I’m completing my first month at Casa de Luz. As we have settled into a routine, I have had more time to think about my mission here and how it fits into God’s plan for my life. Tonight I was remembering a song that was popular several years ago by Audio Adrenaline. The lyrics have always moved me:
“I want to be your hands, I want to be your feet,
I’ll go where you send me, Go where you send me.”
What it took to reach a place of surrender, that is, the surrender of first world comforts and conveniences, the temporary setting aside of family relationships in order to accomplish something important for the Kingdom, the desire to serve as a missionary in a foreign country, is a journey that began when I became a believer. I grew up in humble surroundings, so I can roll with almost any living situation. Most inconveniences are minor annoyances to me. But I can’t deny that for the last twenty years, I have had an extremely comfortable life.
From the very beginning of my walk with Christ, I identified one of my spiritual gifts as mercy for the poor. For the past 15 years, I have served as food pantry coordinator of my church. But God has radically changed my heart and my vision, and my definition of “poverty”. He has lowered the threshold, you might say, of what I believed poverty was, continually moving me toward greater empathy, and a greater understanding of how He sees His children, and that poverty is much more than physical. It began with serving the poor in my own community, and then extended to an orphanage in Mexico, and next, to poorer villages in Belmopan, Belize where children lived in conditions that no one from the United States could imagine. And now, here I am, in the first half of a three month stretch of service, working with beautiful children in Honduras, sharing my knowledge in the hopes that someday, they will have a better life. Even more importantly, that they will know that God loves them in any circumstance, and that spiritual riches supersede the physical limitations of our lives. With every experience, I have felt greater and greater urgency, to truly be the hands, the feet, and the heart of God, showing His love to “the least of these”. It is a passion that once ignited is not easily extinguished. I wonder at times where it will end. Will I at some point go home and say, “Ok, I’m done and ready to retire to my comfortable life.”? I can’t imagine that. Instead I have the feeling that I will go home, and as has happened before, I will look around at my house and all my blessings and say, “How can I enjoy all this when others have so little?” All that I have seems to be becoming a guilty pleasure. It’s a little frightening when God takes hold of your life and your desires in such a big way. But there is no safer place than to be in the will of God. He is beside me every step of the way.
So as I write this, surrounded by minor annoyances, bugs constantly landing on my laptop screen, itching from other bugs, uncomfortably sweaty and ready for my second shower of the day, I smile because in the long run, I will forget these things. What is written on my heart forever are the hugs and smiles of my precious students, who are such beautiful children of God. I thank Him for this experience and the lasting change it will make in me. I am being molded into something useful, and hopefully something beautiful. I’m thankful also for my church here on Roatán, “R Church” which has warmly welcomed me into their midst. I’m most grateful for the confidence expressed in me and my mission here through the donations of generous sponsors, and especially to my home church, The Compass Church, in Selma, Indiana. As my friend Lisa, our pastor’s wife stated so beautifully in a recent letter, “Right now you are the hands and feet. When you come home you will be the voice.” Thanks to all for your prayers, love and support.
Luke 6:38 New Living Translation (NLT)
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Care4Communities (C4C) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), Florida-based Corporation, headquartered in Jacksonville. C4C exists to share the love of Jesus with the communities of Roatan through sports, education and construction activities as a means to develop relationships and affirm their dignity.