In the world today there is only a small percent of people who can say they have both a mother and a father in the picture, and I believe an even smaller percent that can say that both parents are reliable and supportive. I don’t know the statistics, and I don’t think I want to, because I think it would just discourage me. But I do know that these sad statistics are true for the majority of people in Honduras, many of them living without one or both parents, especially many without strong father figures.
I am a part of that small percentage of people who is blessed to not only have both parents, but my parents are strong and supportive role models for me, and my parents like to spoil me. In addition to my parents I have extended family and mentors that I call my second parents…all of which would step in at a moment’s notice if I needed anything, and all of which also spoil me. I feel beyond blessed knowing I have such supportive and God fearing people to look up to in life; all of them knowing exactly what would make my day a little brighter and love me more than I know.
This is something I have been thinking about a lot in the past few weeks, knowing many of the children in Honduras are growing up without a strong father figure in their life. Who brightens their day? Who carries them into the house when they are pretending to be sleeping after a long drive? Who spoils them with things just because he knows that would make them smile? But I am encouraged knowing that, though these children don’t have the father figures in their lives like I do, doesn’t mean they are destined for a life of pain, trouble, hopelessness, and lacking love. There is a greater love that these children can know…more than any earthy father could give.
I started thinking about this ‘fatherly love’ because one day at camp I was talking with one of my friends about passion fruit. She was telling me that she had a passion fruit tree/bush/vine (I really didn’t know what passion fruit grew on) at her house growing up. Side note: I love passion fruit and could have something with passion fruit flavor at every meal, so I thought, “Oh my gosh! We need a passion fruit (whatever passion fruit grow on) at camp so we can eat it whenever we want it!”
Another side note: I call the JPC Honduras director Papa…usually when I want something special. So after finding out about someone else having passion fruit plant I went straight to find my Honduran Papa. I found him and said, batting my eyes a little, “My friend said she had a passion fruit plant thing growing up. Wouldn’t it be fun to have passion fruit at camp?! Can we get one for camp?”
He responded pretty quickly with, “You know what? I have a friend that owns a passion fruit plantation. Let me see if we can go see it sometime.” Hah, I thought that was even better! I would finally get to see what passion fruit actually grow on. About ten minutes later my Honduran Papa finds me and tells me we are going to get to see the plantation tomorrow! And we did and it “filled my love tank” as my Minnesota parents would say. The day we went to the plantation I got a text from my mom saying, “Dad found your Christmas present!”
The text was sent with a picture of my daddy holding an old road sign of the road we live on. I love old antique things and that sign is something I always wanted to decorate the house with. Now my love tank was overflowing knowing my Daddy and my Honduran Papa were thinking of me and wanting to do something special just for me. That day I got thinking about how much more my Father in heaven loves me. He loves me so much that He gave up his throne in heaven to live the life of a man and die the death we all deserved. He gave up his everything so we can have a restored relationship with him and live with him if we believe. He did it all for us…more than even the best father on the planet could offer. I have hope for the children and people in this world who don’t have fathers, though they may have no one, they have a chance to know the greatest father…a father that will never fail them, never abandon them, and always, always love them. This is a hope we can all have, a love we can all know if we accept the invitation.