This story begins back in May of 2015. An invitation from our church, the Rockingham Church, was announced for all who were interested in learning about or joining the next mission trip to Honduras. I was curious about their trip but not at all interested in traveling to Honduras. However, God had other plans. My daughter, Hannah, expressed her desire to go. At the time, I thought and even verbalized it to others, “as soon as they mention the sleeping arrangements and bugs, Hannah will change her mind.” So, we attended the information session. The previous mission team gave a presentation about their maiden voyage to Honduras in March 2015, and spoke of the work they had done while serving 3 orphanages, Little Lambs, Jeremiah and Senderos de Amor. They told of their meager living accommodations, the squabbles among team members, the illnesses from the food, and the bugs… And, even with all that, Hannah’s eyes continued to glisten with excitement. She heard messages my ears were deaf to. She wanted to join the next mission trip to Honduras. At this point, I found myself really wrestling with the decision to send her, but I chose to wholeheartedly pray on it. And, God answered my prayer. He was very clear, crystal clear, I needed to be the one to go with her. It was like He was right in front of me telling me to go. This was the biggest step of true faith I had ever experienced in my entire life. The kind of faith where you feel like you’re jumping off a cliff into an abyss. We would be traveling to a country that is full of violence. Known as the most violent country in the world! And, we would be flying into the most violent CITY in the world. Why on earth were we being called to Honduras of all places? Couldn’t we go serve someplace safer? Why there? I didn’t even know the language. We needed to get shots, antibiotics, all kinds of bug repellent, reapply for a passport. All my human thoughts and feelings said NO, but God’s words and His Holy Spirit said YES. I couldn’t deny it. This was now a leap of faith. I was being called to bring my only teenage daughter to Honduras. And, it was not clear why, just clear that we were being called to go.
So, we signed up! The next few months was a time of busy preparation. We did lots of fundraising, meetings with the team, devotional time together, sharing meals, applying for a passport, getting permission from school and work to be out for 8 days, visiting the travel clinic, etc… At every meeting, I asked a bizillion questions and was visibly anxious at most of them. But, one the most significant influences in preparing was reading two books Pastor Rachel recommended, Love Does & Is That Really You God? Hearing the Voice of God. This was the first time I even looked at what doing missions was truly about. Inspired by the readings, I begin to see that spreading God’s love is beyond myself in my world, and really as a believer, is always our mission, call, and responsibility. I started to trust that no matter how I was to serve in Honduras, sharing His love was first was to be my first priority not only to those we serve, but to my fellow team members, my family and friends and my daughter. I was being called to change my everyday interactions with people and look to God for the answers instead of myself. To pray on everything. And, that’s what I did. But, it went further and I went out of my comfort zone and started asking others to pray for us. For I knew, with the help of many, God could accomplish great things.
By the time we were entering our final week before take-off, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we had the armor of God surrounding us. I knew we would be safe and protected.
Our mission trip was filled with joy and fulfillment of all of God’s promises. I learned to trust God and human beings more than I ever have in my whole life. We were witnesses to a boy inviting God into his heart, experienced heaven on earth at the waterfall with the children from Little Lambs, gifted orphaned children with God’s generosity, laughed, played, communicated and loved beyond our own languages. And still, I was asking God, “What is your purpose and plan in all this?” I couldn’t shake it. The Sunday before leaving I just wept. I just couldn’t understand what our purpose was. Yes, we brought a lot of joy into these children’s lives and visa versa, but it seemed so fleeing… That on the other side of joy was great sorrow with leaving and saying goodbye. With some, it meant saying goodbye forever. It seemed almost counter productive. I asked God, “how is this helping?” I saw how missionaries would come and go in and out of these kids lives. “How does this help an abandoned, unwanted child feel stable? Do you want more from me Lord?” At church service, Pastor Rachel spoke to me and in a few words was able to settle my hysterics. She told me that I didn’t have to figure this out now. She encouraged me to enjoy the last moments with these children, be present and God will reveal His plan when we return to our normal life. So, in God’s strength, this is what I did. I enjoyed our trip to the bittersweet end saying goodbye to a country and children that stole a piece of my heart.
Since our departure September 22nd, 2015, a lot has happened, and God continued to reveal His glory… My hope is to share snippets of the events that have occurred to this present day… All of which are beyond my visions and expectations with more love and acceptance than I’ve ever experienced.