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July 7 , 2003
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

OK, this weeks theme also seems to be on water -- but not the rainy kind!! Given the delay in funding by UNICEF for the Santa Rosa projects (our basketball court included), we had to come up with another kind of project for this week. So, given that the kids had busted the valve I had put on the exposed end of the city water line and we had a running fire hydrant for a while last Saturday before we got it temporarily capped again, we adopted the project of burying a line to connect the city water line to the tank in our ceiling. It cost about $90 in labor and materials and will save us about $15 per month.

Our first attempt was not entirely successful as the line had enough pressure that when the water came Saturday morning (only runs for 30 - 60 minutes Saturday and Sunday mornings), it blew apart some of our plumbing. Fortunately it was an exposed part that is on the outside of our building, so there was no damage... just some wet people and another temporary fire hydrant (in which we jammed a hose to fill up the back pila (water tank / laundry thingy). Anyways, repaired once the city shut off the water again and the line went dry. Sunday morning I witnessed success when the line worked perfectly -- including the shutoff valve in the tank in the ceiling. Of course, when the line started up at 7:00am, it was blowing a mixture of air and water. It was so noisy that I jumped out of bed and ran outside to see where the jet was going to crash that was obviously flying just over our roof (the tank is about 10 feet from my bed). Anyways, I stayed up to make sure no more lines blew apart and the shutoff valve functioned properly.

We also finally cleared the front part of our hill as we were again losing parts of it due to the heavy rains. So we cleared off all the brush and scrub grass and planted sod there. We ended up about 200 feet short of sod and will have to finish Monday morning. Once finished, the entire front part of our property will be nicely sodded and in dire need of a goat to keep the grass short. Our drain lines are working well as we have no other problems with rain runnoff and erosion.

On Thursday night after the final English class for adults (until I return in August), Alejandra and I drove to San Pedro Sula where we crashed at a friend of hers until 5:30am when we went to catch a bus to Tegucigalpa. In Teguc. we were able to meet with Mr. Reid Sirrs, the senior Canadian government representative in Honduras (our embassador is at the embassy in Costa Rica). We were able to spend an hour with him bringing him up to speed on our project and our desires for replication of the model in other cities such as Tela. It was great to finally meet him and he was able to provide some good advice rgarding the processes to follow for pursuing further Canadian International Development Agency funds. He also provided some good information and contacts on a recycling project in La Entrada (40 minutes from Santa Rosa de Copán) which could help us to develop a recycling project here in Santa Rosa.

My brilliant idea: set up a small plastic pop bottle recycling plant here in Santa Rosa. This serves 4 purposes: 1) helps clean up our garbage on the ground mentality in Honduras and 2) we could use the recycled plastic to produce the casings for water filters such as Samaritan's Purse (if they ever get back in contact with us) and 3) it would provide some employment in a desparately economically depressed area and finally 4) selling the filters or other such products can provide a model for self-sustainability for our center and is replicable in other regions of the country. Obvious hurdles are: cost of equipment to set up and then sufficient and efficient supply of raw materials (empty used pop bottles). We may have a lead on an available plastic injection molder in San Pedro Sula and I believe that is the most expensive componenet. However, I have much to learn on this subject and a peace corp volunteer is working on a project summary and budget. He's also willing to chase US AID for participation funding as well. Finally, I have a local church interested in getting involved with us on an educational and operational basis since their strength is certainly not on the funding side of things.

Final news of the week -- La Roca junior soccer allstars once again produced a victory this Sunday morning using uniforms and soccer shoes donated by members of the Cochrane and Airdrie communities. This time it was a good game against a team of equal size and age. After the game, the team came back to the center to wash their jerseys in our pila before chowing down on hotdogs. After hotdogs and before watching the rather violent Sylvester Stallone movie "Judge Dredd", we had a talk.They weren't aware that a good part of the Bible was written by a sports fan. So we talked about I Corinthians 9:24-25 where Paul talks about the hard training that serious athletes endure for a temporary prize, and that in life there are winners and losers. To lose has nasty eternal consequences and to win is a simple step of faith and acceptance of a reality that they vaguely know -- the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the only way to reconciliation with God. Before talking with the guys, I prayed for direction on what to talk about and God certainly came through. They paid attention and interacted well in the discussion. Please pray for these 14 guys -- they are between 12-15 years old and regular participants at our center. A small group like that with fire in their veins could change the face of this neighborhood both physically and spiritually. Our methods here at La Roca focusses on practical opportunities for the kids and women, but our ultimate goal always remains to see these people in heaven.

Still looking for groups to talk to in July / August regarding our projects in Central America as we are always looking for partners to help develop and strengthen our projects here. If you know of any opportunity, please contact me at phil@timko.ca This is the last update for a month. I fly to Canada on Tuesday, July 8th and plant to return to Honduras on August 10th.

Prayer requests:

Praise that we finished the water line and it works
Praise for the good meeting with Tela with Mr. Reid Sirrs
The transmission on our Isuzu Rodeo started acting up on Thursday. Need wisdom, money or a miracle to address this.
A fantastic director for Tela with lots of initiative, patience and a heart for God. Sailing abilities a bonus...
Need to sell my home in Canada as my renter left one year early and I need the funds from my house to continue our project in San Pedro Sula.
Christian volunteers to help us achieve our ultimate goal of helping to make Christ real to people we're helping
Opportunities to speak to groups in Canada when I'm back (July 9 - Aug 9)