1) to exert oneself vigorously; try hard
2) to make strenuous efforts toward any goal
There's a difference between being striven and merely trying. Striving after something requires concentration, an immense amount of effort, and a goal you are set on achieving. It isn't enough just to try, you must strive. The question is, what do we need to be striven for? Should we be striven to reach a higher postition in the company, or for good grades in college? Those are pretty good things to be striven for, but I think one trumps them all (we'll get there in a minute). Let's look at being a Christian first. Being a Christian is more than a goal, it's a lifestyle, a way of living. A lot of people try to be Christians. Why can't we all just try to be Christians? I mean, God knows we are all sinners and will continue to fail Him, so trying is enough right?
"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God"
"But let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
We have been called to strive for perfection, not try to be Christians. Trying to be like Christ and STRIVING to be like Christ are considerably different. While we may not be able to attain this perfection on our own, we can be perfected through Christ. There are many things to strive for in our lives that help us strive for this perfection. On this trip, I've been striven to change. I didn't like the person I felt I was becoming and now I know that the reason the change was not happening was because I was not striven. Here in the mission field, being striven is basically a requirement. You cannot survive the long, drawn-out days without being striven to work for the Lord and to spread His love. When you're striven, you put your whole heart into it. The best part about being striven is, you never give up. Even though our goal of perfection is virtually impossible, we cannot give up on it. And the tough question is, are you striven?
The past two days have pretty much been uneventful. Yesterday we woke up and said goodbye to the departing group. After sending them off to the airport, we cleaned things up around the mission house, and made our way down to the warehouse for the afternoon. There we gathered some things we would be needed for the next group and did some organizing. Last night we had an early dinner so we could head to the mall to see a movie. Many of us were hoping for Monsters University or Man of Steel, but due to the unfortunate circumstances, which were traffic and long lines, we didn't make it in time to see them. So some choose to see World War Z, and others spent the next few hours eating/talking in the Cinnabon, trying not to fall asleep. Today we were able to sleep in (WHOO!), which here means about 8:30. We loaded the bus after breakfast for our "surprise" for the day, which most of us knew already. We ended up in the Mi Esperanza salon, where they have students learning to do hair and nails and such. Everyone had a turn either getting their nails done, hair cut and colored, even the boys. It was a special treat getting to see Terry and Tricky Pat getting their feet massaged and cleaned. I have pictures to prove it! Then we came back to the mission house, made some homemade Butterfinger ice cream, ate supper and one of my favorite desserts. It's been a great time to rest and hopefully we are all prepared for our last group to come in tomorrow! I'm excited to be busy again and to meet all the new people we have coming.
Important information for those of you flying: Don't let anyone take your bags at the airport unless they are wearing a TORCH shirt. There will be lots of Hondurans wanting to take your bags to "help" you, but really all they want is to find Terry so they can get a tip from him. Since our money is pretty much non-existent, we really need you all to stay on top of your bags and take care of them yourself. Once we get them on the bus, you'll be good to go and get lunch. Can't wait to see your happy faces! Get some rest and be ready for a fantastic trip!
Please enjoy all my pictures from the last trip:
1&2: The final pictures before leaving Choluteca of the group and the house.
3&4: The house we tore down on Saturday and the house we built, with the woman and her daughter smiling
5-14: Pictures from the Special Needs Orphanage
This was one of the wheelchairs we had donated to us. This special young man fit great in it!
15: The Interns last picture together, Hannah had to leave us :(
16: Our team picture before heading to the warehouse
17&18: Terry and Tricky enjoyed the pampering, even though it was ticklish.