During my last year of school, the question I got asked the most was, “What are you doing next year?” and this question scared me so much.
Not only did it make me think about going to Honduras, but when I told them my plans, I was met with a lot of worried looks and responses such as “Are you sure you’ve thought this through?”
Honestly, the answer to that question was no. I was so jealous of everyone who could look up their university course online and have an idea of what they were going to be doing, and I felt like the only thing I could do was pray about it.
I realise that this sounds like a negative thing, when it’s often the most important thing that we could be doing, but at the time I was terrified of that moment when I would have to get on the plane and leave everything and everyone I know behind. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to speak to anyone because my Spanish isn’t great.
When I first got here, I didn’t want to speak any Spanish because I was too scared of saying something wrong or getting halfway through a sentence and realising I have no idea what word is meant to come next.
One of the verses that got me through the last two years of school is Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” and I thought that this was definitely a situation where I needed to put this into practice.
I prayed I would get more confidence to start speaking Spanish a little more and that I would take the opportunities to have conversations with the kids at camp. At the time, it’s safe to say I didn’t realise that my prayer would be answered so quickly.
The next day at camp, I saw one of my amigos Héctor struggling with his homework. Usually in this situation, I would have got someone else to help him, but this time, I decided to take one of the opportunities given to me that I had prayed about the night before.
So with my broken Spanish, I sat with him and counted out straws to work through his subtraction and each time that he did a sum, his face lit up with the biggest smile and I could see how proud he was to have done it. By the time we got to the end of the homework, he wanted to do the last one by himself without my help, and honestly, I have never been so proud when he got the right answer!
I thought that because I had taken the opportunity that this would be the end of the story, but the following day in camp, I heard someone shouting “Hannah! Hannah!” and I turned around to see Héctor running into camp waving a page in the air. My first thought was “oh no, he’s got all his homework wrong and it’s my fault” but thankfully this was not the case. He ran straight to me, gave me a huge hug, and said, “Hannah! You helped me with my homework yesterday, so I drew you a picture to say thank you!” It took everything in me to not cry in front of him there and then.
This made me realise just how important it is that we present everything to God, no matter what it is, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a picture of a tree and some clouds at the end of it!
Hannah Barnett – AfterSchool Program Intern
Read about Urban Promise Honduras at urbanpromisehonduras.org