I had the pleasure of traveling solo on a visit to the Children’s Village in June. I’ve joined several teams in the past, and will absolutely do so again, but it’s that one-on-one time with the kids that I really enjoy. It was disappointing when my church was forced to cancel their planned team trip this year due to unforeseeable circumstances. But I was determined to not let a good visit to Honduras go to waste. Heart to Heart was able to put me to work gathering video and photos to use for the upcoming annual banquet as well as for use in the various publications the organization puts out each month. This was my fourth visit to Honduras (in 12 months) and my third with time spent independently of a team. It’s given me a unique opportunity to gain some perspective on the situation in the country.
On past visits I have spent a lot of time getting to know all of the Heart to Heart children. This time, I was able to get outside the confines of the village and visit with some local families around Omoa and Puerto Cortes. The families we visited were undeniably poor, and they were dealing with circumstances that are beyond imagination for most North Americans. One visit left me with a particularly profound memory. Imagine being a single mother trying to care for a 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son who was crippled in infancy by polio. Now imagine that you’re in those same circumstances living in a home with no windows and no indoor plumbing, and no method of transportation to enable you to take your son into town for needed medical care. In the middle of hearing this family’s story, one thing stood out above all of the saddening details of their plight.
Despite all of their hardship, their home was absolutely covered with expressions of praise and love for Jesus. This is a part of Heart to Heart that many don’t get to see. The reach of their ministry goes far beyond just the 106 children in their care. They’re making connections in the local communities through the school and other types of outreach that will create lasting change in Honduras.
The biggest highlight of the trip for me, though, was being able to put cameras in the hands of the kids. I asked them to take pictures of things that were important to them and the photos they took of each other are beautiful.