I was drained as I slipped on the black cape that served as my costume for the play our church puts on every year around Halloween. Earlier that day, we had buried my grandfather, the latest in a long line of losses that our family had endured over the last year.
I wasn’t sure how much more I could take as I joined the women in my Sunday school class for a word of prayer before we took our places. We had a few minutes to wait and somehow ended up talking about the mission trip to Honduras our church was planning in a few weeks. As each one shared of her own experiences on the mission field, I felt like the odd man out. Since I was fifteen, I’d hoped to go on a short-term mission trip but as the years passed, I had begun to wonder if I’d heard God wrong. Even if I hadn’t been mistaken, there would be no trips in the near future for me, not with my husband out of work(another loss!) As we took our places, I pushed thoughts of mission work out of my mind.
I’d completely forgotten about the whole thing by the time we walked into church that Sunday morning. We were saying our hellos and talking about the success of the play when Teri, one of the people over missions in our church asked if she could speak with us in private.
We weren’t sure what she needed to talk to us about—my husband was on the finance committee so maybe she had a question for him. Then, why include me?
Once we were alone, it didn’t take long for Teri to get to the point. Someone had paid my fare to go to Honduras. Needless to say, Danny and I were stunned. Of course, there was no doubt in my husband’s mind I should go, even though the trip occurred the week of Thanksgiving. But I wasn’t as certain as he was. Who would take care of the girls while Danny went on interviews? And I couldn’t miss the Thanksgiving luncheon with the girls at their school! But the more I prayed and sought counsel from our parents, the more certain I was that God wanted me to go.
That trip to Honduras was a turning point in my faith walk. It was not only a time of ministering to others but of allowing others to minister to me. It was a time of healing from the losses of the last year and getting a glimpse of all the good God was doing through our circumstances.
That random act of kindness changed me, and I’m eternally grateful.
Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Heartsong. She currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, A Home for Christmas is now available on Amazon.