Leading the Way (Part One)

A few weeks ago I was frantically trying to “figure out” my future. After getting back from Honduras, I became very anxious about moving into this next stage in my career.

I recall one Monday in particular when I spent a good deal of time feeling bad about not having secured a job yet (although I’d graduated less than two months earlier.) I wanted to be a productive member of the workforce and society, and sitting at home writing cover letters did not immediately fulfill that desire. Deep down, I knew that though God’s timeline doesn’t always match up with mine, He did have something in mind for me. However, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated with myself and the process.

Needless to say, God answered my prayers just in time. The following day I was contacted about a potential position. It wasn’t a position I had sought out, not one I had inquired about in the countless cover letters I’d written, but I was instantly intrigued by the idea of working for a non-profit invested in the education of young adults. For those who have read my previous blog posts, you will understand that this seemed almost tailored to my interests.

The week passed in a whirlwind as I met with a recruiter, went through a phone interview, and was called in to meet with a panel. As much time as I had spent whining to God about bumming around the house, that’s how little time He gave me before diving head-first. I was offered the position the very same day.

Now, I am so excited to be in my second week working with Project Lead the Way, a non-profit that provides innovative and interactive STEM curricular programs to middle- and high schools across the nation. God graced me with an answer to my prayers, leading the way to employment with a non-profit whose mission I am passionate about. I can only trust that He’ll continue to walk with me down this path.

Part Two coming soon!

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What Happens In Honduras…

“Lo que pasa in Honduras, se queda in Honduras” or “What happens in Honduras, stays in Honduras” was a phrase I encountered on my recent trip to that country. I read it on t-shirts sold in shops in the tourist town of Valle de Ángeles. My Honduran friends used it when joking around about North American visitors. It became a comical mantra of my week.

But, in truth, what happens in Honduras does not stay in Honduras; something I already knew from my first trip to this Central American country. While my group did leave behind the physical traces of our efforts – the construction of a security wall behind the group homes at Nuevo Paraíso, the backpacks full of school supplies for over 300 children associated with Sociedad Amigos de los Niños, the bags of food distributed to the rural village of Quebrada Grande, even the cupcakes and small gifts given to the children – I have brought back with me so much more.

The most important parts of my time in Honduras have been the personal connections made with others. I have met some truly amazing people, and appreciate that we have taken the time and care to know one another deeply. I value our shared experiences and the relationships that have developed from them. I love the children and those that we help care for them. We share a common vision that they will grow up safely and have outstanding opportunities in a country that needs passionate individuals. Many of us share a common faith, and the belief that we have been put into each others lives for a purpose that may not even be fully realized yet.

These are the things don’t stay in Honduras: the memories, the connections, the love for the country and its people, the call to make a difference in each others’ lives, and the desire to return again and again.

From January 23-30, 2013, I went on my second humanitarian trip to Honduras. I traveled with eight other members of Immaculate Heart of Mary, my parish in Indianapolis, working in conjunction with Friends of Honduran Children Indiana. There we worked with Sociedad Amigos de los Niños, the same organization I visited on my first trip to Honduras in May 2011. It was this experience that first sparked my interest in the work of non-profits.