Ahhhh, all I can do is smile. Smile because God is good, because He is faithful, and because nothing, nothing EVER escapes from His hands. Today, I was reunited with a very special young lady. Our story starts 4 years ago, on my first trip to Honduras with Sparrow Missions:
My first trip to Honduras was over Christmas break 2011-2012 and one of the first places we visited was Las Casitas. Las Casitas was a home for girls who had been orphaned or their families could not or did not want to take care of them. I was sitting on the floor coloring with another girl when Karla came up to me and wrapped her arms around me. And didn’t let go for 3 hours 🙂 I did not know ANY Spanish and so we just sat there. Once a translator was available, we began to talk and instantly clicked. She told me about herself, her family, her dreams of becoming a doctor one day; we talked about everything. I got to see her two more times that week before I had to leave to go back to the US. It was so hard to see her go, but I knew I would return.
With the help of one of the translators (now one of my friends), Gissela, we were able to write letters to each other throughout the year. I would send my letters to Kentucky for teams to take down and Gissela would send her letters back with the returning teams.
The following Christmas break (2012-2013) I was able to return to Honduras a second time and saw Karla again. What a sweet reunion that was! We got to catch up and fill each other in on life. Such a precious time of connecting.
But this time, Karla told me that she may not be at Casitas when I returned again. She said that she was moving to Siguatepeque to a different orphanage. At that time I had no idea where Sigatepeque was. All I knew is that I would not be able to see her again; that I may never see her again. And my heart broke. Though we were not able to speak the same language, we had formed a bond that was so strong and could have only been created by God. I was frustrated with God, that he would take her away from me. (Looking back now, I realize just how selfish that was!) That was one of the hardest goodbyes. Having to walk away from there knowing that I would probably never see her again made my heart heavy with sorrow, frustration and discouragement.
“All” I could do at this point was pray. I placed the picture of us (in green) on my computer desktop so that I would remember to pray for her every time I used it, but I had no way of contacting her or even knowing where she was. A year went by and I again returned to Honduras over Christmas break (2013-2014) for my 3rd trip. Going to Casitas was hard for me, mainly because she was no longer there. I knew in my head that there were many other girls who needed love but my heart only wanted to see Karla.
Exactly one week after returning back to the States after this trip, Gissela posted on my Facebook page that she had found Karla in an orphanage called Vida y Liberta! She and a friend had needed a place to stay while traveling through Siguatepeque and “somehow” was directed to this place. Karla recognized her from translating at Casitas and immediately ran and asked if I was with her. I now knew where she was but still had no way of getting to Siguatepeque at that time. In June, when I stayed in Honduras for a month working with Sparrow Missions I still had no way of getting to Siguatepeque, as my responsibilities were in San Pedro Sula.
So I just continued to pray. Pray, pray, pray. During that June, I made the commitment to work with Steve and Alissa Rose and Sparrow Missions full-time the following year. Throughout the course of the year I found out the Spanish school I would be attending was in Siguatepeque. In the back of my mind, I wondered if Karla was still in Siguat or if the orphanage had perhaps closed down. I wouldn’t say that I had lost hope; I just had come to grips with the fact that I probably wouldn’t see her again, but that she was in God’s care and that is the best place she can be.
Then, I moved to Siguatepeque 5 days ago to begin language school! The first week was pretty busy so I didn’t have much time to think until last night, when I messaged Gissela to tell her I was in Siguat. She surprised me by driving here to see me and the bigger surprise was that she was going to take me to the orphanage where she had seen Karla! I was shocked! And couldn’t really believe it. I wanted to be so excited, but a part of me was hesitant because my heart would only break again if she wasn’t there.
On the 15 minute drive over there, I kept praying, “Lord please let her still be here, please let her still be here.” When we pulled up to the gate, the supervisor came to open the gate as children began to crowd around. Giselle asked her if Karla was there, but before she could reply, I saw her running across the driveway to me, calling my name!
SHE WAS THERE! She was all grown up. She was 13 when I met her and now she is a beautiful young lady of 17. She is a sophomore in high school and taking college credits as well. She still wants to pursue medicine and become a doctor. Oh my, what joy! What a joy to see her, hug her, tell her I love her. We were able to sit and visit for a while. I told her the whole story of how God had worked everything out just right. God is so good! I still am in awe of it all.
The last couple months God has kept a verse at the forefront of my mind. Ephesians 3:20-21
“20 Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—
21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen”
I wondered then why that verse repeatedly popped into my head and now I know. Yes God does do far, far more than we could ever imagine! Again and again, yes! Never would I have imagined that I would meet and connect with a girl in one place in Honduras only to lose contact with her for 2 years, then MOVE to Honduras to the very city where she lives! Only God, only God. To echo the second verse, Glory be to God! He is worthy of much praise. Only God could work out such a perfect plan. And this isn’t a one case scenario, either. God is always doing this, whether we see it or not. He is always working. Sometimes we don’t get to see it full circle, but He is ALWAYS WORKING.
He has every piece of every story already laid out. My encouragement is that you know that while we may have a plan or a certain way we think situations should be, God can and is doing far more abundantly than we could ask or think. God is faithful!