Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | January 12, 2017

Day 5 – Wednesday

Buenos Noches from Honduras,

We had a great day today. We started off with breakfast at 7am with pancakes, tortillas, and some fresh fruit (didn’t pay that close attention to what kind of fruit J). Then we spent a couple hours with the elderly playing games, dancing, a little singing. It’s amazing how an elderly person with a walker or wheelchair can still manage to get up and dance when given the opportunity. They loved the hot chocolate, cookies, balloons, and feeble attempts at speaking Spanish.

Next we headed down the street on a nice little walk to the Cathedral of Santa Rosa (a Holy Door last year). Beautiful images, statues, and paintings; one statue you immediately notice is of a bloody Jesus just taken down off the cross laying in what appears to be a glass casket. Eerie, a little overwhelming, but very thought provoking. Then we headed to a coffee shop for a little R&R, took in some local cuisine, hot beverages, and a little shopping before heading back to our rooms to change for the Quincenara.

The Quincenara is special event and a “right of passage” for the 15 year old girls in the orphanage to be welcomed and recognized as becoming women. We had nine girls who dressed up in very nice dresses (not unlike a prom dress) that they share with the other girls and pass onto the next group the following year. I believe they do this once a year. It starts off with a very special mass where each girl is walked down the aisle by a male escort (if enough are available) to almost simulate a father walking down his daughter at a wedding. This is followed by a uniquely catered homily, great music, and prayer to Mary. It was a real celebration of their womanhood in Christ and the community really comes together to make sure everyone feels the love. Past graduates of the orphanage and their families, the sisters, and folks from the town came to join us. There was a gigantic cake (like at a wedding) and lots of pictures being taken. You could just tell how much it meant to these girls. Everyone was beaming with smiles everywhere.

We also had a very sobering tour of the orphanage and could really see how our gifts from St. Michael’s are at work. So much of the facility has been worn down over the last 56 years, and rebuilt by our funds. It was amazing to see how much it had improved as the nuns showed us the changes. As we toured around, images of the musical “Annie” might pop into your head, particularly as we saw all the little beds lined up in a big room, and the room where the girls washed their clothes by hand in sinks using washboards, and other things that would remind us that this was definitely an orphanage, even though you might forget that for a few moments when you play games with them, run, play, and joke around, or see them worshipping in mass.

Dinner at the orphanage followed, with an earlier bedtime routine, as our day will start tomorrow at 6am with mass. Thank you for all your prayers and we ask for your continued prayers for all the girls and the elderly.

Chris Kopecky

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