Updated: Jul 14, 2018
"I can't stop thinking about what she said," Brayan told me as we strolled through the mall. "I couldn't live like that."
I know Brayan. He's one of Nick's good friends. I also know his story. Well, the bits he chooses to share anyway. He's had a difficult life and seen hardships most of us can't even imagine. So it surprised me that he was so shook by our conversation earlier that morning. I could see he was struggling with some new realization, but I wasn't sure what it was.
I had invited our friend, Brayan, to meet our team members before they left Honduras. He'd impressed them, as I'd known he would. Then he'd accompanied us to the airport to see them off. We grabbed a quick lunch at McDonald's while we waited for their flight to be announced. While we sat guarding the luggage and waiting for the large lunch order, Josephine began her routine of checking her sugar levels and preparing her injection. Brayan watched this process with interest.
Josephine is 18 years old―the same age as Brayan. And she lives with Type I Diabetes, which doesn't seem to slow her down at all. She is an energetic, fun and insanely creative youth who had been integral to the success of our first team in La Esperanza. Finally, Brayan looked at her with great sympathy and concern and said, "I can't believe you have to do that just to eat."
Josephine just smiled. "It's my burden. What's yours?" she asked. He was taken aback by the question. We took turns around the table sharing a few of our personal burdens. But I could see that Brayan was still deep in thought when we finally said our goodbyes a few minutes later.
We decided to take a walk around the mall before heading home. When we stopped at a coffee kiosk for a break, Brayan turned to me "I guess we never really know the burdens of others. I have to remember that," he said.
The influence Josephine had on our friend, Brayan, wasn't intended. It wasn't part of a ministry plan, sermon series or evangelism outreach. It was just a conversation between new friends. After a week of serving, sweating and sacrifice for the glory of God, perhaps Josephine's most profound impact in Honduras was made through her everyday reality.
So what's your burden? What circumstance has God allowed you to endure so that He can use it to transform hearts and minds?