A God Moment at Julio and Bessy’s

A God Moment at Julio and Bessy’s

Below is a story written by Sarah Crickenberger. She is a young lady who, like Trina and I, has fallen in love with the people of Honduras. She has spent the summer there and journaled about her experiences on her blog – confessionsofaragamuffin.blogspot.com. This last weekend she went with the girls of the Eagle’s Nest to clean Julio and Bessy’s house. Sometime I’ll tell about my experience with Julio and Bessy but for now I want to share with you Sarah’s story. Both Trina and I had tears streaming down our face as we read how God ministered in amazing ways.

Sarah’s Story

Julio and Bessy

Saturday was amazing. I went with Roy and the girls to clean Julio and Bessy’s house. Julio is the man in the wheelchair with muscular dystrophy that Roy helps every day. Roy was sick with a cold and fever, but he brought me, Mamí Sara, Mayra, Quendy, Blanca, and me to the house. We hadn’t previously been aware of what we were getting ourselves into. It was a profound mess, one rather reminiscent of professional cleaning or hoarding shows from the US. Realistically, we only put a dent in what needs to be done. We encountered maggots, mold, and more. We ran out of bleach and trash bags. While the girls marveled wide-eyed over a mess like they had never seen before, they also politely and cheerfully worked. I was so proud of all of them. Blanca swept and washed and dusted. Quendy washed mountains and mountains of dishes that likely wouldn’t have been considered salvageable in the US. Mayra helped me clean out the refrigerator. And Mamí Sara mopped and sorted, overseeing it all with a gentle spirit of serving compassion. We were playful as we raced each other to the dumpster with bag after bag of trash as Roy yelled jovially in the streets, “Basura!” (garbage in spanish) which naturally embarrassed the girls and made me laugh. (Blanca kept fussing over how she looked like a street kid – which she has been before, and I believe being in this state was humbling for us all.) We were hot and sweaty. We sneezed a lot, and we were covered in filth. We truly couldn’t have been happier. We ate lunch with Julio and Bessy in this state, and as lunch finished, Julio and Bessy started a conversation with the girls that led to a precious God moment.

It began with the question of what the girls wanted in a husband. Being adolescent girls, this made them giggle and get shy. Being girls who have all been victims of sexual abuse, it is a question with extreme power because it dares them to want better for themselves than what they’ve seen and experienced. I always refer to the girls as my little sisters, but in this particular situation, I was most definitely one of them. I was expected to answer just as they were which made for a hilarious situation as Roy sat across from me. After we discussed the importance of having a godly man, a man who receives and gives God’s love, a man who serves others, and a man who is suited to our individual needs and God’s plans, Julio and Bessy wanted to pray for each of us. They talked with the girls about their dreams and told them that they should tell God their dreams without fear but with boldness. Dreams are rather a novelty to these girls who have just barely scraped by, focused on surviving first and foremost. Having the chance to believe for the future is something new and challenging.

Blanca

Julio and Bessy started by praying for Mayra, who jumped at the chance to receive from God. They continued by praying for me which again was a funny situation for me given the circumstances. Next was Blanca. Blanca has had a lot of struggle lately. She decides that she wants to leave the Eagle’s Nest every so often, and Mamí Sara and Blanca butt heads over her attitude fairly often. She is such a sweet soul, but she struggles with her need for control and independence. It is difficult for her to submit to authority which I understand because it means a lack of control, and love means vulnerability. As Julio and Bessy prayed for her, she began to cry, and I found myself inexplicably sobbing with her. Bessy began to tell her to receive God’s embrace, and Bessy told me to give Blanca a hug. I can’t explain what God did in that moment, but Blanca collapsed in my arms, and we sobbed together for a long time. There were lots of prayers for freedom and lots of confessions of love for Jesus. It was undeniably God-orchestrated, but He still wasn’t done.

Quendy

Quendy was next. She was so hesitant to stand before all of us for prayer, and she was even more hesitant to confess her dreams at Bessy’s prompting. She began with her dreams of being a beautician and having a steady job and a family and soon talked tearfully of the desire to move forward, to be free of all of the terrible things that had happened to her. Quendy is the one who was physically abused by her mother and brother, who never went to school, who was sexually abused by her father, and who was kept as a prisoner in her own home. Bessy placed a crumpled piece of newspaper in Quendy’s open hand saying, “Sometimes, you feel like you are trash, don’t you?” Quendy began to nod and cry. Bessy continued, “You have been told by so many people that you aren’t worth anything, but God has taken you into His hands,” Bessy uncrumpled the newspaper, “and has made you something beautiful. And He says that you are worth something. You are so important, so valuable to Him. “Quendy began to cry as Bessy had her pour out her heart to God and repeat vital words of, “I am God’s daughter. I am loved.” Always a mess, I was crying along with her, and as Bessy told her to receive God’s embrace, I was again prompted to be the one physically demonstrating that embrace – a humbling privilege for me. Once again, I can’t explain what God did in that moment, but I know in my heart that it was no accident that I have stayed at the Eagle’s Nest this summer. Those girls are my sisters – not just in name, not just in affection, but in struggle and kindred heartache. There is an understanding among us that surpasses words, and I am infinitely grateful for the power of God’s perfect orchestration. Initially, I was so confused over God’s plans for me to be in Honduras while Alvin and Nellie were away, and I wasn’t sure how it would be staying in the Eagle’s Nest rather than Alvin’s, but this Saturday just showed me that He knew what He was doing. He always has a purpose. A precious, perfect purpose.

At the end of our impromptu church service (we’re always having impromptu church at Julio and Bessy’s), we prayed for Roy and Mamí Sara and sang together. At God’s prompting, I began the song, “La Niña de Tus Ojos,” which the girls and I often sing together and means great significance for all of us – rescued women who once thought we were unworthy of His love.
You saw me when no one saw me
You loved me when no one loved me
And you gave me a name
I am Your daughter, the daughter of Your eyes
Because You loved me
I love You more than my life
I love You more than my life
I love You more than my life

We came to clean Julio’s house, and we left with cleaner hearts. Mamí Sara had been saying to Bessy all day, “We’re going to get rid of anything possible. We get rid of the old and dirty so that God can give us something new.” And so He did.

With speechless joy,
Sarah

Support These Girls

If you are moved by the stories of these girls and would like to do something to help them, there are things you can do. First, pray for them. Pray for more teachable moments and for God to continue to bring people into their lives who can minister to them. Second, the Eagle’s Nest is only funded through next November. It costs between $1000-$2000 a month to house, feed, and school these girls. Finally, we would love to see this ministry grow but to do that we need to purchase a house for the Eagle’s Nest. Currently they are in a rented house. A house would cost between $60,000 to $80,000. If you would like to give toward either of these, please contact us.

Love Them Like Jesus

Love Them Like Jesus

A Powerful Song

Love them like Jesus
Carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light.
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side

The Eagle’s Nest

I first heard this song on our mission trip to Honduras in 2008. My sister-in-law Tanya had me listen to it and I fell in love with the words. This song came back to me as I was laying in bed last night. I heard God speak the words to me, “Love them like Jesus.” I was then transported to the girls in the Eagle’s Nest. These girls have been through horrible circumstances which have left them broken. They have felt unloved their whole life, and therefore have no idea what love even looks or feels like.

A Pull

Though my husband has met some of these girls, I have not yet had that priviledge. But this has not kept me from loving them. Though my passion and heart has always been with young children (and still is), I do feel God pulling me towards these teenage girls. I think about them constantly and they are always on my heart. They don’t know they are beautiful. They don’t know they are loved. I believe God wants me to be the one to tell them the truth. And I believe that God wants me to love them like Jesus, carry them to Him, and stay by their side.

Them People Need Birth Control

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a local group. I love the opportunity to share my heart for missions and specifically for Honduras. I also love the opportunity to practice my public speaking skills. It was a great experience and the people were very warm and friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with many of them afterward. There was however, one lady in particular that stood out.

Ignorance

As I finished up one conversation I could see out of the corner of my eye another lady waiting to talk to me. As soon as I was done I turned with a smile and greeted her. She shuffled a little closer and with a little scowl on her face and without so much as a greeting she said, “You know what them people need?” Not sure where this was going I said, “No, what is it they need?”

She squinted her eyes a little and said, “Them people need birth control. That’s their problem. They need to stop having babies. You should just take a whole truck load of condoms down there with you.”

I was caught a little off guard so I just smiled, nodded, and quickly moved on to the next person waiting to talk to me.

Them People

I’m still appalled that after my passionate talk someone would come up to me and refer to Hondurans as, “them people” and think condoms would solve all their problems. I would have just chalked it up to an ignorant, cranky, old lady but I just recently heard this again. I overheard another conversation in which someone was saying people in another 3rd world country just needed birth control. I quickly turned around to see if it was the same lady but it wasn’t. What this really underscores to me is that most of us in the United States don’t have a good understanding of what the real issues are.

The problem of Haiti

I was having a conversation with someone else recently, and this is a person who I love and admire, and we were talking about missions and problems in third world countries. He brought up the example of Haiti and how, even before the earthquake, the US has been dumping millions of dollars into the country for years and years and we have never seen any improvement. It makes one think that missions is a waste of time and supporting missions is a waste of money.

The Global Giants

When you get the flu and your body aches, your sinuses are stuffed up, and your stomach is nauseated, is that the flu or are those symptoms of the flu? They are symptoms. The flu itself is a very small virus that is attacking your body and the way you feel is a result of the attack. You can take something to relieve the symptoms but it does nothing to cure you of the flu. It is the same thing in 3rd world nations. The conditions you see are only symptoms of the real issues. We have to attack the core issues if we are going to make a difference in these societies. So what are the core issues:

  1. Spiritual Lostness
  2. Illiteracy
  3. Corrupt Leaders
  4. Disease
  5. Poverty

It Matters to That One

I think there is one other problem that is not on that list, and that is our view that success is defined as all or nothing. Trina and I aren’t going to Honduras to fix Honduras. We don’t pretend we can save everyone. But what we do believe is that we can make a difference in the lives of some. And to those whose lives we make a difference, it matters to them. And one life changed – rescued from poverty, rescued from illiteracy, rescued from spiritual lostness – that is success.

Progress Update

Progress Update

Well we are about two and a half months from our move (September 25) so I thought I should give a quick update on our progress.

Goals Reached

As of right now, with what people have pledged and given, we will have all our living and travel expenses covered for our first year in Honduras. This is extremely exciting because it frees us to focus on ministry and helping the kids. To that end, this is what we are now focusing on:

New Goals Set

  1. The Raspberry Festival in Lynden – Every year the Lynden Chamber of Commerce has a booth where they sell raspberries and ice cream. They have given us the booth to use as a fundraiser. We just have to staff it with volunteers. The money we raise  will go towards a Christmas outreach and to purchase gifts for the kids in the feeding centers who’s families are too poor to get them a Christmas present.
  2. The Eagle’s Nest is a home for teenage girls who have been sexually abused and abandoned. Currently they live in a rented house. It costs on average a thousand dollars a month to house, feed, and school the girls. The Eagle’s Nest is currently funded until this coming November. It may be ambitious but we are hoping to raise $60,000 to purchase a house for the Eagle’s Nest and thus insure these girls have a home well into the future.
  3. The Feeding Centers provide meals for children who otherwise go to bed hungry. We have an opportunity to build another feeding center on donated land if we can raise the funds to build it. This will cost around $20,000. I just found out that we may have someone who is going to fund the building of the feeding center. We should find out by the end of the week if this is going to happen so please be in prayer for this.

Upcoming Schedule

Here is our schedule as it stands right now:

  • July 16-17 Raspberry Festival in Lynden (we need volunteers so pleas let us know if you can help)
  • July 18 Chad is speaking at Mission Christ the King in Mission B.C.
  • August 27 Chad and Trina will be speaking at Trailblazers
  • September 25 Leave for language school in Guatemala

If you would like to have us come to your church we would love the opportunity to share our hearts for caring for the needy in Honduras. If you would like to be part of any of these projects please contact me via the Contact page.