We entered the wrong door. A sweet lady smiled and asked if we were visitors. Her hushed tone was the only indication that we’d actually interrupted a class by choosing the wrong entrance. We responded yes, and she hugged us.
We were welcome in this place. I felt loved.
The floors creaked as we greeted others. Light streamed in the beautiful stained -glass windows, reminding me how much I LOVE older churches.
THIS is a church family. THIS is a place where strangers are welcome, and Jesus is loved.
I felt it.
I watched as my friend stood in front of the congregation and shared her passion for people – particularly the people of Honduras. With each word said and each picture projected, the listeners leaned in wanting to know more.
Wanting to understand. Wanting to know different, so they could do different. Wanting to know Him more, so they could follow more closely.
Tears trickled down my cheeks as I watched her speak. I share her heart for these people and this place. I know more of her story and heart than she could possibly share in 30 minutes from a stage. I know the plight of the poor, the widow, and the orphaned is much more to her – and me – than the pictures and videos and stories to which they’ve been reduced.
The faces have become her family. Her friends. They aren’t statistics or profiles. They have names. They have hearts desiring food for their bellies, shelter over their heads, and love for their hearts.
They are real.
She finishes her presentation and a teen gal tentatively approaches her. Tears have been streaming down the gal’s cheeks during the presentation. She asks about Honduras and taking a trip. She takes a card and calls my friend later that night.
She’s ready to make a difference.
Over lunch, we ask our host about the gal. Her story? Horrific. Devastating. Unexplainable. A story that makes me wonder where God was in the midst.
And I am reminded that often we go for one. Perhaps God sent my friend to a small church in the country last Sunday just for the sweet teen who needed a reminder of WHO God was and is.
Sometimes we go for one.
I was reminded of this sweet time at the country church as we landed in Honduras this afternoon. I have no words for how my heart feels when the plane’s wheels touch down, and I step onto Honduran soil. It’s a place I feel at home. A place I love.
And, I wonder…why am I here? For one? For many?
Whether one or one million – Jesus’s command to go into all the world includes that small church in West Union, West Virginia and the homeless, hungry family in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. That includes your neighborhood and your workplace. That includes the grocery store and Ethiopia.
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Mark 16:15
The command was ALL the world.
Not just the places we feel most comfortable. Not just the places that have captured our hearts. Not just the far away countries that make us seem as if we are more “on mission” than others. (I am NO MORE on mission in Honduras today than you are at home or in your office.) Not just our neighborhoods. All.
Because I love Honduras so much, I have to be careful. Careful not to love this country or these people MORE than I love Him. It’s so easy for my heart to shift when I see so much need. Instead of being on mission for Him, sharing HIS love, I begin to plan what I can do. How I can help. I forget to lean into Him and heed his plans for His people and my time here.
All need Him. We are on mission for HIM, not for ourselves or for a people of a certain country or a certain church. HE is the call.
And, why wouldn’t we embrace this command- this call? If we love Jesus and believe He gave his LIFE for our sins, why wouldn’t we desire to go, give, love, and share? Why wouldn’t we GO in His name whatever the destination may be?
After all, when the disciples asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he responded: 37 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22: 37-40
Because of His love, we desire helping hands, listening ears, going feet, and loving hearts.
We go. We love. We serve. All in His name and for His glory.