Friday, April 28, 2023
Today was our final mission which led us to a village named Terrero Blanco, which means white piece of land. The drive to this site was like so many others. We started on a paved road, then to gravel, and dirt roads until we reached the top of the mountain where the school is located. Every time we do one of these missions the village closes their school to allow us to come in. They will remove all of the desks and put the items that we need in the correct clinic area. The people of Honduras are very hard workers and never once did we hear them complain.
The difference with this village and others is that the buildings are staggered on a hill. To get to another clinic you have to climb very steep steps or walk in the grass on an incline. When it was time for lunch we ate in their “kitchen area”. This consisted of a wood burning stone surrounded by cement or clay. Just think about how long it must take the school to prepare lunch on a stove like that. These villagers were some of the nicest people we’ve met along the way. It always seemed like we were in the right place at the right time to help them out. Many kids needed to get vitamins, toothbrushes, medicines and fluoride but some needed help right away. The adults' needs were also met by receiving glasses, fillings, teeth extractions, medicines, chiropractic needs and knowledge on how to take better care of themselves and their families.
Tonight’s devotional was about how God has played a part in our lives and what he is telling us to do. At the beginning of each day when we arrive at the school Carlos explains the process and why we are doing what we are doing. John then finishes it up with a prayer to everyone there and we start to take patients. Everyone has their own reason to be doing what they are doing. Many of the volunteers had to leave their families, friends, take vacation from work and do online classes to stay caught up on classwork.
How has God changed our heart? Many of us said it was an eye-opening experience because we have never encountered that type of poverty. We are also very grateful and blessed to live in a country that has access to medical advice at our fingertips. These communities are usually only seeing us for their needs. Honduras has very limited access to health care. Friends of Barnabas was able to provide funding for a couple of emergency patients to be seen at a local hospital. We could not stand by and see those children in need.
The staff at Friends of Barnabas have been such a blessing to us and to the villages this week. We all were able to make personal connections with many of them. They aren’t just “staffers,” but friends and family now. Many staff and volunteers are talking about coming back and doing this mission again.
It’s important to use the gift God has given you to share with all communities, not just ones we visit on missions. It could be a one-on-one connection or to a stadium full of people. If you haven’t found your “gift” yet, please ask a friend and I’m sure they can point you in the correct direction. Everyone has one! Open your heart like we did on this mission and allow God to direct you to the place that's needed.
“Serve your community throughout the year not just away from home.”
Hampton Roads Team
Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church