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Local church groups return from Honduras missions

For about 15 years now, people from First Baptist Church of Thomson have been going to Honduras for mission trips.

This year, Thomson First United Methodist Church also took a trip to the impoverished country.

The group from First Baptist was led by Tommy Phelps.

"There's such a need there," Mr. Phelps said. "It's such a poor country."

Tammy Kay Brunson, who went with the Methodist group, said that prices also contribute to the economic distress.

"The people there are poor," Mrs. Brunson said, "and they have to pay the same prices we do for things"

The income per person for the country is the equivalent of about $2,000 American dollars.

The group from First Baptist had two main goals beyond Christian ministry in Lastrojas, the village in which they stayed.

The first involved medical assistance to the community, which included general medicine, dentistry, and pharmaceutical care.

Among those treated by the team was a young child who had cut half of her thumb off with a machete in the sugar cane fields.

The crew also did construction work, including pouring concrete floors, digging latrines and installing stove pipes.

The most memorable part of the trip was the interaction with villagers, according to Mr. Phelps.

"It was a very successful trip," Mr. Phelps said. "The people there were so receptive, and they showed our people such compassion and love."

The First Methodist mission team worked in the city of La Ceiba, a city on the country's northern coast in which there is a fully functioning Methodist church.

"For such a poor and depressed place, they have a really remarkable outreach program in that community," Mrs. Brunson said.

Churches across Georgia support that congregation financially, as well as those located in the nearby villages of El Pino and San Francisco.

Mrs. Brunson said that the $13,000 contribution of her church family had an impact on the success of the trip.

"It was the support of the congregation that really made this trip possible," Mrs. Brunson said.

Her group also did both construction and medical work.

The construction team was able to complete two projects, including a kitchen where the Honduran church could serve lunch for children of pineapple field workers.

The two nurses that went on the trip were able to help treat around 50 children a day in the church's medical clinic.

Mrs. Brunson said that, despite the language barrier, it was a blessing to work alongside people who shared her Christian beliefs.

"We were working hand in hand with folks who had a faith as strong as we did," Mrs. Brunson said. "These are the people I'm going to spend eternity with."

Web posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006

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