Senior Jordyn Smith is definitely spending her summers differently than most students. Smith attended her first ever mission trip in August of 2017 and then again in June of 2018. Each time, she spent seven days away in Honduras through an organization called, NPH Honduras. NPH Honduras strives to create a loving and safe family environment for vulnerable children living in extreme conditions. Eager to make this vision a reality, Smith continues to volunteer and help.
What kind of work did you do on your mission trip?
“While the kids are at school, we help wherever we can around the 2,200 acre ranch. We help on the farm, in the kitchen and garden, and spend time in the elderly and disabled homes. Once the kids are done with school, we play with them until dinner, then help with dinner and bedtime.”
What was the most challenging part of your trip?
“Hearing the children’s stories about their life before NPH. Many of the children have been abandoned by their parents, watched their parents die, or were living in such poverty the government had to step in. It is heartbreaking to hear the hardships they have endured, but it only makes you love them more.”
What was the most valuable lesson you learned?
“To be more appreciative. I knew I was lucky before my trip, but seeing how people live in a third world country was more than eye opening.”
Were you nervous before leaving? Did you have any doubts?
“I was nervous before leaving the first time, because I had no idea what to expect. I was worried about being able to communicate, as my Spanish was not the best; however, this did not end up being a problem, because the kids are learning English at the same rate we are learning Spanish in school, and they love to practice with you. Also, most of the younger kids don’t even care if you can speak their language. They just want someone to hold their hand and play with them.”
Was there a “moment” that occurred during you trip that you’ll never forget?
“I will never forget talking to Pedro-an older man suffering from MS in their elderly home on the ranch. Although Pedro was battling this deadly disease, wheelchair bound, and losing feeling throughout his body, he was always spreading positivity. The life advice he shared with me about how to remain happy in times of darkness is something [that] I will never forget.”