Monday was pretty busy - at the end of the day I saw my friend Dennis as I drove into the gate. He had been crying and I asked him if there was a problem. He told me that his grandmother had died. In 3rd world countries, death usually results in a pretty quick burial. There isn't much formal funeral home work for the poor so - it's necesary to get some newly departed into the ground before the odor changes too much. Since Dennis' grandmother died in the afternoon on Monday, it meant that the funeral and burial was to happen on Tuesday. I told Dennis that I would drive him and that we would leave at 7:00 AM the following morning.
Early Tuesday Noel - the former minister in Santa Ana - asked if he could go with Dennis and me. Well when it was time to go, I thought that we would have 3 in the truck. Welcome to Honduras - Dennis had his 2 boys and his ex-wife. On the way into Tegucigalpa, Dennis had a call and I heard him say - red truck - double cab. As we turned off the highway toward our destination Dennis said - there is my sister. We stopped to pick her up - along with her daughter. Now we had 8 in the truck. We headed out toward Danli and the road was pretty typical - lots of holes in the road. About 10 KM short of Danli, we truned toward the final destination - a town called Taupasanti - it was listed at 29 km away and initially the road was great. After about 5 min, all that changed and the dirt soon became mud and the straight became curves and the flat became mountains and the edge became steeeeep clifs. It was pretty much a crazy ride going around the hair pin turns on mud. If I didn't believe in God before this ride, I would have still prayed!
On the way into Taupasanti, we picked up another 9 or 10 of the family and finally made it to the house - the palce of the funeral too. Dennis' mom met us at the car and immediately wanted me to "meet" her mother. The meeting was brief and then she insisted that I eat. The family is very poor and the only food was rice and tortillas - there was only 2 plates in the house and they insisted that I use one of them. I didn't realy want to eat - not because of fear of ilness but because of the fact that there wasn't enough food in the house for very many people.
After lunch, I heard Dennis ask Noel if he would preside at the funeral. The service was brief and later we left in the procession - everybody walked and the casket was carried by grandsons - about 2 blocks toward the town square and back to the cemetary for burial. The family was responsible for both digging the grave and filling it in.
Leaving Taupasanti, Dennis asked if I could give a few of his family a ride closer to their houses. The "Few" turned into about 30. Yes - there were 30 people in and out of my truck. We drove up the mountain about 10km so that the family would be closer to their houses. They still had 2 hours to walk to get home - almost all up a mountain. Crazy.
We lightened the load down to 10 back to Teguc.
We finished the day by arriving back at the house at about 6:00 - just in time for our 7:00 Tuesday "midweek" worship.
I am blessed that I was able to share this day with Dennis and his family.
Be a blessing to somebody today!