When you ask me to tell you about my trip to Honduras I could tell you about the hundreds of pounds of sand we shoveled into bags and then carried up the hill, or the multiple gallons of water that we filled from the spring and carried up the hill. Or even the pouring and mixing of the thousands of pounds of concrete, but I choose to talk about the joy, gratitude, and appreciation that the village of Monterrey showed us the whole week while we were visitors in their homes.
The journey out to Monterrey was not your typical hour and a half road trip, the driving is what I would say “unorganized” cars passing each other on one way roads, swerving to miss pot holes that were filled with sand, Dramamine was our best friend. From the moment, we pulled up to the village, my eyes didn’t fail me, the living conditions that I saw were enough to make me realize that there was a reason God put me on this trip. He knew that I was strong enough to help build this village up to its fullest potential, and I was ready for the journey.
Although the living conditions were not what I was used to, or expected to see, something very profound hit me as I was walking into the school yard. This was their community and they were proud to have us be a part of it for the week. One of the many things that I will take away from this experience is the sense of family, community, and love that all the people of Monterrey showered us with. You never saw children traveling alone, they traveled in packs with brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. I saw women washing clothes down in the springs together, sharing soap and helping each other to wash their families’ clothes. You witnessed the men stopping to help us fill water in the spring or carry a bag of concrete up the hill. It was beautiful, and it was these acts of kindness that were so impactful.
On our last day in Monterrey was when we started to really lay the concrete in the home of Jesús a beautiful man with a heart of pure gold. They had a three-bedroom home that was filled with love and beautiful pictures of their children that hung to their concrete walls with a single nail. Jesús would tell us all about his children with a smile that stretched from ear to ear, beaming with pride. Even through the hardships their family had suffered from losing a child at the age of six they had never lost sight of their faith, as the door read “dios te ama” meaning God loves you.
As the last bucket of concrete was placed on the once dirt floor we soon realized the importance of the job we were doing. This family would now have a home with real floors. Real floors that they could clean, floors that they could wash their feet off and go to bed without getting dirt on their beds. It was a gift that truly changed their lives. Once the house was complete we took one final group photo in celebration of job we had just completed and Jesùs said five simple words to us that will be forever written on our hearts, “You have changed my life”.
I can honestly say that I didn’t know everything that we were going to be doing once we arrived in Honduras. While the village of Monterrey maybe grateful for the work that 147 did for them, I will forever be grateful for the work that they did to me, and the impact that they have made on my life. I have left a piece of my heart in Honduras but I’m coming back to the United States with an even bigger heart.
God, bless you Honduras and God, bless you Monterrey, I’ll be back.