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At 16, a mission to Honduras with my father was an eye-opening experience that left an incredible mark on my soul. I found myself in a foreign land, surrounded by poverty and heart wrenching realities that I had never encountered before.

One particular night, our bus pulled into a dimly lit gas station around 2:00 AM. The fog outside made it difficult to see, but as I wiped the window with my sleeve, I noticed a run-down building to the left. It's porch light struggled to illuminate the surroundings, revealed a heartbreaking scene. On the concrete step near the front door, a young boy lay, shirtless and shoeless, seemingly asleep. Honestly, his body looked lifeless to me.

I turned to the missionary accompanying our team, seeking an explanation for this heartbreaking site. He informed me that the boy was likely one of the many orphans in the area, part of a heartbreaking cycle of homelessness and poverty. These children sought refuge in random places at night, only to wake up and return each day to panhandle and scavenge for food. The harsh reality of their lives was etched into my memory that night.

The image of that young boy, vulnerable and alone, haunted me long after our mission trip concluded. The memory became a compass for me, guiding me towards gratitude for the privileges and comforts I often took for granted. It served as a reminder that, despite the challenges I faced, I had a home, a family, and security that so many like those children in Honduras and other countries of the world could only dream of.

Years later, that memory still lingers, An emotional anchor that grounds me in moments of self-pity or discontent. It fuels my desire to make a difference, to contribute and care for the suffering of those less fortunate. Honduras may be miles away, but the impact of that mission trip is forever woven into the fabric of my being, shaping my perspective and influencing the choices I make in life.

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