The COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown in Honduras has effectively put an end (or at the very least paused) the ministries we'd been working so hard to build in La Esperanza. And, if I'm being honest, we've mourned this loss over the last few weeks. But in the midst of feeling helpless and lost without real purpose, we've discovered the ministry opportunities we'd been neglecting.
From the very beginning of our forced solitude, we've made an effort to keep exercising in an effort to stay physically and mentally healthy. For us, that's meant taking daily walks. Currently, we're limited to walking just the few blocks around our home and (of course) we keep our distance from any neighbors we may encounter. But we've been surprised at the impact our wave to the men playing cards in their yard and our friendly greeting to the teens hanging out on the front porch have had. We suddenly realized that we've been so focused on our ministry elsewhere, that we didn't even know our neighbors!
So as the weeks have drawn on, we've made an effort to be a cheerful bright spot for everyone we pass on our walks. And, of course, that meant we quickly identified the houses around us with kids. These days they're home all day with nothing to do. So a few weeks ago, we began leaving packages of games and activities at various houses along our route to help kids and their parents fight boredom and fear.
A few days ago we dropped off a package of markers and some coloring pages printed on our home printer at Lupe's house. This afternoon, she and her little brother were waiting for us as we passed on our daily walk. They couldn't wait to show us their creations.
While we've been busy praying for God to restore our ministry, He's already answered with a surprising new way to be a light in a very dark time.