Honduras 2013, Melanie's Account

Friday, July 19, 2013


July 2, 2013 (Journal Entry)

Today, I helped build a house on the side of a mountain. I walked through inches of mud, carried wood, hammered and nailed, carried more wood, got sawdust in my hair, my eyes; but to see the joy on that family’s faces was priceless. I didn’t, for some reason feel like I was doing a good deed; I just felt like I was building a house, in the mountain, for Jesus. I even caught myself one time, saying, “I’m building this house for you Jesus.” I felt weird saying it because Jesus doesn't need a house; but it kept my heart and attitude in check. It's not about me, it's about the Lord.

I think of the various Bible accounts of Jesus departing to the mountain to pray. I was on a mountain today; and though it was physically pretty when looking at the expanse of it, in some areas, there were sticker briar bushes, stones, (better yet, boulders), mud, rain, and trees. Probably like Jesus, I had to step over some boulders, through the bushes, slide in the mud, stand in the rain, and spend a moment praying to the Father. I thanked God for a sweet friend Debbie and her son Antonio, for Reiz, for Anna whom I met when I took breaks from building. I prayed and thanked God that He was getting the glory for building the house even if I hammered in one nail. I don’t want the glory. I thanked God for blessing the interns, who worked so hard to make sure we newbies, knew what we were doing even if it slowed down the process a little. I thanked God for the relationships being built on that mountain. This morning when I woke up, I wasn’t sure where my mindset would be, but in between building houses, smashing one of my new friend’s fingers with a hammer, and making friends with children and families in Honduras, I did think of Jesus.

July 3, 2013 (Journal Entry)

We went to the dump today. I didn’t know what to expect, but the dump is where many people live and come to collect scraps, food, or whatever they can grab that will help them survive. We provided rice, beans, tortillas, and fresh water to the men, to the women, to the children…that work in the dump. The place was muddy, because it’s always raining in Honduras. The place did have an odor…it’s a dump; so I expected it to smell. We were told NOT to take pictures when you get out of the bus and trucks, just get out, talk to people, and take them food. It seems like strange instructions, but you know how we Americans can get when we see new things; we whip out our camera phones and begin snapping. This was not the place.

The first thing I noticed was a man preaching to a group of people. (I later found out he was part of the church that meets there, regularly.) Next, it was all the cows! Soooo many cows looking for something to eat. Then there were the birds. I’m not talking about a red bird, or a hummingbird; I’m talking about big ole’, scary looking, swooping down birds! My immediate thought was the old horror film, The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I couldn’t take the movie, and now seeing it in person, I had to make sure I didn’t run, scream, and make a scene! After a while, I realized those birds weren’t worried about me, God was providing for them, just like the scriptures said He would.

Then I meet Mary…another grandmother (Lord, what were you trying to show me on this trip). I asked if I could hug her, and she said yes. From what I could understand, Mary lives right beside the dump and has 4 sons and 4 daughters who live in different areas in Honduras. She was with her young granddaughter and they both wanted food. We fed them. She hugged me again before walking away. When it was time to leave the dump, one lady prayed with us. I couldn’t understand anything she said other than, Dios and gracias. Thank God. Even though I couldn’t make out every word, our hearts connected in God. She was a believer, living at the dump.

There were believers of God living in that dump and they have more hope in the Father getting them out of there than many of us who wonder if we’ll make it across town with a ¼ tank of gas. They eagerly shared their stories, believing we would listen, and God would provide.

They shared their burdens with faith.

Do we do that? Or are we ashamed? I know there are brothers and sisters in Christ, even here in Charlotte, NC that have been homeless and didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Jesus said when you clothe, feed, take in the least of these, then you’ve done it to me. I don’t know what I stepped in today, when I was passing a bowl of food to a gentleman who was on the other side of a huge mound of garbage, but it didn’t and doesn’t matter now. I just prayed I was doing what Jesus would do...what He would want me to do. I was trying to serve with a smile and work for Him is all I know. I pray my service and my time were not in vain.

I can't wait to share more with you soon!

Melanie



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2 comments

  1. Very wonderful story. You did a lot, and God honors that.

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  2. Melanie...thank you for sharing this reflection. It definitely has me in tears. This is truly a blessing to read this. It just tells us God is still in the blessing business. Melanie you are truly a blessing...

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