From the moment he stepped onto the tarmac at the airport at the foot of the central mountains of Honduras, Ironton businessman Robert Slagel entered a world of shocking contrasts.
“As soon as we got off the plane, there was a guard with a machine gun,” he said. “In the lobby of the airport, there were private individuals guarding luggage with machine guns.”
The Ironton entrepreneur was part of three-person team from Christ Episcopal Church going as first-time missionaries to the poverty-stricken Central American country of Honduras. Joining Slagel were Laurel Baise of Ironton and the Rev. Sallie Schisler, vicar of the church.
They left on a dreary, overcast Sunday, just before the start of Lent, the season of repentance and contemplation for Christians. Now as the culmination of that season dawns today on Easter Sunday, their journey shows the message of service to those in need that is the hallmark of their faith.
“To be honest, I never thought in a million years that I would go on a mission trip,” Slagel said.