The Council Bluffs Church recently took their second mission trip to El Hogar de Niños, an orphanage in Santa Barbara, Honduras.

It all started as a conversation with one of my elders. I had spent nine months at the orphanage a couple years earlier and talked about my experience. He thought others from the church could benefit from a similar experience, so we decided to go.

Seven people went on that first trip, including an 8- and 13-year-old. We put a fresh coat of paint on the orphanage’s buildings and gave devotionals with the help of a translator.

This year 10 people went. The building project was a large lavanderia (a place to hang their clothes), and we conducted a VBS program, a church service, and multiple devotionals during the 10-day trip.

After dinner each evening, we spent a few hours with the more than 60 children living at the orphanage. A majority have suffered physical or sexual abuse, so we did everything in our power to help them feel safe and to show them what true love looks like.

It meant a lot to these kids to know we traveled thousands of miles just to spend time with them. I can’t wait to go again next year and, by the grace of God, we hope to find ways to make the same kind of difference in people’s lives right here in our local community.