My intention in my last post was to recap the last year that I have spent in the States. But as I started writing it, it took a different turn. So today, I’m going to try to stick to the plan and write about how things have developed in the last year.
I left off with Edgar in my truck. Proniño accepted him the next day and I had one more reason to visit often. In my last month in Honduras, I spent 4 days of the week in Proniño or Nueva Esperanza and 3 days in the office. And as my time in Honduras was coming to an end I knew that it was going to be hard to go from spending the majority of my week with the kids to seeing them briefly every few months.
I arrived home on a mission. Sean had told me many times that I can do so much more here to help the kids. And I figured that if I was going to be here instead of there I was going to make sure that that was true. But anyone who has ever made a transition like this knows that you’re just not yourself at first. Those first few months seem a little bit like a hazy blur. And I did accomplish some things – like sending out support letters to raise funds for my Honduran employee’s salary and starting to promote the 2011 trips. But mainly, I looked at pictures and cried when I found out anyone had run away. I shiver a little when I look back on those months. It’ll be nice if I never have to go through a transition like that again!
But I feel like I’ve had about four years of learning, growing and stretching packed into this one. It’s like I’ve been praying for the last 10 years for God to teach me more about myself and to help me improve in a plethora of areas and he said “Ok, I’m going to wait until 2011 and throw it all at you at once.” Sink or swim. But the thing is, if I had just given up at the hard parts of this year, then I’d be walking away from the kids, which really isn’t an option. So I had to just keep pushing through. That God of ours, he’s pretty crafty sometimes.
Who KNEW it was going to be so hard to get people to come to Honduras??? Wow. I think that I spent roughly 37% of this year lying awake at night worrying about if I’m actually going to have a team for the trip that was happening very soon. I’m finally realizing that if someone says “I think I’d like to go to Honduras with you.” That doesn’t actually mean that they ARE going. (To some of you, this might seem obvious. For me, let’s just attribute it to my inability to hear what people were actually saying in those fuzzy transition months when nothing was clear…)
Fundraising – You have salesmen who love the chase. You have people that can learn to sell dealy-hoppers if they need to. Then you have me, who would rather do pretty much anything in this world than ask anyone for money. I can almost hear your thoughts – “Right, only you’ve asked us to donate to Proniño nearly every day for the last month.” Except it’s so much easier to ask in writing, because then I can’t actually see your face. =) And I can pretend that the only people that are reading this blog are the ones that are receptive to it. But the face-to-face request – anyone up for a round of Chinese water torture instead?
The good (and there’s been a WHOLE lot of good):
My goal was to bring 50 people with me to Honduras, which I thought was fairly conservative. I brought 14. Humbling. Some, like myself a few times this year, would say discouraging. But could it be that God orchestrated this number to perfection? I’m learning to make a goal, then trust that what happens is what is supposed to be. I wanted 15 people my first trip. I had five. (And two of those people were only with us for 2 and half days. So let’s be honest, I had three.) But those three people are now three of my biggest advocates for the kids. And all three are coming back with me in January. I mean, a 100% repeat rate is pretty good, right? Right?? In the summer I had seven. But I learned that this may be the best number for a Nueva Esperanza team. It’s an intense experience. And a small team meant that we had the time for hours long conversations about what they were seeing, experiencing and learning. I wouldn’t trade those conversations for the 13 additional people I had hoped to have on the team.
And the fundraising? I mean, I can’t learn EVERYTHING in just one year… but I’m getting closer. I think. And you all have been so encouraging. Between responding so well to this fundraiser, or donating material things for me to bring down or the many people this year that have decided to donate without me really asking for it. I consistently have enough. Enough for Samuel’s salary. Enough for a project. Enough for those electrician boots the kids in the electricity workshop needed. And I’m learning to feel confident to move forward when I have enough. (Did that make sense? I feel like I may have just gone a little vague there…)
And the kids? How is it possible to feel like I have a strong relationship with over 100 kids that I see every two months? Not sure, but I’m not going to analyze it too much. My fear with coming back here was that I’d get sucked back into ‘normal life’ and my desire to be with the kids would weaken to the point that it just became a chore. Yeah, that hasn’t happened.
Here’s to many more years of growing, learning and helping the kids – and one day reaching that goal of 50 people!
And in the meantime, there’s only 2 more days of the fundraiser! I’m now at 54% of my goal of $5,000. Only have a mere two thousand, two hundred and eighty-five dollars to go. =) Click here to go to the page where you can donate!