That is a mouthful! And to be quite honest it sounds a bit fancy or maybe even forced. Don't get me wrong I am pretty sure I was on a committee that chose at least some of those words, but were we being a bit too bold? Too ambitious? Can we really define moral integrity? How does someone shape an entire global society?
Well, as a famous Supreme Court Justice once said "I know it when I see it!"
Whether our mission statement is just a lofty goal or a compass for a community on an unending journey, I think it is fair to say here today in Honduras I saw that part of our mission statement lived out through 14 amazing young adults.
Today we did our community food distribution. Visiting the poorest of the poor in hopes of bringing a little bit of hope; we had a chance to deliver some food the students had bought to those who really need it.
Orsy, the director and father of the Children's Home, took a group out shopping for food earlier in the day and with bags packed and eyes and hearts opened, we set out. What's amazing was here we are to help at the home and they really feel it is important to help others who are even more in need then they are.
Our drive into 'the bush' was really only 2-3 miles away from the Sandy Bay Lighthouse Ministries Children's Home where we are staying. But in truth, it seemed as far away in another sense as Roatan did from America before we arrived. On the drive there we were inundated with the sights and smells of real poverty. The Hurretts community of about 90-100 people, where we were headed, is located not far from the only trash dump on the island of Roatan. It quickly quieted in the car other than an occasional in take of breath. More than a few men scoured across the top of the trash heep looking for anything of value that could be sold. (Orsy told us later that a hundred plastic bottles can fetch something of the order of 1 Limpiria - basically the equivalent of. 05 cents.)
The Hurretts like many folks on Roatan speak both Spanish and some English but live much simpler lives than most. Primarily they are self subsisting - fruit trees in the bush, armadillo when caught (we saw some but didn't eat any) and fishing when a trip to the far away ocean can/is to be made. Most of the families we brought food to there were simply 'not making it'. Some seemed malnourished or broken physically (literally one man I had talked to had a mangled arm broken years ago and never fixed) some seemed exhausted and perhaps broken spiritually (we saw far fewer smiles then we've become accustom to at the Children's Home.)
Many of the recipients of our food bags were grateful but looked as though the weren't quite sure what to make of these strange yet friendly American faces. We got invited inside some of their homes (really nothing more than a tiny shack with little room to move), got to pray with some, and most importantly just got to share that we were here because we have been blessed so we want to be a blessing.
Our students were great. Who knows what to say when looking into the eyes of someone truly needy? Who knows if beans and rice can truly communicate love and compassion? Who knows if this is what it means to shape a more just and compassionate global society?
.... But I do know, do hope, that we are a little bit closer today than yesterday.
* "Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."