Starting from the beginning...
We left the airport around 6, a little sad but so so excited about the adventure ahead of me. And what an adventure it turned out to be. We arrived in San Pedro Sula around 11, drove 5 hours to Olanchito to the XMA mission house where we found that there was no running water... but that was ok, we're adventurers!!! My first impression of Honduras was how mind-blowing the scenery was, in every sense of the word: beautiful and tragic. These people live on so little, but they are some of the most joyful and generous I have ever seen.
On day two we left from the mission house, drove two hours, then hiked 3 hours into a village called Que Brada de Arena. The hike was fun. We made lots of stops for snacks and to sing praises. That afternoon in the village we played with the kids, told some bible stories and a sweet sweet lady washed a few of our clothes for us. Once it got dark we set up the Jesus film and after that prayed with a good many of the people. Then we got ready for bed, and my tent smelled just like my dad's truck, which sounds weird I know but I loved it so much! Jess, Sarabeth, Rachel and I bonded and I'm sure kept everyone else up longer than they wanted but it was so fun!
We woke up around 4:30 to the crow of a rooster.. not so great... A little later Dunia (one of the natives who works for XMA and is wonderful) told us one of the ladies of the village wanted us girls to come and have breakfast at her house. She fixed us chicken and rice and coffee and we ate with her in her dirt floor home, with no electricity and no running water. The food was good, but more meaningful was the offer of all that she had. After breakfast we went to set up the medical clinic in the village church. We probably saw 25-30 families and were able to give each member vitamins and most of them parasite medicine. Shortly after we finished up the clinic (around 12 noon) we packed up and hiked out to Aqua Blanca, where we parked our trucks. There we got to take a bath in the river, the 'mucho frio' (very cold) river!! It sounds strange but it was so fun and it felt so good to be clean. I don't understand how we got so dirty and I don't think anyone can ever appreciate a bath as much as we did. That night the rain came so we set up the Jesus film inside Aqua Blanca's church building, and you could not have fit one more person in there, seriously!! There was a huge response to the film and I got to pray with a young girl and her child, and even though she couldn't understand me, it was still a sweet time. That night Pastor Dario (another native who works for XMA) announced that there would be a clinic in the morning. Upon hearing this Jess, Sarabeth and I proceeded to mildly freak out, because there was very little medicine left from the first clinic. But he told the people already so we decided to give out what little we had and when it was gone, it was gone. We slept in a school house that night and the fab four (Jess, Sarabeth, Rachel, and I) actually went to sleep that night on time due a combination of mild scolding and genuine sleepiness.
Dario woke us up around 6:30 because the kids needed their school. We rushed to get ready only to discover that that was where we would be setting up the clinic, so the children had about 10 minutes of school, needless to say, they weren't too upset! When we started dividing up meds for the clinic there was much more than we remembered and we ended up being able to help everyone who came in some way... it was nothing short of a miracle! A short while after finishing up the clinic we loaded up the trucks and headed to another village called Janatos. Here the boys decided to stay in the pastors house and cook while the rest of us went to visit some of the locals. Before we left to go visiting though I met a cute little boy named Joseph, which was a nice little blessing. We went on our merry way and at the third of four stops I shared my testimony with Jess as my translator which was really sweet! At that same house the wife offered us her bath house, where a few of us girls washed our hair, and she gave us some medicine for all of our many bug bites. She also offered us some tortillas rice and beans... YUMMY!
While we were out some of the boys went to the school to just look around and with no other intentions and ended up leading two adults and 3 children to the Lord, a divine appointment? I think so!
They told us to be praying because there was a man in the village preaching things not of the Lord and confusing or leading many people astray. We ended up visiting this man and he came to the Jesus film that night and said he knew what he had been preaching was wrong and that he wanted to change.. how amazing!! Also during the Jesus film that night all of us Americans met in the school house to just talk about were we were at, and what the Lord was showing us... it turned into a love fest and was so so encouraging and needed!! I love those people and I know we will always have such a strong bond even though I barely knew some of them at the beginning. We had some more good girl talk that night (we got 'shushed' at least twice so you know it was good) then eventually fell asleep our last night on the floor!!
That morning in Janatos we had yet another small medical clinic, but i decided to play with some kids instead. I had so little energy at this point but somehow was able to run around in the hot hot sun for hours. Only way to explain it is it was the Lord!! That afternoon we drove back to the mission house where we found there was still no water... so we took 'trickle' showers then went into town and ate at 'Pollo Kings' mmm... roasted chicken!! Then back to the mission house for some chill and hangout time.
The next day Jess, Sarabeth, Rachel, and I woke up at 6:30 to cook breakfast for everyone else (who work up around 9:00 just fyi). We cooked eggs, pancakes, and French toast, and it was delicious if I do say so myself, and such fun bonding time for the four of us. After that we drove to visit two orphanages close by. Here we played games and acted out bible stories and just had a really great time! The kids were so so sweet, one little boy even asked me to be his girlfriend.... how could i resist??
It was as we were driving away from the second orphanage that me and the girls in my car (Jess, Sarabeth, and Rachel) realized just how much we really had fallen in love with these people. That night we had to say goodbye to all the natives we had become such good friends with, which was hard, but knowing that maybe we'll see them again in this life, and maybe in heaven was comforting. We slept in the hot mission house for the last night.
The next morning we drove back into San Pedro Sula, checked into our hotel then headed for the Canopy Zip Line tour... so much fun!!!
When we returned from that we got dressed up and went to dinner, followed by good girl talk once again, then a super early (3:30 a.m.) morning. We saw the team off to the airport, which was bittersweet. I love them so so much!! Jess and I went back to our room and slept for a long while, then Osmany came to pick us up and take us to Siguatepeque, where we are now!!
I got sick on my brithday so we ate cake today and have been able to just relax today and boy did we need it!! And I am feeling much better now!!! God is so so good!!
Here are some pictures of the past week....