Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I realize that this is very delayed, and I apologize for that. Processing and transitioning has taken me longer than I anticipated. Let me rewind back to my last week with LeaderTreks in Dayton.

God faithfully brought me back to the states from Honduras and straight into ministry in Dayton, OH. No time for reverse culture shock. No time for rest. No time to dwell on missing all my friends in Honduras.

Highlights of my week in Dayton with Crystal Church from Queens, NY:
1. Watching God transform a timid high school girl into someone who shed love on rambunctious VBS kids, encouraged her teammates, and led them in enthusiasm and effort on the work site.
2. Seeing some of the same VBS kids from Week 1 and getting to love on them and talk about Jesus
3. Completing a basketball court for a church and neighborhood of African refugee families
4. Watching a relationship between a gracious landlord and his tenants being restored by the efforts of high school students
5. Seeing our missionary partner come to tears because of the awesome ways that God worked through LeaderTreks students all summer long

And now I'm back here at school in Cedarville, OH. I miss LeaderTreks a lot. I miss the people, the intentionality, the lifestyle, and all the memories. But I am a changed person. I obeyed God's call to do his work this summer and I've seen the life changing results of that in myself and others. I got to know my Savior in a completely new and deeper way this summer. I am praying that all of these experiences transform the way I live with my friends at school this summer. I am praying that God would show himself to me here just as evidently. I am praying that God's joy and strength be my joy and strength everyday.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Concrete, Sickness, and Goodbyes.

My last week in Hondo was full of unexpected twists, lasting memories, and sad goodbyes.

Around 5 or so students got really sick the last few days of the trip. We're still not sure what it is. Some combination of stomach aches, vomiting, dizziness, etc. We did a lot of late night research and even had one student sent to the hospital and we still don't have an answer to the "mystery illness." A few of the amazing ways God provided during this time was first off that we lived in a medical clinic, so we had access to all the medications that we needed, IVs and fluids, and plenty of hospital beds. Secondly, we had a nurse who came as an adult leader with the group and she was put to work caring for all the sick people. She was sticking IVs in people, tracking medications, and constantly checking up on them throughout the day. The last way that God was very evident in his provisions was in the attitude and work ethic of those who remained healthy.

Our last day on the worksite, students were dropping like flies, one by one they had to go inside because they were too sick to work. We had only about 2/3 of our group, and a huge goal to accomplish on the site. God gave all those students enough strength and stamina to complete the goal AND more on the last day. I had the privilege of working alongside two particular students, a boy and a girl, that absolutely blew me away with how hard they worked. Another obstacle that we had was that the concrete mixing machine that we normally used was broken. Every task that we wanted to accomplish required either mortar or concrete and there was a TON to be made. This needed to be accomplished by mixing concrete by hand "volcano" style by me, the youth pastor, and these two students. Let's just say this was NOTHING I wanted to do, but I knew that this was the most important job on the work site. It was important for these students to know that they set the pace and attitude for the entire day. They were the two healthiest feeling students and they had the most important job. They ROCKED it. We must have mixed 10 batches of concrete/mortar that day which can be very difficult with only 4 people. Then we had to wheelbarrow the mixes across the school to the place where they were laying block in trenches. I remember taking a lot of really short water breaks and not much else. The attitudes of these students was STELLAR (a word stolen by Alex, my co-intern). They never complained, encouraged each other, worked fast, and set goals. It was SO great to see God work in them that day and to see how much they had grown through those 2 weeks culminated in a really hard task to complete. 

What God really revealed to me during this time was that he is constant even when nothing else is. We read through Nehemiah 9 one of those nights at team time and God's character and faithfulness is so evident in this chapter. God is Gracious. Merciful. Slow to anger. Creator. Sustainer. Rigtheous. Good. 

The hardest part of my last week in Honduras were the goodbyes. I said goodbye to many beautiful servants of God who are all giving themselves to the ministry of La Providencia in many ways. It is so difficult to see someone every day and work alongside them and then to not know for sure if you will be reunited. The two families of orphans that I got to see and hang out with for six weeks. Their families are full of the story of God's love and redemption and the kids were so adorable and fun to hang out with. The workers at La Providencia: Josue, Hedyn, Henry, Douglas, Mizael, Thomas, Will, Don Callisto, everyone. My friend Megan who was interning at La Providencia. Some of the saddest goodbyes I've ever had to say, and a piece of my heart remains with them. I love you guys, I hope to see you again soon.

Me with two of the girls who live at La Providencia on my last day. 

Megan, my twin.

The Amaya family. Such beautiful hearts.

Last day of VBS