We’ve been on the field in Honduras just 47 days! We arrived at the start of an incredibly rainy season which on two occasions since we have been here, has prompted extreme flooding on the island, numerous mudslides (one child passed away due to a mudslide), and a twice flooded airport.
The day our crate contents were released to us, David called me to let me know that he was almost back in town. It was kind of overcast and not too hot. He even said “I’m so thankful it is not raining” because large vehicles can’t come where we live so he had to get the truck driver to park in the town square and they had to use Pastor Tom’s small truck to bring our stuff to the house. Before he could get back, the bottom fell out and it poured rain. All of our boxes had standing water on top of them. David, Pastor Tom, and the 2 sweet youth guys who helped us were drenched and our floors were soaking wet from the rain and us going in and out to get our boxes from the truck into the house. But praise God, we were able to get our crate released from customs in just 3 weeks and get our stuff to our home!
Then the Presidential election took place on November 26. Instead of announcing a winner, it turned into quite a fiasco and people were crying “voter fraud” and upset that certain parties had cheated. This resulted in rioting, protest, and looting on the mainland (we live on the Bay Islands of Honduras 40 miles off the coast of the mainland). A curfew was enacted for all of Honduras, banks were closed, government offices, we were limited on how much money we could access since we are foreigners, etc. Finally, this week, a President was declared and it was Juan Hernandez. The winning side got 42.95% of the vote while the opposition was very close at 41.42%. Now add, this is the first time in history a President can serve a second-term and the people have little trust in their government and feel unheard. So things have once again ramped up with protests and riots on the mainland. This affects us because most of our supplies are imported from the mainland (food, propane, etc.) and when things on the mainland are shut down, we don’t receive our necessary supplies here on the island.
This is also our first holiday season overseas. We are trying to keep some of our Christmas traditions even here (such as “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift” advent each night), hiding “Nicholas” our Elf on the Shelf, and putting up a Christmas tree with some ornaments from home. We are also enjoying new Christmas experiences like going to a 30 minute firework show that was awesome with a family here that we have become good friends with and attending a Christmas concert at our church with island style worship music.
So, how do we find peace in the midst of a recent move overseas, a crazy rainy season, a political crisis, and our first Christmas overseas? One word….JESUS!
Psalm 29:11 says “The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” Psalm 119:165 says “Great peace have those who love Your Law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let me tell you what I do know. I am not in control…Jesus is! The same Jesus who is in control of the winds and the waves is in control of my life and as His child, He wants good things for me. The same Jesus who raised people from the dead is going before me with every step I take, fighting my battles for me, and leading me where He wants me to be. So, I can have peace no matter what the situations we face here are. We know He has called us here to Roatan, Honduras to be His hands and feet. The needs here can be overwhelming at times but God is continually opening doors for us to serve Him and help others. The rainy season may be bad but we actually need the rains to help fill our fresh water supply. The political situation may be a mess but it has caused people to come together and help each other more. It’s been beautiful to see neighbors helping each other and fellowshipping more. Christmas may not look like what the kids have been used to the last few years but Christmas is still being special and we are blessed to get to celebrate it with new friends in a new place. Isaiah 26:12 says “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished YOU have done for us.”
I won’t lie and tell you that every day has been a “piece of cake” and that we haven’t had our moments of stress, homesickness, or discouragement but on those days, we can turn to Jesus and remember that what He has called us to do, He will see us through. We can give Him our worries, frustrations, stress, and discouragement and be thankful that His mercies are new every morning. God didn’t promise a life of no problems. In fact, He told us to expect them (John 16:33). He also promised us that if we call on Him, He would give us “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension.”
So when you feel like life is out of control, situations have you bogged down and you can’t seem to get through them, or when you feel discouraged and frustrated, sing this little song and let Jesus, the Prince of Peace, step back into the driver’s seat of your life and let Him lead you where you can find peace no matter what you’re facing.
Prince of Peace, control my will
Bid this struggling heart be still
Bid my fears and doubtings cease
Hush my spirit into peace.
May Thy will, not mine be done
May Thy will and mine be one
Chase these doubtings from my heart
Now Thy perfect peace impart.