It struck me today how much we from the United States have in common with the people of Honduras despite the multitude of differences. This morning we went to church, the one we helped yesterday with their new building. The building we met in will be used for children’s purposes once the new building is finished. The worship service for example:
Difference: The ushers wore black pants/skirts and maroon shirts. If you needed something, like a glass of water or a Kleenex, they brought it to you.
Same: They had a worship band with guitar, keyboard & drums.
Same: They have similar order of worship.
Difference: Out of reverence they stand when the Word of God is read and they stand each time they pray or sing. They stand a lot!
Same: The Word of God’s message is relevant to all people of all cultures. The sermon this morning was on not conforming to what we have. Being satisfied with the status quo. Becoming too comfortable with the way things are. If we invite someone to church, we pat ourselves on the back and think what a good job we have done. No. We should always be allowing our mind to be renewed so that we don’t conform to our current situation. God can do a lot of things in your life but you must go to where He leads. If we stay in our current situation, we become stagnant… The sermon was awesome and I was convicted.
At the end of the service, Christina and Natalie sang a song completely in Spanish. It was awesome. They did so good.
Difference: Most of us drive our car(s) to church, while the majority of Hondurans walked on the rocky dirty road. Many of them had to rise early to be able to make the distance in time for church.
After lunch we loaded up the trucks with bags of clothes and shoes despite the rain. We also loaded up what we brought of the BBC (Back Yard Bible Club or VBS) supplies as well as donated soccer balls and uniforms. We headed about an hour outside of Teguc to a small village. We unloaded the clothes and shoes inside the one room school house. Shoes were a hot item as they are very expensive and hard to come by in Honduras. We arranged the clothes and shoes and prepared for the adults to come in and shop.
Difference: Since the missionaries have a good relationship with the village leaders, there is no problem for us to use the school. The idea of helping each other cancels out any religious or political differences.
While the grownups shopped, the Children’s team led the kids in song, interactive Bible study, games and a craft. This is to be repeated two more times later on in the week at other locations. The craft was a hit as it was a foam photo frame for the picture that was taken of the kid and printed on the photo processor giving the child, for most, their first picture of themselves.
Same: Even though the village is extremely poor, it was necessary to charge a little for the clothes and shoes or there was a loss of respect for the items. Something for nothing means nothing, but when you have to pay something for it, it means more. (The little bit of money collected also helps to offset the expense of having the clothes shipped from the states) The laughter of children and smiles of children of all cultures warms the heart.
Tammy, Diego, Chris and Donna did such a great job of leading in Spanish. The kid’s responded well to everything. All the rest sat with, sang with, and helped with the games and crafts the best we could despite the language hurdle. While the Children’s team finished up with the kids and the last of the shopping was completed, the rest of us bagged up the left over clothes and shoes and loaded them back on the trucks. Then, like a bunch of migrant workers, we loaded ourselves back on the trucks and headed back to the mission house.
Same: I think the biggest similarity is our hearts. We may have different color of skin, hair, size and shape of our bodies. We may have different economic status, and cultural traditions. But our hearts still search for something to latch on too, to feel loved, to be wanted and valued. People all over the globe try to fill that place in their heart with a multitude of things, but there is only One Light that penetrates the darkest places of the soul. Jesus. No amount of money, food, alcohol, sex or other attempts will ease the aching of our hearts. We are all the same in that we need Jesus.
After dinner we packed and prepared to go to Sampedrana. Anxiousness or excitement? It is hard to tell as we get ready for our upcoming three day adventure to a remote village up one of the mountains 4 hours away where there will be no electricity and cold mountain water showers!
Thankful to God for:
- Jana (one of the missionaries) who sat behind us and interpreted for us the sermon and what else was going on during the worship service.
- Thankful for safe travels to and from the mission house. Thankful that it did not rain on us too bad and most riding in the back of the trucks were dry.
- Thankful for Dora our cook at the mission house and the good Honduran food she has prepared for us and that Silas continues to try and eat new things!
- I am thankful that Jesus fills my heart with strength and joy that doesn’t make any sense and is impossible to accomplish without Him.