We have had a wonderful Christmas. We celebrated with the Gossetts. Then we headed to Charlotte and surprised my family at Lori's basketball game. We enjoyed Christmas in Charlotte, then headed to Florida for Disney and visiting my Grandparents.
So, I realized looking back at my blog posts that I never did a final blog post about my trip to Honduras this summer. It was such a wonderful, life-changing trip for me. I felt the presence of the Lord so vividly working in my heart and life. I never wrote about it because I never knew how to put into words what happened there. God taught me so many things on that trip, and He made me very aware of the poor and needy in our world, especially in Honduras. He bonded my heart with a little boy named Jefry. Jefry lives in the Noah's Ark Shelter in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The shelter is a part of Forgotten Children Ministries- a ministry that rescues kids off of the streets of Honduras and provides them with food, clothing, education, and teaches them about Jesus. After telling John about everything that happened in my life, and about Jefry, we decided to start sponsoring him, and we became what the kids there call "Madrina and Padrino" or godparents. Shortly after returning from Honduras in July, I felt the need to go back. I also wanted John to go back, with me, so I began praying. There were many obstacles that had to be worked out for us to be able to go, and God made it possible and opened all of the doors. He is such a good God granting us the desire of our hearts. In the months leading up to the trip, I was blown away with what God was doing. In October, the Lord laid it on my heart to ask the families and students of Westminster to donate money for 75 new book bags for the kids in the ministry. I also asked them to bring in gently used jeans, shoes, and socks. In the end, we raised $975 to pay for the book bags (someone in our church helped us buy them all at cost), and I had 5 suitcases full of jeans, shoes and socks. There were five of us from our church traveling together for the trip, so between the five of us we were going to check 10 bags to get all of the stuff down there. We also were bringing 36 Bibles that our church provided for the children in the ministry. I knew it was going to cost $200 to check the additional bags, and God had already provided $207, but I began praying that God would somehow let the bags be free, so I could give that money to Stan, the missionary in Honduras, instead of spending it on the bags. The day before the trip, I spoke with a Delta representative, and she put a note on our account to please waive the additional baggage fee. She told me she could not guarantee that the workers at the airport would honor it. I continued to pray and asked everyone I could to pray, as well. The next morning, we went to check in at the airport, and they honored the note and checked all 10 bags for FREE!!! It was amazing! Not only that, they also checked our carry-ons so we wouldn't have to carry them through Atlanta- 13 bags total!! God's favor was on us and He was going before us! It was a blessing to be a part of it! What a great God He is!
The trip itself was wonderful. John was finally able to see and experience everything I had been sharing with him for the past months. This trip was called the Christmas trip. We were able to take the kids in the ministry shopping at a mall and to an arcade- I know for some of them it was their first time ever in a mall. We also got to take them to Pizza Hut. We made over 700 Christmas gift bags and passed them out to poor and needy children in Tegucigalpa. It was such a joyous time to be able to share God's love in that way! It was John's first time to meet Jefry. It all went so well and we loved being able to spend time with him and love on him. We hope to be involved in his life for many years to come. We want to encourage him and pray for him as he grows up in Honduras. We pray that he continues to learn about Jesus. We pray that he stays in the ministry and completes all of his schooling. We pray for his precious heart as he has had a tough life already, and he misses his family. What a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus to him. I never imagined that our hearts would be drawn to a little boy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but we are so excited about what God is doing and desire to follow Him all of the way. If He continues to open the doors, we will continue to go and minister. We already can't wait to go back!!
Here are some photos of the trip.
Seeing Jefry for the first time in 5 months, and introducing him to John for the first time.
First night at dinner.
Ministering to the children at the government orphanage.
Taking the shelter boys and girls to the Arcade and Christmas shopping.
Almost all of the boys wanted remote control cars :).
Riding the escalator.
Packing up tons of Christmas goody bags!
Ministering to a precious kindergarten school. They were so excited over the bags.
Playing UNO- Jefry loved it.
Their sink and dishes.
All of the book bags waiting to be handed out the first day of school! (in January)
Pizza Hut and more Christmas shopping!
Putting on his new shoes.
I think they were most excited about these gloves!
I was able to give away some of the things my students donated.
Ministering at the garbage dump.
Playing with their new toys.
Giving Jefry his Christmas presents from us.
His cross that Hudson made him.
At the Christmas celebration at Noah's Ark Church.