March 3, 2017
Mission Updates from Honduras
Mission Updates from Ben Wallis, Director of Spiritual Life:
Friday, March 3 – Day 7
It's hard to believe that this was our last day in Honduras. I am so proud of our students…how expectant they have been of God using them, how open they have been to get outside of their comfort zones, and how flexible they have been throughout this entire trip. In tonight's group devotion, we discussed Matthew 17: Jesus leading Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to reveal to them His glory. Upon experiencing this, Jesus's apostles' initial reaction was to stay on the mountain, but Jesus reminded them that they had to go back down…even though they all came back down, they came down different than they went up! This week has definitely been a “spiritual high” for our students and our team, but, just as the apostles could not stay on the mountain, we too have to return, but we will not return the same as we left last Saturday! My prayer for each one of our students is that they continue to live in complete dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. In many ways, the toughest part of our journey begins tomorrow when we take all that God has done in and through us back into the world in which we left last week. In this way, we greatly need and appreciate your prayers!
On our last day, we visited Good Shepherd Christian Academy and Good Shepherd Children's Home. Although we were only able to stay at the school for 15 minutes, our students prayed over each one of the classrooms and the faculty members there. At Good Shepherd Children's Home, we had the privilege to play with and love on children who have previously been abandoned, abused, and neglected before the incredible staff of GSCH stepped in and showed these children the love of Jesus Christ. I can think of no better way to end our trip!
One final word: thank you so much to all the parents, grandparents, friends, and family that gave money for your student to be a part of this mission team! I hope you know that we do not take your sacrifice for granted, but I also hope that you know that your sacrifice was well worth it!
Thursday, March 2 – Day 6
Last night in our group devotion time, each one of the students shared what impacted them the most about that day. Student after student referenced how amazing it is to be used by God. Before breaking off and praying on our own, we talked about a very familiar passage of Scripture, the last words of Jesus to His followers before ascending back to Heaven: Acts 1:8…”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Many times we look at this verse as the quintessential missions verse without really grasping Jesus' promise to us…that we will receive power from the Holy Spirit! Our students have most certainly experienced the Holy Spirit's power in their lives this week. But, as I reminded them last night, the Holy Spirit is not more powerful in Honduras than He is back home…while in Honduras, we are just much quicker to acknowledge our weaknesses and need for His power much more, and therefore we experience His power much more because we truly depend on Him much more.
That truth comes also with a warning: you do not become stronger and need the Holy Spirit less when you go back home in a couple of days. If you want to experience the same power of the Holy Spirit back home as you did here in Honduras, you must continually acknowledge your weaknesses and your need for His power back home as you did here in Honduras. Relying on the power of the power of the Holy Spirit is addicting, and my hope is that our students, after experiencing a taste of the power of God in their lives, will return with a craving for God like never before.
Today, we had one team present the Gospel and the love of Christ to two different school groups in a local Guaimacan school. While that team was in the school, we had three teams prayer walking and conversing with some of the local residents and workers in Guaimaca. Through the prayer walking there were several men and women who prayed to receive Christ in their lives, and many more seeds were planted! One of our groups had the privilege to pray with two individuals who were literally on their death beds. The magnitude of those types of conversations and prayers can never be overstated!
After lunch, we had one team stay and lead a VBS for local children, while the other students traveled to Cristo Rey, a community that is regarded as the poorest community in this area. There, we got to serve the residents of Cristo Rey by distributing clean water and by spending time playing with the children there.
Sadly, today was our last day in Guaimaca. Tomorrow we will be traveling to Zamarono to stay at the BMDMI Mission House there and serve the kids who live in the BMDMI Children's Home. Please pray that our students will continue to serve well and love well.
Thank you all so much for journeying with us in prayer. Your prayers for us really do make a difference!!!
Wednesday, March 1 – Day 5
Over the past 5 days, God has grown our group so much. He has grown their influence for His kingdom, He has grown them in their walk with Him, and He has grown them closer together as a group. It really is amazing to be a part of all that God is doing in each of their lives and through each of their lives!
Today, our entire group went into an area called Sara Grande. This area has immense poverty and need. As we have done over the course of the week, we divided into 3 teams. One of our teams served in the area school while the other two teams prayer walked and distributed Spanish copies of the Gospel of John door-to-door. While the one team was sharing the Gospel to the kids in the school, the two teams that were prayer walking had the opportunity to talk with some of the residents of Sara Grande and two of adults prayed to receive Christ into their lives!
After leaving Sara Grande, our students traveled over to Hands for Jesus Christian School. This is the only private Christian school in the area, and it is incredible! Our students again shared the Gospel through song, puppets, testimonies, and skits. After our presentation was over, we got the opportunity to simply play with the kids. It really is amazing to see faces light up with joy…the faces of the Honduran kids and the faces of our students!
After lunch, the team that went into the school in Sara Grande led a VBS at the BMDMI church on the property while the other two teams served the community through water distribution.
As parents, I want you to know that your child is absolutely flourishing! God is doing a work in each one of them that is truly amazing and truly transformative!
For tomorrow, please pray that God would work in advance in the lives of the students that we will be loving on in the schools and in the VBS as well as all that we will be encountering while prayer walking and distributing water.
Tuesday, February 28 – Day 4
We had another great day in Honduras. We spoke last night to our students in our group devotion time about the difference between bringing them on a mission trip that allows them to see firsthand how missionaries are reaching their specified people group with the Gospel and bringing them on a mission trip that encourages them (the students) to lead the people they encounter to the Gospel through their own personal testimonies, their own prayers, and their own personal interactions with people. We are doing the latter. I want you to know that each one of your students is absolutely flourishing! I feel that most of our students intellectually know that God can use them, but through this week, I see that our students are realizing that God is using them!
Today, we had a group go into two different schools to present the Gospel and show the love of Christ. That group, later in the afternoon, continued reaching children through VBS back at the BMDMI church. While the one group was serving in the schools, the other two groups prayer walked and had the opportunity to minister to several Honduran families by praying specifically for their needs and for their families. Those two groups, later in the afternoon, helped deliver clean water to a community that is ministered to by a BMDMI church plant.
If you could, please pray for the schools that we will be going into tomorrow (Wednesday), the areas that we will be prayer walking through tomorrow, the people that we will encounter tomorrow, but most importantly, please pray that the Gospel is communicated clearly through our students tomorrow.
Monday, February 27 – Day 3
Today was the first day that divided our Seniors into 3 groups. We do this so that our group sizes are more manageable, less overwhelming to those we are sharing the Gospel with, and most importantly, it enables us to have a much wider impact.
This morning, Team 1 went into two different schools to share the Gospel through music, puppets, and personal testimonies while Teams 2 and 3 prayer walked in the areas around the schools. This afternoon, Team 1 led a VBS for children in the BMDMI church, while Teams 2 and 3 served in delivering clean water to some of the local neighborhoods. I could not be prouder of our students for their servant hearts, for their willingness to be stretched beyond their normal comfort zones, and for the way that they have risen up to share their testimonies with both children and adults. They have been absolutely incredible!
Tomorrow, Team 2 will minister in schools and lead in an afternoon VBS while Teams 3 and 1 prayer walk and distribute clean water to neighborhoods.
It really is an immense pleasure to see God using our students, and watching our students as they grow closer to Him! Day 3 was awesome, and we have every expectation that Day 4 will be even better!
Sunday, February 26 – Day 2
Today was a great day in Honduras! We started our day going to church together at the Spanish-speaking church on the BMDMI property. Although the service was in Spanish, it was great for our students to worship with believers in an entirely different culture and to experience firsthand those things in our faith that transcend language barriers.
After lunch, we went into some of the neighborhoods around the BMDMI property and distributed clean water. In those neighborhoods, our students got to interact with, play with, and love on some of the local children.
Tomorrow, we will be prayer walking, going into some of the local schools to share the Gospel, and doing Vacation Bible School back here at the BMDMI church.