Traveling south - One local girl tells of her experience on a mission to Honduras

Mon, 07/03/2006 - 1:57pm
By: The Citizen

Erin Hogan - Honduras
By Erin Hogan
Special to The Citizen

[Editor’s note: The following is one Landmark student’s account of a recent mission trip to Honduras]

Panama City Beach, Cancun, Destin: all are the stereotypical spring break escapes for most high-school students. Not so for a group of Landmark Christian School students.

For several years, Landmark, along with Frontline Missions, has been sending students to South America in order to further God’s kingdom in helping people through medical missions. This year I was fortunate enough to join in the adventure. After much anticipation, our group left on Thursday, March 30 after a school-wide prayer send-off.

After two days of traveling, we arrived at Hotel Olanchito. This hotel would act as our base camp as we traveled to other villages in remote areas. On our first day of mission work, we awoke early and traveled to set up our medical clinic.

My job was to register people before they went to the doctor. It was a miracle that I was able to communicate so well with the people as I registered them because I had only taken one semester of Spanish. In fact, most of the group had mastered many Spanish skills by the end of the day.

Perhaps the most memorable experience that first day was when a group of our mission team girls began teaching American games to a large group of Honduran girls. Although we had a large language barrier, we were able to have a great time and truly connect with the girls. By understanding that the language differences could not stop me from developing relationships our first clinic day, I was able to form more bonds throughout the trip.

The next day, about half of our group left for a mountain village called Que Brada Grande. We loaded two trucks full of people both in the front and bed of the truck and headed for the hills.

Our trip took us along the mountain “roads,” which not only were extremely bumpy, but the 1,000 foot drop offs to the rocky valley below had no sort of road barrier. On top of that, our tuck was dilapidated with parts falling out of it; it was terrifying, to say the least. It was during this trip that I almost lost it. It was only through much prayer that I was able to regain composure.

I finally realized that I had no control over the situation; I had to put it in God’s hands. After four hours we finally arrived in Que Brada Grande. Once we arrived, I knew that the grueling trip was worth it. Not only were the people extremely kind and welcoming, but the landscape was breathtaking.

Instead of doing registration, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to cook for the group. This job suited me perfectly because not only do I love to cook, but I was able to go inside the house of the people there and interact with them. It was definitely the most interesting cooking experience I’ve ever had. There were baby chickens running around the house, the only water source was outside and there was no electricity to cook with. But all these differences made the experience all the more memorable.

While I was cooking, a large portion of the team was helping to build a church/school, and the dental team was busy pulling teeth. The remainder of our team who stayed in Olanchito visited two different villages doing medical work.

While in Que Brada Grande, we were able to play soccer with the kids, perform songs and dances and, most importantly, tell them about Jesus Christ. As we were packing up to leave, the village leader asked if our school could sponsor a kindergarten. Our mission team thought it was a great idea, and Landmark has decided to take on the task of supporting the village’s kindergarten.

After two great days in the mountains, we took our long journey back down to Olanchito.
We visited two more villages that week. Perhaps the most difficult hike I’ve ever been on was when we went to the mountain village of Carmelina. After another long truck ride through the mountains, we stopped where the roads ended and began a long hike on cattle paths.

Before we arrived we were aware that much of the population believed in witchcraft, and spiritual darkness was over the area. Once we got there, we found that the witches had left because they knew we were coming. We were able to speak with many people, and several accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This made the long hike well worth it.

Not only were we able to help them with their medical health, but we were able to show them how to have eternal health in Christ.

Over my week in Honduras, I was able to learn more about myself and God than I ever could have hoped to have learned in Panama City or Cancun. The opportunity to mission to people is one I hope to always take advantage of, and my first trip to Honduras is one I will never forget because of the ties I made, the way I saw God work, and the eternal understanding that I gained of God and his marvelous kingdom.

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