"For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us." (2 Corinthians 8:2-5 ESV).I saw the visible Gospel in action meeting the needs here in Honduras. Thank you for being a part of that lesson for me. Following our time of preparation we went to the Sunday night service in downtown La Ceiba. We were challenge to avoid grey areas in our Christian walk and live in a way that would glorify God. After church we were able to take Heather and Rigo out for supper and enjoy a wonderful time of fellowship. On Monday morning we hit the ground running and never stopped until our heads touched our pillows at the end of the day. Our focus this trip has been on discipleship to the staff. Each morning we have had a devotional, followed by practical classroom activities and practices. Our devotional was found in Ecc. 9. I encouraged them to do everything they are a part of, mightily unto The Lord. Jessica is sharing lessons about God's gifts this week, but instead of us teaching the lessons, we are equipping the staff to teach the lessons. From what I observed yesterday this seemed to be received very well and was put into practice right away. Our afternoon included a lot of soccer and a game called Baté, similar to softball but with a large ball. After the day at CDI I spent some time finishing up my preparations for the leadership conference, where I was sharing with around 60 of the pastors and leaders "The Story" curriculum we have been teaching through on Sunday mornings at Cornerstone. It was my first experience of the kind, I am used to having a translator for our small conversations everyday, but sharing 3 hours of teaching via a translator was a different story. All in all it went very well and I look forward to finishing up tonight. Please continue to pray for us as we minister alongside the staff here. Pray that God would be glorified through our words and actions, and that we will all learn things that would benefit the spread of the Gospel both here and at home.
A little bit of craziness, but a whole lot of blessing!
The last few days have been a whirlwind. Our flights were delayed and cancelled. Instead of arriving in Honduras on Friday, we took a flight Friday evening from Milwaukee to Chicago and spent the night there. We left our hotel at 2:00am to catch an early flight from O'hare to Miami. After a 2 hour layover in Miami we flew from FL to San Pedro Sula. The airport is only 75 miles away from La Ceiba, but due to mountains and poor roads, this is a 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive. We arrived safely with all our luggage around 7pm, met our host families, and headed to bed. Sunday while I met with the assistant pastor to go over the conference materials, Jessica and Stephanie went with Heather to work on sorting and packing the supplies that were donated. As I mentioned in a Facebook post earlier this week, this was such an impactful time for me. Having gone through a difficult year as a church this last year, and not being a church of great means, we reflected on the church mentioned in 2 Corinthians.