RPImagery Ben Higgins Mahogany Workplace Generous Coffee 2
Travel World Views

Serving, Not Saving, the World… With My Mom

I’ve always loved stories. When I was a kid, I used to read the wild stories from the Bible, like the time a fish ate a man and he lived to tell about it or the time when the entire world flooded and Noah not only survived but got to hang out with all the animals on a huge boat he built. I love those stories because they are so intense and vivid, but I also love them because I believe that I can live a great story if I let God lead.

Thanks to being on The Bachelor (something that’s still hard to believe sometimes), I have the opportunity to intertwine my life story with more people than I ever imagined. It’s a dream come true, but it’s kind of stressful at the same time. Sometimes my head spins with all the opportunities I receive (a great problem to have).

When I get overwhelmed, I know how to make myself feel better: start serving others.

For the past week, I led a group of about 40 Americans and Hondurans on an adventure to invest as much love as we could into the lives of some of the most isolated, marginalized people in the world. And I got to do it with my Mom, who happens to be the No. 1-ranked mom in the world (according to me).

Ben Higgins Mahogany Workplace HH Team photo

During our eight days in Honduras,  I got to be a part of so many incredible stories. We painted houses, built fences, walked through rivers, and ate freshly grown pineapples on a Honduran mountainside. In the midst of all the meaningful work, we focused on the fact that our biggest impact came from the love we shared through relationships, not the accomplishments we achieved through projects.

Since we focused on building relationships, we got to listen to others — a lot. We heard stories of heartbreak: One woman’s husband drowned while walking to work because the river he crossed didn’t have a bridge and a storm hit quickly. We heard stories of violence: A man’s brother was killed by his brother-in-law in a senseless, drunken fight. We heard stories of triumph: One woman encouraged her daughter to stay in school through college and that girl returned as a kindergarten teacher for the village. I heard stories of love: Several parents told me how they would skip meals to make sure their kids didn’t go hungry.

A recurring theme during our visit: before and afters. We heard stories about life before and after having clean water, getting a job, receiving an education, building a home, and so many other things we take for granted. Most importantly, we participated in story of hope that is so much bigger than any one individual.

RPImagery Ben Higgins Mahogany Workplace Generous Coffee 1

I’m on the Board of Directors at Humanity & Hope United (sounds fancy, but it really just means that we try to serve others the best we can). Consequently, I’ve seen what can happen when we work together to invest in people with love. I’ve seen 13 businesses grow from nothing to supporting parents who need to feed their children. I’ve seen entire villages be able to access clean water, buy houses, and build bathrooms for themselves. I’ve seen children attend high school in villages where no one else had made it past sixth grade. And I’ve seen women who expected to sit at home making tortillas — although there is nothing wrong with a good tortilla — become entrepreneurs and change their communities.

Endless amounts of hope result from these opportunities… and I’m convinced that it all happens because we did it as a team and we did it with love. My friends and I realize that no one person can save the world, so on a weeklong trip we don’t even try. We just try to be a part of a story that’s bigger than ourselves; one where everyone works together with love to bring out the best in others.

Together we are so, so strong. Magic happens when we focus on serving the world, not saving the world.

So how did this lead to a trip with my Mom? Well, she almost broke her leg while riding a banana boat on our beach day. And I almost lost her when she took an accidental four-hour hike in the wrong direction. But I’ve never been more proud of her, and we’ve never shared so much purpose. And that is why we did this together.

Ben Higgins Mahogany Workplace Generous Coffee 3

Side note: I did not leave empty handed. I also got a pretty sweet haircut in one of the villages. There are so many reasons to come on a trip with us. If you’re interested in participating on a Humanity and Hope United trip, please send them an email. We’d love to have you.

Thankfully, I got to spend even more time in Honduras after the H&H trip. Once the group left, I headed to the coffee-producing region of Honduras to continue the journey of Generous Coffee, with our goal to make the world better with each cup of coffee you drink. Stay tuned for more stories. We hope you become a part of them.

By Ben Higgins with Riley Fuller

Where do you serve? What does serving teach you about life?

First and third images by RP Imagery.

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  • Reply
    Haley Horn
    August 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Yes yes yes to that title!!!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Love this so much! Sometimes this world feels completely crazy, and serving always brings my heart and mind back to the right place.
    I’m starting saving up to go on an H&H trip sometime this year and I’m so excited!

  • Reply
    Sydney Bogden
    August 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    I loved hearing about your trip and the ways you are serving others. Having that opportunity would be so amazing. I have always wanted to go on some try on trip like that and I feel very inspired by what you have written to try to accomplish that soon.

  • Reply
    Katie Birch
    August 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I loved reading this! I went to Honduras to serve for a week and half and absolutely loved the experience. You truly do come back with a completely different perspective on what really matters in life and what doesn’t. This brought me back to that life changing experience in my life, so thank you for that! Ben, I love how you have used your experience of the Bachelor to inspire others and share God’s love. You are such an inspiration ☺️

  • Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    This is absolutely true. I just finished up teaching Vacation Bible School at my church. While it was loud, chaotic, and busy; hearing our kindergarteners recite the 23rd Psalm at the end of the week made my heart so full. Also, having them realize that God loves them, and telling that to their families at night is such a blessing.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I’m going on a VBS trip to Campeche, Mexico this month!! Seems like you enjoyed your experience with new cultures, and I hope I get out as much enlightenment as you did!! Loved this post❤️

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    This was beautiful to read. My family is actually from Honduras so this hits home. You are an amazing human being Ben. Keep doing what you do.

  • Reply
    Rhonda Lucas
    August 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    The greatest joy we can have is in serving others. I find sometimes to get out of my own pain, I must help someone else in pain. Honduras is a county of stories many full of sorrow. YET they don’t give up. Great article.

  • Reply
    Christine W
    August 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    💗 this & 100% agree!

  • Reply
    Doris crittenden
    August 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Your stories and heartfelt actions are so amazing!! In our Sunday School Class, we have given money each week for wells to be dug ,so the people in Africa, can have water.We are on our 7th well to be paid for.I haven’t been there to Africa but we have pictures of every well they have completed. Some of our people are there working, saving souls all the time.Although I am not there, It is good to be a part of that mission.Telling you this, knowing you know what this means by people not having clean water to drink or just water period!!! Thank you Ben for being such an inspiration to this world which desperately needs it!! Wishing you the best in life, In Christian Love. (I admire your Mom! As a Mom having a son, we are very close, and he is a Super Christian, who really focuses on teaching his kids, my Grands about Jesus.Tonight we are being blessed with a new baby!😘❤May God continue to bless You!!!!❤

  • Reply
    August 29, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    “Most importantly, we participated in story of hope that is so much bigger than any one individual.” – This. The most important part of daily life wherever you find yourself is understanding your role to participate in many stories that are bigger than your own world. Really enjoyed this piece and connected with the stories, thank you.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    September 26, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    “Serving, not saving.” Truth!

    I remember before going to Palau for a summer, my mentor had said, “Janelle, you are not going over there to change them. You’re going over there for them to change you.” Gah!!! Honestly, that truth was the loudest throughout my time there as I felt God continually bring me more into His presence and learn more of Who He is through it all. Each precious story was life-giving and I got to see him actively loving people right in front of me. That’s what it’s all about. Nothing more/nothing less.

  • Reply
    November 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    One of my favorite physicians (they’re all my favorite) I work for always says, “We are here to serve.” So that’s what we do. I love what we do. What you do is awesome and very admirable. If I could high-five you, I would.

  • Reply
    Lourdes García Morán
    March 23, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I love this post I thank you infinitely for all that you do for my country and although it seems little, it is an immense job to give opportunities and hope to families that perhaps before you arrived felt that they had no way out. Honduras is a country with so much need, but, with incredible people and fighters. When someone gives help in such a kind and disinterested way like you I can only feel admiration and respect. God compensates everything you do, many blessings. Greetings from Honduras.

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