The weeks recap by Team Blogger Carrie Gaxiola
Honduras Day 1. Up at an hour when the birds weren’t even up. No problems with customs or flight delays and very little turbulence. (Yay, God!) We loaded 2 vans and topped them off nicely with about 20 ministry supply duffle bags. We got to reunite with old friends like Zack Dunlap, Ruth, Julio, and Cecia and more. I met a new friend, Pastor Wilmer Godoy and his fire and passion for the Lord is evident in the way he is pursuing people that need Jesus as he and many other pastors plan the Saturday crusade. I’m already undone by my complacency in sharing my faith. Tomorrow we go to the barrios and invite people for spirit-filled, fun music, great preaching and a dose of God’s immense love He has for each and every one. I’m praying the team and I have a deep encounter with God this week as we serve even the least of these. I need Jesus. I need Him to be crystal clear in the direction He would have me go and I need to be refreshed. That comes with the presence of the Lord. And that I feel already. Goodnight, friends, and thank you for your prayers. Even though we are physically here, we feel you here with us in your prayers. ❤️
Honduras Day 2. Today the team got to get some much needed rest by sleeping in just a little but then it was off to the races, in a Honduran sort of way… We went to the Mercado (open market) to buy beans and rice for our home Bible studies and the Jeremiah 29:11 mission house. There was some bartering going on and we drove away with hundreds of pounds of beans, rice, other food supplies and soccer balls for the kids event at Crusade 2019. We bought 500 Bibles and then it was back to the hotel for the mundane task of rebagging all the 100’s of pounds of beans and rice, making them ready to distribute to over 350 people that attend home Bible studies. We sorted clothes that had been purchased and donated and, last but not least,wrapped Bibles in the prayer shawls made with love by the Christ Church prayer shawl ministry to give to those that will be baptized at the crusade. Back to the soccer field to do a Facebook Live test and it worked! (We will go live Saturday 8 pm CST- like Right Turn Ministries FB page to join us!!) Finally the Honduran team of pastors and intercessory prayer team got us busy praying, walking around the field 7 times and asking God to be present and powerful during the crusade. We were soaked by a rainstorm but not deterred! You see, when you believe the mundane can become miraculous, God allows you to help feed people that might not have had a meal otherwise, He causes people to come together in unity where language is not a barrier and egos just don’t matter because the Holy Spirit is the driving force. With willing and obedient people, hearts are impacted by the Word of God. Everything changes when we call on the name of Jesus. Everything… ❤️
7:34 pm: Well, the rain didn’t hold back but church is going on! My Honduran brothers and sisters are having church, some people are walking the perimeter in prayer and praise. The weather may not cooperate, but God is still worthy of praise!
Honduras Day 3: The kids event went off without a hitch. Over 500 kids were connected to Jesus under the leadership of Colby Ross. However, just as we were transitioning from the kids event to the big event, the breath of cold air came swirling in and in a few minutes, the skies opened, and the floodgated poured….and poured. I’m sitting under the stage with what was right now supposed to be holding a crusade with Zack Dunlap preaching and the worship band playing. But it’s not happening on the stage. It’s happening with the shouts of joy and rejoicing that God is always in control. There is joy and shouting in the camp as the rains pour down and hundreds of people walk and dance the perimeter of the field, worshipping and praising the God we love. There are brothers and sisters of different languages praising the same Jesus Christ! There was real and powerful ministry to over 500 children and their parents that heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. We prayed for dozens of babies, parents and elderly for healing. I met a rascal named Byron, about 10 years old, that kept “bending” the rules and trying to take some of the giveaways we brought. I lost sight of him but I knew God had something for him. “God, please help me find him in this crowd so we can pray for Him.” And He answered my prayer. God was seeking him out to tell him he was loved and has a purpose. Just a little boy from the barrio? I think not. God has called him by name. Doug and Preston, two powerful and Godly men prayed over him. I know I will never see him again. But God sees. God knows. He sees all His faithful people marching and praising in the storm. There’s a sound of war in the camp! Devil, the war is on and the song out there is God’s people have read the end of the book! God be praised! ❤️
Honduras Day 4, Part 1: What a day it was! After the disappointment of the crusade being postponed, we gathered for devotions last night and were reminded of who we serve. It’s truly not about us. We may never know why the rain came down in torrents for more than 2 hours, but we know that pastors and parishioners, Americans and Hondurans came together in joy, let go of burdens and just praised Jesus together. What a prize!
The same was true this morning when we went to church and worshiped with Pastor Wilmer and his congregation. We remembered who we serve! What a warm reception we received! We worshiped and praised together in English and Spanish and the spirit of God was evident! Powerful preaching by Zack Dunlap and a time for our team to pray for individuals that had many of us in tears. It made me fall in love with this country and its people even more. After prayer, the pastor said, “Move the chairs! Let’s end this the right way!” And we danced and danced in praise to Jesus, all in one accord. It was a beautiful thing even with a few fans, no air conditioning and 90+ degree weather. We had Jesus!
Back to the hotel for a short break, we loaded supplies, ate lunch and headed to the river community. I’ve been here once before and still can’t express the depth of emotions I feel, we all feel, at the utter raw humanity, the poverty and need we see first hand. It’s stunning to see the beauty of this country and yet experience a need greater than any of us will ever know in our land. We get swarmed by mothers and children for meager amounts of clothing, shoes, beans, rice and soccer balls and candy for the children. We walked down 2 paths to get to the river, only to turn right around because the water was too high and we couldn’t get to the people. People that live on this river, wash in this river, and call this their home. We don’t know what kind of impact we make. The need is so great. Does it make a difference? Tomorrow these souls will wake up and need more food and more clothing. But today, we gave them Jesus. We gave them our hearts. As our leader, Cheryl, said, “We will give you a few temporary things, but we really want to tell you Jesus is forever. Jesus is eternal. He will never run out.” He won’t run out, and as long as His people listen to the call to go, He will enable us to give the things both temporal and eternal. He leads, He causes us to give His Spirit where our trust in Him is without borders. He led us to the river to walk and talk and be His heart. We are all emotionally spent, but our hearts are full because it’s just not about us. He took us deeper today in trust, in humility and in love. ❤️
Honduras Day 4, Part 2: This day has been so full and my last post was a bit long, but there’s one thing I can’t get away from: the young people on this trip. We have 2 teens (young men), Christian and Kyle, that are pouring themselves into the mission and giving it all they’ve got. They’ve played with children, bagged up beans, rice and candy, loaded supplies and seen things they may never see at home. They don’t complain, they jump in to serve and they are taking in the good things of God. This is our future and hope, these are the times where God speaks powerful things into their minds and hearts. Next to Jesus, they are future ministry; the hands and feet that will spread the Good News. If you have kids, look for ways for them to serve, teach them that life isn’t about them, but others. Help then find their calling. Invest! But most of all pray and be that example. Maybe it’s not Honduras but something in your neighborhood. There’s much work to be done and our team is so proud to serve alongside these young people.
Finally, we took a few moments to be not just a mission team but regroup, reflect, enjoy a little ice cream and be friends😊. Tomorrow is a new day, with new adventures! I can’t wait! ❤️
Honduras Day 5: I simply do not know where to start… Jeremiah 29:11 Mission House started the day. We heard from Joyce, the house mama, got a tour, moved chicken coops, welcomed some of the kids home from school, played games, brought two piñatas and Silly String and just gave and received so much love. I got to see my little hearts, Fernando and Nancy, and when it was time to go, hated leaving them. Just not enough time to spend with these beautiful children. After a quick turn around back to the hotel to eat, we left for the soccer field to help finish what was started on Saturday. No rain but the rain of the Holy Spirit. It’s beyond words. Hundreds of people came. Lives were transformed by salvation through Jesus, people were baptized and hearts were united. For a writer, I am at a loss for words. It was powerful, incredible, a holy time. And truly, our team didn’t come to help finish what was started on Saturday… we only got to participate in something that’s just beginning… ❤️
Honduras Day 6: Six days already! I’m thinking, “Lord, when can I come back?” I love this work! I love the people! I love spending time with my teammates that love Jesus and want to tell others about Him. For me, there is something very special about this place. The people are beautiful. There is a hunger for something more. There is poverty and pain, but there is a rumbling deep within for hope. I pray that each time we are here, we offer something more. We’re giving it all we’ve got. Shouldn’t we do that as Christians, though? Give 100% to the God we love, to our marriages, our families, friendships, the calling to serve? We have labored hard over the past few days. Today we’ve taken some time to restore and regroup. We spent some time on the Caribbean Sea at the beaches of Tela. We rested so that tomorrow we can serve again. While on the beach, I found these beautiful stones. They’ve been refined and smoothed over time by the sand and waves. It’s not an overnight process. But it’s a necessary process to make something beautiful. We are being refined and tested, all of us, whether on a ministry trip or at home. If we allow time to refine and test us, beautiful things happen. Jesus gave it all as He labored for us. 100%. For me and you and my team and the people we serve. He was refined and look at the amazing thing we get if we choose to accept Him. Enjoy the beauty of our day! We thank you for your prayers! I can’t wait till tomorrow!
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Honduras Day 7: I hope you all are not bored with my posts and I hope I can type legibly because I lost my reading glasses somewhere! Pray I find them! At any rate, we got to sleep in a little then head to Jeremiah house to help move more chicken coops and play with the kids. We played a rousing game of kickball and had a blast! I met twins, Lillian and Noah today. Lillian took to me for some reason and Mama Joyce said she does not do that easily. I now have a friend for life, she said. Nancy did make me promise not to trade her. No way, Nancy, no way. I gave Nancy my Jerusalem cross and reminded her that God would never forget her or leave her and now that she has my necklace, she was not to forget me. It was a lovely day with these treasures. I already miss them. Next stop, El Belin, where Right Turn has a presence by supporting a community Bible study. Over 100, almost the whole community attends. I’m still trying to process this one. The abject poverty is like nothing I have ever seen. Raw sewage, no water source except one community water area where they do everything… laundry, bathe, drinking water and haul water to their shacks. The need is incredible. I can’t describe the oppression and hopelessness I felt. There was a newborn baby, so tiny, laying on a plastic chair in the middle of a dirt road with a bottle propped up for feeding, dogs running around, stench and squalor everywhere. But one man and his wife have a calling to help make life better for them. I met him today, Walker Somerville. He lives near the people and ministers to them. Right Turn has partnered with him to help feed the people food and he feeds them the Word of God. He has teams come in to help build houses that actually stand and are safe. And they come. Each week they come to hear the Good News of Jesus. Even after what we saw and experienced today, I have to believe where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. I know it to be true because my heart without Jesus was in utter poverty and bondage, but when I met Him, everything changed. I pray this for the people of El Belin as I fall asleep tonight. ❤️
Honduras Day 8: Ministry time was essentially done. We tied up some loose ends and headed to the park across from the hotel and handed out Bibles, Jesus tracks, soccer balls and candy to kids and just said a kind word to the people. We shopped for souvenirs and started our packing for the journey home. We’re tired (well, exhausted), the heat has been overwhelming at times, the days were very long and the work is never ending, but while some of us came as stranger we leave as friends. We have a bond with this country and her people and now with each other. We have laughed, we have cried, we have worshipped together and labored in the field. We have grown as individuals and we have grown as a team. Right Turn Ministries has grown as a thriving ministry in Honduras. God is expanding the borders of the ministry both here and in the United States. With every bit of growth, there is discomfort, frustration and questions. But when hearts are submitted to God, prayer is the foundation and love triumphs, people are connected to Jesus Christ in life-changing ways. To my friends and teammates on July Mission 2019, I applaud you and love you dearly! Until the next time, the Lord bless and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. And as Clarence the angel from It’s A Wonderful Life says, “A man is rich who has friends!” ❤️ #Honduras2019