Roger & Katrina Engle
Missionaries to Honduras
Katrina originally worked in Honduras in 1992-3. She was injured in a plane crash when the pilot stalled the plane after an aborted landed on account of animals that had run onto the field. The plane was destroyed, everyone was badly injured, but no one died. She returned several times since and now with her husband, Roger, she lives there once again. Here below is their most recent newsletter.
Well, the Engle family has been here a year in June. I have been blessed in that I have not had homesickness or what they call culture shock that most missionaries go thin at all.., well almost.
This month has been the most trying of all. After the first group of children we took out for surgery resulted in success we were contacted by the same group of surgeons, who asked us to bring out another group of children to the city of Dahnli , also for hare lip surgeries. We were assured that transportation would be provided both ways by the military of Honduras. Our budget could not cover such a trip so shortly after the other.
We sent for two children, both little boys, and there mothers from Nicaragua. They all arrived barefoot, sick and very scared. During the days that followed they were almost-overwhelmed with the task of an adjusting to our food, (We don't use a half pound of lard to cook a pot of rice, for example.) Learning to use the outhouse instead of the bushes they were accustomed to, and making daily trips to the hospital to prepare them for surgery. Meanwhile I also contacted the mother of the little girl who could not be operated on last month due to anemia. She had been on vitamin treatments to strengthen her blood.
The big day came and three children, three mothers, an interpreter and myself set out for Moccoron. A three and a half hour trip in the back of a pick-up truck, complete with eighteen people, to make the uncomfortable hot, tooth-jarringly bumpy journey. We were to catch the plane the next day so the local pastor let us sleep together on the floor. We made it to the military base at 630 a.m., where we sat on the sidewalk and waited for the 9 a.m. plane. At noon I asked to speak to the colonel, who informed me that the plane had been postponed until the following week. With no cars in sight we had the option of spending the night there, (on the floor again), or walking two miles with our bags to the (dirt) road to hitch hike home. We hitch hiked. Three of our five women were pregnant and there we were broiling in the hot sun, taking turns carrying bags and babies, looking for a way back home. According to the soldiers on base, four or five cars pass that way each day. My faith dwindled about as quickly as our food and water as we sat and waited by the side of the road, Three cars did come by, all going the wrong direction and finally, in the late afternoon, a huge stake bed truck came by carrying wood staked six feet high on a truck bed that is already about four feet of the ground.
`Second option of the day, go in the back of the truck, ten feet of the ground on top of the wood, or continue to wait and hope for another vehicle. Not seeing much chance of a better ride appearing before the rapidly approaching nightfall, we took the truck. I hung on to the ropes that secured the wood on the truck and took turns holding the children and our cargo, hoping neither one fell off. The bumps in the road were magnified as we road on and the ropes were beginning to cut off the circulation in my fingers. I was fighting back the tears wondering for the first time what exactly was I doing here, and why? if God didn't care enough to send the plane for these children why should I? Doubt and self-pity began to attack and then it started to rain. I began wondering what terrible sin I had committed to be punished so. When we arrived I informed my husband I was ready to quite and go back to the good old U.S.A..
After informing the mothers that the surgeries would now be cancelled we started trying to arrange their transportation back to Nicaragua. Then we got word that a group of Americans from mission on the Move would be coming in a week with the D.C-3 from Missionair. Would they have enough space on their flight back to La Ceiba for us to catch a free ride? We waited and prayed and when they arrived I swallowed my pride and asked Doc Helmer if he could help us. “Sure” be said. Now we had a one way ride. We still needed surgeons because the date to meet the other ones had come and gone. A missionary in Dahnli contacted a plastic surgeon friend in San Pedro Sula who agreed to do the surgeries for free. I called some friends from Tampa and told them of our need and between them and Harvest Church, also in the Tampa Bay area, money was sent for the bus fare we needed and the airplane trip home.
When we finally arrived and I thanked Doc Helmer for saving the day he replied,
“I have been used by men and I have been used by God and I tell you, I would rather be used by God.” that was the last time I talked to Doc, as he died four days later flying a smaller plane on a practice flight. I was told thirty souls were saved watching the Jesus film he brought to La Moskitia the weekend before. Our hats off for Doc and we send our condolences to the Helmer family. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Robert Helmer died in plane crash. He was a blessing to the missionaries in Honduras!
Hope, the wife of the director of M.O.M., wouldn't hear of us sleeping on the floor of the local church and covered our hotel and food expenses while we were in La Ceiba. Another woman bought new outfits for each of the children to were after surgery. Having a few days to spare before the surgeries I traveled with M.O.M while they ministered to the homeless, the sick, and the children. I made lots of new friends and now know why our footsteps were redirected.
My faith grew stronger and stronger and I had to repent for my previous doubt. I am told that the night is always darkest before the dawn. Satan's greatest tool is discouragement. It takes faith to continue even when your work appears to be in vain.
Four days later the surgeries were performed and all three were successful although the little girl will need two or three more. I thank God that three children suffering from hare lips now have new smiles, and if you ask me, “Was it worth it?” I'd have to answer, “Yes it was !“
Doors are opening to us here to go and look for children in more remote areas who are in need of special surgeries. Volunteering at the local hospital has enabled us to call on free use of the new operating room whenever there is a need. People are wanting to bring special surgeons here to work on patients who could not make the trip to the city, which is far away and expensive to reach. Please pray for the operations, transportation, food, and lodging for those who need it.
We thank you for your love, prayers and support. The Engle Family (Roger, Katrina, Roger Jr., Christian)
Send Financial support to:
Payable to Roger and Katrina Engle
New Testament Church and Mission
604 Lemon St.
Sebring, FL. 33870-6915