So I have spent the last 10 days in Honduras with a mission team of which all but 5 have traveled with us before. . This means several things to me. .

1.  They all loved their past trip and wanted to travel again.

2. They all formed relationships with people in Honduras.

3. Their hearts are forever changed.

groupMay28 

As I continue to take mission teams to Honduras, I realize the truth is that our groups are relational. . We build relationships with each other on the team. . but also build them with the people in Honduras. . relationships with kids . . relationships with teens. . .relationships with adults. . Being conversational is not enough for our hearts OR our minds. . God created us to be in relationships. . To know each other’s hearts means to understand not only how each other feels, but why we feel that way. . . You can spend lots of hours with someone and never get out of the conversational phase. . Which could mean you didn’t really care enough to understand the other person. . . It is simply not enough for our God given souls. . We should want to get to know each other better. . . I have learned that traveling with someone. .  . Spending basically 24/7 with people is the best way to achieve that. . I have loved watching this team become relational with, not only each other, but lots of people in Progreso and on the island of Utila.  Shelton, Gabi, Gabriel and I visited Utila 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. We met 2 families our first trip that have become dear to us. . We now travel there about 4 times a year. . Two medical trips where we set up a medical clinic for a very poor village of 3000+. . . And two trips which are “add ons” to our regular mission trips… This allows our mission team members the opportunity to see some of the beautiful scenery of Honduras and enjoy some island time before returning to their homes. This recent trip we met another special family on the island.  It happened because it rained one day (actually it rained some everyday due to a hurricane brewing on the other side of Central Amerca) and the ladies on the trip decided to get pedicures!  We found a cute little salon and piled in. . Because there was only one actual girl that could do the pedi’s, we were there all day. . . It may have been the most thorough pedi any of us had ever received. . But what truly transpired had zero to do with our toenails. . . We met the entire family and they wanted to take us on a tour of the island the next day!  They were so excited about showing us their favorite places! Isn’t it cool how God introduces us to people for reasons other than what we have in mind? BeachUtila So. . .We met at the salon at 10:30am and their family took us all over the island to their favorite spots! It was a sweet day none of us will ever forget. . For me, a relationship began with 17 year old Alexandra.  A smart, witty, adventuresome, beautiful girl who I will definitely keep up with. . . She truly wanted us all to have a great day and went above and beyond. . She brought sodas, cups and chips to share and her love of Utila was contagious! From caves to mountain tops to beaches. . We explored it all. . She even introduced me to another lady on the island who has a hotel large enough for our big groups to stay in July.  She was intentional about meeting our needs and her joy over flowed. . You could tell that seeing us excited about the things she showed us brought her so much joy. . .she even brought along her younger sister, two cousins and  sweet Aileen who did our pedis! (She closed the salon so she could spend the morning with all of us) Alexandrautila caveutila          Yes. . . It feels so good to be in relationship with others. . To share joy and grief, laughter and tears. . That is what God created us to be. . Relational NOT JUST…Conversational. .