Wednesday, September 29, 2010

45 days and changed lives - a visit to Honduras

Well my brother Ben, and his friend Austin left Honduras on Monday. They both were laid off their military orders mid-August, so they picked up and moved to Honduras. I was able to set them up with a sweet friend of mine that God has used to build a school for the poor children in our area and a children's home as well. She had extra space so they lived with her on their school's campus. The boys worked at the school doing computer work and assisting classes. When they weren't doing that, they were spending time the the kids at Rhonda's children's home (Destino Del Reino) or going with me to a different children's home to help kids with homework and different things.

In 45 short days, they were able to hear amazing stories of God's faithfulness and how he is providing for this amazing ministry. They were able to see first hand, miracles of God at work. On the last night, there was a meeting for all staff and parents of students at the school. The boys were asked 5 minutes before it started if they would give a brief word of testimony about their lives. After talking to both of them, they said it was like they weren't even speaking - the holy spirit was active in their lives at that moment as they shared struggles from their past and how God brought them out of their sin and into his freedom. Rhonda said she spoke with some of the staff the next day and that several people were truly touched from hearing their testimony. Because really, who wants to sit there and listen to a Christian talk about how easy and perfect their life is and how they don't continue to struggle with sin after they become Christians? Not to say God doesn't use those people, he does. But when a Christian can stand in front of people that believe they are too far gone for God to love them, and think that because they are tempted and struggle with sin that they could never be Christians, and can they be transparent with them about their own struggles - they can relate and understand and realize God's grace is available for anyone. I am very proud of them for what they did that night, I know it touched lives and gave people a different perspective of our all loving God.

I know Ben/Austin fell in love with their students in the short time they were here as well. After meeting kids that live here and grow up in this difficult environment, where they begin selling food and random things in the market and on the sides of the road at the age of 6, it gives you a different perspective on life in general, but especially YOUR life. It is hard not to have a hard heart towards people in the states that are just so consumed with materialism and selfishness - it is like they are completely unaware of anything outside themselves. I know I struggle with being angry with people like that, but I just need to remember that God has a plan for their lives too and hope their eyes are opened to a different world before this one consumes them. I continue to thank God for giving me this opportunity to serve in Honduras as I learn so much about living and serving Him.

Here are some photos from the last night with the kids in Rhonda's childrens home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

my little gift

This is Jaimie. She was the first kid at the children's home that I got to know. Now, everytime before I leave, she gives me a kiss on the cheek and says "te quiero mucho" - I love you a lot. Today before I left, she leaned in to give me my ritual kiss on the cheek and whispered in my ear "Usted esta un regalo para me"  (You are a gift to me). I melted, I had to hold back tears. Those moments are what I want to define my life, not things of the world. 

My instructor said "see ya at the bottom" so I let my air out and sank like a rock

View from our hostel: (2 bunk beds in a 7x7ft room, mattress, sheet, and a fan.)

I have decided to start blogging this way - it is a lot easier than my webpage and its FREE! I think. I think I will actually use it more this way anyways. SOOOOOO. Honduras' Independance Day was last week, so we got a lovely 5 day weekend, which I took advantage of and headed to the island of Utila (Bay Islands, beside Roatan). My friend, Daniel, Ben, Austin, and myself took off to get our diving certifications! After the first day of diving - I HATED IT, I hated everything about it, not having control, not being able to rub my eyes when they were burning. I especially hated the following: I had to take my mask off underwater and just breathe blind for a minute, the part when he cut my air off and I had to signal him I was out of air b4 he cut it back on, when I had to completely remove all my equipment, then put it back on, had to hold my breath for 30 seconds as we did an emergency swim to the top, when I hate to throw my regulator out of my mouth, then find it, and the part about popping my ears to stay equalized.

So after all that, I had decided I was going to finish this first underwater test to prove to everyone and myself I was capable of doing it, but after that I WAS OUT! I was gonna sit on the beach in a hammock and straight chill. haha. BUT after the tests, we took a swim around under the dock and I got more comfortable so I decided to just go for it the following day, which was our first actual dive on the reef, 40ft. After the first dive, I was hooked. We still had to do several tests underwater, just chillin in the sand, 30 feet underwater. But it was crazy awesome. I am in love with diving now, there is just no other feeling than being completely weightless in the water, to be chillin upside down and not falling on your head, just floating! We also saw some amazing fish - seahorse, frog fish, toad fish, lobsters, crabs, moray eels, and sting rays!

On a sadder note, ben and austin are leaving this weekend!!! Time has flown by so fast, I am not ready for them to leave! It has also been fun because we have tried to take them traveling to see the country pretty much every weekend they have been here so it has been fun. I know in their hearts they would love to stay, but the military and financially they just can't, which is unfortunate but I know they have made a huge difference at destino in the month they have been there. Well I am going to finish my caffeine, hopefully it gets in my bloodstream quickly so I can function on this slow monday morning! oh pics to come, here and fbook!

Saturday, September 11, 2010 serving other kids, on Kid's Day...good stuff.

This past friday was a national holiday "Children's Day." All over the country schools are celebrating with their students with piñatas, cakes, candy, and no classes! Our kids ... got a different perspective. We took all our high school kids up to a school in the mountains that only had two classrooms, one for grades 1-5, an the other for grades 6+. There were probably about 60 kids in this school, all different ages. 

My Home Ec class (pic) made 6 sort-of-nice piñatas for the celebration and we brought tons of candy bags, balloons, face paint, lunch, soda, and cakes! We got there, gathered up all the kids and played some games all together, had a bible story, skits, and then broke up into small groups and did some more activities, the piñatas, and lunch. What an awesome way to get our kids involved serving their own community on a holiday that is suppose to be for them! I would love to say all, but MOST of our kids where great with the other children, helping and playing with them and just trying to get smiles. I was so proud of them and loved celebrating the holiday with them!