This December, I had the opportunity to travel to Honduras with a group of students from Belmont College of Pharmacy and Lipscomb University. Together, our team worked to set up free clinics for different remote villages around Tegucigalpa.
During my time in Honduras, I met so many people who gave me new perspectives. Mission trips, for me, always serve as a reminder of the human condition. The condition that we are all broken, just in different ways. I am not okay and you are not okay, but Jesus can fix us both.
One of the greatest ways He heals us is through relationships. At the beginning of the trip, I was frustrated with the language barrier. How was I supposed to connect with the Hondurans if I could not even understand their name? Slowly, through the trip, God began to challenge my frustration.
Even though I could not verbally comprehend, I realized the power of non-verbal communication. An elderly woman came to my station to have her vitals checked and as soon as she sat down, tears filled her eyes and she began rapidly speaking in Spanish. Although the language barrier prevented me from comprehending what she was saying, I could still understand what she was telling me through her emotions.
I sat there and held her hand until she stopped crying and working with the translator, we learned that she had just lost her son. There is a “human connection” that extends far beyond languages. We all experience loss and other emotions of this world and it is these emotions that connect us more than any language ever could.
These beautiful human connections all intertwine to make our individual stories. God had orchestrated my story to meet the elderly lady for that brief period of time but so much was learned from our encounter. Everyday, our story is constantly being entangled with others, as God intended for the body of Christ. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
This trip has taught me to cherish each moment and each person I meet because they all combine to tell the story God has written with my life.
Coming back to America after short term mission trips, it is easy to put what you have learned in a box and set it on the shelf at the back of the closet. I wish to not do so with this trip and to continue to learn what God has taught me about how He intertwines our stories with grace.