For the past few days, I've been telling the story of Choluteca, Honduras. To my fiancee, family and friends. I will keep telling the story. There is just so much to tell. I've been fortunate enough to go on many week-long mission trips and each has held its unique value, but this one felt pretty special. Maybe the best one yet. Yes, I think it was.
I don't have much time right now, but I wanted to get some initial thoughts written. So, where do I begin? How about I tell you one story. The story of Esperanza & Carmello.
Esperanza and Carmello are married, with seven children and live in Limon, Honduras, a small, impoverished town, located about 7km from Choluteca. About a year ago, the family was living in a delapidated, makeshift shack. Carmello only has part-time construction work and in their prior living condition, Esperanza had no work. Then Esperanza met some men from the GCLA (Great Commission Latin America) church in Choluteca (Iglesia Gran Comision) and Esperanza had a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ.
Today, Esperanza and her family have a brand spankin new home, built with a concrete floor and cinder block walls. Approximately 15' x 15'. When our team arrived in Choluteca, Esperanza's family had been given not only a new home, but Esperanza had a full-time job at a tortilla factory (Tortillaria) that the church opened recently. The women who work there pump out 20-25,000 tortillas each day! We were given the honor of beginning the construction of a bathroom and kitchen for the family and we also built a green picket fence. A young man named Francisco, who lived down the road, told my friend Cellus and I, "That's the nicest fence I've seen around here."
For one week, my friends and I had the privilege of loving and serving this beautiful family. As we hugged Esperanza goodbye, her eyes filled with tears and then her face lit up with a smile. The joy that comes only from God oozed from her pores. The people in Esperanza's community have seen a difference and they've been asking questions. I'll tell more stories about them soon enough.