Honduras 2013, Shanita's Account

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 4, 2013 (Journal Entry)

Purpose! This morning we rose early to travel 3 hours to Danli, Honduras. Our mission today is to have a free medical clinic for families in need. We have 3 doctors and 1 dentist with us on this mission trip. They are using their hands and feet to serve…using their talents to give…using their calling on purpose. Upon our arrival, families had heard of the great news of us coming and they were lined up in wait. Some of our team members purchased vitamins, medicines, and other supplies to be given based off the doctor’s prescription. I found it so cool to see this clinic unfold. Meanwhile the clinic is in action, a team is working to build two houses. This means two families will no longer have to sleep on muddy floors and air mattresses, at the end of the day; they will have sturdy floors, windows, doors, and bunk beds! Nothing in return but a smile!

I played a little soccer with some of the kids while they were waiting to be seen by the doctor. I painted a few young girls fingernails, learned a little Spanish, and colored with the kiddos. I was a little rusty on the soccer field, but it felt good to run and play.

One thing particular left me thinking deeply today, and that was witnessing Melanie coloring with Arianna. She is 9 years old, very intelligent, and very bold. As she was coloring, I noticed that every time it came to coloring a face, she chose the color white or the closest thing to it. When it came to coloring animals, she chose the color black. At times I would subtly ask Melanie to offer another color for the face, but Arianna was persistent that the color had to be “light.” One particular instance she colored the body of a donkey black, but the face white.

I thought about that the entire 3-hour bus ride back to the mission house. As I noticed the environment around me, I saw billboards that had animals’ black, and people “light.” Beautiful things were “light,” whereas ugly things were black. Now by no means do I believe Arianna’s intent was to offend the two “dark” faces that were assisting her; I’m just amazed that some of the messages through advertisements and the media are the same around the world. I know in America, you can’t walk into a grocery store without seeing magazine covers with the 50 most beautiful people and sometimes it begs the question, where do they come up with this stuff?!

We must be careful of the messages we become susceptible to and how we teach what we’ve learned to others. I asked myself on the bus ride home, what would have happened if Arianna had colored the faces dark? Would that have made a difference in how we interacted with her and how we showed Christ to her? My answer is no. My noticing of “how” she colored didn’t change the way I loved her because how I "color" (sin) didn’t change the way Christ loved me on the cross.

My purpose in serving here is not to change hearts, mindsets, and traditions of people, only God can do that.

What did bring sadness to my heart was the fact that there is still division. I’m so thankful that God doesn’t see color; He sees our souls. The same way God views us, is how we should view others. If God had a magazine that displayed the most beautiful people in the world, we’d all be on the cover because He created us in His image.

Today, I started off asking God to show me His purpose and I truly believe what He wanted me to gain on this day was the word beauty. It’s easy to see beauty on photoshopped magazine covers, yet if we’re honest, it’s sometimes difficult to see beauty within ourselves. We all magnify our flaws more than anyone else would. The beauty in that is sometimes our many imperfections actually unify us. Unify us in the fact that we all need Jesus.

So tonight as I write, I thank God for unity. I thank God for the beautiful group of women that I’m sharing a cabin with here in Honduras. I’m grateful for the children who run up to me and want to touch my skin and my hair because they have not interacted with many of the African American race. I’m grateful that sin no longer stains me and darkness no longer shadows me, rather I’m “light” and free because of Christ.
I pray that my reflection does not offend any reader of this post. I also pray that as you look in the mirror this week, you see the beautiful reflection of Christ looking at you…which in turn gives you the desire to look at others in that same light!

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  1. Loving these stories. Thanks for sharing. God bless your ministry.


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