Community: The Everyday Mission Team
by: Emily Grossman
HOI volunteers leave an indelible impression when they serve in a community. It could be the funny pronunciation of Spanish words or the tireless effort to mix cement in the searing sun, but we leave at least as many memories behind as we bring home with us.
As the link between Honduran communities and North American mission teams, HOI is uniquely positioned to see the “big picture” of how separate, seemingly unrelated moving pieces can be joined together for good. One recent example starts with an elderly woman named Yoya in the southern Honduran community of Guanacastillo. A mission team from Forest Hill Community Church met Doña Yoya during a home visit in February. The team was dismayed at her living conditions, even in the context of an impoverished area in a developing country. The community leadership asked if the church would partner with them to construct a a new home which would shelter her against the weather. The church would help finance the materials and the community members would provide the skill and labor. The church agreed to the partnership.
Fast forward three months. The Mercer School of Medicine arrived in the same community, Guanacastillo, to provide a primary care clinic. The local clinic staff asked team members to make a house call to Doña Yoya to treat a menacing wound on her forehead. When the medical professionals arrived, they found Doña resting in her hammock and Guanacastillo community members hard at work digging footers for her new house in another part of her property. This month, youth from the Forest Hill Church will return to the community and pay a special visit to Yoya.
Residents of Guanacastillo looked beyond their own needs to seek help for one of their invalid elders by reaching out to an HOI team to seek a meaningfully, mutually beneficial partnership; they later sought medical help for her from a visiting medical team. The community saw the blessing of working side-by-side with HOI and North American partners beyond the one week mission trip. Perhaps, in fact, we have three mission entities at work here: the church, the medical team and the local community. The outreach and embrace of God’s family needs all of us to work together for good.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27
Missions Coordinator (San Lorenzo/Nicaragua)