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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life lesson #2 learned on my trip to Honduras

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
You know that sinking feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when something doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would?  Especially, after planning, preparing and thinking you have a fail-safe plan.  Well, that’s exactly what happened to me the second day in Honduras.

After reading blog articles, researching the travel guide - Lonely Planet for Honduras, and getting advice from experienced travelers and missionary friends, I thought I was all set to go with a great financial plan that would keep me carrying just enough cash to get me through my two weeks in Honduras.   My husband, Nelson, had researched and found what he believed to be the best debit card to carry; and he had called the company to notify them of the dates that I would be traveling in Honduras.  I also had a small amount of cash with me for my flight from New Orleans to San Pedro, Honduras.  Once at the airport, the plan was for me to get cash from an ATM for the first week in Honduras and then get money on an as needed basis along the way.

Sounds like a perfect plan, right?  Wrong! 

We arrived in San Pedro later than expected due to flight delays, so we decided to go back to the airport the next day to pick up the rental car, go to the bank to exchange money and stop by an ATM machine.  Graciously, our hostess and missionary friend, Monica, decided to not only take us back to the airport the next day; but to also stay with us until all of our “business at the airport” was completed.  Gratefully, she was with us and watched over our baggage as we went through the whole rental car process, plus she was a great help interpreting for me what was being said between Luisa and the rental car agent. 

Our rental car was ready to go, so our last two stops at the airport were the bank to exchange our American money into Honduran lempiras and for me to withdraw money from an ATM machine.  While waiting for Luisa to finish with her money exchange, Monica and I stepped over to a nearby ATM machine.  Believe it or not, this was my first time to ever withdraw money from an ATM machine and the instructions were in Spanish, so Monica helped me walk through the steps to withdraw money.  All of my information was provided and I waited expectantly for the transaction to be completed.  What, an error message?  No money!  For some reason, the machine didn’t want to accept my card, so we moved on to another machine only to have an identical experience.  I have to admit,  I became a little anxious.  Followed by the mind game of “what if.”  What if I don’t have the right information for my card?  What if I can’t find another ATM before I run out of money?  What if I never find an ATM that will accept my card?  What am I going to do, now? 

Monica was so supportive and immediately offered to loan me lempiras until I was able to find an ATM that worked for me.  She said, “You can pay me back when you fly out in a couple of weeks.”  But, the ugly “what ifs” were in full swing in my head and I became concerned that may not happen and then I wouldn’t have a way to pay her back until I got back to the states.  Thankfully, and sacrificially, Luisa was able to repay in cash her half of the rental car fee I had put on my credit card that morning.  And so, we were off!

I can only imagine that you are wondering…”Did she make it for the two weeks on a limited budget?”  “Did she ever find and ATM that accepted her card?”  Well, the answer to the questions are yes and no.  Yes, I made it on a limited amount of cash and no, I never did find an ATM that would accept my card because it seems that Honduran ATM machines prefer Visa instead of Master Card. 

Constantly, I was being reminded of how little I truly need to exist.  Not having additional money forced me to consider every purchase that I made.  Did I need it or did I want it?  With this thought in mind, I went through the process of evaluating every situation and what needed to happen. 

At one point, I had very little money in my wallet and we still had a few days left in Honduras.  While I was praying, I began to count my lempiras and was mentally figuring out what the exchange back to American money would be.  During the process, I found a $20 bill in my wallet that for some reason had not been exchanged.  You would have thought that I had found a million dollars; I was so excited!

How did my financial journey end, you ask?  All of my needs were met, and I was able to bless others with financial gifts and other gifts along the way - all because of Him!  And amazingly, when I arrived back in the states, I had $20 in my wallet. 

So, here’s life lesson #2 from my trip to Honduras - God will provide all of my needs.  He is able to stretch and multiply what you have.  He is faithful! (I Thessalonians 5:24)


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For more about Relevant Women - RelevantMinistry.org/RelevantWomen


The purpose of Relevant Women:
Relevant Women exists to train women to minister relevantly, to discover and grow in God’s call in their lives and to serve in their churches as godly leaders.
 

RW accomplishes this by:
•Teaching life changing truth
•Building significant relationships
•Practicing spiritual disciplines
•Defining our personal stories
•Developing our personal ministry


At Relevant Ministry, our vision is to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Our mission, to fulfill this vision, is training future leaders - building healthy ministries - and serving on the Gulf Coast. 


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