As I look back on the past 10 years of mission work in Limón, Honduras, I reflect on one of the most frequently asked questions, “Do you feel sorry for the people down there?“
Don’t get me wrong, the citizens of Limón have needs, some of them tremendous. However, they are deserving of assistance, not pity.
I recall my first visit to Honduras in 2010, during which time I met a young man, about age 12, roughly the same age as my own twin sons. He was a resident of the local orphanage that we visited. During our visit he took up residence by my side the entire time.
Through my limited knowledge of Spanish, and his excellent command of pointing and gesturing, he gave me a tour of the orphanage. He was very happy to show me his room that he shared with about 15 other young men. It reminded me of how proud my own sons were to show off their room whenever someone came visiting.
At the end of the night, he said what may be one of the most powerful things that I have ever heard. “Stay and be my papa“.
Holding back tears, I explained that I was needed at the medical clinic, and that my own sons at home would miss me. He seem to understand. Several hugs later, we were on the road back to the dormitory.
What strikes me is that he did not asked to come home with me. Honduras was his home, and he loved it. He simply wanted someone to share it with. I don’t pity him, but I sure do think of him often.
You’d better believe, every time I get a chance I am going to try to do something good for the citizens of Limón. I try to go back at least once a year and send money when possible. I hope that you will consider doing one or both, you will never be the same.
Lon Morgan MD