Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | January 17, 2017

Coming Home – Final Thoughts!

 

What a whirlwind of graces!

Still in KC, I helped roll two large suitcases of Beanie Babies into the packing room at SMA. Notebooks, blankets, crayons, decorative scarfs, balls, medicines and all sorts of toys and supplies already covered the floor. Suitcases were being weighed and filled to the last pound by a crowd of happy helpers. I felt out-of-place as a newbie, but I could already feel the joy of many of our SMA parishioners who have made the generous sacrifice to experience Honduras first hand in the last few years.

After a long (bumpy) journey we finally stumbled through the doors of the orphanage. Squeals of joy and young happy faces made us instantly forget our stiff legs. While a few fellow missionaries passed out hugs with a basic “hola”, I began conversing with the girls – much to their surprise – in fluent Spanish. It was beautiful to see their faces light up and ask in bewilderment: “¿Habla español?”

It didn’t matter if we had been there before or were visiting for the first time, we were all showered with the same welcome gratitude. I instantly felt like part of the family.

As the week went on, and we alternated between spending quality time with the orphan girls and caring for the precious elderly men and women who live right across the street, the newness wore off and some of the harsh realities began to set in: cold water showers, torn up roads, washing clothes by hand, a basic diet almost always including beans and rice, zero heating, shredding basketballs, bikes with broken pedals, lice filled hair … but then I would look back into their faces and see nothing but smiles.

St. Michael’s has done so much to ease their physical burden over these last years and to make those smiles just a little bit wider, but I believe what the girls, the elderly and the sisters who take care of them treasure most is our long-term commitment and personal touch. If we didn’t bring them a single physical thing it would all still be totally worth it, just to spend time with them and to show them that we care. I’m so glad I was finally able to be a part of that mission.

Our last night there, we were treated to a talent show of music and dancing and the petition to us all to “please come back soon!” Some of us shed heartfelt tears, and we all promised to remain faithful to St. Michael the Archangel’s commitment to return, again and again and again. We are all called to be Christ’s hands and feet – maybe next trip those hands and feet will be yours….

Fr. Nathan Miller

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