For much of my life, I had dreams and aspirations of becoming a Developmental Psychologist. Summer of 2014, my mom and I were convinced by Dana Benscoter that some children in Honduras would enjoy learning to play the piano. As a 15-year-old, this was my first time leaving the country, and I had no intentions of working daily with kids in the future, because of my interest in studying brain development. I was hesitant to be with the kids, especially with the language barrier, but had experience working in children’s’ Sunday School at church so figured it wouldn’t be much different. Summer of 2015 changed all views I had for the plans of my life. Getting to know those children at the church in La Ceiba and teaching them the piano so they could express their love for Jesus through worship completely flipped my life upside-down. I knew I had to go back, but most importantly; this was when I realized God had a different plan for my life. I am currently in my third year of school at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID with the intentions of becoming a teacher. I attend Lewiston First Church of the Nazarene where I am fully supported with my love for both domestic and international missions.
Summer of 2019 was my next time (and most recent time) back in Honduras after attending a few other mission trips with my church from back home. I’m grateful that Dana and Mirtza Benscoter are such supportive family friends who were willing to let me invade their home for much of June, July, and August. As expected, this summer gave me new insight and a more concrete vision for my life and my walk with Christ. I was given the opportunity to work with the teachers and students of the Evangelico Nazareno school in Calan. I have never seen a more God-fearing or respected group of individuals so dedicated to educating children. The students were inviting from day-one. Again, a big fear of mine was the language barrier, but these students helped solidify the fact that a love for Jesus isn’t anchored to one specific language or culture. The teachers and students were ready to make me feel welcomed and loved each day that I arrived.
A major virtue of Evangelico Nazareno that stuck out to me was their partnership with people from all different states within the United States. I got to see the opportunities that were given to the children because of the generosity from individuals who hold child sponsorships. The students who are being sponsored are provided with uniforms for the school, a meal each day, and supplies/curriculum to help further their knowledge in many school subjects. True Disciples is a remarkable program that supports a number of schools and organizations in regions through much of Honduras. I saw the mission of True Disciples being lived out each day through Dana, Mirtza, and each of the employees at the school. They are making unbelievable change in not only student lives, but whole family lives as well. God calls us to make disciples of ALL nations, and I couldn’t think of an organization who better represents their ability to do so.
I’m abundantly thankful for opportunities provided to me this summer to not only further my experience as a teacher, but to meet incredible people who are doing incredible work in the Kingdom of God.