1997: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

August, 1997 - I was about to embark on an experience unlike I ever imagined I would take part of when we made the move to the Empire State.

Through our church, and through being involved on our worship team...I was heading out of the country for the first time.  (Not counting my numerous trips made to Canada - do those really count when you can practically see the border from your house?)  This trip was also going to involve {gulp} flying for the first time.

I have never felt "the call" to be a missionary.  Ever.  So when this opportunity first presented itself, I was less than enthused at the idea.  What did I possibly have to offer?  Then the panic really set in.  I had to get a passport.  Immunizations needed to be updated (ouch).  What's the Spanish word for "bathroom"?   I really should've paid closer attention during those two years of Spanish in high school...because we were heading to Central America, into the country of Honduras.

     My first take-off in an airplane was...white-knuckled, gripping the armrest of my seat with one hand while clenching the hand of my hubby with the other.  But I survived.  When we landed in Miami, it was more clenching and gripping, and a lot of "brakebrakebrakebrakebrakebrakebrake..." going on in my head.  But I survived, actually enjoying the time between take-off and landing, and hey!  I was in Florida for the night!
    The next morning, hubby and I woke early.  There was quite a bit of time before our next flight out of the states, and we were able to get in touch with Mr. D.'s uncle who lived semi-close.  He came by the hotel, and took us on a quick tour of the city - I still remember how very "Miami Vice" the city really did look!

But just as quickly, we were back with our group and loading up for our next flight and another round of "clench and grip" for the flight from Miami to Tegucigalpa.  One little tidbit of info regarding the runway at the Tegucigalpa airport:  Apparently it's one of the MOST dangerous in the world.  (And nobody bothered to tell me this prior to getting me on that airplane??)

(What does it mean when the passengers broke into a round of applause after we had landed safely?)

Safe on the ground, it was time to find my "inner missionary", and do what we had travelled all that way to do.  The group that we were with was a group of youth and a worship team from our church, which is how Mr. D. and I fit into this. We were meeting up with Zion Ministries there, a couple who had become full-time missionaries to the people of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Simply put - we were going to bring Jesus to the people there.

That sounds very "churchy" doesn't it?  But there is no other way to describe what we did, where we were at, and the things that we had seen.

Sunday, August 3rd - Buenos Dias! This is to be our first full day in Tegucigalpa and I am so excited!  We are staying at a "bed & breakfast" on the hillside that is absolutely incredible, and this country is beautiful!  Today we are going to Sunday services, followed by an outreach in an area known for it's high drug activity and gang members, called simply -"Kennedy".

I remember the stench that permeated this area.  Urine.  
This was a being thrown into the mission field headfirst.  

Monday, August 4th - It was a light day today - the kids went to a school this morning - from the sound of it, it went very well.  In my mind, I think it had to be a very encouraging experience for them - it sounds like they were very well received by the children there and 50 came forward to accept Christ!  Lord, I pray for the follow-up with these children!  Tomorrow we are scheduled to go to a women's prison, and I'm pretty sure I may be asked to share my testimony.  But I'm determined to not be nervous...
1 Chronicles 16:24 - "Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples."

Tuesday, August 5th - What an incredible day!  We went to the Women's prison @ Tamara where God moved in a BIG way!  The women there responded in such a way that I don't think any of us could have ever expected.  200 women and 150 of them came forward for prayer.  I don't know why these women are here, but they are broken and they just wanted the love of Christ.  I can't even begin to imagine what else will happen before we head home!

Wednesday, August 6th - Another incredible day!  This morning we went to a girl's high school, where they openly received the music that we played, and the words we shared.  We were scheduled for a larger high school, but they found out we were Christians and canceled our visit.  Close to 20 girls made a life changing decision.

     This afternoon we met at the church to pray and prepare ourselves for what the rest of the week had in store for us.  Everyone shared about what has impacted their lives so far this week, and I think all of us have hearts that are breaking for this city...for this country!  We can't possibly go home the same people as we were when we got here.
     Tonight we were at an Assemblies of God church - just a small congregation.  But I was able to hold my end of a conversation with a older gentleman who came up to talk!  (Thank you, Mrs. Posey, for those two years of Spanish classes!)

Thursday, August 7th - Dear God, please help me!  I am so physically and emotionally drained.  We have 2 more days here, and I'm just so tired.  There are so many wonderful things to report when we get home, but there are also the things I am so excited to have been a part of that many will never be able to see to understand.  
(This was the day we had travelled to The Valley of Angels - a poverty stricken area where our hosts had begun to organize and construct a home for orphaned, abused, and abandoned children.  I'm thrilled to report that this home, Hope Center, is now complete and the children who have been taken into the home are thriving!) 
Nearly 10 people made a decision to serve Christ @ the University this afternoon, so I praise God for that.  I'm just praying for strength, patience to keep my mouth shut when I really want to scream, and the knowledge to know when and how You want move among your people.
The university where the group played, notice the students on the balconies!
For whatever reason, I didn't continue on with my journaling for the remainder of our time there.  I know we set up in "Central Park" in downtown Tegucigalpa on that Friday, and the vast number of people there was...intimidating?  No, not quite....but they kept wanting to hear more.  One gentleman even did his own "Zaccheus" - climbing a tree to get a better view. (No I'm not comparing us to Jesus, just the fact that the dude climbed the tree, that's all.  But maybe...just maybe...for that one afternoon, we were Jesus to those people.)

Do I feel any more called to be a missionary now that I've done it?  Nope.  It's so far out of my comfort zone, that it's just plain uncomfortable.  But sometimes, God pulls us out of what we're comfortable with.  Because we need it.  Because someone may need us.  Because He needs us.  He just needs us to love them....because He loves them.