Living very simply, loving very immensely

Savanah Nisbett surrounding herself with the children of Limon, Honduras.WILMORE, KY—This summer Savanah Nisbett ‘11, along with her parents and a small group from Arkansas, traded their air conditioning and cell phones for the humid and salty air of Limon, Honduras, and they didn’t mind at all.

Some of Nisbett’s group helped to serve nearly 300 patients at a medical clinic, while others repaired and updated an orphanage located just a few blocks away from the clinic and home to 54 children ranging from 2 to 16 years old.

Nisbett says that one of her favorite moments of the trip was seeing the children from the orphanage for the first time. As she and her group walked down a dirt road lined with cement and grass houses, the children saw the volunteers and began running toward them. The children enthusiastically hugged Nisbett and her group, stopping them from moving further by throwing their arms around them, holding their hands, legs, and vying for attention. “It affirmed the undiscriminating love of God,” said Nisbett. “In that moment, I felt immersed in the simplicity of true love.”

The children are looked after by three women who are a tremendous example of humble service, making 200 tortillas every day by hand, and spending six to eight hours a day washing clothes. All three worked hard to make the Nisbett and the other volunteers comfortable with an attitude of loving service.

The orphanage where Savanah and the other volunteers served.Nisbett and her group aided these ladies by painting the orphanage, installing a new sink, laying a cement slab, repairing the roof, constructing more durable clotheslines, installing shelves for storage, repairing beds, hanging shower curtains, fixing plumbing problems, and re-screening doors.

When there was a break in the work, Nisbett enjoyed playing with the children - dancing and singing, letting them play with her hair, and learning tidbits of Spanish. Having taken French during high school and college, she found it difficult to communicate at first, but the children were more than happy to help her convey what she was saying to others. “I actually never got discouraged or aggravated by the different language; rather, I continued to see God’s faithfulness as messages were communicated and, most importantly, love was expressed.”

Savanah enjoying a few minutes of play time with the children at the orphanage.Nisbett hopes to hold onto the simple lifestyle and intentional focus on Christ that was evident in those she encountered during the trip. She appreciated the time away from the “noise” of the day-to-day, complicated American living. “We had no television, no phones, no computers, no internet, and no radio. We did have the rising and falling of the tide, the blowing wind from the ocean breeze, the crowing of roosters, and the singing of children.”

Released: Aug. 4, 2009

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