No, we're not making plans to leave Honduras. In fact, as the years pass, our connections within Honduras become stronger. Of course, we've purchased land here and are in the process of making the move to live on our land. Our son, David, is Honduran, and not legally adopted, so he can't leave the country with us, should we have to leave. Our oldest son, Russell, is all but engaged to a local gal, so there's another connection.
But, there are so many things which are outside of our control. The situation in a country can change. One can easily envision a governmental shift to a political environment which would make it difficult, dangerous, or impossible for Americans to continue living in a country as expats. Other factors, such as health and medical issues, sometimes cause missionaries to return to the US unexpectedly.
The past five months, with the ongoing political crisis in Honduras, we've faced this reality in a more realistic way than we've previously had to do. Some problems which would arise if we had to leave (especially regarding David) are extremely difficult to resolve, but one aspect of our lives here has come into very clear focus as a definite positive.
We have based our work in Lempira on the idea that the most efficient and best way for us to help spread the Gospel is by using our resources to aid the Honduran Christians in this effort, rather than trying to do the job directly ourselves. Some of the reasons for this are obvious - the Hondurans already speak the language and understand the culture. But another reason came into sharp focus this year - if we leave, what will become of the work we are doing here? The obvious answer is that the Honduran Christians, who had begun the task of evangelizing this area before we arrived, will continue to do so after we leave, and anything we have done which empowers them in this work will continue to help after we are gone - like the training the pastors have received in the Bible Training School, and the thousands of Bibles and study materials which have been distributed into this area.
It is possible that the Honduran political crisis is coming to a close, although it is too soon to be sure. The amazingly positive elections this past weekend are a very hopeful sign. After a turbulent few months, it's wonderful to see things falling into place in a way which makes it more likely that we will be able to continue to live and work in Honduras. But it's also nice to know that, should we have to leave, the work of evangelizing the mountains of western Honduras would go on, and some part of what we have done would continue to assist this process.