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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Billings

Serving through the Lens of Heaven

My first trip to Honduras changed my life forever. It was the summer of 2014, my first time out of the country and my first mission trip. Looking back, it’s quite comical as I had such a zealous confidence about sharing the love of Christ while I myself was in a season of wrestling and frustration with the Lord.



To give you some background, I come from a large family with many siblings. Growing up, we had a great childhood with which my parents made many sacrifices. However, we also endured various trials and struggles as a family. Leading up to my first trip to Honduras, I had been struggling for quite some time with discontentment about many areas in my life. One of those areas was my living situation. For the time being, our extra large family was crammed into a tiny, tiny house. Multiple siblings sharing rooms, 15 people sharing two bathrooms, structural problems, and lots of kids fighting over space and privacy. As you can imagine, my teenage self had many negative feelings about my life at the time. I was angry, embarrassed, and questioned God and His goodness. My discontentment was so strong that it interfered with my relationships, especially my relationship with the Lord. In the midst of this wrestling with the Lord, I still had a compassionate heart for people. For as long as I could remember, I had desired to be involved in missions and as I grew, so did this desire. Surprisingly, it was in my season of discontentment that the Lord graciously gave me the opportunity to serve in Honduras. 


When I arrived, obviously there was culture shock and as the week went on, my perception of the world was flipped upside down. God used me but did an even greater work within me. As I walked through trash filled slums, I quickly became convicted about my discontentment and frustration towards the Lord. While in Honduras, open arms welcomed me into their homes made of dirt floors, mud, sticks, and  tarps. Orphans eagerly shared their humble space and showered me in love despite having destitute and traumatic pasts. As my trip went on, I was continually shocked at the joy and contentment that overflowed from people who seemingly had the most right to be dissatisfied. I witnessed true poverty but there I also witnessed abundant joy.



As the Lord changed my heart in Honduras, he gave me a supernatural love for these people that I had never felt before. During my first trip, I knew that I would be back and over the past 10 years, God has generously allowed me to return to serve in many capacities. One avenue of serving has been through the amazing work of VER International. In 2018, I spent two weeks volunteering with VER and was blessed to return for another week this past February.     


From poverty alleviation, to health and hygiene education, to literacy awareness, I've had the honor to witness the positive change VER has had in the lives of countless Honduras. During my recent visit, it was so obvious how ingrained VER is with the city of Siguatepeque and surrounding communities. I cannot speak highly enough of the impact I’ve seen in just the short time I’ve been there. Each week, VER opens its doors to provide community English classes and a space for corporate worship through their church plant. They bolster education and literacy in many communities through their back to school initiatives and scholarship programs for high school and college students. This allows so many individuals access to education which they otherwise could not have imagined. I’ve seen the impact made on families struggling in poverty and isolation. For example, during my trip, VER provided food, supplies, and postnatal care to a family who just welcomed newborn twins into their single room, patched up home.






They have been serving this family and many others for some time and the beauty of this work is that it is rooted in relationship. VER doesn’t have a one time throw money at people, fix-it mentality. They view and serve people as Christ would, holistically, and relationally. In the eyes of the world, there are standards of living, class systems, rich/poor, etc but in heaven's eyes, we are all image bearers of Christ. VER loves and serves people through the lens of heaven, serving each person with dignity, respect, and eternal purpose.


 

Bekah resides in Kentucky with her husband Casel and their dog Koda. She works at a local nonprofit and both she and her husband are very involved in their local church. They both love Honduras so much and are thankful to be a tiny part of what God is doing there.


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