Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby Kendall

I have been so honored and blessed this weekend by the people I came here to serve. I realize that I have not been brought here to fix them. I have been brought here to know them, to love them and to do life with them. I was invited to the public school 6th grade graduation on Friday ( I work in a private school). Two of the kids I work with outside of school (Mephi and Tommy) were getting their diploma's. After tutoring on Thursday, the other teachers and I were able to take Memphi and to the mall and buy his white shirt and black shoes he needed for his graduation. It was a really sweet time to share with him how proud we are and to encourage him to continue working hard (Erin and Amber did an amazing job with this). He is an incredible kid and very smart but he has almost zero positive influences in his community and at home. When Kendall and I got to the graduation Friday night I was handed a stack of diplomas and told that I would be sitting in front on stage handing out diplomas to students. So I tucked my shirt in and recited the names with my best Spanish Accent while Kendall entertained the baby's that were handed to her. It was an incredible honor to get to hand Memphi his diploma and stand up front with him. After the ceremony, they gave Kendall and I a box of food and we were on our way. The next night I was invited to Pablo's mama's baby shower (my first and most likely last). Kendall and I showed up on time at 7 and left at 8:30 before it had really started (island time). We talked, held baby's, joked and told stories about the kids I know from their community. It was awesome to be included and welcomed in by the people whose kids I spend a lot of time with. So today I got a call at about 12 o'clock from Pablo (13 year old boy from French Harbour). He called to say his mom had gone to the hospital and is having the baby today. I hung out with Gus and Daniel, two 17 year old boys from French Harbour, who were at my house after church. We ate hot dogs, talked for a bit then headed to the hospital. As I stood there holding a 10 minute old baby, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by how beautiful this child is and how much God loves him. This family lives in a very dark place, the husband just got out of jail 2 weeks ago, they are surrounded by drugs, sex and violence, and there isn't much change on the horizon but this child is pure and beautiful. He is a blessing. It was awesome to see the husband, Santos, staring at his baby boy with so much joy and gentleness. I was able to pray with the father and the new baby before I left and truly loved that moment. That Child is the Lords and I am excited to see the way he blesses their family. In the time I have gotten to know this family and continually pour in to Pablo I have seen a change in the kids and the parents. He is slowly learning to respect others and to simply believe in himself while the parents are taking more of an interest in their kids and in what we are doing. God wants us to look at people for who they are not for who we want to make them. This is something he is teaching me right now and the embrace of this community has reassured that over and over this weekend. I am so thankful for these opportunities that God has literally brought to my door. The baby´s name is Kendall!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Get outa the pews!

“Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
-1John 3: 18

My heart has been moved and burdened by this instruction for the past four years. I spent most of my first couple years as a Christian, seeking community, learning about the word and pouring into other Christians like me. This was extremely valuable time that helped me develop and have the foundation to step out of my comfort zone. Rarely do the people of a church actually step out and leave this place of ease. I hit a wall of frustration my senior year of College when I sat with a non-Christian friend who was expressing his disappointment and confusion to me about Christianity. He felt that all the Sunday services and lunch dates that follow were a waste of time and resources. He shared his vision with me of a church that met in the streets and served the community around them by not only talking about the Lord but doing what he has commanded us to do. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself and to feed and clothe those in need. He said that whatever we do for the least of these (the needy) we do for him. I am continually challenged with this and I want to bring the challenge to whoever reads this as well. Do something worthwhile, outside of yourself. Take donuts to the office on a Monday morning, learn something new about your co-workers, have a conversation with the homeless man who asks your for $5, come to Honduras, haha. Please just don’t settle for a faith that is only lived out in a church. Take the love of Christ to the streets, to your home and EVERYWHERE you go. Show people what that love looks like, if you don’t know seek it out, its our job as the body of Christ to show you. If you don’t know the love of Christ, test us, challenge us to step up and show you but have grace. We are still human and learning too. There is a balance involved here as well, along with doing, we must proclaim his goodness and the driving force behind our actions. If we build a house here in Roatan for a family in need and leave it at that, we are nothing more than some generous Gringos. But if we share Christ as its being done and tell them of the true reason we are sweating side by side, they can have a transformation of heart along with a new home. They can receive more than a gift from our hands but a gift that has been given and made possible through the Lord. I strive to give God all the glory for anything that is done here. When that is done, it is amazing how the dots line up and his divine touch is undeniable. Proclaim his goodness as you show people who Jesus is by your actions.

“When people look at the Church, they should see the one who declared – in word and deed to the leper, the lame and the poor – that His kingdom is bringing healing to every speck of the universe.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

I can see it now!

A little love for the USA!

I bought a car! I am no longer restricted by taxi drivers and bus schedules. When you think island, you think small. Roatan is 30 miles long but it takes me 40 minutes to get from my apt. to school every day and that is only halfway up the island. The car is a huge blessing.

After a year I have found rock climbing in Roatan!!!!!! Check.

Studying at the house after a swim with the boys!

We had 5 of the boys from the community come over for a sleep over two weeks ago. This was our trip out for cinnamon rolls after dinner.

A day at the beach with Kendall and the kids from the Children's Home where she lives and works!