A profile of the globally-minded Madeline Allen
The moment was beautiful. Standing in front of these Honduran men, seeing the tears in their eyes and the love in their hearts as they sang goodbye, it could not have been any better. I loved these people and this place, and I stood in awe at all that God had done in the past ten days.
The team members from Honduras Project 2013.
These were the thoughts of Madeline Allen, a junior at Wheaton College, in the final moments before she left Honduras for the last time during spring break 2013. Surrounded by the people she had worked along side of and built relationships with all week, the ending of her work with Honduras Project couldn’t have been more perfect.
Madeline has been involved with Honduras Project since her freshman year and has been able to travel to Honduras three times. She became involved in Honduras Project when her friend Val Lelle introduced her to it.
Madeline and Valerie on Madeline’s first trip to Honduras.
The project is outlined in its mission statement as a Christ-centered community that seeks to serve the Lord by encouraging, building relationships and working with the people of Honduras. Honduras Project itself is a group of about 20 students from Wheaton College who go to a different rural village in the mountains of Honduras each year to help install a gravity-fed water system and to share the love of Christ.
Honduras Project team members and Hodurans next to the water tank.
The team spends six months in preparation for the trip and project. In the fall, students participate in work projects within the local Wheaton community and have weekly meetings for fellowship, prayer, and cultural preparation. During this time they raise over $60,000 in order to pay for trip costs and the material needed for the water system itself. This all culminates over spring break when the team travels to Honduras to evangelize and work on the water system. Since the project is student-lead, leadership and membership has continually changed, but the mission has remained the same.
Madeline’s involvement with HP has differed each year. Freshman year she traveled as a team member to help as best she could. Her sophomore year, however, she was the treasurer, which meant she was in charge of all funds and expenses. This year she was the director, and therefore in charge of running weekly meetings, building the team community, and making sure everything ran smoothly in preparation of the trip itself. Because of this, each year Madeline was able to see a different side of HP, which helped in her understanding of everything that goes into world missions.
Digging trenches for the water system on her second trip to Honduras.
This year especially Madeline has learned a lot about leadership and evangelism through Honduras Project. In leading peers, it is important to establish respect. Without respect, she cannot lead well. In evangelism, she has been constantly reminded that we are all made in the image of God. When we are evangelizing cross-culturally we have to respect, love and understand the people we are trying to reach—to connect on the basis that we are all equally loved by God. In struggling through these lessons, Madeline has still felt at peace in knowing that God ordained not only her position as the director, but of each cabinet member and the entire team as well. Being in community with them through the process has helped her in understanding what true leadership and evangelism really is.
Madeline interacting with one of the Honduran girls in the village.
Honduras Project has benefitted Madeline in incredible ways. It has shaped her into the person she is today and has helped guide her in discovering the path she wants to take in her life. The most tangible benefit of HP is that it has spurred Madeline to be further involved in missons work and in combining that with what she is studying at Wheaton. Because of her experience with HP, Madeline feels called to global missions.
At Honduras Project Chapel where the team shared their experiences with the school.
This summer Madeline will be going to India to complete an internship involving water sanitation. While interning, she will be doing grant writing, proof reading, form filing, and field work—all of which she has already learned much about through HP.
Speaking about Honduras Project in chapel at Wheaton College.
For Madeline, it is crazy to think that when she chosen to be the director of Honduras Project this year, she had no idea she would be going to India this summer. But that decision had lead her to that. Honduras Project guided her towards what she will be doing. Looking back on her experience with Honduras Project and those last moments in Honduras with the people she had come to love, Madeline knows she is blessed. She has been blessed to be a part of Honduras Project. She has been blessed to find that God has guided her steps all along. And most of all she has been blessed in realizing her calling toward international relations and world missions.
Madeline serving Hondurans and realizing her calling for global missions.
It is clear from its impact on Madeline’s life, that Honduras Project is not only a great cause, but a true testimony to God’s shaping life and understanding. There is no doubt that as it has shaped Madeline, so it will shape many other lives of Wheaton students to come. Because God has an incredible way of leading us down the right path for our lives.
To find out more about the experiences of Honduras Project 2013, click here.