Before coming down to Honduras, I heard over and over again how noble, how selfless, how kind my heart was to sacrifice my summer and energy to come down here and serve. It really built me up, like in the head-too-big-for-your-shoulders way. I went into this trip thinking I was awesome for doing this thing for other people, that I am living into God’s call on my life to go to the nations and proclaim the gospel, that it was my job. Go me.
Reality check came day one. Throwing up on the plane ride down here, I didn’t feel very noble. I felt more selfish rather than selfless as they showed me the cabin where I would be staying: no AC, have to wait 4 minutes for the hot water to kick on, “watch out for scorpions”. My heart wasn’t at its kindest the first time I walked out to the school by myself, resenting the heat and my weak ankles on the rocky and hilly road to the workshop.
I had to humble myself, and fast. As I met folks here and learned more and more about the operations of Mission Lazarus here, I realize that these are true missionaries. Each day, they serve to their best capability with the resources they have, making sure that the everyday focus is on serving the whole of the person for the glory of Christ’s Kingdom. It means sucking it up and working through the difficult stuff, praying a lot, holding each other up when the road gets tough. It means doing your best and knowing that it is good.
Sometime in the first two weeks, I’m standing in my bathroom looking at myself in the mirror thinking, “There’s no way I am a missionary. I have enough hair product to cover a small town for three months.” And it was the truth. But a missionary is not defined by the look, the stuff, the words that are said- rather the disposition of your heart towards the work you are doing, towards the people around you, in every moment, in every place. If I’m a missionary, you’re a missionary.
A mission is an important assignment given to a person or group of people. Each of us, uniquely designed by God, has a unique and perfectly fitting mission. Finding it and living into it is the challenge. Sometimes, that means spending four months in Honduras. Other times, it means going to class, going to your place of work, doing your day to day. While the mission looks different to each of us, its base is the same no matter who you are- make Him known and glorify His kingdom. It means living into your God given mission to make His name known to other people.
You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to live on mission. I guarantee that people in your neighborhood, in class with you, at your favorite coffee shop- they all need more Jesus, and you get the divine opportunity to be just that for them. If only you will be brave enough to step into it through daily living.
Yes, I am here and at work, “living on mission” in Honduras. But, I am not the one doing ANY of this. God blessed this trip and brought it to life. He orchestrates little movements so that big things can happen, like the baptisms of boys in our vocational program. While it feels a little routine for me to input information of production daily and plan a calendar for the graduates to work with, its needed for their growth. And this is the perfect example of how I can still be on mission in the mundane, letting them know that this work is done for them because they are loved by a God who wants them to succeed in their leather craft, that they are not forgotten, and that the work they produce is beautiful and desired by clients. That meeting them and laughing with them is a blessing to my heart by which nothing can compare.
You have the chance every day to do this. Will you?