The Ugly

The good and the not-so-bad are typical areas of blogging for me.  Rarely, do I get the chance to tell you about the just plain ugly things that we experience here.     Warning:  this post covers rough terrain... if you are sensitive, maybe this isn't the read for you.    I share these things to let you know the reality of our life.

Most ugliness here occurs at night;  should be no surprise for any of us.  Deeds of darkness are done so that they may not be seen.  If they were good things, positive things, there would be no need to hide them with the veil of night.

It is our practice to be home before dark.   There have been under 10 nights in 8 months that we have been out after dark and all of those involved friends at the House of Hope who we wanted to see 'just a little bit longer.'  

We live in an apartment above the busiest street in town.  It is the main road from the airport to the pier... the road that all tend to travel into town.   At night, we have persons, sober and not-so-sober walking the streets... talking, vomiting, screaming, fighting and sometimes laying down to sleep right across the street.   All of us have gotten used to the constant noise and, especially the kids, can sleep right through most anything.    We hear fireworks, blaring music, church services that play loud music for hours - the same song that works their congregants into a hypnotic state, and so on.

The first night I want to tell you about occurred 2 months ago.   We were all sound asleep.  Abruptly, I woke up and thought I heard a child crying.   Then I heard it....  the horrific sound was like a whip hitting a tree.    The muffled cries became more identifiable;  a woman.  Alex woke up and ran out on our front patio.   Down in front of our apartment was a man harming a woman.   Alex screamed at the man, while looking the other way down the street at a crowd of onlookers who were doing absolutely nothing.   The man grabbed the woman by the hair and took her around the corner where I heard that blood-stopping noise again.   Alex was on his way downstairs to do something.     At that moment, we heard the police, thank God.   They picked the guy up and threw him into the back of the police pick-up like a sack of rice.    Spousal abuse is illegal here in Honduras, but police brutality isn't.

Our kids never woke up.

The next situation occurred just 2 weeks ago.   We live in the middle of the drug route from Colombia to the US.  Our town is on the coast and it is easy for boats and airplanes to drop c*caine in the lagoon.    It is easy to build clandestine air strips in the middle of this region.   Trafficking is big business - and it is the insatiable desire for drugs in the US that keeps these guys in business, at risk to life and limb.

Again, we were sleeping.   Suddenly, we thought fireworks were going off.   Thinking it normal, we tried to go back to sleep.  We got a phone call from a friend, worrying about fires that had been set and rumors of drug vendettas in action.   Two hours later, the drug war stopped.   There were heavy weapons used in an all-out attempt at the life of one man... one man.    Between 9 and 14 people lost their lives that night, including an innocent neighbor lying in his bed, the victim of a stray bullet.  

Our kids never woke up.

Each of our kids has one family that prays solely for that child.   One of the families told me that every night they pray for angels to guard the beds of our children.   Wow... that is a powerful prayer.  

Even with the ugliness of this place, I feel at peace.  It sounds insane, I'm sure.   We've adjusted to living with lice, dirty feet and bodies,  being under a microscope,  and now we seem to be adjusting to the ugliness.   I don't want to be callous or cavalier about it... the events that transpired are painful and they are real.     The individuals involved extend through the entire community.  

Along with the ugliness, there is always beauty.  Most of the time, I write about the beauty I see in the eyes of a child or the gift of serving here.   Today, I want you to see the other side so that maybe you have a more complete picture of this place.   Perhaps, you will find that it doesn't differ much from your place.  Perhaps, you will want to know more about what God is doing in this dusty, poverty-stricken town.  Perhaps.


Lara said…
Heavy stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Annie Moffatt said…
I just visited your blog for the first time and I was so touched by your story!! I was thinking how amazing it is to know that families are put in harms way for the sake of serving an amazing God! The cost is steep, but the compensations are out of this world!! Thank you for putting my "trial" in perspective:)
Annie @
Holly (me.) said…
It's harder to share the ugly stuff. (There's always that question in my head, "Will this be what scares someone off?") Then again, ugly stuff makes the beautiful so much more profound in contrast, though.
Mrs. Edwards said…
As ugly as it is, seeing it probably gives you a more accurate picture of our world's need for the Suffering Servant, who was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. And our own need for Him. Where would we be without the grace of God and the evil-restraining power of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

Thanks for sharing.

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