The last day of a mission trip to Honduras can be hard, particularly if anyone hates saying goodbye (like me). But that is what today’s about . . . closing the door on this trip, while opening us up to the possibilities of what may lie ahead.
We had our usual start: praying Morning Prayer together, sharing a marvelous breakfast, and taking off in the vans for a great workday. We completed our part of the project and memorialized the event by emblazoning our team name in an actual concrete foundation, soon to be covered by another team’s work on a wall — an important reminder that we all do our part — but only our part — in Christ, for no one does God’s work alone, but within the unified community of Christ’s body, the Church.
We also had a surprise blessing of new work for a few of our youth. This Saturday night there will be a Quinceañera, a “coming of age” party for the young Latin women of the children’s home who turn 15 this year. Although we’ll miss the actual party (we’ll already be traveling home), it was absolutely wonderful to participate in preparing the chapel for this special event.
Lunch, once again, was a time to come together with music and song and hear our friend, Angel, give his testimony to us all. He was especially encouraging of our youth. Of my many trips to Honduras, this week as been a truly spectacular time, with exceptional camaraderie and connection between our worksite leaders and our youth. A phenomenal gift!
Our afternoon flew by, and soon we were seeing the children for the final time. We attended a despedida, a farewell celebration with music and games and laughing and hugging. It was a marvelous time to gather and say goodbye. And although it’s always hard to leave, some youth were given some extraordinary parting gifts, like a child telling a team member just how much he’ll be missed. (Right, Luke?!)
And as if our hearts weren’t full enough, we also met the Safe House girls tonight, young girls saved from human trafficking. They entertained us with music and dance, and then taught our youth a new dance. What an amazing opportunity to witness what redemption can look like in the faces of these young girls who have suffered so much. Truly remarkable.
When we finally were alone as a team, we spent time preparing for our return spiritually with prayer and reflection and physically by packing. We’ll have a full day, with an early start tomorrow. We’re so grateful to have this dedicated time to strive to follow Christ, giving us an opportunity to experience what it can actually means to allow our hearts to be cracked wide-open by the power of the Spirit. I pray that having experienced a full and purpose-filled week that many of us may begin the journey of seeking to serve Christ in new ways, as we have discovered the wonder and beauty of seeing God’s hand in the world.
P.S. Not sure how she does it, but Colleen always manages to strike up connections with so many of God’s creatures!