Reblogged from: Herald Magazine’s “Connect | Engage | Inspire”
by Joelle Wight, Blue Springs, Missouri, USA
Wow, I can’t believe I’m home.
I am so happy to be here, but in many ways I wish I were back in Honduras. To say this experience was life changing is an understatement, but what exactly does that mean? What will I do differently now after meeting an 85-year-old woman with a plastic sand bucket? How will my actions be unlike those before I spent a week without running water?
It is easy to say my life was changed, but it is much harder to do something about it. I’m still reflecting on so much that it seems impossible to write a paper on my experience, but here goes.
The trip was exactly how I expected it, yet everything was so unexpected. I expected to spend 10 days in a small impoverished town, but I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. I expected to build a church building, but I never expected to inspire the people to be the church. Looking back, I think that is exactly how it needed to be.
In my journal I wrote that I was worried about not having control. I think God put me in a situation that was the way I had imagined, but then put an unexpected twist on it. I think that is the only way I could have learned.
On arrival in Honduras I was completely concerned with my purpose there. Why was I asked to come? What was my job there? I didn’t have the answers, so I felt like a hindrance to the trip. That feeling rapidly changed.
On our first full day in Honduras we went to a waterfall. It was an amazing experience that pulled our team together quickly and prepared us for relationships that made the trip a blessing.
The trip took further shape when we arrived in Orica, a small mountain town with no running water but plenty of community. It amazed me to see how quickly we developed relationships with the people despite our language barriers. One of them was the 85-year-old woman. During the build, she used her bucket to carry dirt, tote cement, and haul water.
But the trip wasn’t just about building.
We were in charge of three worship services throughout the week. With these services we worked to encourage the people to take their new building and fill it with the people of Orica, who desperately needed to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
It seemed too soon when we finished the church and our time there ended. It seemed we shouldn’t yet be leaving the friendships we had created; we still had more to do. We came together for a sending-off prayer. It was powerful to join with groups that cared so much for one another while praying to God, who had made it all possible.
We ended our trip in Copan, where I realized I want to do more of this. I want to see the rest of the world. At the beginning of the trip I had wanted to know my place, why God had brought me here. Looking back, I realize it isn’t always important to know my purpose. Rather, it’s important to remember that because God created me I have one.
This trip has changed me. But, I don’t want to just say that; I want to live it. I already can see the impact it has had on me and the fellow members of the group. Not one of us went untouched. Many of us already are planning on ways to maintain our presence in Orica and possibly return there. I have yet to see how that will manifest itself, but I know God will provide a way.