Yesterday the first of many friends came rolling in for the big weekend. Nathan is getting married this weekend in Birmingham and friends and family from all over are coming in for the event. 2 of Nate’s “big sisters” from his Lipscomb dorm days came in; one from Washington state and one from Ohio. Summer Comfort (no, really, that IS her name) and Jen Wright are great friends and were in Margaret’s dorm at Lipscomb back in the day. When the two get together it is non-stop laughing and last night was no exception. We had 4 additional guests that came in which we were not expecting but were more than willing to have with us. They came with Jen Wright.
Gena Larios, who works with Torch / IRC in Honduras, her brother Carlos, and her mother and father, are in the states. They came when the unrest began and have been staying with friends in Ohio and West Virginia for the past couple of weeks. Gena used to work in the government under President Maduro and began working with us 3 years ago. Her mom is a dentist and her dad is a surgeon. It has been a great blessing to get to know the family better and to be hosts for such a wonderful family.
Last night we were all standing in the kitchen (not sure why, but that is where we decided to hang out) and Margaret offered refreshments. I had baked a cake (come on, guys can cook!) and we were asking if anyone wanted anything to drink. We were stocked up on diet Coke (if you know Margaret… enough said), Coke Zero, Coke, sweet tea, etc. Our Honduras friends simply wanted some water to drink (Weird, huh? Especially with sweet tea in the house). What happened next made me realize, once again, how much we take things for granted.
Margaret filled the glasses with ice and filled the glasses with water from the TAP. The Hondurans stared… glasses were handed out and the gringos began to drink. The Hondurans didn’t. At first. Drinking water from the tap. Drinking water from the TAP!!! In Honduras you could never do that and live. One glass from the tap and you are down for the count, doomed to a porcelain throne for hours upon hours screaming in agony and praying for relief. (Well, it does go something like that…..) Purified water from the tap. We drink it all of the time. We never think twice about it. And a well-educated and wealthy family from Honduras was amazed. Talking about taking things for granted.
Of course we spent a great deal of time talking about the political situation in Honduras. Most of us are well aware of what is going on, right? We are sympathetic to the cause, want the best for Honduras, and love the country and it’s people, right? Spend an evening listening to Hondurans talking about what is going on… and you realize right away that you are nothing more than an outsider looking in. There is no way we can relate with this event the way the people of Honduras are connecting with it. It was very obvious last night.
The depth of grief and anguish that they are going through touched me in a way I cannot explain. Not only that, but the things that they know that have happened that has not been reported amazed me as well. Since the new officials have been put into place, more and more is coming out down there as to what Mel has been doing behind the scenes. Officials are going over the books and records and the finances and are finding all kind of things that no one knew. A top secretary of the new government was killed this week (He was over the issuing of Identification cards, voting cards, etc) while he was going over the 500,000 names submitted for the vote on the changing of the constitution. Seems he was on to something and then suddenly died in the middle of the investigation. You won’t read about that in the news here…
So, for the time at least, Gena and her family will be in the United States, along with many other Hondurans, waiting to see what happens in this political game of cat and mouse. There is so much at stake, so much to win or lose. But as Mark and Lori Connell has said, the real losers in all of this are the poor of Honduras. It is during this time of the year that the most help comes in the form of mission teams. It is during this time of the year that so much is done… when hope becomes a reality. But because of politics, the poor suffer once again.
Please continue to pray for the leaders working on a solution to this crisis. Please pray that it will be found quickly so that family members can return home and missionaries can get back to their works. Please pray for peace and understanding and courage. For many of us, Honduras is not just a place in Central America, it is part of our lives and part of who we are… and there are many brothers and sisters in Christ who are family to all of us… and we miss them and hurt for them.
So, when you get that next glass of water to drink… remember how blessed you are!