Job Well Done
We headed down with a few ministry and service projects in mind. It was neat to see some of them work out as we imagined, and others better than we could have hoped. Work projects give a tangible result that is quite satisfying. We were especially pleased with the gardening project completed with the help of three Jericho girls. Our work together on the garden bore literal fruit as the radishes broke the surface in 24 hours of growing time! Crazy Honduran hot house!
We also felt good about the meditative pathway we carved out of a grass and rock coated hillside. Jericho staff were amazed at how much we accomplished. Pathway to the future site of a gazebo is ready to hand off to a future team of volunteers.
Lastly, an unexpected challenge of painting some of the exterior buildings. Once again, our team exceeded expectations – causing staff to buy more paint before our deed was complete.
Neat to see, in the midst of this work, the cheerful, hard-working spirit of our kids. Students often volunteered for tasks and dishes without being asked, and never put up a fuss when called upon for some sweaty work in the heat. Nice work, team!
One of the things that brought the most smiles, laughter…and humility – was learning how to dance with the Jericho young people. The image of Konnor in the midst of a throng of young ladies will forever be blazed upon my memory! (Although I’m sure that those seeing my feeble attempts at coordinating arm and leg motions will cause more long term scars…)
That said, it was really neat to see such a wholesome, fun time shared by all those who stepped out of their comfort zones.
Driving in Honduras
Didn’t expect to have my hands at the wheel on this trip – but quite enjoyed the experience! Not sure what I would have done without a navigator, but weaving the bussito through, in, and around people, bikes, motor bikes, livestock, potholes, and other vehicles on road without lines or indication of “lanes” is, actually, quite stimulating. 🙂
Visiting a Coffee Plantation
This was definitely a dream of mine. It was amazing to see the process from plant to processing to drying to roasting…to the cup! I have a new appreciation for a drink that is enjoyed on the shoulders of many hard working Central Americans.
Getting to Know Our Team
Not having the opportunity to teach many of the students on this team in the past, I enjoyed getting to know Konnor and the girls better over these past 10 days. Quirks and gifts come to light in such close quarters and concentrated time together. Our students responded amazingly well to the cross-cultural experiences and context. I was proud to be associated with this team – in the way they treated one another, others, and those in authority around them.
Story Time with Miss Betsy
Miss Betsy is one of the best storytellers I’ve met in a long time. There seemed not to be any limit to the “just another quick story” potential of time spent in Betsy’s presence. With her graceful smile, she always managed to relay how God had orchestrated events in the story to set captives free and bring glory to Himself. Her ability to hear others’ stories and relay them in Spanish or English is a powerful gift. Thanks be to God…for Betsy and the work that God is doing through her and her staff at Jericho!
Simply put: I’m not sure we could measure up in Canada. The care for persons and relationships in Honduras up us to shame. We have a lot to learn about making room in our hearts and homes for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We were fed in body, soul, and spirit – and warmly blessed throughout our time together. We never felt like a burden. Good news is that we will, perhaps, have the opportunity to return the favor in the future, Lord willing. Stay tuned.
One of the most impact-full times for our team was the participation in the Villa family devotional times. Each morning and evening, the Jericho group gathers together in the front fireside room to pray, read scripture, share testimonies, and sing worship songs together. Worship is the soul of the Jericho ministry, and it’s value is shown in the passion and time spent immersed in it. Never in a rush, songs and prayers are offered up until the time…comes to a close. Several of our devotional times together went well over two hours – listening to one another’s stories of God’s leading, deliverance, and provision. Our experience of this family time left us craving for more of this back home in our Cedars, home, and church contexts.
As mentioned, our team got to know one another better as preconceived notions of who each person was…and who they truly are were challenged and, in some cases, broken down. However, what was particularly neat for me looking in on the Jericho-Cedars interaction was how little language, age, cultural background, and experiences in life hindered the time we shared with the Honduran people. We truly experienced “how blessed it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity”. I can only imagine how pleasing the sight was to our Lord…and the impact this will have on those with whom we share our experiences. Our capacity for loving and accepting those who are different from us has grown, and continues to grow.
When we planned and organized this trip, a potential partnership with Jericho Ministries as a school to school opportunity, we had high hopes…and a few ideas. Following our experience of the past ten days, conversations with Betsy, tours and time spent in their schools, and hikes about the Villa property – the possibilities continue to excite both parties. How cool would it be to grow coffee on the Villa property, ship and sell in Prince George – from a coffee shop run by Cedars staff and students? What an experience it would be to raise funds and sponsor student and staff from Jericho to visit Prince George next Spring break for a ten day visit of our community! How impacting would it be to send some of our students for 3-week service opportunities in the Jericho schools during our summer break? Pray with us about the future of this partnership…