November 18, 2014

This essay was first published August 2014 as part of "This I Believe."  This I Believe, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives.

I believe that people should live beyond their comfort zone. People should test their limits and be bold. I spent a week working in a village in Honduras this summer and at times it was extremely uncomfortable and awkward, but it was by far the best and most rewarding experience I have ever had.

Over the years a group of people I knew always went to Honduras over the summer. I had always wanted to go and travel there with them to do missions work, but my age was the only factor that held me back. This summer, that changed, I knew I was turning sixteen and I knew I was going to Honduras. Absolutely nothing was holding me back; I was ready for this once in a lifetime experience. The week of departure was coming up and I soon realized that I had so many questions. Questions such as, “What in the world was I getting myself into?” were floating in my head. I soon came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to go solely due to the fact that I was scared.

The day came and we boarded the plane, still I was unsure about what I was getting myself into. We arrived safely to Tegucigalpa, and we started our eight hour journey to the ranch we were staying at. During the long and bumpy bus ride I had some time to think so all I really thought about was how I was going to get through the week. The thing that really bothered me while I was thinking was that I should be excited, not frightened. I’m an extremely outgoing person who really isn’t scared of much but yet I was scared to start this amazing trip. What was wrong with me?

The village we worked in was a Pech village which meant that Spanish was their second language and that their native language was Pech. This only created another barrier between us and the people of the village. However, as the days went by I fell in love with the villagers. No, I couldn’t speak their language and I had no idea what in the world they were saying but I could understand them. I learned that smiles and laughter are universal. I couldn’t speak to this people but in a way I could. I was blessed with the opportunity to get to know so many of the families and to fellowship with them. I was able to do all of this because I took a leap of faith. I could’ve just not talked to them and just made concrete floors, but I went deeper. Because I pushed and tested my own personal limits, I developed relationships that I will never forget.

What I got to take away from this amazing experience is that you should push the envelope. Going beyond your personal comfort zone opens so many remarkable doors, so take that leap of faith.

 

The date for the 2015 Honduras Summer Youth Mission Trip is June 27 - July 4, 2015. Youth must have completed freshman year of high school of higher to be eligible for the trip. Click here for more information on the summer youth mission trip.