Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Second Time Around- Words from a Volunteer

Below is the reflection of a Loras College alumnus who recently volunteered with us in Honduras along with six of her friends. They were true blessings for everyone they came in contact with and we were all sad to see them go. Several of the kids even cried on the group's last night here. Even though they left nearly three weeks ago, the kids still ask about them and want to know when they are returning. When I explained that they had to work and study so they couldn't come back right now, one of the kids said, "Well, then just write a note to their teacher or boss and tell them they need to come back to Honduras." This proves that the relationships volunteers form with the kids, even if only for a week, are true friendships that neither one forgets. I see the positive affects those relationships have on the kids and, from Erin's reflection, you can see the affect the kids have on volunteers

I first experienced APUFRAM in Honduras in March of 2008 and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I absolutely fell in love with the volunteer center from the second I stepped foot in it, and knew after that first service trip that it would forever hold a place in my heart.  There is nothing that could have prepared me for what I would see and experience while there.  The kids are absolutely amazing gifts of God.  From the second meet them you feel more than welcome and whole-heartedly loved by each and every one.  It never ceases to amaze me how much joy and love they seem to have in their hearts even when they have next to nothing in their pockets.  They are amazing examples of faith and unconditional love to me.  I enjoyed the trip so much the first time that I recently went back for the second time for 10 days over Holy Week and Easter.  The mission and the kids exceeded my expectations from two years ago.  I was thrilled to remember some of the kids from my last trip and amazed that some of them even remembered me.  Both of my experiences in Honduras were life changing and I would highly recommend the trip to anyone looking for a little faith and love in their lives.  I know I’ll be going back again as soon as I get the chance!

Erin Horst – Dubuque, IA