Friday, June 1, 2012

American Awakened: Part Four - The Reach of God

Gaggle of girls

I squatted on the porch of the tiny rural Honduran school and snapped pictures of each child holding a sign displaying their name, age, height, weight, and school. A gaggle of girls huddled around me, fascinated by the live person wiggling around on my camera screen.

Their eyes were big and their smiles bigger. They giggled and played hand games - much like "Little Susie" in my day. They played like my kids. They laughed like my kids.
The hand game
They peeked in our bags for school supplies like my kids peek in our closet for presents. They wore curiosity on their faces in the same innocent way that my kids do. Some girls wore the same kind of hair bands as my girls. A few donned long silver earrings that wagged from side to side as they looked at us strange Americans.

Does your little girl wear these headbands, too?

From a distant glance, one would see a normal school - maybe similar to one in the United States - but this was not that.

This peaceful-looking boy most likely survived smallpox

A closer look would have you see a boy's face covered with concerning pock marks.

See right eye

A closer look would surprise you with an occlusion in a girl's eye, inescapable as she stared at you with wonder.

A closer look would reveal that this school - one room housing 28 students from preschool to eighth grade and that one teacher, a volunteer, chose to corral these 28 students in this tucked-away village to teach them mathematics, history, spelling - thevery same subjects my kids groan about studying in their school.

one-room school for grades Pre-K through 8

Those who have and those who lack can be obviously different yet astonishingly similar.

As I stood by the girl-flock, I carefully and a bit nervously placed my arm around the girl closest to me. I softly rubbed her back.

A mother rubbing a child's back in America can be similar to a mother rubbing her child's back in Honduras. The same God loves these children.

I have never before visited a country in need such as this. I have seen pictures on television, heard stories on the radio and in books, read newspaper articles such as this very real and serious one, but I was not prepared to see the disparity that existed there.

But what a paradox: to see all the lack and all of the abundance, all in the same child, in the same family, in the same community.

Volunteering with Paramedics for Children that day taught me just how far Christ's hand can reach. No mountain or sea can hold Him back. Not a brick house nor one made of tin.

What is your house made of?

 We were in Honduras for one week, but this one day opened my eyes to more than I've seen in a lifetime. Though I saw great poverty, I also saw how far God reaches and believe me; it is past anything we
could ever imagine.

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