Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wearing away the surface

The past week or so has been crazy busy!  We were wrapping up the first quarter of school, which means lots of review and then exams.  As a group, we are all beginning to get involved in many different “extracurricular activities”, which makes for really long days.  Just to get you up to speed…
  • I have started teaching the girls some basic cheerleading moves and cheers.  Our school does not have a mascot or colors, so we have been brainstorming ideas.  As of now, our favorite is the Honors Academy Crusaders and our colors being royal blue and gold.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I am dying to buy the girls little t-shirts, skirts/shorts, and big bows for their hair!  If you would be interested in donating to the cause, just let me know! :o)
  • The four of us teachers are becoming quite the little family.  We have begun praying together at dinner, having “family talks” in the evening, and are really working as a team.  Honestly, we didn’t do this until recently.  I expressed that I didn’t feel like we were uplifting and encouraging one another in the way we should, so we all talked about it, and come to find out, we all had the same thoughts.  We also talked about how we really wanted to be more than just “teachers.”  Yes, teaching is a top priority, but what are we doing that is really ministering to the people of Honduras?  We are starting by preparing a meal once a week for our neighborhood.  We pass so many people on our road but we never stop to talk with them.  We thought providing a free meal would be a good start!  We are also going to host a Thanksgiving Food Drive at the school.  We want to get the kids involved in helping those in need, so we are starting to collect food and other items for families in need.  If you would like to help support this effort, just let me know! :o)
  • My birthday is officially less than a week away…25…half way to 50…mid-twenties…UGH!  Can’t say that I’m super excited about this one. 
  • I can now say that I get to go home NEXT MONTH!!  I really love my life in Honduras, but I cannot even express the excitement I feel about going home for Christmas.  There is literally nothing I have ever been more excited about!
I know I always say this but only because it’s so true…leaving home and being taken away from everything you know really surfaces so many thoughts, emotions, questions, confusions, hopes for the future, and so much more.  Over the past few weeks, I have been exposed to many things that I am not familiar with, and some things that I’m not comfortable with.  It is hard to understand how as Christians we can all have so many different opinions and beliefs about certain issues.  I have also become aware of the fact that Christians can be some of the most judgmental and close-minded people.  It is a very unfortunate truth.  I’ve come to realize that I have spent most of my life just skimming the surface of Christianity; the very “basic” story of growing up in church, going to Sunday School, youth group, church events, “reading” the Bible, praying, and being a “good” Christian.  While all of these are wonderful and help strengthen our fellowship with God and others, being a Christian is so much deeper and I feel that I am just beginning to grasp the full concept.  What I have realized about my faith as a Christian since I’ve been in Honduras:

  • When you feel all alone and like you have 1,000 pounds weighing you down, God truly is the only One who can give you rest.  So many times I have gone to other people for answers that would make me feel better in that moment, but lasting peace only comes from Christ.
  • The Bible is so much more than an index of feel-good quotes whenever we just need something to make us feel better.
  • When we seek joy and God’s desires for us, not our desires, we are able to focus less on ourselves and more on others. 
  • We are made from God’s image and He is made from ours.  I heard this in a message and it really hit me hard.  Do people see me or do they God in me?  My prayer is that I am just the vessel that God uses, while He is the one manning the vessel.
  • Being stripped of everything “normal,” comfortable, and reassuring is the hardest, most difficult experience, but is also the most rewarding, strengthening, and revealing experience.  Sometimes God has to distance us from every distraction so that He may reveal buried feelings and expose desires, aspirations, and truths that we would have otherwise never known.
 I sometimes wonder who I will be at the end of this journey.  I can already see and feel myself changing.  I also think about the challenges I may face when I move back home.  Life in a third-world country is so indescribably different from life in the United States.  God is really speaking to me about the next step in my life and I pray that while I’m in Honduras, I seek every opportunity and take advantage of my time here.  As the days pass by, I pray that I am able to break the surface and truly be a vessel of Christ from the inside out, not the other way around. 


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