18th Street Gang meets Suburban Mom

Love at first sight:   We stepped into the isolated area of the women’s prison and the gate locked behind us. We were on our own. No guards. Not in this area. I looked into each of their eyes. About 40 of them. Some looked like they belonged. Others looked drastically out of place. One hour of daylight per day for this special group of ladies. 18th Street Gang Members. And, one hour a week with their “Mama Ty”. My friend. My hero. Who has devoted over 17 years of her life meeting with the ‘homies’ every Wednesday. No other visitors. Not ever.

My mind began to race:

  • How did they all get here?
  • Will they ever leave this place?
  • What do you think about at night before you sleep?
It was love at first sight. I was smitten. I wanted to sit with each and every one. Here there stories. Hug ‘em. Learn their struggles. Love ‘em. Listen to their hearts. Instead I was handed the portable microphone. I began to speak the group …
I shared about how 4 walls does not determine their freedom…
  • Forgiveness is what sets us free.
  • Forgiving ourselves. Forgiving others.
  • Freedom is worth fighting for.
  • It gets complicated.
  • Pursue the peace. It’s a battle worth fighting.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today? I can only pray it brought a glimmer of hope to their broken hearts. I won’t know until I return again. Someday. I’ll be back. Sooner rather than later. Lord let it be.
XO,
Mel
P.S. While I was in prison for the day, Bella was off splashing in the stream with her shoes and clothes on. It was her favorite day of the trip. Hanging out with her ‘Honduran sisters’. The Carrette girls. John and Tarah Carrette are two of our most favorite people on planet earth. This American couple adopted 23 kids! Yes, ‘TLC’ take that and make it into a reality show. The world needs to meet this extraordinary family. But first, you and your family need to join us on our next trip to Honduras. Who’s in?

Greetings from Melissa and Bella in Honduras!

Our 9 year old daughter Bella in Central America
PIT: Delayed flights, waiting around, early mornings, long days, late nights, long bumpy & hot car rides, funny foods, more waiting around…a missionary life is far from glamorous. There is a reason certain countries are deemed 3rd world. They lack modern conveniences and luxuries. Welcome to Honduras…there’s no place we’d rather be.
God in the small places: First stop was a women’s bible study in the ‘hood’. Why would over 30 women cram into a very small room? They were hungry. Not physically. Not for food. But spirtually. For God. I was honored to share with them the possibilities of what God may do in their lives..if they allow God to interrupt their day, their schedule, and their life.
After, I was fascinated with how this bible study came about and inquired about it. I was touched to learn that it was because one woman, Tyanne, allowed God to interrupt her day each week to drive into this hood and take one woman as her spiritual daughter. Tyanne saw the potential in her. She saw her the way God saw her. She loved on her. She spent time with her. She shared her life with her. And she taught her about Jesus. Faithfully. For over 14 years.
Now, I get to see the fruit. Now this one woman is replicating what Tyanne did for her to the women in her community (the hood). When I finished speaking I did an alter call to give the women an opportunity to accept Jesus. It was a bust. Silence. No takers. No need. ALL of them were already saved! Because one woman allowed God to interrupt her day.
Are you making yourself available to God today? God has Big plans and He needs your help to accomplish them.
Love and Hugs,
Melissa and Bella
P.S. Bella got to play with the kids in the hood. All was well until a fist fight broke out between two young boys. Mission aborted. But, not failed. It left her time to wander through the skinny paths between the shanty-houses. She was able to peek into some of the ‘homes’. She now has a new appreciation for her house, bed, washing machine and toilet. Mission accomplished!