Thursday, December 17, 2009

Expected Generation

I have been SLOWLY reading through the old testament and here are some things that have come up. Moses guided the Israelites to the land flowing with milk and honey, the land of Cana. He sent spies to see if it was a good land and what it was like. The lord had told them: “send spies to look at the land that I will give to the people of Israel.” The spies returned and told the people it was an impossible land to conquer because the cities are strong and the people are giants. All but two of the spies brought back this same report. Caleb and Joshua came back declaring something different. They said “the land is great, flowing with milk and honey. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will give it to us. He has removed protection from the Canaanites.” In other words; the Lord said it was ours, we should believe him and go take it. The people were about to stone Caleb and Joshua but the Lord appeared. God said none of this generation will see the promise land but Joshua and Caleb because they did not doubt. Because the people doubted what God was going to give them, He waited for an entirely new generation.
In the same way, I believe the majority of Christianity has neglected Gods promises, Both promises of blessings and suffering. Ignored and doubted his power and touch. We have neglected his reality and desire to know and use us. We are invited to be a part of what he is doing now physically and spiritually yet we have settled for an idea or a good story. He is real and active. He has called us to first believe, listen then to go and do. I believe we are the new generation of Joshua. He is calling us and waiting for us to come. We must go, we must run full speed into the unknown of his promises. If you want to follow Christ and be a part of his story He says to leave it all behind. He said, “Take up your cross daily and follow me.” Bust down the door, cry out for his presence, expect him to show up and follow through. He is ready. Am I?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kickin' Rocks

So after being here for over three months, I feel like I kind of know what I am doing. The planning is coming easier and the kids seem to be responding to me and not testing me so much. Here is a little catch up on the last month:

!We wrapped up the first quarter of school about three weeks ago. We took an entire half day to watch the Passion of the Christ with all of the high school students. It was awesome to see students eyes become open to the reality of Jesus' suffering.

!We have had one high school girls soccer game and one boys game. Both teams lost their games but played well. We have another game for the girls tom., wish us luck.

!The other teachers I live and work with are awesome and we seem to have a new adventure every weekend. We spent a weekend at a hostel in a very secluded part of the island, We dressed up for Halloween as a local Cell phone company and power company, Spent some time at the beach with the donut girls, went to a floating restaurant and many other adventures that come with being a teacher in Honduras (no seatbelts, plenty of truck beds, mosquitoes galore, new smells, and a very slow lifestyle.)

!I ordered new soccer and volleyballs! I really underestimated the students passion for soccer and overestimated the strength of the balls that I brought. We are down to 4 "nice" soccer balls for the team, three plastic ones for recess, and 2 volleyballs, but reinforcements arrive this week. Thanks for your support. The kids here will literally kick anything. When I won't give them a ball, they will play a game with a bottle, a bottle cap, a rock or anything that will more across the ground.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writers Block

Sorry I my brain is too tired to write anything meaningful so ill let pictures to the job:

Calling it a day with avocado smoothies, Soo Good!

Family Foto

Pep corner with Mitch Voth

Game time! Thanks to everyone who is supporting me and this school. The money for soccer balls and other equipment has brought a lot of joy to these kids and made my life much easier here as a PE teacher. Much Love

Gotta love em'

Seniors, if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch with the pups

Donut girls at the beach con yo y Amy

Just a day at the beach

Friday, October 9, 2009

We got ourselves a game!

So we have been having "soccer practices" for about a month and a half now. It has been tough because the players have no discipline and have never been required to practice. Sometimes players show up and sometimes they don't. So last week I wrote up a contract and sent it home with anyone who wanted to be on the team. They had to sign it as well as their parents. The players are now expected to stay at school from 2:30 to 5. The first hour is study hall and 3:30 to 5 is practice. We have had two boys practices and two girls practices. So far every practice has had a full team. The second problem has been that we have no games scheduled, the public schools get out in two weeks and every other soccer coach on the island speaks Spanish. I'm working on the Spanish thing but its coming SLOW. Both of these issues have been stressing me out a little because I felt kinda like I was being thrown to the wolves with a soccer team that had no structure or direction. Its been a blessing to have the students respect our new practice model. It took a lot of chasing kids through the parking lot to make them stay but, its working. So the game thing. Without games, the kids have no drive or motivation to train. I knew we could only keep practices up for a limited amount of time without games. So yesterday while we were practicing, a man was watching us play so I went to talk to him while the players were doing some drills.

He spoke just enough English for me to understand that he was a soccer coach also. One of the injured players came over and helped me with the translation. After a 10 minute conversation of nodding my head and whispering, "what did he say?," we had a game scheduled for next week. So as of now we have our first boys game scheduled Tuesday as 6. Also as I sat down to begin this blog, one of the girls from the team came in and said another school wants to set up a game for next week. They will be sending an invitation to play for Friday of next week. So we got ourselves some games! Things seem to be getting on track with the sports finally, its a beautiful thing.

Aside from the soccer teams things at school are going great. We were using the parachute in all of the elementary school classes and they LOVED it. I mean how could they not.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dounuts galore!!

So about a month ago, these 3 little girls stopped by our apartments selling donuts. I was so stoked because it was a rough day at school and nothings sounded better than to sit back and eat a bunch of sugar. I think the teachers that live on the hall bought the little girls out for the day. When they went to Amy's apartment, she showed them love through chewing gum. The girls were so excited and had both pieces of gum in their mouths before they reached the door. they came back a few days later and we went through the same routine. This scene repeated itself for about 3 weeks, each time the girls began to stay a little longer and talk a little more. They don't speak a lick of english so it's giving us an opportunity to practice. Amy has taken these beautiful little girls under her wing and has been showing them the love they may have never experienced before. They are now waiting on the steps outside our apartment almost everyday when we come home from school. They usually stick around and hang out for about an hour. Our time consists of playing memory, drawing, learning geography with the world map on the wall, getting smoothies, and a lot of Spanglish. These little girls are 9 and 10 years old and work selling donuts for their mom from the time they get out of school until dark and the entire day on Saturday. They live in a home with 6 other children and are obviously not a part of high society. It has been a beautiful opportunity for us to love them and allow them an opportunity to be kids with our full attention for an hour a day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Soccer / Futbol

A life in Honduras is not complete without a soccer ball. Every day is made up of the same question asked a million times, "Mr. Harrison can I have a soccer ball", "Can I have a futbol"or "I want me ball." The high schoolers think they are the next superstar and the younger kids plan on being the next superstar. But thats a pretty standard mindset and it makes them want to play that much more. The high school kids played two games this week. I have not been coaching these games because they are games the kids set up outside of school, but they have been fun to watch. Two of my soccer balls have disappeared as a result. The first one exploded 3/4 of the way through the game and the second one was kicked over the fence and "vanished." The kids are having fun though and I am beginning to earn their respect and trust. I don't quite know to how use it yet but I know Soccer is and will be a powerful tool God has laid before us to impact these students and the community. Sports are such a strong way to unite people. During the political turmoil Honduras is going through right now, soccer has become even more valuable. The people are split because of the opposing political agendas that are present and they feel like their voice is being ignored by most of the world. For those of you who may not be keeping up with it, the military of Honduras removed their president by force and took him out of the country in June. He was attempting to violate a court order which refused to let him poll the people about changing their constitution. Supposedly there is a lot more to the story and some other shady things that were going on but that is the reason that has been spoken of. There is an interim president and elections will be held in November. But in the meantime, the US along with many other Western countries have refused to recognize the elections. The US has cut off all funding to Honduras and has refused Visas for Honduran citizens to travel to the US. At the same time, World cup qualifying games are being played right now. Honduras is currently in third place and every time they play the country rally's behind the sport that is serving as a rock for the country. I was on the mainland when they beat Trinidad and tabago, you would have thought you were in Chapel Hill for a national championship win. There were 15 to 20 people in the backs of trucks, honking water flying, mobs chanting. It was Loco. Amy, Mitch, Jessica and me rode around the street in the back of a truck getting soaked by filthy water and hollering "viva Hondruas". It is great to see a whole country unified behind a single team.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Two Weeks Down

We have officially had 2 full weeks of school. Today was Hot! I had PE all day so I was outside teaching the kids how to spike a volleyball. Some of them did well while others were pretty humorous. Overall, they are surprisingly good at volleyball. Yesterday, my last class of the day was 7th grade bible. I was teaching them about the story where Jesus turns water into wine. This class hadn't been responding very well. I felt like they were giving me the answers they thought I wanted and not really letting God touch their hearts through the scripture. I think part of that was due to my style of teaching. I feel like the lord is telling me to not focus so much on making sure they soak up the knowledge but to drive home one message and build on it with the relationships he will nurture in the class. The kids need to know that they are valuable and that God loves them. I will strive to make them aware of this and to stop for any opportunity that God places in my path. It is sometimes hard to identify or engage these opportunities so I am praying for God to keep me sharp and open my eyes to his work. When it comes to PE, the kids are learning all about volleyball and continually begging to play soccer. I make deals with them to play soccer the last 10 minutes as long as they do everything I ask. Its a beautiful thing. Thank you for your prayers and I hope all is well. Much love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting Schooled

I love my Wednesday mornings. I don't start teaching today until nine forty five so I get to work on all my planning for next week and relax for a bit [and blog]. Things are still going well here, we had our second soccer practice yesterday which was better than the first. 16 kids showed up and they were only 20 minutes late. We are working on it, things run a little slower here. I started going to a church about 2 miles from my apartment. I went there two weeks ago with two other teachers and we met Sherman and his brothers. Sherman is a 55 year old man who owns the iguana farm here on the island. Him and his brothers have been on the island their whole lives and also build boats for a living. Sherman took us after church on a sweet tour of the island and bought us lunch at Wendy's. It was great to see new parts of the island and to have an islander giving us his perspective. Mitch and I are going over to Sherman's brothers workshop today to check out the work he does on the boats. I feel like everyday is jam packed with school and whatever adventure presents itself in the evening. Sometimes the adventure is a trip to the beach, a local restaurant or a nap. Th teaching is going well in the classroom and outside. I think the kids are getting somethings from bible class and they seem to be enjoying PE. keep us in your prayers, that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to the students. I am teaching them stories about Jesus' life, simply trying to pound the Gospel and they seem to be responding well. I love what I am doing and am so thankful for God placing me and all of the other teachers here on this island.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nap time

Today was the first day of school. It was only a half day but I am already dead tired, this teaching thing is no joke. I had 5 classes of elementary school PE and 7th grade bible class. the kids were great and thankfully most of them speak english. We went through all of our warm up drills and played some soccer. It was a great first day. The 7th graders are a little shy but they will come around. Tonight I am going to a spanish Church of God foot washing youth service with some friends but I haven't visited one of the english speaking churches yet. It is very crazy how many churches are on the island but there is very little outreach. A Wendy's opened up about a mile from our apartments this week which is the big excitement in our area of the island. I have already been twice and thoroughly enjoyed my number 6, spicy chicken. Here are a few pictures of the past 2 weeks. We went to the beach on the other side of the island last weekend with the other teachers. the first picture is the apartments for all the american teachers and the others are from the beach.

Mi Casa:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life without A/C

I have now been in Roatan for 5 days or cinco dias. The weather is great but hot and always humid, the people are incredible and the island is beautiful. Amy and I arrived flew in on Saturday and waited about an hour and a half to get through customs. At this point there had been knots in my stomach for days and waiting in a line clueless as to what is next didn't help. Eventually we got to our bags and were greeted by Ms. Nina, her husband and two kids. They helped us load up our 300lbs. of luggage and took us to our apartment. They treated us to some Bojangles on the way. Nothin' like local cooking!
We arrived at our apartments where we met our knew family of teachers. It seems like college all over again, just hotter with more responsibility and a lack of communication skills. I live with Mitch who is from Kansas and will be teaching 3rd grade. Our apartment is on the second story of an unfinished building on a single hallway where all of the other American teachers are out neighbors. Everybody is very nice, we are able to leave out doors open to the hall and visit from room to room. The new culture is definitely taking some getting used to, especially the language barrier. I am already learning some Spanish and am for the first time in my life enjoying learning it. We have explored about a mile in each direction of our new home where we have discovered some pieces of the beautiful coast, eating pork cooked by kids standing on the street, many local street vendors and the cell phone store.
The school is great, we are going through orientation for the next week but I am already getting a chance to meet kids and get schooled by five year olds in soccer. I love it. All of the equipment which has blown the students away who keep coming up and saying, "ayudo" "can I help". I have been doing nothing but pumping up balls for the past two days. The teachers and other faculty I have met are incredible and I look forward to serving the lord along side of them. I feel like I have been taken into a new family. It is a beautiful thing. God is here and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
I don't have my camera chord with me so I will upload some pictures later. Thanks for reading, have an awesome day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hands off

"It is good to give thanks to the lord and to sing praises to your name, O Most High; To declare your loving kindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night." Psalm 92:1-2

God is blessing every part of this journey to Honduras. I had no idea what to expect when I decided to raise some money for PE equipment. God laid it on my heart to simply ask, so I did. I wrote a support letter and sent about 20 out. It has been about a week and a half and already there are ten supporters and boxes of basketballs and soccer balls sitting in my living room. I ordered 9 brand new Umbro soccer balls and still need to order some nets, volleyballs, frisbee's and hockey sticks. It is so encouraging to see the way god has laid it on so many folks hearts to get behind the work he is allowing me to be a part of in Honduras. For the first time in a while I feel like I am in a place where God has complete control. My hands are off the wheel and he has led me exactly where He wants me to be. It is a great feeling to know that He is ultimately in control and will always lead us as long as we let go. The fund raising has been in his hands and still is. These students are going to be so excited and blessed by this new equipment and hopefully about having a real PE teacher. Everything that has been and that will be given is appreciated more than I can express. These kids are going to flip out at the sight of brand new soccer and basketballs. I praise the lord for everything he is doing and what He is going to continue to do.

"For you, O Lord, have made me glad by what you have done, I will sing for joy at the works of your hands." Psalm 92: 4

Monday, May 18, 2009


I have created this blog to serve as my means to share where I am and what God is allowing me to be a part of. I am excited to be following him on this journey of life in the shadow of the cross. I am currently preparing to go to Roatan, Honduras to teach physical education at a small Christian school on the island. The past three months have consisted of a lot of confusion, growth, and doors closing. God has called me to lay down my desires, to lay down my life and plans completely, and to follow him. I have no idea what to expect for the next year other than to see God glorified and his kingdom manifest through love in relationship and sports. God has been consistently invading the community of believers I am blessed to be a part on in Charleston and will continue to show up where his follower lay down in love before him. I am excited to see this be carried out in Honduras and to here about the ways he continues to move through you, his children, THE CHURCH!