Posted by: OCI | December 6, 2010

INSIGHT: Corazón Partido

Puffy piles of clouds float above the striking summits. My eyes fixate on the tiny plane window, yet my gaze travels beyond the breathtaking scenery. I glance down at the shiny pink journal on the table in front of me and try to muster the courage to finish it. Tears trickle down my cheeks as I immerse myself in the honesty of a teenager’s struggles. Thankful for the solitude of the two empty seats next to me, I continue reading.

Last year I spent nine months volunteering in Honduras. I worked and lived at a children’s home, and in addition to caring for 10 boys, I also taught English at the local elementary and high school. The nine months were full of learning experiences that often left me wanting to go home, yet when it was time to leave, I wasn’t ready to go. The children had become like a second family to me. While there, I formed close friendships, including a special bond with a girl named Tania. She was the one who gave me the journal. I call Tania my hermanita (little sister). We spent many hours together, and she promised me that she would keep studying, despite strong temptations to drop out. In turn, I promised her that if she graduated at the end of the year (November), I would come back for her graduation. We both kept our promises. And while I knew the year had been a difficult time for Tania, it wasn’t until I began to read her journal that I fully realized the miracles God was working in her life.

Many times while I was in Honduras I felt discouraged and tired. I saw the anger and pain in the children’s eyes, yet no matter how hard I tried to show them love, it was often rejected. There were days when it seemed like my efforts were in vain. I wondered what my purpose was, but I found strength in these verses in 2 Corinthians.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I realized that I might never see the results in the children that I was hoping and praying for. I found comfort in the knowledge that my efforts weren’t just to help the kids now, but to prepare them for heaven. I accepted the fact that I might never know if my time and care would affect these children.

While I read Tania’s journal, I am awed at her words. She writes that she would not have stayed in school or graduated from sixth grade if it hadn’t been for my encouragement and God’s guidance. Maybe I was getting to see some of the fruits of my labor after all.  Yet this should not be my, our, motivation. We must do what Paul says and focus on heaven, our greatest goal. No matter where we are or what we are doing, whether at home or in a foreign mission field, Christ must be our focus.

-Hannah Kuntz, OCI Communication Specialist. Hannah recently returned to the office after spending two weeks in Honduras visiting the children she ministered to last year.

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