I tried to go back to sleep, I didn't want to wake up yet I was tired from working hard the past four days during the Community Medical Brigade in Honduras; however the voice in my head that quoted Mark 1:35 became louder.
I stop fighting this gentle voice and got up, got dress and went to the seventh floor of my hotel where there is a restaurant that oversaw the city. In my mind this was the perfect spot to pray.
Sadly when I arrived to the restaurant door it was close. I could still see the city view because the door was made of strips of metal. I stood there for a minute pondering what shall I do next, I didn't want to sit on the floor. I contemplated going back to my room and praying in my bed or sitting in the lobby and writing out my prayer; but again the voice spoke; "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
I decided to go back to my room get a blanket to sit on the floor in front of the restaurant door; no one will bother me there. As I walked to my room, God place thoughts on my mind that I want to express. As I walked out of my room from grabbing my blanket I looked to my right and saw a balcony that was quiet with a chair and I could clearly see the sky turn from dusk to dawn; it was so beautiful. It is my pleasure to write what I saw during my first ever Hope Worldwide Brigade.
I came to Honduras to serve Hope in order to bring my son Joe with me. I made a resolution that I wanted to go on a trip with each of my children by themselves, specially my boys. My daughter and I getaway yearly and is bonding time for her and I that we look forward to every year. October of 2013 I went with Raul to Greece for Douglas Jacoby Biblical Bible Tour.
When I heard Hope Worldwide was looking for volunteers to serve in Honduras, I thought to myself this a great thing for Joe and I to do together. He is currently a senior in high school and I believe this was a great opportunity to experience something different. I came ready to serve and have this experience with my son, my prayer since I registered us was that neither of us would get sick before or during the trip and that both of our hearts would be move in unexpected ways.
God answered both prayers, we didn't get sick and our hearts were move in unexpected ways.
My son has categories to describe his life experiences; "awesome, great, terrible, a ‘right, will never do that again"; for him this was a great experience! That means he will not mind going back again.
Sometimes I wish I could think of stuff in such simple ways, but if I did then I will not be Olivia Hudson, so bellows are my thoughts.
I grew up seeing many areas of poverty around me was not unusual, in fact I think it is polarization is pretty common in Centro America; one thing I have never experienced is being in a place where everywhere I went I was guarded by men with big guns due to the crime rate. While at the CSB, I found out that the people that had signed up to volunteer received letter strongly encouraging them not to go because of how unsafe the area had become. It was great to see thirty four volunteers show up, they did not allow crime to persuade them from meeting some of the needs of the people in Honduras.
By mere appearance Honduras is not a place I would chose to visit, definitely not a place I would chose to live in, however what I experience in four days in Honduras I can honestly say I will not hesitate to pack my whole family and move here to tomorrow if God ask me to.
Due to the love and care of the disciples in Honduras I felt safe in the mist of un-safety; I felt peace in the mist of chaos. I didn't fear for my life and although I am grateful for every guard that watch over us, it wasn't them that made me feel safe, at times I forgot they were even there. I believe I felt safe because I saw the heart of God.
I saw people with nothing of value I desired but instead people whose love for one another gave them an indescribable amount of joy it was truly contagious. I saw truly grateful people, women who hugged me as if I was the best person they've ever met; they were just happy I was here to serve.
I saw older women thank doctors as they heard "you are healthy" because they were afraid something was wrong with them and did not know for sure because they had no means to see a doctor. People received medicine for their health conditions free of charge from donations of disciples of Jesus in the United States whom are wealthier and were willing to sacrifice to give to meet the needs of the people in Honduras.
Doctors came from different parts of the US and donated their time and talent and cared for patient after patient refusing to take a break to eat because they wanted to make sure they could see as many people as possible during the time allotted. I saw people do jobs. They weren't many doctors but the few that sacrificed time away from the comfort of their clinics or hospitals worked hard and long the four days of the brigade.
Disciples of Jesus were completely out of their comfort zone because they wanted to help.
I am so proud to be a memeber of the International Churches of Chirst!!!
I saw scared woman that came to see the doctor walked away happy and hopeful. In some cases I found myself hurting as I saw people in pain as if I myself was hurting.
Children were hugging me like they had knowing me their whole life because they were happy I was there.
I ate the same rice every day for lunch with a couple different condiments each time and every day it tastes better and better!
I wasn’t a doctor, a nurse or I didn’t have any medical experience, I was just a home executive ready to serve and I felt as important and needed as a doctor.
The worship on Sunday was flowing with grateful brothers and sisters in Christ, it was so obvious they could hold it in; they were extremely grateful to be part of the Kingdom of God!
Honduras is not a perfect place, some people at church didn't have a smile on their face, some didn't appeared grateful, some complained, some people didn't give a hug. At the Brigade itself there were people who felt entitled for the service we were providing, and not everyone waiting was patient; however the encouraging part was that wasn't the majority. The number of people who weren't afraid to show their hearts outnumbered the ones that were not warm and fuzzy. In fact if I saw a person on Sunday at church in Honduras or at the Brigade waiting in line, who kept to themselves I went over there and gave them a hug and introduce myself!
The whole time I was in Honduras it was easy to practice1 Thessalonias 5:16; "Be joyful always", even in the hard moments
God is in Honduras; in four days I have fallen in love more with God. I wished poverty as I saw and held in my hands the four days I were there didn't exist in the world, I don't like it. I wished there were other ways to keep my heart soft and aware of the needs around me other than seeing people live in conditions I myself can't even imagine living in, but I trust God knows why some are rich, some are poor and some are extremely poor and that's enough for me. I am honored God placed it on my heart to be a volunteer for Hope in Honduras!
Sadly I know that even though I learned so much, my heart was moved beyond my imagination, I will return home and forget at times this experience and how I feel right now. Although my scenery is beautiful, I have a beautiful home, I rarely see beggars in my neighborhood, even the poorest homes are in pretty good shape, and although I can say I strive to remain grateful for the things I have, sometimes the world I live in makes me blind to the needs of my soul.
Sometimes I open the book of Revelations and read about the churches, it's like a Biblical Personality test for me so I can see where I am spiritually and what's the best way to change. Some of the churches that were more comparable to where I was at the time, and as I said I do this regularly often were the church in Ephesus who forsake their first love, Pergamum or Thyatira who had standard for themselves as individuals but tolerated sin among them. However there is one church I never felt where I was spiritually compare to them, was the church in Laodicea. For the first time in my walk with The Lord I can say I saw that I was were the church of Laodicea was; I am very grateful for everything I have in my life, I try very hard to not become greedy or materialistic but sadly I was blind Revelation 3:17b; "But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
I had forgotten that becoming a disciple isn't just about getting to heaven although that is a very good motivation but that becoming a disciple is having the privilege of experiencing heaven on earth through the obvious love people have for one another, sadly I can allow excuses to get in the way of building Family in the Church.
The four days I spend in Honduras reminded me that is was the family of God that converted me into a Christian/Disciple not the great activities, not the convicting lessons, not how much we do for the poor, certainly not wealth, and although I enjoy all the benefits of the things I mention, those things add to what I saw the first time I walked into the San Diego International Church of Christ; people living out John 13:34-35; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I became open to the Word of God because I saw a family like I had never seeing before, I saw a "Family of God" and it is an honor for me to be part of this amazing family.
God is a God of relationships and in this trip I was reminded that nothing can get me closer to seeing Gods face, nothing can make me more happy like daily living pure genuine disciples love for one another, for the lost and the needy among us.
The brothers and sisters in Honduras as well as the people in the community could not give me anything I could sell even if I wanted, because in this world it is of no value monetary speaking, however every handmade thank you card, every kiss, every hug, every laughter, every vulnerable soul, every meal, every tear, every prayer, every sacrifice I will keep with me until I see them again. It is priceless and I will not sell it even if I could.
I pray to not settle for a spiritual family that only connects twice a week or one that gets together with his fellow brothers and sisters only when there is trouble but to strive to fight to build family wherever God place my family and to live.
To a God be the Glory!
This story is publish on Hope Worldwide