During 2010 our friends from Samaritan’s Purse have been visiting us twice a month. The children from the feeding program as well as the children from the Home have greatly enjoyed them. The groups teach Bible stories and make crafts with the children. This week the children learned that we are like clay in the hands of the Potter. God is who molds our lives, we jut have to let Him work. To better understand the lesson, the children worked with clay.
We have been busy this summer with many groups. We had youth, construction and medical teams here. The groups were able to get a lot done around the Home. However, the work continues. We are currently working on a sidewalk that will connect the church with the storage building and eventually the two big houses with the church. We are all working together to make the Home a better place, one that we can enjoy every moment.
On July 20th, the local schools celebrated El Dia de Lempira (The day of Lempira), one of the national heros. Some of the school children dress up in traditional dresses and some participate in folkloric dances. The celebration lasts all day. Food and music are one of the main attractions. Some of the food favorites include tamales, yuca con chicharon, catrachitas and mondongo. Lisbeth and Vanessa were dressed in traditional dresses. All of the children attended school that day and were very happy to participate in the celebration.
When I think back to when I first heard about this trip, I honestly didn’t even want to go. All I heard was “we’re going to watch a bunch if kids in a foreign country for a whole week with no hot water”. I thought well “this stinks, I don’t get to go on a missions trip …this summer”. After a few weeks of people telling me I should go and realizing I was needed since I would be the only female adult going, I decided to give in and come up with the money to go. Boy, I’m I glad I did!! Since we’re home now, I decided to go back read everyone’s posts one more time. As I did, the entire trip started flooding back and I began to cry, again. That, in and of it’s self, is amazing… since I NEVER cry at anything. I honestly can’t help it though. This trip was life changing and totally unforgettable. Many people have said it, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group or a better place to go. Who knew, being surrounded by children and poverty for a week could be so amazing. I can’t explain all the emotions I went through this week but I will never be the same. Aside from knowing that I need to learn some Spanish, I now know what God’s been trying to tell me for so long. Life isn’t about being in control, or about what you have, or who your friends with, or even about what you’re going to be doing ten years from now. LIfe’s about loving God, loving yourself, and loving everyone around you no matter who they are or what they have. I don’t care if anyone actually reads this post or if the children remember who I am in a year; I hope they do though. And I hope one day I can return to Honduras and share all I have learned with them. Honestly, all I’m really grateful for is the time I got to spend with everyone and the lessons God taught me. I am forever changed and I want to thank everyone that made this trip possible, for those who prayed for us, and for those who have changed my life for the better. May God bless your lives as much as He has blessed mine.
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has been part of the trip through prayers, financial support, and by keeping up with us through this group. It’s been an amazing experience, and we are so blessed to be in a time and place where we are able to play a role and share it with everyone back home almost right away. This was an amazing trip for me, being our first journey into Honduras and my first time leading a team. There isn’t one thing I would change about the makeup of the team, or the week itself. I shared with some during the week that this was a mission trip that was truly in my ‘sweet spot.’ It was super-relational, we were able to stay right at the home with the kids, see them daily, spend time with them. We truly got to know the people and experience life as they are living life. In my book nothing can top that opportunity. We saw mountains that seemed to change on an hourly basis, depending on how the sun was hitting them, we watched soccer on a nice sized flat screen in a gas station, and the security guy carrying the automatic weapon cleared the tables and turned the tv back on when it shut off at one point. We saw kids who were cared for and happy, when by our standards they wouldn’t seem to have much to be happy about. We saw beautiful homes being built next to homes that could barely called four walls and a roof. We saw poverty beyond what I could have ever imagined seeing before going on this trip. But what made the biggest impact on me on this trip was seeing the individuals from our group react to these things, to see them finding God on their own as they witnessed all of this, and to see them change because of it. We all had plenty of time to cry together, and we took full advantage of every minute of it. I’m probably going to get the full group together for one more good break down here at the airport when we all get together one last time before we all head our own ways. This trip will stick with all of us a long, long time, and hopefully will change each of us for the better for the long run. Again, thank you to each of you for all of your support on this trip, it is truly appreciated, God bless you, and please continue to pray for the Children’s home in Honduras.
So far this year, we have been blessed to have had three groups at the Childrens Home. We greatly enjoyed each groups stay.
We are looking forward to a BUSY summer. Please pray for the following groups that will be working with us this summer.
June 6 to 13 Youth Group from Champaign, IL
June 13 to 19 Youth Group from Marshalltown, IA
June 20 to 27 Youth Group from Columbus, OH
July 10 to 18 Family Group from Champaign, IL
July 23 to 30 Construction Group from Ankeny, IA
July 30 to August 6 Medical/Dental Group, MN, and IA
We have been able to provide one meal a day, Monday through Friday, for 50 children. The children are learning one Bible verse every two weeks. They love reciting the verses by memory and at the same time sharing it with their parents. We are so happy to see how our relationship with the children and their parents has developed. The door is opening to share with them the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We are planning on having a HUGE Children’s Day celebration on September 12th. We are expecting to have more than 300 present and we are VERY excited about it!
Yesterday we had a special service celebrating Mother’s day. We had a BIG celebration! Fifty mothers attended our service. Their children make up our feeding program. We shared the Word with them and a seed was planted in their hearts.
We pray that, in the future, these mothers become a part of our congregation.
It was great to see how excited and happy the children were to see their moms attending church with them. We had around 130 people in the service! The Lord is doing GREAT things and we are excited to see what he had in store for our congregation.
To express in writing how much my first trip to Honduras has meant to me is nearly impossible… but I am willing to try. While in Honduras I was with a mission team that ran a day camp for Special needs children in the area. I learned a lot of things while I was in Honduras and all of them turned out to be life lessons.
The first lesson I learned is that ‘the essentials’, the things I thought I couldn’t live without, were actually unimportant in the scheme of things. Before I left the states I thought I needed all kinds of things to be comfortable every day. I thought I needed air conditioning when it’s hot out, a hot shower after a long day and a power strip for my various electronic accessories. Turns out I discovered that ‘the essentials’ are good people, a place to rest my head and a bar of soap (deodorant too maybe). The children and house parents at the Children’s home are so happy. Their happiness with simplicity was infectious and by the end of the week I was disappointed to go back to the world of surplus.
The second lesson I learned is that laughter does not have language barriers. Laughing with people is a great way to break down any barriers there are. Working with the special needs children could be taxing at times but the BEST parts were the moments when their faces would light up and they would laugh at something they had discovered. It was great to hear the genuine laughter coming from the playground and see the smiles. We might not have been able to understand one another, but there was no misinterpretation in the smiles and laughter. Laughter is also a great way to get to know the children at the home as well. It was fun to spend some of the afternoon time coloring or swinging in a hammock and giggling together.
The third lesson I learned is that God is great, all the time. The moments that seemed impossible, like when the power was out and it was sooooo hot. Or when the craft I had planned was too difficult and the kids were aggravated with it and consequently so was I, or when I was smelly and sweaty and felt gross. These were the moments that turned out to be the best. When the power was out the mission team ended up singing camp songs by candle light, when the craft wasn’t working we did beading which turned out to be one of the special needs kids’ favorite things! The times I felt gross and smelly were the times I would suddenly be surrounded by kids that did not notice or care and would give me hugs.
Working with the special needs children was, and is, something that I am very passionate about. The kids in Honduras were so incredibly inspiring. They did not have the resources that we have in the United States, but they worked incredibly hard and were an encouragement.