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 LORD, it seems, is breaking up our trip nicely, as these last three days have been very similar in scheduling and activities. Each of the last three days, we have done our best to enter the lives of these young men. We woke up as a team between 5 and 6 a.m., met the Jovenes boys for their community breakfast, and went to work with them. The poverty in Honduras keeps them from buying and using the same tools as we deem common in the USA. For instance, when Katie, Dustin and I were working in the "Carpenteria," or Carpentry Shop, we didn't have electric sanders to smooth the rough edges of night stands and book shelves...we did them all by hand. Señor Alex taught us the ropes,and the boys checked our work and encouraged us along. It was hard work, but good working with our hands for a change. Ryan and Aaron went to "La Nueva," which is their nickname for the worksite where they keep the animals and grow crops for food. They teamed up with a group of about 20 older boys and cut back weeds with handheld machetes. We worked hard from 7-10:30 a.m., then we break for lunch. And it's worth noting that I haven't heard a single complaint yet from these young men. They take pride in their work, mixing in smiles, laughter and music. They do what they need to in school like most teenagers. And they play hard with good sportsmanship in the afternoons. They are teaching me a thing or two about how to truly enjoy life.
While everyone is at school, we invest the time in devotionals and helping the House Parents and employees run errands and do odd jobs around the Jovenes complex. Our time seeking Christ together has been rich. Our discussions have focused on Gods RELENTLESS pursuit of his children, saving us from sin, what it looks like to pursue God RELENTLESS-ly as his children, and how we must surrender our lives to join his mission, being RELENTLESS in living and speaking the truth, sharing the wonderful gift of grace at every opportunity. We have met the kids as they are leaving school several times too, and they are always glad to see us. The last few evenings have been filled with basketball, baseball, fishing at the local pond, and card games like Sequence and UNO. And while we know they appreciate our work, its clear that the most meaningful thing for them is when we just hang out with them. A wiser man once told me that love is spelled T-I-M-E, and we are having a blast sharing ours with these incredible young men!
Tomorrow we are joining the Jovenes staff at their monthly breakfast and taking a trek into the mountains for bananas, plantains, and other local fruits.On Saturday, we are celebrating our last night with our amigos and telling them all our stories about how Jeuss Christ has rescued us, and how he wants to do the same for them. Please pray this verse (Psalm 27:10) over the boys for the next couple of days, and ask God to save them.
"For my Father and Mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in."
In service to Christ, and with much love,
Shaun M. Dean
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes