Friday, May 8, 2015

Digestion and reflection

Last Thursday, before leaving town, I cried for a bit. I was leaving my family and putting them in the absolute safest care of some of the best friends I have and my husband would be right by their side. They all were going to be having one of the greatest weeks, even though I wasn't going to be with them. But it was still hard to leave them. For the first time I was going to be without the people I am with everyday of my life for 8 days and I had no clue what I would endure in Honduras. BUT I knew I'd return home a week later. And I KNEW I'd have pictures and stories to share. And it would all be fine. So when we got on the plane, I read the sweet letters and pictures, cried one last time, and then let the Lord begin opening my heart to bring joy, laughter, and rest within my soul, ready for the week ahead. 
But as the days unfolded in the city of Tegucigalpga, the Lord has been doing a miraculous work in my heart and life. With the work we did, everything from the hospital visits, the teaching in the guardarías/preschools, time at the detention center, feeding the homeless, even our time on top of the mountains in the mornings, my heart longs to stay in this country. I've been craving with the same love for these people as I did my own family. To the pastor and his wife that housed us all week, to the ladies in the kitchen that cooked amazing meals for us and supplied an unending amount of coffee all week (of which I now drink black), to the young man who dreams to come to the states to study music and has such drive and passion and is such a gentleman, to the children who without caution attack you because you have a smile on your face and talk to you (even if you don't speak their language), to the beautiful landscape of the country. 

And then those folks whom we served, the young children who maybe heard about Jesus for the first time and made beautiful butterflies, the girls in the carcel especially Cáterine, the new mothers, those celebrating life with new babies and those who are still grieving the death of their babies like Lauren, the weak youth on the streets searching for their food on the streets. 

Sadly, my airplane companion probably thinks I'm crazy because I've been crying like an emotional train wreck since we started on the tarmack. He looks like an army kind of guy, all tough and rugged and beside him I'm a sobbing MESS. Pull it together sister!!!
I have been crying for these people, this city, and this country in moments when my heart is carried to thinking about where they are in life, how they live, and how they will be living tomorrow. Some of them DO know Jesus, though many of them still do not. Alvin and Nelly continue to serve and have others serve with them to be the hands and feet so that others may come to know Jesus. 

You may remember that one of my biggest a prayer requests/concerns was that the language would come back to me rather quickly and easily. Well, walking away this morning, I can say that it did and I was beginning to become more accustomed to Spanish than English, that turned out to not even be the need at all. While you probably did pray for that, I do thank you for those prayers. The language grew naturally out of immersion as it should have. But I should have never been worried about what I was going to say or how I was going to say it in the first place. What I came to realize is that simply we were called this week to be the hands and feet of the gospel. To serve, feed, clothe, care, love, kiss, hug, and share with the least of these. We have been given much. And for that, I can be grateful. And in response I can give in return. 

Alvin and Nelly basically live their life in service with the call of the Great Commision found in Matthew 28, but they also use this passage for their encouragement and daily motivo for ministry in Honduras. 

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-37, 39-40 ESV)

May God also put this desire in my own heart so that I would be an overflowing cup of thankfulness in service each day, whether that is in Rock Hill or in my return to Honduras. One thing is certain, part of my heart remains in that city. 
Yo voy a verla muy prontito-I will see it again-very very soon. 


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