A few weeks ago, I shared a prayer for the team from our church that was departing for a mission trip to Honduras:
All of our soldiers have returned safely, and we received their report on last evening. God used twelve members of our church to draw fourteen souls back to himself – that is the praise report!
I understand that it rained for several days, but they continued in the work. Our team worked alongside the Hondurans to complete construction on a church building in Mal Paso, build bunk beds for the families, join in fellowship and Bible teaching, and deliver groceries to the local homes in Mal Paso and LaVictoria, a Honduran Indian Village.
Before departing, the team spent the last day delivering meals to the poorest families who lived in the dumps of Tegucigalpa. I cannot begin to describe the filth observed in the pictures, and I did not deal with the stench of standing in that situation if only for a brief moment. The thought of daily living in a dump with helpless children who have no practical way of escaping the situation that they were born into and will most likely die in, is unimaginable. My heart broke as their video revealed beautiful little girls like the one in this photo, and not much older than my daughter, who were targets for abuse simply because they are poor, uneducated, and unprotected.
The team spoke of the literary rate in one of the towns as being 0%. I kept thinking to myself that this is considered a prime vacation destination by Americans and other wealthier individuals. I thought back to my second year anniversary when my husband and I ventured to Jamaica. We stayed at an all inclusive resort, but paid for tickets to take a trip into the mountains. While riding the little bus on a rocky, unpaved road, our eyes were momentarily opened to the lives of the local people. The majority of the homes were smaller than my daughter’s bedroom. Nevertheless, these homes were for families of three or four people! Observing these situations from afar is quite humbling, and puts things in prospective.
There is still hope for our lost, dying, and messed up world. After receiving food, one of the fourteen souls shared with our team member, “I have heard of the love of God before, but I had never seen it.” My hope and prayer is that, even if it never happens again on this side of heaven, he will always remember that he had an encounter with God on that day.
“Then the King (Jesus) will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father (God); take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 35-40 New International Version
All of us will not have an opportunity to go on a mission trip. However, there are hungry, thirsty, sick, and imprisoned strangers among us. How often do we pass up the opportunity to serve these brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus?