Apex-C4 Visit

July 7-14 we had yet another visit to our little town.  Our home church Apex (from Dayton, Ohio) as well as a few members from an Apex church plant, C4, formed a group and traveled to Honduras.  They spent the week living with us in Las Lomitas.  What a blessing to see six of our old house church family members who we haven't seen in a year!

They ended up eating a fair bit of flies, but had a great week regardless. The idea behind this trip was to not just do another "save the locals" short-term trip, but to aim for something long-lasting and appropriate. Since the team had never been to Las Lomitas before, we decided to make it a a "get-to-know-you" trip. Instead of coming in and informing the locals of all their shortcomings and building a house for some "poor" family, we spent the week sharing things from our lives and learning in turn from our neighbors. As a result, there were Hondurans throwing frisbees, and Americans slinging tortillas, Hondurans singing English and Americans butchering Spanish, Hondurans learning clean water practices and Americans face deep in the local swimming hole, Hondurans eating peanut butter and Americans eating fried plantains (by the pound).

For us, it really was a neat week. To be honest, we were a little hesitant about having the group around, being afraid that we would overwhelm the relationships we've started and maybe move back a little. However, what happened was the blessing of a very unique team with a very open attitude with how to love people. From my perspective, it was a group that understood that the love of Christ is not a love that drowns out the voice of local people with the clanging of nails, but instead comes with an agenda free of plans, looking at the needs and desires of local people with the goal of loving them through those needs without involving personal motivations or gratification.

Personally, it was exciting for me to see this group of stinky white people being willing to live in our community for the week as opposed to going to a hotel or other more comfortable place to sleep. We weren't the only ones who appreciated it either. As it turns out, people really enjoy being loved and feeling valued (shocking). From some of the younger guys, I saw more genuine smiles hiking through chest high grass, teaching gringos how to swing a machete, or while destroying the group in soccer than I've seen in any construction trip.

All this to say, let us never forget that any effort we make to improve the lives of our fellow humans inevitably affects ours. Any energy spent focused on a project and not the persons affected has great potential to harm them. Never should we depersonalize or itemize people, the moment we do, they cease to be people and end up as goals or numbers in our "List of Personal Accomplishments Because of How Great I Am."

So, thanks Apex/C4 team for being willing to love in that way. These people mean a lot to us and we truly appreciate your respect and love for them.

Special Notice to Las Lomitas Lovers: Friends, family, if you've recently visited Las Lomitas and would like to share a little bit of your experience in this exciting publication, we'd love to post your story here on the blog. It's already fairly difficult to blog with regularity, and an outside perspective would be neat to put on here. Much thanks!

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