This Past month February 20-27th and March 16-22 I went on mission trips. The first to Honduras to work with Open Door Ministries and help build a play ground for the kids in the Orphanage there. The second to Houston Texas to work with the homeless and low income in the inner city. Both were eye opening and something I will always treasure. As I sit here at home for the second day in a row sick form work, with no voice (I have laryngitis) for the third day I miss what I was doing on both of those trips. I though I would share over the next few weeks about both experiences.
Honduras was incredible, life changing. I have never been to any place like that before. Preparing for this journey was difficult. I researched and thought I knew what I was going to see, but it was nothing compared to the reality of what I really did see and experience.
The trip to Honduras was pretty uneventful. We took two planes one from Wichita to Houston and another from Houston to San Pedro Sula Honduras. I think we flew for about 5 1/2 hours. After retrieving our luggage and getting through customs we head outside to get our transportation to Tocoa. The drive took more than 6 hours to get there! We learned very quickly that a Honduran hour is much longer than an American hour. Several times when we would ask about how much longer the answer would be about an hour or so! It became our running joke through the week. When we finally did arrive we first went to the Girls Home, so we could take them to Wendy's for dinner. When we pulled up several of the girls were outside waiting for us, they had been waiting all day in anticipation of us getting there. At that moment I knew that there was nothing that could prepare me for what I would see and experience during my time in Honduras.
These girls who knew nothing about us, other than we were American Christians, were waiting in anticipation of our arrival. They cheered when we got there. And they hugged each of us as we got out of the van. This was the first time I cried, but not the last.
To see the beautiful and so very young faces of these girls and to know that the reason they were all here in this girls home was because they had been sexually abused, sold in to prostitution, and or taken advantage of by their fathers, brothers, uncles etc... broke my heart. I have a little girl at home the same age as many of those girls I saw the first night, and it would kill me if someone would ever hurt her in that way. For many of these girls they didn't have some one to protect them or keep them safe from that happening. Three of the girls in the home have babies, two are 14 (the same age as my girl)! When I think of the life change they have before them, not only having to take care of themselves but a baby also I am speechless. I want them to know that God didn't do this to them. That they are not defined by what was done to them, that they are made a new creation in Christ.
At that point I wanted so much to take them all home with me, and protect them, keep them safe from harm, and take all their hurts away. But I can't. So I did the next best thing, I showed them love. Even though I barely understood any Spanish, and they barely understood any English we shared, and talked (a little) and we connected. Because we have something in common: God's Love!
Several people donated items for us to take with us to share with the girls, dresses, jewelry bras, and under clothes, flip flops and new backpacks. I found so much joy in seeing their faces light up when they got to pick out a new dress, you would have thought we had the spring line from Paris or something. Several took one or two to try on and were so very proud when they came back out to show off how beautiful they were in their new dress. This process was repeated with the other items as well. All 14 girls in the Girls Home got a new dress, two new bras, under clothes, flip flops, a backpack and 3 or 4 pieces of jewelry.
For those moments we got to see them be typical teenage girls, no responsibilities, no sign hanging over their neck, just fun loving, giggly teenage girls. That's what I pray for these girls that they get more moments like that, to be typical, normal teenage girls. That they will grow up to be loving mothers, and wives, and that they will not be burdened with their past, instead that they would be free from it, and know God. Choose to be in relationship with Him, and to share His love with others. So that they may break the cycle of abuse in Honduras.
The Girls range in ages from 10-16. There at 14 girls and four babies who live there. Everyday I am back home I miss them, and wish that I could be back there. But I know for now home is my mission field, and I am ok with that. I believe however that God is asking me to be open to where ever He sends me, whether it be back to Honduras, Africa, or here in the USA. And so that is my prayer, that I would be open to where ever He sends me!
Have a Beautiful Day!
P.S. Tomorrow I will share about the Orphanage and the amazing kids there.