Honduras Day 4…
I walked up to the broken down shack and gasped. The fact that a family could live here and call this a house was literally unbelievable. The walls were made of wooden slats and were leaning. The house was literally collapsing, and I couldn’t help but think that the house reminded me of an abandoned barn that I’d seen out in the backcountry falling apart from decades of weather and gravity.
I met the family and found out that the mom had lived in this house for her entire life. Her husband had left her with the kids — which was an unfortunately recurring theme in Honduras — and I was sad to hear that she was living in this house with her three daughters alone. As we began talking to her about the house and her family, we found out that her eldest daughter was celebrating a birthday. Out of habit, one of us suggested that we sing “Happy Birthday” and soon the entire Compassion team was singing to her in English. As we sang, the mother began to cry and I could tell that the song many of us take for granted meant a lot to her.
When we finished signing in English, another person suggested that we sing in Spanish and as we began the mother began to cry even harder.
We were already behind on our schedule, and the team leader was trying to help us get back to the bus when we realized that two people were missing. One of Compassion’s translators and one of the sponsored children from a neighboring house had left, and no one knew where they had gone. A moment later, they both came sprinting up to the house with a pie and candles that they had purchased from a store over 4 blocks away.
I had the privilege of pulling off the plastic and holding the pie while another person from the Compassion team placed 12 candles on the “stand-in” cake. As we began to sing for the third time, the mother was not the only one crying. This was the first time that this 12-year-old girl had ever had a birthday cake and people that cared enough about her (outside of her family) to sing, and we were all touched and broken. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever witnessed in my life, and one that I will never forget. I doubt the birthday girl will ever forget about that day either!
Thank you Compassion for making trips like this possible!