Wednesday, July 15, 2015

15 years?

For several years now when asked how long we have lived here, the response has elicited a similar reaction:  "WOW!"  

We moved here full time August 1st, 2000, so we have been here for fifteen years (well, in a few weeks.)  

The surprised faces that we encounter after having been here for so many years is interesting.  I think it is a compliment, but why are others surprised at the idea of "lasting" this long?  Why are we so few in number that are "long term"?   It certainly seems at least here that most of the missionaries we meet are here only for a few years at most.  

Certainly there are hurdles to overcome.  I can talk to newcomers, mission teams, and visitors and get a sense of what it was like for us back then.  It is useful, because as much as I am aware that we will never be Honduran...we are certainly not as we were when we came, and have adapted/accepted/become accustomed to many things here that are either weird or just done differently than in the USA or elsewhere abroad.  Sometimes with the passage of time...which feels like very little time to us most of the time...but in situations like these it can be felt how long it really is, how much we have much Honduras has changed as well, and for sure how much the mission has changed.

Like what...personally how have I changed?  Prior to living here...I used to be a micro manager, with great attention to detail, a perfectionist, greatly introverted (still am in many situations), afraid of tackling new situations or speaking in public, no real construction experience, thought all dogs were pets, did not know how to drive a stick, had not even passable Spanish skills, uh...was not a parent!...the list could go on for quite some time really, including even more I am so very likely forgetting.  

So if I have that a good thing?  You would hope so, right?  I know I have changed.  Mostly for the least so I would like to think.

I have also heard stories from group members of me stretching them...mostly in ways of which I was not planning or aware, and often that I have forgotten.  I remember hearing of "crusty missionaries" throwing people in the deep end of the pool upon arriving...strange bizarre stories of what those missionaries must have felt was ok or normal but seemed strange and so odd, to the point I was afraid of them!  And I am aware...I have probably become one.  Funny...I do not feel all that crusty.  

How has Honduras changed?  Yikes...that is a big topic.  But for sure politically more unstable, more corrupt, much more advanced technologically in terms of being closer day to day to the USA, cleaner streets/neighborhoods, more emphasis on schooling, more violence, more gangs, more drug trade trying to get to the US and all that brings with it, more Hondurans living elsewhere and sending more money back...which creates more nicer housing, malls, and shops, and less stable climate patterns.  I am sure there is more, but this is a blog...and you are getting highlights.

And the mission?  I know for us...when we moved here, we felt a direct calling to optometry mission work.  The plan was to see eye patients from 8-4.  That was it.  No desires or designs on anything else.  Quickly we were to find out...that was not going to be the case.  The mission might have been at that time a small medical/optometry clinic and a small recently established Church plant with a few short term groups a year...but it quickly started growing by leaps and bounds far from that.  I say "it started growing" because it was God that grew it, not us.  Not often you get to use the term "it was literally amazing" and really mean it...literally. 

Where will His Eyes go/do in another 15 years?  If looking back 15 years (ever so briefly) has taught me is that I have no real clue, and that only God knows...and that His timing is better than anything we might think or plan.

1 comment:

Walker Family said...

Our family is travelling to Honduras. We are hoping to do some service, or bring supplies with us to be able to perform some service while we are there. Having lived in the Honduran lifestyle for so long, what in your opinion would be the most applicable for us to bring from Canada. Any hints or help would be so wonderful. Thank you so much for your service. It is always amazing to witness someone serve with desire and love. Thank you for your blog!