Becca Short, from West Clinton Mennonite Church in Wauseon, Ohio, distributed MCC school kits in Honduras as part of her cross-cultural experience as an Eastern Mennonite University student. Short also helps pack school kits back in Ohio.
I let my eyes sweep across the room full of Honduran children receiving MCC school kits packed with notebooks, pencils and rulers. Every student in the room is smiling from ear to ear, anxiously waiting to receive their very own bag of school supplies.
This is my fourth week in Honduras with a group of students from Eastern Mennonite University. We’re spending the week visiting organizations that partner with Mennonite Central Committee. Today we are blessed with the opportunity to distribute school kits at two different locations.
As we hand out a school kit to each student, I can feel the level of excitement build steadily. When each student has a bag, permission is given to open the bags, and I see the students’ eyes light up with anticipation. Jubilant cries ring out from all four corners of the classroom as the students pull at the strings to open their bags.
My eyes are drawn to one little boy in the front row who is pulling each item out of his bag with great care. After he places all of the items on the desk in front of him, he picks up each one and admires it intently. “It’s red!,” he announces to his friends, “My notebook is red!” Other students are equally enthusiastic, waving their new supplies above their heads.
I am sure that the pure delight that I see on those beaming faces will never be erased from my memory. These students show us so much gratitude for bringing them something as simple as a notebook.
When was the last time I was ever so thankful for something that costs two dollars at Wal-Mart? How many more students can I impact if I am willing to donate ten more dollars from my paycheck?
I know that this year, as I am packing more school kits from the comfort of my own home, I will be thinking about the genuine happiness that these students will feel when a fabric bag is placed in their hands.