Fevers, colds, sunburns, bumps, bruises, bug bites, sore muscles, broken bones… let’s just say it has been a long week. But then again, I don’t think I’d trade any of the pain and discomfort for the smiles, hugs, tears of joy and just plain gratitude of the Honduran people we’ve worked with and for up to this point. (Although I shouldn’t speak for Paige, who has a stress fracture in her left foot.)
So far we have kept a rabbit’s pace: breakfast at 7, devotional at 8, and on the buses heading toward our worksites by 8:30. We work every day until 4:30 before we get back on the bus for the (sometimes hour-long) drive home. Since Tuesday, we have built six houses, sorted items at the warehouse, packed and distributed food for 200 families, hosted a medical clinic, and visited the most precious children in the world at the Good Shepherd Children’s Home. There is probably more but all of my ailments seem to keep me from thinking straight right now. Let me just say that I have never felt as exhausted and yet as at peace than I do right now. Tim Hines reminded us tonight at devotional that the reason this type of experience is so rewarding no matter the level of difficulty is that we are the servants who witnessed the water change to wine in John 2.
Here is what happens: Jesus is at a wedding banquet when his mother asks him to help because there is no more wine. Reluctant at first, Jesus agrees and his mother calls several servants over to him. They have some jars sitting near by and John tells us: “Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew” (John 2:7-9)
This week we have served people in all circumstances. We have provided clothing, food, shelter and love when it was totally unexpected. To the person on the outside, it may just seem we are providing a much-needed service. But there is more. For every nail we drive, every bag of rice we deliver, every toy we distribute and every hug we give, there is a miracle underneath. People who have not, receive in abundance. They may not be aware of what has just happed but we (the servants) are. Jesus is using our actions to perform miracles. And the best part is that as the story continues, the master of the banquet approaches the bridegroom amazed at the great wine that has just appeared; it is even better than what they first had. And the people we serve every day here have a great story to tell about what God has done for them. The message is clear: in Jesus, there is abundant life.
And we are living that abundant life right now. Even though our muscles hurt and our bug bites itch, we are living the life God created us for.
We love you all and hope to share these stories in person soon.