(We asked for guest post submissions from those of you who have been on service trips. This post is from Sheila of One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books‘ son)
Reflecting back on the missions work I have done in Honduras for the past three years is a very overwhelming feeling for me. I worked at a project is Talanga Honduras, where Pastor Jorge Pinto helps homeless children living on the streets. What Jorge has done for the past 10 years is provide a safe environment for children who have been abandoned to the streets. Their stories will haunt you. One of the girls, Michelle, was found at the age of three in a dumpster. Some stories are worse than that. Pastor Jorge puts the children through programs to get them off drugs and hunger.
My parents went to Honduras several years before I did. They asked me to go and I always said no. The year they quit asking me, I asked them. It was my senior year of High School and I said I could do either Honduras or our family vacation but I could not do both. They said they would love to have me experience Honduras with them, and so in 2008, I went for the first time.
The poverty in a third world country is extremely different than what we are used to here in the states. I have seen cardboard boxes used as homes inside a dump, glue being used as a supplement for hunger pains, and children who have been abandoned from birth living on the streets doing anything for money or food. many of the kids who live on the streets have a vacant look in their eyes from all the years of inhaling glue. Glue is the drug of choice as it is cheep and it takes away the hunger pains.
It is so moving to see what Jorge has built in the Talanga community. The children he is able to save work hard and get the help they deserve to grow up and make something of themselves. The Manuelito Project, which is where I have been working at for the past three years during missions trips, has helped local poverty and province-wide poverty for over a decade now. There are many projects in Honduras that fights the daily battle of poverty – many of which have great people working for them and helping the cause.
Working in Honduras and helping any way I can is always a huge part of who I am. I gave Honduras a chance after my parents went for four consecutive years and fell in love with the ministry first day. It is very life-changing to extract yourself from one culture to the other and become absorbed in what they stand for. Hanging out with Hondurans and the children at the project was my favorite part because I got to use the little spanish I know and make some pretty great friends. I didn’t know how much I would invest my life into the country and project, but after that first year I was hooked and decided to go back. Missions work is a great part of what christianity stands for. You may not think you can make a difference, but you will be amazed at how much your giving is not only life changing to them, but also to you.
Carlos and Jorge from the manuelito Project. Both boys were abandoned to the streets.
A child in Talanga Honduras
Boy in Choltecha Honduras
We handed out rice to the povertish community of Choltecha
Me and Christian (a boy from Manuelito – his mom had died from aids)
The dump in Tegucigalpa Honduras. A community lives in the dump – this is where my mom takes people every year to work.
A boy looking for food and things to sell in the dump
Myself, a boy from Choltecha, and Kasey (a girl from our team)