Updated: May 16
January 3rd, 2023. The Manos de Dios mission team arrive at the airports to begin their journey into Honduras to bring to life that which the Lord has planned. In reality, the trip began before anyone boarded the planes. It began way before any team members proposed any of the plans for the trip’s work. It began when the Lord commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. This great commission is the instruction that every believer must follow and since the beginning, God has been preparing His people to do good works in His name. If you were to look at the disciples in Jesus’s day, you would see a team of people of different ages, backgrounds, and abilities. All with varying degrees of doubt, trust, and courage... but all of them in the presence and friendship of Jesus. It is the same way with today’s disciples. The Manos de Dios team is no exception. Jesus was and is present in the lives of those who gather in His name.
Among the many good works that were performed in this trip were:
● Scholarship Awards and Ceremonies
○ Our Missioners selected and celebrated new scholarship recipients.
○ The team visited their homes to bring the good news that they had been awarded a scholarship, which is in itself a life changing event for these families.
● Hosted Graduation Parties and Honor Roll Dinners
○ The Mission team opened the church doors and received the community celebrating the seven high school graduates that had kind words and presents for the Manos team members in appreciation for sponsoring their education. It was exciting to hear the graduates' future college plans.
○ Every year we have a special dinner with the honor-roll Manos scholarship recipients that have excelled during the academic year.
● Club Intercambio & Club Aventura
○ People were able to transcend language and cultural barriers to engage in an exciting and deep discussion of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak as part of our Club Aventura, which is a book club that we started several years ago to encourage the joy of reading in the community.
○ A cultural exchange and learning experience was achieved for our students and mission team with our tour of Danlí as part of Club Intercambio.
● As part of our outreach efforts, the Manos Ministry helped members of the rural community of San Lorenzo by giving them access to reading glasses, as well as building a roof for a family as part of our Casitas construction project for San Lorenzo.
○ A short but mighty Vacation Bible School was held for the children of San Lorenzo. Manos was able to show and tell the next generation of the wonders of God’s word.
Of course, God had so much more in store than what Manos had prepared for. Over the course of the trip, members bonded in unexpected ways and hearts were opened to the Lord. New relationships were born, and old ones were rekindled! Friends were reunited after a three-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, but it was as if these friendships had never left each other’s hearts. Moreover, longtime members of the Manos Ministry finally had the chance to make dreams come true. Our very own John Panther was able to bring his daughter Kate with him. Something he’s dreamed about since she was born. Berta Rodriguez, who has been a supporter Stateside, finally had the chance to immerse herself in the Honduras experience. Love and joy were abundant for every member in every moment. Truly, it is this kind love that the Lord teaches us to share when He sends us out into every corner of the world.
1 2 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
( John 15: 12-15 )
The promises of God are eternal and while there is still time on earth, there is still good work to be done. Manos de Dios in Honduras and in the U.S. will continue to trust in Jesus as they move forward. What will you do to answer the call?