I posted some pictures below (and if you haven't already, you should check them out). I want to post a few things that God really showed me while I was in Honduras.
- God doesn't hear our voices or our language, He hears our hearts. He really touched my heart with this when my team and I were at a church singing a song that we all knew: two different languages, two different types of people, but worshiping the same God, with the same song and words. That hit me incredibly hard.
- God can speak very clearly to you if you just listen and watch. Our leader, Mr. Williams, touched on the fact that we were "unplugging" from our normal routines and iPods (although a few people did bring those ;)) and tvs. We were out with nature, exchanging the blaring of sirens and car horns for the blaring of cicadas and obnoxiousness of chickens (yes, they were very unpleasant at 2 in the morning). But with that unplugging came a plugging into God. The distractions gone, you could see how God wanted to use you and what things God wanted you to work on in your life.
- That life is not about how much you have or when you get it, but how you live it, and the relationships that you have with each other and God. Working at the village and on the mountain, I got to see the apparent poverty in which they lived. Indeed, it was very clear. Most people didn't have a bed. They cooked on a clay formation with fire inside of it. Most don't have latrines (causing a lot of sicknesses). Once, I went to a family's house that had no walls. It was a roof with tarps to make some sort of boundary between their living space and the outside world. I take for granted the "too small big house" that I have and all the food possibilities I could make with just a stove and an oven. Having an indoor bathroom and clean running water never seemed so delightful to me. Without all these things, though, these Hondurans are so very hospitable and want to spend time with you. They aren't in a hurry to get things "done". The village leaders even stopped building latrines, just so they could finish them with us. They are more concerned about the work that goes into friendships than the work that makes their lives easier. I see where I fail this in my life. I get so worried and boggled down by all my "responsibilities" that I let my friendships and relationships go. Sometimes, it's better to let the paperwork slide to have that 10 minute talk with my sisters or brothers. There is a time and a place for everything, but the focus and goal always need to be the same.
- Joy should be found in little things. We had the privilege to give to each child at the village a blessing bag that was filled with little toys, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, and other little gadgets. The joy that each child had in their eyes when we gave them that little Ziploc bag full of things we would easily push away said a million words. We also got to give almost everyone in the village a Bible of their very own. The men on our team gave the men of the village each a Bible one day. A man named "Don Juan" immediately took his Bible to a tree sat down, and opened it, devouring each word. Later, he told us that he had had a dream many years ago that someone would come to his village and give him a Bible. He had been waiting for that day.
I also got to know a young lady in the village. I never learned how to say her name right, but I know it started like "Tani," so I'll just call her that. Anyways, she was 13 years old- graduated from school (only goes to 6th grade there) and had come to the school to visit our team. She and I befriended each other and, with our broken Spanglish, played games together and took pictures. At one point during that morning, I had the urge to ask her if she had a Bible. She looked at me with a sort of disappointment in her eyes and said "No." I really wanted to give her a Bible but I knew that we only had so many. I went to our leader, Mr. Williams, and asked him if I could give her one. He said yes. When I put that Bible of her very own in Tani's hands, her face was priceless. She immediately wanted me to come with her to her home and put it safely away. (That was actually my favorite moment of the entire trip.)
- Just because we are from different countries doesn't mean we don't go through the same things. Sure, our physical lives are as different as it gets. But in our spiritual lives, we all struggle with honoring God and His commandments, forming commitments and keeping standards, and following God and loving His word.
There are so many more things that I could share. But time only permits me this: that with all that physical hurt and sickness that I dealt with there, I would, in a heartbeat, jump a plane and be there tomorrow to do it all over again. I have such a love for Honduras and the people I met there and the work that needs to be done. Sure, the weather is a LOT different from what I'm used to, and the food is hard on my stomach, and the ants bite like crazy, and sleeping is almost impossible with the noise of cicadas and dogs and chickens. But, hey! Everyone gets used to that eventually. I'd deal with it all again, just to be with those people... and those amazing mountains.