Sometimes I wonder if the things I do have any effect on anyone. Is my ministry actually ministering to anyone?
While I was in Honduras a couple weeks ago I struggled with these feelings quite a bit. Going into the trip I didn’t feel prepared or ready to serve. I often struggle with my own self judgment and feel like I don’t do enough. After being in Honduras for a couple days God used one of our group sharing times to remind me that He can use me right where I’m at. He showed me that He had been working and preparing me in ways that I hadn’t even considered and ultimately all He wants from me is trust and willingness.
I don’t think a single part of our week went as planned. Everything was very organized on paper, but when we got to Honduras all our plans were systematically dismantled. I think this was just another part of the battle and another opportunity for us to trust God. It was hard at times, not knowing what was coming next, but in the end I think God used it to grow us.
That week at the orphanage I spent most of my time with the younger kids. We had all these activities and lessons planned but nothing worked out like it was “suppose” to. In the end we mostly spent time playing with the kids. I had a lot of fun and gave a whole lot of piggy back rides (next year I’ll need to add cardio to my list of preparations), but I didn’t feel like we were doing much “ministering.” The little bit of love that we were able to share seemed so miniscule in comparison to the vast amount of oppression that they live under every day.
God reminded me on our last day there that it is His love and not ours and He has a plan that we can’t fully comprehend. One of the girls that we spent a lot of time with had eyes full of sadness and a fortress around her heart. She would participate in the crafts but she wouldn’t talk to us or even look us in the eye. She kept her walls up and we were on the outside. As the last day came to an end and we were preparing to leave, Gaby, one of our translators, asked her for a hug. She started to run away, but Gaby went after her and hugged her. Her walls were breached. After that she was transformed. She begged me for a piggy back ride and gave me a hug. Our love got through to her and changed her. I don’t know what life has in store for her; but that day God’s love broke through and she was profoundly affected.
I’m so grateful that God let me see His love at work. I hope that we had an impact on all those kids, but even if it was all for just that one little girl, it was so worth it. We can’t know all the ways that God might use even our simple steps of obedience. So if you ever wonder, like I do, if you are having an effect, be assured that if you are being obedient, God is using you. He can and will use anyone who is trusting Him and willing to love.
P.S. You should sign up for next year’s TBLM trip to Honduras