Honduras

On a Mission vs. Being of Service

I’m just one week out from my trip to Honduras. In fact, this time next week I should be in Tegucigalpa!

A view in Tegucigalpa
A view from a backyard in Colonia Miraflores, Tegucigalpa

Lately, when people ask me why I am going to Honduras (many assume it’s for vacation!) I tell them that I am going on a service trip. After discussing it with another traveler in my group a few years ago, I prefer this term to mission trip.

I realize this is can be viewed as a technicality, and perhaps I’m making up my own story around these words, but to me, mission implies that my goals include converting individuals to a certain faith or belief, or at the very least that I am bringing an agenda with me.

Rather, in Honduras I have to let go of my agenda. I am there to be of service. When my group shows up, we get to work doing whatever Sociedad Amigos de los Niños needs us to do. I’ve worked on a construction project each time I’ve been there. We’ve helped get the kids prepared for the school year, which begins in early February. I’ve also spent time interviewing the kids and translating so that their sponsors in the U.S. can get to know them better.

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It is also true that the people I am working alongside in Honduras share my Catholic faith. That’s one reason why this group, which is largely made up of members of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish (our former church in Indy, where Nick and I got married) chose to build a relationship with Honduras in the first place. Each Sunday that I have been there, we attend Mass with the children, who love to sit in the adults’ laps and sing with them. Witnessing their lives and their faith has only strengthened my own.

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Those are just my thoughts, and they may not align with those of others. Don’t be afraid to share your own thoughts below in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “On a Mission vs. Being of Service

  1. How awesome! I’ve been a couple of mission trips and I do agree that so much of it isn’t spent trying to convert, but to being the hands and feet of Jesus. We spent a lot of time just hanging out with the children and holding a VBS for them to enjoy.
    I pray that you continue to enjoy yourself!! ❤

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