Monday, November 26, 2012


Now that Team FCC Honduras is safe back in the States I can’t help but reflect on our time away. It is evident that God did not just call the 15 individuals who traveled to Honduras but it was the collaboration of hard work and selfless acts from an entire faith family, our denomination, another congregation, CASM (the local agency in Honduras) and many others. But it is important to know a little bit about those who actually made the trip. There was some who were in a very dark season of their life. Some were struggling with relationships, financial stress, work place overload, and anxiety. There were some who were searching for direction and discernment in their life and in their faith. There were some representing the next generation of God’s servants who stepped up to serve God with a new sense of conviction, enthusiasm, and vibrant energy. There were some of an older generation who did not let their physical limitation keep them from experiencing doing missions. There where parents who were busting with pride as they got the opportunity to see their children live out their faith in a very relevant way. There were some who left their young children behind for the first time to step out of their comfort zone to do something that would change a stranger’s life forever. Then there was a close to burned out, grey haired, fat minister who made a ton of promises. He promised a lot of money would be raised, travel would be safe,(not comfortable but safe) and if the group would be open to God’s spirit, they would witness and experience the Holy presence of God like they have never experienced before. While we are fresh off the journey and have not had enough time to process it all it was a journey of faith.

I am reminded of what James, whom some scholars believe was the brother of Jesus, writes about how do we are to “do” our faith. James writes: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:26-27

James reminds us that we are not only to use our words but our actions to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Team FCC Honduras’ mission was to traveled to Copan Ruinas Honduras to build stoves, that we did, but God had another unforeseen plan for us. On Sunday we visited Angelitos Felices. When we arrived at Angelitos Felices the first thing that hit us was the stench. A repulsive smell that made everyone’s stomach turn. Angelitos Felices is a home for children who have been abandoned because their parents were no longer capable of taking care of them. The group stood nervously at the door while the mass group of children took their seats. We lingered in the door way because of the stench. With over 24 young children and one or two adults to care for them one can imagine the amount of help needed to keep the children clean. Just by mere ratio of children to adults changing diapers is constant. There are children who at the age of two or three found themselves on the streets, abandoned, thrown out like garbage and having to fend for themselves. The children were not use to physical contact with anyone. Then it began to change. It began with a hug, a song, a round to two of the Hooky Pokey, as we began to intermingle their smiles began to rain down on us like a hurricane. They began to embrace us, hug on us, climb on us. You could not give out enough love to curb their enthusiasm. Then the stench was miraculously gone. Was it because we loved them or because they loved us? But for a brief time something mystical, magical, and indescribable happened. I believe it was a brief glimpse of the kingdom of God.

That was how our week began. Our week ended by returning to Angelitos Felices. We fixed their broken beds, brought some sheets, Dr. Rhonda examined all the children, and we took them on a picnic. For that day they got to be regular children and we got to be parents. Nothing we did was big but children and adults sharing an acceptance and unconditional love. Strangers up until that week but now connected forever in our hearts. What about that repulsive smell?

I will never forget that smell because I believe Christ doesn’t want me too. If you study the life of Christ you will notice that Jesus tolerated the rich at best but was drawn, went out of his way, to be with the poor. Christ’s heart was with those who by no fault of their own cannot take care of themselves. I strongly believe that in the stench, Christ was saying poverty stinks, abandonment reeks, and neglect is repulsive. It stinks that there are so many precious people in this world who have so little when I have so much. It stinks. But it is in the stench is where we find Jesus. Many times it is in the most undesirable conditions we find the unconditional love. In the most remote place we find our glimpse of God’s kingdom here on earth. There at Angelitos Felices, which is translated as Happy Angels, we will never know if it was the love we gave the children or the love the children gave to us be we are sure without a doubt we felt a love, peace, hope, and joy like nothing here on this earth. Maybe it is in that place where we find God’s happy angels in the form of children at the place where my hearts longs to return.
Shalom, Tommy

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