The Next Picasso

Hello, my name is Helga Sierra and I grew up in Tegucigalpa. When I turned 18, I moved to the United States to pursue a college degree in business. I knew I wanted to study in a different country when I was 14, the new places, cultures and possibilities in education were exciting to me. Not many people, in the world, get the opportunity to travel to the United States to get an education. I would say I fall in the 2-3% of the Honduran population, probably less…

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Sponsoring Bevely

Eight years ago, Megan Frost-Smith went to Honduras and fell in love with the country and the people. Living in Missouri at the time, she went with her church, The Rock, and visited Choluteca with about fifteen other people. She worked with an AIDS orphanage and a malnutrition clinic. “I was overwhelmed by the kindness of all the people.”

She couldn’t stay away. She went back every year after that for three years in a row on her spring breaks from college. After graduating she moved to Memphis, and even though she couldn’t go with her former church, she made a trip by herself one year to teach material she had learned in Downline.

Last year, Megan went to Tegucigalpa with POI for the first time. She had already fallen in love with Honduras, but on this trip she fell in love with the work of POI. “I have seen people consistently pour into improverished neighborhoods [like POI does], but I have never seen someone try to bring emotional health and healing to impoverished neighborhoods. I have a lot of respect for POI and I wanted to continue to partner with them.”

20160615_104239It was on this trip that Megan met Bevely and her whole view on sponsorship changed. “I had always thought that I should be doing the work myself. I wanted to have a hands-on approach to giving to the people I cared about, but what I realized was that I wasn’t nearly as effective at knowing what people needed or how they needed to get it as the people who lived and worked in Honduras were. I realized I could trust them to use my money to advance the Kingdom in ways I never could.”

Bevely’s athletic bent and independent spirit resonated with Megan and she formed a bond with her during her visit. Bevely would seek Megan out and spend time with her when she was working at the project. They played and interacted as much as they could. “Having seen how POI worked so hard in the neighborhoods to share the Gospel and love the people, I knew I wanted to sponsor a couple of the girls. When I found out she didn’t have a sponsor, I knew I wanted to be that person for her.”

Three weeks ago, Megan got a chance to go back and see Bevely. Bevely knows that Megan is sponsoring her and it has deepened what was already a sweet relationship. “My affection for her has grown since last year. Bevely shared some things with me about her life that surprised me. I didn’t expect her to open up like she did. It was a little awkward hanging out with someone I’d only seen once before, but it was so sweet. I cried like a baby when we said good-bye.”

Megan plans to go back as soon as she can and serve with her presence, but she is grateful that she can continue to love Bevely and the ministry of POI when she’s not there. “Sponsoring is a great way to consistently invest in the life and future of another person.”

Preparing for a Mission Trip – Part 2

pexels-photo-27633You’ve raised your support, you’ve gotten your supplies (don’t forget the toilet paper), and you’ve updated your vaccines. Everything’s ready for your mission trip- or is it? While the trip will take you overseas, it’s not just a vacation, it’s a strategic movement of God in your life and the lives of those you will be serving. The most important part of your mission trip is what God does through you and in you and so the most important part of your preparation is getting your heart ready for His work.

While the Lord knows what you need more than we do, here are a few general principles for spiritually preparing your mind and heart.

  1. Pray, Pray, Pray – This seems like a no-brainer, but we simply cannot overstate how important prayer is to POI, the trip and to you. Every great work of God begins with prayer and we want God to show His glory in Honduras through you and your team! We encourage you to ask friends and family to pray alongside you (here’s a tool for them), but your prayer matters. Praying positions you to hear from the Holy Spirit and follow His leading humbly and gratefully.
  1. Forget the “I” Word – What’s the “I” word? It’s “I.” Or in this case, you – your plans, your schedule, your comfort, your ego, etc. As you think and pray through the trip, consider how you will respond to the unexpected and uncomfortable. When things don’t go as planned (and they will), will you ask how you can make it better or complain? If you have a particular goal in mind, but it looks like you won’t accomplish it, will you graciously give it up knowing that God’s purposes will be still be met? Are you prepared to submit to the leadership of the team? A flexible, submissive spirit is one of the best assets to a mission trip, and with God’s help, anyone can bring it.
  1. Get Your “Serve” On – You are going to work and word hard. Just get ready to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done for whoever needs it done. You are there to serve the POI staff, kids, families and the beautiful people of Honduras. You’ll be exhausted and maybe even sore, but your time and energy is a sweet sacrifice to the Lord and will be used in ways you can’t even imagine.
  1. Open Your Heart – You are going to meet some incredible people on this trip. One of the biggest gifts you can give them is yourself. All the service projects in the world are secondary to the importance of God’s work in people’s hearts. How wonderful then, that He often uses us to touch their hearts! So build relationships, care for people and get ready to love – it will be vulnerable and uncomfortable and may not always be received well, but your love will be a beautiful reflection of God’s love for them.

Have you been on a mission trip already? What are some things you do to prepare your heart? Comment below and let us know!

We’d love to see you! If you’re interested in joining one of our mission trips, please contact April Jenkins at ajenkins@poiglobal.org.

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