I brought living water to Honduras

While on a mission trip, student Nicole De La Riva formed close community bonds by digging trenches and ministering through conversation.

Photo+courtesy+of+Tyler+Cole

TYLER COLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo courtesy of Tyler Cole

Nicole De La Riva, Writer

Over spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to the village of La Avispa in Olancho, Honduras to install clean water systems for the community. God blessed me by providing the finances for this trip. This reassured the decision I made was part of what God wanted for me.

An emotional journey

Throughout the week, we had a set schedule to allocate what we would be doing for the community. Starting every morning at 6 a.m. sharp, we had Honduran coffee and some cookies to give us energy for the first round of digging. We dug knee-high trenches every morning with breaks in between breakfast and lunch. We partnered up with those pick-axing to help soften the dirt, and break any rocks in the way of digging. Although it was physically exhausting, I created connections and built relationships with both my teammates and the Hondurans.

At 2 p.m. we had time for ministry. I got the chance to work with the kids of the village. We spent time with about 60 energetic kids everyday. We had a small time of worship, a lesson on the armor of God and a time for games and crafts. Several of the kids showed up immediately, or prior, to 2 p.m. to start playing right away. The ministry time would end at 4 p.m. and the kids did not want to leave. It was so easy to love them and show them the love of Christ.

At 5 p.m. we ate dinner, and shortly afterwards held the night service. Our worship team played and one of the people from our team spoke every night. It was encouraging to see my teammates step up on the pulpit, despite the language barrier, to share a piece of their hearts with the community. We ended every night with a time of prayer. We would go around and ask people if they needed prayer, or simply hang out and talk with them.

There was one occasion in particular when we approached a woman named Marlene for prayer. I asked her if she needed Tessa McQuillan, one of my leaders, and I to pray for something specific in her life. At that moment she said she wanted to surrender her life to Jesus from the impact of the message. She was getting very emotional, and burst into tears, I too began to cry alongside her with tears of joy as we gained a new member in God’s family. I prayed for her and asked her to repeat a prayer with me to ensure she knew and understood what the gospel was, and that this decision was one of the most important decisions in her life —  if not the most important.

Creating strong connections

Moments like these made all the hard work worth it. We went on this trip to be able to see one life changed for the glory of God. We went not only to bring water to the community, but also living water.

I realized more and more the importance of prayer. Whenever a teammate felt sick or weary, we prayed for them as a group as a body of Christ. If we met someone walking in the village who felt alone, we stopped and prayed to remind them that with God we are never alone. When we pray, God does amazing things in our lives. We simply have to trust in his sovereignty.

I created very strong connections with some of the people in La Avispa during the week we spent there. It felt like we had been there for a long time, but when it was time to leave, it seemed like we did not have enough time. Some of the families wanted me to stay in their home just so I would not have to leave. Saying goodbye was the hardest, but as Christians we said ‘see you later.’ If not within the next couple of years, then I will see them in eternity. Part of my heart stayed in La Avispa, but I know God will do great things in that community.

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