Ten years ago I joined a ministry called Outpost Centers International (www.outpostcenters.org) in a Honduras-wide evangelistic effort. I brought my girls along, eleven and fourteen years old at the time. For two weeks we ministered to children in the endless urban sprawl of Tegucigalpa, living with a family right there in Torocagua, one of the sections of the city. Just before I left, our host Manuel said in broken English, “We need mowney for da. . um. church. We feeneesh basement . . .ed belcony. We don’t hev room for da people.”
“How much would you need?” I asked
I didn’t have any ten tousand lying around, but purposed to devote my concert offerings to the Torocagua church until I did. By the grace of God, the money was raised, sent to Torocagua, and forgotten about.
Ten years later this January, Pastor Rafael Zaldana messaged me on facebook. Here’s part of his message:
“Hello brother Jennifer the Shepherd salutes to him Rafael Zaldaña of the Central Association of Honduras. I was the Shepherd of the Church of Torocagua when you came with those from OCI for the campaigns in the 2001. He cheers to find to me him in FB and to say to him that the brothers of the Church of Torocagua always remember since you help him in the campaign and helps with a valuable aid for the construction of the Church. . .”
Language barriers notwithstanding, one thing led to another until my daughter Alison and I showed up in Tegucigalpa for a 9-day reunion concert tour. Actually, we stayed in the Pastor Zaldana’s home in Comoyagua about two hours away over the mountains that ripple the entire country. Highlights from the trip include:
• Alison’s plane dumping her off in San Pedro instead of Tegucigalpa, leaving her to find her way almost 200 kilometers across the country. She did. She’s a battle axe.
• Alison and friend Joy Grabiner held up at gunpoint after the first concert. They lost Joy’s cell phone, but kept their lives. Amen.
• Meeting a missionary from Albania who’d like us to come there for a concert tour.
• Eating fabulous food—the best of refried beans, mangoes everywhere, tamales, papusas, baked plantains . . .
• Gurgling intestines.
• Visiting Vida International (http://www.lightingtheworld.org/Projects/Honduras/honduras.html ) ministries in Suyatal. This basically entailed two days in the bush with a group of young people. God bless ‘em.
• Performing eleven concerts in nine days. Alison whined a little but our voices stayed strong.
• The last Sabbath, performing in the very church I raised money to build! I’ve never felt so honored as they searched for English words to express their thanks.
• Opening for the fabulous Domincan singer Junior Marchena, in a fancy auditorium in Tegucigalpa, the very last concert of the tour.
Of course I’m raising money again. I’d like to put walls on a certain unfinished Maranatha church in Comoyagua. I’d like to put shingles on another so that the next time we sing there in a rainstorm we’ll be able to hear ourselves. Our dollars stretch so much farther in these places. Will you help me help them? Visit my website at www.jenniferjill.org and donate. It will go to good use, I promise.
Here’s another way you can help: I’m due to finish my counseling licensure process this summer, which will free me up for more concerts. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d be interested in a concert in your area. Alison is also concertizing in California this summer, so she’s looking for bookings. You can email her at email@example.com. Remember that when you help us, you help others. We “preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake,” 2 Cor. 4:5.
I want to put in a word for my youngest daughter Kimmy. She’s a group leader for Pennsylvania Youth Challenge this summer. PYC is a group of 21 young people who sell spiritual books and pray with people door to door. Last year they reached over 60 thousand homes! They’ve been posting videos. Check out this one, it gives a taste of the experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=du5hidyqn8w&feature=related. The program website is at: www.philadelphiayouthchallenge.org.
We can’t save the world, but we can change the part of it that swirls within our personal sphere of influence.
Yours in the Master’s service,