My wife Jenny and I are preparing to go to Honduras this Fall. Here are some stories from previous international mission trips:
This was my first international mission trip. My team of 16 girls and four guys from Young Harris College mixed, moved, and poured the concrete foundation and built a new house for a family. These people had been living in a shack made of scrap cardboard, grocery bags, and wooden pallets. We slept in a church with dirt floors. On the last night it rained, inside and out- the inside portion landing directly on me. Those of you who supported this trip built a house for a family in need, fed hungry members of the church we were staying in, gave love & attention to the children of the village, and confirmed my hunger for international missions.
Andros Island, Bahamas-
Trust me, this was no luxury vacation. My team was there for a little over a week loving on the community and playing with the children. I had the pleasure of digging a 1 foot deep, 50 yards across, ditch that ran through the street to reinforce the plumbing of a church and the mission host home. I’ve never sweat so much in my life. This area was eerily lacking grown men, the only two we saw were our host and the cook, Tony, who constantly gave me advice on how to avoid getting “the sniffs”. I saw people worn down and needing hope (which we then said they could have). And I saw a blind old lady who has the biggest thankful heart I could ever imagine. She was singing/shouting praise songs to God after we visited her for a mere five minutes. Those of you who supported this trip gave future missionaries the ability to shower, loved like crazy on the kids of the island, shared Jesus with some shut-ins, and opened the eyes of the many leaders on our team to the great need in the Bahamas.
Rancho el Paraiso, Honduras
Two plane rides and a ten hour bus ride, mostly on potholed dirt roads, got me to the Ranch in Honduras. Last time I was in Honduras a bat fly-by pooped on my face while I was sleeping. My roommate was less fortunate as he was sleeping with his mouth ajar. Some of the most precious experiences I’ve had were in Honduras. I’d wake with the sunrise at 5:15 AM, read the Bible and some Bonhoeffer, and then travel to the nearest village to work side-by-side with its inhabitants. My team’s main job was to lay cement floors in all the one-room houses to help prevent disease. We also put on a sort of vacation Bible School every afternoon. Those of you who supported this trip supplied a healthier living space for everyone in a village, taught the local children about Jesus, dug a hole for and built an outhouse, and built a new room for a growing family. Thank you.
I went there after being married for a mere two months. Dumb. I was an emotional wreck and the jet lag didn’t help. But even after overcoming those elements, this trip was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced. We were working/playing with Roma orphans. We brought some watermelon to one especially poor orphanage- the kids said they hadn’t had fresh fruit in a few months. You can read my journal from this trip here: Journal One, Journal Two, Journal Three. (psst- if you only read one of them, read the second). If you supported this trip, you loved on and fed some wonderful kids who are largely forgotten by their culture. Thank you.