CENICERA, Honduras - The kids here in Honduras have stolen my heart! Last night we attended a worship service at a house church in Cenicera, just a few miles from Gracias. When we arrived, I recognized several of the kids from the day before when we were at their house interviewing their parents. One precious girl named Ruby came up and hugged me, followed by another six I had never met before. They looked up at me with these beautiful eyes and told me their names. I hugged them each back and repeatedly asked, "Como estas?" (the only Spanish I really know).
Ruby is nine and currently suffering from leukemia. Her family receives food from 61 Isaiah ministries (supported by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering) so they can spend the little money they have on her medical bills. Knowing they will have food in the midst of a difficult time is such a relief to her mother Cynthia. Looking at Ruby, you would never know what she is going through. She has a joyful heart and a beautiful smile. She was just happy to be at church with her friends and family and made sure to introduce me to every little one she could bring over.
During the worship service another little girl would turn around and pat my leg. I looked down at her, and she would giggle and pat me again. She just wanted to make sure I was still there.
The children behaved so well, standing and singing during worship and sitting very still and listening during the sermon. There were at least 35 people crammed into a room that could not be much larger than 10x12ft. It was actually a house that hasn't been completed yet. The room was lit with two small candles on a table at the front. The pastor had to use a flashlight to see the passage of scripture he was reading. The lack of lighting and small space did not stop them from having a powerful worship service!
This church moves from house to house in the community each week. It's an honor to host the service and invite their friends into their home. This is one of the fastest growing churches Shannon Hopkins and 61 Isaiah Ministries has been working with and they have seen amazing results in the last year, growing from three to 30.
One of the biggest reasons they began growing is because Ruby's mom, Cynthia, started inviting their neighbors to church. She led worship last night and as she sang, I could see her faith poured out. She believes in Jesus Christ. She has seen God's hand of provision over her family. She is praying desperately for the healing of her daughter Ruby and for the salvation of her friends and neighbors.
As we left, a mass a children encircled our truck and it was hard to get inside. They were laughing and calling out, "Adios," to us. My prayer is that these children will grow up loving and serving the Lord. May their hearts know the saving power of Jesus Christ and their lives reflect His power each day. May they grow up to be oaks of righteousness, a display of His splendor.
Isaiah 61: 1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, Because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.
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