This is a very long post, but I hope you will read it to the end.  And I pray that it encourages you to look as close as your neighbor to make a difference.

Yesterday morning, something happened that was such a surprise I can hardly believe it still.   But, let me back up.

The first week we were here, we met Dioris.   He was working to repair the Mule vehicle at the House of Hope.   He talked very fast in Spanish and we could hardly understand him.

Quickly, he and Alex developed a friendship.   They seemed to have this common language, it was and still is, just weird.   When our Pastor visited in November, he experienced the same thing with Dioris – an immediate connection.   Dioris is an expert mechanic and has a knack for fixing things.   Alex is a great fixer-upper, too, so they do make a great pair.

Dioris and his wife, Jesus, are among our dearest friends here.  Jesus was given her name because she was born without a father.  The man who was her biological father did not claim her.  Jesus is an intelligent woman – she was always at the top of her class.  She had a scholarship offer to Princeton, but was unable to afford the trip to get there.  So, she accepted a scholarship in Costa Rica instead and is now an engineer working in the education field.   She manages 100 or so teachers in a special training program for rural students.  

Dioris & Jesus are Garifuna.  They are from the northern coast of Honduras.  To the Miskito people, they are sort of outsiders, like us. Maybe that is why we connect?

It always amazes me when I see Dioris volunteering his time to work with Alex.  He has a heart for the poor.  Currently, he is managing a garden project on a nearby island for our non-profit, Reach Out Honduras.   He is voluntarily handling this very large community garden.  At the same time, he is trying to finish 7th grade.

Dioris has recently really begun to dig into the Bible.  In fact, he told us recently that he wants to be a Pastor and that he and Jesus would like to get married in the church.   That is exciting.  He wants Alex to be his best man.

I didn’t realize at all the impact that my husband has had on Dioris.  I’m going to share this story for one reason… not to boast about Alex (although I can do that well), but to encourage you to realize the impact you are having on the people around you.

Yesterday morning, Dioris and Jesus showed up at our house.   They told us they were going shopping and would be back in the afternoon to cook dinner for us.    My pride kicked in and I wanted so badly to say ‘no.’   Alex was worried because he knows that they do not have a lot of extra money;  at times when Jesus’ employer does not pay her, they have to eat with us or we can give them pasta that was generously donated and sent to us.    They insisted on cooking … Alex gave them a little money saying that we have a big family.

They showed up around 4:00 and wouldn’t let us do anything.   Somewhere in the midst of the preparation, Dioris begins to tell a story.   He said a year ago he was smoking and drinking and unconcerned about his life and marriage.    One day, some gringo asked him to go get a hamburger with him and they began to discuss life and faith.    He described a friendship that changed his life.   He stopped drinking and smoking right then and began to walk forward growing closer to God.    

Alex had no idea that Dioris was talking about him until much later in the conversation.   Dioris spoke on and off about this during our time together.  At dinner, he excitedly said “It is almost one year since we met the Waits family.”    What a gift.

As Alex and I talked about it later, Alex said that he had no idea that God was working that way in Dioris’ heart.  He did not take a bit of the credit, but just rejoiced in our friend who is growing by leaps and bounds in his faith.

Dioris accepted Christ many years ago, but never knew what a Christian man looked like.   Dioris has spent a great deal of time with Alex – he sees the great parts of our lives, the challenges with parenting, the days when things seem bleak… but most importantly, through all of the messy parts of us, he somehow sees Jesus in my husband.   

This is the same impact that YOU have in the people around you.   Don’t underestimate your relationships with people.  Don’t underestimate what God can do with a willing heart who offers the sacrifice of time.

Encouraging others, offering the next step for someone to grow, lending an ear, working alongside someone, truly caring about them,  offering an honest portrayal of yourself, pointing always to the One solution  …. this is discipleship.


Denise said…
I LOVE that God is so much bigger than language and culture. This is a beautiful story and I am not one BIT surprised that Dioris had a clear glimpse of Jesus in you husband. :)

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