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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Thursday, March 10, 2016



Hiking back down the mountain from Tierra Amarilla I paused for a moment and asked Pastor Benigno, “Where is your village, La Laguna?” He just smiled and pointed straight across the river valley to the other side.

“Do you see the school?” he asked. And I could. It was unmistakably clear to me even far in the distance.

Something else was clear as well–a memory from thirteen months ago when I had been in La Laguna. One day I was with our Honduran leader, Ricardo Venegas, when I stopped him and pointed across the valley. “Ricardo, what do you know about those homes way on the other side?”

“Not much,” he replied. “We don’t have any work over there. There are lots of villages and homes all over these mountains.”

Ten days or so before our mission trip to Honduras we heard about a woman who had knocked on the gate of the mission house in Victoria. She shared about a village way up in the mountains where people were hungry and cold. The ministry promptly bought a large quantity of food supplies and gathered some clothing for the village. But there was no one to take the supplies to them before we arrived on our trip.

Driving from the airport in Tegucigalpa to Victoria I asked Ricardo, “What about the village where people are hungry? Have they got their supplies yet?”

“Not yet my brother. It’s a long hike up there and there has been no one available to do it yet. Maybe there’s a way we can get it done when we hike out of El Membrial on Wednesday.”

We hiked into El Membrial on Sunday to discover that the men of the village had already constructed the foundation and storage shed for the water purification system we would be installing while there. We had a wonderful time with them, especially seeing how the first people who came to believe in the village a year ago are growing in their faith. Because of their work we were able to leave El Membrial a day early.

Tuesday night back at the mission house the question was asked, “Who is up to making the hike to Tierra Amarilla and taking the supplies to that village tomorrow?” We were informed that Pastor Begnino estimated that it could take us three hours just to hike up to the village. Four hands from our group of thirteen went up plus my hesitant hand. “If my legs feel better in the morning.” Lying down to sleep I prayed, “Lord you know how badly I want to be a part of that mission tomorrow. But there’s no way I can do it unless You take some of the soreness away by the morning.”

I awoke a little before six and to my joy I did feel a good bit better. We loaded up the truck and were transported as far as it could take us. We were met by some locals with horses and a donkey we used to haul up the supplies. We hiked close to four miles up the mountain to the village high up on the vista.

We were greeted with some inquisitive faces, but were made to feel welcomed. We did some crafts and songs with the children. I had the privilege of sharing the story of Jesus coming to love us and die for our sins. We then gathered the adults and children together and shared about the ministry of Mercy and Grace. Pastor Benigno read the Great Commission and told them we had come all the way from the U.S. to be obedient to what Jesus had commanded us to do. Another member of our team told the story of the sower and the seed and encouraged the listeners to have receptive hearts to the gospel that we were sharing with them. Several adults in the crowd were staring at Sean as he spoke and listened intently to every word.

People told us that we were the first gringos to visit that village. It was a joy to think that we could be among the first to take the gospel to them. We pray that soon there will be new believers there and even a church in the not too distant future.

But it wasn’t until Pastor Benigno pointed to his village far across the valley that all the pieces fell into place in my mind. This was the same village I had noticed over a year before. We had seen for ourselves that the need is real in the few hours we spent with them. The hike to meet their needs would not have been possible unless the people of El Membrial had done the work on the foundation and shed before we arrived. We didn’t know about it, but God did! I said out loud to whomever might have been listening, “God knows what He is doing!”

And He does. He sees the end from the beginning. The only question is will we join in with Him and be a part of His marvelous plan to bring salvation to lost mankind?