At the entrance gate of Lugar de Concentración XIV Batallón de Inf., an army base near La Bolsita, Santa Cruz de Yojoa, we were greeted by a sign containing the words of Joshua 1:8-9. Translated into English, it reads: “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua was a warrior, a soldier. So there is logic to posting this particular passage at the entrance of a military base in a heavily Christian nation like Honduras. You’ve probably heard some Christians referred to as “prayer warriors.” I would like to suggest that there are “mission warriors” as well, those dedicated followers of Christ who use their Spirit-inspired gifts “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”. (Eph. 4:12)
Today, members of our diverse mission team used our collective gifts to do just that. But in some ways, our efforts paled in comparison with the sacrifice of the hundreds of people who gathered on the army base for some basic health care; some walking for an hour or more just to be there. The team was once again blessed by the grace of the older people, the dedication of moms and dads bringing their children in for something so seemingly repugnant yet so absolutely necessary as de-worming, and, of course, the joy and the laughter of the children themselves.
This day, the words of Joshua, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” applied equally to the soldiers, to the people of the villages around the base, and to the mission team itself. Doesn’t it always?