I spent this past weekend in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. On Saturday, I gathered with a group of leaders from different congregations to discuss some of the evangelistic work that Hope For Life / Herald of Truth has been doing there. I listened to their stories and marveled at the dedication of these men. They spoke not of church squabbles or parking lot paving needs; they spoke of the dangers presented by living in gang-controlled areas. They compared the risks and benefits of giving out a telephone number, whether that would lead to more extortion by criminals or more contacts by non-Christians.
One of the preachers told the group how he had sold his house to buy a large lot, big enough to build a church building and a small house. He doesn’t have the funds for the construction, but he stepped out in faith to meet the needs of his congregation.
On Sunday, a man gave his testimony about forgiving the people who had gunned down his wife six months earlier. Other members told me about the Sunday school teacher in another neighborhood who was killed in a shootout just a few blocks from the church building.
I thought of the things that Tony Fernández has shared with me about the difficulties of working in Cuba. I thought of the preacher in El Salvador who had to get an elderly woman from the congregation to accompany us on a visit; if he hadn’t done so, gang members would have “arrested” us. I thought of Christians around the world who face unbelievable hardships as they seek to serve God.
Then I think about the things that seem so important in so many of our churches here in the States. And I feel very ashamed.