Father / Daughter Trip
So my daughter Alyssa was going to be turning 16 in few months. Wow 16! That’s a big deal. Knowing the importance of the father daughter relationship I wanted to do something special for her 16th. I had just the idea – a father daughter trip. So I started looking online for places like Six Flags, Branson, and Disney. Yes, Disney that would be a memorable trip. I’d like to go there.
While I was planning in my head this really cool surprise trip to Disney, our family was invited to join some friends for dinner. They had guest from Honduras visiting. Missionaries Jim & Frances Martin and their 15 year daughter Andrea. I remember Jim sharing the typical missionary story about what they do like sharing the gospel, providing food, clothing and medical care for those in need. But then he said something about sewing. Sewing?
Part of the ministry goal is to teach and equip individuals to be able to support themselves. One of the skills that Honduras Ministries teaches is that of sewing. Alyssa had learned to sew from her grandmother at an early age. While many teenage girls enjoy going to the mall and buying the latest fashions, Alyssa enjoys designing dresses, skirts, tops, etc. and making them on her sewing machine. When she found out that God could use her gift for sewing to help others in Honduras, I knew my hope of seeing Disney would have to wait until another year.
As Alyssa and I planned to travel to Honduras over Spring Break of 2011, we began telling the story of what we were planning to accomplish. Our goal was to raise enough funds to cover the $200+ per sewing machine and materials. The class size would only be limited by the number of machines that we could raise money for.
In sharing our plans, other people decided to join us in our journey to Honduras. We had 2 nurses and a pastor’s family along with a local Kansas City business owner. It was nice to have other people go with us with various skill sets.
Where’s my luggage?
Upon arriving in Honduras, we quickly discovered that the luggage we had all the sewing supplies in did not arrive. Luckily we had sent funds down for the missionary to purchase the sewing machines locally but the fabric, scissors, thread, patterns, etc. would not be available in time for the students that were to arrive the next day.
My first lesson on the trip was to learn to live with what you have. We were able to find some basics supplies at a local Honduran store to begin the class the next morning. Thankfully by noon the next day our lost luggage arrived!
Attitude of gratitude
Alyssa spent 2 days teaching 7 Honduran women how to sew. It was amazing seeing my 16 year old along with the 16 year old daughter of the missionary, who served as a translator; teach these ladies a whole new skill set. At the end of the lesson each of the Honduran women received a brand new sewing machine, thread, needles, fabric, and of course a sewing certificate. As we stood in a circle and the women shared their gratitude, I heard things like ….
"I’ve been saving over a year and was never able to save enough to buy a sewing machine."
"I used to sell peanuts on the street to make a living, now I can sell clothing in the market."
"You have made it possible for me to now provide for my family."
As part of our trip we were able to assist the American nurses and a local Honduran doctor by providing a medical brigade. The first day our medical team was able to see over 100 people. When people found out the local church was providing medical care they begin lining up out the church doors and down the street.
No, we didn’t assist with surgeries or some major medical procedure. Alyssa and I simply helped entertain the kids that stood in line for hours with their parents to be seen, Medical care is a huge need as some people have to go years without care. The people were so grateful for the care they received from our team
No running water, no electricity
At the local food market we purchased bags full of rice, beans and some other basic foods that we would distribute in some of the rural villages. Although the poverty in city of Tegucigalpa was unlike anything we experienced in the United States, once outside the city, in the rural villages, the living conditions were almost indescribable.
When we arrived at LaFortunita we were greeted by the entire community. Everyone that lived there was excited to greet their guests. The housing consisted of mud and stick huts. The water supply, when water was available, was contaminated with both animal and human waste. The few animals (cows, dogs, pigs) that were around were very skinny and sickly.
We unloaded the van and provided the food bags to the leader of the community. (She would distribute the food to those that needed it the most). The pastor that traveled with us would give a sermon in the center of the village along with some special music from some of the locals that traveled with us. When we walked to the center of the village, people ran to their homes and brought out the only chairs that they owned for us to sit on for the service. We were their honored guests. They would sit on the ground beside us and listen to the preacher.
We spent 8 days in Honduras and could have easily stayed much longer. Back at home there were reports due, meetings to attend, business to manage, mortgage payment to make, etc. all of which seemed a bit insignificant compared to the impact that the same time and energy would be in serving someone in Honduras.
I recently read a book by Bob Buford titled "Halftime". Buford described those of us who have spent the 1st half of our lives working towards success and how we can turn the 2nd half into a life of significance. My 2nd half includes telling others a bit of our story and hopefully inspiring people to action of serving others.
March 15-22, 2013 Going Back
My youngest daughter Amber turns 16 this year. And guess what? She wants to go to Honduras. Her skill set is totally different that that of her older sister Alyssa. Amber would like to work kids, special needs kids at that. Honduras has tons of orphans and kids that need a positive young role model. Along with another sewing class with Alyssa, we plan to provide a Vacation Bible School where Amber can use her gift of loving kids.
Our hope is to take 12 students and adults with us for this trip. Our goal is to provide the following services while we are there:
- for the children and adults of the region. Many of these people are very rarely able to see a doctor. The treatment will include a physical exam, treatment for intestinal parasites, and all other primary medical care within the capabilities of the team and a local Honduran doctor. We anticipate treating 150-200 people.
Sewing & Skill Development
- through equipping young women to become entrepreneurs. We plan to provide new sewing machines, fabric and training to a group of at least10 ladies. Once they are trained they will be able to provide clothing for their families and sell their goods in the market. We also plan to follow up with the students from our previous trip to mentor them in their business development.
- to rural villages and local hospitals. We will get to purchase, and in some cases, prepare food for those in need through Honduras Ministries.
More information can be found at www.hondurasministries.org