A Brief History in Snapshots

 

This is a brief overview of our recent time here in Honduras.

Bethany (with baby Hannah showing) learning to make pupusas during her last language class before we left Siguatapeque, Honduras for our trip across the country to our mission hospital for Hannah’s delivery. We left in the first week of March and Hannah was due March 26th.
Elizabeth and Lydia finishing up the Spanish alphabet in their last Spanish class -before what was meant to be a short 2-3 week trip to deliver Hannah and then return.
Days after our arrival at our mission hospital – Elizabeth, Lydia, Ruth and I are making a morning trip through the mangrove forest to the beach (letting mom have some peace and quiet). Our mission hospital, Hospital Loma de Luz, is strategically positioned in the midst of several underserved communities along the northern coast of Honduras.
Ruth is backpacked on me, because the walk from our guest house above the hospital to the beach is very steep. The mountains pretty much rise up immediately out of the coast and our houses and hospital are terraced up the side.
The beach is beautiful, and if you swim out a few hundred feet you can even find a coral reef.
The ocean side of this beautiful house on the left is where we get to live and weather the COVID19 pandemic. Shortly after our arrival at Loma de Luz, COVID19 began to spread across the globe.
Not long thereafter our food supply became a little bit irregular. This is a picture taken by one of our fellow missionaries and sent to us via Whatsapp meaning – Get down to the vegetable stand in Lucinda quickly – they have some veggies while supplies last.
I like to tell Elizabeth, “Be careful, it’s a jungle out there.” It took some explaining, but now she thinks its a little funny.
We have quiet time in the afternoons, but most of the time its too hot to really sleep, or even lay against mattresses and pillows The occasional ocean breaze is always welcome. And we are thankful for fans and the beauty of our enviroment.
This is the view from the water tower above the houses. Its fed by spring water. Our whole family hiked up to the water tower. One of many treks in the final week before Hannah came, trying to hurry things along. 🙂

On the day before Hannah was born my kids and I completed this video project with several of their friends.

10pm – Bethany at our house: “I’m having contractions.” Nathan: “Okay.”
11pm – Bethany at our house: “I think we need to get ready to go to the hospital.” Nathan: “Okay.”
12am – Dr. Anne at our hospital, “You’re pretty much completely dilated, are you ready to push?.” Bethany, “Yes.”
12:45am – Baby Hannah at our hospital, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Aah Aah!”

2 hours after delivery, we’re heading back up the hill to the house! (Our next door neighbor is Dr. Anne, and there are some advantages to not having an epidural)
Lydia loves holding babies.
She’s pretty indiscriminate.
Elizabeth also loves to hold babies and help out. Its was hard for the girls to just let Hannah sleep so much of the day away when they had so anticipated her birth.

Getting the girls out of the house so mom can just think about taking care of herself and Hannah for a moment. This was one of our last truck trips as a family before Honduras began enforcing general quarantines, travel bans, work bans, beach bans, and strict curfews.
Fortunately, staying off the roads and not gathering together does not prevent us from going on hikes, visiting our neighbors in the hospital compound, and playing outside. 
Our front porch looking out at the ocean.

COVID19 in Honduras: on the left is a bleach spray down/check-point to enter the nearest major city. On the right is our hospitals COVID19 isolation/triage area where we were doing a practice run recently. (We haven’t seen any confirmed COVID19 cases at our hospital yet.)

On Good Friday, Bethany’s birthday, and Hannah’s 13th day of life, Bethany carried on our family’s tradition of hosting a passover seder during Holy week. This year we did the whole ritual meal and story telling in English and Spanish. Bethany made matzah from scratch (in addition to all the other feast foods, for our 14 place settings). We also had to substitute ginger for horseradish. My wife is incredible!

Bethany’s mom always bakes her a red velvet cake for her birthday. Also, Bethany’s mom also always comes and lives with us to help us through the first several weeks of the sleepless newborn period. But, a few days before Bethany’s parents were to come to Honduras to be with us, the borders closed due to COVID. Ergo, Bethany baked her own cake this year (the day after her birthday due to passover preparations)- and this is what happens when you let a red velvet cake cool to room temperature before icing it – but room temperature is 95 degrees fahrenheit. Thankfully – if you close your eyes (or leave them open) it still taste great. Ruth, “Yuuuuuuummm”
wp-1587247825795.jpg
On Easter morning we had a small open air gathering with our neighbors in our mission community. I read the resurrection account from John, and several of the children acted it out as we went. This is John (Josiah H) looking into the tomb, while Peter (Elizabeth G) catches up. (Ruth is dressed as an angel, ready to be popped into the tomb shortly)
Ruth somehow got something stuck in her left eye. And for nearly a week it did not move and we were unsuccessful at flushing it out with water. Ultimately with prayer and a little trepidation we took her into the hospital where Dr. Jeff and Rosanne sedated her and removed the foreign body without any complications. Thanks be to God.
wp-1587247826070.jpg
Most work in Honduras has been halted for almost a month now. In the communities around our hospital, this means people have run out of money and are running out of food. The hospital and the local churches are pooling resources to give out food bags to the families in need, to supplement the government’s relief efforts. Elizabeth, Lydia, and I went up into the mountains behind the hospital to this community to help give out food.
wp-1587247826422.jpg
As in the USA, all schools have been closed in Honduras. This is the mountain community’s one room school house that my kids were exploring with the neighbor kids and some fellow missionary kids
I hope you all get a glimpse of what life here is like for this time. I have began working in the clinic and taking call at our hospital during all this to prepare for whatever future God has for us. We don’t know when or if we’ll return to language school, so we’re trying to take things day by day and grow where we’re planted.

7 thoughts on “A Brief History in Snapshots”

  1. You certainly live in a beautiful place, and you have captured that beauty so well with your photography! The children look content and happy and they will always remember this blessed time in their lives. I sincerely hope that covid 19 stays away from your peace of heaven so that you can continue your work and also protect your precious family. May God continue to bless, protect, and allow you to spread love in this beautiful country that his loving hands created…… Kathy Haney
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID
    Kingdom Outpost – The Gilley Family wrote:
    kingdomoutpost posted: ” This is a brief overview of our recent time here in Honduras. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAvioyK27CU&w=600&h=338On the day before Hannah was born my kids and I completed this video project with several of their frie”

    Like

  2. So wonderful to see your faces and where you live. It looks beautiful! The girls are blessed to have such smart and wonderful parents! We love you and miss you!

    Like

  3. I love the video! What a great job by all of them! You and Bethany are teaching them so much about so many things.
    When your Doctor tour is over, you might decide to become a movie producer!😉 Thank you for keeping us all connected and I love you all.

    Like

  4. Thank you so much for the update Nathan. We really enjoy hearing from you. Your little girls are growing so. Good to see Bethany and that she and Hannah are doing good. Thankful you are in a beautiful peaceful place at this time. Love and prayers

    Like

  5. Thank you for sharing, Nathan and Bethany. I just returned from serving in NYC, so I am a bit behind in emails. Hannah is beautiful. So happy for you all and your growing family. I pray you all are doing well, as I know you have many challenges between juggling all of your kids with the new baby, serving in the hospital, ministry, speaking Spanish, issues with COVID-19, just to name a few. Just want you to know I am thinking of you all and praying about these issues.
    Be blessed. In Christ, Lance

    Lance Plyler, MD
    SAMARITAN’S PURSE
    Medical Director | WORLD MEDICAL MISSION
    828-278-1905 | lplyler@samaritan.org
    SAMARITANSPURSE.ORG
    P.O. BOX 3000 | BOONE, NC 28607

    Like

  6. So very thankful to see and hear from you! Honduras is beautiful and so thankful that God is protecting you from Covid! Welcome to the new baby! Bethany you are a tough mama– up walking home 2 hours after birth!! Prayers continue for you daily that God will protect and make you all willing hands and feet of Jesus! Big hugs!

    Like

Leave a Reply to Barry Gilley Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s