Crossing Rivers for Jesus
This year we’ve had training locations in so many diverse locations. Our heart is to equip pastors in some of the most remote areas on the globe. We’ve gone into the mountains of Central America, Eastern Europe, and India on the border of Tibet and Bhutan, down into the jungles, and into villages where the temperatures were over 120 degrees. I personally visited most of these extreme locations this year but wanted to share a little about my most recent trip to Honduras.
As I landed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in September, I looked out of the airplane window and saw the muddy, swollen rivers and thought about the journey ahead of me. I had been told about the many rivers we would be crossing on our trip into the jungles of the Mosquito Coast but had no idea just how exciting this trip would become.
After a nice brunch of bean and cheese baleadas by Sister Tula, we set out for our first graduation six hours away in the town of Tocoa, which is a well-known narcotrafficking center in Central America. After many police stops and big potholes, we arrived at our host church where over 200 people had been waiting for us for 2 hours. Although they were tired and hungry, nothing deterred their enthusiasm to see their friends and loved ones graduate from their studies. This was serious! We finished all the festivities about 11pm and headed to our little hotel.
The next morning at 5, we started our long adventure into the jungle. After about 30 minutes, we hit bumpy, dirt roads and got a phone call that our trucks would not make it through the deepest river. We had to find a ride! At a breakfast stop, we convinced someone in the village “café” to take us through the river. Five hours later, we parked our trucks at a small house in the middle of nowhere and loaded all of our Bibles, water, suitcases, and all 9 team members in the back of a monster 4x4. Within minutes, we were crossing through 4 feet of a raging river!
To add to the excitement, we hit a rock in the river that bent the front tore to a 45 degree angle. We had to limp along for another 15 miles to another 100 ft. wide river with no bridge. We carried all our belongings down a muddy road and loaded it onto 2 boats for a nice 20 minute boat ride into the jungle to reach our final destination, the small village of Palacios.
After teaching our class for 2 hours on leadership and a little nap, we walked to the graduation location where almost 400 people were waiting. Everyone in the nearby area was attending including all community officials. There had never been a meeting like this and everyone wanted to participate. It was a great meeting and I was able to share the gospel with them all. And not one mosquito bite!
The next day, we headed back to the city, all events in reverse. Can I tell you that after an equally eventful 13 -hour journey back, both my traveling partner, Euan Woolley, and I were ready for a good bed! What a great trip!
My trips aren’t always this eventful but they are more times than not. I’m always looking for traveling partners to see what God is doing and have some great adventures. If you’re ever up for it, let me know!