Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There's Now a Hole in Honduras!

Our team of five has recently returned from Honduras. We definitely left our mark - there is now an 8-feet-deep hole in the village of Jalaca that wasn't there before!
My church supports an orphanage in Honduras, and every few years a work team will go down to help them with whatever they need. Now they are in the process of building a new girls' dorm, so our job was to dig the septic tank. We had three men, two teen girls, two picks, four shovels, and four full work days. Needless to say, there were a few who had their doubts about us getting the job done. It did seem unlikely. Digging a hole is hard work!
Every morning we would hit the dust with our tools. Finally we got into a rhythm; the men took turns with the picks to loosen the soil, then us girls shoveled the loose dirt out of the hole. We did this over and over. . . .
Lunch was probably my favorite part of the day! Every afternoon and evening a cook would come in from the village and make us an authentic Honduran meal. I can't say I was a fan of all the food, but I did try a few new things that I found pretty tasty! (By the way, Tex-Mex is NOT the real thing!)
A good lunch and a quick siesta makes the world seem like a better place. After our noon-meal we'd hit the dust again. We averaged about 2 feet per day. The men had to squeeze in a few more hours of work, even on our "off" days, but the hole was completed! Praise the Lord.
I loved seeing all the kids again! A lot of them remembered me, which made me really happy. They want to be loved on so bad, and they're pretty good at loving on you, too. It was so fun to play with them.Nearly every evening we were able to visit local churches, where our Pastor preached. (He did a great job! We also had an amazing translator. They made quite a team!) The local churches in Jalaca (the village where the orphanage is) held street services every night. We went to two street services, but even when we didn't attend, we could hear them all the way back at the orphanage! They had a sound system turned up full blast - so there was no escaping the worship service. But the power of the sound system would literally go out every few minutes. Did they stop? No! Hardly even missed a beat. So even when we were at the orphanage, and the music died out, we could still hear them singing and clapping!
No one at those street services was ashamed of praising the Lord. From the smallest child to the oldest man or women (teenagers included), everyone danced and sang and worshipped freely. It was wonderful to see how excited they were about praising God. Most of them were really poor. Many walked over an hour - up hills - in the dark - just to come to these services. They don't have a whole lot to be happy about, so their faith genuinely means a great deal to them. I imagine that for most of those people, Jesus is everything they have. But the awesome thing is, He's more than enough for everyone, including you and me. However, by the end of the week, I was so ready for a hot shower and a soft bed. When we finally made it back to the U.S., it was wonderful to see a clean city, wide roads, and cars that actually followed traffic laws! We were able to stay at a really luxurious hotel in Miami. It was so different from the orphanage.
At first, all I could think about was how thankful I was to be back home. But suddenly I realized that I was putting far too much value on material things. It is important for us to be thankful for what we have. I believe America has more blessings than any other country! But because of that, we often become dependent upon those things that really don't matter. And that takes away our dependency upon Jesus.In reality, the U.S.A. is such a small part of the world. But it's the only world most of us know. It's hard to imagine that the majority of the people in other countries, like Honduras, are living in poverty, without half of the things we deem necessary. While we may have a lot of the stuff that we call blessings, people like those Christians in Jalaca have something much more precious - total dependency upon Jesus.
Every time I go on a mission trip, I come home even more appreciative of the blessings I have. But I hope that every time I come home, I'll come home less dependent upon those things.
Early in our trip we were discussing Matthew 5:3; "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven." I thought about that verse a lot during my week in Honduras. No matter how much "stuff" we have, we really have absolutely nothing spiritually on our own. We have to depend completely on Jesus for joy, peace, and life itself. Then, we're richer than the richest billionaire on the earth.
My Spring Break mission trip was fantastic. Honduras has a special place in my heart, and I hope to continue going back to the orphanage in the years to come.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported me with prayers and with finances! I couldn't have these experiences without you.
As one final request, I'd like to ask you to ponder Matthew 5:3. Think about the Hondurans, what they live without, and what it truly means to depend completely on Christ for everything. Thinking about that may just change your perspective on life.
Dios lo Bendiga!
(God Bless You!)


a u b r e y said...

what a success the trip was for you and the people of Honduras. I'm so excited to hear you had another wonderful missions experience, and stayed safe and healthy.
glad you're home though,
love and miss you,
aubrey C:

~Abby~ said...

Gosh Liberty that is awesome & I'm glad it was a success!
You are absolutely right about how blessed we are to have everything we have, even the simple things. I'd love to ship some of the people from my school to Honduras, they think they have it so bad and they are so rude! They think material things are everything, and they don't care about anything else BUT that.
I pray for them though.

Nicki said...

Great report, Liberty. I'm glad the trip was such a success!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Liberty --

Really enjoyed the update on the mission trip. Terrific pix -- especially the hole! It's so exciting that you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those children. Thanks for sharing the experience.