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Love Your Neighbor

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.


What kind of work do you do?

What kind of work do you do?

When thinking about what it is that we at Connect Global do on a daily basis it’s a little difficult to break down for people.

We are essentially a non profit that was founded around the idea that we could all make a difference in people’s lives by going to them, and simply serving them.

Of course we have written and revised a catchy mission statement over the years to describe what we do, but that does not exactly sum up the impact of our actions in a ‘ground level’ sort of way.

Between the four founders of Connect Global we have all found ourselves doing lots and lots over the years to build an organization that could really make a difference. We have become accountants, fundraisers, travelers, painters, chefs, plumbers, pre school teachers, website designers, preachers, as well as so much more.

We have found ourselves being each of these because that was what was needed in order to help someone at any given moment or to sustain the help that we have implemented over the years.

At times our job can be very ‘Instagram worthy’ work like meeting a mayor or being interviewed for the local news, most of the time, though, it consists of things like attending the funeral of a 6 year old who just passed away after a life-long battle with cancer. Our job is pretty hard to define while holding a broken mother in her torment, as she asks us why her kid was taken at such an early age and not being able to do much more than cry along with her.

So, now you have the very tip of the iceberg in understanding why it becomes harder and harder to answer the question, ‘So, what do you do?’

Our work is a gut wrenching, 24/7, heart breaking, satisfying, challenging, ever-evolving, mission that takes us from the highest of highs and the lowest of lows all in a matter of minutes at times.

The absolute best I have come up with at narrowing down what we do, is to say that on a daily basis we engineer and execute deliberate ways in which to demonstrate the phrase, ‘Love Your neighbor’.

So, what does ‘Love Your Neighbor’ Look Like?

‘Love your neighbor’ is something you may have only heard in Sunday School and can be pretty ambiguous. Does this mean love your physical neighbor — someone who lives on your cul-de-sac, in your state, or your country of origin? Is your neighbor someone with whom you agree politically, or who holds your same beliefs?

We believe everyone is our neighbor.

From fellow co workers, to the local barista. Our kid’s teacher to the maintenance person in our building. Every person in which we come into some form of contact we describe as our neighbor — and we are willing to Love each of them.

We show love in all sorts of ways both here in the United States as well as throughout our travels to Thailand, Mexico, Haiti, & Honduras. Love comes in all sorts of packages and transcends language, political opinion, and socio-economic differences.

We have prepared meals for the hungry, clothed the needy, prayed for the sick, and given shelter to widows and children.

‘Love’ as work sounds kind of hippy-dippy, but that is in essence ‘what we do’. We are proud of the work we have accomplished and we get very excited when others take part in this journey alongside us.

From the generosity of those who give financially to the adventurers who join us on treks outside the US, we are eternally grateful each time you show Love for one of our ‘Neighbors’.

The world is a big place and there are plenty of ‘neighbors’ who need your love.

While it is impossible to think we can help every person in the world, it is not impossible to change the world for one person — or 5, or 10, or even a hundred.


Do for One what you wish you could do for everyone.
—   Andy Stanley, Northpoint Ministries

We decided long ago that ‘Love Your Neighbor’ would not be just a slogan on a T Shirt, or simply a cute quote for Pinterest, but our sincere hope is that loving our neighbors would define us and we would be known for it — and in the end those we have loved would be the one’s showing love, and so on. We don’t do it to become famous or so we can drive a fancy sports car, we do it because it is the right thing to do.

If you want to join us, we invite you to take a trip with us and experience this work for yourself. Whether you are an accountant, entrepreneur, cook, executive, plumber, or just someone who wants to help others, we need your help. Become a Volunteer or travel with us, either way, You will be glad you did &  you will be changed forever.

Until then, drop us a comment below and tell us, ‘What Kind of Work do you do’?

Saige and Yeni

Saige and Yeni

Saige and Yeni.

Today (originally posted November 6, 2015) was a hard day for Yeni and she was not in good spirits most of the day for obvious reasons. She was admitted to the hospital for an infection which is super dangerous based on her weak immune system.

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So the initial prognosis was a 4 day stay in the hospital which would mean missing her big party tomorrow. 😔😔😔. Thankfully though the doctors seem to think she will be able to leave the hospital, if only for a short time, to enjoy the party. We are super excited about the chances of going ahead with the party!! That explains the big smiles in the photo.

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This was actually the first time Yeni smiled all day. She had been looking for Saige but she was at school for the first half of the day. After Saige got out of school we explained the situation to her and she immediately said we need to go take Yeni lunch, be with her, and make sure she can still go to her party. Saige also decided to give Yeni a small, portable DVD player that had been given to her as a gift and two new movies so Yeni has something to occupy her mind while in the hospital.

All in all, today was a long, heart wrenching day watching Yeni suffer and not being able to do much more than just be present.

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Yeni is a brave young girl fighting a nasty disease and yet still took time today to insist that she could stay at the hospital alone if it meant her younger siblings wouldn't have to be left alone for any amount of time during her treatment.

Being in close proximity to the suffering of kids like Yeni and others we've met this year has really broken my heart in so many ways.

I don't understand the place that suffering of this magnitude has in this world. I don't know what makes one kid out of a family of four have cancer while the other three just watch her suffer.

I only know that we are each placed here on earth to help ease the suffering of others in any way we can. We are here to be the reason someone can smile at the end of a day like this. We are here to love others in the way Jesus would. Fully and without prejudice. We are here to mend the broken hearted and bandage their wounds.

Compassion without action is merely observation.
— Javier Mendoza