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Joy in Christ – Peace in Service

February 10, 2012

Another glance at the simple joy that can be found in making a new friend, and sharing in service with another. People go on mission trips for many reasons; hoping to teach, to help, to serve others. So frequently though, we are the ones who end up learning, being helped, served, and changed by God’s love. David Whitworth shares his story from his time in Honduras. The next group returns to the same village in May, hoping to revisit these relationships and share time together once more. Would you care to join us?

Joy in Christ – Peace in Service

“David, are you happy?” he asks.  “Yes Roberto, I am happy” I reply.  Again, from another vantage, he asks, “David, you no sad?”  And I reply, “No Roberto, I no sad, I am happy!”

With a look of intense earnestness still upon his face, Roberto then says, “me no sad, me happy, I very happy!”  I watch and listen as this scenario is played out time and time again over the course of four days as Roberto and I work together, side by side, building two latrines for his cousins.  The questions and responses vary little from person to person as they come upon our worksite.  The exchange of questions and answers often culminate with Roberto finally saying, with gusto, “I very happy you are here!” as he turns back to the work at hand – laying block in a five foot by five foot by eight foot hole, a soft smile upon his face.

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As we turn away, I don’t know if he has seen the tears in my eyes or in the eyes of others from our team as they go back to their respective worksites.  What I do know is that I have seen and felt the Spirit of God moving in Roberto’s life and in my life.  I have witnessed a simple and pure joy unhindered by a materially driven world.  How do I know this?  On our last day of working I have heard that Roberto does not have a latrine (no running water, no electricity, no toilet) at or in his house.  Yet, here he is, “very happy” as he builds two latrines for cousins in other villages than his own.

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Jesus said, There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13, NLT).  In villages and homes that have never seen indoor plumbing and still doesn’t to this day, a man builds a latrine for another (a toilet bowl without seat or tank attached to a PVC pipe leading to an underground concrete block holding tank).  I doubt if Roberto thought he was “laying down his life” for his cousins – but this is how it speaks to me,

A Real World, A Simple Grace, A Profound Love

I wonder, will Roberto’s family get a latrine next year?  It is my hope.  Either way, yes or no, I imagine Roberto as he builds another latrine in the future, declaring with childlike earnestness, “I very happy – I happy with you here!” and I respond in my mind’s eye, “me too Roberto, me too.”

Grace and Peace for the Journey,

Dave Whitworth

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