Monte de Los Olivos…Can You Say WOW?
On one of my most recent trips to Honduras with the awesome folks from Zoar Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA many amazing things happened. We almost got caught on the backside of a river that was rising quickly but made it. We had a tropical storm named Earl pass by to our north and drench us but not deter us. We had a sweet baptism in a muddy river in the middle of nowhere. We had an incredible multi-cultural worship service nobody will ever forget. We set up a new feeding program for 100 kids in Monterrey. Serving next to our Honduran brothers and sisters we laughed and joked and made new friends in spite of our language barrier. And, once again, we saw our Lord show His love to the people of Monte de Los Olivos.
I woke up in Hotel Casa Blanca on Sunday morning, July 31 to an email from Water Missions, a great partner, informing me that they would arrive on the following Tuesday. They would begin the installation of solar panels and pumps that would run the entire water and sewer system in Olivos. After a couple years of designing, planning, and building- the dream would come true. The well we dug 5 years ago and the sewer system would be connected to the houses and Olivos would have clean water INDOORS! Showers, sinks, and toilets that flush. We quickly changed our schedule for that day and the day after so we could be on hand to help out. It’s in, it’s working and it’s awesome…but that’s not the whole story.
It’s been 5 ½ years since Sister Teresita Gonzalez introduced my sister Rhonda and I to Monte de Los Olivos on a rainy day in January of 2011. Things have changed there so much it can only be explained as miraculous. Don’t take the word “miraculous” lightly…miracles DO still happen every day. God is working on behalf of His people daily- sometimes we’re just too busy to recognize it. There have been many individuals and organizations who have participated on our teams from 147 Million Orphans including our awesome founders Gwen and Suzanne. So many to thank…some have come, some have gone. But one has remained through it all. It has been an effort. It was not easy. But just to see God at work in that place? So worth it. To see the “collateral” miracles? The ones we didn’t even expect? Mind blowing.
As I reflect upon these past 5 years and what the installation of this final piece of the plan represents I just cannot help but marvel over how awesome our God is and how much He loves His people. Take a minute with me to remember.
“They’re the poorest of the poor”; “They’re all going to die out here”; “I can’t do this”; “There is no hope”; “We don’t have any resources to deal with this”…those are some of the things that I remember being said that day. And I’m guilty of at least half of those thoughts. But God had a different idea. Just like with David, Elijah, Job, Moses, Paul, Matthew, Peter, the 5000 and on and on and on…God provided. Jesus loved the Mount of Olives. He worshipped there, He prayed there. He taught there. And He ascended to Heaven from there. Let me tell you something…He loves Monte de Los Olivos of Honduras, too! Think about what He has done there…
When they needed water He gave them a well.
When they needed shelter He gave them homes.
When they were sick He provided medicine and doctors.
When they wanted to worship Him He provided a church.
When they were down He provided encouragement.
When they were lonely and disrespected He provided a bunch of Gringos to work beside them and love them well.
When they were weak He provided strength.
When they were hopeless He provided hope.
When they felt defeated He provided victories.
When they were penniless He provided jobs and opportunity.
When they were lost He provided Himself and grace and salvation.
Our God is a great God. He provides everything we need. I’ve never witnessed it more explicitly or more real than in Monte de Los Olivos over the past 5 years. Thank you God for allowing us at 147 Million Orphans to play just a small part in your grand plan.