Monday, Day 7 Honduras Posts

It was our last full day in Honduras. Many gathered together in the sanctuary (of sorts) to organize the leftover gifts and pack for our last trip to a village named Estuman.

There were voodoo influences there. A man who claimed Christ had mysteriously died of poisoning, leaving his pregnant wife and four young children.

I felt better, but wasn’t looking forward to it. My heart was too raw.

This time, we were driven to the village where we met at Dominga’s house. She was the woman who’s husband had died. A few months ago, a group had travelled to her village and built her a cement block home of about 800 square feet. It was the nicest home in the village. There were no decorations, just cinderblock interior with a main room and two smaller rooms.

We set our stuff there and walked through the village, inviting people to our Christmas celebration. It was the same scenario; good-looking chickens and roosters, half-dressed children, shy women. Several men who resembled Juan Valdez–some complete with a donkey. There was the smell of smoke and fresh tortillas and the site of mangy dogs. There were pieces of garbage strewn about against the backdrop of glorious mountains covered with corn and beans.

This time, during the celebration, I participated. First, I painted fingernails. I didn’t have my glasses, so my aim was off. So much so, that a shy teenager who picked a pale yellow color for one hand, switched to a clear color with sparkles for her other hand. I stunk at nail art.

Next, I helped Crystal and Danielle with balloon figures. I didn’t actually make the figures, my job was to blow up the balloons for the others to create cute animals. Trouble was, I couldn’t blow them up fast enough. There were droves of children waiting expectantly for a balloon miracle, and I was holding up the show. I got fired from that, too.

Then I received “Bubble Duty.” My job was to spread bubbles everywhere in order to help gather a crowd and entertain the children. I don’t think I was that good at it, but it was a delight. Big sisters brought little brothers to me. I blew all kinds of bubbles. Some huge, some that just emerged as bubble spit. No matter what, it made them smile. Then it was their turn. I held the bubble wand and they blew. I wouldn’t trade the look on their faces for anything. Pure delight. Simple joy.

God created those children.

And that was good.

Later, we met around a man named Theodoro’s mud and stick hut. Previously, he had decided to make a pact with Satan and kill Mike Schadt. When he attempted to do that, he realized that God was stronger. He repented of his sin and turned to Christ.

He’s in training to be an elder. Joy streamed from his face.

We met at his house.

The chairs were placed on either side facing the mountains. Each chair was filled, so that some stood and others sat on the bare ground. Nursing mothers held infants, men listened with rapt attention as members of our team looked on with joyful awe. The view of God’s creation, both people and mountains were breath-taking.

First, we worshipped. The never-ending Spanish song, led by a smiling woman almost broke Rob Ozburn’s arm as he shook some sort of maracas to the beat. It certainly made him sweat. Next was the prayer. All prayed at once, most on their knees. A cacophony of praise.

I wondered if that is how it sounded to God when people all over the world raised their voices in praise and adoration. Amazing.

Mike Schadt spoke on the test of a believer. First, he described an unbeliever. He asked, “Are any of you involved in immorality?”

Someone raised their hand. It was behind me so I didn’t look, but I was sure curious. I wondered how that would go over in my home church.

Then Mike dealt with three different sin areas and asked specific Honduran elders if they were involved in them. It was a dramatic sight.

At the end of his message, he asked if there was someone who wanted to submit to Jesus as Lord of their lives. The man who’d raised his hand stepped forward.

It was our bus driver, Rene.

Truth began to seep into my brain. There was hopelessness, poverty, injustice, just as there always was and always would be. There was also the gospel. What Scripture describes as a treasure.

Remember how Mike spoke on the porch about how God took us out of our squalor, touched us and said, “Live.”

I knew then that ultimately, the answer to all of my questions revolved around the gospel. The cross of Jesus Christ.

Enough for today.

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