Hello! My name is Rebekah, I am 14 years old and this past summer I had to opportunity to go on a mission’s trip to Honduras to spread God’s love! Here’s a little bit about my trip and I hope this inspires you to do something a little out of your comfort zone.
No matter what we do, there’s always that thought that lingers in the back of our minds, “What’s in it for me?”. That isn’t how we’re supposed to go about life. But it is how I went about this trip. I was expecting to see how other parts of the world were not as fortunate as us, and maybe give love to some kids. I came out with way more. I had this ‘aha’ moment that I would have been in similar shoes as them, but only in China if I hadn’t been adopted. These are all orphans, which their biological parents couldn’t support them or didn’t want them. The only thing that would have been different is, the orphanages in China aren’t nearly as nice as Orphanage Emmanuel. These kids at orphanage Emmanuel are so blessed, but then again, so are we.
This past spring, I was given the opportunity to go on a Missions Trip to an orphanage in Guaimaca, Honduras. I had friends who went the previous year and they kept telling me what an amazing time they had. When I first brought it up to my mother I don’t think she actually took me serious when I said I might want to go. I prayed over it and I felt that it was where God was leading me but I didn’t make my decision up until the day the deposit check was due. The night before the deposit was due, one of my mom’s friends texted and said if I wanted to go our youth pastor would let me, even though the deadline had already passed for all who were interested. The due date for the deposit was the next day. My mom told me what they had said but I still wasn’t sure and asked her to give me a few hours to decide. I texted a few friends asking their opinion and I prayed. I finally made my decision. I wanted to go and more importantly, felt called to go. The next day we went to the church to give the deposit check. When I walked in, the lady who was leading the team was there and in that moment, I knew I had made the right decision. The trip cost $1,200. Now, the fundraising portion for this extraordinary trip began.
There were seventeen of us going from our church. We started fundraising in the middle of April. We sold raffle tickets, Boston Butt certificates, car washes, a spaghetti supper and some of us even did yard work for our pastor. A couple of weeks earlier, I had taken a sugar cookie decorating class. I started selling sugar cookies. If it wasn’t for the kind people who bought my cookies, even though they were still rough looking, I would have been frantically trying to raise the rest of the money. I still needed a little over half. Then something amazing happened. I was riding with friends to archery practice and their mom told me that everyone’s trip had been paid for. Someone had made a donation to cover the amount that any of us lacked for the trip. The week before we left we had dinner with Team Honduras. Including the people from our church, there were 44 people going this trip.
Finally, June 8, 2017 came. We all met at Bethany Baptist Church in Bolingbroke at 6:00 a.m. and left for the Atlanta International Airport. The rest of our team, eight people from out of state, met us at the Atlanta Airport. Our flight out of Atlanta was at 10:00 a.m. We landed in Tegus around 2:00 p.m. and learned that the bus to the orphanage broke down. We ate lunch in the airport at McDonalds and when the bus was repaired, we left and arrived at the orphanage around 5:00 p.m.
The first day there I woke at 5:00 a.m. At 6:30 all the houses have Little Circle. Little Circle is where each house comes together and sings a few songs and sometimes have a small devotion. I went to the medium age boy’s Little Circle and then went to the comedor (dining hall) where all the kids ate every meal. Every morning after breakfast the kids went to school except Saturdays and Sundays. At 7:30 we had breakfast and then started our day. During that time, our team did work. Whether it was painting tables or playground equipment, working on the farm pulling weeds, gathering eggs from the chickens or even milking a cow, there were always people working and helping. At 11:30 the kids ate lunch, most of the time it was either noodles or rice and beans. But, they almost always had a moon pie to wash it down. After lunch, they went back to school until it was time for dinner. When dinner was over, most of them went to get ready for bed unless we had an activity planned to do with their certain house.
All the kids were so loving and excited for you to give them attention. Before the trip, we had been told that we would meet “Someone” that would become our “Special” person. I did meet a few that stole my heart. One of them was a boy named Salomon. He was in the medium boy’s house which was the ages of 11-13. He was so sweet. Every time he saw me, he would stop whatever he was doing and come over to say ‘Hi’ and hang out with us. Another, was a girl named Martha. She was in the medium girl’s house. Every time I saw her, she would come up to me and just stay by my side until she had to go. Almost every time she would give me a picture she had colored. Another one was a little girl named Hanessa, she was in the small girl’s house. Even though I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, every time I was in the comedor she would wave me over and let me sit with her. One time she even gave me one of her valued, most prized moon pie. There are so many more kids who touched my heart but these are just a few.
Every afternoon except Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday we held Kindermusic class with the toddlers. When I was small, I was involved in Kindermusic classes. It was such a fun time to just get to play with them and then give them a snack afterwards.
Sunday June 11th, we had church and it was not too different from your normal church service. We didn’t have electricity because it had gone out Friday after a big storm. They sang a few songs and one I even knew! One of our team members led the service. It was a really great sermon, he talked about how we must forgive others because that’s what God tells us to do. After the service, we had about an hour before lunch so a friend and I went to play with the power toddlers and walked with them to the comedor. Lunch was a special event, we had the opportunity to eat in the comedor with the kids (normally we ate in the team house) but that wasn’t the only thing special about lunch, the kids had the opportunity to eat something they only got once or twice a year and we got to enjoy it with them! We had two pieces of fried chicken, coleslaw, mashed potatoes (it tasted more like potato salad) and two corn tortillas. After lunch, we got to watch the power toddlers hit piñatas and later had a water balloon fight with them too which was super entertaining. Seeing them have so much fun was a blessing in itself.
Sunday afternoon we made this huge spaghetti dinner for the older kids. We had the chance to serve the older boys or older girls. I decided to help with the older boys. It was truly an amazing sight to see them so happy and grateful that they had the opportunity to eat something different from what they normally ate. They said thank you at least a dozen times. It made me happy that I could bring a little bit of happiness to someone else. The clean up on the other hand wasn’t as much fun. We had around 200 trays to wash, the tins we baked the food in and the utensils we used also. We had a choice to help do kitchen clean-up or not help. I felt that I should help because we didn’t go to Honduras to be lazy and stay on our cell phones. We went to help serve and spread God’s love to people. The dishes got done and it made me appreciate doing them in an odd way.
A few of my favorite moments were when we did water balloons with the power toddlers (little boys with too much energy). Man! Those little kids can chuck them hard! Another favorite memory was when I got a little letter from Salomon and pictures that Martha colored for me. The church sermons were another favorite, and just bonding with some amazing people. Doing Kindermusic with toddlers was so much fun and such a huge blessing.
I am so thankful and blessed beyond measures that I had this opportunity to go and serve. I have always wanted to go on a mission trip and now that I’ve been on one, I pray that I am able to go on more. I am hoping and praying that I will have the chance to go again next year and have already started fundraising by selling sugar cookies, petit fours and nut cookies to help pay for the trip.
Watching and hearing about how poor a third world county is, is completely different than seeing, experiencing, and being there first hand. Thinking about how you have a nice big bed, warm food that you can always get more of, and a roof over your head that you don’t have to worry about collapsing on you, is definitely a blessing that few can afford. Most of the time we are so caught up on wanting more, whether it be more material items, more money, or more power, we don’t appreciate what we have right in front of our face.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35