The various TORCH groups have ‘interns’ for some of the summer months and our group was not unique in this. Sometimes interns have had little exposure to Honduras – every day they go about making the lives of the teams a little easier, checking on their safety, making sure ‘grunt’ work is done and are at Marc’s beck and call to go wherever and do whatever is needed from them on that day. Their attitudes are terrific and they have ready smiles available for whoever is around. – our main, superb summer interns were Michael and Brittany and wonderfully enough, Hannah stayed around for a number of weeks as well.
Seeing Jesus in Michael was one of our highlights of the summer.
We first met Michael in March when he came over spring break with the Freed-Hardeman group. Now, that was one amazing week! We were definitely impressed with the whole team that came under the leadership of Sean and Orry. We fell in love with these kids and Mrs. Rhonda and it was way cool to learn Michael Phillips wanted to come back as an intern.
Michael arrived in May so, he got to be a part of the MTSU group and from then on, he immersed himself in each and every group who came and became their team player – learning people’s names, encouraging, helping in what ever way possible to enable the work to move smoothly. So, in the ever-changing circumstances of groups coming and going, I saw Jesus moving through Michael – he was a positive constant throughout an ever-changing panorama of people and conditions that made up these months.
However, the situations where I saw Jesus shining through Michael the brightest was probably in his time spent with the children of Honduras. Don’t you know Jesus was a magnet? He drew not only adults, but innocent, wonderful children to him and took them up in his arms and their faces were transformed from questioning, sometimes sad expressions to faces of joyous smiles. Michael’s crazy goofiness is mixed just right with his Christ like example and I have seen him over and over interact with the Honduran children and adults in marvelous ways, creating smiles and laughter where there was none.
A gift of Michael’s is serving children and I witnessed this numerous times from medical clinics, to house sites, and most especially during our visits to Hospital Escuela (H.E.). One time in the cancer chemotherapy ward Michael had not just a wee little girl involved in deep belly laughter but her Mom as well. It was some magical moments – Christ being shared with abandon.
Usually, I try to divide up our ‘H.E. visitation teams’ of 14 – 19 into smaller groups and scatter them in wards throughout H.E., I leave 1 or 2 people in charge at each place and then I meander back and forth between wards to see how things are going. One day, I was specifically approached by one of the head nurses in the burn ward to see if our group had 5-6 individuals who would spend some time with these children. In my heart, I know God hand picked these sweet people to visit and play in this particular place … it went beautifully. Most of this time was spent on the floor of their hallway – coloring pictures, playing memory games, blowing bubbles, cuddling and laughing … always laughing! On my first visit back to check on this group I saw Michael was missing – he was in the room of a little guy who couldn’t come out. Michael loved his time here so much that he was even absent from a little photo shoot – so, we went to him. A little guy, suffering and in pain, was touched by Jesus through the person of Michael.
Heaven came down …
Brittany in action is to see Jesus!
Brittany was the other ‘full-time’ intern who we were privileged to have in our midst! She is a Kansas girl and a Lipscomb student and had been able to visit Honduras for the first time last summer – she was a part of one of the only groups that was able to fulfill their time here. Remember how many had their plans changed because of the political turmoil? Well, although they were limited in where they got to go they still were able to do enough to where Brittany knew she had to come back for a longer period of time… good news for us!
I first started getting to know Brittany one evening when she and I stayed in the kitchen with Sylvia to wash and dry dishes at Julio’s. I could tell she was at home in her role as an intern. We had a great time visiting and working side by side. This was to be one of many times I got to witness Brittany serving others.
Seeing Jesus in Brittany was easy to do. I believe Jesus, though weighted down by the woes of the world, was a person of sunny disposition. This describes our Brittany. When this young woman walks into a room – every thing is lighter because she’s there. The mood is lighter, the room is brighter and people start smiling. Whether Britt was doing her ‘stewardess’ role on the bus in front of the hospital for a food or blanket run or on a mountain village street, getting folk back to the bus safely, she directed with grace and ease. I loved seeing her in action – sheer Christianity!
Seeing Jesus in Hannah was pure delight!
Hannah is an old pro when it comes to being in Honduras … does anyone even remember a summer when Hannah wasn’t here? This year Hannah came from her home in Vicksburg, Mississippi and stayed and because she knows so much about each activity – she’s an intern! She helps with this and that and is always and forever giving of herself. Hannah is in a way, quiet, yet not. Small, but her presence is felt. She is a bundle of high energy and then crashes instead of eating ice cream – and she loves ice cream! Hannah is persistent.
The first day we were allowed in the burn ward at H.E. Hannah was in the group. After an hour or two I headed every one out to another activity but not this girl! I had to scramble to keep the rest of us busy so that Hannah could finish up her time with her own special boy. They were playing a memory game and she wasn’t going to quit in the middle of it. She stayed til they were done and he had won – again. Yeah Hannah – what perfectly ‘Jesus’ delightful moments you brought to this little fella!
I, along with many others, loved times of visiting with Hannah – not just because of her rich, southern accent but also, she is a good storyteller – kind of like Jesus could tell stories. She’s got stories of her family, her times here, her upbringing, her now. Interwoven throughout each story is the absolute love and depth of feeling Hannah has for others. It was so fun to get to know Hannah better and in knowing her, see Jesus in her life.