My husband and I traveled to Honduras with Mission Lazarus and just returned home a few days ago. We had an intense experience while we were there. I've been waiting for the perfect words to come to me, but I don't think our experience can be pinned down and kept behind words that won't justify the emotions and thoughts I'm having. It feels like an injustice. I was hoping to document our days while we were there, but our wireless connection was limited up in the mountains. It was a gift to have to put pen to paper and write the old fashioned way. Some of my initial thoughts will have to suffice for now, but I'm not done sharing.
God is working and moving in Honduras. The integrity and dignity that the Hondurans have was enough of a lesson for me throughout the week. Their gentleness and patience as I stumbled and stuttered through the little Spanish I knew brought an instant vulnerability to our quick relationships ... a vulnerability that is hard to come by in America.
While we were there, we worked with local masons to build a brick house. Apparently wood houses will only last about a year in Honduras because of the termite situation, and the mission that we were working with wanted to provide something that could last for generations and could be passed down from family member to family member. When we weren't building, we went to a local school and loved on about 100 kids and taught them about Jesus' love. During one of our sessions with the students, we asked "why is it important to have a relationship with Jesus?" and a 6 or 7 year old confidently said, "because He saves us". There is such an innocence and joy that these children possess while living in such dire situations by our standards.
We visited a trade school were local Hondurans were risking their reputation (and basically their livelihood and live) by teaching youth absolutely beautiful leather and wood working. These students walked 2 - 3 hours one way to get to school every day. The effort and determination that they possess is convicting.
We also spent much of our week discussing Honduran politics and the state of their country. We had many discussions about how to keep the dignity of the Honduran people while being an American. It was quite evident that there is great, great work happening in Honduras, but that we as Americans weren't *needed* as we desperately think we are. God is moving there with or without us. I became more and more sensitive to the pride factor that some times gets wrapped up in mission work over seas.
To put it simply, our trip to Honduras was the start of a bit of an unraveling in our hearts and was more of a trip for us than for the people we interacted with there (which seems so crazy and counterintuitive). Being involved in ministry with my husband is such a blessing, but also such hard work. Working together on this trip opened our eyes to how we want to *do* ministry and what that looks like.
I'm still wrestling with a lot of experiences and memories and crazy thoughts that I hope to share as they rattle themselves out of my heart, through my brain and onto the screen. I'm looking forward to opening up a discussion about mission work and sharing more about my thoughts and experiences.