When Brandon and I went on our first mission trip last summer, July 2016 we had no idea how our lives would change. Our first place to visit was Olivos. We were quickly greeted by the precious children that reside there. As we made our way in to the village and got to meet all of the people, I could feel the change taking place. Hearing the story of their beginning and how they came to be in the place they are now opened my eyes to a way of life I never knew I would see with my own eyes. I couldn’t speak their language but I could see the love in their eyes. They welcomed us with open arms, allowed us to worship with them and made us feel like family. They left us feeling like a piece of our hearts would always live in Honduras.
Five short weeks later Brandon returned to serve on the fall medical mission trip in September of 2016. His heart couldn’t wait, he had to go back. With every picture he sent and story he told, my heart longed to be back there as well. Serving in whatever capacity the Lord would provide. So we both returned in February 2017 to serve on the medical mission trip. A hairstylist and an AT&T phone man, serving on a medical trip! What exactly would we do? Neither of us have medical training, but the Lord put it on our hearts to serve and serve is what we did. Brandon assisted one of the most wonderful pharmacists Julie McLeod, and I served alongside a local, a fellow hairstylist Keyce doing VBS activities with the children waiting in each clinic. Keyce doesn’t speak very much English and I don’t speak a bit of Spanish but we got the job done. The children in each and every community were so receptive the word and loved the activities I had put together for them. Brandon found a quote that so adequately put into words how I felt about communicating with the people. It says ” Hugs were invented to let people know you love them without having to say anything”. We definitely gave out a lot of hugs and both served the best we could.
So, at the end of the day, no matter what your profession or language ability, when God calls you to serve, you serve. I told Brandon, when we were landing at the airport in Honduras I was overcome with emotion, knowing that we were there to do what God called us to do and that it felt like we were home. I am so thankful to 147 for allowing us to serve with them and look forward to many years of mission trips.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how cant the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.
The picture I attached is one that I felt encompassed so much in one frame. The happiness on our faces is obvious. The little girl in the picture is Johanna. Her mother is Vanessa, the one we stopped to visit at the shoe store in town. They are two of the first faces we saw in Olivos and they hold a very special place in our hearts. They have the most infectious smiles and are beautiful inside and out. Johanna clung to Brandon the second time he returned as well as this most recent trip. They are one of the many reasons we fell in love with serving in their country.