Although I am back from my mission trip to Honduras, my body is still recovering. Home Sweet Home has its privileges, including my own bed and pillow, but I firmly believe in the joy of sacrifice. It’s a bit of a stretch to qualify my “sacrifices” on this trip when there was drinking water from the faucet, flushing toilets, and prepared food. The BMDMI https://bmdmi.com/ compound where we stayed provides the basics we Americans are accustomed to. The villages, however, are a different story. Nonetheless, being willing and obedient goes a long way.
Among our group of 15 from church were three older women, including an 81-year-old spunky sweetheart. Two of these seniors had never been on a mission trip, much less an international one! They quickly found their niche and fit right in.
Our group from Alabama joined another group from Arkansas. Our purpose was to provide medical clinics in remote villages with the aim of sharing the Gospel. A dental clinic was also provided on the compound. This year, two additional components were added: VBS and a small construction team. My husband was among the construction crew.
This year, I took my keyboard and worked with the pastor to extend the VBS time. Kids received their own version of the Gospel through salvation bracelets. One little girl accepted Christ as a result.
I conspired with the pastor to sing “God is Good” at the beginning of each session and close with “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” I sang in Spanish even though I do not know Spanish! I do know how to write it phonetically to pronounce the words. Don’t laugh; it worked! I also extended the prayer time with soft music. That was one of my first blessings to work with the Spanish pastor who couldn’t talk to me and I couldn’t talk to him, yet we saw the Lord move.
The day after arriving in Honduras, we visited the local community to take the water truck and pass out beans and rice. You should have seen the smiles on people’s faces as they lined up their buckets and pails to partake in the distribution of clean water. I was perplexed when one young mother recognized me. She welcomed me and others with open arms. I felt guilty for not recognizing her. But she was right. I had been to her home two years earlier when our group delivered a bed frame made for her son along with a mattress. As we handed her the bags of food, she said she had just run out of food.
We circled outside her shack of a home, holding hands. As one of our members began to pray, the woman joined in with praise, shouting to the Lord with joy and adoration. Chillbumps ran up and down my arms. We worshiped standing on that hard, beaten clay with chickens and hungry dogs running around and the hot sun bearing down. The Lord was there listening to every heartfelt Spanish utterance.
For four days, our group of missionaries and translators set up and tore down four clinics. We drove over miles of bumpy and winding dirt roads 4100 feet into the mountains; we journeyed into the heart of the city; and we set up at two schools in other villages. We saw over 1,000 Hondurans and their families and gave out handfuls of medicine, bags of wellness items, hygienic supplies, and rice and beans. Children received coloring books, coloring pencils, and a toy – no one left without something.
All of their senses were touched save the sense of smell (although there were undoubtedly unique odors at times). They felt the sting of the B12 injection, tasted the nastiness of the worming medicine, saw a healthcare provider, and heard the Gospel.
Even the dogs reaped the benefit of our coming as some received a hearty meal. What can I say? My compassion is not limited to man alone.
Each member of our team walked away with stories. How can I forget the precious children who sang “Jesus Loves Me” and hugged our legs after we delivered handmade items from our Women on Mission? The intimate sharing and the new friends made within our group were gold. I reconnected with a young man I met five years ago to teach him how to read music. Gregory made a special visit to play his saxophone, which I was honored to accompany. I will long remember Ana and her family, who refused the love of Jesus I told them about on their porch.
The sacrifice for missions is always worth it, even when the enemy shoots his arrows. I have learned to expect it now, although it doesn’t make it any easier.
Have you ever considered going on an international mission trip? Age is no excuse. “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14)