Originally posted September 12, 2016
This summer, we were blessed to have our very first lead interns, Leah Sorrells and Vicky Hernandez. The lead intern program was a new initiative this year, and we couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. Apart from our regular interns who come to work with us on a more flexible schedule, our lead interns signed on to work for the entirety of the summer to take on more responsibility and help manage the busy summer months.
Vicky and Leah truly became a part of our family this summer. They often kept us sane with their humor, friendship and helpfulness during the fast-paced group schedules. They dedicated themselves to getting to know the people we work with, and they were able to rejoice and mourn with us and them throughout the ups and downs of life and ministry.
We asked Vicky and Leah to share a little bit about their experience this summer. Their thoughts are featured here and also in our latest newsletter.
We are beyond thankful to know these girls and their hearts! Here are Leah and Vicky’s thoughts in their own words…
Leah Sorrells, Missouri State University:
Spending three months in Honduras working with Breaking Chains was the most rewarding endeavor I have ever gone on. Seeing the sights that Honduras has to offer was both challenging and humbling, heartbreaking and uplifting. Through all of this, I ultimately learned that through all the darkness in the world, Jesus is very much alive and working in it. This was exemplified through the transformations I was blessed to witness. Our teens became noticeably more open to being loved and returning that love. Likewise, the church accepted the interns and groups with open arms and hearts. Seeing the love that surpassed language barriers and financial differences showed how our God can truly use anyone to be his hands and feet.
Although uplifting, being in Honduras proved to be challenging as well. Being in a totally different culture was a shock at first. I am so thankful that I was immersed in it because it taught the lesson of culture competency. Seeing the despair that so many were living in daily was difficult to stomach at first. There are two options upon being faced with it: getting upset or using it as a vehicle to minister to those living in it. Learning how to use it as a ministry tool was rewarding because it let you see the person you’re ministering to person to person, rather than viewing yourself as someone coming in to save the day. I am grateful for the challenges I encountered due to the opportunity for growth.
Getting to work with those that we did was truly a blessing. Looking back on my time there, some of my most cherished moments were when I was simply being with people. The street ministry where we fed out of the back of a truck to those in the streets was one of my favorite things to do. It enabled us to meet people who desperately needed love where they were and show them how valued they are. Another one of my favorite activities was the intern-led Bible study with the teens. Getting to hear them talk about their lives, hardships and relationships with God was an incredible experience. It gave us as interns the chance to connect personally with them. It also gave us an opportunity to pour love into their hearts that are often calloused by their pasts and to let them know they are worth so much more than the world tells them.
Vicky Hernandez, University of Houston – Downtown:
This was my first time in Honduras and working for Breaking Chains, and I enjoyed everything we did. Building houses, going to feed on the street and playing with kids all around Honduras are all countless memories I won’t soon forget.
Some of the best memories I will forever cherish are going to pass out food every Friday night and meeting my boy Daniel. I sat down with Daniel every Friday as he had a plate of rice and beans and talked about his life in the streets.
Before going to Honduras, a challenge I had was teaching and leading a class. This summer, the interns and I led devotionals with the Breaking Chains teens and taught the middle school class on Sundays each week. Now, I can say that I enjoy it a lot more and feel more comfortable compared to how I felt before.
It was amazing to see the difference from when we first met the “shy” Breaking Chains teens to the later outgoing, talkative and loving teens. We enjoyed planning and leading devo every Monday night for the teens. Toward the end of the summer we had some of the teens join the groups on house sites. They enjoyed learning and hanging out with groups. We are all so proud of their accomplishments and the growth we saw throughout the summer.
I was very nervous about leaving home for two and half months and being in a new country, but everyone was very welcoming and kindhearted, which made saying goodbye very hard by the end of the summer. I am very thankful for the opportunity and experience. It has been a huge blessing to be a part of the Breaking Chains family.