This month my World Race team was responsible for finding new establishments throughout Honduras willing to partner with Adventures in Missions as hosts for future World Race teams. We’ve visited seven different organizations, and all of them hold a dear spot in my heart. One project that touched me deeply was in the city of Puerto Cortez. The organization was called Worldwide Heart to Heart ministries (WWH2H.) The founders, Amy Serrano and Mary Frenter greeted us at the San Pedro Sula bus station. They energetically and happily shared about the ministry they’ve built with the help of God. Mary shared stories of the Lord’s provision and the children who had touched her heart. There are several establishments within Heart to Heart ministries, one of which is a bilingual school for grades K-12. This was where my team and I would be spending a majority of our time. Teaching!
When I first found out I’d be working in the classroom, I immediately wanted to run in the other direction! My mom’s been a teacher for roughly 35 years, and not a single ounce of her passion has ever rubbed off on me. I didn’t know the first thing about teaching, at least not in an elementary/high school setting! In our training for the World Race, we’re told time and time again that we will be made uncomfortable and I was incredibly nervous when Tuesday morning arrived. I said a quick prayer and was assigned to 10th/11th grade. I was happy to find that I felt an immediate connection to the students. They were warm, welcoming and interested in who I was. They wasted no time introducing themselves before class began. Although I was working under one of the regular teachers, I was responsible for opening the morning with a devotional, helping the kids with their English homework and fully teaching their geography lesson. I tried to remember the attributes I admired in my favorite teachers throughout my education, and worked hard to mirror those qualities. As the regular interns rotated in and out, teaching various subjects, I stayed and observed the dynamics of the classroom. They were so fun to interact with and easy to relate to. They live thousands of miles away from my home, in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and yet their high school experience is so similar to what mine was! They even have a computer lab, gym class and more. This is all thanks to the WWH2H Board, and the school they have built. Unfortunately, most children throughout the country do not have the privilege of going to such an amazing institute. Most students are never taught English and God is absent from the curriculum. The Mary Frenter Bilingual School offers kids a valu-able education that provides a bright future for the unique and precious students who attend.
The school is not the only establishment of H2H. They also manage a small children’s village on the outskirts of the city. In this village, live children who have been rescued from extremely rough backgrounds. Most if not all the children have been terribly abused/abandoned. Heart to Heart ministries offers a place for these kids to call home. As I entered the preschool room at the village, I was greeted with bright smiles and open arms. Children who had never met me, came running up to me like they’d know me for years. I’d hoped to show them the love of Jesus, but instead, they showed me more of Jesus than I ever thought possible. God spoke so much to me through these little ones. They’d suffered more than I could ever imagine. Some were mentally handicapped as a result of their mother’s drug usage while pregnant. Some had lived the first few years of life with rage filled alcoholics. They’d been affected by gang activity and sexual abuse, yet they were filled with such unbridled joy! They’d each had an insanely rough start in this world but they still knew how to love unconditionally. One girl I clicked with, grabbed my hand, pulled me over to the dress-up corner, handed me a toy stethoscope, surgical mask, blood pressure cuff, plastic syringe and a beanie baby puppy. She had no idea how moved I was in that moment. I’d been so homesick and without knowing anything about me, she’d singled me out and clothed me in what I loved. Words cannot describe the impact of that moment. This girl, so much younger than I, from a completely separate world, shared my passions for veterinary medicine and photography. She was no different than me: God’s precious little child who is loved so much by Him. I was honored to make an appearance in her little life, even if only for an hour. She may soon forget me, but I will always remember her.
Aside from the bilingual school and this incredible children’s village, Heart to Heart ministries has also opened a dental clinic and health care facility. They treat students within the school, but also have medical teams that go to the surrounding villages of Honduras. I am so inspired by all the work Heart to Heart ministries is doing, I couldn’t help but share the experience I had with them. If you would like to know more about the H2H organization, please visit H2hcv.org! God is doing such incredible works through this ministry as they touch young lives throughout Puerto Cortez. Please keep them in your prayers.