Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | January 13, 2011

The Road to Gracias, Part 2

Gracias is a town, but it is also a sentiment. I don’t think I am the only one to heave a huge sigh of relief, and say a silent “Gracias, Senor” (thank you, Lord!) when we arrived safely at our destination. Please don’t misunderstand; the trip was lots of fun, filled with laughter and gorgeous scenery. It’s just that any time 50 people are riding in a van originally designed to carry 30, you are grateful to arrive in one piece.

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The hot springs were a pleasant surprise. The site has been developed very nicely, with three separate pools for the girls to swim in. The “Chicas” (little girls) stayed in the small and shallow pool, much like the kiddie pools back home. The older girls ventured into the two larger ones. The pools are fed from natural springs within the mountain, so they feel wonderful.

Before long, the girls had coaxed all of the travel team, and one or two of the nuns into the water. Several of the girls were hesitant at first because they haven’t had many opportunities to learn how to swim. It was a great chance for them get more comfortable in the water.

The nuns had packed lunch for the group, and we all enjoyed a picnic of stir fried rice, bread, noodles and other snacks. Mike, Terry and Greg played a game of volleyball with the girls while we all waited the designated hour before we could go back in the water again.

Things started to wind down in the afternoon, as all of the excitement of the day started to catch up with us. Several people (including Sor Denora) took a brief siesta in the hammocks that are set up around the site. Soon it was time to round up the girls an begin the journey home.

The driver had to make two round trips in order to get everyone home so Greg, Mike and Terry volunteered to stay behind with several of the older girls to wait for the second bus. This meant staying at the pool for a couple of extra hours. The owner of the park brought out a horse and let the girls take turns riding it to help pass the time. In the end, it was past 7:00PM before everyone arrived back for a late dinner at the Elderly Home.

Later that night, several of us made the journey up the hill to visit a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Peace. During the Saint Michael Mission Trip 4 years ago, this statue shed tears as the travel team, along with girls from the orphanage, said a rosary one evening. The statue is said to have cried on several occasions during that time, but her eyes have been dry for the past several years.
A photo can’t capture the beauty of Our Lady of Peace. To stand before her is feel her presence. Her eyes were dry, but the memory of our visit to this sight is one of the highlights of the trip so far.


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