Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This past Sunday, Lipscomb FCA sent a small group down to Zamarano, Honduras to serve for a week at Jovenes en Camino. Jovenes is a refuge for orphaned and at risk boys that not only provides a means to support and education, but also serves as a platform to share the gospel. There are a total of 60 boys currently living at Jovenes, and three sets of house parents. The team making the trip consists of Ryan Terry and Dustin Wilder from the Bison golf team, Aaron Spragg from the Bison baseball team, and Katie Collier from the Lady Bison track and field team. This group is also joined by the Nashville regional FCA director Shaun Dean.
The four Lipscomb student-athletes have all visited Honduras before on athletics mission trips. This is Shaun's first trip to Honduras. He has a heart that desires to spread the gospel wherever the Lord leads him. For one week these five will be sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the boys of Jovenes in many different ways. One of the main projects that the group will be involved in is painting the houses that the boys live in. Each boy lives in one of three houses (yellow, red, and green) depending on age, and these building are in much need of some fresh paint. Please keep this group in your prayers over the next week as they go out into the world as not only ambassadors for Lipscomb, but more importantly as ambassadors for Christ.
Update from Shaun:
Our team made it to Hoduras in one piece! A little ragged from the journey and very tired from "crack of dawn" arrivals at the airport, we enjoyed a fast landing on the short runway in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. We were greeted warmly with big smiles from our hosts and new friends at Jovenes en Camino (Young Men on the Way), and God began working through us right away... We got to share our lunches with two hungry Hondurans.
The 25 mile trip to Jovenes was beautiful, and brought up mixed emotions. First was thankfulness to God for the wonders of his creation, and next was the sadness that always comes when those used to a privileged lifestyle are staring point blank into extreme poverty. Honduras is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere except for Haiti. But as we pulled into the Jovenes complex, hope broke through the heaviness we felt. Once past the armed guard and security fence, El Zamorano isn't known for its low crime rate, it seemed almost like a different place altogether. We saw flourishing trees and gardens sprouting beans and corn, a well manicured lawn, and brightly painted structures. This was an oasis for young men to learn and grow. The hellos were awkward at first. No one really new what to say but "hola," so Ryan, our teammate and translator, extended greeting for us. A few high fives and some hugs later, we were led on a tour of the complex by Santos, our guide and one of the house Dads. The language barrier was a bit frustrating until we started communicating in a way that all of us understood...sport.
The "Gringos," thats us, put on our best soccer impression for the next three hours before dinner. Those boys wore us out, everyone had a great time and lots of laughs, and thankfully, we didn't keep score. Dinner was a simple, yet delicious array of local fare, and once our stomachs were satisfied we settled into a board game called "Sequence" with the Green House boys. The Green House boys range in age from 14-18, and is the group that tends to have the most issues of the three houses. The boys have lights out at 9, so we left at 8 to reflect on the day, and get some much-needed sleep. We closed the evening with prayer and pondering the question, "What is God preparing me for?"
Day 2 was basically a reply of day one, except we enjoyed a morning devotional discussing God's RELENTLESS pursuit of his children, we ate lunch with our new friends, and we got to learn a lot more about how they spend each day. They rise between 5 and 6 a.m. to begin their workday. Some clean their respective houses, and others head to the farm to work the crops and milk the cows. Their work and chores continue until about 10:30 when they clean up and get ready for the mile or so walk to school. They study all the usual subjects until about 3 p.m., then head back to Jovenes to either resume work in learning a trade (carpentry, maintenance, cooking, etc.), or enjoy various sports, usually soccer, until dinner is served.
Most of our conversations are at the surface level so far, which after hearing about some of their stories from the teachers, I understand. After all, we just met. But they are warming up to us quickly. Tomorrow we are waking early for devo time so we can join the boys at their worksites. We'll get to see how life looks as we walk a mile or two with them in their world. And rest assured, the LORD is working in all of us. I'm excited to see how it plays out.
P.s. - the Gringos scored a few goals on the local boys today...God has to be with us! :)
En servicio de JesuChristo,