The trip was great, but also really hard. I felt like I was doing all the weeks of the 7 study combined into one. We ate the same foods, wore the same dirty clothes, slept on hard bunks, shared a room with another couple, showered in cold water, sweat all day, tried to only drink the ‘clean’ water, had no privacy, and struggled to communicate.
Day one I fell in the river. My first ‘taste’ of the water in the only pair of jeans I packed.
The first day was a transition into this reality and the next few days we all adjusted and it felt fine. No big deal! I got this!
The water is fine for the locals (and for those that have lived there long enough for their systems to adjust).
Then I got sick and the stretching conditions were magnified. In particular the day I felt the worst I just lay in bed and wished for home. I felt like such a wimp! (I’m totally blaming it on old age!)
I lay in bed, wishing for the comforts of home. I wanted my own bed, my ‘normal’ food, and my own private, ehm, master bathroom.
I felt like God was saying to me, “You know what, you talk the talk a lot. like a lot, a lot. You sign up for the causes, buy the t-shirts, read the books, and write checks. Enough talking. Now you need to walk the walk.”
Insert crying and gnashing of teeth.
But, God, I will gladly continue to give, donate, and speak up…..just please, PLEASE, give me clean water. PLEASE?!
Here come the boys with our drinking water.
Day 9 we made our way down from the mountain and were told we would be staying at a swanky condo for our last night in Honduras. We all felt giddy with joy. The condo had AC. The condo had clean water. The condo had hot water. The condo had private bedrooms for each couple. Ah, the condo. We were in love.
The beach a few blocks away from the condo.
Then plans changed and changed again and we ended up at a much less swanky hotel for the night. Everything was still good, though, because by all appearances they had clean and hot water. Or so we thought.
Enter day 10. We woke up anxious about our day of traveling home, but excited for at least a good shower before we left. Wait a second? There is no water.
NOT A DROP OF WATER
So much for complaining about no hot/clean water, now we had no water. None. Zero.
Talk about wake up call.
He managed to make it out of Honduras without getting sick (unlike the rest of us), but his luck ran out after eating a bit too much processed food once we hit U.S. soil.
When we finally made it home I cried in the shower. It felt so amazing to have clean, hot water raining down on me. Then I just felt so horrible that I have clean water every..single..day. Much of the rest of the world goes without clean water or they have to travel for miles for water or get it from a dirty creek.
It was such a good experience. Less of me. Less of my privileged life. Less of my personal comfort. Less of my limited worldview. More of Jesus. More of his people. More of his work around the world. More of his perspective. More of his heart for the hurting.
“The goal is not self-actualization, the goal is Christ –realization.” Christine Caine*
I also have to say that I have a sincere respect for missionaries that are willing to leave their comforts of home to serve wherever God calls them. I loved the staff and volunteers at Give Hope 2 Kids. They were so positive! I never heard them complain. We asked them what (besides family) they missed about home and they said things like carpet or certain foods, but every single one of them said they wouldn’t trade living there for anything. Nothing is a sacrifice when sacrificed for God.
* Take a moment to listen to Christine Caine’s podcast titled ‘Die to Self’