As I prepare to leave for Honduras I’ve been reflecting on the past year and how God brought me to the place where I am going to go back to Honduras to work with Buckner for eight and a half months.
In June 2011 two of my younger sisters and I went to San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a week on a family mission trip with a couple of other families from our church. While we were there we spent the mornings at Nueva Esperanza (an orphanage for infants through 12 year old children) playing with the babies and toddlers while the older kids were in class. Our afternoons were spent with some of the children at Las Brisas (the community transformation center) running a Vacation Bible School with stories, crafts, and games we brought from home. These kids have close to nothing, but have the biggest hearts. They wanted only our friendship and attention (well they also loved to drink water out of our water bottles) and I completely fell in love with all them. When I walked into the preschool room I saw a little girl with the most beautiful brown eyes I have ever seen and immediately became attached to her. Form that moment forward I was in love. I asked the teacher what her name was and was told, “I don’t know, but we call her Carina.” In that moment my heart was broken and it still breaks thinking about it. She doesn’t have anyone that knows and calls her by her real name; she answers to whatever you call her. Even though this is sad to think about, I am reminded of what God showed me in this week. Even though this little girl that I call Carina does not have parents that call her by name she has a Heavenly Father who loves her immensely – more than I will ever be able to understand – and He loves her and knows her name. Leaving these sweet children at the orphanage and at the CTC on our last day was hard, harder than I thought it would be. I wanted to stay and take care of them and love on them continuously or at the very least some day have the opportunity to go back and love on all of them.
Our Buckner trip leader last July went to Guatemala as an intern a few summers before and we had several conversations about it while we were in Honduras together. For several months I entertained the idea of going back to Honduras as what they call a Project Go volunteer. After a few months of thinking about it and praying about it I decided I would in fact apply. But, little did I know that God had other plans. In January 2012 I went to Passion (a large gathering of college-aged Christians to learn about and proclaim the name of Jesus) for the third time. I knew I would love it and learn a lot because the presence of God is definitely felt there. For me, there are no distractions and everyone is covered in prayer the entire four days. I did not know however, that God would change my plans by calling me to something drastically different than what I planned for myself. You see, my plan at the time was to graduate from Texas A&M in May, go to Honduras for a month (and only a month) in July, then start graduate school the following August.
One day at Passion everyone was singing and praising God in different languages. It was beautiful. It was a wonderful reminder that our God is not bound by language like we are. People all over the world worship and pray to God in a language other than English all the time. As the song ended Louie Giglio came on to stage and asked us to pray for another country, whatever country was on our hearts. Naturally I began to pray for Honduras at that time. I don’t have any idea what I prayed at that moment, but the country and the people in Honduras were on my heart more than they had ever been. Right after that Francis Chan began to speak and that is where I first felt God calling me to Honduras for longer than a month. He said to us, “Why can we not be the first ones to go? Why are we waiting for someone else to go first? Just go!” He was speaking about 1 Samuel 13 and 14 when God told Saul to attack the Philistines but he did not because he got scared. Later, Jonathan and his armor bearer went alone to attack the Philistines and God delivered them into their hands. It didn’t matter that Saul had a whole army and Jonathan only had himself and his armor bearer. They were faithful and obedient to God! Francis Chan said, “Be a Jonathan, go!” At that moment I prayed, “God what are you interrupting my life with? Is it Honduras? Do you want me to go?” And there was no doubt in my mind that God was saying, yes go. Honduras is where I want you. With full assurance I know that this is the place that God wants me to be! I am called to love them and serve them as Christ loved and gave Himself up for me.
Come back tomorrow for more about exactly where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, and how you can be involved.
Thanks and gig ‘em.
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus.