In Fear and In Faith
Fear is a very real emotion, an everyday experience felt by millions of people. Fear of going to the dentist, fear for a loved one, fear of skydiving, and the list goes on! My fear was going to another country and serving impoverished men, women, and children. The fear started from the minute I said, “Yes!” At first was the gripping fear: “Was I going to be in danger?” “Would I get sick?” “What was I to expect being in another country known to have unrest?” I knew God wanted me to go when my amazing husband was super excited for me. So, it was two months of reserved excitement interrupted by moments of complete doubt. My faith was definitely being tested and I finally decided that if it was God’s will all would go through, and as usual, He was faithful and I landed in Honduras April 19th, 2018. It is what happened next that I did not expect! During the early days of questioning the impending service trip, my thought was, “I am just going to serve those that are in need and show them the love of Christ.” While that did happen, there was so much more that happened on this trip!
The amazing thing that I experienced is that God does not just stop with one person, but His ripple effect on others is amazing. I think of that scene in the movie “Jurassic Park” where the approaching T-Rex caused the water in the cup ripple in circles. While there was no supercharged T-Rex behind me, there was my super God next to me. What I learned about myself is that I am a Martha. Yep, Martha. That “do-er” who busied herself making sure everything was perfect for Jesus. That Martha who, due to her busyness, missed one of the most important things … blessings! Her sister, Mary, had it figured out. I was living in “Marthadom” in the middle of Honduras. I was so busy making sure things were under control and perfect in my little area that I almost missed the gentle touch of God! How, you ask? Let me tell you! In the midst of working with an interpreter and hundreds of people from the local community all waiting to have their eyes tested, a sweet, humble elderly woman sat down. She enthusiastically followed the interpreter’s words. “What do you see here?” “Which way is the hand pointing?” Dutifully she complied and the prescribed glasses were given to her. Then, a smile formed on her face from ear to ear, she said “Muy Claro” or “Very clear!” She saw for the first time things that were simply unseen before. While she did not jump for joy or cry out, what was seen in her eyes and smile were something I will never forget. In that moment, God let me see through the eyes of Mary the pure joy of just being present. Just being present is a present. Sometimes, all we need to do to show the love of God is to just be present. In that moment I heard, “Slow down and watch God work His mission!” While my “Martha” tendency is still a work in progress in my life, I am thankful for what I learned, because the beauty of the Lord is that He does not affect only one person at a time, but His ripple affect touches multitudes. I just need to pay attention to His work and blessings. I will never forget my humble, warm, kind brothers and sister in Honduras.
I am grateful for all that I learned on this trip – things I would never have experienced or learned had I given into my fear. I stepped out of my comfort zone, traveled to a third world country to serve and show God’s love to people in need. In the process, I discovered new things about myself, about how God works, and that stepping out in faith despite my fear led to an incredible experience.
I’m looking forward to my next trip, and I encourage you to take that leap of faith! My prayer is that if you’re like me, you will set aside your fear, join in service trips, give of yourself, and watch God’s ripple effect.
--by Judi Mackey, TerraMica volunteer