Living in Honduras, it is very easy to lose track of seasons and holidays. The leaves don’t change colour, there are not a lot of fall decorations in the stores. Sometimes we have to stop and think, “what month is it?” because, for the most part the weather stays the same, month in and month out.
It wasn’t until team Bethel was packing up for home that I truly realized, Thanksgiving was on the weekend.
And we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
Here are some things about team Bethel I am thankful for.
1. Having our home church bring a team here.
It was so great having them here and working along side them. It almost felt like, to me anyway…that no time had passed and we were able to pick up where we left off. It was wonderful to reconnect with everyone ; it felt comfortable like home. Except for the fact that home came to us.
2. One a personal level two of my closest friends also were a part of the team. I got to go for walks everyday once again with Grace, just like we did in Stratford when we lived a couple doors down from each other. Kathy and I prayed together like we did once a week when we lived in Stratford.
My son Ben, got to hang out with his best friend Dane…who actually slept at our house for the whole ten days that the team was here.
3. The work team made awnings for outside the school kitchens. Now the moms no longer have to do the dishes under the intense heat of the sun while their skin burns. They are sheltered as well from the rain, and will now stay dry if it rains when they are doing dishes.
One mom in particular was so grateful, so appreciative. Thankful. You could tell by looking into her eyes how much this meant to her by her unshed tears . It spoke volumns to us the words she could not communicate.
3. Bethel team put on a program for the children that included songs in Spanish. The children loved it! It makes such a difference when the kids can sing along with the songs and can understand them, because they are in thier own language. They seem to get much more out of it because they don’t feel lost or confused by a language they don’t understand. They abosutely loved Pastor Charlie’s monkey imitation in the story of Noah’s Ark. So funny! And so Pastor Charlie. Those of you who know and love him will know what I mean. He puts his whole heart into everything. Even being a monkey!
4. I helped the craft team. However unlike the ministry team; I had no translator. With God’s help, I did it. The instructions were simple enough, I guess, and the children understood me. I was ever so thankful for that because it really through me for a loop and I almost panicked when I found out no translator was available for me.
Crafts are always a hit here in Honduras. It is something these kids do not get to do that often.
It is amazing how simple things like straws, strings and buttons can bring so much joy to people…even grown men.
This is a photo of Pastor Charlie enjoying the button and string game, but even the president of the community got in on the game. It was cool to see his eyes light up while he played with a button and string. It was really quite entertaining watching him.
While I was able to get a photo of the president of the community playing with his button and string, I didn’t want him to know I was watching him, and was not able to capture the delight on his face or his smile. I will always remember it though.
5. Bethel got to meet their sponsored child. An amazing moment for the team and Jeison. This moment was special for me too as Jeison has long been on my heart; since that moment when I first laid eyes on him over two years ago.
The team was able to go to his home as well, and meet his mom and other siblings.
6. I am thankful for how Bethel played with the children. Between programs or taking a break from their work project..they took the time to just be. Time out to play, time out to love on a child. To hug a child. Even something as simple as just sitting with a child. Skipping, home made tetter totters, soccer, and a whole lot of hugs. Just being Jesus to them and showing his love. Honestley, that could very well be the stuff that these kids will remember the most: that Bethel loved.
( 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love)
Bethel team also was able to see first hand, the child sponsorship program in action as the children wrote their letters to their sponsors.They were able to play with them outside of the school; bubbles,skipping atc.. also doing crafts left over from the other schools we were at earlier in the week.
8. Team Bethel also put together little gift bags for the moms who volunteer their time in the kitchen.They were filled with toiletries. It was something small, but was token of appreciation for all the moms who give and sacrifice of their time, for their hours of dedication to the feeding program. Grace prepared a little devotional for the moms…telling the story of the loaves and fishes and how little is much when God is in it.
9.Lastly, I am thankful for the way that Bethel blessed our socks off. Seriously.
We have been here for over one year now. While we can find most things here; there are still many things that we cannot and have missed or are just too expensive here. It isn’t like we can fly home and bring back what we were craving or missing. Not til we have been here two years. Bethel took care of that by packing all our favorite candy, tea, magazines…( you can’t find english magazines here) A friend of mine sent me pajamas and another friend sent salón shampoo and oil, that I had wanted to pay for and have sent down. A friend of Jake’s sent a care package for him that was; pardon the expession, a (butt load of candy). Which by the way; Noah if you are reading this… is all gone.
Even the peope renting our home sent candy. So totally unexpected. There were treats for Reuben, our dog too.
There were also a couple pads of stationary filled with sweet notes from people in the church who were not able to come on the team. So heart felt. We felt loved and cared for. Remembered.
10. This Thanksgiving we did not find turkey…but we did find most of the trimmings. Including Pumpkin pie and cool whip. Another missionary blessed us with a homemade pecan pie…Dale’s favorite and it was delicous!
While none of our family was around our table, we still had each other. We were all healthy, except for a couple of lingering colds….and we are blessed. Blessed indeed.