the life of riley

The school on the island full of their new desks. I know some of the kids are older than most first graders, but still, that guy with the glasses is not a student. (Taken with Instagram)

The school on the island full of their new desks. I know some of the kids are older than most first graders, but still, that guy with the glasses is not a student. (Taken with Instagram)

they don’t need me anymore

I believe that everyone wants to be needed. A lot of relationships fade to nothing because one party doesn’t feel needed and finds a more immediate sense of that desire being filled elsewhere. We want to be needed, to a fault. Today was interesting. We have been begging the mayor to help us out (us being me and the people from the island) with desks for the school. Right now, the kids are sitting on the floor for class. People in the mayor’s office had promised us in October that we would have desks by the end of November. Upon November’s arrival, the date changed to December; and in December, to January. You get the point. We finally found help from another organization. They needed us to turn in pictures of the school, with the students on the ground, and they could find us desks. Easy enough right. Wrong. The school district teacher supervisor had the pictures on her phone. Well on a memory card inside her phone. So i took the card to the camera place to get the pictures. One shop didn’t have the adapter, the other shop’s machine was broken. Finally I get to a shop that can print them off, and am informed that the machine can’t read the card without the phone. So I call the teacher supervisor, Karina, to get her phone, and she informs me that she is in El Salvador. This was all last week. So we had to wait until yesterday. I got her phone, went to the shop. When I get there, the lady takes the card out of the phone and puts it in the adapter and printed out the photos. She didn’t actually need to phone. What a waste. I felt like Chris Farley in Almost Heroes when he climbed the tree to get the eggs that he needed so that the Pocahontas character could make a medicine to heal Matthew Perry. Farley climbs the tree, gets the eggs out of a bird’s nest after a huge struggle with an eagle, gets down from the tree, gets hungry, and eats the eggs. So he has to climb up and get more eggs. This happens a few times and he finally has enough self-control to arrive with the eggs and Pocahontas cracks the eggs, discards everything but the shell to make the medicine. “Why didn’t you tell me you only needed the shell?!” Farley’s character says. Anyways, I felt like that. So I had the photos ready to turn in today, but I got to dock this morning, to go to the island, and the mayor is there with 50 desks. All this time I had been fighting and fighting for other ways to get desks, and a man from the island had been going to the mayor a couple times a week everyday begging the mayor for desks. And he finally showed up. The people on the island don’t need me. It’s time for me to go. Praise God.

The story goes on. We get out to the island, and a family that has never invited me into their home, invites me eat lunch with them. Once the mayor and his posse got to the island, I realize they are going to have some presentation. I am outside hanging out with some of my friends when they say to me, “Eduardo, the mayor is looking for you.” So I walk inside and he has a seat for me right next to him, in front of everyone. Apparently they don’t realize I’ve done nothing to make this happen. But I’m sitting there, in front of everyone on the island, next to the mayor, in a sweaty, dirty, t-shirt that has Popeye on it. There are TV cameras there and news reporters, hilarious. The people ask me to pray to start the meeting so I do. The mayor stands up, makes a speech then signals for me to stand up, and sits down. So i make a speech about god knows what, then the mayor invites me to lunch with him and his posse. It was really interesting because the people look up to the mayor so much. I think he’s kind of a punk for making us wait so long, but the people are more gracious than I am (that’s one of many many lessons they have taught me). At lunch, the mayor and I had some great conversations about the love of Christ and our (those who have resources) role in caring for the poor.

Today was a great lesson in realizing that God has used me for a lot of great stuff, but it has been God. And even though I am leaving, the Spirit remains ever-present, everywhere, all the time. Praise God for being way smarter, stronger, and better than us. I’m not needed anymore. In most cases, that means I’m useless. Here it just means that God is doing bigger and better things than I thought he was. Also, tomorrow we have baptisms on the island. The woman who invited me over for lunch, whose husband was the man who continued to beg for desks until we got them, is one of the people getting baptized tomorrow. Again, praise God!

Desks for the school on the island. Finally (Taken with Instagram)

Desks for the school on the island. Finally (Taken with Instagram)

1 month left

It’s really weird to think about. I only have about one month left here in Honduras. Ever since I decided a few weeks ago that it was time for me to leave Honduras, I have realized how much I am going to miss this place. The relationships that I have made will last a lifetime. And although there are a ton of issues that we are dealing with down here, that will never change. I am so thankful for my time here and for the people I have met and fell in love with. It’s time to leave, there’s no doubt about that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy.

the school out on the island is still slowly but surely coming together. here in honduras, the kids get a snack in the mornings. the school district finally offered the school on the island food for the snack. this is a big deal because the school is slowly but surely being recognized. and while there are still some things that need to happen, progress is being made. please pray that the people in charge, the politicians, come through with the promises they make. we still need desks, a better teacher salary, and lots of supplies. please keep praying.

Biggest bathroom on the block. Thanks to the Lynn family.  (Taken with instagram)

Biggest bathroom on the block. Thanks to the Lynn family. (Taken with instagram)

Recess on the island. Dodgeball!

Recess on the island. Dodgeball!

5th and 6th graders on the island getting a little extra tutoring.

5th and 6th graders on the island getting a little extra tutoring.

Domestic third-world date night. @beccalynn_7  (Taken with instagram)

Domestic third-world date night. @beccalynn_7 (Taken with instagram)