Friday, December 25, 2009

This Blog Ends

It's Christmas 2009. We left Baxter Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras almost 7 months ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I had planned to do a final post with photos of our last day on campus. I did post photos on Facebook of the students seeing us off at the airport. But then I got a new computer when I returned to the U.S. and somehow lost all of the pictures from that day. I was so sad. I kept thinking they would somehow magically appear or that they were in some hidden file on the computer that would eventually show up. But they didn't.

So, I put off writing my final blog post and wish I hadn't. You know...those feelings you have right after an event don't ever go away but they kinda fade in intensity. The following will have to do.

June 1, 2009...Steve and I attended the daily devotional at Baxter with those precious students, faculty and staff. The students dedicated part of the devotional to us and sang several songs they knew we loved. It was very touching...sweet...sad...

Then there were lots of hugs, "God Bless You"s, tears and talk of hopefully seeing one another again...of what we had meant to one another. We left that devotional knowing that God was alive and well and lived on the campus of Baxter!

Classes were dismissed for the afternoon and one of the Baxter buses took the students, their families, faculty and staff to the airport to see us off! We felt proud, humbled, sad, happy and very blessed...

Words can't really express what the 5 years at Baxter meant to us. I've said this before, but those who do mission work understand that most of the time they feel they are the ones who are blessed. Steve and I felt we received more than we gave.

Every day we were there we got to see students studying hard to learn how to be better teachers, preachers, leaders in the church. We saw husbands and wives taking classes side by side. We saw students who spent their weekends working with people in local congregations, youth groups, preaching, teaching Bible classes, etc. We saw students' children growing up together on campus and missing the place they called "home" for 4 years after their parents graduated.

Living in an apartment in the single men's dorm, we heard guys singing, praying, yelling, playing, laughing....We heard lots and lots of Spanish! :) We even learned to speak the language (well...I'm sure we butchered it many times, but we tried)!

Every day we were on campus, we were blessed. We felt loved by the student body, faculty and staff. And we loved them, as well as the many, many other wonderful people we met during our 5 years.

So, that last day at the airport...Saying goodbye was difficult. There were lots more hugs, kisses, tears, goodbyes...Then we finally had to go upstairs. Going into the secured area several minutes later, I looked down through the big windows of Toncontin Airport and there were about 10 students grouped together looking up, waiting to see us...waving. I blew kisses to my boys one last time and then we were gone.

We haven't seen these precious students or the faculty members or the staff from Baxter and the JMA Clinic since this time and I do miss their faces!

May God bless those dear ones...
...working for good in Honduras
...teaching eager students how to strengthen the Lord's church in Latin America
...sacrificing much to study for 4 years, many times in a foreign country, so that they might teach Jesus Christ to the lost of their time and money to mission work in Latin America

May God continue to bless all those at Baxter Institute and JMA Clinic. We love you and miss you and we hope we see you again on this earth. But if not...then in Heaven. You gave us more than you will ever know and we will never, ever forget our Latin American family...

Note: Steve and I are now living in Kentucky, within 1 hour of our 3 children and 5 grandchildren. We will always love and support the people and the work at Baxter and the Clinic. Our life now continues with our family here. I will continue to write on my other blog. This one ends but our love continues.

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