Viewing entries tagged
Love

Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.

Connect Global believes it's our responsibility to love our neighbors.

If you have a burden to show love to others and to make a positive difference in the lives of your "neighbors", then we invite you to join us.  

Everyone needs love, and you may be just the person to fill the need

Every Little Girl Deserves to Be Treated Like A Princess

Every Little Girl Deserves to Be Treated Like A Princess

Love More Worry Less

Love More Worry Less

What Hangs in the Balance

What Hangs in the Balance

 What Hangs in the Balance

A Special Guest post by CJ Palmer of preparemymission.com


Our time so far in Honduras has been a whirlwind – we’re already past the halfway point of our trip. Our team has spent time preaching at local churches, feeding the hungry through a local ministry, investing in a new partnership with a local orphanage, and hosting a missions conference. There has been no shortage of work to be done as we continue to invest in the Connected Community initiative this week.

 

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When this trip began I had no idea what to expect. The schedule, the team, and the projects we would be working on were largely a mystery. But as the week has progressed and the answers to these questions have fallen into place, a new uncertaintyhas emerged.

As we invest time and energy into projects here in La Ceiba, sometimes I wonder if it’s working. The outcome of each project is so uncertain.Will helping a local ministry serve one meal to the hungry really make a difference? Will hosting a missionsconference alongside churches in the community actually result in spreading God’s Word to other nations?

And the honest answer is, we don’t know for certain.

But that uncertainty is precisely why we must continue these projects.

We have no idea what hangs in the balance of our decision to pursue what God has put in front of us. We have no idea what – or who – is at stake as we decide whether or not to act on what we’ve seen.

When Javier, cofounder of Connect Global, made his way to Honduras for the first time 12 years ago, there was no way he could have known what was at stake. The future that hinged on that one trip was completely unknown in the moment. The founding of Connect Global, the hundreds of mission trip participants he’s led, and the warm meals served at Comedor de JesuCristo this week all hinged on his initial decision to follow where God was leading.

Earlier this week one of the local pastors in La Ceiba, Pastor Allan, said, “We do little things and don’t ascribe much value to them. But God turns little things into big things.”

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We do little things, take little steps, make small choices, and rarely view them as significant in the moment. The decision to pray for one more person at the hospital or to serve one more meal at Comedor de JesuCristo seems inconsequential.

But God turns little things into big things.

In Matthew 4, the small decision that Peter and Andrew made to leave their fishing nets for the day and follow Jesus turned out to be the biggest decision of their lives. Yet, they had no idea what outcome hung in the balance of their decision, which may have seemed insignificant at the time.

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There’s simply no way to predict how God is going to use our small decisions and actions in the long run. We don’t know the impact serving one meal can have. We don’t know how far the attendees at this week’s missions conference will travel to share God’s Word.

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As we continue to invest in the people of La Ceiba, Honduras this week, we may not know the outcome of these efforts in the moment. But we do know that God turns little things into big things – that part is certain.


Heart Transplant

Heart Transplant

 Cardiac Transplantation: The replacement of a patient's diseased or injured heart with a healthy donor heart.

Think for a moment about the monumental process of removing a person's heart.  Taking what may be the single most important organ in a person's body out because it is not functioning properly.  Assessing the current level of damage as being so great that there is no other course of action but full removal.

Then think for a moment about the cost of the donor.  One must die so that another person may live.  The donor does not receive a new heart.  Their heart is, however, healthy enough for the new recipient.  The donor's gift in death becomes life for someone else.

I think this physical example is not unlike the emotional and spiritual journey of a mission trip.  Someone gives of their life so that another may receive life or hope or food or clothes or comfort or ...

A few weeks ago Gina, Noah and I stood at the Hedman Alas bus station in La Ceiba, Honduras waiting for our heart recipients to arrive.  A group of 6 young ladies whom we had never met, but already loved.  Little did we know that our hearts would be extracted over the next month and placed in each one of them.

It was already dark, and still 85 degrees, by the time they arrived.  Gretchen, Hannah, Ryan, Kate, Brittany and Amber came pouring out of the bus with another half dozen Americans.  They were tired from a long day of travel and weighed down with their huge backpacks.  We were their 11th country on their WorldRace.  Their 11th host.  Their 11th ministry stop.  Just one more location on their journey home?  Maybe we could be more.

A few greetings with our new family of strangers and we were off to get them settled into their sleeping quarters and then dinner.  Over the next month we visited orphanages, hospitals, police stations, churches, schools and feeding centers.  We laughed together.  We cried together.  We prayed for the sick and fed the hungry together.  And in all of these activities and meals and conversations, our hearts were slowly excised.  Piece by piece this cardiac transplantation took place.

We heard the stories of their visits to other countries.  We heard their family histories back in the US.  We got to know their brothers and sisters through pictures and tales of family Christmas and sorrow and joy.  They hugged my wife.  They played Uno with my son.  They have our hearts.

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And I'm forever grateful for it.

Cardiac Transplantation occurs when the patient's heart is too sick or injured to continue pumping.  It's often times the last chance for the heart recipient.  And the final gift of the heart donor.  Each of us on this earth experience the impact of life.  Our hearts grow.  We receive love and betrayal.  We experience joy and sorrow.  Our hearts gain strength and sometimes, often times, our hearts get sick.  Our hearts become bitter by betrayal.  Our hearts become sour by sorrow.  Our hearts become timid by trials.  And we begin to die.  We need a new heart.

In the book of Ezekial chapter 36, verse 26, God makes an incredible promise to us.  He says, "I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  God Himself describes the first heart transplant.  He promises that He will not leave us in a sick and injured condition of cardiac arrest.  But that He will become our ultimate heart donor and give us life.

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As Gina, Noah and I poured out our own hearts into our team, I could feel the Spirit of God filling us with a new heart; filling us with His heart.  I could feel His love for people growing inside of us.  I could feel my own bitterness and sorrow and fear leaving as His grace and joy and boldness came flooding in.  I could feel my heart of stone being removed and His heart of flesh was carefully sewn in and began pumping new life.

This supernatural cardiac transplantation is indeed a miracle.  Yet it occurs through the very practical action of "Love Your Neighbor".  It first requires the extraction; the emptying of self; the giving of your own heart.  When we are empty, then we are ready to receive His new heart.

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We met our team prepared to give to them.  We were there to be the heart donors, and indeed we poured our hearts into them.  But in so doing, we became the recipients.  We became the patients getting the new heart of flesh.  Thank you team #kylo for the month you gave us and thank you God for you have given me life.

Travis Moffitt

In April of 2016, Connect Global hosted a team from the World Race in La Ceiba, Honduras as a part of our ongoing initiative, Connected Community. At Connect Global we are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus to share the Gospel with the whole world through collaborative and sustainable efforts. You can join us in these efforts through financial partnership and/or trip participation.

The Missionary Heart

The Missionary Heart

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 “The missionary heart: Care more than some think is wise. Risk more than some think is safe. Dream more than some think is practical. Expect more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or success but to obedience….There is no joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving him.”

 

—Karen Watson, martyr, March 15, 2004

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Mendoza Family Update September

Mendoza Family Update September

Thank You for your interest in our family. 

We had a great summer with our team coming in from Texas, Florida and Atlanta in July. Together we got to partner with several local organizations to provide support to their community work. 

We are preparing for our next team September 12th.

This team will drive to a village called Cusuna, Honduras. It is about six hours from La Ceiba. This village is the location of the very first mission trip Danielle and I went to together, 10 years ago. This village is very special to our family as it not only represents the first time we fell in love with this group of people but little did we know it would also be the catalyst to launch us into missions in the capacity we are today.

Choosing to live full time for a year in another country is a special privilege that we have not taken lightly.

Yes there are challenges and there are some days that are harder than others, but we have had a wonderful time so far. We have made new, life long friends all over the country of Honduras and are grateful to be able to strengthen the relationships we have made over the last 10 years. 

This year has given us greater perspective on how to continue working and serving this country for the future.

Our time has also given us up close opportunities to see past the news headlines that tell us that Honduras is nothing more than the murder capitol of the world. There are hardworking, law abiding, community serving people all over this country. Everyone we have worked with here has been wonderful. We have been able to make some great partnerships with self motivated leaders and directors. 

Please keep us in your prayers and keep Honduras in your prayers.

There is still much we can all do to help lend a hand to our friends here. If you would like to make a financial donation you can know that every dollar is going to people who are great stewards and are making every penny go as far as possible! Additionally, we are always looking for volunteers to come and give of your time, expertise and skill to augment the work that is going on in this community. 

Javier & Danielle Mendoza
Connect Global

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

After living in Honduras these past eight months I have began to see many things from a different perspective.

One thing I have been mulling over almost constantly is gratitude. Being grateful shows depth in someone’s character, while being ungrateful displays an attitude of entitlement. I am learning that being grateful often times is a choice made by the individual and is rarely determined by ones set of circumstances.

I have been humbled by many of the citizens here in Honduras.

Scouting projects, vision casting and follow through takes a significant amount of work not only from our organization but also from the leaders in the community who graciously plan, facilitate and include every needed detail to accomplish the task at hand. These community leaders are the ones who lend us credibility to their friends, their families, their schools and hospitals.

The gratitude that they exude in the day to day has even made me feel uncomfortable at times. In part because our organization solely exists to be a help, a support and a friend to such communities, so what else would we be doing? I really want to carry pictures of ALL of YOU and say “ thank them.” We are simply trying to be a follower of Christ who fulfills the Great Commission. For Javier and I personally, as well as Connect Global as a staff, we have made a decision to actually do what the bible says to do. It sounds crazy but by simply doing what the bible says our purpose in life can be revealed. We are to enhance others with the gifts we have received.

Everyone has the ability to play a role in enhancing someone’s life.

For most of you this will not involve you moving to a developing country, learning a new culture or deciphering a new language, but if you are mindful it will re-route your heart and your thinking.

For many of you this will look like you being the best teacher your students will ever have, being a co-worker that will listen in someone’s time of need, or being a spouse that dedicates their life to friendship and mutual partnership within your marriage. The list can go on and on, the idea is that when you begin to nurture your attitude of gratitude you will no longer be able to settle for surface relationship, petty gossip, constant discontentment or dissatisfaction. By focusing on the enhancement of others, you forfeit the “right” to be selfish and that leads you to places you’ve never imagined being.

In fact you might catch yourself volunteering to feed the homeless, taking in foster children, booking a ticket to a foreign land to go and serve, or playing the piano for the elderly in your local nursing home. The possibilities are endless.

YOU have the power to make a significant difference in the lives of others.

It is easier at times to focus on present circumstances, feel entitled or harbor resentment but that road is wide, and leads you nowhere.

Practice gratitude, give of yourself, and live on purpose so you too can experience The Road Less Traveled.

Connect Global Visit to the Comedor de JesuCristo in La Ceiba Honduras

Connect Global Visit to the Comedor de JesuCristo in La Ceiba Honduras

Pastor Fredy Ventura is a very dedicated servant to the people of La Ceiba.

He is a man that holds in very high regard the responsibility God has bestowed upon him. His work is run on Faith in God alone. 

Pastor Fredy Ventura in his office at the Comedor de JesuCristo in La Ceiba, Honduras

7 days a week and 24 hours a day, people in La Ceiba can come to the Comedor de JesuCristo and receive a meal.

There are three designated meal times set aside to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, however, because of a rotation of volunteer pastors and church leaders, they will serve a meal to someone in need at any time of day or night. 

The location is centrally located and easy to access. There are no forms to sign, or agreements between those serving and those eating. They have stripped everything down to a basic service of feeding the hungry. At each meal the word of God is preached, and food is served. They do so based on a belief of biblical scriptures instructing them to do so. People wishing to get a meal do not need to do anything except show up. 

Pastor Fredy has told us of numerous times when this community kitchen was out of food with no resources left to purchase food as well.

Serving up to three hundred meals each day is a huge task to undertake and being without food in the pantry is a major problem. Pastor Fredy described one such occasion when one of the volunteer cooks called him and told him the pantry was completely empty. Being a man of great faith, and conviction, he instructed her to put the pots and pans on the stove and to begin boiling water. She did as he said, while Freddy drove up to the kitchen. When he arrived he circled up all of the volunteers to pray for provisions. As they concluded their prayers, a vehicle approached, and out stepped a person no one had ever met offering a trunk load of food to be donated to the feeding program.  

Pastor Freddy truly believes that every meal provided by this program past, present and in the future is directly from God, and he continues to feed those who come because of that faith.

He has shared with us that he has seen many people benefit from this program in their time of need so much so that he has even seen some people get off the street and return to their family and employment. They also have several "graduates' who now volunteer their time and no longer live on the streets like those they now get the chance to serve. 

We are grateful to be able to support Comedor de JesuCristo, Our Team in July served here as well as donated several hundred pounds of food, and medical supplies for a free clinic that is also available.

Pastor Donny Kyker of Odessa, and Javier Mendoza of Connect Global speaking to the guests of Comedor de JesuCristo in La Ceiba.

Pastor Donny Kyker of Odessa, and Javier Mendoza of Connect Global speaking to the guests of Comedor de JesuCristo in La Ceiba.