I think God wanted to give each one of us a gift. A love of children, a desire to help those in poverty, and a commitment to share hope in Jesus Christ brought us together. Now it is not only the memories we made in Honduras that keep us connected, it's the friendships and true concern for one another that have bonded this group into something that none of us expected. It's a gift. A blessing.
In the months since our trip, not a week goes by that I don't either receive an email from a member of the group or at least have them pop up in my Facebook news feed. I pray for my friends and I know they pray for me. Maybe that sounds a bit obnoxious to you. Perhaps you're thinking, "Good grief people, get over it, move on, the tour ended 12 months ago." Or, "Why not plug in to a community of prayer partners that at least live in the same state!"
I agree, to some degree. It would be nice to have a community of local prayer partners that really cared for one another the way this group does. In many ways I do. I have lots of friends in town with whom I can share my heart. I belong to a congregation and a Bible study where I can be honest. So, I don't want to diss what God has given me in my own neighborhood. But (oh, there's always a but) what I've experienced with the Honduras tour group of men and women age 16-65+ is a more faithful connection than anything I've been able to find here. How can that be?
It's a matter of prayer. It's the kingdom at work. It's seeing the Body of Christ alive and active. It's shared vision amongst a group of highly diverse people. It's not accepting that distance makes it too hard to stay connected. It's being intentional. It's love. It's cherishing the gift. Honoring the blessing.
We write our prayers, we ask for prayer, we ask for prayer on behalf of one another. We send notes that affirm and letters that empathize. We make plans for the future, remember the past, and live life fully in the present. We share our heartaches and hopes and admit our successes and failures. We visit one another when possible...we make it possible. And again we pray.