Having visited Latin America before, I was tempted to go into the week with expectations of what our time there would look like. I had been praying in the weeks prior to the trip that God would use me for His work, His glory, and that this experience would be unlike any other. He did that and so much more.
As an HNFE major, my passion is nutrition and seeing to it that all children and adults have the proper nutrition necessary to live a healthy and prosperous life. While in Honduras, I had the opportunity to work with the children’s nutritional center. I was able to finally put into practice what I had been learning these past few years at Virginia Tech.
Though I greatly enjoyed working with the children at the center, it was heartbreaking to discover just how limited the resources are. Though I can calculate the recommended protein intake for each child, if there is only enough money to provide half of that, then there is only enough money to provide half of that… end of story. With that said, these children are far better off than those who don’t have access to the center and it was great to be able to talk with them, learn about their dietary habits and provide them with some new ides about nutrition.
I think the most important thing I took away from that week was a greater trust in God. After talking with many of my teammates, it seems that God met each person exactly where he or she was and provided encouragement and healing in an incredibly individual way, a way that only God could.
I have struggled with issues of trust for quite some time now. Usually this plays out in my earthly relationships, but at times it affects my relationship with God as well. During the trip, God worked in my heart to restore a trust in Him and provided me with a boldness and courage I had never felt before. Going into people’s homes to share the gospel is an incredibly unique situation. There is nothing on earth you alone can do to save them.
Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that we can do it all on our own. If we study hard enough, practice hard enough, work hard enough, we can make our own success and we don’t really need God. In this situation, if you try to go in without God, you will fail every time. I loved the sense of total reliance on God, knowing that there was nothing I could do to make it work out or on the flip side, screw it up. With that I gained an incredible boldness in sharing about my Savior. I gained a greater trust in God watching Him at work and being able to see just how much He cares for His people.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
– Allyson Paone