Every year, Oklahoma Christian University students volunteer during spring break to show love to other people with their services.
“The cost to go to Honduras was $1,200 each,” freshman Barrett Packard said. “We did different fundraising. Some people send out letters to friends and families asking if they would be willing to donate to be able to go. Memorial Road Church of Christ and OC helped some.”
This spring break, a group of 30 students from Oklahoma Christian showed their love to the people in Honduras.
“Going to Honduras has made me to be more aware and being grateful for the things that I have because it shows how truly blessed we are here in America and the fact that the Hondurans have so little and yet they are genuinely so happy,” Packard said.
For one week, Oklahoma Christian students on the Honduras mission trip volunteered to help build houses and work on other needed projects to people who could not afford other help.
“It was very interesting going to Honduras because the culture over there is very different from the culture here in the States,” senior Sarah Gregg said.
Although it was a labor-intensive week for the student volunteers, they all agreed that it was worth the physical toll to bless other people and to build a meaningful relationship with them.
“It is a very tiring week, but it is all worth it to see those people’s faces and to see how much they appreciated the work that we did and the relationships that you develop with the people is awesome,” Gregg said.
Honduras is known as one of the most violent nations in the world with one of the highest rates of murder per capita. There is also a distinct contrast between Honduras’ wealthiest and poorest citizens.
Director of the Center of Global Missions, Ben Langford went to Honduras a few years back and commented on the changes he noticed when he returned this time.
“What surprised me this time was how much certain things had developed but still how much poverty and envelopment there was,” Langford said. “There is a big gap between what has developed and the majority of what has not developed.”
The group stayed at the Baxter Institute for Culture and Biblical Study, a Bible seminar for students from all over Central America. Oklahoma students felt relatively safe as the police provided them with security.
The Oklahoma Christian students focused on their services to the Hondurans and did not let worry about their own safety stop them from serving.
“A lot of the students had blisters on their hands and cuts and bruises,” Langford said. “We did medical clinics and some students got to tour. They tore off the roof of one of the clinics and put on a new roof.”
The meaningful relationships and appreciation from the Hondurans they helped was more than enough reward.
“They were very appreciative for what we did, but they were also interested in us, not just what we did for them, which allowed us to build some relationships,” Langford said. “They were just as eager to develop meaningful relationships.”
Like most developing nations in the world, one of the greatest needs in Honduras is help with medical professions and clean water, especially for the poor.
“In places like Honduras, the ratio of trained medical professionals for the population is low,” Langford said. “The best medical care often comes at a very high price. There are a lot of sex trafficking – poor people selling their daughters for men; some send their children to the city to fend for themselves.”
When not working on projects, the group had a chance to play soccer with the children and enjoy Honduran culture. One student was even brave enough to try a local delicacy: raw turtle eggs.
“[The trip] was very eye opening for me,” Packard said. “If you ever get the chance to go to Honduras, I think you should definitely do it. Don’t let the money turn you off from doing it.”
Students are encouraged by those who have been on mission trips to at least consider going and serving in other countries because of the great need.