Day Seven In Honduras

Sunday morning we woke up and headed to Casa de Esperanza, an orphanage in Santa Ana where Ashley used to work. We attended church with the children and worshiped in Spanish. After church we had about an hour to kill before lunch, so we played with the kids. Marvin wanted me to jump on the trampoline with him, and I was excited for the trampoline as well. After about ten minutes of jumping, I realized that something was wrong. I was extremely short of breath and my energy level was low. My sore throat had caught up to me, and I knew that it was going to be a long day. Luckily, it was almost time for lunch. We ate lunch at a local restaurant in Santa Ana and unfortunately, I didn’t have much of an appetite. They did have this fresh raspberry juice that was amazing. That was about the highlight of my lunch. Actually, the highlight of my lunch was sitting beside Mario and getting to know him a little bit better. I do best in one on one conversations with people. I asked Mario about his schooling and found out that his favorite subject is math. We also talked about books and going to a bilingual school. Then I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Mario took a while to answer the question, seemingly giving it some serious thought. After a minute he looked up at me and said, “I think I want to be a missionary.” As he spoke, my heart began to melt. Here was this little Honduran boy, only eight years old, telling me that he wanted to be a missionary. He could have said that he wanted to be a soccer star, or a policeman. At eight years old, he was already thinking about living a life devoted to serving others. When I was eight I wanted to play football at Ohio State and get drafted into the NFL. I told Mario that he could be a missionary to the U.S. and he could come live with me. He just smiled at me. He said that he would need a lot of money to go the states and I told that if that’s what he’s supposed to do, God will provide.
After lunch we went into the village, where a festival of sorts was taking place. It reminded me of the Augusta strawberry festival, except instead of tractor pulls they had men on horses trying to hook rings from a rope onto a screwdriver. Yeah, I don’t get it either. It is funny though how similar of an atmosphere there was at this festival to the atmosphere at town festivals back home. No matter where you are in the world, people enjoy getting together and celebrating. And it seems that precarious looking carnival rides are universal.
Eventually, we headed back to Casa for a hot dog roast and more time with the kids. This was hard for me, mostly because I still felt very weak and had little desire to play. At one point, I followed Johnny up to the gate where the bus was parked. I’m glad I did because I got to experience one of the funniest moments of the trip. I’m debated whether or not I should publish this part of the post cause I promised Marvin I wouldn’t tell anyone. Anyway, as I walked up to the gate, Marvin was standing there soaking wet in his underwear, while he was drying out his jeans. He freaked out and thought that the rest of the group was behind me. It was funny to watch him squirm. Once I assured him that it was only me, he was relieved. I stuck around the gate for a while and got to experience another dynamic of the boys’ life. I had a chance to get a glimpse of their relationship with their father. Chilo, the boy’s dad was sitting by the gate on a bench with Santos, the bus driver. It was interesting to watch Chilo interact with his kids when Ashley was not around. His kids brought him chips from the cookout and maybe even a hot dog or two. There was something about being away from the rest of the group and sitting with these Honduran men that felt different. It’s hard to explain, but it just felt like Chilo and Santos wear being more real than when they are with the group. All though I couldn’t understand them, when they talked to each other I could tell that they were having “guy talk.” It was not unlike a conversation you would hear between you great uncle Bob and your cousin Joe at a family reunion. That’s honestly what it reminded me of, even though I don’t think I have a great uncle Bob or a cousin Joe.
As Marvin tried his best to dry out his jeans, he started telling me about how Austin wouldn’t give him a watch, even though he brought one for Brian, a kid at Casa. Marvin was upset because Austin said they were friends but didn’t bring a watch for him. It was interesting to see Marvin’s jealous side come out. I also felt sad for him. It must be hard for the kids to not get jealous of each other. There are so many of them and it is hard to give special attention to all of them. This reminded me of a book I once read called “The Shack.” In this book, the main character meets the Trinity in a shack in the middle of a forest. There is a scene when God the Father is talking about His feelings for the main character’s children. Each child He mentions, He talks about how He especially loves them. When He mentions their names, His face lights up. This is how I feel when I think about the brothers. Someone asked which of the brothers is my favorite. And I can honestly say that they all are. As I think of each one, I say to myself, I especially like him. It’s almost like I get excited inside. It is comforting to know that this is how God feels about each one of His children. He especially loves us. He especially loves me. He especially loves you. There’s something about the thought of that that makes me feel good.

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