Getting it done...

Today, our crew was split because we were finishing up our tasks.  Though there were frustrations, we worked through and got the job done.  I was very happy to see how our group remained supportive of each other as we worked through.  It has been a glorious time.

I noticed a stark between our trip to Joplin and our trips to Honduras.  In Honduras we worked from sun up until sun down.  We were surrounded by the community and the people we were working with.  At night, we ate food that was cooked and lived like the people lived.

Things in Joplin are NOT the same.  We worked, took breaks, joked (a lot) and had a lot of downtime.  Tonight, we had custard and hung out.  We ate at Red Robin and Waffle House.  It was very different.

The two trips can not be considered in the realm of similar, yet both had the same purpose.  We were doing work for God's people in need.  People who (for this period in life) would be considered the least of these.  It took me a long time to reconcile my feelings about the work in Joplin because it didn't seem as much like work.  But, when I was told how the lady reacted upon seeing her home, it brought me back to that familiar place of warm joy.  I am once again happy to be the hands, feet and heart of my Lord and Saviour.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 15:58


Surprise! I'm in Joplin, MO

I guess most probably thought I wouldn't post another adventure until next summer.  Well, guess again.  I am in Joplin, Missouri on the Skillman Labor Day Weekend Mission Trip.  We are working with Hearts & Hammers to help rebuild the city.

I rode with Debbie and Josue from Dallas.  We had a great time in the car.  The memories we created will never be forgotten.  From "Mariah Kia" to "Squar-rel."  We are already in for a great time.  We arrived last night at 9pm.  After checking in at the Microtel Hotel, we had a brief meeting and then headed off to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays.  Joel joined us at that point.  After dinner, Debbie and Josue picked up a few items from Walmart.  This was so much fun!  It felt like we were in college again.  I just hope we didn't get posted on PeopleofWalmart.com.

I didn't get the name of the person who owned the home that we worked on. We has an interesting time. Josh S. was out foreman and he did a great job. My first task was to install a vanity (hang a mirror) in the bathroom. Donna and I drilled the same holes eight different times, but we completed the task in the estimated time.

Next,we spent time helping where we were needed. We installed wood bases, measured boards for millworker and installed a large countertop. I found myself laying on top of the counter at one point. I was inside of a cabinet at another. The most important part was that we worked as a team. Each of us did our part to make sure this owner came home to a comfortable place after the ordeal they had been through.

At devotion that evening, Joel talked about the mindset of the people we are working for.  In summary.  He said the people we were working with were tired.  Not like after a long days work, but after an extended period of removal and unfamiliarity.  Imagine waking up everyday and having to make multiple decisions to get your life back 'on track.'  After awhile, you forget what 'on track' looks like.  The individuals we are working for have reached the point where small decisions (like choosing a paint color) are hard because they are beyond drained.  Our presence can alleviate some of the stress on them.

For these next few days, we have opted to make these decisions for them and with them.  We have taken on their problems to lift them up and bring them back to a sense of normalcy.  For some of the tornado victims, it was easy to bounce back.  For others, it has been so long (over a year later) that hope has been drained.

"Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."- Galatians 6:2


Esperanza para Honduras

I just could not sleep past 6:30. I woke three time before then and finally gave in. I dressed, brushed and began to complete my packing. The end of the trip has arrived and I realize I want to do more. I feel a small impact with every act of service, but I think I my gift lies in working with kids.

Joel has talked with Marc about the activities for our next visit. They include renovations to the church and the boy's home. He told us this last night as we 'debriefed' the group from Skillman.

Our journey home was no piece of cake. At first, we thought we'd miss breakfast and rush our goodbyes. But we were just being anxious.  When will we learn to live more like the Hondurans? We arrived with ample time before departure, however our plane was not ready for us. When we finally took off, we were twenty minutes behind schedule. Obviously, this stressed me.

Upon arrival in Miami, we made a mad dash for passport control. Ben, Clark and I turned it into a footrace. In retrospect, that was not a good idea considering my hamstring has been bothering me. Our group got split at baggage claim, but eventually we all boarded the plane.

As we de-boarded in Dallas,  we were greeted with open arms by everyone. There were cheers, hugs and smiles. We were happy to be back, but part of my heart will always be with those I met in Hondo!

The trip is over and all I can do is think about the impacts of our work. Not only on the lives of the people we served, but on us as well. Specifically, I am thinking of how it has affected my ideology.

Recently, I have struggled with God allowing suffering. I just can't fathom a loving God that would allow the innocent to feel pain at random. Through no fault of their own, but pure chance they are dropped into environments where poverty, hunger, disease and abuse are regular parts of life. While others live a life a prosperity, gluttony, health and peace. Why?

In discussing this with a close friend, they concluded (not ultimately) that is it hard to bring another being into this fallen world. I could not help but agree. I would not want to be part of a system that set the innocent on a path of sure failure. It seems selfish, conceited and evil.

I struggle but this trip has given me hope. Maybe I am focusing too much on the pain in these situations and not enough on the progress. Wherever there is an Anahi- poor, afraid and alone. There is someone like Jessica- joyous, loving and persevering. There are Gabriels, but there are also Minors to look after him. You have people like Karol and Kelin. Due to their faith in God, they have found the fortitude to deal with the hand they were dealt. Now, they are both in college working to become more than their past. Through love and support of Marc they will be in a position to do someone about their surroundings.

I have not reconciled the existence of the cosmic lottery. But I have found that focus and faith in God's plan, the love of Christ and the strength of the Holy Spirit can get us through.

Thank you for supporting my blog this year. I look forward to writing more as things develop. God bless you all.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."- Jeremiah 29:11


¿Por qué esto existe?

Transition is the only constant in Hondo. The last of the Tennessee group leaves today. Lydia and her family have been so sweet and hard working. I plan to keep up with them.

The groups from Childress, Texas and Oklahoma started arriving today. Currently, there are fifty of them, but that number is going to grow. They are friendly, but it is hard to get to know so many in such a short time Karol and Kelin are going to have their hands full.

As I reflect, I don't think I have given Karol and Kelin due attention in my writings. These two sisters have been guides on everyday trip Skillman has taken. These two have been so wonderful to all of us. I am sure we wear them down, but they never complain and we have a lot of in with them. Both of them are in college. Karol is studying to be and Industrial Engineer. Kelin is studying to be an Environment Engineer. Working for Marc in the summers gives them a difficult schedule, but they seem to be doing well. I know that they can do well and go far.
Karol & Kelin
Today is an easy day. We visit the boy's home. We'll play with them for awhile and maybe have lunch. Then we go to the Valley of Angels to be tourists. On the way to the boy's home, we are stopping at the hospital to drop off a microwave for Nurse Lydia.

I was completely wrong about how 'easy' this day would be. I have been to the boy's home before, but I always assumed the boys had done something to be there. I didn't know they were there through no fault of their own. The part that got me was the timing of the following stories:

First, I met Moises. He told me he wanted to learn English. It was nice to talk to him because he understood that I was still learning Spanish.  We both tried very hard.  He began telling me that is friend lived in Houston, Texas. He was deported to Honduras because his family did not have the money to care for him. Thus, he landed in the home.
"Malo suerte", he said.

Next, I learned about Gabriel. He is from Roatan and speaks excellent English. He is in the home because his entire family died. Olivia (16, from Overland Park) told me that he could be in the home for three months, then he has to find a place on his own.  I couldn't hear any more because it was going to make me cry.  I found Kristin's hand and shoulder and sobbed uncontrollably. She graciously let me soak her shoulder and talked me through it.

I was able to compose myself and go outside to play with the boys. Josue was there for me to talk it out, but I just wasn't ready to do it without breaking down again. I can barely see the keyboard because my eyes are tearing as I type.  These facts are so difficult to take in.

Finally, I talked with Minor. I met him early on while buying bracelets, but this was the first time I talked with him and saw him 'work.' Each time we made balloon animals, the children wanted to keep the pumps. Minor asked to pump his own balloon. Reluctantly, I handed him the pump and he made a balloon for himself. Then he saw a popped balloon on the ground that one of the volunteers had thrown away. He picked it up, 'fixed' it, pumped it and asked me to tie it. He had done this to share with another one of the boys.  As I looked on astonished, he began looking for more of the same. He was looking out for the othe kids. He is 12.

After awhile Matt, Rebecca and Kayla had to catch their flight. This gave me time for my strong sense of sadness to partially subside. We said goodbye and exchanged contact information.

Soon, it was time for our group to move on. I hugged Gabriel and Moises. I told Gabriel to teach Moises English. I hugged Minor, but he seemed preoccupied with helping the other boys. As I made the quick walked to our bus, I could only think to myself, "God, I don't ever want to come here again. I don't want place like this to have to exist.

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."- Matthew 5:5


Dios es mi guía

Last night, I could not stop thinking of Anahi. When I woke this morning, I prayed that God show me the work I am supposed to do today. I signed up at do prison ministry. Talking with Kristin and my experience with CR made me think it was time for me to try out prison ministry. However, I worried who would be there for Anahi. I'm sure I am not the only one she could connect with. I also know that children require consistency in their lives.

After prayer and discussion with others, I think God wants me to remain with VBS. I let Kristin and Logan know that I was backing out. I felt bad, but there is also plenty of time for me to get involved in prison ministry. There is only a finite time to pit children on God's path as they develop.

The size of our first group was perfect. With roughly 20 kids, we were able to move smoothly through the activities. I befriended Tatiana (12) who helped repeat our memory verse in spanish. She also returned for the second session with friends. The second group had 65 kids, so it was a lot harder to keep order. We had a successful session in spite. We also had a number of returning kids. Those I remember are Perla, Elvia,  Alexandra and Daniella.

Anahi was not present. I was both sad and worried. I hope she has a good life. I hope God holds her tight in his arms and protects her from the evils of this world. It would be wonderful to see her again (now or in the future). Hers is another face I want to see in heaven. God bless her. 

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."- Numbers 6:22


Anahi, la timida

Today we held the first day of VBS for the church in Ojojona. I was pumped during breakfast, but as time grew closer I became very tired. Josue, Joel, Karol and Kelin performed the Spanish skit and puppet show. Kristin, Andy, Meredith and I acted as support.

I think Karol and Kelin did a wonderful job. Kelin played the part of Rehab. Karol controlled one of the puppets. They are normally soft spoken, but they put on quite a show. During the two separate sessions, their personalities shined and they kept the group moving.

I got the chance to meet a lot of the kids and had a great time. Each of them own a different part of my recollection. Perla arrived before the everyone and had the opportunity to see rehearsal. She also helped me with Spanish. I met Helen and her brrther, Omar. Helen simply loved her brother and obviously has a knack for taking care of him. I also met best friends- Nazerete and Elvia. Haley was there as well and played with anyone that was around. Karla Isabell Amaya Alverado and Alexandra Martinez Alonzo gave me a challenge when it came to remembering names.

Of all of these, the one that stood out was Anahi. Upon arrival, it was obvious that she was quite afraid and did not want to stay. She came with neighborhood friends Katia (16) and Brayon (1.5). As Katia was trying to get Brayon settled, Anaya was standing outside of the building wanting someone to take her home. She was I tears and pretty scared because as cars whisked by on the street. I saw her and kneeled down, beckoning her to me. She slowly made her way into my arms. I hugged tightly, picked her up and brought her to safety within the church. She buried her face in my shoulder and didn't want to go anywhere else.
I asked Katia but she did not know how old Anahi was. Her size she could have been 3 or 4. However, developmentally she was no older than 2. She spoke, but not much. I attribute part of this to fear. However, as time went on, she opened up to a few people. I think she may have a form of autism.

At one point we were playing with the other kids on the playground and she fell. When I checked her out, she had a cut on her toe. With no bandages on site, I had to create one from a napkin and a sticker.  I was happy that she took to me right away.  We had fun together, though we didn't say much.  We just played.  The planned activity was beyond he grasp (or she just wasn't interested) so we played with stickers.  I found it funny that she thought she had to lick them before placing them... all over my face.  Now I shudder.  But I didn't care before.
Looking at the condition of her clothes, hair and callused skin I speculate her living conditions are among the worst. I don't think I will ever forget her and our time together. I can't wait to see her again tomorrow.  I pray that she is alright and that she has someone there to love her. 

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him."- Luke 15:20


No lo huele, ahora

Clark and I were chased by dogs on our run. I was fine with running by, but Clark thought they were aggressive. We walked until we passed them, but finished our mile.

Today, we went to the dump. After this, our group split and served as relief for the house building teams. Finally, we spent the time before dinner at Casa de Esperanza.

The dump was nothing like last year. Marc asked that we not bring items for distribution because he does not want inhabitants to think they get stuff whenever a bus arrives. Instead we distributed food and spent time with them. There was a gentleman that I thought was being a menace to our ladies. He was in his fifties and spoke very broken Spanish. When Joel asked me to handle it, so I saw it as an opportunity to work on my Spanish. Twenty minutes later, Karol told me he was drunk and speaking nonsense. Way to go Joel.

Next, we built a home on a secluded farm for a family that was the target of a local gang. They were relocating outside of the city in refuge. The site was shaded well, but tight and muddy. While we were there Melissa (Heidi's sister) caught a baby chick and passed it around for us to hold. It was neat.
We arrived at Casa de Esperanza well before the other group. I spent about 30min in a back room playing with five month old twins  Olman and Josue. Soon Marc arrived and told me it was okay to take Olman outside for the rest of the group. Once outside I also played with Sisi, Hailey and Nohemy as the jumped on the trampoline.

As I observed, a little boy made his way below the trampoline on which the kids jumping. He looked one or two years old. I scooped him up to make him safe. He didn't smile, but sat with a troubling scowl. As Debbie reached for him, he clung to me and buried his face in my chest. He was very shy and very guarded. Anytime someone came by to hold him, they were denied. Then Logan came along. He lit up bright as day. He began laughing and playing with him and did not want to leave him. I could tell Logan had shown him a great deal if love.

This day gave me a glimpse of how a parent feels about work and their children. Before visiting Casa, I was extremely exhausted. I wanted nothing more than to go home, shower and sleep. I was not 'in the mood' to entertain children. However, when we arrived and I saw their carefree, smiling faces my fatigue faded away. It was as if I was never tired.

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven"- Matthew 19:14


Dios, dame tus ojos...

This entry will begin a bit off topic. I was looking at pictures from Micah's baseball tournament on my phone last night. I zoomed into one and  recognized the chain tucked into his jersey. It belonged to the dog tag that I gave him after his baptism.  I had it engraved to read, "Confutatis maledictis, voca me cum benedictis". I wanted him to remember the Holy Spirit, Christ and his Christian brothers are always around him even when he is alone. Baseball players wear charms around the neck as reminders of where their strength comes from.  I am happy that he wears this as his reminder.

Today's events are as follows:
1. Hospital Escuela, School for the Blind and Nueva Oriental
2. The farm
3. The dump

I chose option one and found myself at Hospital Escuela once more. Initially, I was separated from my group.  In spite, I felt very familiar in this place. I stopped at the orthopedic wing and visited six children. Next, I went to the pediatric playground. I found my group preparing balloons and toys and the fun began. I met  Elvira Maria, a two year old girl with pneumonia in isolation. Though she was being released, she was not having a good day. The doctors came in during my visit.  Elvira Maria knew it would not be pleasant. She began crying upon site of the white coats. After the doctors left, Debbie and I returned to comfort her. She was reluctant at first, but she soon warmed up. We were friendly visitors.
Elvira Maria
During other visits, we met Alejandra. She was a patient, but had no signs she was ill aside from her medical bracelet. She took advantage of our attention.  Soon she was laced with fun bracelets, stickers, balloons, nail polish and coloring books. She was so cute that none of us could deny her. I gave her the yellow balloon to match her dress.

After the hospital we visited Escuela para Ciegos. As they were released for recess, we played with them in he courtyard. I met Derrick and gave him greeting from Archer. Following, we went to an indoor assembly area where they sang songs for us and the director played a few Beatles songs on the piano. A little girl sang so beautifully as she led her classmates in a song.
Soon we went back to the courtyard to say goodbye and a little boy came and leaned up to me as if he knew me. His name is Jasper and he is four years old. Some joked and said he was my lost son.
I was excited to visit Nuevo Oriental. I wanted to meet with Kevin, Vanessa and Naomi once more. As time went on everyone talked about seeing their kids again, but mine never showed up. We didn't spend a great deal of time there, but I hoped to see at least one of them. Sadly, it never happened.  It will be at least another year until I see them again.

Devotion was average tonight. Joel spoke and made most people laugh rather than cry. His words definitely pull out emotions. He is gifted far beyond any speaker I know. Next, Marc gave a brief talk; sharing a glimpse of the lack of fortitude the Hondurans have for facing up to authority and the abuse of power. Upon hearing some of the most common offenses, I wanted nothing more but to act. But I didn't know where to begin. I understand it is hard to 'unknow' some of the things we now know.

"But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"- 1 John 3:17


Construí mi primera casa

I don't know who it was, but two people lied about snoring. We'll get to the bottom of it soon. Between the snoring and a sore back I did not get a great night of sleep. However, part of the sleep deprivation may be a result of my excitement in anticipation of a morning run and work for the day.

Josue, Clark and I began our one mile run at about 6am. The hills here were brutal. I don't think I will master them this year, but I have years to work on it. Josue was beat, but Debbie was so proud of him. I was happy to get my first dose of endorfinas Honduras!

Today our group had the choice of three service projects:
1. Visit the dump and supporting school
2. Build a house for Giovanni (friend of Luis)
3. Build a house for the family of a paraplegic teen.

I chose project 3. I know it is going to be a hard day, but I am happy to be fatigued for this cause.

We arrived on site and went right to work. Before construction began, we had to demolish an existing home. Next, we cleared the existing slab and prepared to build the new home. However, there was slight delay. The plots were owned by sisters disputing the right to build. Joel acted as mediator and translator. With Marc on the phone, the situation was resolved and construction began.

After awhile, Heidi identified the teen boys watching as gang members. They were waiting for us to leave materials unattended so they could steal them. Our teens acted as guards. The boys were not aggressive, but they were patient. Honduran boys their age are not expected to accomplish more than this. Every so often the wind blew the strong smell of marijuana over the site. This is how the average teen spends a school day. Repeatedly, older men would stumble through the area drunk or high as children walk home from school.

We were joined by the team that visited the dump at 1pm.  All of the children were released from school, so play began. The kids were excited and sometimes hostile. They were sneaky about collecting multiple balloons, coloring pages and candy. Soon we began playing games with them. I have posted a few of my favorite videos below:

It was exciting to build my first house. I didn't do a lot, but working was enough for me. We never got to meet the girl that was paralyzed. I was fine with this because she is not an exhibit and I doubt I would be able to handle it.  Her family is shown here:
We ended construction abruptly.  Once Joel blessed the house,  we headed straight to dinner. Food was great, as usual. During devotion, I sat next to Terry (Intern Christine's dad) and he sang so beautifully. Though I didn't know the words, it was quite easy to harmonize with him. The message was delivered Wes (Murray State Ministry leader). Though the second part of his message didn't make a lot of sense to me, the first part hit home.  An explanation follows:

I continue to struggle with God and the suffering if the innocent. Yet, I know I love God and he loves me. Wes talked about various characters and their journey to the wilderness. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul... Even Jesus was in the wilderness after being baptized. All of them spent time in the wilderness. This is where God taught them to be strong. "The wilderness is the King's school." Wes concluded this point by saying, "Some of us are in a wilderness that we did not choose." That floored me. It didn't resolve my issues, but it gave me a bit to chew on.

"Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." - Matthew 4:1


El Viaje Comienza...

I have concluded that the day of travel is going to be filled with adventure each year.  The main group was delayed during check-in for reasons we still have not figured out. Joel and Debbie were held because a United Airlines employee seemed to think they needed a visa to visit Honduras. After all stories were shared we felt Satan was at work, using the airline employees to keep us from our mission.

Ultimately, we made it to Honduras and our transport from the airport to San Sebastian (our lodging) went smoothly. Marc introduced Heidi as one of our guides for the year. Josue seems to know her already and she seems very energetic.  The crew from Overland Park landed an hour after us. It was lovely to see John, Jerry, Ann and Olivia once more.

Our first stop was to the mall food court. Heidi recommended a great burrito shop. I loved the burrito. I was also surprised to enjoy the sweet juice so much.

Our next stop, was to a house building site. The group from Tennessee was already finishing up the first house for a family. When we arrived we were instructed to pull out some toys because there were a 'kazillion' kids to play with. We started with balloons and bubbles. Then I met David and played frisbee with him. He picked up pretty fast and LOVED it. I also got to set foot in one of then houses for the first time. The video is posted below:

After this we went to San Sebastian to check into our rooms and freshen up. While settling in we discovered a large bees' nest outside of our room.  As a result, he men moved into the single chalet at the front of the property. I made no secret of my extreme fear of bees and my lack of desire to overcome it this week.

We had dinner at Cafe De Gringos. It was established by Byron-  a former employee of Marc. We also talked with Nicole (Marc's daughter), Matt (Nicole's husband) and Haley (their daughter).  Our table shared some desserts. However, Debbie and I were frustrated because we got our Sombras (Sopressas) well after our meal. Sombras are very sugary smoothies (maybe healthy?)

After dinner, Marc led a brief devotion talking about Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. His focus was how service is our way of showing a small piece of the great love that was shown to us. Afterward, we communed together. I found it fulfilling to commune with people whose names I still do not know and do not live near. This is another sign that Jesus died for all of us. Wondrous.

I don't know why, but I fell asleep right away! I think it was around 8:30pm. Tomorrow, the work starts.

"Doubtless ye shall not come into the land..."- Numbers 14:30 (used terribly out of context to represent the thoughts of the airline employees)


Una nueva Visión

This morning, I had my normal Tuesday morning Bible study.  It was so refreshing and eye opening that I could not wait to post this blog.  I am typing at the speed of lightening!

We talked about discernment and God's mission for each of us.  As we discussed, I was able to receive a deeper, personal meaning to The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).  I have taken this taken this to mean that is my duty to teach the Gospel and live life as Jesus would.  This message was Jesus talking to working with what God puts before me.  However, the deeper, personal meaning is so powerful that it almost brought me to tears.  As we talked and I voiced my doubts and limitations, they literally went away they were uttered.

I have always felt limited.  "Make disciples of all nations."  I am only one person.  I'll never get this done.  My talent is not preaching.  I don't have the money or the time to travel the world all of the time.  If I did, I would never get to everyone.  Someone would be missed.  Excuse... excuse... excuse!

But, this morning our discussion of discernment brought a great deal of clarity for me.  My talent may not be preaching, riches or even time.  But God has blessed me to be a part of his body (I Corinthians 12:14).  As I follow him (blindly) I should be encouraged that I am not doing this alone.  My talents take the gospel so far.  At that point, we should have faith that another will take it to the next level.  It is because of this that I should not be discouraged (1 Corinthians 15:58).

If you have never read of Adoniram Judson, I would suggest you do.  Through adversity, he stayed on the path of what he felt God called him to.  He did not see the ultimate fruit of his labor, but he worked so that others may.

Now my vision is clear.
My heart is full of excitement.
My spirit is invigorated.

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't loose!"- Coach Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights)


Regalos de Dios

“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” ― Loren Eiseley

I read this story for the first time while buying souvenirs in Honduras last year.  It summed up the trip so well for me.  In the scheme of things, I can only effect so much change.  However, if I sit... unmoving... apathetic- my effect is far less.  So, I choose to act.  I choose to walk in Christ's footsteps.  I choose to open my eyes to the world.  I choose to have a heart that hurts, feet that move and hands that work.

You may not choose the same means as I, but don't stand idle.  Don't let God's purpose for you pass you by.  Look within yourself and find what you can do.  When I was in middle school, we used to say, "Get in where you fit in."  Find you niche because that is where you will shine.  God is calling you to something...  will you respond?

"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."- 1 Peter 4:10


Vuelvo a Honduras

I suppose everyone is due for an update on how things for Honduras are going.  Honestly, I am not sure if they are going so well.  I worry a lot about returning to Honduras.  Things have not been going as smoothly as last year.

Part of it may be the stress of such a short aggressive preparation.  Part of it may be the fear that the impact I make is not as great as last year.  Part of it may be fear that the impact I feel was a result of it being my first trip.  Part of it may be my 'have it figured out before anyone notices' personality.

I am sure a big part of it is my comparison of last year's preparations to this years. Each week, last year, I heard from a different person each week.  All were interested in the work I would do, travel companions, safety and fundraising.  This year, the number of inquiries has decreased dramatically.  However, my excitement about returning has been the opposite.  I can only pray that responses will pick up soon.  I am grateful to those that have responded as you have naturally lifted my spirits.

Ultimately, I have been working on my weak faith.  I need to put this in God's hands.  I recently read Heaven is For Real.  The book is by Todd Burpo about 'incidents and experiences' of his toddler son, Colton.  In one story, Todd talks about stepping on his porch after a storm to see a rainbow.  He goes on to describe how it is the most beautiful and complete rainbow he has ever seen.  Colton, however,  sees the rainbow and acts completely 'unsurprised.'  Colton explains that he prayed that God would bring the rainbow, thus he knew it would happened.  This is the faith of children.  This is the faith I want to have that everything is going to be okay for this trip.

As I close, I ask that you pray for and/or help me with a few things:
1. We are in need of things to give the children when we arrive in Honduras.  The most popular items were balloons, balls, bubbles, Jolly Ranchers, shoes (new and used) and toothpaste.  Yes, toothpaste.
2. I am still in need of a great deal of financial assistance.
3. I need to focus on returning because it is God's will.  If this is not the case, then I need to quickly understand and accept this.

All donations are 100% tax deductible.  If you wish to lend assistance or want to know more about the trip, please review the following PDF:
Hope for Honduras 2012 Letter

I thought you may enjoy seeing the video we shot a few weeks ago:
Hope For Honduras Summer 2012

I will try to post more from now on.  Please check frequently for updates.

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me"- Isaiah 6:8