A Lesson from Luis...

I can’t believe I am saying this, but as of the end of this week, I am at the halfway mark of my time here in Honduras. It feels like it has been so long and yet the idea that in a little over a month I will be leaving this wonderful place behind makes it seem so short.

Last Saturday we took the children from Camp Hope on a very special field trip to El Jaral, a small water park about 30 minutes from Copan. We gathered 40 of the children and crowded into 3 smallish bus-like vans to drive to El Jaral. Some of the kids had never been outside of Copan and the surrounding aldeas before, and this trip was simply beyond exciting for them. We spent the rainy morning, and sunny afternoon chasing the kids around the water park, catching them off of the 3 water slides, hearing the laughs and screams of children whose experience that day was probably one of, if not the most exciting thing they have ever done… It was a wonderful end of the school year trip!
This week the rest of the UPH staff has been in Camden, NJ at the UrbanPromise Conference. Since we do not have programs this week, my sole responsibility and focus has been office work. I am continuing to work on our current fundraiser for the special field trips coming up in about a little over a week. Currently we have raised $1,500 towards the trips, which you can read more about on the UPH website at http://www.urbanpromisehonduras.org/ . I have also been working on the Child Sponsorship Program ( I think I am going to call it Promise Partners) Program for UPI, and a brochure for UPH. The goal for my time of service with UPI over these next couple of months is to create a Program that will help UPI in Honduras and Malawi be more financially stable. I am working to create a program that links donors up with the children from UPI sites in hopes of bringing in more funds to help both UP Honduras and Malawi continue to reach the children in the communities they serve and grow their programs.

I have had a bit of extra time on my hands these past few days in which I have been able to study my Spanish With Luis, my Honduran friend who was my Spanish teacher for my first week at the Spanish school Guacamaya up the road) and I help each other study. Luis is a good friend of the UPH staff here in Honduras. He has lived in Copan for the past few years and has taught himself English through much practice and by working at the Spanish school in Guacamaya. Luis was born in Honduras, his parents were divorced when he was a little boy and he lived with his mom and sisters in San Pedro Sula (a bigger city in Honduras). His mother moved to the United States when Luis was about 12, and left him to live with his 4 older sisters. Through the strength of the Lord and a lot of hard work, Luis graduated from high school, but was not able to go on to the university because no one could support him to go. After high school Luis moved to Copan in hopes of learning English because he believed that if he could learn English it might help him get into the university. Luis is now 23 and is practically fluent in English.

In the café, our conversation turns from studying to our life goals. His goal is to be able to speak 5 languages by the time he is 35. He will take a test in December to see if he can get into the university and will continue to work and use the little money he has saved up to pay his way through.

Luis tells me of his frustration with life’s unfairness and asks, “Why am I so unlucky, and why are others so lucky?”
This is a question that has been rolling around in my head the past few days. It’s something that I don’t think anyone can explain. Why me? Why was I born in the United States and handed the opportunity of education and a degree? Why did I go to a school that had books and more than one teacher for every 3-5 grades? Why did I have access to clean water to drink and nutritious food that allowed me to grow as a child? Why was I was born into a Christian family? Why me, and why not Luis, and why not the little boys and girls here in Honduras and all around the world, and what does this mean for us?

In conclusion to our conversation, Luis tells me of his philosophy. You see, Luis wants to learn so many languages so that he can help others. He already uses his skills and knowledge of both English and Spanish to help in medical brigades here in Honduras. He travels with doctors and nurses to help translate as they serve the medical needs of the poor. Whether we are “lucky” as Luis would say in life or not, our calling is to use what we have been given to reach out to those who are less “lucky.” Whatever we have been given, our calling is to use it to show the love of Christ to others. If everyone lived their lives this way I think the world would have a lot less “unlucky” people.

Please pray:

- For Luis as he prepares for his big test in December that determines whether or not he gets into the university.

- For the money to come in for our upcoming field trips with the kids of Camp Hope.

- For the UPH staff as they are at the conference in Camden. That they Lord rejuvenates them and sends them back to Honduras with new energy and motivation to press forward.

- For details of the “Promise Partner” program to come together as I continue to work on creating this program.