This post by Ali

Today was the first day that we got to go to the church and spend quality time with the people here. It was a day full of the sweetest reunions and the meeting of new lifelong friends. The church is up on top of a hill. To get there, we took a bus to the community to the bottom of the hill and then walked up to the church. From the bottom of the hill we could see a group of people holding a banner that said “Welcome to Honduras” and it had all of our names on it. As soon as we arrived we were greeted with hugs from everyone there. It felt amazing to see their faces again and to be able to hug them and feel their love. I couldn’t help but cry!

We all gathered together in the church and introduced ourselves and told them a little about us, then we traded places and they introduced themselves to us. Every single one of them stared out with “Dios Te Bendiga” which means, God bless you. I was really impressed by that. We then had some time to just hang out and play with the kids while Shane lead a leadership training meeting with the leaders of the church here. He talked to them about being a good example while in church, but also everywhere else they go, to be the same person no matter what they are doing.

Playing with the kids was a highlight of my day. We played tag, red light green light, and a new game that Pete taught the kids. It is amazing to see the level of communication that can be reached without knowing the same language. We painted the kids nails and they painted ours. (yes, even a few of the guys. They were great sports.)

After playing and fellowshipping for most of day the Pastor Mario lead us to a piece of land that they are trying to purchase so that we could see it and pray over it. They are hoping to be able to purchase the land in order to build a youth center on it. One of my very favorite things to see in Honduras is prayer. Instead of one person praying and everyone just sitting and listening they have one person give the main prayer loudly and then everyone else whispers their own quiet prayer at the same time. The little mumbles from a whole group of people gives me goosebumps every time. It is beautiful! As we walked back to the church the kids stopped to pick flowers for the ladies hair and also made sure to cover Luke’s beard in flowers as well!

I love the country of Honduras and feel extremely blessed to be able to return! The people here are so full of God’s love that you can feel it pouring through them. Their love is completely unconditional. They inspire me to want to be a better person. I came to Honduras thinking that maybe I could touch and change the lives of others, but the life that was really changed it mine. Dios Te Bendiga!!