More than a week, living in a community.

Previous to this trip my time on a mission trip never extended to more than 7 days. So now I'm starting to get a taste of long term missions. I'm not just here for one week, we were there for three. What a blessing God gave me to allow me this much time in a community like Sambo. Now the faces I laughed and played with for a few days on my first trip, started to become more than faces and names. These little children whom remembered me from only a few encounters on my first trip, acted like long lost children of my own and I just returned from a long trip. I really didn't know what living in this community like this would be like for 3 weeks. But I soon learned it felt like home.

Even though the house we were in was big and on the beach, we still did not have refrigeration or hot water. Day to day life was challenging and I even learned how to wash my clothes by hand, on a washboard. The luxuries and conveniences I left back in the states were hardly missed. When I was hungry I'd walk to a fruit stand or corner pulperia. I'd learn the smell of the fresh pan de coco (coconut bread) baking at Miss Olivia's house across the street and look forward to the days she'd cook pasteles (meat sandwich). I started to see the various ways people would make a few dollars to survive.

What really started to impress me, no matter how many times we would walk anywhere. Everyone would say hello, have a good day. No one walked with their face down. Everyone made eye contact. I think that's one of the things I miss most when I'm back in the states. The feeling of community. The knowledge that people actually enjoy each other no matter which side of the town you lived on. Children played in the streets until sundown. They used wheel barrows for toys and logs for surfboards. Imagination was everywhere. Even though many of these children had very little, each of them had each other and that was enough for them. Pure joy and happiness! Once again on this trip, just like the first, God gave us lots of rainbows, we really were in paradise! Once again, my life will never be the same!

Here's just a glimpse at a few of the names, faces and stories of children in Sambo Creek, Honduras.

Andres, Emeli, Yesni, Ashley, Christian, Joseph, Katy, Jizel, Chachi, Keneth. and on and on. So many children with living in this paradise, surrounded by poverty.

Chachi a beautiful girl with a lot of spunk. Yet, a good portion of her hair missing due to fungus.

Andres, Emeli and Yesni, 3 of Santos 5 children. Ashley and Yesni are cousins, but they act as sisters and are both very good about looking after the younger children at their ripe ages of 8 and 9.

Keneth, a boy around 2 still not walking and obviously physically challenged. His sister Ashley always keeping her eye on him and treating him as her own.

Katy a very beautiful girl who is know as a street child. No real parents or home, just gets passed from family member to family member and no one really watching out for her daily needs. I learned Katy had been molested at a water park the summer before and would never have children of her own. You could always tell she felt very safe when she was around us.

Jizel a young girl with another obvious disorder, my guess cerebral palsy.

Jose... such a spunky boy who loved to play the drums.

Christian a young boy with the biggest smile I've ever seen and always the first to come give me a hug. Joseph, a character, always out to make people laugh.

This is just a short list of many lives God has used to change me, change what matters. This is just a taste of true love!

How can I ever ignore these lives God's used to touch me, and me them. What would you do?

(10/15/2016)

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