The ultimate gift – Honduras 2012

Honduras is a beautiful country.  The mountains, the vegetation, the fruit bearing trees, animals that simply roam, a sky of stars, all fit together to paint a picture unlike anything I’ve seen before.  The beauty and majesty of His creation left me motionless and in awe at times.  Well, most of His creation.  I didn’t quite have the same love for our next door neighbor, Mr. Cock-a-doddle-do-all-night-long neighbor.  I may or may not have uttered a prayer for his demise a time or two.  Yet, he lived and we learned to cling to His strength and energy while laboring in the hot sun.

There is one particular story that will be permanently etched in my mind for a long time to come.  The funny thing is… I wasn’t even there to witness this event.  I sat mesmerized at a late dinner table and listened to others share about the event. And the glory of God was so present that I could hardly contain my amazement.

And the neat part about that is, though I was physically in Honduras, I wasn’t an eye-witness.  Much the same that God’s plan was not for You to be in Honduras, but to hear from another – the power of His glory, the power of His story.

So, the story goes, there once was a man who went to work one day, and fell out of a tree.  As a result, he became paralyzed from the waist down.  Without a job, without the ability to work, he turned to trusting in the generosity of others by daily sitting outside the local Maxi Dispensa (Walmart) in hopes of gathering money to be able to afford a surgery.

Two weeks prior to our arrival, a man from the Great Commission Church was prompted to stop and talk to this man whom he had recognized from years past.  A man he knew to be a good man, a hard worker.  When asked what his needs were, he replied that he needed a bed.  It’s been extremely painful for him to sleep on the floor.

The church worker, named Levi, smiled and said, “We just happen to have a team coming that will be making beds.  We will get you a bed.”

And sure enough, on a Wednesday evening, after a late afternoon of evangelizing in the neighborhood of Limon, a bed was placed in the back of Levi’s pick-up truck, several people jumped in, and off they rode.

Not too far into the drive, it started to drizzle, and before long, the skies opened up and it just poured.  With nothing to cover themselves with, the truck drove on – destination Maxi Dispensa.  They pulled in, sopping wet, caused a traffic jam, and our leader Todd said, “We’ve come to give you a bed, join us and show us the way to your home.”  The gentleman in the wheelchair, Fransisco his name, appeared a bit shocked and apprehensive.  He didn’t want to leave his post.  This evening  happened to be his most successful night of the week.  Didn’t matter to our crew.  Without batting an eye, they pulled out some lipera (dollars), and told him, we’re picking you up.  And they did.  Soaking wet, a full truck bed, car horns honking, it didn’t matter.

You see, the bed was a need, but there was an even greater gift that was the priority, the focus.

Two men, one on each side, scooped up this lame man.  Another two ladies got a hold of his wheelchair.  In the rain.  Amongst traffic.  They honored this man by asking him to take them to his home.  And to his home they went.

They arrived and soon learned Fransisco didn’t quite live in the house, he lived outside, in somewhat of a lean-to.  This house was home to several relatives, and they were very welcoming to their guests. One woman had a partial arm.  Another woman, they would learn, had just come through a bout of breast cancer.  Another young child with special needs began running around, and there the group sat, soaking wet, late to dinner, and they talked… for an hour and a half!

They talked about Jesus.  They talked about salvation, by faith, through grace.  They talked about heaven and eternity.  They talked about the cross.  They read scripture en Espanol. They listened, and they prayed. The message was clear and understood.  And. Each.  Member. Of.  That.  Family. Received. Christ.

God knows each of their hearts.  God knows the moment when that seed of truth is ready to be dropped, watered, planted, and harvested.  Our command is to go and to share.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

And THAT is the priority of the Great Commission Church of Latin America (GCLA).  Each member practices with a heart of love and a desire to bring light into the darkness.  Honduras is a place where hopelessness is prevalent.  In the midst of this, there is a greater Hope.  There is a Light.  There is a Word.  There is Christ.  Faith lived out like I’ve never experienced before.  No excuses.

The bed was a gift, but a means to a greater end – an ultimate gift.  The free gift of salvation, by faith, through grace as Jesus willingly died in our place.  It is what life is all about – a life with Christ.

This is the light that I saw in the faces of those who ate a meal, late.  They ate in wet-to-the-bone clothes.  No complaints.  Just the light of Christ, sharing one story of one family, changed for eternity.  And I cried.  And somehow I understood the Spanish spoken, because love penetrates any barrier.

Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Challenge:  How can we share this Light, His story with someone today?

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