“He was born in the summer of this 27th year,
coming home to a place he’d never been before.
He left yesterday behind him,
you might say he was born again,
You might say he found a key for every door.”
Rocky Mountain High
How about that? Ole’ John Denver wrote a song about me. Of course he got a few details wrong, I’m 62, not 27, but hey, nobody’s perfect. I thought of this song tonight when I started writing this post. My thoughts were inspired by a friend on Facebook who asked when I was coming home for a visit. After I read his question I sat back and thought, “Home? Coming home? What in the world are you talking about, man? I am home.” Stunned by my own thoughts, I thought about what I had just thought. (Think about that three times as fast as you can.)
A little perspective may be due my readers. I left Tennessee in the late 80’s and moved to Colorado trying to find “home.” I did find my first church family, the Church at the Agape Outpost, but I did not find home. Over the years I left Colorado, came back, and then repeated the cycle several times. About three years ago I hit the proverbial bottom and finally surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Oh, I have been a believer since I was about eleven, but I was never a surrendered believer. After I surrendered, I even got baptized again. Not as a believer, but as a follower. Changing John’s song just a tad, you might say I was born again, again. (That is not a theologically sound statement folks.)
They say home is where the heart is, but during my years of searching I had a different definition of home. I believed home was a place where everything went my way. It was a place without pain. Since I didn’t really like people, it was also a place of solitude. What does home look like now? It is a three-acre, walled enclosure in Honduras where I live with 50 other people. For the last two weeks I have checked the Weather Channel on my computer daily. Consistently it lists our temperature as only 88 or 89 , but the “feels like” box says 108, 109, or 110 degrees. So… home is also hot! Really hot.
Back to the heart issue. There are some little people in my home who have invaded my heart. Their names are Brianna, Carlos, Noe, Adan, Elmer, Alexa, Santos, Eili, Saidi, Karla, Wendy, Junior, Mario… and the list goes on. And it is not just the young ones that have made their way into my heart. Freddis is 27, Gisele is 21, Sandra is 23, and Sabastian just turned 16. There are others, but I won’t mention their ages. (Yes, they are older, but still not as old as I am.) There is another Sandra, Flor, Edgardo, Nora, Roberto, Carolay, Lauren & Nillson & their son Jaydon, Barry & Penny, Sandy, Mirian, Sara, and that is still not all of them.
Strange thing about a real home and the people who live here. They are in my heart, yet I don’t even like all of them. At least not all the time. Still, if any left, I would miss them. Oh, and then there are my girls. Jasmin, Maria, Nicol, and Katerin didn’t just invade my heart, but they took up residency. I’ll give you an idea of how special they are. They have called me Papa (sounds like Popi when they say it) for 2 months now. This week that changed. Without my knowing it, they got a word in English from Nathan, my intern, and this week, they started calling me “Daddy.” So you see, Honduras is where my heart is and therefore it is my home. I plan to live here until I go to my permanent home.
Oh, by the way, home it is not a place where everything goes my way. It is not a place without pain. However, it is full of life. Those sweet little girls I call my hijas (daughters) test me all the time to see if I love them enough to correct them and to do it without getting angry. I have found that home (and life) is good and sad, joyful and hurtful, adorable and depressing, sweet and gritty, clean and messy, refreshing and–hot! It all sounds so right now, so sensible. But four years ago, who among you would have told me that I would start a ministry to orphans, go to aquaponics school, do a six-week evaluation trip to Honduras, then move there for a year, find children in my sixties, and… well I will share the dreams for the future in another post this week. Who was prophet enough to tell me I would find home in hot Honduras. Well, I never saw it coming. All I can say is that God is good all the time and if you surrender to Him, He will prove it.
Friends, when I started this post, I had pictures I wanted to show you. I also had plans and dreams about the future I wanted to share with you. However, it seems that all I have done is tell you that thanks to Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Best Friend, and my Master, I am finally home. For all your help in getting me here and keeping me here, I thank you. My girls thank you. All the other kids and adults thank you. And the Lord thanks you. I will be in Texas, Tennessee, and Colorado in August. I will give details later this week. I hope to see you while there.
“Don’t forget in the darkness what God told you in the light.” T.D. Hall