Our third and final family session from our summer trip to Honduras: the Spradleys. This family stood out to us as the “cool missionaries” from the moment our team met them. Jesse was a source of hilarious entertainment as he belted Adele when driving us through the streets of La Ceiba while we shot him in the back of the head with a water gun. I found myself taking creeper photos of Liz and her ADORABLE baby girl during a church service before we’d even been formally introduced. Needless to say, I was super pumped to shoot and spend time with these awesome folks.
Jesse and Liz are both from the south, and have been involved in church ministries in Houston ever since they got married. They always knew they would move overseas eventually , but never knew where or when. Jesse became very involved with missions in Honduras, and after taking Liz on a trip, they decided together to move to La Ceiba and pursue God’s work there!
The Spradleys have now been in La Ceiba for a year and have celebrated the birth of their new daughter, Luci! Jesse has been writing and developing a class on finances from a Biblical perspective for the lower income locals (think Dave Ramsey of Honduras), and also overseeing a street boys ministry, the Peter Project.
Evan and I are working on a video about the Peter Project and really enjoyed getting a glimpse of this tough ministry. As a dad who works with some of the most neglected boys in La Ceiba, I asked Jesse what he’s learned about fatherhood in his own life.
"It has been a reminder of how big a job being a dad really is. We as fathers influence our children with every decision we make and word we say. For right or wrong, our children will hear what we say and be what we do. These boys we work with are the same. They come from abusive home lives and even though we treat them better and show them how to act, their fathers still have the MOST influence in their lives. So I have learned not to take my responsibility to train my son and daughter for granted and to show them who God is, not just tell them. If left up to me, my kids would be screwed, but thanks be to God HE can and does work through me, in spite of my human depravity."
The Spradleys love the long-term and partnering relationships they have developed in La Ceiba, and they have actually learned a lot about loving others through their 6-year old son, Hudson. "His culture is so mixed that he doesn't distinguish where "his culture" ends and the other begins."
The Spradleys' biggest challenge right now is staying “present” in Honduras, even with the constant pull from their family and friends back in the US to “come home.”
"We constantly have to remind ourselves that THIS is where we live. THESE are the people we are to invest in right now. All of us as christians are living in a world that is not our home, whether it be in the states or in a third world country. The enemy is quick to remind us of our loved ones back in the states, or the comforts of the states or life before fundraising. So I think for us the challenge is for sure being present at all times in the life we are currently living and not longing for another life in the past or what might come in the future."
Parting thoughts from Jesse:
"God is truly more beautiful and more powerful than we ever knew before moving to Honduras. There are days, weeks, and even months that we fail to LOOK and see because we are human and we get caught up in our humanity and our "uncomfortableness". The three years we have lived out of the U.S. have been some of the hardest, but with those hard times come some of the most beautiful scars to remind us of HIS unfailing love and FAITHFULNESS to His children."