Posted by: emilyosburne | June 28, 2009

Do Hard Things

DAy 2 JailThis week, on a mission trip to Honduras, we had the privilege of visiting the largest ladies prison in the country.  After passing through security, we walked into the courtyard in the middle of the jail and one of the inmates started yelling something in Spanish.  We asked our interpreter what she was saying. 

“She says, ‘The Grandmas are here!  The Grandmas are here!”

The ladies who took us to the prison were each about 60 – 70 years old and they were like Grandmothers to these women, most of whom were stuck in prison for more than twenty more years.  I was amazed by the commitment of these “Grandmas” who spent their entire Saturday, every week, reaching out to ladies who have huge, overwhelming problems.

One inmate we met wanted us to pray for her because she has not seen her children in five years.  Another lady sobbed because she knew that her kids had gone into hiding, in fear for their lives.  And Sandra, the woman I spoke to for the longest time, was worried about her family having enough to eat.  The Grandmas lovingly threw themselves in the middle of such intense problems… willingly… wholeheartedly.  And they loved it!

Noami, the leader of the Grandmas, told us about the woman who started visiting the jail over twenty years ago.  I can’t remember her name, but I cannot forget her story.  This visionary woman wanted to help the ladies of the Honduran prison, but there was no paved road leading up to the jail, so what did she do?  She took a bus to the bottom of the mountain and walked two hours up the mountain to reach the prison.

Every week, for years, this dedicated woman chose to trek up a mountain in order to reach out to society’s most needy women.  And she never missed a week.  I wonder if this Honduran woman has found one of the secrets to a fulfilling life.

Alex Harris wrote a book called, Do Hard Things, and shockingly, teenagers are flocking to this book in record numbers.  Maybe it’s because we have an innate desire to do the tough work, to put in the hours of labor toward a worthy cause.  In America, we have a tendency to avoid hard work like the plague.  We spend thousands of dollars to avoid even a few minutes of strain and stress. 

Maybe we should take a lesson from the Grandmas.  Should we embrace hard things rather than run from them?

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