As most of us go about our daily, mostly ordinary lives, there are people all around the world who are working tirelessly to make this world a better place in which to live. They are the missionaries, the philanthropists, the do-gooders...the folks who put others' lives ahead of their own. How do I know this? Because I've seen them in action. I've seen them put three and four extra hours in an already-packed 24-hour day. I've seen them push a little harder when most of us are willing to rest a little longer. I see them take on more when they really should be taking on less. But these angels in ordinary clothing looking much like ordinary people are definitely not ordinary. They go way beyond what is required or even expected of them to give hope to those who would not otherwise have any hope. I know, I know, every time I get back from Honduras, I have a refreshed vision of the raw needs of people in a less fortunate land. But since I am blessed to get to visit every year, shouldn't I share my heart with those who do not get to travel to developing countries so we'll all remember and never forget what we're really on this earth for? Whether it's in a foreign land or on your neighborhood lawn, we should always serve others in some capacity.
Every year I have been fortunate to visit new ministries in Honduras where North Americans coupled with Hondurans are doing great works for those who struggle to make it in life. This year it was the Micah Project. Michael Miller, a man from the United States has spent many, many years reaching out to young men who have fallen through the cracks of Tegucigalpa's rugged streets and into extreme poverty and hopelessness. Most of these young men are completely destitute. In fact, most of these young men have succumbed to lives of alcohol and drugs and, just as in America, doomed to a life of failure unless someone who loves in more than just words finds them and chooses to invest in their broken lives. The Micah Project rescues these boys and gives them hope by housing, feeding, clothing, rehabilitating, and educating them, with the goal of raising up young leaders who can go back into their communities and serve. Going into this compound-like facility, you'd expect to find a jail-like existence or maybe that was my own preconceived idea. But instead I found cheerful dorm-like rooms where the boys are separated into age groups and housed in a way that is more like a huge family home than a prison. I saw young men having classes in the computer lab, art classes on the back porch overlooking the beautiful mountains (inspiration for art!), and precious Honduran women preparing food for the noon meal. I saw boys and adults alike smiling and laughing. This ministry also provides jobs for local Hondurans who not only benefit from being employed but are paid a decent wage and reap the benefits of investing in their own community. It's a win-win for all involved.
But here's the thing. Every single year I go and every single trip I've ever made, I wonder and ponder in my heart How do these people do this life? How do they give and give and give, sometimes without much thanks, then get up the next morning and do it all over again? How do they consistently give up their own private hopes and dreams, sacrifice their own lifestyles and privacy, and raise their children in a foreign land where they face even more challenges than in the US? Here is what my heart has told me. They are called to do this. They have heard the call to give more and take less. They have heard the call to love others more than themselves, and have answered that call. They have dedicated every ounce of energy they can muster to go, to serve, and to bring their families along with them to do it as well. So when I think about a person's life in view of "a calling," I am a bit relieved. I am relieved because I know without a doubt that I would not be able to do it. Just being there for a couple of weeks at a time is enough to tire me completely out from observing how hard they work and what they sacrifice in any given day. But that's the mystery and the beauty of it all. They don't see it as sacrifice, they count it all as joy and privilege and, when they are away from the heart of it, they long to return.
"Callings" can come in many shapes and sizes. I firmly believe that successful doctors and nurses feel a calling and answer that call. And we know that the "calling" makes all the difference as to whether you're a good doctor or a good nurse. We've all been the recipient of a medical professional who loves what they do and they pass that love on to their patient. And we've also been the victim of a medical professional who does it because it pays the bills, and the contrast between the two makes all the difference in the patient's care. We are not all called to be doctors, nurses, preachers, teachers, social workers, or all the many other jobs where a true calling to that profession produces the best of the best. But we are all called to something and we are required to answer that call if we want to not merely exist, but thrive in life.
This is Nico, who was born in Africa and adopted by North American parents John and Becca, and who has a little sister, Emmie. They serve with The Micah Project in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and it simply exhausts me to think of raising two children under the age of two in a foregin land while you serve others. God bless them.
If you'd like to make a donation to The Micah Project, you can
contact them and follow their work at their website at https://www.micahprojecthonduras.org and, of course, my own sweet Hollie's place of adventure at http://www.afehonduras.org where she and her little family invest daily in the families who make their living in the city dump rummaging through trash.
What is your calling...have you answered it?
Posted by CC
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