Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Honduran part of heaven

I often tell people in Honduras that when I die, I am going to ask God if I can live in the Honduran part of heaven.  (I also want their beautiful brown skin instead of my blotchy white skin!)  Based on how lovely the Honduran people are in this life, I can only imagine what they are like in heaven.  

For example...

I met Wesly, age 6, at an Alonzo Movement club meeting.  I didn't know what was wrong with him, but obviously something awful.   I asked him if I could take his picture to see if I could find some help for him.  He solemnly nodded his head.  His brothers, both with normal skin and eyes, thanked us (in English) for helping him.  I sent his picture to Evelyn, our Director of Finance, asking if we could help him.  Note:  We do not have a line item in our budget for community medical expenses.  Evelyn's immediate response?  "Of course!"  Not "I will take it under advisement."  or "Let me see if we have money for this." Not even, "I will pray about it" because she knows that when the Lord puts someone in our path, He expects us to act.  Since then, Denis, the Alonzo Movement director, has taken him to a pediatrician who diagnosed him with xeroderma pigmentosum, a genetic disease which makes him extremely photosensitive.  The existing damage is irreversible and he is at high risk for aggressive, fatal skin cancers.  Denis told me he doesn't go to public school because he is bullied.  Of course, his mother can't afford to send him to our school, nor can she afford sunscreen, photosensitive clothing, cancer surgery, etc.  However, Denis has welcomed this precious child into the Alonzo Movement where all the children, old and young, love him, pass him the soccer ball so he can kick it, and treat him like normal.  Beautiful.

Here is another example.  One I am ashamed to say I would have handled differently than our Honduran staff.  You may have read either from Suzy or me an account of Emma and her daughter Genesis.  Emma has cancer and her children are on scholarship in our daycare in Flor.  When Suzy found out about her cancer, she contacted Evelyn who immediately made an appointment for her at the private cancer clinic.  (The public hospital had diagnosed the cancer but has no chemotherapy drugs...) Suzy then took Emma and Genesis into her home to care for her.  After a couple of weeks, Emma decided to return to her abusive boyfriend, taking Genesis with her.  Confession:  I was mad and thought, "Fine.  So much for helping you!"  The Honduran response?  "We will continue to provide daycare for your children and pay for your medical treatment."   Their instinct is to do what Jesus would do.

Dulce and Gloria, our Casa LAMB staff, are always nurturing and loving.  This summer, when a stomach bug (a "donation" brought down by the teams!) ran through the groups, they worked tirelessly to care for the sick and disinfect the house daily all while doing their normal jobs.  I offered to arrange for a couple well deserved days off for them.  Declined.  They love taking care of the teams and wouldn't miss a day!  (The Lord protected them and they never got sick!)

The Honduran construction workers became part and parcel of our teams, teaching us about patience, kindness, and worship.  Jose Luis, a true artist in his craft, revealed he never was able to go to school and at 32 can't read or write.  Nevertheless, he spent each day smiling, laughing, working, mentoring us and worshiping with us.  Angel, who couldn't afford food to bring for lunch, transported us to the Honduran part of heaven with his singing.  The teams said, "I didn't understand a word but I have never felt closer to God."  Angel lovingly and reverently encouraged 14 year old Emma, the team musician.  Encouraging her out of shyness to sing and play along with him.  The pride on his face shone when she finally played!  Milton, the pastor in his church, prayed, thanking God for creating us as brothers and sisters in Him.

These are but a very few of the thousands of examples of the Honduran part of heaven on earth.   The Hondurans have taught me I don't have to wait to experience the kingdom of God.  It is right here with these beautiful people! 

Back to Wesly... I realize the kingdom of God is not exclusive to Hondurans.  I also sent Wesly's picture to several medical professionals in the US.  The response has been wonderful. They shared the picture with their colleagues and diagnosed Wesly first with XP.  They have provided advice, counsel and offers of help.  Tomorrow, a group is meeting up with Suzy to deliver clothes, sunscreen and meds for him.   I feel confident we will somehow be able to provide a scholarship for him at El Cordero in Flor.  Please add Wesly and his family to your prayers.  

Just as Milton prayed, we are unified by our love of Jesus and members of His family.  Thanks be to God for each one of you, my brothers and sisters!