Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Rare Post about My Thoughts, re: Russell's Traffic Accident

If you've read this blog at all, you know that it is about events. I write here about our everyday life: what we are doing in regard to our ministry, raising our children and just living life in Honduras. Obviously you know we have some very strong beliefs, or we wouldn't be living and working as missionaries. But this blog isn't about that.

I'm making a quick exception today, to just write my thoughts about Russell's recent accident. I've appreciated all of the kind wishes and sympathy we've received in emails and comments, relating to the injustice of the situation. But I want you to know that we aren't feeling as though we are being picked on because we are gringos, even though events could certainly make it appear so.

In reality, the poor in Honduras are regularly treated much worse than we have fared. Although we will have some financial difficulties related to the outcome of the accident, we certainly do not expect these difficulties to be long lasting or life changing. We may not buy steaks or other imported foods again for a good long while, and I might put off some fun purchases of books or movies or household items that I would otherwise have bought.

The injustices done to Hondurans by their own government, for generations and at all levels, dwarfs our situation so much that it is almost embarrassing to mention our loss. Citizens of a country ought to receive the basic services that governments provide, and in Honduras, many (perhaps most) do not. This is obvious in the lack of availability of safe transportation, health care services, schools, clean water and sanitation, police services, protection by the armed forces . . . the list just goes on and on.

The fact that we did not receive what we perceive to be justice, from a government which historically doesn't provide justice to it's own citizens, shouldn't really come as any surprise.

I'm reminded of a story we heard when we lived on the island of Guanaja. Several teenage boys went out fishing in a small boat, and when their engine conked out they were swept out to sea. The weather was rough, and it was too dangerous for the boats from the island to go out searching for the boys. The Honduran coast guard was called, but was either unwilling or unable to send any rescue boats. After some time had passed, someone thought about the fact that one of the boys had one American parent, and so was a US citizen. Within a short time, the US coast guard had arrived on the scene, found the boat, and rescued the one surviving boy. The point of this story is, whatever else you may think about the US government, there is a wall of protection and care around US citizens, all over the world, that is not available to Hondurans.

With this event, we have taken a small step toward entering into the suffering of the poor of Honduras, as we are directed to do by the example of our Master, who experienced injustice, as well. As His disciples, we consider it an honor to do so.


Paula said...

Hugs to you!!! This was very well written. We Americans have NO IDEA how good it truly is to be an American.

Anonymous said...

Sharing in the suffering of the Honduran poor is sharing in the suffering of Jesus. You and your family are honored and I am grateful to know you.
Love Beth
PS I saw Jill and family tonight as we celebrated her birthday with Thai food. Yum! We all send our love and prayers. Jill, Megan, Jesse, Beth, Mike, Austin, Jonathan, and Charlie (and Justin who is at college in Alabama).

Kim & Dave said...

Thank-you for placing this in the proper persptective, Trish.

Yes, just about everywhere but the US, people are not treated well by their governments.

It is good to be reminded how privilaged we are to be Americans.

Praying for you as you share Jesus w/ the people of Honduras-& enable others to do it as well.

Scott D said...

Well said! Excellent perspective for us as we live our lives in Romania. Scott (

La Gringa said...

So true, Trish. Sometimes when I feel sorry for myself, I think about the stories I've heard from Hondurans that are much worse than mine.

My story about children who weren't allowed to go to school is just one of many examples of the injustice of the government.

The slogan "you can't fight city hall" is embedded into the brain in Honduras.

Kris said...

Way to put it all in perspective!

Praising God for the amazing work He is able to do through your family!