Honduras Day 4
Thanks be to God for this mission, this team, and the safety of our members. Truly, God’s hand is evident in everything our team does and sees in the village. It is with heartbreak that we leave the people of El Mico, but it is also with hope and joy from what we have accomplished together with those same people who are no longer strangers but family. Christ is alive, thriving, and swirling through the hearts and homes of El Mico. Wilson, one of the leaders in El Mico, shared with us today that he has personally been praying in church every day for years that God send the help they so desperately needed. He told us that WE were the miracle that were sent, representing God’s mighty hands with a few small but willing human hands. It cannot be understated how thankful they all were. I imagine some villages don’t really understand just how much a group of crazy gringos can love them. El Mico knows. In every heart and pair of shining eyes was thankfulness borne of working, sweating, and laughing with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
On this final day, we were able to spend some time working on the new schoolhouse that will become a kindergarten for the younger children. The children will greatly benefit from this project upon its completion because the one 400 square foot schoolhouse that was hosting up to 45 children at a time was loud, hot, and noisy. El Mico is blessed with wonderful educators from their own community that will use the new space to its maximum potential. The many school supplies donated to the mission from members and friends of St. Andrews will greatly aid in that venture. It is incredible that, as one, the community of El Mico decided a new schoolhouse would be the greatest benefit for the village. It was their dream; and in a few short weeks that dream will be realized with our help according to the will of God to bless these people who have been faithful to him. He has been faithful in return, as He always is.
Even so, with all the work that was done, it never feels like we have done enough. Our departure from the village assaulted us with feelings of abandonment as we left our family behind to continue suffering the harsh realities of abject poverty in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Through the strong leadership of Debi and Pastor Barry, every member of this team knows that this attack comes from an enemy who would discourage us from knowing the truth: God has called upon us to do his will and we have answered his call joyfully. There is a uniform sense in the team that God is looking down on us, smiling, and saying “Well done my good and faithful servants.”
Joy in the victories of Christ was the persisting theme of this day; it was very evident this morning as I worked the last day of bible school with our gifted Christian educator Carol and our Bulgarian princess Radi. Carol planned the lesson for the students to focus on the parable of the fruit of the vine. The children played the part of the apostles and stood apart from Jesus, and when they became connected to the vine of Christ by holding hands with Him they were able to bear rich fruit. It was my joy to play the part of Christ for the children and to struggle through the Spanish reading of the story, my goofy mistakes bringing adulation to their precious faces as another block in the foundation of their Christianity was laid.
The children created a craft of a vine bearing grapes, and within contained a reminder verse of this day’s lesson. We had some extra time upon its completion: it was Radi’s turn to shine. She asked the kids to sing their Abc’s, colors, and numbers. They went along with extensive vigor. We raced through Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes next and then brought the children out into the schoolyard to teach them musical chairs. All of this was Radi’s inspiring idea, and they loved every second of it. We finished the morning by preparing tambourines out of paper plates, stickers, and beads. These would be used for the fiesta in the afternoon with the whole village.
The afternoon fiesta on this last day in the village gave us time to share song, dance, snacks, and gifts with our brothers and sisters in Christ. A fondness and overwhelming sense of community could be heard for miles around in the sound of children’s laughter, tears, and prayers through the totality of this spectacular event. It is rather indescribable beyond that; you just had to be there.
Personally, my tears shed strongest for a man named Jose Luis. I was adopted into his family by his mother my last trip to Honduras, and so he is my brother. Upon our first arrival to El Mico this year he was walking down the road, and when our van stopped I ran to him as fast as I could so I could hug my brother. He told me that his wife, who was pregnant two years ago, had given birth to a beautiful baby boy named Nefer. I got to hold my nephew in my arms and held him as often and as tightly as I could on the last day before departing the village. I will miss him and the people of El Mico endlessly, but none will EVER be forgotten.