Precious In His Sight

1547312959153_imageRecently, I came across these verses while doing my morning devotions. They revealed to me more about God’s love for the people of Honduras and specifically the children and families we serve.

This country carries a weight of oppression and violence. Several times, I have spoken with a friend about this, and he would say how much he hates his country. He was a journalist for several years and saw the oppression and violence first hand, so I can understand his thoughts and feelings. But it breaks my heart to hear this, none the less.

gettyimages-1052042538Last fall, a caravan of immigrants started walking from Honduras to the USA, they are still doing it today. It has now turned into a big political problem but the root of the problem is this… all of those people believe there is no hope in Honduras. The oppression, corruption and violence has caused them to believe this. The sad part is, that is has been happening for years, decades, so it is understandable many feel there is no hope for freedom from this.

As a missionary, who genuinely loves this nation and its people, it is hard. My call is to help bring the hope of Jesus. Ultimately, He is the only one who can set this nation free. He is the only one who can rescue and save.

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Mary Flakes Community

Our ministry works with the needy, the afflicted, those in need of help, the weak. It breaks my heart when I hear the stories of violence that takes place in homes, in the streets. These things are not from God or of God. Evil exists but God is not the one who makes it happen. It makes me want to share the hope of Jesus even more. To speak life into the lives of students and teachers. To help families see that God is their provider. I am only one person, but I know that God can use me, our ministry, and the many Christians in this country, to bring hope.

My prayer is that God would set this nation free, just as he set the Israelites free from captivity, over and over again. Verse 14 says God ‘rescues them from oppression and violence for precious is their blood in his sight‘. Much blood has been shed in this nation. Lord, come and rescue Honduras. Hear their cries. Their blood is precious in your sight.

 

 

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Categories: missions, Personal, schools, Schools of Hope, Spiritual growth | Leave a comment

The Best Decision of My Life

me and girls

 

Just over 5 years ago I made the best decision of my life. It was scary and crazy… but it brought me to where I am today!

 


It was quite a journey. You can read my first blog posts to fully understand how this came to be.       How it all began…           Did my homework

It really started by an invitation from 2 different friends. Sometimes God uses the people in our lives to speak to us. We may not always understand how or why, but I know this is exactly what God did for me. He then confirmed it in so many other ways.

The slogan ‘Punch Fear in the Face’ was what helped me in taking some risks at the start. Things I would not have normally done. It was a risky ‘ask’ on my part, to ask for a 3 month sabbatical from my job as a children’s pastor. I felt confident it was what God wanted but I needed the permission to take the time off, and that was in the hands of ‘man’, my pastor and the board of our church. I remember the talks we had, the negotiating of terms, the rejection, the persistence on my end and confidence in what I felt God was asking me to do. At one point, I remember asking God, ‘What I am I supposed to do – listen to him or listen to my pastor?’ (and honour those in authority over me).

quotes_creator_20190113_125738In the end, I resolved to trust God and he worked out all the details, in ways I am still amazed at. I am so thankful that I ‘punched fear in the face’ and took the risk. But man, it was scary at the time. I came across this quote recently, and realize it really was an act of obedience to trust God with this situation. I took the step, it was then God’s job to do the rest. And he did.

January 2014 I came to Honduras for the first time. Little did I know then, I’d be sitting here writing this blog post 5 years later after living in Honduras for over 4 years.


Folks, I’m going to challenge you today. 

I don’t want to live a life of regrets. We only get one opportunity to live this life. I don’t want to look back and say to myself ‘What if’. There are a few things I wish I could change from the past, but mostly because I want to make things right with someone.

What is God asking you to do?
What risk do you need to take?
What step of obedience do you need to take?

 

Categories: missions, Personal, Schools of Hope, Spiritual growth | 3 Comments

Engaging Culture

As a missionary, one of the most important things we are taught going into this is that engaging in the culture is vital to staying for the long-haul.

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Ladies Bible Study Group

Over this past year, I have noticed myself engaging more and more in the Honduran culture. Sometimes it’s the little things like, choosing to eat homemade tortillas with my meal, instead of bread. For me, it has been in my relationships and I have noticed it most is in my language learning.

I love people. I love to talk to the people I care about and not being able to do that my first year or so here was so frustrating. I remember may days sitting down to eat lunch with our some of our staff and we would have general conversations until I ran out of words to say. We’d smile and eat in quiet. It even got to a point that I would eat alone, or they would eat after me, so it wasn’t so difficult. That pushed me to work harder in my Spanish classes because I wanted to be able to talk to the people I work with. I’m happy to say I don’t eat lunch alone much anymore and I can carry on conversations, even joking, with much more ease. I’m still not a fabulous Spanish speaker but I’m a lot better than I was when I started!

Language is just one area of culture. Relationships. Family. Food. These are things that are important here. I have a great group of missionary friends but I’ve also gained more Honduran friendships over this past year. Sometimes the language barrier is confusing and we both have to explain things in more detail. I’ve learned a lot more about culture by living, talking and just hanging out. I appreciate these friendships very much and have been welcomed into their homes with open arms.

Case in point: 49092798_2638122289538894_3046281876256849920_oI spent New Year’s Eve with my friend and her family. It was in a neighbourhood, that most gringos (foreigners) would not hang out in, especially at night. I was welcomed with loving arms by her parents. We ate some amazing typical food. Pork, potato salad, another mixed salad with vegetables, torrejas (a special Honduran dessert). We walked to church, not far from their home, for a new years eve service. People were already setting off firecrackers and celebrating. After the service we returned to their home, my friends children set off fireworks in the alley outside their home. It was fun to see the joy from neighbourhood kids and adults alike. I think her mom had more fun then the boys!  We sang karaoke songs – some English, but mostly Spanish. Her family has some talent for sure! We laughed and ate some more. At midnight, fireworks, firecrackers and anything you could ‘explode’ went off for what seemed like hours. We went to the streets to celebrate with neighbours and see the traditional ‘old man doll’ burned, celebrating that the old year is gone and a new one has begun. We prayed together for the new year and then opened Christmas presents. Did I mention we also ate more?  It was a great night and great way to start the new year. I was so honoured that they allowed me to be a part of their family for the night. It meant a lot to me.

There is so much else I could say about engaging in culture, it’s something you cannot do on a short-term trip or 2 week vacation. It’s living life, day in and day out. Valuing people and realizing that though our cultures may be different, in many ways we are all the same. We just do some things in different ways.

Categories: missions, Personal, Spiritual growth | 2 Comments

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