Today is the last day of our annual Father-Son trip to Comayagua, Honduras. This is my 7th trip, CJ’s 5th trip and Owen’s 2nd. It seems every year I come away with one major thing that defines the trip for me. It’s also great for me because I completely unplug for five days. No phone or internet.
This year, for the first time, our group was privileged to hear the whole translated story of how Mommy Carmen started the Hogar (girl’s orphanage) and the Granja (boy’s orphanage, which they call The Farm). In approximately 1987 or 1988, at just 18 years old, Mommy Carmen was studying at a convent to become a nun. She had already acquired a degree in child care at that point in her life. A local woman dropped off two orphan girls at the convent that she couldn’t take care of. The convent didn’t take orphans.
In short, at just 18 years old, Mommy Carmen had such an unyielding love and conviction for the children, she left the convent against personal and governmental opposition to start an orphanage. Two quickly become four and so on. The Hogar grew from that point to what it is today. We were all taken back by the courage, conviction, faith and love it must have taken for a young 18 year old Honduran woman to take on such a selfless endeavor against so much opposition.
During her talk with us, one of the original girls named Doris also told her translated story. She is now a woman, but when she came to the Hogar as a little girl it was just after witnessing her father murdering her mother with a machete. She told us after 22 cuts they lost count. In my mind, I could not reconcile being able to come back from witnessing such a horrible act of violence against your mother by your father at such a young age. How a person wouldn’t live in anger, rage and despair is truly a miracle as we witnessed the women now before us, saved by love.
What will stay with me from this trip is how authentic LOVE of Christ has overcome so much evil through these orphanages. There have now been thousands of stories of redemption like Doris’. Many children growing into adulthood with a sense of direction and hope coming from a large family where they have been loved. Where would all these children be if it wasn’t for the intervention and love of a young Honduran woman.
I am so thankful for these trips to Honduras. I have been blessed by the experiences, and by the friends and community which have formed over the years. I have hope that my sons will develop a great compassion and love for people who live in such trauma and adversity. I have hope that through these experiences they will begin to realize how blessed they are to live the life they have been given, living in gratitude desiring to become the best version of themselves they were created for.
Below are pictures and videos to help bring our trip to life for those who would like to see.
The Hogar does need a lot of financial aid to help these orphans. If anyone is interested, you can make a donation to:
All God’s Children
PO Box 5909
Villa Park, IL 60181