Today, Jan 20, is my 5th missionary anniversary! I arrived here 5 years ago today with 2 bulging suitcases, joy in my heart, and a twinge of nerves. Through God’s mercy, Leamarie True, came with me for 3 months to share her wisdom and experience with our teachers. What adventures we had!
The five years have flown by. I have met so many wonderful people, Honduran, American, and others. I have witnessed so many miracles, seen Jesus everywhere, wept during tragedies, my heart has been broken and has been filled with joy more times than I can count. The teams and I have built cabins, sidewalks, walls, painted countless walls, played for hundreds of hours with the cutest kids, worshipped, cared for thousands of patients, prayed for thousands more and collapsed from fatigue. I have fallen in love with our Honduran staff. Coming alongside me have been so many people and my church, supporting me and praying for me. Suzy has become my spiritual advisor, co-worker, dear friend and sister. How rich I am!
Many missionaries sign up for a term of service – 1 year, 3 years, 5 years. I came with no particular end date. I figure the Lord will let me know when it is time to go. I remember thinking, about 2.5 years ago, that if I had committed to a 5 year term, my time would be half over. It was an awful feeling. I realized I would have been living a countdown. “2 years left, 6 months left, 1 day left.” That is no way to live. Instead, as Jesus tells us,
“ Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:25, 34
This is hard for us to do in the US. I am learning how to do this from the Hondurans, who as a pastor explained to me, set their sights on the next life. They take each day at a time. Many of them worry about how to feed their children today…every day. But still, with their eyes toward heaven, they have time to be generous, kind, joyful, and full of faith in the Risen Lord. This is surely a better way to live.
I wrote a blog the night before I moved here, called Honduras Eve. In it I reflected on my call, its effect on many people and their loving response. The truth is God is calling each of us. Every call is different. Some are dramatic, leaving home and family or becoming clergy, and some occur in place, teaching Sunday School, joining the medical profession, raising your children in the Lord, modeling Christ in the workplace, volunteering to help the poor and oppressed…
But, here’s the thing. God calls us to many things. The most important is the call we all share:
There is no end date to this call.
Finally, I reaffirm my commitment to my calls:
Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by you, always follow your plans, and perfectly accomplish your holy will. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you require of me. Help me respond to the slightest prompting of your grace, so that I may be your trustworthy instrument for your honor. May your will be done in time and in eternity by me, in me, and through me. Amen. – St. Teresa of Avila