Photo Stories | On Daddy's Shoulders
Something which seems so small can be extremely powerful.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was my first ever mission trip, and though I’ve heard many incredible stories about missions, I didn’t want to put God into a cookie cutter. I truly believe every mission trip is unique, and this one really was.
It seems like just yesterday that we embarked on our Catch The Fire missions trip to Honduras. We visited a local school to spread the love of the Holy Spirit and to help in any way we could, including simply playing with the kids. With soccer balls in hand, I gave them out to the eager children and the soccer game began. Seeing the joy of the boys playing soccer was amazing. Though I still felt there was more. I could provide soccer balls for these boys to have fun, but I truly didn’t feel that being a referee for a boys soccer game in Honduras was bringing fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. So during lunch, I asked God, “How can I do more? I want to spread your love, give me a chance to do this.” God not only heard my prayer, but He answered in a way I will never forget.
Picture this: As soon as I finished lunch, I walked outside and saw a little girl who greeted me. Before I even knew what was going on, she grabbed my hand and led me to a random part of the school, then took her two little arms and wrapped them around mine, holding me tightly. No words were spoken but she was smiling up at me the whole time. I have no idea what was causing that big grin, it seemed that she was delighted just to have me there.
“God’s heart and my heart were linked that day and His tears became my tears as well.”
I decided to have a little fun with her. I lifted her up and began to spin her around. Laughter started bubbling up from inside her, and a smile as big as the sun spread across her face. This somehow got the attention of every child that was there and every single one of them wanted join in! One by one I spun them around and around. I could see their faces and a big smile broke out on each of them and they laughed with so much joy. As I look back, I am still amazed at what the Holy Spirit did during our time in Honduras. There is, however, one story that will remain forever imprinted on my heart.
One little girl in particular stood out and craved my attention more than anyone else. Her name was Alexia. She is, without question, the most adorable little girl I’ve ever seen. After becoming dizzy from spinning the kids around, I sat them on my shoulders one at a time, giving them the perspective from 7 foot off the ground. Alexia was the first girl I carried on my shoulders and she was so content just sitting up there. I took her everywhere she wanted to go. But as soon as I carried another child, Alexia ran back to me and grabbed my shoulders to make sure she got another turn. She couldn’t get enough. For the remainder of the afternoon, I took Alexia all across the school — 17 times! She wanted to stay on the whole day!
“Something which seems so small can be extremely powerful.”
When I had one of the translators ask Alexia about her family, she mentioned that her mom was here, her sister was working and her grandma was home. Alexia doesn’t have a father or a brother. Hearing that pierced my heart. I now understand why she craved my affection for the whole day. When it was time to say goodbye, Alexia gave me a hug and said, “Aidos!” Later, I found myself crying. Not out of pain, but because of the love Alexia showed me that day and how much she desires to have a father in her life. I felt like God’s heart and my heart were linked that day and His tears became my tears as well.
Then it hit me. I was part of something extremely important. While I couldn’t stay and be a father to all the kids in Honduras, I could spend time with them and love on them with the same love God has for us. I was able to take His love and give it to the kids of Honduras, specifically Alexia. Something which seems so small can be extremely powerful.
“God’s love is stronger than anything and can change lives of even the smallest people.”
We as humans crave love. We wish to be wanted and loved upon. To be able to love those children and let them know our Father in Heaven loves them more than they’ll ever know is the greatest gift I can possibly give them. It reminded me of how much God loves the world, how much He loves me and how His love resides in my heart. I am extremely thankful to have shared in that love with Alexia and the people of Honduras. I pray His love will continue to impact them forever, for God’s love is stronger than anything and can change lives of even the smallest people, including His children.