Cindy Falk, Special Assistant to STM shares about her on-going short-term mission trips to Azacualpa in Honduras.
For the past five years I have been fortunate to be part of a team from the U.S. that has traveled to Azacualpa, Honduras, to work with our long-term global servant there, Dilia Castro. Last summer we helped to build an addition to a house for a single mom and her three children. As we worked, neighborhood children would come to watch, some of the older ones helping with various tasks. At the time, Honduran public school teachers were on strike off and on, so some days there were a couple dozen kids. We started bringing disposable cups because some of the children kept asking for a drink of clean, cold water in this hot, dusty environment.
Our last day corresponded with the birthday of a girl named Myra who lived next door. On a whim, we bought a large cake and a couple of bottles of soda to share, and we threw a makeshift birthday party. I have never been at a more festive occasion. We served more than 50 pieces of cake as kids ate and then came back with friends and family members, including several grandmothers, to get cake. Our repayment was the pure joy of the children, represented by the smiles and laughter on their faces. The birthday girl didn’t eat much, taking too much pleasure in sharing her birthday cake with everyone who materialized in the street.
The scene could have come right out of the Bible if the time and place had been different. In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus told one of a series of parables to help us begin to comprehend the Kingdom of God. He explained, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors—for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; and you will be blessed, because they are not able to pay you back. God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death.” It should not have taken travel to another part of the world to remind the members of our group that we, too, need to be inclusive in our invitations.
We often think that through short-term mission trips we are able to serve those less fortunate than ourselves. However, the reality is that we are the ones blessed through our interactions with the people who invite us into their lives. We go to places like Honduras to experience God’s open invitation, which is marked by all-encompassing love and which dispels all earthly hierarchies. If you are willing to step out in faith, opening yourself to God’s unexpected blessings—like impromptu birthday parties in the street—consider joining us as we return to Honduras this summer from July 13-20.
For more information contact Cindy Falk at 607-643-8284 or email@example.com.