Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last words from Honduras

O.K., here goes one last shout out from Honduras to you all!  We are officially in our last week as we write this.  Our heads are spinning with many different thoughts and feelings as we come to the end of the road here.  So many things to take care of and remember, but God is giving us the grace to plow through it.  What began weeks ago with a slow contraction of our lives here in Honduras has now shifted into high gear.  Our house is emptying out quickly and it looks like our truck will be gone on Monday.  

What a blessed relief to have a buyer for the truck!  Thanks for your prayers to that end.  Trying to get repairs completed while knowing we were running out of time to sell the truck had been a source of stress.  We were not able get the 4x4 repaired, but did finally get what we consider to be a reliable diagnosis of the problem.  Some fellow missionaries have agreed to purchase the truck, get the needed part shipped in and complete the repair themselves.  We are still owed some money by the previous mechanic but that's in the Lord's hands.  God has a very unique way in which He weaves things together for His glory and purposes.  He used this frustrating truck repair experience to make it clear to both of us (independently, but at the same time) that the truck is His, we shouldn't worry about its issues and oh, by the way, when we sell it the money should go back into the work here in Honduras.   Hmmm....not what we were originally thinking but considering the peace this thought process brought us, we knew it could have only come from God.  

We've said it before, but it's worth saying again: our truck has been a real blessing to us and opened many possibilities we would not have otherwise had.  Many,many others have been blessed by it as well, which quite possibly is why the repair bills have been adding up lately ;-}.  Guess we're feeling a little sentimental (or guilty) about selling off one of our "partners" in mission! 

Another intense area for us in the past few weeks has been the process of walking along side La Finca, particularly Alonso and Michele, as they've been working through a difficult situation.  We were glad we were still here to support them during this rough time.  Praise God, the worst of this storm seems to have passed and we are hoping and praying the directors of La Finca can once again focus on their mission of ministering to the needs of the children in their care.  

We are excited about the potential for future collaboration between El Camino Adelante and La Finca.  Rafael Rivas, who is taking our place as director of ECA, will be the point man in making this co-operative relationship work.   ECA, by way of Rafa, will offer practical help where possible at La Finca and most importantly continue building relationships with the kids.

And now some final words of reflection on our experience in Honduras.  Looking back, we recall leaving Honduras in 2003 with a sense of heaviness.  We had been watching many older kids and youth leave La Finca and sort of disappear off the radar.  We knew they were facing unbelievable challenges with little or no help.  It was very unsettling at times, knowing the great effort that up until that point had gone into preserving and sustaining their lives, and suddenly they were gone with the wind in many cases, not having anybody to watch out for their wellbeing.  At some point, as we observed all this, we knew in our hearts that in the future, if God presented the opportunity to us, we were obligated to serve in this area of need..

Quite a few years (in 2010) later, this opportunity to act would present itself and would become a reality.  However, when we returned to Honduras in 2008, we did not necessarily come with the intention to work in this area.  But it remained an underlying concern and as we served at La Finca the urgency of the need once again became very clear to us.  We were by no means the only ones to perceive this need, but we knew we were in a unique position to do something about it.  We knew we were in one of those situations where there was no mistaking the need to act, even if in many aspects we felt we were clueless and attempting something way beyond us.  Indeed, as we have been walking alongside these transitioning youth, we have been frequently reminded that we many times don't have the capabilities or the answers they need.  But God has shown us over and over again that He does have what they need and, as we've learned, His grace is more than sufficient to make up for the many places we come up short!  

So as we leave Honduras this time, there is a different feeling in our spirits, a much more hopeful one. Not because of anything we have done but we have witnessed God's faithfulness to the least of these. We know He will continue to use willing hands to bless the people that are near and dear to us.  As for what we have been able to accomplish here in Honduras, the words of Jesus from Luke 17:10 come to mind: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say. We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”

How humbling it has been to serve the Lord knowing we are unworthy and imperfect servants. Yet the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has been sufficient for us to answer the calling He has given!

We will soon let you know of ways you can continue to follow and support the efforts we have been involved with here in Honduras. Please continue to pray for each of the young people we have been working with. By God's grace, they all continue finding their way on "el camino adelante"!

Many thanks again to each one of you for your love and support. There are no adequate words to express what you have meant to us. May God richly bless you.

Harlan, Janelle, Angelica, Ali & Zack

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