One week from now, I will sit in the leather workshop for the boys’ vocational program at Misión Lazaro in San Marcos de Colón, Honduras. Just 5 weeks ago, I sat in my Belmont University classroom and dreamt of the possibility. That afternoon, I received news from the grant committee that I had received a Lumos Travel Award to take on this journey in service and travel with a purpose.
Mission Lazarus is a ministry serving the Honduran community through educational, medical, agricultural, and spiritual outreaches. Their focus on social enterprise attracted my attention 18 months ago. In November of 2014, I purchased a beautifully bound leather bilingual bible stitched together by boys in their vocational school. The following summer, I interned for them, learning the ins and outs of the social enterprise on the U.S. side. In the past year, I’ve seen firsthand the customer desire for their leather products, the growth of sales, and the potential of the social enterprise. There is crazy potential for growth in their social enterprise, but like many organizations across borders, we face issues of supply and demand, quality control, supply chain management and communication. In order to reach more Hondurans, we must increase our sales and focus on consistency, branding, and sustainability.
These are the areas I will be focusing on. In just 4 short months, I will focus on securing suppliers, increasing efficiency measures in product creation, moving all Honduran inventory to an online system, and preparing for the 2017 product launch. While these are large projects to tackle, I’m thrilled to be a part of this team working together to improve and better the business. Only time will tell the stories that await.
It seems like yesterday that I found out I’m traveling to Honduras. These 5 weeks have been filled with adventures in closing the financial gap to take this trip. The gentlemen at Project 615 designed a shirt based on the Honduran flag, and kept the cost low on production so I could resell the shirts to raise funds. It is my hope that each time someone wears their shirt, they are reminded of the trip and are prompted to pray for the boys in our vocational school, the success of the project, and God’s kingdom coming to life in our community.
Additionally, I brought my trip to the attention of my staff at Pure Barre Nashville, where I am an instructor. The support and outpouring from clients and staff in my community has been amazing! Fortunately, I was able to teach a donation class to clients at our Green Hills studio, raising money directly for trip costs. Prayer and encouragement through these women is a vehicle that motivates me as I get closer and closer to my travel.
Right now, I’m sitting at my kitchen table with boxes to my right and a stack of potential clothes to pack on the left. It’s been a whirlwind, graduating university and jet setting to a new place. It’s hard to imagine just what it will be like, but I’ve always stood for a good challenge. The Lord will provide for what it needed in this time; good fruit would be brought forth my time in Honduras in the vocational program and in my heart, too. In the space of not knowing, growth happens. You grow in patience as you wait for the path to unfold, you grow in trust as you lean on the faithfulness of God to guide you forward, you grow in joy as the anxiousness transforms to peace, you grow in love as the journey begins to impact your heart and the vantage point by which you view the world. Grow me, God.