I have just returned from an amazing Christmas trip to Honduras. . . It is a very busy trip. . It is by far my hardest trip to plan and organize. . We do gifts and Santa with all of our ministry sites. . That includes an orphanage, 2 villages, an education program and a children’s ministry in a large neighborhood. . It includes a minimum of 250 kids. . And lots of adults. . I spend about 3 months organizing and deciding what to take. . . What to buy there, what I can afford to take ($40 for extra bags…so buying there is more affordable)…Most of the people that come on the December trip have traveled with us before and know the routine. . . Sort. . Organize….distribute…All while laughing and loving on each other!!. . All in His love, of course! They are so great and we could never pull it all off without each and every one of them! You can tell from the pic below how much fun we all have!
Each year, God surprises us with a visit to a location which is not planned by us. . But ordained and directed by Him. …Last year it was Santa (Shelton Clause) going to the mall. . It was a huge success. . The management of the mall loved it. . The kids and their families loved it. . We gave out infant toys and suckers. . There were parents running around taking pictures so excited. . Kids that were overjoyed and kids that were terrified. . But 100% of the families were thrilled. . So we put that on our Christmas trip agenda this year. . We had the toys and suckers ready. . We walked into the mall. . ……And there sat SANTA!!!!. . (Shelton was still in t-shirt and shorts) And we froze!!!!. . Our plans had to change. . Our team was ready to share the CHRISTmas spirit. . But there can’t be 2 Santa’s at the same mall. .
So we regrouped, after some frozen coffee, of course. . . . I said to our h2h staff. . . Where can we go? Who never gets to celebrate CHRISTmas with Santa? Our sweet h2h staff member Alex suggested a nutrition center in town who caters to sick babies. . A place babies and children go to… normally after they get released from the hospital…..to get healthy enough to go to orphanages. . With no other choices or places suggested. . I said ok. . Let’s try it. .
We were all excited but also a little unsure. . We normally never take a group somewhere we haven’t visited first. . As we were riding on the bus, Gabi looked at me and said “this is where Gabriel was when he was a baby. . They weren’t sure he would survive”. In that instant. . I was stunned. . . subdued. . Thoughtful. . Uneasy. . . but I needed to see it. . I had to see where my baby boy was brought after he was abandoned at 7 months old. . Found on the side of the road. . Taken to the hospital. . Then to this nutrition center to see if he would live. . Why did I not know? Why is this the first time I heard this story? Why is this the first time I had been there? I thought he went to Copprome first? I had no idea he went somewhere before that???? Why did I not know????
Because God’s timing is perfect. . I wasn’t supposed to know yet. . Gabriel and I visited it together. . 20 years later. . Gabriel told the nurse and the director he had been there 20 years ago. . They were amazed and excited. . They took pictures of him and celebrated how healthy, happy and successful he is. . . They promised both of us that they are going to find his file and share it with us. . . Below are some pictures of some of the kids there now. Their stories are very sad. . But God’s mercies are new every morning. . The kids are normally there temporarily. . Some for a short time. . . And some for longer. .until they are healthy enough to enter an orpahange.
I couldn’t help but imagine as I held these sweet babies what it would have been like to hold Gabriel and Gabi as babies. . But also to know that God planned this moment 20 years ago. . When we would go back and see. . And be able to help the future of this place. . Full circle. . God’s plan. . What a glorious thing to realize His perfect plans as they fit into place. . Never question why you are called to serve in a specific place. . God will show you why…. when He feels like you are ready. . When He knows your heart is open to see his miracles and plans. . And understand the importance of being present in the moment. . Trusting Him to lead you. . Even when you are unsure or you don’t understand. .
I know all of us were touched by these sweet babies. . Thank you Jesus for allowing us to love on and be loved by these sweet children. . We will be back. . Often. . Very often. . Every trip. . Oh the joy we all get from holding an infant. . Any infant. . God’s perfect creation. . Needing love and affection. . We have so much to give. . Why do we not feel open to do it. . Why do we hold back. . Don’t!!!! Give all the love you have. . And then give more!!! God will replenish it so that it never runs dry. . Joy. . Pure joy is extending yourself beyond human boundaries. . Spiritually and mentally. . So that God’s love pours out of you in ways you never imagined. .
This sweet boy below is Carlos…he was so malnourished just a 16 months ago…that he lost lots of brain and limb functions…but he is in a wheel chair and a very happy boy…we loved being with him!
This precious baby girl was really sick and malnourished…she is now a chunky and happy little girl!
This little boy before….and now….he was severly malnourished…now is receiving food, nutrients and love!
There are about 18 kids at this center now….all of their stories are heart wrenching…the center needs diapers, clothing, and milk supplements. All of these items can be purchased in Honduras…if you would like to help us buy these items…please donate now…www.hearts2honduras/donate . We will be returning in January to bless them with the items we can buy from your donations!! Oh how we love this sweet new group of kids!
We would love for you to travel with us in 2017….experience His steadfast love and joy overflowing. . Through these precious babies that just need to be held. .through Copprome Orphanage….through our children’s ministry in Suyapa….the village of Olivos….the Mountain village….the Love and Learn 21 Program…So many doors God has opened over the last 6 years… I am thankful to whoever was there 20 years ago to hold my sweet Gabriel. . I know he was held and felt you love…. because he has a sweet nurturing and giving spirit. . Someone was there before I knew he was mine. . Thank you. . Wouldn’t you love to do the same?
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