Cross Points 10.30.20

Discipleship Afoot:  Walking in the Jungle

The plane had crossed over the Gulf of Mexico and now was nearing its destination.  It veered left and started the decent, the runway now in sight.  But there were hills and buildings on both sides, the narrow runway with a cliff at the end appeared too small!  As the plane touched down the view through the portholes on the side of the airplane provided a dizzying display of whatever was over there, so I closed my eyes and held my breath.     
This was our mission team’s introduction to Honduras (Daniel Peregoy, Danielle Shoemaker, Dave & Dorothy Shoemaker, Nick Gaston, Sam Dane, Tonya Soum, Terry & Michael Lutz, Rexanne & me).  We had heard about the harrowing experience of landing in Tegucigalpa’s airport.  But we made it.  As we exited the building to ride, some in the back of a truck to the compound of His Eyes Ministry, the environment we had entered became apparent.  Sticks, cardboard and mud held together some of the huts we saw on the sides of steep hills.  The dirt road up into a heavily populated area above the city had us circumventing narrow passageways, holding on tight, wondering where we were going.  Arriving at the walled compound, we waited anxiously as they unlocked and opened the door to let us drive in. 
The view was beautiful!  And we would later discover the people were too.  Most of them.  But they are downtrodden, living a meager existence, at least compared to what we knew.  We visited several families on the Sunday there, after church.  Small block buildings, perched on the side of this same hill, no windows, maybe a blanket hanging and serving as the door, dirt floors.  But “downtrodden,” maybe that was the wrong word.  They exhibited a joy, with smiling faces amidst the basic lifestyle they lived, that was hard for us to understand, yet clearly evident.  How can they be so happy living like this, and we have so many burdens in the United States living with all our luxuries? 
That was our first day of walking, out and about among the neighborhood people.  Something easy to do, delivering a little rice, simple introductions, listening as they told us who they were and what they did.  We were linked, as it were.  There was something below the surface that made us know these weren’t just poor people in Honduras, no, instead they were rich people with something to teach us! 
One day the following week we ventured into the jungle of the mountains outside the city.  We had a truck loaded with clothing from MASTER Provisions that His Eyes helps deliver, and we were taking it to a remote village in Sampedrana.  We weren’t walking much that day, but many in this remote village walked great distances to welcome us and provide their family with clothing.  When we drove into the village our mouths dropped open as we saw the street beside the church filled with hundreds of people, in this town of maybe 30.  The village was once avoided, we were told, voodoo and witchcraft practiced in Sampedrana.  Area people would walk way around, so as not to be exposed to the bad stuff that went on here.  Not anymore!  The church was thriving, now people walked for miles to attend.
We did our share of walking in Honduras.  But the walk we saw the Hondurans experiencing opened our eyes to a new world, one where God’s promises truly provide something that bring meaning and joy.
Cross Point: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).  Life’s joys do not come from wealth and stuff, but from walking in God’s way. 
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