As I’m sitting here thinking about where to start with this blog and starring at my pictures in the floor ready to go in an album…all that I can think of is how bad I want to be on top of the mountain at the mission house in Tegucigalpa Honduras! I love that place! Being able to go to a third world country and serve others is such an amazing feeling. From sorting thousands of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soaps for hygiene kits to painting a playground at an orphanage for some precious souls to play on to distributing food to washing girls hair to putting smiles on faces of kids at the hospital and a special needs orphanage …it really is priceless and the most amazing feeling!! These are just a few ways that I was able to serve the people of Honduras for 11 days. This is an experience that everyone should do in their life. My love for Honduras grows deeper and deeper daily. This year I was able to go to the Didasko orphanage 4 out of the 7 days we worked. The first two days I helped to repaint their playground that we built a few years ago. It’s named Terry’s World after its designer and our leader Terry Reeves. It is amazing! Honduran kids remind me of monkeys; they climb, swing, and jump everywhere. So the playground is really tall and fun to repaint because the kids were so excited. This orphanage holds a special place in all TORCH members’ heart. It was truly God’s will that we found the orphanage when we did and we have taken great care of them ever since. On the third day out there we played with the kids and did a VBS with them. Great day! I am amazed at the smiles on their faces…considering some of their stories they will carry with them forever, but yet they ALWAYS have smiles on their faces and are living life to the fullest. For my sake, I do not want to know many of their stories because it will absolutely devastate me. But one boy ALWAYS wears pink soccer wrist bands…he does this because when he was 2 his mother chained him to the stadium in the city and he has scars on his wrist. This is why he always wears the wrist bands. Such a sad story and very hard for us to comprehend but yet he is always playing and seems happy. I can only thank God for taking care of him until he was able to get to the orphanage. On our last Saturday there we went back to the orphanage (might I add that it is an 1 ½ for us to get there…one way!!) to get the kids, workers, and their summer interns and take them to KFC for lunch and then we were going to show them a movie back at the mission house. As soon as we pulled up they came running to us, they were sooo ready take a trip. This was huge for them because they just not get to do this very often at all. Riding with them on the bus was great, they just stared out the window in awe! Of course they loved getting their pictures taken too!! Once we got to KFC the kids went and sat down and waited for their food. They got a piece of chicken and some French fries…they CLEANED their plates and never complained about wanting more they just were soooo content!! Then we got to play in the HUGE play area at KFC…they had a mini soccer field at the top! It was amazing! Then it was time for another bus ride to the mission house, when we arrived the cafeteria had been sat up for movie time. We had popcorn, Kool-Aid, and the movie TANGLED!!!! They kids loved it! We had English subtitles so it was a bit hard to follow but hearing their laughs were worth it all!! Then we took some pictures with the kids and they were printed so they could take them back with them. When it was time to say bye, everyone started playing ten times harder and an hour later we really did have to let them go. These are such special kids and it was extremely hard to say good bye. But we decided that it was not a good bye…it’s a see ya later!! Being with the same 29 kids for 4 days there is no doubt there is a connection and their smiles, hugs, laughs, and tears changed me forever. I cannot thank God enough for allowing TORCH to find this orphanage and the bond that we have with them. And their owner and his wife and kid are AMAZING!!! He is an angel to those kids and to us! Another day I was able to help with Daughters of the King, this is a day at the spa for the girls in the village of Mololoa. We wash the girls hair, fix it, wash their feet (I HATE feet and I did this last year and I still HATE feet but I LOVE some little Honduran girls feet!!!), and painted their nails. This year we had a church to make dresses for the little girls. They were beautiful when they were all fixed up. We also took their picture, printed it and gave it to them! Some of them had never seen themselves so pictures to them are a HUGE deal. This was another great day. We did that in the morning and then in the afternoon we distributed food to a village on our mountain. This is such a humbling experience because we see their homes up close and it is just heart breaking. When we give them the bag of food they are so thankful. It is little things like food that we take for granted. It has really made me thing about food and being more careful when I throw food away because those starving faces are always in my mind. I’m just thankful we are able to help in the ways that we can. Hygiene kits…man they are crazy!!! We start by sorting thousands of soap bars, shampoos, conditioners, toothbrushes, toothpastes, razors, shaving creams, lotions, etc. Then once we have sorted everything we begin putting the kits together. This year we were able to make over 800 kits…AMAZING!! I was mainly in charge of sorting toothbrushes…there were TONS!!!! Let’s just say each bag has 4-6 toothbrushes in it and we did over 800 kits…you can do the math as to how many toothbrushes we had! What amazes me the most is all the materials are donated for the kits. I love knowing that even if some people cannot come on the trip with us they are able to send items and still help and be part of our trip. Also while we are making the kits there were other groups counting and sorting pills for our medical clinic. We also had another group breaking down and sorting food for the food bags. These are always tedious jobs but someone has to do it!! Hospital visits…this was a first for me and yes like everything else…I loved it! Being able to see sick kids and put a smile on their face is wonderful. We saw several kids and most of them had their mom with them and the rest of their family was at home…one family was 8 hours from home. They were all in there for multiple reasons. One was waiting for an allergy shot, she had been there for three days waiting and did not know when she would get the shot. We went on Friday and one little girl was going to have heart surgery on Monday; I have not been able to stop thinking about her. I can only hope and pray they the surgery was successful and she is on the road to recovery. Her mom had three other kids at home and the little girl’s dad did not want to deal with her anymore because of her heart condition. This just broke my heart. She and her mom were so nice and I know that God is watching over them. After the hospital we went to the special needs orphanage! This is probably my favorite place! I have always had a special place in my heart for special needs kids. My mom taught them for several years and I grew up with them. All three years I have been in Honduras I have been able to go to the orphanage. Just being able to work and play with these kids is great. One little boy named Noel was from what we could tell only physically disabled and very smart. We were playing with cars and we were going through the colors in Spanish and English. I was able to tell him everyone that was with their names and he was talking about them. He was precious! He also wanted me to take pictures of all his cars so he could see them on the camera! I love being able to speak some English with him. I love him along with all the others and cannot wait to see them next year…Lord willing!! I love Honduras and I’m so thankful that I have been blessed to go over there and serve for three years now. I have also met some amazing people on this trip. These are some friends that I know I will have for a lifetime and knowing that we share a common passion is amazing! Please continue to pray for our work that is being continued over there and for everyone in Honduras. They really do live a completely different life over there but I know God is watching over them!!
While in Honduras there are several things we cannot do or things we do not have that we can do or have in the states and it is the smallest things that we take for granted!!
Here is a list of a few: 1. FLUSHING TOILET PAPER!!! (It's amazing how much you miss it when you cannot do it!!) 2. Brushing your teeth with tap water...sure you can do this in Honduras BUT you WILL be sick! 3. Hot showers...I had ONE warm shower while I was there, the rest cold!! But I just kept telling myself there are so many who cannot even take a shower tonight and when they do get one its cold and usually dirty water! 4. Being able to wear flip flops where ever you go and not have to worry about a parasite! 5. Normal Driving compared to Crazy Driving in Honduras...this is really an understatement and you cannot understand it until your have experienced riding in Honduras!! Let's just say stop signs and lights mean nothing over there! 6. Family...there are so many broken families in Honduras that we see daily. It just makes me appreciate my family and friends more and more all the time. 7. My House! Most houses in Honduras are shacks to say the least. One room houses or cardboard boxes for families of 5-6. Knowing that I have a house to come home every night with a bed, food to eat, couches to sit on, AC/Heat, indoor plumbing, etc. Its the same things we seem to forget about that make a world of difference. 8. Health Care. After being at the hospitals in Honduras, I appreciate our heath care even more. I met one girl who had been in the hospital for 3 days waiting for an allergy shot! The doctors couldn't tell her exactly when she would get it! 9. My Job! Even if I do not always like it, I'm so thankful for it. It breaks my heart to know someone can work for minimum wage in Honduras and still not be able to put food on the table for their family. 10. Being able to order food at a resturant without having to just point to pictures or words! Also being able to specialize your order because the workers can understand what you want! 11. Being able to have pictures of our friends and family! When we would take picture of the kids over there they couldn't wait to see it. For some of them it was the first time they have seen themselves. Which seems absolutely crazy to us but its true!!
I'm thankful for the Country that I live in but I am also thankful for the third world country that I am able to go to help spread God's word!