i read a good article the other day about finding happiness, here's a bit of what it said:
"...one of the keys to happiness is strong relationships with other people. so when you're deciding how to spend your money, consider whether the purchase will strengthen your relationships. if you're trying to choose between spending money on a train ticket to visit a friend or on a new pair of boots, the visit to your friend will bring more happiness in the long run. experiences tend to make us happier than stuff..."
while i think this is a good rule for life in general, i realized that it's also a great description for short term missions. this past week i felt like i learned so much about the ministries in honduras and especially the people. this was the second year my mom and i had gone with calvary to this same project. since we already had a foundation of friendship, we were able to get to know people better and see their hearts for this ministry.
on our last night jorge pinto, who is a honduran pastor and the 'father' of project manuelito, was talking to our team about how some people only want to send money to support the project. while this is an obvious need, he talked about how important it is to come and meet the children face to face. sending money and helping in other ways is great...but nothing can compare to becoming friends with both the kids and the staff and being a part of their lives.
during the week we spent time working in talanga painting the new school, enlarging the tool shed and other random projects. we took a trip to el sembrador, which is an impressive farm school for underprivileged boys. (this was a highlight for me...it really gave us a vision of what manuelio could be like in another forty or fifty years) but the best, and most important part, was the time we spent playing with the kids and struggling through our spanglish with our honduran friends. i really like them.