All You Need Is Love: Greg Kobylak Reflections

I Corinthians 13:2  “Do everything in love.”

During my first visit to Honduras, my senses were on overload taking is the sights, sounds, smells and people of this beautiful country.  After returning home, I found that instead of telling my friends and family about what I saw or what I did, I wanted to tell them about all the ways that I encountered love.  The following is a sample of the love that was felt and experienced in Honduras during the June 2018 trip with Casa de Esperanza.

John 15:12  “My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”

I felt love in so many ways during the journey of this mission trip.  It started when my church family at Unity Reformed Church in Norton Shores showed support.  Their prayers, the genuine interest and well wishes from the congregation members, along with financial support, filled me to my core.  I also received financial support from family members even though they were so nervous for my safety while out of the USA. The fact that they trusted me and the mission, despite their concerns, touched my heart.  I also felt the love from my immediate family who sent letters and shared how proud of me they were, the other team members who quickly became friends and the genuine thankfulness from the Hondurans we served.

I observed love in a wide and deep variety of ways.  I saw the love of a great mother, Amalia, for her daughter, Amy, as we worked on their new home all week.  I saw the same love from Chema and Ada for their 8 “adopted” boys at the most unique home in Comayagua. I observed team members fall in love with the neighborhood kids from the “3 Steps.”  We played with them and even took photos (thanks to the Polaroid camera that Joy had the wisdom to bring). The team members showed love with patience (a must while in Honduras) and selflessly served one another, as well as the people in Honduras.  I was most impressed by the deep and loving relationships that Casa de Esperanza has with the locals. Everywhere we went people knew our leader, Lori DeWitt, and had hugs for her. We also had visitors join the team throughout the week: Young men and women, who as kids were supported by Casa de Esperanza and loved by Lori and Bill.  Now the second generation of impact come visit and fill beds, tables and hearts. I saw tears of love as we mourned the recent passing of Henry, a young boy from the program. I also enjoyed sharing the Honduran people’s love of soccer during the world cup. (As the Pope once said, “Out of all the unimportant things, football (soccer) is the most important.”)

My prayer for the trip was that I would get to show the love of Jesus and let His light shine through me.  As just one member of a great team, we accomplished this fully. We loved Amalia and Amy deeply, with long days of construction turning her new small house into a functioning home with windows, a top-notch roof, tile, running water and even electricity.  We took the unofficial “grandson of Casa de Esperanza” and loved up on Jey all week. We prepared food and taught the kitchen crew from the church how to use the new kitchen to run fundraisers. We got to hug the boys from the program and spend quality time with them in both recreation and worship.  We built friendships, played with kids, passed out candy, made hundreds of people smile, and shared gifts – all to show the love of God.

I John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

I think it was four English philosophers who famously put it this way:  “All you need is love.”

Greg Kobylak, Casa de Esperanza Volunteer