The story of our trip to Honduras is really a two-sided one, written on opposite pages yet each reflecting the other. On one side of the page is the story of La Providencia: the staff, the families and their children and the school. What an amazing story it is. We were all in awe of the passion, the dedication and the love these people had for each other and their mission. Our team immersed itself in the daily life of the orphanage and school and soon found itself caught up in this same passion. It was contagious! The time we spent with the children was, of course, the most satisfying. Their smiles, laughter and unconditional love touched every nerve of our bodies. Talking to and getting to know the staff and foster parents however, proved equally as uplifting and at times humbling. Their stories and witness are a powerful testament to God’s grace and faithfulness. The reality of the many obstacles this project faces, though, was not lost on us either. The abject poverty in which most of the school children live in, the emotional and mental scars left on the orphans by abandonment, and the lack of funding in order to address these issues speared us to the core, making the whole book of James relevant and urgent.
The other side of the page tells the story of our small team, especially the kids, and how incredibly responsive they were not only to the task at hand but to each other also. The ages ranged from 10 to 50 but you would have thought they were family and not individuals thrown together by a mission trip because of the way HEAL brings the team together every morning and every night to reflect. As the days passed the bonds grew stronger. They were kind to each other, patient and accepting; they teased, played, laughed and cried, allowing themselves to be vulnerable and open. Every night they brought their experiences and feelings of the day to the devotional, and somehow what they experienced and felt was reflected in the way they treated each other. They embodied the truth that by serving others and loving each other, we love and serve God.
So those are the two sides to our mission story. We were all touched and changed by La Providencia and I would like to think that we left an impression on them too, even if it was fleeting. I do know that the love was real, and in the end that is what really matters.
Reflections by: Alice Jones - Toledo