I can't even begin to explain to you the impact of this trip. Yes, I have been on a handful of other international mission trips. Yes, I fully enjoyed them and was glad to have participated. This one however was different. For one reason my family was with me. It was a blessing to watch my kids become engrossed and comfortable in a missionary lifestyle. It was awesome to watch my husband use his musical talents to bring joy to the children at Mama Tara's. For these reasons my heart was overjoyed.
I think the biggest reason I was so moved however was that we had a connection with these kids. A group from our church had been sponsoring this orphanage for about a year. By sponsoring, I mean we had been sending $150 a month to provide fruits and vegetables. For a long time I was content with that... After going there and seeing first hand how desperate their situation really is I no longer felt "good" about our efforts. I actually felt terribly guilty! I couldn't believe an orphanage that I help sponsor (ie I am partially responsible for) was in that kind of condition. We have been home for a little over a week. I honestly don't think there has been a minute when I haven't thought about what our life means now. It is definitely different. Being discontent with the American way of life is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more going on right now. I don't know what it is yet, but I do know that just sending money from time to time isn't it.
Adam helping stretch a fence around their soon-to-be garden. They tried to plant one before but they couldn't keep the kids from trampling it... hopefully this will help. It is funny how something so easy as keeping the kids out of the garden area just isn't as easy as it should be. Not when you have 30+ kids supervised by one 86 year old women. While frustrating for those who helped plant the garden, it is part of the reality of what is going on there. It is what it is. The inspiring part is that the Waits family (who lives near by) just bends with the culture and reality. They cope and change their approach to fit the needs.
We were asked to bring paints from the US to liven up the rooms. The kids who lived in each room picked what they wanted to be painted on their walls. The younger girls wanted butterflies and flowers and Proverbs 3: 5-6 "With all your heart you must trust the Lord. Always let Him lead you and He will clear the road for you to follow."
Charlie (one of the boys) asked me if I was going to paint in his room? I said of course! I asked him what he wanted. He picked a cross and John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave his only son that who ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
Mama Tara was so proud for her kids.
Adam and Max put the words to one of the songs we sang with the kids. (Which was one of the two we were able to sing in Spanish.) It is called Santo eres Santo. Which means 'Holy You are Holy'.
The shoes Maylin and I left behind.
While we were there we distributed lots of TOMS shoes. It was super cool. I am an advocate! BUY TOMS shoes. They really do what they say. There were at least 50+ kids who received shoes in those days we were there. It was Awesome!http://tarahonduras.blogspot.com/ She is the mastermind behind everything we have been able to do for these orphanages. (If you ever want to be a sponsor let me know! I can get you hooked up!)
Well... That is all I have in me tonight. I'll try and post more soon. So many thoughts...