October 9, 2022
Honduras Mission Trip 2022 | Update #6
April 8, 2022 | Kathy Smarrella
I’m writing to you on our last night in Honduras. In just a few short hours, at about 2 am, our team will head to the airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and back home to Indiana. It’ll be a long day of travel (hopefully not as long as our first day of travel, in Jesus’ name we pray!). And there are many things to reflect on.
This has been our first mission trip in over two years. I’ve been excited about it, but also feeling a little out of practice. Honestly, I don’t think this could have been a better “re-entry” into missions with our church. Let me tell you why I say that…
Our day today was spent at the Pulhapanzak Waterfalls– where, for the first time almost ever, we took a “day off” on a trip. Normally, it’s not the kind of thing that I am for… I like the team to dive deep into ministry the whole time we are on the road. But Josh Grill, the missions director of World Compassion Network (with whom we partnered), talked me into it. It was a beautiful day—someone tonight called it worshipful. It really was. Our team, along with the Hondurans we have served alongside all week long, got to the falls mid-morning. Many took to the zip lines, some dared the treacherous under-the-waterfall tour, and a couple of us hung out in the cool river, taking pics of the zip liners above us. It was fun and amazingly relaxing after a hot and tiring week. And the temperature was reasonable! We ended our time at the falls with several of our team getting baptized (oh what a joy that was!), then communion together and an opportunity to thank and bless our Honduran friends. It was truly an awesome day.
As I reflect and think about heading home, one thing I love about missions trips is the way people connect. This team has connected in a way that has brought me great joy. My closest friends have been the ones I’ve traveled with on mission trips. I think it’s because you must depend not only on God during trips like these, but also on the people that He puts by your side during the intense week. This group included many who were strangers to one another before and now—the bus ride, the dinner table, our workdays, have been full of chatter. I see people making each other laugh. I see team members praying not only for the ones we’re serving, but for each other. God has brought them together and it shows.
As a team, we talked earlier this week about the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives each person—in Romans 12, Paul encourages his readers not only to use those gifts, but to use them WELL. And this team has done this! Let me tell you a bit about each of them. . .
- Emily rediscovered her gifts of prayer and prophecy and used them well this week.
- Blake has a giving, generous heart and strong arms and he used both very well.
- Lori loves to work hard, and she did that! She also is a bit of a baby whisperer and gave a few mamas a break this week so they could fully dive into prayer and worship.
- Vicki loves to play hard with kids, and she brought joy to many faces this week.
- Donna loved people so well this week—and gave them her whole attention.
- Addie used her gifts of photography, videography (jumping in to help Vineyard AND World Compassion Network)—you can see the joy that using her calling brings to her face.
- Elyse prayed and prayed and didn’t stop praying. Once, even when everyone went back to their seats, she stayed with one lady who needed something from God and Elyse kept praying.
- Gary brought the joy and left shirts and surprise limpiras (Honduran money) all day long!
- Dick’s steady heart and wise words were helpful to us all.
- Keith brought his clever wit and good ideas.
- Marlise showed her tender heart for people and a gift of encouragement.
- Levi loved connecting with his teammates and dove into deep and good conversations.
- Denise’s steady presence and constant smile encouraged everyone around her.
- Bay used her gifts of organization and efficiency and helped us work well as a team when we needed to get some stuff done!
- Paula used her gifts of language and helped us translate and understand our Honduran brothers and sisters.
- Lisa brought her love for these kids. Every time I’ve asked what’s her favorite part, it’s loving on these Honduran kids.
- Cindy is a work horse! She used the strength of her body and the tenderness of her heart to serve our team and the Hondurans well this week.
- Mike walked prayer circles around everywhere we were this week, inviting the Holy Spirit to move, and he encouraged us all to not stop giving glory to God.
- Mike, one of the WCN board members, brought great joy and laughter to us all.
- Josh, the mission director for WCN, became a true partner and leader, and allowed our team to chase the Holy Spirit all week long.
I was privileged to watch Jesus knit this team together and be used to further the kingdom of God in significantly awesome ways. I am humbled and filled with gratitude.
We appreciate your travel prayers for us today!