My dear friend Angie had a call placed on her life to take the youth of our church to an orphanage in a third world country back in 2008. She and her husband Dave made a trip to Honduras in January of ‘08 and their lives have never been the same. After accepting the invitation to travel with them as part of their first team, and many after, I can tell you that my life has been changed as well. Dave and Angie have been to Honduras I believe more times than they can count, and their ministry to the country of Honduras continues to evolve, change, and grow. They have worked with organizations such as Orphan Helpers, Orphan Sunday, and Identity Mission among others, and have built an impressive network with which to serve the orphans of Honduras.
My family and I have been blessed to have been included in many of these trips over the years. We have met extraordinary people who have genuinely enriched our lives, and God willing will continue to serve there. The strength and generosity of the Honduran people is beyond measure, and their resiliency is remarkable.
I thank God that he placed that call on Angie’s heart, and I’m grateful she and Dave answered the call. It has affected many many lives and has taught me to be willing to have my heart broken, to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep. I have also experienced in profound ways, Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” I have been in both roles, the one rejoicing and the one weeping. I have been the recipient of God loving and providing for me through these beautiful people, and I have been given the privilege of serving them.
Honduras has absolutely broken my heart at times, but it is a breaking of awakening. Holding malnourished babies desperate for touch, feeding special needs children wailing for their turn to have their bellies filled, and hearing the heart wrenching stories of abandonment and abuse. Honduras has also healed my heart. Sharing the truth of God’s love and redemption with these abandoned young girls and receiving the gift of watching them worship and receive is an incredible sight! One of the most touching experiences I’ve had. I am grateful that God didn’t allow me to stay comfortable. That reminds of a lesson Honduras taught me that I shared with my friend Mike as we were trekking through the rainforest; that comfort and safety are way overrated. He reminded me of that statement later that evening when we were 7 miles off shore in a small boat at sunset and OUT OF GAS! But I was right, because here we are alive and well with an amazing adventure and a great story!
Nathan’s Ridge/Frannie’s House Recovery Program
I have been the Life Coach for the ladies of Frannie’s House since it opened in August of 2016. We celebrated our first graduate in October of this year and anticipate many more! I love working with these ladies on issues we all struggle with to some degree, and watching the hope grow in their lives. As they work the program it’s great to have a front row seat to the transformation that can take place. Unfortunately, not all successfully complete the program, but seeds are indeed planted that they will take with them on their journey towards recovery. Each one has impacted and affected my life through the process we walk together. I love the story of Simon the Pharisee and the sinful woman in Luke 7. We may not all struggle with substance abuse, but we all struggle with something. I see Jesus speaking to and about these precious ladies in Luke 7:47-48, “‘I tell you, her sins--and they are many--have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.’ Then Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”
I want to be counted as one who recognizes how much I have been saved from and forgiven of. I want to love greatly out of gratitude for all I have been forgiven of, redeemed from, and restored to, just like I see the ladies of Frannie’s House love!
“Nathan’s Ridge and Frannie’s House are a Christian based recovery ministry aimed at providing a safe and caring drug, alcohol, and violence free environment. During the six months or more that men and women over the age of 18, spend in this program, passed addictions and behaviors are addressed and changed in order to aid the participants in becoming responsible members of society. We provide Biblically based recovery mentoring, community life skills training, discipleship to all participants and access to 12 step programs and counseling. Nathan’s Ridge and Frannie’s House embrace the Christian faith which leads to transformed lives with meaning and purpose. We believe that given the right tools and the help of God, all men and women can overcome their past and be set free from their addictive behaviors and addictive lifestyles. As men and women embrace God, through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, all things are possible.”