Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | June 16, 2018

Saying Goodbye – Day 7

As you might have expected, Robin back on the blog:

After I wrote my first blog, I kinda expected to write on the last day.  But if you think about it, as the only newbie on the trip, I didn’t have any major responsibilities, they wouldn’t let me go anywhere by myself, and wouldn’t even let me hold any of the door keys to the two hogars—so I counted my blessings that they didn’t take my own room key away from me and did whatever Juanita asked me to do…
I was going to talk about taking cold showers all week and sleeping whenever the gallo (rooster) would allow it, but now it’s under six hours to wake up for our travel day tomorrow, and I know I’m going to sit here until I get through the goodbye part…
Once again I was fooled into thinking the only hard goodbyes would be with the niñas tonight, but I didn’t really make a connection at the elderly home because Miguel and I spent so much time painting the courtyard lines at the orphanage, and because I used some of the time meant for the elderly to write a couple blogs earlier in the week.  What I didn’t count on was the connection we formed with the Franciscan sisters here this week.  I think most Catholics don’t get much exposure to religious orders anymore, and when we talk about vocations, we generally talk about priestly vocations, or religious vocations in passing.  And most of what I’ve read in previous trip blogs centered more on the residents of the two homes, the ancianos (elderly) and the niñas (girls), so I didn’t expect to form a bond with these sisters.  But we did, because we shared probably ten meals with each group over the course of the week, so there was a lot of time for sharing about each others’ lives and cultures—and you can see Christ alive in them as they go about their ministries of service to the two groups—so when they presented us with some beautiful going-away gifts and Lynn said goodbye for us, I teared up…
Then it was on to the orphanage, and we went to work preparing for the final night—getting the gift bags ready for all the girls, gifts for the sisters, Miguel and I went for a walk to buy ice cream and the women ordered pizza—and then we were able to play in the courtyard for a few minutes before it started to rain.  Then we sat around and talked and took pictures and they asked when we were coming back.  The pizzas arrived and we served all the girls and the sisters, then we cleaned up the kitchen, handed out all the gift bags and gave the sisters their gifts.  The final event of the week was a show put on for us by the girls, followed by presentations to each one of us, and then speeches.  I tried not to think about it too much throughout the presentations, and since most of it was in Spanish, I was able to keep my mind off leaving.  When Magda got up to talk, I thought I was in the clear for a little while, then she turned and asked if I wanted to talk first.  I told the girls through my sobs that I had waited too long to come to Honduras, because I’ve missed out on all the joy they’ve given me.  Then it was Miguel and Lynn and Juanita’s turn, and I was able to get it back together and thinking I was in the clear.  Magda thought she was done because she translated for me, but they called her back up to talk, and when she started tearing up, I followed suit—and one of the girls came over and put her arm around me and hugged me—such a sweet, simple act of kindness that means so much—it’s so hard to describe, but heaven on earth comes to mind…and tears of joy…
Once all the presentations were over, it took us probably a solid hour (of hugs, pictures, hugs and more pictures) to get to the storage room, gather all our stuff and head out—we will truly miss them…
I wasn’t quite sure on Sunday if I wanted to come back to Honduras, but now I am.  I’ll come back…
Peace with joy from Honduras
Robin
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