Update From Honduras
Hello, friends back home. We appreciate you reading this. When we have bad news, which we don't, it's good to know you're there. When the news is good, it encourages us even more to share it with you.
Arnulfo was waiting for us at the airport in Tegucigalpa last Wednesday. He's always a welcome sight. He's such a little man, but big in character. He reminds me of William Wilberforce, whose story I am telling. Wilberforce and his team changed a culture, and he was only 5'3" tall. We had some trepidation before this trip, as we hardly knew what to expect. It is our first team trip since our parting with Jose. By the way, we are concerned about Jose. Typical of his dynamic personality, he was talking on his cell phone at a retreat, and walked off a ledge, falling about six feet. He badly broke his leg and is in a cast up to his hip. They are keeping him lying flat in bed for ten weeks. We think that is very dangerous, as he could develop a blood clot. Would you please pray for him? He is such an active man, who is never still. We can't imagine what he'll do with himself during recuperation.
Our future here looks good. The engineering department at the university in Teguce set up a two-hour conference for us on Thursday morning. It consisted of mostly students and some professors. John talked to them out of his forty years in the aerospace industry. He basically explained what makes a real leader, as opposed to a manager. He told them the story of John Studebaker (you should read it sometime) and then included clips from interviews he made of leaders we know, one a former executive of Sam's Club, another, our neighbor, a CPA who has been appointed to investigative boards by three Colorado governors. The third clip he showed was an interview with General Datani, from Pakistan, who talked about standing together as a team. Afterward I told the story of Wilberforce.
After the class, engineering professor Jefrey Alvarado asked us into his office. He taught values and principles a year ago and is now teaching it again. He is the teacher who took his students to the children's cancer ward. He has also taken on a couple of other projects, and is inspired to do more. In the afternoon we spoke to international business students. This was our first time in the business school, and we are glad to make inroads there.
Today Arnulfo took us to see General Oswego, head of the joint chiefs of staff of the military for the country. (Sorry, we're not trying to throw around impressive- sounding titles. This is just what happened.) We had the appointment because of our friendship with retired General Rodolfo Interianno, who is now with Campus Crusade Military Ministry. While we were there, General Oswego gave orders that the values course should be taught throughout the military. This could be quite exciting because these things need to be taught in the whole society. As Prof. Alvarado said, "You in your country have been taught these moral values, but we are just beginning."
Arnulfo did most of the talking, which pleased us because we've seen him grow in confidence and take responsibility for the future leadership of his country. That's what we hope to see - Hondurans taking charge. He explained to Gen. Oswego that the purpose of Professionals to the World is not to develop a church or a denomination, but to encourage a change in the culture, such as happened with Wilberforce and his fellow Claphamites when they brought about the abolition of the slave trade in England.
Right now John and I are spending the afternoon at Appleby's, a short walk from our "apartment," because this is the only place we can get internet. Tomorrow Pastor Eric Valenzuela will be flying in and we will drive with Arnulfo to Comayagua, where we will spend the week. Jim and Barb Hermanson will join us on Sunday.
Thank you for reading these exciting things. Thank you for all your encouragement!
Gratefully, John and Charly