Our last day at La Escuela de Juan Wesley – and it is exciting and bittersweet. We are so proud of the accomplishments of our students, and want to celebrate with them. At the same time, we are sad this is our last time to see them all (at least for this trip).
The teaching team raised their voices in song with our students to start the day with praise and gratitude to God for an amazing week. We recited the verses from the Gospel of Matthew, viewed portions of the video depicting the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and in lieu of an “exam” to assess the students’ progress, we played Jeopardy! It was competitive and high-spirited, but allowed us to see the learning that had occurred this week, as each student had the opportunity to speak aloud in English responding to the quiz questions. The games were a review of everything they had practiced all week, and the ascending difficulty level would have made Alex Trebek proud! We watched our lovely students collaborating, coaching each other, and encouraging every student to pronounce and answer correctly.
Our labor force painted with the same determination they had shown all week – they were unstoppable and fierce. Their contributions to readying the school for the new term were immeasurable and so very evident.
We shared” la almuerza” (lunch) with our students and anxiously awaited the “Graduation Ceremony/Celebration.” It was apparent how important this had been to the class – they were dressed beautifully and professionally. Pastor Daniel allowed us to convene in the sanctuary of the church and Elmer, (one of the computer teachers), who is multi-talented, decorated the chairs for the class with dazzling white and blue covers. With the help of the AV technicians, the church maintenance staff, and other volunteers, we created a charming space for our new friends to receive our cheers, congratulations, and acknowledgements. Pastor Daniel joined us to bestow certificates of completion, hand-shakes and hugs all around. We sang together in English and Español – it was a moment!
The materials, books, and resources we brought were all delivered into Omar’s “cuidado” (care) – teachers will peruse and sort, and take what they need to start the school year in early “febrero” (February). Donations from our church and other friends at home will bless the teachers and the students, and their sincere gratitude and appreciation blessed US as well.
After celebrating with cake, we wished our new friends “adios” and “muchas gracias.” The team took a walking tour of Ciudad España, and before we knew it, the week had ended. We arrived on Monday, with trepidation and some misgivings; but we cleaned and packed up on Friday afternoon with a sense of joyful triumph. We impacted the lives of many people here – and they impacted ours. God put us to do exactly what he knew they needed – Dan and Anne managed to keep us on the right path – and Sandy, Emi, Danilo made it possible for us to be successful.
We will relax tonight with dinner at a local restaurant; we will spend the day tomorrow (Saturday) on a cultural tour and souvenir shopping in Honduras. Somewhat sadly, we will depart on Sunday – back to (snowy & icy?) Kansas, back to our “regular lives,” but back with a renewed sense of God’s plan, His power, and His love. We leave our hearts in Honduras, and we carry the hearts of our partners back to the USA.
Was it worthwhile? Was it transformative? Was it fun? YES, YES, and YES!
Would we do it again? Absolutely! Would we recommend it for you? Definitely!
If you are considering an International Mission Trip, please contact one of the members of this team to ask questions, and be inspired. We have much to share and would LOVE to share it with you.