Sometimes serving looks like an airport.
I’ve been joking about a blog titled: Things You Wouldn’t Know Missionaries Do
It includes stuff like counting money, counting a lot of money, counting more money, making phone calls, replying to text messages in two languages, taking dictation, sitting in government offices, getting cars shipped from other countries, counting tassels on key chains, flipping switches on water pumps, driving a lot, making popcorn with a generator on a reservation …
The biggest thing I didn’t think about doing when Jamie and I planned a month in Honduras? I never thought about hanging out in the airport.
Today, two mission groups from the US arrived here in Honduras. When the first group deplaned, my friend Mark was with us. He greeted them and led them off to the bus, luggage in tow. When the second group arrived, Jamie and I greeted them. We were the friendly American faces, the lips speaking English, the “this is what you do next” people. I led them to the bus in a rainstorm, climbing aboard looking like a drowned rat.
She grinned the whole time she spoke to us.
At one point, standing in the airport in Tegucigalpa, a lady spoke to Jamie and me. She recognized Jamie’s shirt and my bag and asked if we were with Mi Esperanza. She did not speak English, so my toddler-esque Spanish had to do. We aren’t actually with Mi Esperanza, but we are connected in a way, so we just told her yes. She asked where we are from, and I managed to explain the answers. She grinned the whole time she spoke with us. The woman accompanying her turned back to greet us, her smile shining pure joy.
I don’t know what we did that made them so happy. Maybe this lady went through one of the educational programs offered by Mi Esperanza. Maybe they gave her a micro-loan or her daughter works with them. Maybe it is something beyond my conversational Spanish ability. Whatever it was, I’m glad Jamie and I were standing there today.
We’ve stood in the airport a lot over the last three weeks. We arrived and a week later we helped get our original group checked in and through security. We greeted new groups and saw other groups off. We’ve sipped coffee with new friends, and I’ve watched Jamie get all choked up saying goodbye to twin girls she knew for exactly five minutes. We have watched families reunite downstairs and mothers tearfully clinging to children going away upstairs. We changed money to make ministry happen, added minutes to cell phones and had conversations.
The airport has been a huge part of our time in Honduras.
We see other missionaries there all the time. It is a connecting place, a common point, a crossroads.
Sometimes serving looks like giving kids their first taste of cotton candy. Other times serving looks like reading a Bible story entirely in Spanish while a young girl helps me with the big words. But serving also looks like typing up Spanish texts while our host drives. Serving can look like a hammer and a pocket full of nails.
And sometimes serving looks like an airport.
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