Elsa and I received an e-mail from a Pastor Kevin Powell, from Virginia, asking if he and a few members of his family could come and work with us for a couple of weeks. As always, we never give an immediate answer. We must first pray and seek God’s guidance, direction and will for us in all matters. Finally, we did agree that it would be of benefit to have a few volunteers come and help out with church meetings and health seminars at the restaurant. After communicating further with the pastor, we learned that there would actually be sixteen family members coming. This included mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, even a granddad. Wait a minute; didn’t I say a few volunteers? Elsa and I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, because we were short staffed and very busy. We would not be able to devote much personal time to this group; so, they would have to be very self-motivated.
The plan was soon in motion for the group to come, and the closer their arrival date came, the more nervous I became. I did not want them to have an unpleasant experience.
A few days before their arrival, I received an e-mail, which included their work and project schedule. I had never seen such an organized, detailed outline for such a large group. I was relieved to see their schedule, but now I was more nervous than ever. You see, we have learned that it’s almost impossible to keep a solid schedule at our ministry here in the mountains. Something always comes up unexpectedly to change all the plans. We prayed, “Lord, please let this be a positive experience for these families coming. Let them see and know that the work being done here, though not always scheduled and organized, is Your work.”
The day finally arrived, and we met them all at the airport: sixteen people, thirty-two large pieces of luggage, and lots of happy smiling faces. Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that all of my fears were unnecessary. Usually, volunteers need a couple of days to get accustomed and adjusted to being in a third world country. These missionary families hit the country running.
They wasted no time in going out into the mountain villages sharing their many talents with everyone they met. It was so wonderful to see young and old excited about ministering to others. This wonderful group didn’t come here empty-handed either. They brought with them lots of medical supplies, clothes for our village children, and a few laptop computers for our students of the Missionary Training Center.
I wish I could tell you all of the special things that took place during their visit, but I’ll only be able to share with you a little of what took place.
One very special event was when we all went up to a nearby mountain village to visit one of our regular outreach families. The young people had brought with them musical bells, and they played several songs for the family. What a wonderful time we had. I thought I could even hear angels accompanying these youth as they played.
I honestly believe that heaven draws near when people, young people especially, open their hearts and give of their time and talents to help others. All of these young people displayed such selfless, beautiful characters. We are told in the book Steps To Christ, page 80, that, “The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated… Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer… Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation.”
Dear youth, do you feel that you are too young, or too untalented to share God’s love and compassion with others? Never feel this way! God has given you all special gifts and talents to be used in His service. Though this family of missionaries was only with us for a short time, their Christian influence was felt, and will be missed, throughout La Zona and our mountain villages.
My name is Bethany Powell. I am eight years old, and I live in Virginia, where my dad is a pastor. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a missionary. I was so excited when Jesus opened the door for our family to go and help at M.M.M. in Honduras for two weeks.
Testimony From a Child
“We brought with us a lot of gifts for the children, (food, literature, and a few stuffed animals, too).
“As we flew into San Pedro Sula, I saw many banana plantations, rivers and mountains. It was very pretty. And it was fun to go on the airplane for my first time. It’s very pretty at the Maranatha Outpost. We had a great time going to a cave and a waterfall. It was also fun doing our laundry by hand in the Pila.
“I want to share a few experiences I had there that were especially meaningful to me. We held VBS (Vacation Bible School) in Cera del Torro, a mountain village, just up from the Outpost, and the children were cheerful and happy, even though they were poor and needy. I enjoyed helping with the songs, Bible stories, crafts and games.
“Another time, we went to a very poor area near Santa Barbara and gave the children balloons, bubbles, tooth brushes, balls and hair thingies. Again we went into the mountains to visit with a poor family. Their house had cracks in the walls. We brought them all stuffed animals. One girl was so delighted when she saw a pink flamingo. I’m glad we brought the flamingo!
“I made a friend in Honduras! Her name is Abigail. Even though she didn’t know me, she walked right up and hugged me the first night of prayer meeting. It made me feel good. She sat by me almost all the rest of the meetings. It reminded me of Jesus and how He continually befriends us.
“We are so blessed to have nice houses and lots of good food to eat. I’m so glad we got to go to Honduras. I look forward to going back someday. I want to be a missionary at home, in Honduras or wherever Jesus calls me to be.”
By Joe Willis, Maranatha Medical Ministries, Honduras. Donations can be sent to Maranatha Medical Ministries, PO Box 501, Sherman, NY. Website: www.maranathamedical.org