Heather and I were supposed to go on our annual mission trip to Honduras. The previous two years have captured our hearts and we have been privileged to be able to go and share the Gospel. It’s quite challenging to spend time with children that don’t even share your language. We thought we were getting on a plane to bless some third world children. Now I know that the blessing was ours.
We had trouble raising funds this year as my ankylosing spondylitis limited my ability to cook. I have no idea how many lasagnas I made the previous two years to fund our trips, but I’m glad to have a skill that translates into mission work. We just have a head start for next year.
Instead of leaving the country, we went to a neighborhood in our own town. With assistance from Common Ground Community and many friends we were able to launch Operation Love Your Neighbor. We have typically prepared and served a nice meal one Thursday a month for the past three years. We continued that tradition yesterday and served up a delicious meal of pork loin, roasted potatoes, green beans, and banana cake. We continued today with a nice spaghetti lunch and an afternoon of teaching 22 kids the love of Jesus. Tomorrow, we will conclude the week with a morning walk to visit some homeless friends.
This week has reminded me that service doesn’t require trekking around the world. We can serve right where we are planted.
I adapted my recipe from my mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe. Actually, she said get got it from a friend when she worked at a bank in St. Paul.
Growing up, my mom would make this recipe maybe once a year because it was time consuming. I’ve streamlined the process for my lasagna. Not having to make meatballs shaves some serious time.
For the past three years, I’ve been selling these lasagnas to fund our mission trips to Honduras. People are now starting to come to my door for one. I always have these delights in my freezer for customers. After all these years, I’m still my biggest customer. I eat this lasagna with great regularity.
The lasagnas inspired us to start a small catering business. We haven’t built a site yet, but are on Facebook. The hope is to generate enough money year round to help fund my trips with Mercy Chefs.
In July, Heather and I will fly out to Honduras. This will be our third year in a row. It’s our annual mission trip to share the Gospel with precious children with Ignite Missions. Can we call it a vacation? Perhaps. After all, we are going to the murder capital of the world. That sounds restful.
Our mission leaders go to great lengths to keep us safe. Perhaps a little too safe. I can’t even break away to get some street food. I’ve eaten street food in Haiti where cholera is troublesome. That’s my badge of honor regarding third world eats.
Santiago, the bus driver, will make sure we are safe in our travels. Last year when we left Amapala Island, we were driving up a mountain on a narrow two lane road with no shoulders. At dusk, he passed a big rig in a blind turn on the mountain. Oh, and there was oncoming traffic. It was exciting. I was thrilled at what I saw unfolding while many on the bus closed their eyes and started praying. I genuinely thought that was one of the highlights.
The beauty of the country contrasting with the poverty was hard to reconcile. The Honduran people generally seem hopeful. At least in rural areas. How can Americans where even the poorest are considered wealthy to over 90% of the world be unhappy? Perhaps it’s the stuff that chains us to misery. Maybe plunging into an environment that strips most of the excess is a vacation. Sometimes I even have wifi so I can play Candy Crush.
Post is in response to the IBQ weekly writing challenge.