The following journal was written by a mission volunteer from Iowa.
Are you looking to build great family memories? Full of adventure? A unique family vacation away from the usual tourist traps? One that your children will never forget? Then look no further; you have found your “fun in the sun” destination: Ministries of Faith and New Life at Azacualpa, Honduras! Come with me and let me share our experiences with this five-star family vacation spot!
How do I sum up a family vacation dream come true?! For years I waited for the right timing. God had put a dream in my heart to go on a family mission trip way back when our two oldest boys were little in 1999. In Aug. 2001, Burt and I went with First Baptist (Marshalltown) with the exciting purpose of purchasing a plot of land in Azacualpa for yet another dream. This dream was one planted in Dago’s heart: to build a children’s home. On that trip, I had such neat experiences like touring the public school and traveling into the mountains one day. I wanted my boys to experience some of the same things, so I had a big list of expectations. Burt went back the first year and helped with engineering plans as the first two buildings became reality. In my mind, all I could remember was the plot of land being a field.
The years passed and over time God put a clearer target date in view, June 6-14, 2013! It was going to become reality! Daniel at 17, David at 15, and Stephen at 9 were going to Honduras with Mom and Dad. We put in our reservations with our travel agent, Dago. Oh, the anticipation as we ordered passports, purchased tickets, and bought up holiday clearance merchandise for pinata candy and crafts! We cleaned out closets taking from our abundance, ready to give to those in need. I had a mighty list of expectations for family experiences put on the altar! God is so good! He totally fulfilled all of those desires of my heart and gave so much more! Ephesians 3:20 says it all “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Our basic ministry included David using a puppet to sing along with the kids about King Jesus. Daniel taught “Jesus loves you (me)” in English and a few other phrases. Stephen and Mary shared the Gospel through our puppet, Scruffy the dog, while Burt explained salvation using the Wordless Book. We provided a craft and ended with a pinata.
In five days of ministry we shared the Gospel with 440 different kids (and numerous adults standing around). For four days we gave the Bible lesson to the fifty feeding program kids. We passed out 272 party goodies bags, sixty-five beanie babies, three hundred crafts, two hundred paint sheets, three hundred pencils, two hundred balloons, over eighteen thousand stickers and two hundred copies of the Body Blessing,. We used ten pinatas with nine groups of kids. God IS able to do more than we ask or imagine!
Besides helping with the Christian school and feeding program, we also were able to go to three mountain villages, Loma Alta, La Puerta, and a public school classroom at Piedra Larga. It was at our first outreach at Loma Alta that I will never forget. (Actually, I’ll never forget any of them!) We anticipated forty to fifty kids. We had sixty goodie bags but brought plenty of candy, pencils, balloons and stickers if we needed more. Well over one hundred children showed up. As it started to rain and I had a combination of hair spray, mascara, and sunscreen going into my eyes, I had what seemed like thirty to forty hands reaching in my face saying, “Lapiz!” It was a basic pencil, nothing fancy. I’m not sure that kids in America even would have been interested in a plain pencil. My heart is so broken for the kids there who have so little and for the kids here who have so much, not appreciating it or even realizing it.
At La Puerta we passed through two rivers and the most adventurous roads to share the Gospel. Olga, a teacher at Piedra Larga, graciously allowed us to come into her classroom to present our message. Twenty-nine of her thirty students came forward to receive Christ! Besides these mountain experiences, we presented the Gospel at El Eslabon and Sandres both near Azacualpa. We presented the Gospel in two classrooms at the public elementary school in town as well.
My most memorable part of our trip was praying a very special blessing over each child at the children’s home. God put this Body Blessing on my heart when my oldest boys were only four and two. I was passing on our family tradition. For the girls I prayed this blessing and then presented each girl with a tiara, noting that each one was a daughter of King Jesus! It was so fun to see each girl’s reaction looking in the mirror and seeing herself wearing a tiara.
Is Ministries of Faith and New Life at Azacualpa, Honduras really a five star family vacation spot? It is a GOD-GIVEN “fun in the sun” adventure that your family will NEVER forget! God will take your mighty list of expectations for family memories and ZAP them into reality (plus give you a few more to show God is really in charge). Your family’s blessings come from God, so that your family can be a blessing to others! What are you waiting for? Call Dago today to make your reservation. You will be blessed beyond measure!