Students spent time in Honduras for mission work.
Olivet Nazarene University students traveled to Honduras for a mission trip over spring break. This annual trip has been going on for the last 12 years through Footsteps Mission, an international ministry organization.
Director of Alumni and University Relations, Erinn Proehl and his wife, Kelsey (McNulty) have led 15 different trips for Olivet and this was their eighth trip together to Honduras.
“We are called to introduce college students to their responsibility to make a global impact,” said Erinn.
Typically during these short-term trips, students work at an economic orphanage, Garden of Love and Hope. At the orphanage, students provide youth with opportunities for job training and life skills. Because of this long-term partnership, returning leaders have had the opportunity to watch the local children grow up.
As first-time participant, Brianna “Brenna” Johnson eagerly prepared for the trip, she was excited to engage with the local youth.
“Kids just have a way of pulling at your heart, and I knew it would be hard to leave them by the end of the week, even before I had met a single one of them.”
She anticipated that she would find fulfillment within the trip, but also that the impact of the trip would outlast the trip itself.
“We didn't come in with the mindset that we are changing Honduras, or Santa Barbara, or even the lives of these children; we knew that God was already so present there and the teachers and staff are so strong and diligent and capable. We were just there to aid them in the work already being done, for God's glory and not ours.”
During the trip, Brenna felt the Holy Spirit through simple daily actions with the children and with her fellow Olivietians. She emphasized that through all of the conversations, God was in the center, bringing all together as one.
“Every time the teachers would speak to us or the niños it would begin with giving thanks to God for everything they have and for us, the 'North Americans,’ visiting to help serve them. It was just humbling to hear how faithful they all are.”
At the end of each day on the trip Erinn and Kelsey led the team to a rooftop terrace to spend time together reflecting and worshiping.
“Late at night in the mountains of Honduras, students shared that they have felt alone for months or longer and now they never will again” said Erinn. “Students discovered their passion and calling in their profession while helping Honduran children do the same. There were nine seniors on the trip and I cannot stop thinking that this deeply impactful experience will fuel their pursuit of Christ as they leave the Olivet environment.”
After returning to her normal activities, Brenna has found herself being more purposeful in all that she does. She emphasized that she listens more while also being more attentive – loving others in the way Jesus would.
“I've been inclined to be a better servant of the Lord, especially in my college community. Honduras has opened my eyes to how easy it is to impact the people around me.”
Photos submitted & used with permission