By team member Andrew Yoon
Today was the last full day of our mission trip here in Honduras and the fourth and final brigade day. Without a doubt I was excited to close out the week by giving the last shreds of energy I had left into this one last brigade. But while preparing for the oncoming day I actually spent most of the morning and previous night thinking about the future and what things would be like back home. I reflected on a devotional our team went over from two days prior. It was about Hebrews 12:1-2:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The devotional emphasized the fact that the race that is set before us is to be run with endurance and not approached as a short-lived sprint. We were challenged to continue striving tirelessly after Christ beyond this one-week of missions, and to continue fervently looking towards Jesus and laying aside sin once back home. It reminded of what a friend of mine had told me regarding short-term missions: “Missions do not end once you get back into the states; they continue on for the rest of your life. When you’re away for missions, you wake up, spend time with God, eat breakfast, go to school or work, evangelize, spend time with others, and then sleep. And it’s no different when you’re home. We end up doing the exact same things, only we get more distracted and often forget the evangelizing part.” It dawned on me that there was a danger for us as a team to finish off this last day as a sprint, return home, and then continue our routine everyday lives, rather than continuing to run with endurance.
And so, the day proceeded and quickly kicked into high gear, and everyone was on their toes tirelessly working for the sake of the Lord. The whole team was focused, driven, and also very sleep deprived, truly an amazing thing to see in action. I was encouraged to see my fellow brothers and sisters serving the Honduran people so compassionately and with such hard-work despite running nearly entirely on adrenaline at that point. But the thing that encouraged me even more greatly was the attitude of the local Honduran church members that we debriefed with at the end of the day. It was the end of a long hard week of medical brigades, but the Honduran church member recognized that it was just the start to the work that had to be done. They agreed that now the hard task of following-up with and discipling all the recent converts from that week fell upon their shoulders, and they were more than willing to accept the challenge. They were eager to continuing running the race set before us believers beyond this one week, for the rest of their lives, and into eternity. The Honduran church members even had Hebrews 12:1-2 recited as they ran along the length of the church to cross a finish line held up on one end by our team leader Amos Yang. This was done as a symbolic gesture demonstrating that they would continue to run with endurance once we were gone. Their attitude was contagious, and I’m sure it encouraged the whole team as it did me. I saw how united we were with our Honduran brothers and sisters through the common bond of Christ and the shared mission we have to make disciples of all nations. Seeing their passion gave me a stronger resolve to live my life for Christ, lay aside my sin, look to Jesus, and share the Gospel back home with endurance.
To close the day our team observed the ordinance of Communion and the tradition of foot-washing. I was deeply moved to see how humbly Amos and Josh Amano, our team leaders, demonstrated Christ’s love while washing our feet. It definitely provoked me to reevaluate how I should be humbling myself while serving others, as I saw how they led the tradition of foot-washing as examples of such humility. Hebrews 12:1 starts off with “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”, and I’m so happy to know that the entire Honduras mission team as well as the Honduran people are now part of that cloud. Thank you very much to New Life Community Church, World Gospel Outreach, and all the supporters out there: We are so grateful for all the love you’ve poured out to us! This mission trip has truly been a blessing to me, as it probably was for all 84 members of the team, and there are plenty more stories for us all to share when we’re settled back in the States!