The word of the day today would have to be joy. We went to a Compassion project where the pastor exuded joy and these children benefited greatly from his faith and joy.
What is so amazing about his joy, is that when you see all that surrounds him, you would think: what does he have to be joyous about? He is surrounded by people struggling to survive and while that could be exhausting he refused to let that steal his joy.
That is a good reminder for me the next time I complain about my latte not being done at 140 degrees as I requested. #firstworldproblem
Walking into this project it was almost as if we were kid magnets. They swarmed us and it was wonderful. You wish so badly you spoke their language to just tell them how happy you are to be there and how amazing they are. However, joy is a language we can all speak and a smile is our translator.
It is funny how each of us had a child that gravitated to us, for whatever reason, and followed us all day. The hard part of this is leaving them behind because they are now a part of my heart.
We broke out all the usual playground accoutrements and just played. It was fun to see these kids playing without a care in the world. The walls of the Compassion project help shield them from the violence and poverty that await them outside these walls.
This trash-filled river is right behind the Compassion project. Kids have to cross this river to get to the project and during the rainy season it floods making it impossible for kids to come.
I love that Casting Crowns was recently here and helped raise the money to build these kids a bridge. It is going to be installed in 2 months. Not only is it a physical bridge to get to the project, but it is also metaphorical bridge that takes these kids out of poverty and brings them to a place that feeds them, tells them about Jesus, and educates them, so that they can have better lives.
One of the most powerful things is to go to the homes of kids in the Compassion project, see where they live, see the letters from their sponsors and encourage them.
Immediately following this, things took a serious turn as Gustavo’s mother passed out. She has been sick from a mosquito bite and is very weak.
They wanted to get her something sweet to drink. I remembered passing a roadside kiosk that had a coke sign so I took off running to get her one. Isaac, our Compassion host, yelled to me to stop running. I thought it was so he could catch up, but instead it was because it was not safe.
In this neighborhood, me running put us at risk of being tracked down and beaten because it would appear we had done something wrong. We stayed with Gustavo’s mom till she was feeling better and I was OK to leave knowing Compassion would be there to take care of her.
A day that started with so much joy was rapidly not working out the way I thought it should go. As we returned to the Compassion project, our visit was cut short because the uncle of the Compassion project leader had been murdered.
This was a sobering reminder of how dangerous Honduras can be and how important the work of Compassion is here. Not only to protect the children but also to prevent them from going down the wrong path.
In that moment we were all family as we prayed for her and her family. Even though there was grief, the faith of this group of people is so strong that somehow there was still joy because they realize that God is bigger than our deepest wounds.