It's not uncommon for women and girls to travel hours or even days from their home in order to give birth at a hospital in Honduras. To our friend, Mercedes, it was common sense to call on us when her son's girlfriend was nearing her due date.
Imagine leaving your family and home on an overcrowded bus to visit place you don't know to stay with people you've never met and who barely speak your language. Now imagine doing that while uncomfortably pregnant and knowing that you're just days away from giving birth to your first child. Oh, and you're just 17 years old! I am so impressed with Siomy (the new mommy). She managed to stay polite, giggly and extremely open with her hosts while enduring new customs, new foods, lots of questions, little sleep and false labor pains. We were on baby watch for nearly two weeks with Siomy and Mercedes and it was an incredible experience that we will never forget.
You learn a lot when you invite someone into your home (just ask our friends, Rick and Peggy!). And for the past few weeks, our house guests have given us an intense study on Honduran culture. We've learned about the Honduran medical system; family dynamics and gender roles; strange customs and beliefs about giving birth; daily routines; marriage (or lack thereof); and language. We got to see the struggles, the victories, the suffering and the joy through the eyes of our Honduran friends. My heart is full with new understanding, awe and love for my new home and culture. What a precious gift Baby Caleb has given us!
We were invited into this family during their most intimate and vulnerable moments. And we were powerfully and wonderfully blessed by it. This is one course on cultural differences that could have only been arranged by God, Himself.