overcoming average(?)

because it’s something the world just needs less of

honduras (pt. 3)

with 3 comments

today i experienced firsthand the miracle of hope. today, me and moises got up at 6:30 in the morning to be in a taxi by 7. we traveled what should have taken two hours in only about one hour and arrived at orphanage emmanuel around 8:30 (the rest of our group would come around 1pm). every time i go back there it looks different. you can always tell that other teams of people have been working on the premises throughout the year. i always look forward to seeing all the kids at the orphanage, but there’s a few who always stick out to me. first, there’s my good friend mario. i met him my first year coming to emmanuel and we’ve been friends ever since. he’s actually quite the artist i’ve discovered, and suddenly 18 years old and trying to plan his adulthood. there’s little nani, now three years old who last year completely stole my heart and did it again today. there’s karen, and marisol, and bessy, who give me a hard time as any girl between 16 and 19 will tend to do. there’s abel, who has a crush on my wife, but we have an understanding based on that. and alejandro, the one i’ve watched become a man before my eyes and who may some day run that entire place. i could probably go on a little more if i thought about it. i know some of these kids’ stories and they’re as heartbreaking as i imagine any orphan’s story would be. just the word “orphan” has that sad connotation to it. for four summers now and the three years in between, i’ve watched these kids transform. i remember one boy from two years ago who was sent there when he was about 10 or 11, and would scream and cry for hours because of the unfamiliarity of it all. he was still fresh from roatan that first time i met him. i saw him today and he was as well adjusted as any of the kids there. he spoke clear english to me having lived in roatan for so long, albeit with that island accent. he was doing well. not only was he doing well, but he is succeeding at life in that place. i suppose what i’ve noticed the most over the time i’ve spent there is the change in these kids from hopelessness to hopeful. every year i go to “love on those kids,” and every year i feel so selfish for hanging out with them and feeling so loved by them. they’re always ready to run up to you, wrap their arms around you, and hold your hand as you walk with them. this isn’t the tainted kind of love you would expect to see from kids who have been treated like waste. if i ever need proof in the existence of God or that God is love, i only need to see them again.

i’m never doing this again though. i can’t just go for one day and be ok with that. it disturbed me to have to tell so many of those kids that “amanda couldn’t come this time, maybe next year,” and “i’m only here today, maybe next year for longer.”

we left the orphanage at 4pm because the drive back to the city can be pretty rough after the sun goes down. the group ate dinner, and the last thing on our agenda for tonight was hanging out with the “street kids” as the local pastor calls them. we fed them and hung out with them for about an hour and a half. they were all mostly between the ages of 16 and 26 and had no qualms about huffing paint right next to us. i’ve hung out with homeless people before although never extensively. this was different. maybe it was a cultural thing, but they were all very forward and kind of in your face. the smell was something more intense as well. i still detect a tinge of it as i write. the pungent air of filth and alcohol with a little paint fume thrown in is something that stays with you. we had the huffing explained to us actually. it’s the equivalent of 20 cents for a plastic baggie lined with paint that last quite a while i think. the effect it produces is that while you’re inhaling, you can be in whatever world you want to be. it’s a complete escape from the reality of life, which is why it’s so popular with them. it’s hard for me to maintain this state of mind because my society has taught me otherwise, but in a brief moment of clarity i completely believed that they were all human beings whom God loved and wanted to know better. He created them out of love and with a purpose, even if they couldn’t accept that. that’s when it hit me what the difference was between those who have been abandoned and ended up at emmanuel, and those who were abandoned and ended up on that street tonight: the miracle of hope. today is what it took for me to realize that hope isn’t just an ideal, but truly a miracle. in the absence of hope, like i saw tonight, the humanity of people starts being called into question. in the realization of hope, like those kids at emmanuel, humanity can be restored to what God has designed it for. because of the miracle of hope, God can draw us towards him to experience a life that is only possible through knowing Him.


Written by matt

July 26, 2007 at 9:33 pm

Posted in God, on the road

3 Responses

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  1. oh my sweetie. what a man you have become before my eyes. my prayers for you about this trip are being answered. i am broken into pieces that i could not be at Emmanuel with you today. it might comfort you to know that God is working here in my heart as well. you have grown so much as a writer. i wonder if i feel more privileged by reading your what you wrote about this day than if i had lived it with you myself. God be with you my love.


    July 27, 2007 at 1:43 am

  2. Hi matt, I didn`t know that, it`s fun and scary to in the same time. Thank you for telling me

    Hope everything is all right with you and Amanda

    greetings sofia

    A Woman

    July 27, 2007 at 7:56 pm

  3. matt, people comes in from worldpress dashbord all the time but I dont know where to find my self there, can you help me?

    greetings sofia

    A Woman

    July 29, 2007 at 2:00 am

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