We are Called to Tie Shoes

Kerry hugging a child.jpg

After supporting our children’s many mission trips, Gordon and I finally embarked on our own. Nothing could have prepared us for this experience, for the ways we saw God move, or for the ways He continues to work in our hearts since our return.

Through Calvary’s Perspectives class, we gained….well….perspective about God’s heart for all people and learned about ways we could engage in His global purpose. We began by sponsoring a child. Proyecto Manuelito is a haven for Honduran street children--a place of safety, love, support, opportunity and especially a place to learn about Jesus. Maria lives there. Wanting to meet her was part of what led us to take this trip; many things will take us back.

  • Daily hugs from the parade of town children who join the children of Manuelito for schooling otherwise unaffordable.

  • Watching a teammate teach little girls to dance, becoming their earthly father for just a moment.

  • Learning to tie rebar, help with building a new school.

  • Traveling a dirt road to worship alongside a small group of Hondurans, knowing our team’s humble offering would sustain them for a long time.

  • Tandem singing in English and Spanish, This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

  • Hearing from the pulpit that in heaven there will be no language barrier.

  • Touring the project, overwhelmed with, comparatively, how little they have, yet how happy they are.

  • Hearing heartfelt testimonies from young teens of their lives before and since Project Manuelito, their hope for a future, their faith journeys.

  • Seeing the vision come full circle as children from the project grow up and come back as teachers, house parents and workers, to be part of the place that gave them hope.

I learned how to “be,” how to sit beside a child, offer a hug, nod of encouragement, attempt to learn words to communicate, play a game of Connecto Quatro, hold a hand, laugh, and share the love of God with very few words.

As we prepared to leave, Maria pulled our interpreter over to share her parting thoughts. They were simple yet profound: “I will always remember how you tied my shoe.” A seemingly insignificant act, something a mother does without thinking, became a sign of love to a little girl. God used every team member in different ways, each one leaving changed, and He reminded us that though we can’t do everything, we can do something. We are called to tie shoes.

By Kerry Stengel