Posted on March 25, 2016
Dear Support Family,
I pray this update finds you well! After a long week of traveling and working, both my roommate and I found our way back home to College Station this past Saturday. There are lots of stories and praises to share, but I wanted to quickly share a few of the highlights from the trip!
Our team arrived safely in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Saturday afternoon. Moments after landing, I found myself reuniting with several acquaintances (both Honduran and American) that I have made over the past 2 years. It was a joy to see everyone again and pick up where we left off! Both teams (both Veterinary and Rotary based) then traveled to Juticalpa for the evening, and then to Rancho el Paraiso the next morning (which lies 7 hours northeast of Tegu). The long drive is always a little tense in Honduras due to the dangerous speeds and absence of driving laws, but we made it to our destination safely. We quickly assembled our supplies for the week and packed our surgical equipment in suitcases for traveling to the villages. We then gathered for our first devotional and thanked God for bringing our veterinary team together.
I woke up to the first work day with a sore throat and fever. However, I was so excited to be in Honduras and didn’t want to miss a moment of it! Our first work day was in a village named El Ocote, and the school children were lined up with their pets by the time we got there at 8a. I collected research samples, helped deworm several animals, and then assisted with sterilization surgeries. After lunch, I was able to make some friends. This little boy (pictured on the right) was thrilled to show me his house, pet parrot, and rabbits. We were able to exchange several words in Spanish and English as we attempted to communicate. The grandmother of the little girl gave me a tour of her house. She explained to me that the little girl’s mother was off working in the city, and she took care of her during the day. They were both absolutely precious!
At the end of the first work day, Sephra and I began analyzing the samples we had collected.We quickly realized that it was going to take a lot more man power to analyze the samples, and proceeded to recruit the rest of the veterinary team. Andrew (top corner) helped by laminating the protocols, while Kayla (bottom corner) made the blood smears and ran the heart worm tests. Sephra, Hannah, and myself made the “poop slurries,” and analyzed the fecal samples. The next three days continued in a similar pattern. Breakfast was at 6a, followed by veterinary work in a designated village from 7:30a-2p. Our afternoons consisted of the research project, and our evenings were spent enjoying each others’ company over dinner, devotionals, and life conversations. New experiences on this trip included helping rescue a dog with porcupine quills in it’s mouth, almost being stranded in the Honduran airport after a 6 hour delay, and watching my roommate experience missions for the first time.
Over the course of four work days, our team treated almost 400 animals and collected/analyzed 70 samples from the four different villages. The research project went very well, and I am hopeful that the research will continue and improve educational strategies and animal treatment long term. Although it’s incredible to add up the number of animals treated, the true blessing for me was the people we were able to reach through our work. We all had the chance to love on, talk with, or serve someone through our skills in veterinary medicine: sometimes that person was a Honduran, while other times we were serving fellow teammates or the missionaries on the ranch. Either way, I believe that God used (and will continue to use) all of our encounters this past week to further His Kingdom.
Throughout the week, the Lord continued to bring up chapter four of James. Over the past few months this chapter has been on my heart, and I continue to come back to it over and over again to glean the meaning behind it’s words. I strongly felt that the Lord was teaching me more about humility on this trip (especially since I was sick for half of it), as He was constantly reminding me to submit to His timing and purpose for each and every moment. Some of my favorite verses from this chapter include…
- “‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God.”
- “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
- “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’”
Overall, I have filed away many more treasured memories and experiences. I was very encouraged by the work that we did, and more encouraged to continue pursuing long term missions. As I get back into the groove of school and finishing out this semester, I would ask for your continued prayers. Taking the lessons from Honduras and applying them here is very difficult, as I struggle with contentment in the classroom versus the field. Yet I know the Lord always proves faithful, and I am excited to see how He continues to grow and challenge me. Thank you all for your prayers, support, and love. May the Lord bless and keep you!
In His name,