Monday the 27th of January marks the halfway point of my trip to Honduras and I am looking forward to counting down instead of up. So far, however, this has been the most exciting and challenging 4 weeks of my life, and I am thankful to the Father for making me do it and giving me the opportunity to take on such and adventure. In these past weeks I have certainly been stretched to my limits and pushed beyond what I though I would ever accomplish in such a short time. Not only have I learned practical skills such as welding and auto mechanics but I have also learned so much about God’s working in my life and His working in the lives of those around me.
My time here has been much like a whirlwind with work and other activities. I am at work from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM with an hour lunch break. Usually, after work I am at the Fields house or at another house belonging to one of the missionary families. The weekends are usually less busy unless I decide to go to La Ceiba–the closest city–to do some shopping. Or unless I am at somebody’s house or at the beach or exploring some other area. While I have been exploring in many places, there are always new, fun things to find and I have not gotten tired of just enjoying the natural beauty of Honduras.
I try to take my camera with me wherever I go so that I can capture any memorable moments and have already taken over a thousand pictures (even with a slight video card issue). The work that I have done, the work on the school, the people around me, the plants, the animals, the landscape and even silly things we do have all been captured on camera to be remembered for years to come. Even with all this I feel like I have not capture half of what I have experienced.
One of the struggles I had early on was the question of why I was here in the first place. While God has not shown me directly the answer, He has answered my prayer to have faith and patience to trust Him that I am where He wants me to be. Now, I am beginning to be ready to come home, but also aware that I am exactly where my Father wants me to be. I am content to live here and learn what He puts in front of me–even if it means learning the cha-cha or driving a manual transmission.
The people here a all really nice, with no exceptions. I am always greeted with smiles from both missionaries and Hondurans alike. The missionaries because they have been moved by God to come here and know what it is like to be strangers in a foreign country, and the Hondurans because they appreciate what we are trying to do for them–and we provide work for a lot of them. Certainly I never have and probably will never experience such amiability.
The Lord was very gracious when He sent a mechanic from Pennsylvania to come and serve with us. I am so thankful for His provision: Jake Johnson arrived the Saturday after I did and has been a great companion as we spend our time here. He lives in the apartment the next door down and we are often working together on his car and engine projects. Jake loves the Lord and I have been blessed by God to have such a friend for a time like this.
The Fields family has been an immeasurable blessing while I have been here. Mrs. Fields shares her bread with me and they buy extra milk just for me. If I ever have a need I can go to them and they have always been more than happy to help. Their son, Ben, is 12 and is struggling with all the things kids his age struggle with, and I have been asked to be an influence in his life. Every Wednesday I sit down and help him as he does school and there have been improvements since I arrived. This past Wednesday we started off with a devotional about salvation and I gave him a 20 minute sermon on top of the regular reading, in which I presented the gospel and practiced my Gavel Club skills. (Feel free to pray for his salvation.)
It is fun, if also a little challenging, to meet all the missionaries that come through here. The hospital is like a rock in the midst of a river where many people rest on for a short time an move on. There are always missionaries moving out and new ones moving in–a logistics nightmare but also a good reminder of how short this life actually is. There are and have been missionaries from all over the the States and some from other parts of the world–Georgia, Florida, Michigan, California, New York, Wisconsin, Scotland, and more. The diversity always amazes me and once again points to God and how He orchestrates something as amazing as this from all reaches of the world.
This trip continues to surprise me with all of the new things that come along and the lessons God shows me just during daily work or play. Out of the blue I will realize some new perspective or a bit of information that causes me to think a little differently. Things like that have been commonplace while I work and travel around in different ways than I am used to. That is certainly one reason why I am here–for God to show me that there are so many different ways to look at the same happening and I must look at the world through a bigger and less obtrusive lens.
Right now it is Sunday afternoon and I am enjoying a cloudy, 70 degree day that is typical of this time of year on the north coast of Honduras. It is on these afternoons where I begin to think of home and the family and friends I have yet to see for another 4 weeks. Certainly I do miss them all very much. (I even miss playing Seven Wonders, Stuart.) Through it all (laughs and tears) I know that Honduras is only a temporary home as much as Winslow is. My home resides in heaven and I am just my Father’s ambassador proclaiming good news of salvation. May His matchless Name be exalted above the heavens and may I return home safely.