Honduras 2013: Melissa Brooker

In April of 2013, Univera Associates and Corporate Staff accompanied Serve First’s partner, Vitamin Angels, on a mission trip to Honduras.  Below, you can get to know the lucky Associates who were chosen to attend this trip.

Melissa Brooker

Hometown: Rockford, IL

Spending time with family and friends, reading, rowing, traveling, playing guitar, fulltime Army National Guard Solider

How long have you been involved with Univera?
7 years

Favorite Univera Product:
Xtra. The components in Xtra have given my body the building blocks needed to support my overall health.

Why is Serve First important to you?
Serve First to me means looking beyond myself to those around me who are in need. It’s an open door to a higher calling to reach those waiting to be reached. I currently donate monthly as part of my CP, but I’ve wanted to do more, so I am very eager to go on this trip.

How did you feel when you found out you were chosen for this trip?         I was absolutely stunned. The thing that helped it to sink in was a friend on Facebook congratulating me. I confess I jumped on my bed a few times. I really feel like the opportunity came straight from heaven just for me. It humbles me and makes me feel very loved.

What are your expectations about the trip?                                                     I went to Panama in 1991 and Afghanistan in 2008. Because of this my expectations of Honduras are based on those countries. I expect to see timid but warm families that shine with a love for each other but eyes that are perhaps dulled by the hardship of their lives. . I imagine there are non-governmental agencies and non-profit humanitarian organizations established within the country’s regions that assist with healthcare, education and religious guidance as people and supplies become available. I really hope to see smiles and light in peoples’ eyes.

How are you physically, mentally and emotionally preparing for this trip?
The physical preparations are being addressed by the fact that twice a year I have an APFT test with the military. My preparations for that will just extend beyond the test date until the Honduras trip. I have been definitely talking with my family and friends about the trip. My grandma is in her mid-90s and was so excited to hear that I was going! Emotionally, I am still doing a lot of soul searching to find a way to prepare myself for the trip. It’s rather necessary to turn off your emotions in a military environment, and since that consumes far more than 40 hours each week for me, it hinders me. I currently believe that God will bring the right conversations and moments of reflection to make this trip as meaningful as it can be. I really want it to have not just a lasting impact on me but on others as well.

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