In this day and age world travel makes most anyone uncomfortable. If you’re a bit of a neurotic traveler it is even more so. And if you’ve spent most of your life just a little more nervous than the average person about germs and disease the discomfort will be enough to question any travel in the first place. That’s our son, Ben.
As I write this, Ben is at the top of mountain in Honduras. It’s a country where people walk around with machetes and assault rifles. It’s where the media-hyped Zika virus is known to exist. According to Wikipedia, Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people. By comparison, the international average is 6.2 intentional homicides per 100,000 people. It’s also a known major drug route to the U.S.
But the things that make people uncomfortable are often the most rewarding. Ben’s fiancé, Emily, is the founder of a company called Consider the Wldflwrs. Ten percent of the proceeds of her business go toward helping a group of Honduran women start their own jewelry micro businesses to support their families. That’s why Ben, Emily, and another Consider the Wldflwrs team member are in Honduras. They are there to help, teach, and document it all so that further service will be provided.
All this is taking place at the top of a Honduran mountain. It could be a pretty uncomfortable place to be. But it turns out that on the mountain is a peaceful coffee plantation. It also happens to be a place that houses a program for children who were abandoned or taken from dangerous situations.
In a rare, free wifi hot spot Ben texted me. He told me about the things that made him uncomfortable. Things like no traffic rules, swarms of mosquitoes, and bunk beds. But he was quick to text about the kids he met there on the mountain. They are given housing and education until they’re eighteen-years-old. He wrote that the program just received a six-month-old baby.
I had a one word response: “Sad.”
Ben’s response was where discomfort met hope: “Yes. But cool! The kids seem happy!”
Then, on Facebook, Ben posted the picture you see above. He wrote this caption:
Been hanging with these kids the past few days. They’re hilarious, they school me in soccer, and they’re teaching me a lot about contentment. Language barriers got nothing on us.
That’s when being uncomfortable brings the surprise of joy. You find yourself amidst poverty and orphans. You’re sleeping in a bunk bed and eating in a foreign cafeteria. But in the middle of it all you realize that you should be content with the overwhelming blessings you’ve been given. You are grateful for the opportunity to touch lives. And you make a group of Honduran kids laugh their heads off as you show them silly Snapchat filters.
Where do you find joy in an uncomfortable situation?