What an emotional day! Our morning began by delivering three of our bunk beds to the homes we built. We had enough mattresses to install them with the beds. We returned in time to play soccer with the students at their 9:30 recess. It was the United States vs. Honduras, and the Honduras team was pretty young. Each team scored during the game, but I believe the Honduras’ team scored a goal just before the end of recess to win that game. The missioners continued playing soccer with the PE classes for almost two hours. We were all glad that they had an opportunity to play some soccer before leaving.
The highlight of our trip came when we had our ‘handing over the keys’ ceremony with each family. We started at Hilda’s house (Bruce’s). Marta read the contract/deed for the home and everyone signed the paper. Then Fr. Doug read Psalm 127 and presented the cross made by the men on the team. We turned over the key and hung the cross inside the house. Fr. Doug blessed the house and finally the missioners sang the blessing song.
We next traveled to Ludi’s house and repeated the ceremony. Our last stop was at Paola’s house. At her house Dilcia, Paola’s mother, read a speech she’d written, expressing her heartfelt gratitude for everything the team had done for her and her family. There were plenty of thank you’s and tears and hugs before we left their house. Oh yes, we took a group photo at each house.
Upon returning to the compound, we distributed the rest of the gift bags. The rest of the afternoon everyone showered and relaxed.
After supper we had Mass outdoors, which ended with a commissioning ceremony – similar to how we were commissioned to travel to Honduras, except this time we commissioned each other to carry on our mission at home.
We had our final junta meeting and headed inside to finish packing our carry-ons and check bags. As I type this blog, I can still hear students visiting with each other in their rooms even though I’m sitting in the hallway. I know they are processing their trip, and that’s a good thing. They may still need to do that for a long time.
Thank you to my fellow chaperones for helping me on this mission trip. Thanks to every student missioner for all your work on the trip, from doing chores to building homes. Thanks to Marta Sosa and her helpers for the planning work necessary for our successful trip. Thanks to ACOES for allowing us to stay on the school grounds. Thanks to Julio for watching out for us and driving us around. Thanks to Carlos for our bus trips and for also helping on the construction of the homes. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Francis Seivert for all the preliminary work he did, as well as the work he did while we were here. Thanks to Richard Seivert for everything he has done, and continues to do, so we can have successful mission trips into Honduras.
Every missioner has just experienced a life-changing mission trip. My prayer is that this is only the beginning.
|The house of Dilcia (mom), Enrique, Paola, and Javier with us|