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  • Writer's pictureMissions Of Hope

Honduras Reflections from two first time participants - Amy and Igor

Reflection from Amy (first-time participant with our Missions of Hope team).


I just returned several days ago from a trip to Honduras. Since, I’ve been asked, several times, “How was your trip?” I find myself having a difficult time finding a way to express my answer. It’s just so hard to explain. I have never experienced a trip that affected so many parts of me. Professionally, I was challenged by numbers and limited resources. Physically, I was exhausted by need. Personally, I felt overwhelmed by a population of people who had seemingly so very little to give by many standards. Culturally, I was immersed into a foreign world with a foreign language. Morally, I was educated by people from war laden countries who explained to me that war between good and evil exists everywhere and that representation of truth and kindness is desperately needed always in all places of the world. Emotionally, I found myself pulled to offer as much as I could to the children and patients and colleagues I encountered.


And then, spiritually, I found myself grounded even though I was in a foreign country and in a setting entirely void of all comforts I had come to know. Sound familiar? There was one morning on the trip when a story was shared with me about a preacher who told his congregation that they should all walk at the speed of love. When they asked what that meant (what was the actual speed of love?) the preacher replied, “3 miles an hour”. This led to a conversation about why he would define it that way. Is it because of the Holy Trinity? Was it because love typically needed time to develop? The preacher’s answer was that 3 miles an hour is the average speed of a human… it is the speed God felt necessary when he sent a son to live with humans on Christmas Day.


Regardless of your religious background, that message, to me at least, transcends all differences in belief because I have seen its truth. Taking the time to walk among the people who are in your presence, learning from them, walking slower or faster to meet them at the places where you are needed, stopping to help or to just absorb a moment, allowing their presence to shape you and you to shape them… this average speed, this is love.


Back home from this trip, I feel myself slipping back into my familiar environment. In the operating room, if I ask for a suture, I’m given the exact kind I asked for. If I want fresh green produce, I buy it. I get dressed and I don’t check my shoes for scorpions. I hug the people I missed. And, I’m grateful for all of these comforts but I cling like crazy to what brought me comfort in Honduras, too. And, you know, maybe that is because that preacher is right. I learned lessons on that trip and felt the love that comes when you make the effort to walk with others. My experiences, the way they affected me, maybe they are more accurately described in this manner: professionally, I found everything I needed. Physically, all my hard work simultaneously reinvigorated me. Personally, I grew because of the enormous hope and gratitude from the people who surrounded me. Culturally, I was able to communicate through new words I learned and through shared feelings I experienced among strangers. Morally, I found common ground among Ukrainian friends because I understood that we all need each other to survive our independent battles. Emotionally, I found myself completely enveloped into the hearts of children and of patients and of colleagues.


I hope that this holiday season is filled with family and friends and traditions and giving and visiting places and conversations and great food and contemplation … and traveling at a pace that may seem average, but in truth is the perfect rate for love.


Reflection from Igor (first-time participant with our Missions of Hope team)


I thank God for the opportunity to participate in this missionary trip. It was an amazing

experience for me! It's great when people of different backgrounds and cultures come together in the Name of the Lord for a common cause! After such trips, you realize how many people need help and support. God continues to do his work on earth, and he gives us a chance to participate in it.


One full day observing the team at the Hospital helped me to better understand how difficult

and complex it is for everyone involved to meet the overwhelming needs of those who come for help! Although I've been to hospitals more than once, this time I had a closeup view of the inner workings of a medical team in action. I was overwhelmed!


The orphanage I visited also greatly affected me! After the first visit with the children, I wanted more! Although my ability to speak to them in their native language was limited, I just spent time with them. I think it was also meaningful for them.


They are amazing children - each of them unique! It s great that they have the opportunity to live in a home where they are cared for! And it is very important that they are instructed on Christian values, and encouraged to become God-followers! I believe children's ministry is important so that the younger generation has a chance for a beautiful future with God!


Sincerely,

Igor

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