Honduras 2013, Shanita’s Account

Monday, July 29, 2013

(Final Reflections)

Before leaving for Honduras, several people said, “Shanita, you’re going to see extreme poverty.” And I did. Someone else said, “Shanita, you’re going to see great sadness.” And I did. I found it amazing that no one said, “Shanita, you’re going to see God. You’re going to see Hope. You’re going to experience Joy.” Yet I did.

What I realized about mission trips is that we sometimes have a perception that our “mission” is to change poverty. I see it differently. I believe that no matter how long we had stayed, our goal was not to change poverty; rather our mission was to show God’s purpose through poverty. If we’re honest, sometimes we can’t see past the have not. It’s easy to see people and say they “don’t have” running water, or they “don’t have” shoes, or they “don’t have” food. It almost seems natural to recognize someone’s deficiency.

What we miss with all the “they don’t have talk,” is THEY DO HAVE GOD!

I think the bigger picture we sometimes miss is that poverty is not just about material things; it’s true of the mind, body, and spirit. Yes, it’s disheartening that some we served were without the basic necessities of life, but the same is true for places in America. The same is true in our own neighborhoods. The same is true in some of our very own houses.

I spent time with Carly at The Dump. The Dump is a devastating place. People are being robbed, raped, and ridiculed on a daily basis there. It is filled with people scrounging through trash, day in and day out, just to provide food for their families. There is not a clean place in sight. The smell is horrendous. When we arrived, there was a gentleman in the midst of the people preaching the good news of Jesus. You would think that in the lowliest of lows, people would not want anything to do with Jesus because it would seem as if He wasn’t providing for them as He had promised. Are people “really” able to see Jesus in a place like The Dump? Well, the answer is YES! While serving food in The Dump, I met Carly. She had spent several hours there that day searching for food for her family. I had the opportunity to chat with her. I saw her heart. I saw her eyes welling up. I saw her desire for Jesus. So I asked her would she pray with me, and she did. I asked her would she PRAY FOR ME, and she did! She prayed for me in Spanish, but I felt every word! She began singing, so I began singing, and before I knew it I didn’t even realize I was still standing in a place full of hurt, pain, disgust, worry, and sadness. I was standing in the presence of Jesus and He was using me to share with Carly, His love!

Carly had Hope in Jesus. Carly didn’t focus on what she “didn’t have,” so neither did I. At that moment, she and I both focused on what we did have, GOD!

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the need to leave my comfort zone. Honduras is not a place you go to for comfort, but I tell you one thing, The Comforter is there! Comfort zones keep us boxed in and they keep the Spirit out. Melanie and I prayed that the Holy Spirit would lead us, and He did.

My prayer is this, “Lord may this not be a temporary change, but rather a permanent transformation.”

Friends, I can’t thank you enough for supporting us on this mission trip. Some of you gave financially, many of you prayed; several of you sent encouraging cards and emails. We could not have served without you. There is so much more I feel like I could have shared, but I allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me in swapping what He felt would not only inspire, but also challenge you. I pray that as I have shared, you have been reflecting on how you can serve where you are. God may not be calling you to overseas missions, but He is calling you. Have you been listening? Have you been guilty of saying, “someone else will do it?” I encourage you to start building friendships, listening to other’s testimonies, and sharing your own. I encourage you to use your hands and feet in ways that will bring God glory. I encourage you to get off the couch, get off the pews, and take Jesus to the streets!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just for you…it’s for everyone you meet!

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  1. After going to Honduras, I feel in many ways, they love God more than we do. They deal with real life, so they worship the real God. We live in a technical/virtual world, so we doubt God a lot. They were so thankful & overjoyed that God loves them! In America, we are happy at first, but then we let the cares of life steal our joy. I'm thankful that I was able to go to Honduras! They taught me more than I could give to them!

  2. Cassie, that's exactly how I feel!! You articulated my very thoughts! I needed a reality check on just how much doubt I place in my relationship with God; Honduras was my wake up call! I'm thankful you got to experience God over there too! ~Shanita


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