Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mission progress

One of my favorite things about the lead up to our mission trip is the team meetings and fundraisers. Don't get me wrong--fundraising is really hard, and I find it very difficult to ask people for money or to come to yet another event, but the comraderie and support is well worth the effort.

What happens during these 6 months?

We study the bible together: what is God leading us to do on this trip, how can God help us to overcome our anxieties, how can we overcome our selfish desires so that we land on Honduran soil with a heart of servitude and love?

We bond.  I know it's only a week in Honduras and that doesn't seem like a lot. But this is no vacation by the pool. We share a dorm, we listen to each other snore, we sweat in the heat together, we dig holes and carry bricks and then we play with dozens of kids together, we sometimes get sick together and nurse one another, some of us get homesick or irritated by one another, we adapt to a very different culture, most of us nod in ignorance at a language we don't understand. All this is hard enough, but doing it with strangers would be even tougher so we take time to get to know one another, to become family to each other so we can be the best team we can possibly be.

Prepping take out at the Chicken Dinner

And of course, we raise funds. Why?  Some people ask why do we raise funds when we are choosing to go. We raise funds for several reasons: 
1) we are not picking people to go based on their wealth but on their heart.  In fact, I wouldn't say that we pick the team so much as God brings the team together.

2) a good chunk of the money we raise is used to fund the home we are visiting, to feed and educate the children.

Chicken dinner
3) On top of the minimum we need to raise, we raise extra so we can help the project with their urgent needs. In the past, our church has raised enough to help start building a new school, to buy toilets for the boys' dorm, a fridge, a stove, tables and chairs, dirt for a road. We also want to have fun with the kids so we take toys, games, sports equipment and treats!

And the #1 question: why not just send money?  Over time I have learned that building relationships with the children and staff goes much further than dollars alone. Rather like the saying, Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Much more about that in future posts!

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