I wish that I could offer each of you a glimpse into the life I lived in Honduras for 2 ½ years. One of the hardest parts of doing life there is that I could never truly explain it to the people at home. No matter how many pictures I took or stories I told people who had never lived there just didn’t “get it.”
When I close my eyes I’m back in Honduras and there’s a girl with scars on her arms and legs where her mother beat her with barbwire and I’m trying to talk to her about the love of God. I’m holding the hand of a girl who’s covered and scars and mentally handicap because her father cut into her with a machete. I see a little boy take a few licks off a piece of candy and then places it back in its wrapper because he’s not sure when he’ll get another one.
I’m sitting at a feeding center staring into the eyes of hundreds of kiddos who won’t eat anything but the meal they are being given at the center. I see a boy on a street corner sniffing paint thinner out of a bottle because getting high curbs the pangs of hunger. I’m standing at a restaurant when a man stops just so he can practice his English.
I’m walking down a dirt road surrounded by laughter and chatter coming from homes made of mud, scrap wood, metal, and anything else the family can find. I’m sitting in the back of the truck, hearing people on the streets yell out Gringa. (white girl) I see little brown faces of kids and adults alike who take delight in the smallest of things.
Some days even the smallest of things triggers a memory. Some days those memories are good and other days the memories aren’t so good…..but not a day goes by when I’m not plagued by those memories. The memories are sometimes painful but I’d be even more miserable if those memories stopped.
Those memories are the stories we missionaries share to satisfy inquiring minds of financial and moral supporters who think missionaries are angels. Who think that all missionaries have it all together…..all the time. But what we don’t tell people are the stories of our own struggles and doubts in faith and belief in a loving God. We do not tell them that we too occasionally get angry at the situations we are presented with and the fact that God “allowed it.” We don’t’ tell them about missionaries who have resorted to less than Godly methods of ridding ourselves of the pain within. . And we certainly don’t tell them that there are moments in the life of a missionary when our hearts get a little calloused over and we continue the work just because it is “right.”
I’m by no means complaining about those moments. I’m simply attempting to be a little more honest about what it was like to do life there for 2 ½ years so that I might be able to bridge the gap between there and here…. We aren’t angels. We are just every day Christians who are struggling through trying to make a difference. Some days the only difference we can tell between ourselves, saved sinners, and lost sinners is that the lost rejoice in their sin while we mourn ours.