I Saw Joy

From August 7-14, 2010, a mission team from WordServe traveled from Houston to Honduras to drill a water well for the people of the village of Rio Arriba. Chad Yelverton, one member of the team, shares his experience from the trip:

I almost didn’t go on this trip at all. Seriously, I thought of reasons to back out even before I signed up.

“It’s not safe.”

“I’m too busy.”

“My job is really uncertain right now.”

“I can’t be away from Erika and the boys for that long.”

…and on and on and on, all the way up to the day before we left, when I considered canceling Honduran children at the new wellbecause Erika’s dad went into the hospital for what would be the last time and I wanted so badly to be there for her.  But she insisted that I go to Honduras.  Honestly, I felt God pushing me along, keeping me from giving up.  So I got on the plane.

I really don’t know what I was expecting from this trip—I just knew we were going down there to drill a well.  But from the moment we arrived in Honduras I kept hearing people say, “It’s not about the well.” I started to think that maybe I was on the wrong trip.  Turns out, it was the trip God had designed to heal me in a specific way.

I hear about “the joy of knowing Christ” a lot, but I’m not sure I’ve done a good job of actually living it.  In fact, for whatever reason, I’ve been struggling lately to find joy, even in the midst of all my blessings, and I’ve been unable to figure out why.  I believe God saw this void in me and he placed this trip before me to heal me—and he wasn’t going to let my excuses get in the way.  He used this trip to challenge me to reconnect with joy.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in our part of the globe. Many of these people have nothing.  But I didn’t see stress, depression, distraction, anxiety, or fear.  I saw JOY.

Honduras 2010 - drinking clean water

I saw joy in the church as their love for Christ ricocheted around the room as they worshiped.

I saw joy in the smiles of the villagers waving to us as we arrived in Rio Arriba.

I saw joy on the faces of those little kids as they tried to teach us gringos how to play their games.

I saw joy in our team’s anticipation as we slowly pressed into the earth with drill pipe.

I heard joy as we all sang “We dig a hole” on the bus ride out to the village.

I even saw joy in the tears that ran down Meg’s face when she said her good-byes to her little buddies—the joy of having known them.

And yes, I saw joy as the village gathered around and splashed in the clean, fresh, cool water rushing from the well.

I could go on—but what I’m trying to say here is that God was able to use us to give them clean water, but he used them to show us something even more valuable: how to be joyful in our journey, joyful in complete surrender to Jesus.

So they were right—for me, it wasn’t about the well.  It was about showing the love of Christ and in doing so, experiencing God’s healing love myself.

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