Honduras: DAY 1
We spent most of the day making our way here. The team met at the Grand Rapids airport at 4am and the plane was wheels up by 6. We are praising God for uneventful flights, correct paperwork and no lost team members! Our large group arrived in Honduras around noon and were greeted by some of our friends. This was such a highlight as we had been looking forward to seeing them for so long - and they us. Now to get ready for the next adventure of travel - boarding a large school bus that would bring us bumbling up the mountain roads. This vehicle required a slightly different and longer route than previous years with speeds much slower than the vans we typically take. Traveling from the airport in San Pedro Sula to Siguatepeque normally takes around 4 hours; stopping about half way for lunch. Within the first few hours of being here, you experience a jolting juxtaposition of the magnificence of God's creation - as this is a beautiful country, but you also can't ignore the countless reminders of the brokenness and devastation of the area.
As we near our destination and drive by CAFFIN, some of the neighborhood kids were jumping up and down in excitement, waving to us - it was great to recognize many of them from previous trips. Upon arrival, we planned for a few of us to make a quick trip into town for water. A smaller van was brought for this purpose and some of the boys that many team members have come to know very well, talked their way into riding in the van as well to come pick us up. When the van arrived and the doors opened, it was like a very exciting, surprise family reunion! There were many cheers, hugs and even some tears as we greeted each other! THIS. This is one of the biggest joys in returning year after year; these kids feeling known, invested in and cared for. Andy once told our team that the kids are excited to meet us the first time we come, but a return trip feels like they have a relationship with you and it is so much more impactful. Many of us have now witnessed this first hand and without a doubt know that it is true. Our young friends are able to use social media to contact team members throughout the year, keeping the relationships going. They share updates on school, how their family is doing and their personal aspirations; be it to join the soccer team, learn english or even someday travel to the US for school. One teen reached out to a Wellspring team member to share that he had chosen him and his family to pray for during their church 28 days of prayer campaign. We may be in the country for a 'short term' mission trip but there is something so much more ‘long-term’ about everything God is allowing us to do here while we support Andy and Carmen.
The team devotional focus as we start Day 2 (our first full day here and Outreach day) comes from 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. We are challenging ourselves to go through the day and think about ways we can truly become like those we are serving and those we serve alongside.
Please pray specifically for the team to remain flexible. We've done a ton of preparing for the trip as we have 'planned it' but we want to keep our hearts open and receptive to those times when God will show us that He is in charge. We are here to serve as needed. Also, as mentioned, (July 8) Day 2 is our outreach day when we will be visiting the villages, speaking with people we meet and inviting them to the planned events this week. Pray for fertile ground in the hearts of those we meet.