Perception

When teams come from Canada to partner with us at Schools of Hope, it’s great to hear their first thoughts. They see things with fresh eyes and new perspective. This November, I will be in Honduras for 4 years and it is easy to take things for granted or lose sight of things.

Recently, while a team was here, we were doing a team debrief at the end of the day and this conversation came up. The team had been doing ministry at a school and the ladies needed to use the washroom. They went in and one stall was, well disgusting. Another, the door wouldn’t lock. Another, messy. When they came out, they said ‘Wow, this place was a mess’. Carolyn was outside waiting for the ladies and told them, ‘Wow, this washroom is nice’.


Perception is based on our own reality and experiences.


What the ladies did not know, is that the washroom was beautiful, in comparison to the other schools where we work.

Over this past year, we have had some amazing opportunities to go into people’s homes while we install water filters. It is amazing how the poorest home, with very little material possessions is filled with so much joy. It surprises me when we ask to pray that their first request is for salvation for family members or health – not more money or more stuff.

It is easy to see things from our North American mindset and see the poverty and think that people need a new home or material things. It is part of our culture to want to fix things, it’s not bad, it’s just part of who we are. Especially, Canadians! But our perception is based on our experiences and what we believe makes us happy.

I am so thankful for the opportunities to be challenged in my views. My perceptions of people, their lives and what they truly need.

 

 

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Categories: missions, Personal, schools, Schools of Hope, Spiritual growth, team | Leave a comment

Celebrations

I am sure I have said this before, but Hondurans LOVE their celebrations!!!

Every year on September 10th is the ‘Day of the Child’ and September 15th is Independence Day. Since it lands in the same week, many schools have celebrations instead of classes the entire week. Every school district throughout the country marches the Sunday before September 15th, in Independence Day parades. They practice for months in advance, drumming, dancing, and baton twirling. Parents start saving money months before so they can buy the special uniform for this day or pay to rent the drums. It is amazing to me. The poorest schools will go all out to make their school represent well.

We had the joy of taking the team from GateWay Community Church, Virgil, ON to see the parades for the public schools. There are close to 42 schools in District 8 and Schools of Hope partners with 15 of them. It is always cool to see the kids all dressed up in their official uniforms and special outfits to represent their school. They literally go all out.

It was also fun to see the teams reactions to the parade, as they are experiencing the culture with fresh eyes. There were crowds of people everywhere. Parades here are not quite like what we are used to in North America. Typically, you arrive early to get the best spot and stay there. Here, the parents walk with their kids on the sidelines, sometimes holding a rope so the children stay in the ‘boundaries’. So you could have a great view, but then thousands of people keep walking in front of you or stop and block your view. We quite obviously stuck out as foreigners, but it is so great to see the smiles from the teachers and children when they saw us there representing Schools of Hope.

We were able to celebrate the Day of the Child with several schools, offering a program and then serving cake!!! (a staple for celebrations). The Gateway team did a great job sharing about how Jesus welcomed the little children into his presence. They ended with a salvation message and it was powerful. More than a 1,000 children heard the gospel and prayed along with the team.

 

Categories: missions, Personal, schools, Schools of Hope, team | Leave a comment

Questions and Answers

I have been in Canada for several weeks now, and head back to Honduras in just a few days. Throughout my travels I have been asked a lot of the same questions, so I thought I’d share my answers here with you. I figure some of you may be wondering the same things.

What exciting things are happening with you?
A lot!

Our water filter project is a year and a half ahead of schedule. I need to start putting a proposal together for future communities, since our 3 year plan will very likely be accomplished in 14 months!!! Craziness.

My dream has come true for a tutoring program for elementary and high school students. This ‘pilot’ project that started in March of this year, is moving beyond baby steps to close to 100 students being tutored in Math, Spanish, English and Computers.

And every area of our ministry is growing, which means we need God to provide more staff to join our team. But not just any staff.

What is the temperature like in Honduras?
It is the rainy season right now, until about September, October. On average the temperature can be between 72F to 95F+ depending on the day. At night it cools down into the 60s.  This lovely Southwestern Ontario humidity is too much for me though. I live in the mountains, so even though it is hot during the day there is always a breeze.

What do you miss about Canada?
mg_1257.jpgMy family. I have an adorable 17 month old nephew who is the love of my life… so it’s hard not seeing him. But I realize that even if I did live in Canada, I probably would not see him often anyways, as my brother/sister-in-law live in New York.

Also, some of my favourite foods. It’s hard not to gain weight when I come back, because I end up eating things I do not get to have in Honduras.

Where is home?
Honestly, Honduras is home for me. It is where my life is and my heart. I have an amazing Honduran staff that makes it feel like home. I have made some great friendships over the past several years. And, I love what I do and I am exactly where God wants me, so that is where I want to be.

Canada will always be my homeland, but right now Honduras is my home and where I want to be.

Is there someone special in your life?
Yes, his name is Jesus. I have known him my whole life and he is a part of every area of my life.  I would be nothing without him!
Do you really think I would tell you here in a blog post if there was?!?!!? lol

When do you think you’ll come back to Canada?
Honestly, not anytime soon. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I couldn’t be happier. I love what I do and I know I’m where God wants me.

So there you have it folks. If you have any other questions, feel free to put them in the comments. I’d be happy to answer them for you. 

Categories: missions, Personal | Leave a comment

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