On December 30, 2015, I flew with two very good friend to Honduras. For a few days I embraced the Honduran culture as my friends and I made preparations for camp in Honduras which would begin when the rest of our team arrived. I've been on multiple mission trips, but this one in particular blew them all out of the water. I am thankful for my many experiences spanning two countries, but there was something very different when we began working with Mission Upreach. Maybe it was due to the fact that the missionaries were practically family to me since I am very good friends with their daughter, or maybe it was because we were doing camp in Honduras. Or perhaps it was the fact that my team was made up of my very best friends who I have spent every summer since I have graduated high school serving alongside in the piney woods. Whatever "it" was, it acted as a catalyst for a spiritual epiphany in my life. Even as I stepped off the plane on the very first day, I could feel the difference about the trip. Beyond the usual excitement, I felt a huge wave of peace, as if everything in my life had played out for me to be there at that very moment.
Our trip was wonderful, mostly because of the people. Don't get me wrong I love the country, the culture, and the Chokis (chocolate chip cookies), but the people are what bring it all to life. Counseling a cabin on 9 girls with one of my best friends serving as my translator was a growing experience. I've said it before and I'll say it again, love isn't limited to language. With a Spanish dictionary in hand, I spoke in poorly chopped sentences, often misspeaking. In fact, I accidentally I told my girls that Jesus was a woman, so needless to say Spanish is hard for me.
|Obviously I relied on my dictionary to communicate.|
Where I lacked the ability to communicate with my girls in words, I focused on nonverbal communication. I hugged more, played more bang snap clap, and simply showed Christ through smiles and laughter. Suddenly I was free to be my goofy self, because I had no way of explaining my behavior. I was free to almost win a game of neucom, play with water balloons, and sock wrestle without having to justify myself. With Laura, my translator, by my side we sought to teach the girls about the hope they have in Jesus Christ. I was blown away by their trust in God. Their ability to put all faith in God, even when their circumstances were so heartbreaking, was encouraging to me. It certainly made me rethink my own trust in God. How could I look into the eyes of an 11-year old who wasn't sure where her next meal would come from, and preach about trust, when she was so sure that God would always provide? It was convicting, that's for sure. Through my campers I saw Christ. Through their patience with my Spanish and with me, I saw Jesus. I saw Jesus in their ability to simply experience God through the smallest of activities. I saw Jesus in their prayers of thankfulness for the food placed in front of them. I am and will forever be eternally grateful for the way I saw Christ through my girls.
|Despite their face, I know they loved us.|
As part of our camp routine, there is always a designated time for the counselors to go and spend 30 minutes in the Word or in prayer. During this time, I found myself going out to a tent where I was able to take in the whole view of the mountains and beauty around me. I found myself praying that God would transform me to be more like my girls, so that I could know and experience the same trust they had in God. I also found myself praying frequently that more doors would be opened so that I could one day return to Honduras. These 30 minutes each day were so rejuvenating. Simply being in the Word of God, and in the beautiful countryside, gave me peace to recognize that even as I left Honduras, my father would still provide for me. I only have to trust in Him.
My time in Honduras will be cherished forever. I am personally grateful for modern technology, so that I have countless pictures and videos to remember my trip by. I am thankful that airplanes fly both ways, and that there is hope of a trip looming in the future. In short, I am most thankful that my girls taught me so much about trusting God in a time of my life where I am having to practice extreme trust. I pray the Lord will open the doors to a nursing school where I can glorify him, even if that means I'm six hours away from home. Just as my girls in Honduras are able to trust in God, I am confident that our Lord will provide for me during this next season of life.