Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face

I have almost survived two whole weeks!  I do have to say that these have been the most challenging weeks of my life.  As many of you have seen on facebook, I have been very emotional and am having a hard time being away from home.  God bless my new friends because they have to listen to me cry and vent about missing home.  You know the saying "you are your own worst enemy?"  Well, meet the!  I constantly remind myself of what I am missing at home and it is clouding the experiences I am gaining here.  For the last few days, my constant thought has been "why me?"  Why would God choose me to come and do this?  I have always been someone who likes comfort.  Granted, I haven't lived permanently at home since I was 18, but home was always just a quick drive away.  Before Honduras was even a thought, my plan had been to move home so I could spend time with Leia before she finishes school and establish myself at home with my family.  When God placed Honduras in my path, I was so excited because moving out of the country sounds really cool, right?  Well, easy to say until the move actually happens.  I was told that Satan would try to attack me once I got here, and man-oh-man has he ever.  My faith has been tested, my heart has hurt more than it ever has before, and I find myself focusing on everything negative.  I want to say "thank you" for the constant encouragement, bible verses, and prayers...they have all come at the perfet time and I am keeping record of it all!  In the midst of everything scary, I am extremely grateful to know that even when I don't believe in myself, I have wonderful people in my life who do.  One of my best friends asked me to start making a list of one good thing that happens everyday, so I am going to share quite a few of the cool things I have been able to experience.  Before I share the list, I ask for you to continue praying; pray that I realize God's purpose for me being here, that my heart softens, and I remember the reason I came.  I am still  wondering why in the world God chose me to do this, but He hasn't let me down yet, so here goes nothing!

Really Awesome Honduras Experiences:
 - Hello beans!  I am finally embracing the beans in this country...delicious and nothing like what they have in the states.
 - Never a dull moment when driving.  Our car situation is definitely one to laugh about.  We have a beaten up old Suzuki Samurai that is on its last leg.  I was laughing hysterically today while riding in it because I would be mortified to drive it in the states, but love it here.  I will get pictures for you!
 - New friends.  Bobby, Julie, and Dom have kept me somewhat sane.  When we are all together, there is nothing but constant laughter.  This is the best blessing!
 - The kids.  I have never met kids who are so quick to love.  Before they even knew my name, the kids ran up and hugged me.  Even though I only teach 5th and 6th grade, every student makes you feel loved.  For these children to have experienced so many horrific and tragic things in their lives, they love with everything they have.
 - Constant encouragement.  God bless everyone here because they have had to listen to my crying everyday but haven't complained once.  They have done nothing but encourage me and have kept me busy. We really are a family here...we do everything together and I am so very thankful for that.

And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields - whatever - because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.
Matthew 19:29

<3 Lauren

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Goodbyes feel the same in every language

As many of you have seen and heard, I am having a really hard time dealing with homesickness and adjusting to my new life in Honduras.  I have been praying and praying for God to comfort me, and He answered a small piece of my prayer this morning.

Today was my first Sunday experiencing my new church home and it was phenomenal!  It is truly a beautiful sight to see hands lifted and voices raised in a different language singing out to our God.  At the beginning of the service, a young lady in the band was asked to come up on stage with her mother.  This young lady was leaving to go to school in New Mexico.  I saw both the excitement and sadness on her face, and those emotions are all too familiar.  Also, Pastor Peter (my head boss) and Mrs. Tyanne's son, Josh, is moving to Orlando this upcoming week.  Their family has lived in Honduras for the last 20 years and Josh's wife, Anna, is a native of Honduras.  With today being their last Sunday at the church, there were many tears and emotions.  I was able to see that people all over the world are seeking God's will for their lives and are making big decisions.  For the past few days, I have felt so alone in that thought.  People kept telling me that I was brave for making the decision to move to Honduras, but I didn't see it as bravery until I got here.  It is a terrifying, lonely, exciting, humbling, and every other emotion all at the same time.  God was awesome in showing me that people all over the world have or will experience the same emotions that I am experiencing.

My prayer is that God reminds me of why I am here and that I can look past my own fears and find comfort in God' promises.

<3 Lauren

Yes, I can see a light that is coming
For the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just keep swimming...

Hola!  As of now, that is about the only Spanish I am speaking.  Well, I have officially been living in Honduras for two days and it has been an emotional rollercoaster.  To get you up to speed, our plane landed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras around 1:30 am on Wednesday, we then waited in the airport until 5 am to catch a bus to Tegucigalpa, and finally arrived to our destination around 10:30 am.  With waiting for our ride and the actual drive to the house, we didn't get to the house until after lunchtime.  At that point, I was extremely exhausted, overwhelmed, and a blubbering mess.  I am embarrassed to say that I cried all day yesterday and have felt pangs of wanting to cry today, but have not.  For weeks I was so excited and couldn't stop imagining being here, and now that it is here, I am terrified.  Luckily, my wonderful friends at home made me a friendship quilt and that has comforted me tremendously, along with cards, pictures, e-mails, facebook messages, and skyping with my family.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support.  God knew I needed it – big time!  There really aren’t a lot of words to describe my emotions.  At one moment, I’m in awe that I’m here and living this, and then a minute later, all I want to do is cry.  I miss a familiar face, the comfort of a familiar room, and a familiar hug.  I never doubted that God wanted me here but it is really hard to stay focused on that when you are so overwhelmed with being homesick.  I feel like I just moved to college again and I remember sitting in my dorm room the first few nights and just crying because of being terrified and alone.  For all of you reading this, I promise that more positive posts are to come but I promised honesty, so that’s what I’m giving.

For a little positive, we had our first workday at the school and I got the purple and lime green room!!!  I am super excited!  Pictures will come later because the shipment hasn’t arrived with all of my decorations, so my room is bare (and you all know how I am).  Also, we to Valle this evening and I ate my first authentic Honduran meal…pupusas!!  If you love cheese, this is your meal.  They take a handful of corn tortilla dough and round it into a ball, make a hole in the center, fill it with cheese, and fry it!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  In the next few minutes, I am going to head downstairs and have movie night with Julie and Lisa (thank God for them).  Oh, one more thing…my room is beautiful!  I am still unpacking, so those pictures will come soon.  And just as an interesting side note, I have brushed my teeth with the water and I’m all good (for now anyway)!

Again, thank you for the overwhelming amount of love and encouragement.  They have all come at the perfect time and I am extremely grateful.  Please keep praying.  I was told this wouldn’t be easy, but I had forgotten that homesick is the worst sick you can be.  Pray that God shows me why I’m here.  Hope all is well in America!  Miss you all!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Goodbye America, Hola Honduras

As of now, I am sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale Airport terrified out of my mind and already missing home.  Just got off the phone with my parents and they are already having to encourage me and remind me as to why I am doing this.  I haven't lived at home (permanently) since I was 18, so this should be easy, right?  Words are few but emotions are many (thanks Pastor Jay).  Thank you for all of your constant encouragement and prayers.  If you don't mind, I ask that you keep praying...this is a lot to take in.

See you in Honduras,