Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Through The Bamboo

The hand coming through the bamboo wall startled us and drew our attention from our dinner conversation“No,” we responded to his begging, “go away.” He left us to our meal and conversation, moving on to the next table. A little later another hand appeared with the young face looking in at us. This time Robin and Jeff responded with recognition and Jeff jumped up and went to the street to try to talk with the youth. He was a beggar – no, worse – a young deaf beggar. He has consistently refused any assistance from the Signs of Love staff, who have repeatedly reached out to him. Yet, one more time Jeff is going out of his way, interrupting our dinner, our conversation, our time, to try and reach this young one.
As dinner neared an end, my wife, Susan, looked at the large amount of food still left on her plate and asked if we could give these leftovers to the boy.  Robin assured us it was fine, so we had a good serving of baked chicken with rice, beans and tortillas wrapped up to go.  Taking this little package, I went out and finding the young boy, I offered it to him.  Quickly, and I think gratefully, he took it, turned and ran away.

One small act, one more attempt to reach him, to soften his heart.  Maybe next time they try, maybe then he will respond with more openness to the help available through Signs of Love.  Reflecting on the whole encounter, I am impressed with the continued efforts to reach this one more hurting and needy one, unaware of the gifts and possibilities for life that are available to him.  I am moved to pray that one day soon we will hear a story of how this one is learning, changing, growing.  

All things are possible.  
It takes love – love that truly can be heard by all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Recent Trip

Benjamin and Susan in Village Nueva Armenia

My wife, Susan, and I were greeted at the airport in San Pedro Sula by the welcome and smiling faces of Robin and Jeff.  It was raining and late evening, but the excitement I felt was palpable as we were beginning what I came to describe as my “final God-dream” related to the writing and publication of my book, Enrique Speaks With His Hands.  I had seen it read in our church weekend services, there was a book signing in my Alabama hometown, there was newspaper coverage, and now here we were in Honduras to launch the Spanish edition and present a copy to Enrique, the boy who was the inspiration of the story.
Our days were full as we visited the four villages where language programs were being held that week.  Each day the book would be introduced and then the story interpreted for the deaf by Amanda, Orland, and Robin.  Robin would read the story to those hearing people present, the mothers and the other villagers, adults and children, who had gathered to be a part of what was happening.  All our hearts were touched the day one of the mothers responded after the reading with, “This is my story… it’s all our story,” her arm sweeping around to the other mothers present.  She then went on to recount the day she realized her own daughter was deaf.  For her it was Mother’s Day.
The positive responses continued as the week progressed. We were able to read the book in a number of schools, were featured on a couple of TV shows and visited the deaf church.  In each case the comments were positive and affirming as the deaf and the hearing saw themselves depicted in the story. 
At dinner on our last night, I asked the question to Robin, Jeff, and Susan, “What was your favorite part of the week?”  A couple answers were given and then came the response, “I don’t have one single favorite thing – it all was special and great.”  That was my “favorite” as well… all of it.  I’ve been blessed to once again be able to come and visit and see firsthand the work being done with and for the deaf in Honduras.  People are being touched and lives are being changed as the Kingdom is being realized, one heart at a time.
Ok, I must confess there is one more book-related dream – honestly, what author doesn’t dream of an appearance on Oprah?  That dream, though it would be wonderful and amazing, is more of a fantasy.  And you know what?  In terms of what really matters in life and eternity, no appearance could be more meaningful to me than standing in Enrique’s yard, seeing the evidence of how his life has been changed, and thanking the Lord that it is possible for me to be able to be a small part in supporting this work.

…love can be heard by all.