I’ve been in Honduras now for six weeks. A lot can happen in six weeks! The usual stuff is happening… here are some examples:
-I’m learning Spanish. This is very slow and humbling every day. Every single day. I appreciate the english language and my english grammar when suddenly my communication skills have been reduced to the level of a 4 year old. And I’ve learned to not just smile and say ‘Si’ to everything people say. I may or may not have been unknowingly flirting with some local chicas just because i was trying to be nice but really had no idea what they were saying. Yikes!
I’ve prayed that I would make some friends here who are patient and gracious and will help me as I stumble over my words to communicate. I’m so thankful that God has provided a few great guys on our team who are just that for me. Peter, Milton, Ronny and Axel are guys that I get to see everyday now. They teach me new words and I get to hear them talk… that’s a biggie for me. I need to learn to speak Spanish, but I also need to learn to hear (and UNDERSTAND) Spanish. And Honduran Spanish is its own fantastic, confusing jumble of craziness. I also have a great tutor that I go to every day for one on one classes. She is very gracious and patient and she understands that Honduras Spanish is it’s own type of Spanish and so she wants to help me learn Spanish, but more so she wants to help me learn to communicate! In the end, I don’t want to sound like a super polished, amazing orator in Spanish, I just want to be able to talk to people and carry on a normal conversation. That usually involves slangs, idioms and a certain level of using local words and throwing some of the rules out the window… that’s the kind of Spanish I’m learning!
-I’m adjusting to life in a new place. Not only is the language new, but so is the culture, the climate, the traffic, the food, the bugs, and on and on and on. I have found a new appreciation and love for bug spray. It’s a simple step that can keep you sane if you are like me and really don’t like critters biting you. The climate is great! I love the sun, the beach and the warmth! I’ve been told by my neighbors (Paul and Jessica) that January-February is the best time to be here because the weather is milder and cooler. Well, that is exactly what it’s been. It has been a great way to jump in before the furnace turns on in March. I’ve learned a new level of prayer when driving here. It’s fun, but it’s like real life Mario cart, only more real, more dangerous and way dirtier. I can honestly say that my prayer life has increased just because I have to drive here. ‘Jesus take the wheel’ isn’t a bumper sticker here. It’s a legitimate, honest cry to God every day!
-I’ve been surprised (and then surprised that I’m surprised) at how normal life still is here. In many ways I feel like I’ve simply moved to a new town. I understand it. This is a big deal. It’s a big decision. I will never forget all the prayer and wrestling and decision-making that went into moving down here and the 8+ months of planning, selling, preparing to move. That was a lot. BUT at the same time it was just a move. Life carries on. I still have to make my bed, wash my clothes, cook food, feed the dog, do chores. Life is life. No matter where you are!
And this is something that I keep coming back to and chewing on. I feel like right now one of the things God is teaching me (I’m a poor student so He has to go over the same stuff a lot with me) is to live for Him no matter where you are and what you are doing. If you’re in Honduras, do it! If you’re in Statesboro, GA do it! If you’re in Savannah, GA do it! Isn’t that part of the great commission, to get sent out into the world? Whether the world is across the world or across the street. I’m praying that God is able to use me right where I am to reach my new community for Him. And I have a feeling a big way that I can be a part of that is just by being a part of people’s lives here with the everyday grind that happens here. I want to dig in and encourage and love this community. That will seem weird and in a lot of ways will make you stand out (in the awkward, uncomfortable kind of way)… but we already stand out just because we stand out and are the only gringos here. There’s no way to hide that! So why not try to stand out just a little bit more for something bigger than yourself?
My prayer for myself and for you is Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 4, that we will live a life worthy of the calling we have received, not matter what that looks like!
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-6