Sunday, July 3, 2016

Encouraging One Another through the Gospel

Seeing the lush green mountains and massive cumulus clouds of Honduras never gets old. The twelve of us arrived safely yesterday and were greeted with the friendly and precious faces of Marco and Katharine.

Last night, after a night of worship through song and a devotion, we prepared for today's visit to the nursing home be making small care packages for the twenty or so residents by writing encouraging verses and decorating each bag.

The theme for this year's trip has been “mutual encouragement” from Romans 1:12. That was especially evident in our morning service at Punta de Gracia. This Sunday was unique in that my dear friend and pastor, Mizael, spoke about his sister, Onix, who just passed away from a rare disease similar to muscular dystrophy. Mizael recounted how he never (“nunca, nunca”) saw her sad or discouraged even though she had, by the world's standards, every right to be. He shared that each time he would visit her in Chicago that it was she was who always encouraged him.

This was an emotional service since her passing was so recent but a great encouragement to all of us as we saw the love of Christ in Mizael who passionately relate her story especially as it related to Ephesians 6:10–13. May we always be compelled to speak of the peace and love of Christ, no matter the circumstances and faithfully take up the armor of God as well as Onix did.

Marco translating for J.C. and me

This afternoon we made our annual visit to the local nursing home we have visited the past six years. It is still quite a blessing to see the faces of the residents light up when we play balloons with them. They instantly become like giddy children. We san together, laughed together, loved on them, and handed out the small care bags. I loved seeing how some of them cared for one another. Many have been here since our first visit in 2010.

A truly beautiful day with those who seem to have little but have much.

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