The Lord sends Ezekiel into a valley of dry bones, a symbol of the exiled Israelites who have lost hope and faith, and commands him to blow life, or the life giving Spirit, into the bones. He obeys God and the bones come to life.
“I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Angel, one of the construction workers, lives in the village of San Buenaventura, near the Children’s Home. When he isn’t working, he often goes out into the mountains with Pastora Juana and others from his church, Paz y Reconciliación (Church of Peace and Reconciliation) to minister to people in very remote, inaccessible places. Last Wednesday, Jen Clarke, Mia from Denmark and I accompanied them. It started as a grand adventure…and ended as a beautiful Spirit filled experience. We rode horses and mules 2 hours over a mountain to visit a small home. It was a treacherous ride, especially for us who had little to no experience riding horses/mules! My inexperience extended to mule logistics. We were bringing food for 6 families. As I was leaving the grocery store the day before, I called Angel. “Angel,” I said, “there is a lot of food! How are we going to get it to the families?” He replied, “Don’t worry, we are Hondurans. We have ideas!” I laughed out loud but he was right. Hondurans are very creative and resourceful.
Mia with Angel
Me with my mule!
Angel after walking the whole way
We loaded up the mules and horses and took off. We walked through the village of San Buenaventura until we turned off onto a trail to the mountains. Soon, we were navigating a very narrow trail, about mule width. Thanks be to God, the mules and horses had more experience and confidence than we did as we rode down steep, hairpin turns on a trail that was slippery and rocky at the same time. As the animals were watching their steps, we were watching the beautiful scenery.
Two hours later, we arrived at Cordelia’s house. It is a small, adobe home with a kitchen in a smaller building in the back. To the left was a corral with several cows and chickens, all of whom were checking out the unexpected arrival of gringas!
The calf was very guarded
The rooster was too
Walking into the kitchen, I exclaimed, “Me encanta su cocina!” (I love your kitchen!) Really, I thought it was so charming. Cordelia was bemused and responded, “Well, it is the kitchen of the poor.” I imagine in her mind she was shaking her head at the gringa!
The kitchen with mugs hanging on the wall
The cooktop, “fogón”, heated with wood fire
All Hondurans, no matter how poor, are wonderful hosts. They
immediately served us coffee with homemade bread and “rosquillas” (a savory donut.) We sat and chatted for awhile as people began to arrive. Finally, there were 21 of us gathered in the living room and the worship service began. You see, that is why we were there. The food delivery was simply an add-on to the monthly visit from from Pastora Juana and the others. As Angel explained, many of the people have never heard about Jesus. “We are going to “soplan vida.” (We are going to blow life…in other words, bring the Word of God to the people.)
The living room. The curtains provide privacy for the “bedrooms”
Once everyone arrived, we gathered in the living room. We started with song and prayer. Hermano Ramon (Brother Ramon) led us in prayer and Angel led the music. Some of us sang with all our hearts but others didn’t know the songs. They were politely listening and, we hope, soaking in the message.
Pastora Juana began her homily with, “We are not here to bring you religion. We are here to bring the power and the love of Jesus Christ.” She went on to emphasize the power of God’s love and Jesus’ promise of forgiveness of sin, unconditional love, and eternal life. Then Cordelia stood to give her testimony. She had a very serious heart condition. She was taking tons of medications and was always short of breath. Her doctor told her she needed surgery. Cordelia burst into tears, not because she didn’t have money to pay for the surgery (she didn’t) but because she was sure she would die during the operation. The church came alongside of her and prayed. Hondurans pray with an energy, faith and fervor I have never seen elsewhere. At her next doctor’s appointment, no surgery was scheduled. She was cured! Her heart is in perfect shape! As she wiped away tears, her face was aglow with the power and love of Jesus. We were all moved by her story of how Jesus blew life into her heart, both physically and spiritually. Now, she makes the two hour trip by mule every Sunday to attend church. That is why they come, a grueling trip there and back, to answer God’s call to put off their dreams of living in comfort and ease and go into the valley of bones to blow life into these precious children of God.