Listen to this post
Thank you so much for your prayers and support for my recent trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It is difficult to put into words the impact that this place has had on my life. I had heard about the poverty and needs of the people there, but experiencing it up close has made it impossible to come back to my daily life and ignore what is happening there. (And more importantly for me I realized there really was no difference between there and our own neighborhoods, except we tend to in a sense glorify doing mission work in other countries.) I truly have a heart for Honduras and am so thankful for the opportunity I had in going there. It is a culture of the poorest of the poor, or the really rich, there is no in between.
On this trip we stayed with an amazing, godly woman named Leonie Webster. In a place called “Valley of the Angels,” she shared her home, her powerful testimony and her vision for her ministry “Seeds of Change”. We walked the land she believes God wants to claim for the women and orphans in Honduras. It is in one of the most beautiful and “safest” parts of the region. (Only still surrounded by razor wire on top of tall fences.) The project includes a medical facility where they will receive much needed health, midwife and dental care. It also includes small transition homes with house parents who will help transition children from the institutional life they have experienced in orphanages to family life in adoptive homes, and allow the women and children of abuse a safe haven.
We met Mandy and Miranda, volunteers of the ministry. These two young women have selflessly given their lives to answer the call to live in Honduras and care for the children there. We met some of the children they have released from local orphanages. These children shared some heart-wrenching stories of the abuse and neglect they experienced growing up in the “care” of those institutions. Leonie, Mandy and Miranda have all worked in the orphanages and have witnessed firsthand the horrifying way the children are treated and the way the system fails to prepare these children to live outside of the institution and be functioning adults. These three ladies have committed their lives to make a change and give the children back their rights to be adopted. That is how “Seeds of Change” was born.
The day we visited an orphanage I became attached to a young lady, who at 6 months was abandoned by her parents. Her only home has been the orphanage. She is now 21, and the orphanage had promised her education at a university, but instead still lives in the orphanage to care for the younger children to repay her debt of being privileged to live there. I questioned Leonie about it and she said the young woman will most likely never have the right to leave.
Through donations, the ministry currently rents two transition houses for children who are no longer living in the orphanage. On this mission we were able to supply the girls living there with clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, toiletries, we even purchased a few pieces of furniture. We painted, decorated and helped to make their house a home — something they have never had before.
Once a week, the ministry purchases food, prepares and serves lunch to the children of a local school. Currently, the ministry only has enough funding to do this one day a week. The children do not usually get lunch on the other days.
We had the blessing of serving the children at the school twice while we were there. Once on their normal day and once from a meal we had the day before. We got to experience a miracle — sad to say — as our leftovers literally fed an entire school of 80 to 85 children and had enough to feed a little girl who came begging for food at the gate of the school.
On the day we went to paint a church called the “Holy Hole” it was 114 degrees. We were told by our translator/driver that we were being watched by a gang lord, but because we were doing good things they would leave us alone. We were invited back to worship with them after we served them lunch and played jump rope, kickball and a parachute with the children of the community. The “Holy Hole” neighborhood is one of the poorest places where they are only allowed water rations two times a week, most have no inside plumbing, and because they hadn’t seen rain in over five months it was very dusty. To honor our generosity a man carrying a five-gallon bucket of his water rations began spreading it on the ground to show his appreciation for us being there with the children. Leonie said it was like one of us pouring out an $80 an ounce bottle of perfume.
For more information on donating, sponsoring, or going on the next mission trip: Please contact Seeds of Change (Honduras) Leonie Webster email@example.com or www.heart4honduras.org.