Writer’s block. That’s what happened. I sat at the computer, wanting to describe Honduras last week, and the screen starred back at me. Blank. No words to be spoken. Maybe because I wasn’t ready to talk about it because I hadn’t fully processed it, and as I type this, I am still not sure I have fully given it the amount of thought and attention it deserves.
The last two weeks have felt a little like being sucked up into a tornado—this whirlwind, spinning out of control, and with the winds circling around me, I felt like I was standing in the middle of it all. As our cows were sold, I felt the world mourn with us. Over 30,000 people in fact. We were so grateful for all of the messages and prayers from strangers all over the world who shared in our hurt and pain with us. They helped lighten up the storm. They helped keep it under control with the messages we received, reminding us of God’s love shining through others.
In the middle of it all though, I felt like I needed to be a solid rock for Weston. He never asked me to be that, he never expected that of me, but as his wife, I felt that I needed to be the rock for our family as the storm was rolling in. But I hurt too. Who was my rock. In those moments, I had forgotten who my rock was. And in the middle of that storm, the winds circling around me, spinning out of control, GOD whisked me away to the place he knew I would feel the safest—- Honduras. The place I could refill my cup, the place that I could learn to lean on him, my rock, and serve others in a place that feels like home. A mission trip that had been planned months before we knew the sale date of our herd.
It seemed crazy to everyone else around us- except for us. My sister Heather and I, along with our friend Monica who has done mission work in Honduras just KNEW that we needed to go to Honduras. We knew we had to take sewing machines to a community in Honduras to teach women how to sew their own re-useable pads and liners. There were so many other things going on around us. Trying to start a new business – Pink Box Society– struggling in our other job some days, selling the cows on our family farm, and a continued list that kept all of us awake at night. But, we had to go. We had to do this. We never had taken sewing machines to any third world country, and IN FACT the 3 of us didn’t even know HOW to thread a sewing machine—- but we had to go and we knew that if we didn’t listen to what God had placed on our hearts at this very moment, that he would have to find someone else to do it. Someone else who would say YES, if we said NO.
Looking back, we could say it started in February, when Heather went to Honduras for the third time in two years— but the truth is, it started even before that. It started in 2014 when she “got out of the boat” and said yes to her first mission trip. Followed by my first mission trip, followed by another, and another. It all started when we both decided to start living our lives saying YES to what God called us to. That’s how we found ourselves in Honduras last week.
On Heather’s last mission trip to Honduras in February this year, she had taken 50 hygiene bags to bless all of the women in the village she was going to. That was her plan. If you check out our Facebook page, or our website, you will see WHY these hygiene items are so important for women. Here she found herself, a suitcase full of hygiene bags, ready to bless the women in Honduras. So, where did God put her? In a community that had running water, electricity, and zero women to give the hygiene items to because the women were all at work. It wasn’t a typical community. But, in this community that she had been placed in, was a woman named Alba who was in charge of the church there, ministering to women. Alba asked Heather how they could get the hygiene items in Honduras to pass out to all of the other women in neighboring communities that would need them and if there would be a way to sew the items there. They even had an empty building with electricity that just so happened to be sitting there, waiting to be used for a purpose. Heather told Alba, “I don’t know how—-but I will find a way.”
Over coffee one day with our friend Monica and I, Heather told us everything. About the ministry we were supposed to start in Honduras, about Alba, about the empty building with electricity. I had been to Honduras in November with my husband Weston and had journaled about a ministry to help other women —I had asked God to use me for this purpose, but I hadn’t told Heather or our friend Monica about it. I had kept it secret in my dream journal, waiting for God to shine light on this. At the same time, they had also been praying for God to use them in Honduras. To hep other women. It all fell in to place. Every single piece. So, the 3 of us said yes, and booked our tickets.
With the support of Weston, who has a place in his heart for Honduras too, I was ready to go. Except for one minor detail —- the 3 of us going didn’t know how to sew. We knew how to lead, we knew how to get there, and we had all of the right connections, but sewing wasn’t our strong suit. We also knew that if God was going to send us, the right people would fall into place. Another friend who had done numerous mission trips to Central America, (and knows how to sew), felt like she was being called to minister to women there, but wasn’t sure how. She approached us one day after she had heard our vision, and with tears in her eyes, she said, “I NEED to go with you!” We looked at her and said, “We know.” Then, weeks later, another friend was helping us perfect the patterns to sew the pads and liners and Heather looked at her and said, “Do you want to go with us?” She is a teacher in River Falls who teaches High School students how to sew, and we knew we needed her. A week later, she said yes. Our team, perfectly formed. 5 women, saying yes to God.
After that, God gave us every single tool we needed. People prayed for us, people helped send us, we figured out how to book our flights, how to get a rental car, (even though that was a bit of a crazy mix-up), and he gave us the people we needed in Honduras, the driver, our translator (who became family)—- everything. Our sewing machines went through security without problems, we figured out how to take the ferry from the Island of Roatan to Honduras. We watched as God paved the entire way. Each and every step, we saw him in it.
While we were there, the women learned how to sew in 3 days! Our two sewing friends were the best teachers we could have ever asked for to be on this team! They were amazing and in their element. The women felt so comfortable learning from them, and even with a language barrier, they learned how to perfectly sew the pads and liners.
We spent time ministering to the women, and as we did that, they ministered to us.
The one day, I just let it all out. Just sobbed about trying to be the rock for my husband, when I didn’t feel I was strong enough to do that anymore. I sat and sobbed. The women shared their hurts, and pains too. My sister shared her worries and struggles. As women we just cried together over Honduran coffee and shared how GOD has been all of our rocks—- never leaving us. This reminder that we don’t have to always be the ROCK for everyone else, because we have a Lord and Savior who is our rock, remaining in control at all times.
When I let it all out, when I was vulnerable with the women in that moment, I was able to just pause. Heal. The whirlwind that had been surrounding me stood still, and I knew I would be safe. I knew we all would be safe. I knew that God had a plan and I felt my purpose. He calmed the storm that I had been feeling inside of my soul.
I have said it before and I will say it again—Honduras is my home away from home. It is. I don’t know how to explain how I can feel so at home and comfortable in a place where I can’t speak the language. I feel that in a world where it is hard to just be myself sometimes, I can leave my closet of clothes behind, put on my pair of quick dry pants, which are the same pair that I wash in the shower every night in Honduras, dry overnight, and wake up wearing again the next day, and I AM ME. I am at peace. I am myself. I know exactly who I am. I know exactly who God has created me to be. I know my purpose and WHAT I was created for. Sitting with the women, hearing their stories, learning from them, praying with them, I know who I am. I know, it sounds so strange, and I can’t explain it either. Maybe that’s why I have felt this twinge of writer’s block recently. Because there isn’t a way to explain this feeling.
Honduras didn’t seem to come at the “perfect” timing in my eyes – not with everything happening in life and on the farm. But, I know, as a believer, that GOD’S timing is never late, and never early. HE is always on time. And GOD knew that the place I would feel the safest, the place I would learn to lean on him, and the place that I could be reminded of who MY rock IS, was Honduras. Shutting off the distractions and the whirlwind around me and just SERVE. Serve other women. Speak truth about God with other women. PRAY with other women. Just live in those moments. Be reminded of God’s purpose. Be reminded of his love. Be reminded of his plan. Be me. Be still. And just BE. Teaching other women, and repeatedly hearing them say that they now have a purpose.
In all of that I found my purpose and was reminded of who my rock is.
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*Read more about our vision for Pink Box Society on our website