If you are like me you wonder if you really can make a difference. Can sponsoring a child or a missionary really make a difference? Rarely have a I seen something that answers that question as powerfully as this video. I watched this video yesterday and it literally brought me to tears.
Jimmy Is the Reason
Trina and I are asked why we are so passionate about Honduras. I’ve even seen people roll there eyes when someone asks us about Honduras as if to say, “Great, here we go again.” I’m not going to apologize for our passion. I’m not going to apologize because we have seen stories like Jimmy Wambua. If his sponsor, Mark, had decided he really wasn’t making a difference and didn’t send the letters and didn’t send the money Jimmy’s story would be a lot different today. I believe with all my heart that we can make a difference. If I didn’t believe that we wouldn’t go. It would be a lot easier just to stay in our comfortable life here in Lynden.
A Story About Miguel
In the trips we’ve taken to Honduras we’ve seen stories like Jimmy’s over and over again. One young man I know with a similar story is Miguel. Miguel was a drug dealer in the 18th Street Gang. He had been arrested and was doing time in the youth correctional facility. It was there that he came in contact with people from Manos Extendidas (the organization Trina and I will be working with). They were able to disciple him and Miguel genuinely wanted to change his life. Alvin, the director of Manos Extendidas, worked with the juvenile courts and was able to get Miguel released. Today, at the age of 19, Miguel has radically changed his live. He traded in his life of drug dealing and gang banging to become a leader in the church. I’ve never met a young man so on fire for the Lord. This would not have happened if people like you and me didn’t support ministries like Manos Extendidas.
Can You Make a Difference?
We can’t go to Honduras this fall if we don’t have support. In fact, we don’t even want to go unless we have people back home supporting us. Not because we need the money but because we need people who believe in us. We need people who believe they can change lives of people like Jimmy and Miguel by sending us. And we are so thankful for the love and support we have already received. So whether you choose to support us or sponsor a child through Compassion, or World Vision, or even Manos Extendidas just know that you are making a difference.
On our previous mission trip in April of 2009, we were given the opportunity to go the maternity ward in the city. One of the missionaries, Katie, worked with Manos and would visit the hospital when she had items to bring them. These items would include onesies, blankets, diapers, etc. Before we left for our mission trip, one of our team members, Bethany Lohman, took it upon herself to find some onesies to take with us. We had hundreds! So since we had brought things for the maternity ward, Katie decided to take us with her and distribute them to the women at the hospital. Before we left, we put together two onesies and one blanket with some ribbon. We made 30 for the boys (barons) and 30 for the girls (ninas).
No Royal Treatment
This hospital is mainly for the lower class. The women that go there to give birth to their babies only pay $5.00 for the entire labor and delivery and care. We walked upstairs to the maternity ward and through a door that led us to a long hallway with about 15 rooms. Most of the rooms held 6 women, plus their babies, and some rooms only held 2. The maternity ward we have here is like a royal suite compared to what these women get. The rooms have no sanitization at all. The sheets have blood on them, there is no soap, and there is dry blood on the ground. The women are given a ratty old robe to wear and one sheet for their baby. They get no diapers, no blankets, nothing for their sweet bundle. Unless the mother brings something for their baby, the baby goes home naked, which is often the case. Some babies were wrapped in their sheets covered in their own feces because of no diapers. We helped clean the babies and put diapers on many of them. The first room we walked into had six women of all different ages. I think the youngest mother we met was 15 years old, which is not uncommon in Honduras. In Honduras, there are 250 girls between the ages of 13-15 that give birth every week! They are just babies themselves giving birth to babies.
Their Heavenly Father
The women are very generous in letting you hold their babies. I think I got to hold like 20, which was the highlight of the trip for me! These babies were so beautiful, so precious, so tiny. I loved them, so I can imagine how much their mother loves them, and even more..their heavenly Father. Before we left each room we prayed over the women and their babies. It was an experience I will never forget.
I remember being saddened by the fact that most of these women would raise their babies as single mothers. And these babies would have no father figure in their life. Not one male was in the maternity ward, not one. It made me realize how blessed I am to have a wonderful husband who is an amazing father to our child. My heart aches for these women. May God bless them and their little ones.
In June of 2008 Trina and I took our first mission team to Honduras. A year earlier we had started sponsoring a little girl from Honduras named Dilcia through Compassion. Before we left we contacted Compassion to see if we could meet her. They said we could so we made all the arrangements. The Friday while we were there the rest of our team had a free day to do some souvenir shopping while Trina and I went to spend the day with Dilcia. This is the entry I made in my journal about that day.
6/22/08 – On the plane to Seattle and I think this is the part of the trip I’ve been avoiding writing about. I can’t get her out of my mind and my heart is broken. If there was some way, and I’ve been praying for a way, that we could take her home with us I would do it. From the moment we first saw her in the church Trina and I fell completely in love with her. She gave us huge hugs and then clung to Trina for the rest of the afternoon. She would come over to me periodically to give me a hug that just melted my heart.
We have been sending $32 a month for over a year now and have received periodic letters, pictures, and colored pictures from her during that time. A picture of Dilcia is on our fridge and from time to time I send up a microwave prayer for her. I knew she was real and lived in poverty but having never really seen her there was a part of her that wasn’t really real to me. But holding her, hugging her, seeing that big smile and huge eyes changed that forever.
We saw the tiny little church and classroom where she attends school for a couple hours a week. Then we went up the hillside to her home. There was a metal gate that was bent and difficult to open. On the walls of nearby houses were spray painted gang signs. We climbed a steep set of cement steps past a couple other shacks built right next to each other to the shack her mom, sister, and step father (even though her mom and step father are not legally married) live in. It was a one room 12′x16′ shack she pays $50 a month for rent. It was clean and neat but small and dark. We sat and visited for about 20 minutes before we left for the mall.
At the mall Dilcia was like a kid at Disneyland. I don’t know if she had ever been there before. We went by a store with bridal dresses and she just stopped and starred. She thought they were dresses for a princess. Three or four times she brought us back to that window so she could stare at the princess dresses. The mall is like any North American mall and had a huge food court where we went for lunch. She was so overwhelmed by the choices of food she literally couldn’t speak. We finally just ordered her a kid’s meal from Burger King.
At the end of our time our representative from Compassion who had been with us the whole time took us back to the base where our team was staying. When we gave Dilcia our final hugs and said goodbye she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. She didn’t want us to go and we didn’t want to go but there was nothing we could do. As she rode away Trina and I melted into each others arms and cried. This little girl stole our hearts. We knew the poverty and the life she was returning to and we were absolutely helpless to do anything about it. All of the sudden $32 a month doesn’t seem enough. We can do more. We have to do more.
A few months ago we received some sad news. Dilcia’s family moved out of the area of the Compassion project and would no longer be part of the sponsorship program. We talked to Compassion and they have no record of where she moved to so we’ve lost all contact with Dilcia. Our hope is that somehow we’ll find her again after we’ve moved there.
My wonderful sister-in-law, Allison, and my cousin, Jody, have decided to have a garage sale for Chad and I. All of the proceeds will be going to our support raising for Honduras. The garage sale will hopefully be sometime in March or April. We will keep you posted with more information on this event. However, if you are interested in helping or would like to donate any items, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks Allison and Jody for your generous hearts. We appreciate you so much!
It seems things are finally moving forward. This week we launched our website and Facebook page. Thank you to everyone who has become a friend and checked out this site. We are humbled by your support. And thank you to those of you who have already pledged to support us or who have already started supporting us.
Here are a couple other things that are going on:
Yesterday we met with Kate Ryan the director of the missions department at our church. She was very encouraging and said we are doing everything right so far. We were also encouraged to find out that the church has it in the budget to provide some support. We don’t know what that will be but everything helps.
Trina and I will be featured in a video during the weekend services at our church the beginning of March. We’re really excited for this because it gives us an opportunity to share with the whole congregation.
What’s on the agenda next?
I have a ton of video from my last trip in January that I will be editing and putting up on the site (the Eagle’s Nest video is one I shot in January).
We’re starting to plan a dinner where we will serve authentic Honduran food, have a silent auction, and we’ll share more details about our move to Honduras. If you would like to help with this please let us know.
Updating this website. There are still a few things left to add – one of them being more pictures.
We love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to send us your questions or comments.
By now you have probably heard we are moving to Honduras. Next fall our plan is to pack up and head south. First stop will be a month at a language school in Guatemala and then on to Honduras where we will be working with the ministry of Manos Extendidas. So for the next several months we will be working hard on raising support and making all the preparations. It is a huge job but an interesting one. Our hope is that you will go on this adventure with us. I really believe that not everyone is called to go but everyone is called to do something. Maybe part of your something will be joining us in our journey. That is why we’ve put up this blog. This is where we will chronicle the process. We’ll share our successes, failures, struggles, and triumphs. Whatever comes, I know it will be an adventure!
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