Friday, August 19, 2011

update on our Honduran Angel

This is the updated email I received from Josefina.  Please continue to pray for Angel and the many other people in Honduras who need our help and prayers, not just for 1 week a year but year round.  Also, in this post is the picture that Dr. Greg took, before he knew who Angel was.  God was talking to him even then.

This email was sent Tuesday 8/16/11.  sorry for the delay I will get better about updating sooner.
Dear Randall,

I hope this finds you well in health and spirits!

I am sending this message to share the blessing of seeing Angelica. I met her and her father, Alexander, for the first time last Friday.

We went together to the clinic where she used to be cared for. I looked for the Social Worker and found out who was the person that should help me with guidance on her case. I saw the doctor Angelica was supposed to be seen by, about 3 years ago, and she told me that according to the files, the treatment was abandoned. Then she sent me again to the social worked and she took me to the director of Social Services. When she looked at the papers we had, she said that in that clinic Angelica was not going to be able to find the support she needed because they provided other types of physical therapies but what she needed.

I told her that we wanted to find where the best place we could purchase the hearing aids for her...she said that those that we thought cost  about Lps. 8,000 (rh note: = about $430 US each ear) were not of good quality...that those would last only about one year. Although, she said that she was going to have a brigade from the US that would bring donations for hearing aids (PRAISE THE LORD!!!!) and those were of a much better quality that would last up to 5 years.

She sent me to another clinic because in order to get the appropriate size for Angelica, she needed her ears cleaned from wax so that the molds were accurate. I went to that clinic that Friday, but they gave me an appointment for Monday (today).

Today, we meet early in the morning to go to the clinic. The doctor, an Othorryno (rh note: ENT) specialist, saw her and even tried to find out if she could hear at least a bit...he put her earphones that they had and Angelica did not respond...sadly he said that he was not confident that Angelica would be helped only by the hearing aids...he said that if it was, she would also need a speech therapist so that she could identify the noises and learn how to use them and also learn sign language to communicate...and said that this was expensive, but it was needed.

He prescribed a special test to compare to the one we had...we have an appointment for August 25th at noon...after this, we will see how it is to plan a follow up.

We returned to the first clinic by noon, and the molds were made. The Social Worker will call us to let us know the dates the brigade will be down here in Tegucigalpa for the hearing aids. She says that normally is about the end of September or October.

We are so blessed that the Lord provided this help for Angelica!...if we get the hearing aids for free, then the money could be good for the speech therapy!

I have used some money already for expenses such as transportation and food...this is a little bit, but it counts because I do not have a budget of my own to do this, only a great love and commitment to serving God in the needy. I will have a report on the expenses after the hearing aids are given.

Fr. Dagoberto sent me this afternoon a phone number for Karen Blanco, in Yuscaran. I have tried to reach her but she doesn't respond. I will continue to call tomorrow. I will wait for news about the other person when he comes back from San Pedro Sula, perhaps next week.

Let us keep praying for Angelica...for the Holy Spirit to lead us to do our best for her with His help.

Thank you for all you do to serve Him!

Stay in touch!

Your sister Josefina.

Picture taken by Dr. Greg
Please keep Angel, Josephina, and the many other people who are doing God's work in your prayers. Especially the one's we don't know.
as I get more information I will post it here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Honduran Angel

I recently returned from my 3 mission trip to Honduras in 4 years. We skipped a year due to political unrest a couple of years ago. This journey, all the 2 previous was filled with joy, spirit, suffering, pain, happiness and was both draining and refilling of mind, body and spirit.

Each year there are many stories and events that stick in my mind, but there is always one which stands out the most, the first year was bringing the bible back to a village, the next year was being an "official" police transport for 3 Honduran prisoners and their captors.

This year was no different. It was the 3 day of the medial clinics and we were set up in a village called Rancho de Obispo I have been to Rancho at least one other time before this. 

There was something in the air, I could not put my finger on it but I knew God would be using our team in this village that day. It is not unusual to feel that way, but on this day it was particularly strong.

Early in the day, before our treatment nurse was completely set up, one of the providers, Dr. Greg, was performing 2 "minor" surgeries, which I found out about because someone came running into the pharmacy area and in a non-calm way announced "We need gauze, there is blood everywhere!"  it wasn't bad, but there was a lot of blood from the cancerous growth being removed from an older gentleman's nose.

I thought maybe this was what we were here, for but the feeling didn't pass. As the day went on it was relatively calm and going along smoothly, we only say about 50 patients before lunch (a light load), it seemed that it might be an early day. Boy was I wrong... by the end of the day we had seen over 170 patients, a very long afternoon/evening.

In the middle of the afternoon, Dr. Greg sent someone to find me, I was performing the role of Administrator of the Day, a.k.a. the guy walking around with the cup of coffee :-)  He needed me to talk with a family and the local church to see what, if anything we could do. This is when I met the Honduran Angel, literally her name was Angelica, Angel for short, she was 5 years old, and had the most beautiful smile.  It hit me almost immediately I had noticed her playing earlier, which is not odd I have a tendency to remember many of the face of people i meet but in this moment it was almost as if I knew her.  I think looking back i was not seeing Angel the little girl, rather I was seeing God in her eyes.

Dr. Greg went on to explain that Angel was almost completely deaf, they are not sure if she was born that way or if it has slowly deteriorated and they want to know if there is anything we can do to help. My first thought was not much except pray for a miracle. I then proceed to talk through two different interpreters to Angel's family as well as the local guardian, who would know about their financial needs and ability. I am not sure why I used 2 interpreters to talk to the family, maybe availability, but more likely I was making sure I was monitoring myself and asking all the right questions etc. 

What I learned was Angel and her family had been to 3 doctors, one or two of which were hearing specialist, which had confirmed it was not external blockage or non-addressable internal issue. She was about 90% deaf in both ears. Her family had been working with her to include her in society as much as possible, they had their own version of sign language and could community on a rudimentary level. Toward the end i found myself signing as I talked to her, granted my signing is about as good as my picito Spanish but it was enough.

Toward the end of the conversation I took Angel's picture and showed her the camera. Most of the time, when you take a picture and show it to a Honduran they will point to the picture and look at it and may identify themselves or others in the picture.  Angel however GRABBED the camera from me and studied it, then after a few seconds, she pointed to the picture of herself and said, what I guessed to be her version of the word "that" in Angel it is "dddddddddddt" then she pointed to herself. Next she said "that" again, pointed to her grandmother in the picture and to her grandmother sitting next to her, and a third time for her younger sibling sleeping in grandma's arms. She was SCREAMING in her soft voice, "I want to communicate!" "I want to learn!"  I then helped her take a picture of Dr. Greg, and she repeated the "that" process and then indicated she wanted to she the picture of herself again.

Angel, Her Grandmother and baby sibling

So here we have an intelligent 5 year old little girl with a family that loves her and wants to help her be a productive member of society. I later found out in talking with the team at Rancho others had noticed her, as soon as I started to describe her, people responded with "the girl in the blue dress?" or "the little girl with the big smile"  this to me was confirmation that i was not the only person God was talking to about Angel. Additionally, our pied piper (person who plays with the kids while parents wait/visit with the doctor) told me that the other kids had told her, the piper, that she couldn't talk, but had you not been told, you would have never know, she was right in the middle of the other kids, running, playing and laughing, even playing "duck, duck, goose" or as we call it in Honduras "gato, gato, raton" for 2 hours. 

So what could be done, how could we help her, simple the specialist had already diagnosed her, she was a candidate for hearing aids but her family could not afford them, and they did not ask us to pay for them, they simply asked, if there was anything we could do to help them take the next step of the journey.  How much are the hearing aides I asked... " 8,000 limpera each" with the current exchange rate that would be about $860 US for both ears. Not a small amount of money but to a Honduran a HUGE amount.

In my heart I had already decided I would find a way for Angel to hear her mother's voice, and I would be back to Rancho next year to hear directly from her what it was like. i also knew at that moment this is where God needs me for years to come and I would get the privilege of watching from a distance to see what God was going to do with Angel, it was clear to me he had a plan. 

However, i could not tell the family this, all i could say was, we would pray about it and see where God leads us, and IF it was possible we would work with the local church to help in whatever way we could.  We wrote down the Angel's name, her mother's name and an "address" and cell number where they should be able to be reached.

Later in the week I talked with our local person who helps with situations like this about what our options might be etc. i also talked with the leadership of Honduras Good Works to see what our financial options might be. On the financial side, HGW was able to "loan": the money with the intention of fund raising to back fill the coffers. on the medical side, Josephina was confident we would be able to mind a good doctor and the needed hearing aids and be able to get everything scheduled. Josephina would start working on it this week.

Tuesday night comes around and I got a message on facebook from Josephina, they had found and were working with a couple of other small cases we had identified and it was going well. However, so far they had been unsuccessful in finding Angel.

So, how can you help?  Three ways, the first two are free and relatively easy. If you are so moved, PRAY!  Pray that God's will is done in this situation, if it is His will for Angel to be found and for her to hear then Amen. If however, if it was enough for me and the others there, and you by extension to experience Him through our limited interaction with Angel then Amen.  Pray!  The second is share Angel's story and ask them to Pray!

The third is not free and I would only ask you to participate in a way that was not a burden to you, and that of course is financially, whether God leads us to find Angel or not, there are many kids who have medical needs which we are not able to address on our once a year visit but we can work thought the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras to help with as they come up.  If you are lead to contribute to this or any of the other programs that Honduras Good Works does you can find out more about HGWs  ( and make a contribution ( at their website.
If you are specifically donating to help Angel then in the Donation Designation area please  choose "Mission Honduras" and add a note about Angel on your contribution.

More Stories about this years journey to come, but had to get that out out there :-)

And as the story progresses I will add updates!
Your Brother,

Monday, February 28, 2011

There are no coincidences...

There are no coincidences...

It never ceases to amaze me how God works. Since meeting my biological father (or bio-dad as the kids say) over a year ago, I have struggled with the fact that we have not communicated more. My wife assures me, it is simply because we are a like I am not a communicator, and he has stated he is not a communicator.  I do not have good connection with people, I don't reach out to say hi that often, I am not quite sure what to say. I am not good at small talk etc.

This includes my family and friends. it is nothing personal I am just not a good at reaching out to people. Well, needless to say this has been on my heart lately for many reasons, I want to change it, I want to connect better with people, I don't want to wait until it is too late with my kids, I want to avoid having the same lack of relationship with them that I have with my family.

I also want to build new bridges with my recently discovered biological father, but as I stated earlier he suffers from the same lack of communication. 

When I found out that my "bio-dad" had had a stroke, I called and left a voice mail to let him know I was praying for him, he called back and left a voice mail that he was doing okay. Obviously there was a bit more to each of the voice mails but that is the jest.  Unfortunately that was the end of the conversation.

As it turns out I have been praying about this for a while, and very intensely as of late, but I have not done much about it. This past weekend our church had a faith alive meeting, which I was able to attend parts of. On Saturday evening we were in small groups and one of the people was talking about God coincidences, after the meeting I mentioned having read "When God Winks: how the power of coincidence guides your life" and the fact that there are not coincidences rather they are moments when God is winking at you and saying "I am thinking about you, hang in there". We leave the small groups and go back to the larger group and I, having a few minutes, am praying about a number of things, including my perceived inability to communicate... when I look up and see my biological father, well it wasn't him, but it was in fact his doppelganger, coincidence #1.  after a few minutes I approach him and say something to the effect that I was not sure how to say this but he looks just like my father, I show him the picture and he laughs and says "wow, often people tell me they have met me before but you are the 1st one to show me a picture of us"  he shows his wife and she sees the resemblance, as do several other people standing around, including my oldest son.  We chat a few more minutes about look-a-likes and family then the conversation moves on. 

Little do I know, I am not getting the message... a few minutes later the doppelganger asks if my phone takes pictures, I say yes and he says "why don't we take a picture together so you can send it to your dad" coincident #2 or said another way, I didn't get the message the 1st time so God said it again.  As it turns out we took the picture I sent it and my father and I are continuing to agree to find more ways to communicate more often.

Still not sure what that looks like but I know, in God's time and with His help, we will figure it out.  However I do know, there are no coincidences....


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mission Trip Update

If you haven't been watching the news lately you may not know that Honduras is in a state of civil unrest. The call was made yesterday to say the mission trip was canceled "for now". Our prayers for the people of Honduras continue, but "for now" that's all we can provide...

Now what? my family leaves Friday to visit grandma and grandpa, that means I will have two weeks with "nothing" to do. OR SO I THOUGHT. I had just finished reading the email from the mission team when I get another email. Another church in the area is taking their youth group on a mission trip downtown, kind of like a "stay-cation" but one of the leaders is not going to be able to make it.

When I was the youth leader at our church, we often did joint ventures with this youth group, so I know several of the kids and I know the leaders really well. I sent them an email and as a result I am now going on a different mission trip :-)

I am reminded of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

So keep checking back next week, there will be updates on the mission trip, starting Monday. The only difference is I will drive instead of fly, but we will do God's work none-the-less.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Letter is away

Well, I wrote the letter and am now struggling with outlook to get it sent out... but as promised here is the letter:

My heart for mission trips continues to grow. I have an opportunity to return to Honduras with St. Christopher's Killeen for my second medical mission trip, their 11th. During their 10 years traveling to Honduras, the medical mission team has seen just under 30,000 patients and delivered over $2,000,000.00 of donated medicines. Additionally they have a group who is helping with scholarships (free school ends at the 6th grade), and another group building structures (medical clinics, churches, etc.). You can read about my 1st mission trip here:

This year, July 16th - 23rd, we will be taking just over 50 people, including at least 7 doctors, 7 nurse practitioners, 10 RNs, and 8 interpreters to Honduras. Each day we will break into 4 teams, which will visit 4 villages to provide medical care for 1 to 3 hundred people per village. So during our trip we hope to attend to about 3,000 Hondurans. We will not know the exact villages until just before we arrive.

I would like to ask you to support me in prayer and financially if you can. I have experienced just how powerful and necessary prayer partners are while on a mission trip and would like to have a good, strong prayer team. You can send your commitment to prayer and donations in several ways, my mailing address is at the bottom of this email, my email address is and you can leave comments on my blog (

I want to thank you for your willingness to help and be a part of what God is doing in this Ministry to Honduras. I will be blogging about our final preparations and if possible while in Honduras and of course a summary when I return.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Randall Holahan

1816 Solano Cove
Leander, Texas 78641

Let's try again ... again

As I look back over the last month and a half, there have been at least a few thing I needed/wanted to blog about... Meeting my biological father, learning about all the family I didn't know I had. His 3 day visit with his wife and my sister. My oldest son's summer visit. My youngest son's wound from the boat ride.... as each of these happened, along with many others, I thought I should blog about this.

Reality is I kept hoping the job situation would correct itself, at which point I would celebrate with a new post. Well, I guess I am tired of putting it off, I know finally, right...

I am 24 and a wake up from leaving for Mission Honduras 2009, my second trip. Truth be told I am very excited about this adventure and seeing what God has in store for us. The final packing party is coming up this Saturday.

Which reminds me of the other thing I didn't get done... sending out letter to encourage people to participate through me, via prayer, following my blog etc. I guess it is not too late. Okay that is my plan then. Tomorrow I will write the letter and then post it here as well as email and put it in the mail. That should give people time to respond with prayer requests etc before I leave in just over 3 weeks.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to hold me to that. If you don't see the letter here in 24 hours ping me and find out why not. You other mission, also your choice, is to keep me and my family in your prayers for the job situation as well me and the rest of the missionary team for the medical mission trip.

Let me know how I can pray for you. Remember what the angel told Mary in Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." but also remember Mary's response...Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ (Luke 1:38a)

Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word, Amen!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Long time no blog

As my lovely wife has reminded me a few times, I have not blogged in a while. Truth be told I have been in a bit of funk both spirituallly and mentally. I have not been worried about finding a job, we have been doing fine, however I have not, in many ways, felt as if I were contributing enough...I know silly but almost depressing at the same time.

Well, the last couple of days God has really jolted me right out of it, in a couple of ways...I had an interview on Monday, not sure where that will go but it was nice to at least sit down and talk about the possiblity of working. We have been very busy cleaning the house... for a couple of reasons (spring, too much junk we don't need/use, family visits etc.) Then today I got a call from my mom with some interesting news... she talked to my biological father and wanted to know if I would like to contact him or have him contact me...WHAT! DUH!

For those of you that know some of my story I have not, to the best of my knowledge, ever met him, I won't go into the details (as I know them) but I expected he would contact me when I turned 18, and have off and on since then spent time trying to find him. Over the last couple of years I have spend a bit more energy, and at one point thought I had probably found him but was not sure and did not know how to start a conversation.... "Hi, you don't know me, but 40 plus years ago...." In fact Jen and I just talked about it last week.

Well, our God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. He, Randy, send me an email today and I have since replied.... time will tell where it goes from here, as you know I am not the most outgoing persson, well okay at least not until you get to know me.

Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment. Well this was a kairos moment if ever there was one. I am very much looking forward to getting to know him, catching upon 40 years of history and then some. Thank you Lord for bringing us together.

Mathew 18:20 comes to mind..."For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them"