Holly and I just got back from a trip to Honduras. We went with Southern Hills, but we joined some students from ACU and two other church groups from New York City and Memphis. It was a wonderful trip. Our group treated nearly 1000 people in our medical clinic, and we also helped people in our optical clinic and with our construction on the church.
I met so many wonderful people. These people have very little, but somehow they understand joy and it exudes from them. This often seems to be the case. Those who have much seem to never be content, while those with very little seems to understand contentment. We experienced hospitality from people who had nothing to be hospitable with. It was frustrating not to be able to communicate with the people because I do not know Spanish (I wish I had payed more attention in my two years of high school Spanish). However, the language barrier did not keep me from loving the kids there and receiving love in return.
My third world experience was disorienting enough, but I also was disoriented by a book I read on the plane. I read The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. His radical community (the Simple Way) is doing some incredible things. His challenges included living lives of radical simplicity, creative nonviolence, fully committed discipleship, and responsible living in God's creation. He challenged Christian wealth, redemptive violence, nationalism, just war, church expenditures, and many other of the church's accepted practices. But rather than being an assault, he wrote in story form, which allowed his radical lifestyle to quietly destroy any argument for what we've come to understand Christianity to be. It's a wonderful book. And as I thought about it in the context I was in, I wondered how it was ever ok for my bank account to accrue more and more while the people of Honduras don't have enough. No wonder they don't have enough. We have it all stowed away in our mutual funds and bank accounts. Tough stuff to sift through, but a needed challenge for my faith.
All in all it was a great week and I enjoyed seeing Holly's interaction with the other kids. She is so wonderful and those kids understood her love more than they could ever understand mine. She is a blessing!