Some blog posts are difficult to write.
- There are controversial topics = difficult
- Topics on abuse, pain and atrocities happening at home and abroad = difficult
- Some posts are time-consuming due to necessary research = difficult
- And there are experiences and people so dear to the writer that the emotions of writing about it = difficult
This is a post I’ve been trying to write for five months.
When on a mission to another country, I’m often up writing in the middle of the night or on the plane coming home. It’s like the story cannot be held back.
Do you have memories and experiences so precious and dear that you don’t want to let them go? And by don’t want to let them go I mean you hesitate to share it. You feel the need to hold it close, maybe because if you do share it (whatever it is) you let go of the sacred.
Months ago, I traveled to Honduras to lead a staff retreat for a school. It was our fourth retreat, which has become a yearly highlight for me as well as for the teachers who attend.
Our goal is to take the teaching staff away for a few days of rest, refreshing and sharing – to bring a bit of encouragement to their lives.
But you must get a clear picture of what these teachers do, for this is not just any school.
- This school is in a 3rd world country, meaning extreme poverty and abuse, extreme heat, no air conditioning, sometimes no electricity at all and usually no running water.
- Teaching resources (supplies, equipment and curriculum) are limited, outdated and often inadequate for these special circumstances.
- This is a school for Special Needs Students, and that is the special circumstance. These students have physical disabilities, mental illness or are hearing-impaired.
Their teachers are paid $190 a month.
This may be understandable by Honduran standards, but unbelievable to us no matter the circumstances.
The women who serve at the school – and believe me when I say what they do is a true act of service – are my heroes.
I see their work – how they teach and love these children in situations that are so less than desirable. This in itself is enough to warrant hero status in my book. But there is more.
You learn a lot about a person when you come into their home, and that is where I stay when I’m there. To them, I am family. They feed me – when they do not have resources to spend on food. They help me heat hot water on the stove for a shower. They make sure I am safe and looked after throughout my stay.
We sit together around the table after a meal. We share our stories and dreams. We laugh until our sides hurt. Sometimes, voices grow serious and soft. Emotions are not hidden. Tears may flow.
These are relationships I hold close. The friendships, conversations, laughter and tears I share with these women are so dear to me. As I try to write about it – to share their story – I am held back. It’s difficult to download and hard to let go.
So, what does this mean and what are we to take from it?
This is a part of the fabric of our lives. There are moments woven in and sometimes we want to hang on instead of turn loose.
It can happen in a faraway place, or over lunch with friends right here at home. It may be a visit with a grandparent in the winter-years of life, or a conversation with a child that makes you smile – those experiences that make us say, “Time, stand still.”
As my fingers download it to the screen, it feels like the birds suddenly flying away. I don’t want to let go, but I know the story must be told. I realize in telling my story, others get the chance to experience it, as well.
Do you have a story that is difficult to tell?
Maybe your story is painful and that is the difficulty in sharing. I pray time brings healing. I pray that in God’s time, you find the courage to let it go.
Is your story full of laughter and the potential to bring laughter to those who hear it? Or, is it like mine, a story of heroes doing God’s work in faraway places where others rarely stop by for a cup of coffee and to let dreams be encouraged?
My teacher-friends in Honduras are no different from you or me.
They are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers. Some are single; never married. Others have experienced marriage and divorce. One or two have been greatly mistreated in life.
They are professional women, God-worshipers, and world-changers for children who’ve basically been told they do not matter because of their disabilities and challenges.
They are beautiful heroes, just like you and me.
What story do you need to share today?