It all started when I was on the way to build a pila with the Forest Hill team at the Lopez family’s house. I didn’t really know the family, all I knew was that they truly needed it. On our way there, I looked at our team members who had traveled with me. I thought of how blessed I was to do what I do for a living — to do great work in the company of our volunteers who pay to do hard labor with us. Our volunteers have hearts of gold and they what they do all because they love Jesus and believe in the work HOI is doing for Him.
But my blessings don’t stop there. Soon, we had made it to Lopez’s house to start our work — or so I thought. As we stepped off the bus, we were greeted by a mother, Maria Exaltacion and her daughter, Elida. They were very welcoming, but I had a feeling they were going through a rough time. As I looked closer, I could almost see the tears in Elida’s eyes.
Maria Exaltacion with Leslie infront of Maria’s home.
She suddenly pulled me aside and told me that her mother, who was going to die soon had never gotten to know Christ. I knew in that moment that God had brought us to these women. Elida said she had been asking God to send someone special to share the love of Christ with her mother, because her mother did not want to see anyone from the community. In that moment, I could feel the power of God. He had made an appointment for the HOI volunteers to be the ones to intercede and pray for Maria Exaltacion.
It was not an easy battle. We all prayed together for Maria that day, and when we left, we kept on praying. For two whole weeks we prayed that Maria Exaltacion would be left with the Lord.
Forest Hill mission team praying with Maria.
The team left, but kept praying and about 2 weeks later Maria Exaltacion left to be with The Lord. Elida knew that God had used the HOI volunteers to bring her mother to God. Elida expressed her grief at her mother’s funeral, but spoke of her hope as she now knows that she will see her mother again one day.
At her funeral, Elida shared how God had used the HOI volunteers to bring her mother to Christ. She was sad she had lost her for a while but she is sure she will see her again.
Elida and Maria Exaltacion story serves as an example of the most important aspect of HOI’s work – strengthening communities. I love my job, not because of the construction projects which help many, but because I work towards the goal of building communities with a sense of ownership and citizen pride. Above all, the work we do at HOI is for people to realize they can have a personal relationship with Jesus, our Savior. After all, he has promised to provide for our every need if we just seek His kingdom first!
If you want to really be transformed by touching the lives of others and the love of Christ, please consider coming to serve at our San Lorenzo location in Southern Honduras!