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Category: Testimonies
Topic: sharing a personal experience

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Two weeks ago I was in La Ceiba, Honduras doing missionary work. I was returning to visit children at an orphanage I had worked in 6 months prior. That in itself was rewarding, but right now is not what stands out most in my mind about the trip. I want to share wtih you a story of something I will always remember.

It was a Sunday morning, but since there were no englishspeaking churches around and we are nowhere near fluent in spanish, we decided against going to an actual church service, and go to the coastline where not only could have a good time, but connect with God through nature which has always been spiritual for me.

On the way to the bus station, we passed the Catholic church. Sitting inside the gates, but not allowed in the church were several of the city's homeless, 4 elderly men and one older woman.
People arriving late to church stepped around them wihtout even acknowledging their existance. My mom and I made eye contact and, knowing what we were about to do was a bit controversial, we did it anyways.

The Bodega across the street was open, and with what money I had in my pocket we bought some sacks of sweet biscuits (a popular breakfast there) and juiceboxlike containers of milk. We then took our goods into the gates. We squatted down in front of each person, one by one, so we were at their level, and after saying our goodmornings we offered them what we had. All of them gladly accepted and after our exchanges of "god bless you"s we moved onto the next person. Unfortunately our conversation was limited by the language barrier, but sometimes nonverbal communication is even more effective, as is the case wtih the old woman.

"Buenos días doña" i said as i knelt down next to her. I made sure to speak to her with a great level of respect. she put her hand on my head and asked that God bless me as I helped her put the straw in her milkbox. I then, as is customary with women there, kissed her on the cheek. I figured, I would do that with anyone else here, why not her? At that she flashed me the most beautiful smile I think I have ever seen: toothless and smelly, but somehow beautiful and pure.

After bidding her a good day, I turned and left. "I thank God for you. Jesus will remember what you have done" she called out as I walked away.
I found myself thinking it was a bit ironic, for as she said that, I was just thinking how thankful I was that she had helped me. Her smile taught me something I had forgotten... the joy of seeing Christ in others... how simple the complex love of God can be.

Posted: 2006-07-08 09:43:00

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God showed me that we can't love Him without loving those around us, and we can't love them unless we see Him in them.
Praise Him, it's good that you know that too.
I have two questions and an explanation for you.

Do you know anyone in Michoacan, Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca or Guatemala?
Someone who is in contact with the suffering church there?
It struck me that, since everyone who does the will of the Father is Jesus's brother, sister, and mother, that we really are a big family. If we just say this and don't mean it, it's easy to become a hypocrite (because that is what hypocrites do). But if I really do mean that they are my brothers and sisters (because Jesus is my big bro, we ARE related), shouldn't I go and help them when I know theyre in trouble? I mean, my brother hid me from the cops before, my mom took me in when I was homeless, and that's just a simple, carnally seeded family. If, as brothers and sisters of Christ, we see one another hurting, be it on the street at home or in a place we are able to travel to, shouldn't we be a good brother or sister and go to them to help them? I want to go to them to find out what they need there, and to bring it to them. I also want my brothers and sisters who are here in comfort to realise the way they are neglecting their true family. Isn't it written "a man who neglects his own family is worse than a sinner?" and "how good and how blessed it is for brethren to dwell together in unity?" I was waiting for a call to do this when I realised that Christ called us to it two thousand years ago.
thank you for this testimony, sorry for rambling.

Posted: 2006-09-21 13:35:00

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