The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

can i pull those six teeth for you, sir??

After what seems like a long time of busyness, the truck is in the shop and we have a couple of down days.

A couple weeks ago I drove some construction materials out to a church in a village called Azecualpa, an hour and a half from here at the end of a 4-wheel-drive trail. The church was installing 6000 pounds of ceramic tiles and cement, which we delivered in two trips with the truck and utility trailer. This same church had a celebration service last weekend for their 28th anniversary in this location, and for the celebration had the ceiling and floor finished. I attended their service, and was truly blessed to be there.

This morning a dental team left that has been in the area for the past week, extracting and fixing teeth in surrounding villages. We have been helping them with transportation, translating, finding medical supplies in town and diving in and assisting with the dental work. Be sure and notice the cute nurse in the pink gloves. Getting to work with short-term mission teams is one of the highlights of being down here; we very much enjoy getting to know them and wish them well on their return trip.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He Is Risen.........

Today is Saturday.

Random thoughts I've had...


It is HOT. It is MUGGY. It is buggy. :)

(But Easter is to tease you with...story following.)

Then the surrounding life we have...

It has been busy. Alan has had several road trips including one last night in which he transported a sick child and his family from a small back end town into Gracias for a long hospital visit then returned them home afterwards. It wasn't that difficult of a trip even when you take into account the one vehicle he pulled out of the river (so HE could get across) and the other one that he towed back into Gracias along with the 10 passengers or was just late, long, and unexpected. I shouldn't be surprised, that is a rather good motto for our lives lately. :) The child has hepatitis and will need to be monitored but he was released from the hospital.

I have finished packing Pastor's gift boxes so now I'm working on doing data entry for updated info on these pastors and their families. So far we're in the 200s as far as how many boxes were done. I'll have final numbers later in the week. There are some donations that I've sorted and we're storing for next years' project. The Sowers family is handling the leftovers that are at their home still.

Now for some picture explanations...
The kids have been off school this week due to the celebration and vacation schedule for Semana Santa. This is Holy week and it is a big deal here. Yesterday we went into Santa Rosa de Copan to see and watch the 'Alfombras' (carpets). This is an amazing sight to see. We'd heard about them but had yet to see it in person.

These carpets are laid out 8ft wide in a path starting from the Catholic Church downtown. This goes for 15-20 blocks in a 'circle' and winds up back at the church. They bring a statue of Jesus out and walk the stations of the cross through these carpets.

It is amazing to see. Not only the care and beauty that people are creating out of sawdust and colors but the community celebrating. The pictures here will not completely do it justice but will give you an idea.

We went with our friends the Wards and another family that is there visiting. It was interesting to stop and visit with the people that had created their section and talk about the tradition involved in their families doing this project together.

As they were walking around with the statue of Jesus and the people following you can't help but be affected. Riley and I were talking at one point about how sad it was. I added that it is sad and horrific but that only adds to the wonder of it. But of course, we have the hope and peace of Sunday's resurrection. You can't fully reap the joy of that Sunday morning without realizing Friday's sacrifice, humiliation, and suffering. The obedience Jesus had to God the Father, the
love God had for us in sending him in the first place, the love that Christ had for us, and the joy set before him.

He endured it.

And won.

I would do well to remember that continually.

Happy Easter. He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed...

With love,

Faith for the Hayes family.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

of chickens and hammock bridges ...

Last week I spent two days working with a short-term mission team from Santa Barbara, California in a village called Belen Gualcho, building chicken coops and delivering laying hens to several families. I also spent two days in Mapulaca working on bridge-related stuff.

The pictures in this post are a sort of working documentary of the bridge project to date. I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that Allen Sowers and I have been working on a design for a series of bridges in the southern part of the departamento of Lempira, in conjunction with several local communities and a humanitarian organization called ASONOG. This past week we made a trip to Mapulaca to deliver most of the designed and welded pieces needed for the first of these, and also met with the foreman overseeing the labor on the job and took some final measurements of where the bridge will go.

These pieces, and the design overall, are the product of several days of design work, creating solid-model parts and assemblies of the design in 3-D CAD (which we just happen to have on our computer), making and printing drawings of the parts off the computer model, and then ordering material and cutting, forming and welding the pieces up in our carport. All this, amidst cats, drying laundry and kids doing homework. We sound like some kind of pathetic garage band or crazed science fiends.

The above picture is of an early draft of one of the drawings. I say this because it's a bit of a mess, but was fine for using myself to make the bends in the rebar and weld up the pieces. Part of the project, however, involves getting the drawings into a state where the local people will be able to build off of them; thus the Spanish. Copies of these drawings have already been made for a couple of municipalities here and other parties who are interested in the design, with more meetings already planned with international aid organizations.

Once the rebar is cut and bent, the whole thing is welded together. The pipes are for the cables of the bridge to wrap around. In general it's not necessary to weld rebar for something like this, but with the inclusion of the pipes we need to weld them.

Square columns for the corners. A very common building practice in Latin America is to have sets of 4 rebar, wired together to form a square column that is then left sticking out the top of un-finished cement structures. These have to fit together with other pieces, and so most of the supporting wires are left off for now.

Delivery of the pieces to the bridge site. The drive takes the better part of 5 hours each way, over roads in some places 6 inches deep in powdery dust. The final half hour is over terrain I really don't think one could get over without 4 wheel drive and serious ground clearance. The river is low enough to walk over now.

Pieces delivered to a house just up the bank from the bridge site. It will be several weeks before these will be installed; to keep them from walking off we leave them close to someone's house.

Bridge site. This picture is taken from the site of one of the abutments; total bridge length will be about 130 feet.