So in good faith to keep the promise I made last time I wrote an update, here is our quarterly update for 2019. We were truly blessed by all the love we received while we were home on our furlough. It’s always so good for the soul to see family and friends and to meet with supporter, to give them a face to face update. This would be the format I would enjoy most of all, due to my lack of love for tech, especially when you realize the newest computer in the house is seven years old and took 30 minutes to boot up.
Our time back was so much different than in years past. With the edition of our sweet daughter we experienced a very different time back in the states. She was born on November 12th 2018, making her only fourteen and half months younger than her brother. Having her was less stressful and we were able to navigate the process a lot more fluidly, having been thru it not so long ago. Mainly dealing with the birth certificate/ registering her here in Honduras and dealing with the birth abroad and passport process thru the embassy. I will be honest I am not going to miss the trips to all the Honduran government offices and appointments with the embassy. Turns out all government processes make no sense and take a lot of time to receive very little, no matter the country you are doing it in. We received her passport and we were off. We returned to the States in mid-December. Met at the airport by my sweet mother who was kind enough to bring our car to Atlanta, so that we could drive to Nashville instead of waiting for a slim chance to make the connection flight on standby tickets. The kids did great on the flight, Houston at this point has become a frequent flyer at 16 months old and has been on 6 flights, Harper being 3 weeks old slept the whole time. I will say that flying is not the same with a baby in your lap. As soon as we reached our car in Atlanta we realized just how much our family had grown, two car seats take up the entire back seat and our double stroller the entire trunk of the car. Our checked baggage was sent on thru to Nashville, our carryon luggage, backpacks and diaper bags all went in the really nifty weatherproof bag that goes on top of your car. Our travel to Nashville was uneventful and the kids slept the whole way. The next day I was going to go to the Nashville airport and get our luggage only to find that it did not make it on the flight, being standby the agent told me that it could be up to 7 days before they sent it. Of course 90% of our lives were in those bags, along with most of the stuff we needed for the kids. Praise the Maker for Walmart and my original plan of just getting settled in and chilling the first week we were there. We were blessed by some very dear friend’s, which traded our small sedan for a large SUV. It made traveling and daily life so much easier. Houston began to walk while we were stateside and talking up a storm, obviously no language that we are familiar with. We spent Christmas in TN and then traveled to NC for the remainder of our time back. We were blessed by a sweet family that allowed us to use their garage apartment, so that we could have our own space. I loved seeing everyone love on our children and offer to watch them while we tried to accomplish a year’s worth of task in 3 short weeks. Morgan got her wish to see snow and we stayed up all night to witness the lunar eclipse. We got to travel and see good friends that had moved back to NC after 5 years. I really enjoyed getting to attend my men’s group while back and discussing their upcoming mission trip to Honduras. My sweet mother drove us to Atlanta and stayed the night with us, so that we did not have to get up at 2:30 am with the kids to make a connection flight. I think it has always been hard to say goodbye to her at the airport, but now with her grandbabies in tow it is extremely hard and I am grateful she cares about us that much. We returned to Honduras at the beginning of February with in total 700lbs of stuff ha-ha, it was very interesting to say the least.
I hit the ground running upon our return. The typical issues had to be addressed upon arrival, restock all the perishable food and enjoy the super bowl with some great friends that picked us up from the airport. With my men’s group arriving in just 3 short weeks it was instant long days of logistics. These men are so faithful to my family and the level of support emotionally and financially, but also to the work that they have committed to accomplish every year. Leading up to a construction team many tasks have to be accomplished, the most important is finding the work that needs to be done. It has become almost an annual tradition that these men pour a slab on one of the Ignite buildings. I had the foundation put in before we left on furlough, but was lacking the backfill and rough in plumbing before their arrival. 122 cubic meters of backfill to be exact, and that is all by hand, meaning the truck dumps it and it is loaded with a shovel in a wheelbarrow then hand tamped with a 10”X10” hand tamp. During that I was vetting families for potential projects for the men to accomplish. This being their fourth year and fifth trip, I really wanted to raise the bar for them this year. So I found a very large floor for the first day, it was a 26 bagger about 500sqft luckily we were able to get the mixer to this one. The job was for an older gentleman whom had lost his wife 13 years previously. This job was cool because this man was a professional mason his whole life, but had never lived in a home with a concrete floor, he was also a very typical construction worker type hard nose guy that did not want to open up just work. There was all small bedroom that he had stored all their belongings in to do the floor. At the end of the day we always share our experience and ask them if they would like to say anything, during this time one of the guys told him that on Wednesday when we came back to do his neighbors floor we would love to knock out that little room for him as well. He responded almost as if he did not believe these men would keep their word. The next project was a very large reroof, we typically don’t do roofs this big because the cost are just too much. It’s yet another thing I love about these men and that is they do an amazing job at fundraising and allows me to accomplish the task. The other reason is not every team has skilled guys on the team. Another great thing I love about these men, they look at themselves like a body or unit, many parts to make up one thing. Some of them are better at raising funds and being available as a laborer and they also don’t help getting the skilled guys down here financially. Being a construction worker I remember wanting to go, but no paid vacation and week missed of work made that very difficult. With that being said this roof was a beast. 34’ long one side was 10’ and the other 16’ with a post and beam for the porch. I have seen my fair share of houses here and this one was built solid but it was way out of level, like 8.5” from end to end. Having some guys that I could set on various task allowed us to overcome the difficulties and deliver a solid roof. I always wonder what goes thru these people’s minds as they witness the work and then that first night sleeping under their new roof. The third day I was asking them to step up their game, as we set out to knock out two floor projects by hand, with the room from the first day added to it. The first house was a three room ranch style the middle room already had concrete so we were doing the bedroom and kitchen rooms. Typically I bring Ruben along with us on the concrete jobs to have a professional, but praise be to the Lord he had found steady work near his home. Fortunately these men take this trip serious and the men that had worked alongside Ruben in previous years took the bull by the horns and screeded and slicked the floors. I was really impressed with their drive and attention to detail. Upon completion of the that house we walked up the hill to the first house to find it all locked up, the guys were kind of bummed and I told them to hold on and I walked around to the back of the house was where the room was. I found the window to be open and also that the little old man had already poured the guide rails for the screed. By the time I made it back to the front the little old man had appeared and his demeanor had completely changed from the first day. I was inside pouring, but each time the guys brought in a wheelbarrow load they were saying what a beast this old man was. The first day he had asked us to pray for his back that had went out and kept him from working. I believe the Lord gave the man a fresh back, because I’ve never had concrete waiting on me when we are hand mixing. The second house we went to after lunch, was probably the saddest house these men had ever seen. It was a single room home with a make shift front porch with a half wall and outdoor kitchen with third hand metal roofing for the walls. The family was a husband and wife and three small children. The main room floor was clearly backfill from whatever dirt they could find, it was loaded with trash of all sorts and broken shards of glass and tile. It also had that distinct scent of old urine, which is common that someone above them runs there septic downhill. What stood out to me the most about this job was just how broken and defeated the man acted. He would not even look up when he was talking just stared at the ground. It’s pretty common that people are standoffish when we get started, but especially with these men by the end of the day everyone is cutting up and laughter and smiles break through. Sometimes the phrase someone always has it worse just doesn’t hold the same weight, not seen or met too many families/houses worse than this one. Our last day of projects was two roofs in one day, although they were just reroofs and not complete builds, meaning we only took the old metal or terra cotta off and replaced with metal. The first house was for a man named Melvin that I have had some interaction with previously, mainly he was cutting my trees down to sell for fire wood, for him and his buddies to buy liquor. So I think when I approached him about it he was taken back. His previous house which was comprised of mainly the round part of trees that they leave behind after milling the logs for lumber, which was burnt down and if I had to guess it was probably for cutting down someone’s trees and selling them for firewood. So the Catholic Church helped him with a one room block house. He had a few C channel so we cut channels into the block and set the C channel, we also set a few post and a beam to have a small porch area. During our work a few of his drunk buddies showed up and gave the guys an opportunity to minister to them. That afternoon we headed up the mountain to a house about 1/8 of mile from my house, which being that close to me none of these people have ever came and asked me for anything, knowing that this is the type of work I do here. I am constantly being hit up for a floor or a roof and I am sure they are real needs, but I am only one person and have limited resources. This one stands out to me because we came in like a whirlwind. In 30 min we had all the terracotta striped and replaced a few 1x4’s that were rotten and started throwing down metal. It was 32’ long and each side was 12’ panels and we knocked it out in about 3.5 hours. It was cool cause across the street there was some men digging footers and I know the opinion that gringos are lazy, so I hope that it showed these men that my guys came to work not be tourist. The last day of work for the men was pouring the pad for Ignites fourth building, which will be an eatery, kitchen, dry storage and maid’s quarters. This brought a lot of people together mainly cause of how hot it had been, and last year the second half of the slab got rained on. So we had the men from the team, three of the ignite pastors, Ruben came out to help, six men from the village that I’ve worked on various projects and my good friend Ken with his 15 years of concrete experience and a second mixer. We knocked out a 48’x30’ slab in 6 hours and I was not sad it didn’t take longer.
My main focus in the last month and half have been this project. Mainly due to the fact that my good friend and professional electrician was headed back to the states for furlough. So instead of waiting on a team, David, Wilmer, OnÉ and myself got to welding. We set all the corners welded up all the rafters, the purlins and the beams. We are getting pretty efficient cause in seven days we had it up and roofed. Afterwards Wilmer and I began to frame it up with furring strips for the ceiling and metal studs for the walls. This was an awesome opportunity to see how much Wilmer had retained from last year when he helped me on the dorm we built. I was pleased to see that he retained a good bit of the knowledge, but more than anything is that he finally had learned how to use a drill. It took us about a week to get it all framed up and have it ready for the electrical and plumbing rough in. I want to say just how blessed and thankful for the people the Lord has laid in my path during this season of building these buildings. Especially my buddy Sam there are a lot of things I am willing to give it a go and try to accomplish on my own, but electrical is not one of them and with all the issues here in Honduras I’m not real confident in the electricians here. He has kindly come out a few times to offer his talents free of charge and with a humble heart, he is a true example of a missionary and I am grateful to know him. Of course he rouged it all in, in less than a day and to prove my point a Honduran look at the panel and was like “that is overkill on all the breakers!” I did take on the plumbing the whole time thankful to the men’s group for bringing all the pex pipe and fittings, and to my buddy Brad who gave me all the crimp tools and took the time to show me how it’s done. Granted the whole time I was wanting someone like him to come do if for me. Just this past week Wilmer, OnÉ and I knocked out the fiber cement panels for the exterior. I try not to make these days 100% about work but also like to use them as opportunities to disciple and minister to the men. I want them to learn from me more than just how to build something a new way with a new material. I want them to see me be patient, humble and full of the Spirit, which in case you don’t know me well straight up working and getting it done hard and as fast as possible is my natural tendency, so if you need something to pray about this is an area I could really use your prayers in. We will be installing the drywall in the following week with a team from the Bridge fellowship Lebanon TN. campus, then the end of May a men’s team from the Bridge Fellowship Watertown TN. campus will be coming to install the tile in both dorms and this building as well.
Looking back on all that has taken place over the last four years with the building of the Ignite property I am without any doubt that the Lord brought me here at this time to be over this project and to do as much of the work as possible. I have estimated by changing the style and materials we have saved at least $50,000 in labor and materials. I was able to come in and use my previous construction experience not only to do/lead the physical aspect, but also the negotiating aspect of it and coordinating all the material deliveries of using my truck to bring it all in. It has not been without its headaches and frustrating moments, but every time I pull up on the property I can only imagine the legacy. Maybe someday even one of my own children are leading a team up to these buildings to come and serve the people of Honduras. This honestly is not what I imagined I would be doing as a missionary in Honduras and it is not all that I do, but over the last 3 years it has had about 80% of my attention. It also is reminding me to have a kingdom mindset, that it takes all types to achieve the will of the Lord. I wanted to share this because I feel that I need to make this my focus this year. Last year having so many irons in the fire, caused somewhat of a burnout feeling and it really was tough to have that joy to return. I want to devout my time to this project and see it to completion this year. I am hopeful to have completed all three of the buildings and also that Ignite gets the well drilled and the principle power ran to the property. This is an area you could cover the ministry in prayer because those two projects are estimated $30,000. I am hopeful that our first team in 2020 will be using these facilities. What is lacking that is scheduled to be completed, is what I laid out before the drywall and tile being completed by the end of May. What is lacking that I could use prayer and physical help completing is; exterior trim of doors & windows, soffit and fascia, hanging gutters and downspouts and drain lines, hanging all the interior doors, trimming all the interior doors and windows, setting all the toilets, terminate the plumbing fixtures and install all the traps, terminate all the electrical outlets, switches and fixtures build-out all the dry storage and kitchen storage, form and pour all the sidewalks, form and pour driveway and parking lot, and finish grade and landscaping. These are not feel good projects in the sense that you are not going to be directly working on some impoverished persons home, but what you like I am doing is you will be serving in a capacity that someday will house and feed folks that are going to come and directly work with those people. Our prayer is that you also will commit to an annual trip, that coming and serving on this project it would give you a vision of something your gifts can fulfill in the future.
Please continue to cover the Davis family in prayer. If you feel lead to come and help in any of these projects please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are constant need of financial support as we continue to grow as a family. If you feel lead to give follow the link to donate on this website. Please share this and all our other needs, consider at least advocating for us in your circles of influence.