Picture with me a cityscape where the tall buildings appear trapped amidst the smog. Or a heavy fog on the lake so thick you can’t see the trees you know were there the night before. You squint because you think it will help and yet it doesn’t.
That’s my heart and soul since Honduras.
I keep squinting with the hope that if I squint hard enough I will be able to transform the hilly horizon here, into the vast mountainous valley where The Good Shepherd Children’s Home rest.
I’ve been home a week today and am still quite unsure of whether or not I am emotionally ready to revisit the place that forever changed me. It was just…
Many of you, precious people did your very best to prepare me for the wreck that was going to occur in my soul but much like childbirth, experience is surely the only way to fully grasp it and then still-
But because I want to inspire you to GO ON A MISSION TRIP and thank those of you who made this trip possible for me I’m going to squall my way through the six days of relentless joy that still has me so undone.
Our traveling tribe: precious Rita who declared, “This trip, is a trip of obedience for me.”
Our gifted, gracious photographer, Ann, the mother of the herd at Ponderosa Bible Camp proclaimed, “A fresh start, to a new season..”
Ann was the last of our group to sign up to go and I’m ever-so-grateful God made a way.
The week before we left she gifted each of us with a mission devotional journey. The devotions were so timely and exactly what my heart needed leading up to our departure. Like therapy on paper. Each day’s scriptures were perfectly divine in the way they calmed my anxious heart, reminding me that God goes before us.
And I’m so glad He did.
Our AMAZING-could-not-would-not have been able to do this without your willingness to translate, precious Jeanne. Sister- forever in Christ, “A trip to affirm the desires of my heart..to love and serve Him wherever that may be.”
Dear sisters, and forever friends, I am better having had this time with you …
A gracious man from our church drove us to the airport in the wee hours of the morning last Sunday morning. Upon arrival he questioned us as to whether or not we wanted him to wait for us to check to be sure we were at the right place. We assured him we were, waved as he pulled out of sight only to discover we weren’t.
Not even close.
With no time to delay we gathered our goods, scurried to the curb, and flagged a shuttle to the north terminal. We were told we were ONLY fifteen minutes away which doesn’t sound that far except-it is when it’s wee early in the morning and you’re preparing to leave the country.
We fast-walked, checked passports and bags, prayed our way through the crazy, thick lines of security,
making it to our gate just-in-time to use the ladies room and
BOARD THE PLANE! Holy moly and all the winded women said, “Amen!”
“I’ve learned to quit wishing away the hard stuff because I don’t want to miss all the good stuff that goes with it.” –Jennie Allen, Anything
Atlanta to Miami, from Miami to Tegucigalpa, Honduras the flights were perfect, roomy and arrived earlier than planned. Thank you Lord.
The airport was small, the city was n.o.t. Repeat, not-small.
J has frequently spoken of his trip to the DR from a couple of years ago. The madness, the drivers and the suggested traffic laws. Precious Jeanne, echoed his sentiments having lived in the Dominican for four-years and didn’t appear the least bit alarmed as I GRABBED HER LEG (like cut off her circulation kind of grabbing) as we whirled along through the craze of the streets!! The HONKING HORNS and the PEOPLE WALKING TOWARDS THE CARS and OH-MY-GOSH THE MOTORCYCLES PASSING FROM BOTH SIDES!!! GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME! Please don’t HIT THE KIDS and INFANTS who are SITTING on the SIDE OF THE ROAD for CRYING OUT LOUD! geezzz-
I surely didn’t want to say bad words on the mission trip but –
GOOD NIGHT it was CRAZZZY and the not-G-rated words were close- OH-SO-CLOSE to escaping!
Our expert chauffeur, Sherree, was so calm. Like tranquilly, calm. And by calm, I mean like cool as a cat. She narrated the whole way, up and over the GIANT mountains, around the curviest curbs, speaking of the industry and culture and poverty in such a way that the anxiety began to subside just as the tears began to fall.
I had heard of the poverty. The slums. The lawlessness. But to see it. To smell it. Suddenly it was all very, very painfully real.
I stopped asking questions because I couldn’t process the answers and the scenery fast enough.
Thankfully, because God knows I am but a weakened vessel we made it over the mountains into more spacious, less concentrated grief-stricken areas. The crowds thinned as the roads worsened and the valley grew wide and then wider.
I begin to breathe more freely as I began to take in the beauty of the new community I was quickly becoming a part of..
Off in the distance we could see clouds of dust, a corral of sorts, lots of blue shirts and then the all-too-familiar sight of cattle and horses. Ah! A sweet taste of home from oh-so-far away. We pulled over on the side of the road for Ann to capture what appeared to be young people learning to rope. Sherree shared with us more info about the community and how the university in Honduras is known for agricultural studies. My heart turned a couple of flips as she spoke.
Just a few moments and a couple of jillion bumpy pot-holes in the road later we arrived at a gate where an armed guard, speaking Spanish approached our truck.
Sheree jabbered something back at him as he stuck his head in to count heads before opening the gate to what I would soon discover was home sweet home for the next five days.
Holly Haynes says
Loved this part 1 to your visit in Honduras! I felt I was there with you. Can’t wait to read the rest of your journey Miss Karmen. Your writing is magnificient and your heart still so beautiful. I miss that southern drawl. 😉 Love you gf. xoxo
Corey Brooks says
Karmen, I must tell you that I am so impressed with your writing!! You make every detail come to life and I felt as though I was with you on the journey thus far. I even cried when you spoke of the poverty. I am so happy for you that you got to take this journey. I know it will stick with you in more aspects of life than you can imagine.
More! More! More!!!! I couldn’t read it fast enough…can’t wait for part 2!! So glad you had such an incredible journey. Your words are so brilliantly vivid and inspiring, MAKES ME WANT TO GO!!!!!! So glad that you were used for Him. PS-I think Chris was seriously scared that I maybe had convinced you to bring back one of those cuties for me!!! LOL Love you sister!
Beth Mince says
Loved this and can envision every single word!
Sonia Coulter says
So thankful you are willing to share your expiriences. You expressed yourself so beautifully. I love how we desire to go and touch lives forever but it’s the one that goes whose life is changed forever. Can’t wait for Part 2
Margaret Thacker says
Love it! Love it! Love it! Can hardly wait for more. So glad you had my precious Jeanne with you! She is something else, isn’t she? The two of you together over there could change the world!