Each year our church travels to Honduras for a week of medical / evangelism mission work. It is something our church looks forward to each year. Every year I tell our team that if you go on a mission trip to another country and do not recognize the needs in your own community when you return, you have wasted your time and money going on a mission trip. I believe our church has taken that advice to heart and throughout the year we do things in our own community that are similar to what we do in Honduras. But every once in a while God reminds me that I need to listen to my own advice.
One of the coolest things to witness in Honduras is the eye-doctor(s) who travel with us. Watching these professionals exam eyes and give people glasses who cannot afford them is almost like watching blind people regain their sight. The expression on their faces when they place their glasses on and can see is priceless!
Well, you don’t have to travel to another country to see miracles.
There is a young man who has been attending my church for a year or so now. This man has a checkered past, has spent time in prison, and is now trying to get his life back together. He has been faithful to church, and he is growing in his faith. He has a decent part-time job and is doing all he can to better himself.
A few months ago he mentioned in passing that he had broken his glasses. He wasn’t asking for help and did not say it in a way to illicit sympathy. It was during a mid-week Bible study and he was having a difficult time reading print. I didn’t give it another thought.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed he still wasn’t wearing glasses and so I asked him about it. He said his eyes were bad, it was affecting his work, and had constant headaches; but did not know when he was going to be able to have the money to see a doctor and get another pair of glasses. He also did not have insurance. Again, he wasn’t asking for help. He was only answering my questions. I told him to see a doctor, get a prescription, and the church would help him get glasses.
A few days later he called me very excited. A national chain was offering eye exams for $1 and new glasses for $49. He had the exam and was ready to get his glasses but did not have the $49. I asked him if he could get the glasses made in one day if he had the money. He said yes. I met him and gave him the money.
The next day at church he was wearing his new glasses and was in near tears describing to me the blessing it was. It had been more than 3 months since he broke his glasses. He said with Christmas coming up, and gifts to buy for his children, he knew there was no way he could get glasses but now he had glasses and had forgotten how nice it was to see. Over and over again he said how blessed he was. The expression on his face was the same as the expression on the faces of hundreds of Hondurans I had seen over the years.
Sometimes, in fact most of the time, your mission field is in your own back yard, you don’t need a passport to get there, and it only cost $50.