I had the ultimate joy and privilege to spend 9 days in a country very different than my own. I had a conversation with my children before I left and asked them, “Why is Mommy traveling to Honduras?” They couldn’t quite answer, so I responded with – God asked me to go, and I said, yes. I wanted them to know I was clear, I had peace, and when Mom has peace, children seem to have peace. Funny how that works.
There are so many stories to share from this trip. As a few of us shared one last meal in the airport during our layover, I asked, “What will you say when people ask you, how was your trip?” In popcorn fashion I heard, “life-changing” “powerful” “transforming” “new perspective”. And I would have to agree. Such a strange notion to feel so at home in a place so far away. I heard mention the talk of “family” there and in a way only God can bond, I can say I have familia in Honduras.
As the Lord leads, I’d love to take a few moments to share stories as my transitioning brain will allow. We had the opportunity to each share our story, or testimony, to one another, and over and over again, His redemptive power spoke truth – His story, His love is irresistible. He gave His life so that we may live, may we feel encouraged and inspired to do the same in sharing His story with those we encounter.
My story today is a personal one. It took place on an ordinary Saturday, at an ordinary time, in an ordinary way. Our weekly routine had been to eat breakfast, share devotions, and head out to our project for the day. This day, however, we were headed to the beach! So, dressed in swim suits, cover ups, and flip flops, we gathered our belongings to head for the bus. Before boarding, one of our teammates announced that they were going to deliver 2 beds that were made the day before in the village of Casa Hogar Vida where we were staying. I was visiting the prison the day the beds were made, but I felt compelled to simply help deliver them – I’m in!
Grabbing the front end of one of the beds, we began the trek. At first, we walked on soft grass, then we hit a pebbled, uneven dirt road, then we turned a corner and headed down a more narrow, bumpy dirt road, we turned again and headed across a field with a foot-wide worn path, watching for mounds of fire ants, and dodging cow pies. We slowly turned again and faced a patch of mud left from the evening’s rain. No way around it, so through we trudged, praying our flips flops would suction to our feet and not the ground. Soft, earthly mud oozed around our toes and splashed onto the backs of our legs. Up a small hill we walked, and there before us were two humble dwellings.
The first group entered the home in front, so my partner and I turned left to head into the other dwelling. The entrance was not very tall nor very wide. We turned the bed sideways, and very slowly entered the dwelling. It was very quiet inside, the environment reminded me of a darkened cave as the only light came through the front entrance way. In the corner, a small fire was burning, giving off the earthen smell and warmth of a cozy, serene environment. A small table near the fireplace could be seen where breakfast tortillas were waiting to me made. The only other element in the small space was a hammock strung from one corner to the other, using up the space. Just then, something caught my eye. In the middle of the hammock, was a sleeping child! He had a dark mop-top-head of hair, he was laying on his back, and his lips were moving in a sucking action. He mama had warmed him up with a gray, zipped up sweatshirt, and nothing else. He was sound asleep, so peaceful looking.
In a instant, I felt led to pray over this boy and for the plans the Lord had in store for him. It was such an intimate moment, that I didn’t even dare touch his sweet head, but I came close. His mama had been loving him and his Heavenly Father was tangibly reaching down now as well. And then we noticed we needed to move the bed so that it would fit into the small space next to the entrance way. This sweet one was right in the center. And then I knew, he needed to be moved.
I gently leaned forward, slowly nudged my two hands underneath his arms, and oh-so-carefully picked him up. Two dark-brown, round eyes popped open wide and he tried to focus on his surroundings. So as not to frighten him, I moved him close to my shoulder and wrapped my arm around him snuggly. He quickly gave into his tiredness and nuzzled his head into my shoulder. And I melted. Completely. It was as if I stepped onto Holy ground and was given a moment of sweet irresistible love in the form of small, precious child. I again felt led to pray, and in a moment of instinctual motherhood, I began to sing over him. The first song that came to mind… Jesus Loves Me. And in that moment, no one else was in the room. It was a moment of sweet intimacy with my Jesus, and in fact, it reminded me of how He so humbly came into the world… just for me.
And the sweet young Momma joined us, and in a language that goes beyond words, we gave what little we had – time, energy, and effort to extend a moment of love by giving her something she’s never had before in her 15 years of life – a bed to sleep on. And we said goodbye, and we walked back through the mud, past the cows pies, and through the ants, down the rocky road, and onto the smooth path that led us to our bus. And off we went to the beach.
And yet, when I pause, I can still feel that sweet child relax in my arms, and press into the warmth and love of His Father, simply because one young woman decided to say yes. I entered into an adventure of a lifetime. And that adventure extends to each one of us each and every day. If we only listen and act. His arms are wide, His love is great, His love is irresistible.