinking the same thing: “How did  those guys get so dirty?”

Anyway, we were both soon headed to our respective showers and hot meals.

David Martinez, the Californian founder of Orphanage Emmanuel, dropped by in the afternoon for some idle chatter, and it’s always wonderful to hear the stories of the trials and triumphs of his work here. There are some in the world who respond to God’s calling with wild abandon, he is one of them and inspires us all to work hard while we are here and challenges us to consider the calling of God on all our lives.

There is more work today for Hillside Team Honduras on the business ends of picks, shovels and with the kids. Keep us in your prayers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day

Our "alarm" went off about 5:30 this morning when Berenice, one of the young girls who works in the kitchen preparing our meals, turned on her boom box with some raucus Latino Jesus rock.
The men's rooms are next to the kitchen, so we enjoyed the music with her.

Mark Holland preached and he and Christine Edwards led music for several hundred kids.
Afterward, we got to size up our major project of laying new pipe for outfall lines. Some of the trench has been dug, but much of it will have to be re-dug and straightened. We have some hard days of work ahead.
We also got the afternoon to hang out with kids, practice our poor Spanish and listen to their equally poor English. It was a good day of orientation and getting to know the kids we are working for first-hand. Those of us who sponsor children here also got a chance to spend time with them and take them to the store.

Linda and I (Chris Quinn) walked Diana, the sister of two boys that Linda and I sponsor, and the rest of her siblings to a store for sodas, chips and candy. Precious little Diana, 7 years old but the size of a four-year-old because she was so malnourished in her early years, got a sugar buzz on that sent her skittering and ricocheting around like a teensy, hyperactive mosquito. Lesson learned.
Your team from Hillside is settling in and pulling together, lending their hearts, voices, minds and bodies to serving others here.
Pray for us, looking at the length of ditch to be dug, we need it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

They have arrived!

I thought I'd let you all know that I have heard from the leader.  They have all arrived safely.  Hopefully they will have access to the internet and we will get some updates.  Please keep our missionaries in your prayers. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Team Honduras/Emmanuel will be taking off Sat morning at 10:30 a.m. and will be at the orphanage by about 4 pm, Honduras time. Please keep us in your prayers, and check back here later in the week for updates!
Chris Quinn