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Georgia

Growth Journey Missionary Life

Resting in Home

November 15, 2017

As I write this post, I sit in the middle of a food court surrounded by people who look slightly different than I do all speaking a language that is not my native tongue. But today I don’t feel like a fish out of water but rather someone who is at home.

Most days I am the only pale face in the group. Sometimes I get lots of stares especially in places I’ve never been. It can be a little unnerving. But it can also be hilarious.

Sunday night, as we sat around a table eating fish for our Christmas dinner with the artisans, I realized how at home I felt.

Do you know how beautiful of a feeling that is?

It may be one of the most wonderful feelings in the world—belonging. Knowing right here in this moment right where you are is where you belong. I’ve struggled so long with that. I’m sure I’ll struggle with it again in the future but today I’m resting in this peace of coming home.

Resting in the peace that home looks different for us all. Resting in the fact that for some of us, our moment is in the car pool line. Others in the office. Others in Honduras. But God uses each of our moments. Nothing is lost on Him.

Because there’s a mom in that car pool line that needs to know Jesus and you are the person to share Him, not the person in Honduras. There’s a client on the phone who needs prayer and you are the person to pray, not the mom. There’s a brother who needs a ride to the hospital over mountainous roads and you are the person to give that ride, not the person in the office. Our moments are beautiful. They are each needed and perfect.

They are where we belong because ultimately if we are seeking Him in genuine, we are in the center of His will. We are home.

In a few short hours, we’ll board a plane to the USA where we’ll be for the holidays. It will be a good time. A sweet time with family. But already in my heart of hearts, I know I’ll be ready to come home by the end of it, maybe before.

Because this, Honduras, is home now.

The truth is I’m not sure I would have dreamt this life for myself but our Father knows so much better than we do.

His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways are higher than our own.

Some days we curl up in a ball crying for home but sometimes when morning comes we realize, we’re already there.

We’re already home.

Growth Journey

This is not reality.

May 1, 2017

We’ve been in the States long enough that it’s almost time to return to Honduras. In 3 weeks time, we have spoken at 4 churches, met with 3 pastors (with 2 more to go this week), had 1 board meeting, 2 reception/parties to celebrate our marriage, 2 days a week at the office in Albany, 1 SoloHope fundraiser event and more lunch meetings than we can count. It’s been a crazy, busy and exhausting time but oh how my heart has loved being in Georgia, eating Chick-fil-A, playing with my nephews, seeing green foliage on all sides and watching my hubby experience the US for the first time.

Granted it has not been the funnest first trip to the US. I mean, honestly I feel bad that basically all we’ve done is work and we haven’t gotten a chance to do any real touristy fun things on Ever’s first trip to the US but I’ve still learned a lot from seeing his first encounter with the States and it’s shown me something…

This is not reality.

The way Americans live is not the reality for the majority of the world and nothing confirms that more than seeing those two worlds collide.

When we landed in Atlanta a little over two weeks ago, the first thing that came to mind was I wanted Ever to see the gold dome on the capitol. As the airport is slightly south of downtown Atlanta, we didn’t get to see it (that day). As we drove further south to my hometown of Cairo, I could not stop myself from thinking that I wanted my husband to see the gold dome on the capitol—y’all, a gold dome! I know it’s not a lot of gold but regardless it is a gold dome. I couldn’t help but think what a strange land this is. A place where we have such wealth that we paint a layer of gold on the capitol building. While so many people around the globe grapple for what few cents they can earn, we have a gold dome.

This is not reality.

As we’ve done lots of driving from one meeting to another all over South GA, Ever has had lots of time to observe. One day, he pointed to a passing vehicle and asked “What was that?” I looked over and saw a RV. How would you explain an RV? I described it as a house on wheels. As soon as the words escaped my mouth, I thought about our friends in Honduras who live in shacks that barely serve to keep out the cold. Our friends who do not even have a place to call home, and yet here we have houses we just take with us wherever we go.

This is not reality.

A few days ago as we went to speak at a church, I had to go to the bathroom before we got started. As I sat down (I know—TMI!), a trash can was directly in front of me. Without even thinking, I threw the toilet paper into the trash can because in Honduras, we can’t flush the toilet paper. If a trash can is even near me when I’m using the restroom, the toilet paper ends up in the trash can and not the toilet. I know it sounds totally disgusting to our hyper-sanitary American selves but the septic systems that can maintain toilet paper is not the norm for the majority of world. While much of the world uses an outhouse (or a bush), we put fresh flowers in our bathrooms with those wonderful toilets that flush toilet paper.

This is not reality.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to accompany different friends on their first trip to the US and it’s always so revealing of the different world we live in. It may be our reality but for most of the world it is not their reality. After over 2 weeks in the US, my husband is still struggling to drink the water from the facet. He keeps saying how counter-intuitive it is for him to drink water from the facet when his entire life, he’s been taught not to drink the water straight from the facet because it’s not clean and could cause him to get sick. As we drive from city to city, he is amazed by the smooth roads and the sedated driving habits of Americans.

Our reality is NOT the reality of the majority of the world.

As Americans, we live in a world foreign to the rest of world. We have luxuries that most the world would not even think to dream of. I say these things not to make ourselves ashamed of what we have but to be aware of it. I think so often most Americans truly believe the rest of the world lives like we do or at least very similarly but that is very far from the truth. If we do not realize what we hold in our hands, we’ll never realize what we have to offer others around the world.

You may think you have nothing in your hands to offer the world but let me assure you, you absolutely do. As Americans, we live in a reality not known to the majority of the world. We can selfishly continue to live ignorant to that fact or we can choose to recognize this fact and ask God how we can more compassionately and effectively use what is in our hands to serve others.

How is God calling you to use what is in your hands to minister His love to our brothers and sisters around the globe? Can I challenge you to use what is your hands to partner with us in our work with SoloHope? To purchase a product made by a woman overcoming poverty in Honduras? Or to become a monthly financial partner with SoloHope as the Lord begins to expand our work and ministry to partner with a community to bring vocational training, literacy classes and education to its people? Or maybe even to come to Honduras on a team to join hands with a woman fighting for way to give her child a brighter future than she had and say “I see you.”?

We need you. We need what God has put in your hands. We cannot do the ministry God is calling us to without hands—YOUR hands. Will you join your hands with our hands and tell our friends in Honduras “we are standing with you.”? Will you be willing to see another reality and be moved into action? I believe you will.

“To whom much is given, much is required.” —Luke 12:48

For more information about SoloHope or to purchase a product that gives hope or to make a donation to this work, visit www.solohope.org.