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The Shade of the Orange Tree

Updated: May 19, 2023

It’s taken me a bit to find the words to describe Honduras last week. With the rush of coming home, I haven’t had a full chance to process it. But this picture. This tree. This moment. It says so many more words then you could ever see at first glance.

Pink Box Purpose and Honduras Well Projects joined together for the Be.Loved Project. Our lovely sisters from our Hygiene Headquarters also joined, and together over twenty of us women were ministering to women in the community at different stations.

It was beautiful how it all came together, but I somehow found myself a little lost and out of place. Not in a bad way— just in one of those ways of “Where does God need me right now? What is my purpose right now?”

After failing at hair cutting (good story with that), making all the smaller children cry at the coloring station, attempting to paint nails and having hot pink nail polish run all over the women’s fingers as I tried so delicately to paint them, I searched elsewhere. I attempted to assist the nurses, but they had it covered. I went to help distribute Hygiene Bags, but I saw our Honduran sisters sharing the Gospel and teaching about menstruation so perfectly that there was no need for me there in that moment. “God, where do you want me to be?”

So, I climbed an orange tree with some Honduran boys. They laughed because they shimmied up the tree so fast as they shook some oranges down. I found a tree in the center of the community yard, sat beneath the tree, and simply began to peel oranges. My beautiful American friends all joked with me that I had the “Orange Peeling Station”. Honestly, at the moment it felt so insignificant. But I realized, at my station, I got to sit back, rest, be, and just observe for a moment.

What God showed me in that moment was that he had created disciples who had and were creating disciples. He showed me that long after our team left the stations, the community and Honduras, that these women were now all equipped to minister to each other. From this tree I could see our Honduran sisters distributing Hygiene Bags and knowing that they are now empowered to continue to do that without me. True disciples. From that tree, I simply was able to observe. It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about where God needed me. He simply needed me there so he could whisper to me and say “See what I’m doing. See what I’ve done.”

While you scroll by on Facebook, you don’t see much in this picture, because you only see me at my made up orange peeling station. But the view, what I could see, what God could see, as he watched everyone work together, was a beautiful miracle in and of itself. #PicturesSay1000Words

Sending love into the world, Jenni Patnode

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