It’s a New Year!

4 Jan

Remember do-overs? Reboots? How about reformats? That’s my life this year.

Living with 40 or 50 kids will change your perspective about what is really important and especially what it means to truly love someone else. I’ll give you an example.

The last week of December I served as a house parent here at Village of Hope while Edgardo was on vacation. I lived in a casita (small house) with six boys: Carlos, Engleis, Mario, Noe, Adan, and Junior. On New Year’s Eve, we had pork sandwiches as part of our celebration. Later, when I ordered the younger boys to bed, Junior didn’t go. He slowly sat down on the kitchen floor, leaned forward, and puked. The other boys thought it was hilarious. I thought, “Oh joy.” Another temporary house parent, Keyla, came to my rescue. Keyla is bilingual. She brought some antacids and asked Junior some questions. She smiled at his answer. Then she laughed. When she had me feel his stomach, it felt as though he had swallowed an entire watermelon. “Ready to pop” was the phrase that came to mind.

Remember those pork sandwiches? Junior ate all three on his plate. Then he ate one of Mario’s. Then I gave him half of my last one. He also got another half or full sandwich from someone else.  Now Junior isn’t the youngest of the boys in my house, but he is the smallest. He is tiny. We got the antacids into him and got him to bed. I thanked Keyla and she went back to her house. Then I went into the bedroom to pray for Junior. Here’s where I got my lesson.

I put my hand on Junior’s tummy and started to pray. Then it hit me that no one in the room would understand what I said except God. I had an audience, but my faithful sounding words would not encourage Junior nor would they sound spiritual to the other boys. What a shock to realize how much I depended upon impressing other people with my prayers. At that moment, I entered  into a true test of my faith. Did I truly believe God was there, or was I just spewing empty words to an empty room?

Yes, I pray for others all the time when I am alone with God, but this was different. Junior needed help right then. He wasn’t in great pain, but he was laying there looking up at me. He knew I was going to pray for him and I think he was depending on me to come through. What a helpless feeling. It may not sound like that impactful of a moment, but it shook my world. Why? Because all that mattered was results. Not for me, but for Junior. Once again, I received the lesson that this life is not about me.

After a few moments of hesitation, I finally prayed out loud in English. And guess what? Junior went to sleep, slept all night, and woke up feeling great. He also had a much smaller stomach. Sounds great doesn’t it. Just what missionary stories are made of. But what if Junior had gotten sick again that night? What if we had to take him to the clinic or hospital in the morning? In my prayer, I covered all that.

I told the Lord that I believed in Him. I told Him that I had settled the matter in my heart. I not only believed that He is real, but that He is good! Whether Junior got better or worse didn’t matter as far as what I believed. However,  it mattered to Junior. I believe this prayer set God free to act in Junior’s best interest, not mine. With my statement of faith, I got out of the picture and God healed my little buddy.

But the question remains. How will I pray next time I pray in front of a group of people? Will I strive to sound spiritual or faithful. Or will I humbly approach the throne of mercy and grace to ask the Master to help others? Will they be offended if I ignore them to speak to my Savior and Master as though He and I were alone? Well, if not before, I will find out when I visit the USA in January and February.

“Don’t forget in the darkness what God told you in the light.” T.D. Hall 




Eighteen days! 4 airports (2 times each!) Several Presentations!

Dates: January 29, 2014-7:00PM

Georgetown, TX at the home of Bruce and Joyce Hammack. Includes dinner of rice, beans, and tortillas. Ensalada & carne tambien!

February 2, 2014: 8:30 AM & 10:00AM

Breckenridge CO at the Agape Outpost. I will bring the message from the book of Luke at both services. (I may mention kids, mission opportunities, and show some photos too.) Can’t be there? No need to be square, watch the 10:00AM service live by streaming video.Still can’t make it? No problema. Watch it later on the Agape Website.

February 9, 2014: Agape Outpost, after the 10:00AM service. A short meeting to form a team for short-term and/or long missions.

Small group members of Agape, ask your leaders to book a night. Food 4 Kids will be in Summit County, CO for the entire week of February 2 thru 8. Your leaders can contact one of the pastors at Agape or email me directly at  Questions can be sent to the same email.

All sessions include photos and home movies of KIDS FROM HONDURAS!! (What could be better?!!)




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