In Feb 2018, 8 amazing women embarked on an incredible journey to Honduras with Right Turn Ministries to share Jesus with the people of Honduras.
When we arrived in Honduras, we quickly settled in and then hit the ground running…we ran hard for Jesus for 6 days straight.
On Friday night, Roni McDaniels led an amazing Bible Study in one of the established in home Bible Study groups. These groups are located in various places where there is limited/no access to Church. For some people, these studies are the only Jesus they will ever hear about.
After the study, the attendees were fed a delicious meal of balleadeas. Each study concludes with a meal provided by Right Turn Ministries. There were 26 people who attended this night.
On Saturday, we headed up to the Jeremiah 29:11 Mission House where we spent the day painting the classrooms that our mens team built the month prior, as well as one of the girls bedrooms. Who knew that a little colored paint could bring such smiles to innocent faces. We were able to visit with the 47 children who reside at this amazing mission complex. Our American school teachers, Julie Krausz and Kara Grossmann painted, decorated, and stocked their classrooms so the kids would be able to start school the following week in a new, freshly painted building.
On Sunday, we got to experience Church Honduran style. When we first arrived, we were told the power was out due to a “scheduled power outage between 10am 4 pm.” To appreciate this, you have to understand that when I say no power…I mean NO POWER in a concrete building with no windows. When we walked in, it was 87degrees on the INSIDE….with no moving air.
That minor set back did not detour the folks of this little Church. They got their prayer, praise and song on!! They were not about to let a little thing like no power stop Jesus. As only God could do, right before the service started, the power suddenly popped on. It was a goosebump moment. Not a dry eye in place, for we KNEW that Gods power had LITERALLY showed up. With the power restored, the Church service continued (still with no air conditioning, because…well….that’s just not a luxury they can afford) but we did have a couple of standing fans at least to move a little air. However, once the Holy Spirit showed up though, nobody cared about how hot it was…all we knew was the Jesus had shown up and that was enough for us. Again, Roni McDaniel brought a strong message to the congregation and at the end of the service we had the amazing opportunity to pray for those who were hurting, sick, and sad.
We handed out over 100 prayer shawls that were hand made by our own Christ Church Womens Prayer Shawl ministry. What a blessing these were to the people in Honduras!
That afternoon, we headed down to a local riverfront where people live. I wished I could accurately describe the living conditions of this area, but quite frankly, words would not do it justice. It’s one of those things you just have to see to believe. These are the poorest of the poor in Honduras. They use the river to bathe, wash clothes, wash bodies, and use it as a toilet…all in the same place. I want you to imagine taking a shower in the same water you just used as a toilet. This is everyday life for these people. We delivered over 150 lbs of beans and rice to those living there. For some, this will be the only meal they have all week….maybe all month.
We were also able to hand out flip flops, toys for the kids, toothbrushes, etc. Kids who have nothing….adults who have nothing…the smiles we received in return was priceless. Kids eternally grateful to receive a toy, a mom grateful that for TODAY, she could feed her hungry children. Food…something we all take for granted, brought tears of joy from an elderly lady, it brought a man to his knees in prayer of thanks to God. Food. Something as simple as beans and rice.
Monday night led us up the mountain the Primavera area where Roni led another in home Bible Study. It was clear from the start that this study is full of new seekers who do not all yet know Christ. What a great opportunity we had to share Jesus, explain the Bible, answer some tough questions. You know what I found ironic….even in Honduras, they have the same questions about Jesus that we have here in the US. They question why God allows their suffering, they don’t understand the Bible, they question the rules of righteous living. Sound familiar?
On Tuesday, we to a local public school where we handed out backpacks and supplies to the classroom that is taught by our good friend Dina. She has 42 kids in her 3rd grade class, and she pays for most of the supplies from her own pocket. She was eternally grateful that her kids all got new backpacks to start their school year off with (their schools begin in February). We also, may or may not have loaded them up on candy right before we left…oh, who I am kidding, we did load them up on candy!! Again, something so simple, yet life changing to a child who has nothing.
We then headed back to the Jeremiah Mission to complete our work. This place has to be one of the most incredible places I have ever served. It is owned/operated by 2 Americans whom God called to leave all and follow Him. Chuck and Joyce Harper. 2 of the most amazing people I know. They took Jesus at his word….literally. They gave up all. They gave up their high priced American careers, their American family, kids, grandkids to move to Honduras and open a home for kids who had been abandoned, hurt, left alone. They rely on God to supply their daily bread. They have no guarantee of food for tomorrow, yet they know that God has and will always provide for their needs. I believe God is doing so because they were faithful to what God asked them to do. Scripture tells us that if we just trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding but on Gods, all things are possible. Our team was blessed to get to see that up close and personal.
On the way home, we took a side trip to catch some Honduran culture…we stopped at what we refer to as “The Monkey Park”. It really isn’t a park, or a zoo…it’s just an area where monkeys roam free in the trees. We were able to feed them some “monkey chips” and just enjoy some of Gods beautiful creation.
Wednesday…we took a day “off” and took all of the kids living at the Jeremiah Mission House, along with all of Right Turn Ministries sponsored children and their families to the beach in Tela. The ocean. One of God’s most amazing creations.
We had over 47 children and 20 adults get to experience Jesus in a way that is indescribable. Whether it was taking a child who lives her life in a wheelchair, and literally/physically carrying her through the sand so she could sit on the beach to the oceans edge, or just take a child by the hand, and ask him to trust you, as you lead him in to the ocean for the first time in his life….and then watch the smile on face as the waves crash in to his body.
Did I say we took the day off? Yeah, ok…so maybe we didn’t take the day off…the beach day was an 8 hour long day, 2 hrs there, 4 hours in the water, 2 hours back home. We were tired, hot, some sunburned….but did we care?? Absolutely Not! It was totally worth it.
To see the look on the face of child who sees Gods creation, the ocean, for the first time in his/her life….priceless.
Thursday found us loading up to head home. While we were all anxious to get home to our own loved ones, it was hard to leave. The people we serve somehow, in a matter of days, had woven themselves so deep in our hearts that we were heartbroken to have to say goodbye.
There were tears, there were hugs, there were promises of a return in just a few months in July 2018 when Right Turn Ministries will be returning with another team.
We left Honduras physically, but make no mistakes, a big part of our hearts remained!
We all came home filled with more Jesus than when we left. We went to serve, but for us, what we found, is that we are the ones that were served. Our hearts filled more with Jesus than ever, our hearts overflowing with love for people we just met, OUR lives were forever changed.
Funny how God works like that!