When we go on mission trips it’s to fulfill part of the Great Commission given to us by Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20), but Ashley often reminds me that there are sometimes specific “God Appointments” that happen along the way. These last two days in Belaire have turned out to be one of the major reasons I’m here in Honduras this week.
Let me tell you the story of Jeremiah and Isaiah. On Friday I helped get our three student teams situated and serving in their assigned children’s ministry areas, but didn’t personally have much interaction with the Honduran children in the first few hours on site. However, later in the day I started throwing a frisbee with two boys that looked a lot alike. Turns out they are twin 12yr olds named Jeremiah and Isaiah. Their names alone gave me a great open door to begin sharing the Gospel with them. It’s not often you meet Honduran children with these names. So I was very curious about their lives. There was something more that kept drawing me to them. Aaron Cheney, one of our team members, saw me talking for a while with these boys and he asked me, “why do you feel drawn to them?” He and I agreed that we felt the Holy Spirit wanted us to get to know these two more and go deeper in conversation.
Jeremiah and Isaiah spoke a few words of English and told us their story through a translator. They said that their mother died when they were four. They lived with their dad and that they hadn’t been in school for some time. We shared the Word with the boys and they both said they knew Christ (or at least they knew what we were talking about). The day ended and the boys left. They were on my heart and the heart of most of our team the rest of the night.
When we headed back to clinic today (Saturday) we hoped the boys would be back. When we arrived we saw Jeremiah, but Isaiah had stayed home. About an hour after we arrived I began talking to Evelyn in the clinic. Evelyn is the American who owns the clinic and ministers year-round to this community. In the course of our conversation I asked Evelyn if she knew anything about the twin boys. Her eyes immediately lit up. “You’ve seen Jeremiah and Isaiah?” Turns out that she had been looking for them for some time. The boys live with the father, but Evelyn had placed them in a healthy and safe foster home over a year ago. The boys were well cared for, educated, and taught the Bible by a very godly foster mother named Lisa. Lisa is an American who has given up life in America to minister to the least of these in Honduras. She runs a small boys home in the area. Jeremiah and Isaiah ran away from the home two months ago because they were strong willed and having trouble adjusting the a healthy and structured family life. Evelyn said it would be a miracle if our team could talk the boys into returning to the boys home. She had heard rumors of the boys being on the streets and stealing. Boys in the area who are caught stealing from people are often killed by the local farmers and drug dealers. She worries for the boys safety.
We began talking to Jeremiah and he agreed that life had been better at Lisa’s house. He said he would be willing to return to the boys home. We called Lisa and told her that we found the boys. She was ecstatic. She said, “We prayed all last night that The Lord would bring the boys home.” Wow!! I couldn’t believe my ears. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. My mind flashed back to Aaron asking me why I was so drawn to those two boys. I was drawn to them because this woman was asking God to bring them home. The Lord was so gracious to us to allow us to be part of their homecoming.
After talking with Lisa for a few minutes I put Jeremiah on the phone with Lisa and he began to cry. He was ready to return. A few of the guys and I loaded Jeremiah up in the van and drove to his father’s house to get Isaiah. We drove up to a small one-room mud hut where the stepmother was standing on the front steps. She was happy to see the boys go. She wanted better for the boys and said she and their father couldn’t provide for them.
A few hours later Lisa arrived with the other six boys in her SUV to pick up Jeremiah and Isaiah. It was a sweet reunion.
What an awesome picture to our team of love, sacrifice, and hope. Lisa is living out what Christ has done for us all. She takes in those boys and loves them in spite of their issues. She calls them her sons and points them to the Son of God.
My heart is overwhelmed that The Lord let our team be part of this reunion and part of the life story of Jeremiah and Isaiah.