Monday, July 8, 2013

Trip #1: God is CLEARLY at work here

I've been postponing blogging about the last 2 weeks mostly out of pure exhaustion. So here goes nothing.

Our first team arrived from Dallas, TX on Saturday June 22nd and before we even got to La Providencia with them the challenge started. We stopped at our very American-ized but still very much all in Spanish grocery store in Siguatepeque and the team had to grocery shop for 17 people for an entire week. Then we got to the clinic where we're staying and jumped right in cooking dinner. This team was really excited about their mission here and it was really fun to get to know them.

I want to talk about VBS here because I honestly think that was the most exciting thing for all of the students and something that everyone put 150% of themselves into. God's love and glory shone BRIGHT through these students. The two VBS leaders did an amazing job casting the vision for what they wanted VBS to be all about. They were passionate about communicating the love of God to these kids. It didn't matter if they messed up the skit or the craft was done wrong or even if they messed up all of their attempted Spanish conversations. They knew that the only reason VBS matters is to show that God's love is bigger than our culture, bigger than a language barrier, and powerful enough to be communicated through a bunch of high schoolers just trying their best. Our students connected really well with the kids at VBS and many of them had little "buddies" that they hung out with all week. Their skits went flawlessly, the games were fun, the crafts were loved by all, but most importantly we built friendships with those kids and showed them that God loves them. Each and every student on this trip was so enthusiastic during every afternoon we spent at VBS and there was not one minute where I felt like they could have done more or been better. It was a fantastic experience and I think that all of these students saw how much impact you can have on someone by showing God's love and being selfless with your time.
Students and VBS kids :)
Construction was another really clear avenue for how God worked. We were working on laying block to expand a sidewalk that goes from the community center to the classroom building and pouring the cement footings for the walls of a principal's office. We studied the book of Nehemiah which is about how he rallied the people of Jerusalem to rebuild the walls surrounding the city and we LITERALLY BUILT WALLS these past two weeks. It was a fantastic opportunity to connect our experience with that of a man who relied on God so fully. Now, what we did was important, but I think that the relationships that we built and the tough lessons and decisions that were made was even more of a leadership lesson for the students. The two construction leaders were very passionate about keeping the vision alive for why were spending hours mixing concrete and mortar and doing and redoing blocks to keep them precisely level. They consistently communicated that we are building this so that the school can expand and bring more kids in to La Providencia so that they can receive a quality, Christ-centered bilingual education that will raise them to be leaders that will make a difference in their native country. The only way things get built and projects are funded are if teams come and work hard and do projects with excellence. It was really cool to see these students take ownership of their work and asks questions such as "If this was mine, would I be happy with the way this turned out?" and "How can we do this more efficiently?" and "Am I using my resources of people and tools well right now?" These students were intentional about their conversations on the work site and building relationships with each other and with the Honduran employees and volunteers we had the opportunity to work with.
Students and Adult leader laying block

These students worked hard, they pushed each other, they asked hard questions, thought intentionally, spoke intentionally, loved each other and lived ON MISSION for God these past two weeks. It was a blast to see how God can work through me and in this lives of students who are challenged and pushed out of their comfort zones.

Pray for Abbey, Alex and I these next two weeks. Our next group has already arrived and we had a very very short break in-between so we are tired and weary but we know that the joy of the Lord is our Strength.

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