Serving in the Possible, Trusting the Impossible to GodBy Ana Cruz on March 28, 2018
Editor's Note: Today, we've asked Ana Cruz, a GRTS counseling student, to share about her experience serving in her home country, Honduras, coming to the US, and leading others to continue serving. She offers a story of trust, simple obedience and God's faithfulness in hardship. She also offers an opportunity for others to join her and the team in Honduras this summer, July 2018. Prayerfully consider responding to her invitation to serve.
My first missions "aha moments" came when I was 17 years old and looking for a part-time job that would help me pay for college. Honduras had been hit by a big hurricane that washed out neighborhoods, destroyed roads, caused great damage and made life even harder for many families. A couple of missionaries from Michigan hired me. Being 17, I was at first overwhelmed by the needs, but I soon realized that I didn't have much to offer as far as experience or knowledge, and certainly not money.
With nothing more than a calling to serve and some time on our hands, we went from home to home, asking people how they would like us to pray for them. To this day, I am blown away by the power of prayer. We were strangers to most of these people and they had every reason to turn us away, but when we asked if they wanted us to pray for them, they did not turn the prayers away. They started inviting us inside their homes, calling the children and everyone in the house to pause and join us in prayer. We would pray and then move to the next home.
As we continued to do this once a month, our relationship with the community grew strong. God continued to provide resources and over the course of the next few years God allowed us to accomplish many things:
- We helped start nine churches.
- We lead a Bible institute for local pastors.
- We taught Bible lessons at public schools.
- We trained educators and Sunday school teachers.
- We facilitated trainings for entrepreneurs.
- We completed projects that greatly benefited the communities.
As we look back at our years of service we notice that some things never change.
First, there are still many needs that provide the church with endless opportunities to serve. Jesus himself did not fix every problem in His three years of ministry. Instead, He ministered to people as He encountered them throughout the day. Secondly, being full-time missionaries, we didn't grow out of the "not having much to offer financially" stage. By living with that tension, we learned that we were not called to do the impossible; rather, we were only accountable for what was possible. Sometimes a smile, our presence, a prayer, a couple of fish and five loaves of bread were all we could offer. We learned sometimes that is all it takes as God takes care of the impossible. He shows up against all odds.
Lastly, our local radio station WCSG states it well: "We are better together than we could ever be apart." Our service to our Honduran brothers and sisters was greatly enriched by the people who prayed for us, donated their financial resources and time and used their gifts to serve alongside the Honduran churches. Christian brothers and sisters participated on long and short-term teams to serve Honduran communities, raised funds to provide wages for a pastor, funded a community project and the list goes on. While none of these efforts would have made a significant difference alone, we are thankful for the impact that the sum of these efforts has made in the lives of many Hondurans.
We came to Michigan two years ago in need of rest, training and God's direction for our future. God has laid it on our hearts to continue to minister in Honduras through training, community renewal efforts and bringing restoration to pastors and missionaries through sabbaticals. We are leading three short-term mission teams to Tela, Honduras, this July 2018:
- July 4-14—We will be hosting two retreats (three days and two nights) for local pastors and missionaries, as well as doing construction projects at a local clinic.
- July 14-22—We will be working with the medical center to offer trainings on dealing with stress, addictions, first aid and child development.
- July 22-31—Our last week, a group of educators and psychologists will be hosting educational trainings for local teachers.
We still have some spots open, and we would like to invite you to join God's work in Honduras this summer. If you feel lead to participate, or if you would like to learn more about the ministry of Hope for Tela, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.