Today was our last day with my dad, Jolly Green, Mush, Z, and Fossil. While prior to the trip I barely knew only two of them besides my dad, it was so hard to part ways. Amidst smiles, there were tears.
We had breakfast, went shopping, said goodbye, and prayed for those going back to the US.
Today was the most relaxed day by far, although it needlessly transformed into a stressful day for me. When leadership of the team went from my dad's shoulders to mine, and there were some unforseen changes of plans, I felt as though I didn't make right decisions fast enough, resulting in consequences for the team that remained with me in Honduras. I struggled to not dwell on these matters, and the remnant team could tell that I was troubled. Please pray that in the future, as failures arise amidst my leadership in variant arenas, I would note mistakes, learn from them, but not cry for too long over spilled milk, even if it spills a few times in a day right into the lap of someone sitting next to me!
James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Today we went to the center where girls go for protection with another missions team from a different missions organization. The remnant team and I took part in the other larger team's activities.
One girl receiving protection there knew some English. I asked her where she learned, and she replied that she had been in the US for 6 months. She had been in the center 3 months. She, like many in the center, knew about a much more materially abundant existence than the life they were living while at the center. Very recently for many of these girls, they had been suffering abuse, yet when not being abused had in other ways far more freedoms and physical comforts than they do while at the center.
At one point in our time, I asked why a few girls were crying. One girl said that it was because they didn´t like it there. They may be relatively safe when compared to where they came from, but to many girls, it´s a dismal place. The girls said that they were bored. One even said, "quiero morir," which means, "I want to die." While some girls said that they missed their families, she said that her parents had abandoned her and that she didn´t want to see them. It sounded as though this girl also said that she wanted to kill her baby. If she said this, she probably did not want her baby to live in the same kind of situation that she grew up in. My prayer is that the Love, peace, joy, and hope of Christ would come in to heal the brokenness in her life. I praise God that even though there are few amenities in her setting, Orphan Helpers, and Perfect Love, are right there too.
1 John 4:8 ...God is Love (Agape).
1 John 4:17 There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear...
Even though the Orphan Helpers teachers don't have the funding to be there around the clock, the time that they are there, and the time that our short term OH team spent with the girls, was time that the girls could see those that cared for the pain and suffering that these girls have been through. When girls that have been treated like trash come to believe that someone in this world cares for them, and that there is a perfect Father in Heaven that would love to be with and cherish them throughout their days, there is hope.
After the larger team left the center, Wendy came, who I had never met prior to this trip. She is like a sister to many of the girls in Hogar Torrech, the half way home for girls located in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, maybe 4 hours away. She came with folks from a nice hotel in San Pedro Sula, bringing food prepared by she and the folks at the hotel. It was such good food too! For kids that usually have very simple foods, beans and rice, plantains, rolls, chicken, and cole slaw was a treat! It wasn't her first time bringing food for the kids there either! At some point in our time together, I asked her why she went into the centers, and she explained how it was such a blessing to see kids go from tears and despair to smiles and hope, knowing that you were the reason for the change. I praise God for allowing me to be a little piece in such changes as well; it is a privilege I could never deserve.
We went to an orphanage for the last time, and although we only got to spend around an hour with them, playing with the kids and praying over a few of them was a blessing that we could have overlooked with ease.
Tonight we had an excellent dinner,
but even though the dinner and the last nightly fellowship was wonderful, it was rather bittersweet knowing that we had to go back home tomorrow, and that the orphans we were leaving weren't going to be eating anything like we were that night. I've been on around 2 dozen mission trips, and despite all the comforts and amenities found in the US, not once have I ever been ready to come home. If you have never been involved in missions in the 2/3 world, you may have difficulty understanding, but for me, spending time with and ministering to the poor in foreign lands (and domestically) has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
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