Last week my wife Jenny and I joined a team traveling to Guaimaca, Honduras to do some hard work, relieve the staff of an orphanage, and love on the 600+ kids.
I expected there to be many hardships to have to endure while traveling to and staying in Honduras. The landing is rough, the roads are terrible, the water will give you violent diarrhea. And much harder or even impossible to deal with- Having to leave the children who would absolutely steal my heart.
I’m working on a video and some blog posts to more fully immerse you in what we were doing. But for now, here are five things I did NOT expect in Honduras:
1) I did not expect to work with babies.
Because I work with teens. Not babies. Not ever. But in the baby house I found myself. Jeffry here continued this act for about 45 minutes. I think he ate about three full spoonfuls altogether. I apologized to the leaders of the house for being so terrible at feeding him. They reminded me of the candy cane he ate 20 minutes before lunch.
2) I did not expect what “take the babies for a walk” actually meant.
I think we went on a two mile
walk hike around the campus. That was a lot of hills. Going down was pretty fun, though. Three of my passengers even fell asleep despite getting air as we sprinted down the hills.
3) I did not expect to be so popular so quickly.
Really this is a testament to how important it is to send missionaries to these kids. Most will immediately latch on and soak up the attention that the small staff just isn’t able to give them. It’s because of mission supporters and the missionaries themselves that the kids are so welcoming to hear from and get love from new people. To illustrate: by comparison the kids in the Romanian orphanage I went to three years ago would barely be seen near any of us on the first day. Here, they all climbed all over each of us right away.
4) I did not expect to get so many laughs.
You know, because of the culture and language barriers. I thought I could maybe make some funny faces for the small kids to create smiles, but that was about it. But no, the Honduran people laugh at just about anything and for no real reason at all, which I relate to.
5) I did not expect to be present when a new arrival was dropped off.
While I was feeding Jeffry, the Honduran government dropped off a four-month-old baby girl. You can hear her screams in the background of the first video.
It’s bittersweet because the little girl had to be taken away from some awful stuff, yet she was arriving in Emmanuel where she is going to be taken care of very well. I wanted to cry with her, knowing that change can be terrifying even if it is for waaay better.
Folks who went with me- what did you experience that you didn’t expect?