An unfamiliar birdsong awakened me this morning, as it has for the past three days. I’m in a mountain village in central Honduras — Monte Redondo or “round mountain”. The bird’s trilling is soon interrupted by the sharp staccato of a bus horn. The middle grade boys living at Finca Grace (Grace Farm) chatter as they board the bus to travel one hour into Tegucigalpa to begin school.
The lush green mountains of Honduras always surround us, like a protective cloak, isolating and insulating the people of this small Central American nation. But the reality is that the beautiful mounds of earth cannot protect them from the cares and worries of life.
On Monday and Tuesday mornings, we left early to ride in our school bus to neighboring villages where we walked from house to house, calling out “buenos dias”. We offered them prayer, along with food, clothing, tracts, candies, small toys, beaded bracelets — whatever we could carry on our backs and in our arms.
In each home, we were greeted warmly, invited to sit, offered hugs. Our visits were short, but they knew why we had come. The didn’t refuse prayer, and their list was long.
Children who have strayed from their faith
The loss of a son to cancer
Safety for a nephew trying to get to America
They sound familiar. Within our team, we have the same needs, and so we pray together, in a circle, hands linked. Asking God to touch lives, heal brokenness, provide. The blessings flow in both directions.
But this mission has not been without trials, events that could have caused us to question our daring to share the gospel outside our borders. The sudden death of a team member, family illnesses that threatened departure, and finally an accident on a bumpy trail that sent a team member home early.
In each case, God has provided. A new team member, an 18-year-old boy in place of a 77-year-old woman, became a divine appointment. Among his challenges has been helping to care for another team member, a 79-year-old woman who suffered a broken ankle on a trek into the mountains to call on families. Here, still, God provided transportation, an efficient emergency room staff, helpful ticket agents.
And as today’s work unfolded, God again had His way with our well-thought-out plans. When a government-sponsored free food opportunity conflicted with our plan to give hot meals to workers at a city dump, we moved our bus back to Monte Redondo. There we fed lunch to hoards of school children in black and uniforms on a soccer field in the center of the village.
Sometimes, events unfold that are unplanned, even tragic. But always, the mission remains: share the gospel and provide out of our wealth for those in need.
Divine appointments will be made. I’ll share a few more as the week unfolds.