Friday, October 15, 2010

Mission Trip to Honduras: We're Not In Kansas, Anymore

16 more days. That's all. On Nov. 1 my wife and I will lead a team of eight others to Honduras. Over the last 10 years I've gone on 7, maybe 8, short-term mission trips down there. It's brutal work. Everything is labor-intensive. Shoveling sand and cement all day. Carrying 5 gallon buckets of heavy wet cement. Hot Honduras sun and no shade. No running water nor electricity on the job site. After a few days on this site we'll then hike up into the mountains to work up there. Minimum of 3 hour drive on rough roads just to get to the beginning point of the hike. This hike is nothing like a walk up an Illinois incline. It's steep and, if rainy, the clay is slippery if you don't sink into it first. The altitude makes it hard to catch your breath. Mules will pack our gear and supplies because it's too difficult a hike and vehicles can't make it over the terrain. By mid-afternoon I'm beat and stiff and sore and tired and hungry.

And I can't wait! I love it! There's something about helping someone who has nothing. There's something about shedding blood, sweat and tears for a week on behalf of some people who shed their blood, sweat and tears their entire life. There's something about seeing a family that for six years has lived in a shack of sticks, rough-hewn boards, and scraps of sheet metal patched together to be able to move into a concrete block home that actually has a floor in it. There's something about breaking out of my comfort zone and interrupting my life of consumption with meaningful service.

There's something about busting your butt for a week and making a difference that will last for generations.

There's something about being utilized in a way that mirrors and mediates God's love to broken people. The Psalmist describes God in this manner: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and delivers those who are crushed in spirit." (Ps. 34:18) It's a beautiful thing to be able to confirm by our presence that, indeed, God has not forgotten them.

I hope you haven't construed this as me bragging. I'm not trying to tell you all about the many wonderful things we middle-upper class white Christians will be accomplishing. My intent is to communicate to you that I feel so privileged to be able to do this. My intent is to convey the honor it is to do this.

And I can't wait to do it!

If you're a praying person, please pray for us as we embark on this trip. If you're not a praying person, your good wishes on our behalf will be appreciated.