By Rebecca Klein
I’m not usually someone who is at a loss of words, but sitting here trying to sum up the most emotional, heart-breaking, challenging and beautiful month of my life is an extremely difficult task. The past four weeks were the hardest, yet best of my life and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that I have had. On May 14, Crissy Miller, Michael Peters, and I set off for Honduras for mine and Crissy’s fourth time and Michael’s second. Having been to the country numerous times, I thought I knew what to expect, feeling as if Honduras had become my second home over the past few years, however I could not have been more deceived. During our previous trips to Honduras we have stayed with our dear friend, Pastor Luis Sorto, inside his missionary compound. While we have left the compound and been in the impoverished areas, we had never experienced living on the other side. We did not know what it was like to go a week without running water, or to find your bed infested with bugs, or to hear gunshots go off right outside of your bedroom windows. However, this month, we learned to live and experience all of that first hand. Crissy, Michael and I spent our month living and volunteering as teachers at a bilingual school called King of King’s. This school focuses primarily on teaching English to the kids along with teaching them to love and serve God whole-heartedly. The school is set up on a PACE system, meaning that every student works out of different books at their own pace.
Teaching Spanish-speaking students is quite a difficult task when you speak inadequate Spanish, however the language barrier did not keep us from instantly falling in love with these children. Never in my life have I met a group of kids so eager to learn, or more appreciative of the education that they were receiving. These children were so quick to share their hearts with us and with the Lord. Every morning the students would start their school day with a time of worship. However, these kids did not simply sing a few songs or go through the motions. This group of 5-to-17-year-old students worshiped the Lord like their lives depended on it. We saw students come together with hands raised and tears streaming down their faces crying out to the Lord, knowing that they can do far more together than they ever could alone. One of the most impactful experiences I had there was on a Thursday morning during our devotional time. A young girl named Estefani started crying, so the three of us took our translator to her and began to pray.
Following this, every single student asked us to pray for them, wanting to heal from the unbelievably heartbreaking things that they had endured. These kids know more pain and sorrow at age ten than most of us will in our entire lives. Whether living with abusive parents, enduring rapes, being thrown in jail at age eight because their uncle left them at the border, not knowing their parents; you name it, they’ve lived through it. These kids taught me to be a fighter, no matter what life throws your way. They showed me that joy is something that you must choose, and that love is something that you must give unconditionally.
Michael, Crissy and I all agreed that our favorite part of this trip was our last Friday night there. That night we invited all of the upperclassmen students to sleep at the school and planned a night full of activities and fun. This same night, we got a phone call from numerous parents explaining that a shooting occurred just a few minutes away, resulting in two deaths and many injuries. Instead of freaking out or being defeated by fear, the Honduran students, some just 10 years old, began to pray and ask God for safety and strength. Michael said, “I love how we didn’t let fear keep us from God.
Although there was a shooting five minutes from us, we prayed for protection and went back outside and encountered God like never before.” These children showed us more strength than we could have ever shown them. Because of these little prayer warriors, we were able to continue on with our night, resulting in 28 children giving their lives to Jesus, which was both Crissy’s and my favorite memory. Crissy said, “Seeing these kids give God everything that they had during that time was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” While the month that we spent down in Honduras brought many surprises, including my incredible dad flying down and surprising me, countless tarantulas in our yard and house and much more, we learned to call Honduras our home.
We decided to put our familiar American lifestyles behind us, and began to love the Honduran way of life. I know I speak for the three of us when I say that I miss how we lived down there. Simplistically. We never had more than we needed, but we always had enough. Unlike what we’re used to in America, we were showered with kindness and love and generosity from everyone that we came in contact with and were shown that true joy doesn’t come from what iPhone you own or what pair of Nike’s you just bought. Joy comes from people and joy comes from the Lord and for Crissy, Michael and I, joy comes from Zambrano, Honduras.