Do you want to hear about the projects we completed or the change that happened in our hearts? Or how the people left an indelible mark on my soul? Or how their sense of community is better than ours? The projects are the tool.
It helps ministry along like a railroad helps an engine through the wilderness. But it’s what takes place in those buildings that change people. It’s the fellowship and the stories shared when the crickets are singing their songs in the trees outside and the wind is rushing through the pine boughs. It’s when the power goes out and you scramble for matches to light a candle where the laughter and relationships occur. We built a cabin. That was our purpose in going to Honduras.
The cabin was built fast and efficiently. The men built it, dulling drill bits through green, hard wood, sawing siding, trim, and support, and bending nails. Fellowship happened between the frames, as the trusses were built, and the tin roof went up. The jokes happened with each learning from the other one’s culture–Honduran working with American. Despite the language barrier, we communicated, and we worked hard. The women painted the siding, cleaned up the camp, picked wild blackberries, and shoveled horse dung.
Michelle wants to host missionary retreats, pastor retreats, and continue her disabled camp ministry. These cabins are the key to her dreams and the dreams of those who have put their heart into the camp.
Sometimes, I feel like the questions I am asked are about what we accomplished. It robs the story and emotion out of the trip by using business wording, like report. The impact was practical for the most part, another cabin built, with a team from Pennsylvania coming soon to finish the cabin and paint the larger building. Perhaps even to add a mural to the dorms!
The long-term impact is felt in every person that went on that short term missions trip. From one who met his Compassion International child to this church secretary who so desperately wanted to rid her soul of the cyncism that had come upon her of late. Others on Facebook shared with me how their short term missions experience changed them, too; that they are still processing their trips from years prior.
I still stumble over the question, “How was the trip?”
It’s been only a few days yet since I returned home. When someone asks me, “How was the trip?,” I want to say, “Do you have an hour to sit and hear the stories?”
Our lone ministry, located in the capital of Tegucigalpa, is focused on youth leader training, working with handicapped children and the development of a Christian camp for them. READ MORE