It’s difficult to believe that two weeks ago our bed was covered in travel gear, and the washing machine was humming, as we were just returning home from our working weekend in Portland, and I was preparing to depart for Honduras the next evening. Thinking back, if I’m being completely honest with myself, I was not excited to set off for Honduras this time. While I deeply love the people down there, I was really sad to leave Mr. E behind. If he were joining me, it would have made all the difference in the world! Sitting in the Houston airport early Tuesday morning, I found myself longing to return home. Sitting there, sleep-deprived, on the icy-cold, hard, airport floor, sipping my pricey chai tea, there may have been a tad bit of desire for the “comforts of home.” However, I don’t think it was truly comfort I longed for…you see, I have never really been the type to be “comfortable with comfort.” In fact, I rather enjoy opportunities to be “stretched outside my comfort zone”; perhaps it’s my “developer” side. No, it’s not the “comforts of home” that I missed…it’s much more than that. What I truly missed was actually a person, my husband. I did find comfort, however, in knowing that Mr. E, and so many others were praying for me, and in being reminded that I was not going alone. God has left me/us with a Helper in this life (the Holy Spirit), and he goes with me/us wherever I/we go…nothing can separate me/us from the love of Christ. God’s Holy Spirit joins me/us wherever I/we go. I began to meditate on this truth, and pray that the trip would be a Spirit-filled trip. I prayed for faith, and courage to respond/follow the Spirit’s leading in the coming days. I prayed that he would work in me/us, and through me/us, to the glory of God! Praise God that he hears, and answers prayers!
While on the plane from Houston to Tegucigalpa, I began to prepare a devotional for a prayer meeting we would be attending that evening the colonia (neighborhood) of Predeos Requel. You see, Christine asked me shortly before I left Washington if I’d be willing to prepare a short devotional to share at Tuesday night’s prayer meeting. Of course, I agreed. However, I hadn’t had a moment to think about it until boarding the plane to leave. Keeping this in mind, I decided to just share whatever God laid on my heart. Since I had been reading in the book of Mark I chose to share what God had shown me hours before in chapter one.
Upon arrival, all of the sights, sounds, and smells began to fill my senses, and jog my memory about times gone by. It was incredible, even though I had been feeling weepy, and unsettled most of my travel, I suddenly felt a sweet peace fall over me. My friends, Rex and Grace (an American missionary, and his daughter) picked me up at the airport. We headed to their home, and I was able to get settled in, and tidy up a bit. After eating a meal Maritza (my Honduran mama) had prepared for us, we headed off to the prayer meeting.
There were many familiar faces there…and a few new ones too! Those who I knew gave me a warm welcome; the Honduran hospitality never ceases to amaze me! Many of the children have grown up SO much since I was last here. I made my best effort to get to know the new faces there too. I was also encouraged because my Espanol was slowly coming back, and I was able to understand, and hold quality conversations with my old friends.
The devotional went well too. I read Mark 1:16-20, where Jesus calls His first disciples. I shared how I sometimes I forget what it cost these men to follow Jesus. They were fisherman, and Jesus called them to “put down their nets.” They were sons, and Jesus called them to leave their father. I also used the passage in Luke where Jesus says that whoever wants to be His follower must essentially “hate” his family. Going further, I then explained how this doesn’t really mean “HATE,” rather it means to “hate” comparatively to loving Christ. I told them that in order to be Christ’s disciple we are called to put Him first…He won’t stand for second. I also added that when we put Christ first, and follow him wherever he leads, there is ALWAYS blessing. He truly will make us “fishers of men.” I tied this in by sharing my own personal story of leaving Mr.E…knowing that I would really missed him, and didn’t want to leave him…but also knowing that God was leading me to come here to share His word.
The disciple’s had no idea how long their new Rabbi was going to ask them to lay down their nets, leave their loved ones, and follow him. Fortunately for me, God had told me that I was to leave my husband, the ministry at Adelphia, and follow him to Honduras for a mere nine days. If the disciples could follow Christ for an undetermined amount of time, I could surely follow him to Honduras for a handful of days! In fact, I was challenged to reconsider if I’m putting God first by living in complete surrender to God’s leading every day!
While sharing my devotional, an older man (probably in his 50’s) showed up. The prayer meeting is held in an apartment complex’s courtyard, and I guess his family attends, but he’s usually too tired after work. However, he decided to stay to hear the devotional. During the prayer time he shared how the devotional really touched him, and that he felt like he needed to “lay down his net” (meaning work) in order to follow after Christ. That’s not to say he’s quitting his job, but he said he’s going to make it a priority to place God before it, and make the prayer meetings with his family a priority. I was greatly encouraged by his testimony. Since so many came up to here after the meeting, Christine asked me to share the same devotional at another prayer meeting the following night in the colonia of Reynel.
It was only the first day, and God was already working so mightily in my heart!