Join our Servant Partners staff in prayer from a global perspective during this Advent season. This week, Laurie, SP Member Care staff, reflects on loneliness and surprise during Christmas in Honduras.
When our family lived in Honduras years ago, Christmas felt very lonely. We had never been far from family for the holidays. School was out, where we had much of our contact with neighbors, and our kids felt isolated and bored. We had a few presents and a little artificial tree, but there was more grumpiness than joy.
The incarnation was God taking the initiative to surprise us when we were lonely and lost
Then, three days before Christmas, we heard from a Honduran/American couple in the States that they were coming to see family and asked if we would like to go to their farm. We were completely surprised and delighted! We spent Christmas day at home and then set out with them on our adventure (we never could have navigated “then turn right at the cornfield” without them). The visit was a highlight of our year there. The Honduran grandma was extremely hospitable, showing our kids how to feed chickens, grind corn and light the kerosene lamps. We swam in the river, picked bananas, ate and laughed and prayed together.
The incarnation was God taking the initiative to surprise us when we were lonely and lost:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:2-6)
If you like visuals, draw a large box in the center of a page and a bunch of smaller boxes around. You could add bows (even I can draw this :) Fill the small boxes with words or pictures about the surprises the Lord has given you this year, like friendships with neighbors, fun events, lessons learned. Then fill the large box with words that describe Him and your relationship with Him, especially gifts from the last year. Two of my words were “nearness” and “hope”. Give thanks for the many gifts.
Christmas can be lonely anywhere, but let’s pray especially for our SP friends who are far from home and family, for surprises of love and hospitality from the Lord and neighbors. Pray that you would receive the surprises the Lord has for you.
Pray for peace, protection, and the Lord's intervention in Honduras during the present political instability.
If you like classical music: “The People that Walked in Darkness” from Handel’s Messiah. I liked this performance by Ashton Jones:
“O, Come all ye Faithful” by Pentatonix:
“Silent Night” by Page CXVI: