My Honduras Mission

kalliethebuilderThere are trash dumps worldwide where people spend their lives in danger every day. One of these dumps is located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In August of 2015 I was able to travel there with the RidgePoint Church’s Missionary Team. We helped build a home family in need and volunteered our time at a local grade school.

On our trip we partnered with two organizations, Trash Mountain Project and Amor Fe Esperanza (AFE).  Both are amazing organizations that have a passion for helping people. Trash Mountain Project is a ministry with a goal to develop safe environments for children and families living in trash dump communities worldwide and to find or build homes for those families. AFE is a Christian based ministry and school that serves the children and families living around and in the dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Being able to work with AFE and assist in building a home for the family of one of their school’s students was the best experience I have ever had.

The trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras changed me in ways I will always be grateful for and is one of the main building blocks of the person I have become today. I was able to see the impact of faith and the importance of missions first hand. Not only did I help build a home, but the family we build the home for helped build who I am today.

Click on the Photos to Visit the Honduras Photo Gallery.

Embrace the “ish”

The trip was full of “ish”. “Ish” is exactly what is sounds like. Breakfast is at seven”ish”, lunch is at noon”ish”, we will be done working at four “ish”. I am a planner to immaculate detail, so this was very different for me.  Learning how to go with “ish” has made the unexpected moments in my life much easier to deal with and I can always reflect back to where I learned it.

A few of the memories that still stand out include being in a car.  All driving rules are really suggestions, including lanes, stop signs, and speed limits. Oscar drove us everywhere, and being a local he knew how. We didn’t hit any pedestrians, or get in any accidents, which is a true miracle in itself. I am thankful for Oscar and his defensive driving skill set, but the only thing I remember him saying was “Oh stop lights are a suggestion”

The first day of working on the home building project started with some real “ish”.  We rushed and then waited and then rushed and waited a few more times, but we eventually made it to Amor Fe y Esperanza (Love, Faith, and Hope).  In a community where graduating middle school is considered to be excelling above the average these students go above and beyond. I met a few older graduates of AFE and most where the only one in their community to pursue going to college or even to have graduated high school. If you are able to donate to their efforts I can vouch for them in every way.

When I think of trash dump I thought of birds, bad smells, and trash. I also pictured more of the typical buried landfill hills that we have in Florida where you can almost ignore the face it is trash underneath. One thing I never pictured was for a trash dump to be filled with people. We saw so many people. The dump was crowded with those working, trying to find shade, or resting in makeshift homes. I think this sight was when my passion for humanitarianism was born.

antonioWhile we handed out water to the people at the dump a man called Antonio introduced himself. He shared with us that he had prayed for years and years for  a home to shelter his family. Everyone had told him to give up, but he didn’t. We built him and his family a home. As much as we helped him by building a house, he helped us by showing us faith and patience. We used our hands, but he used his heart.

The trip included so many more moments, we  saw places I had only dreamed about, we all attempted to speak spanish (extra badly on my part), got schooled in soccer by children, and we built a house.

We did crazy things and saw so much I can’t even describe, but none of those things where like meeting Antonio. I have never seen a person so devoted to faith and  with a need so great that he knew it would be taken care of for his family if he kept on praying and believing.

Antonio’s Daughter,  Dotiana, gave all of us wonderful thank you cards. Mine hung on the wall behind my bed in my dormitory along with a AFE sticker all through my college education as a reminder to be thankful for what I have and to always know what an impact anyone can have in another persons life.

I went to Honduras because I knew the second it was announced  that I was meant to go. I came back changed.

On the trip I realized that I needed a major life change, the old me wasn’t who I was meant to stay. I just have to be willing to learn, adventure, and take risks I never thought I would.

My Mission started at in a Honduran Trash Dump with a group of ten people I barley knew, but it will never end. The titles and goals will change with time, but I will never stop working to Make the World a Better Place.