WordServe Team Develops ‘Flexibility’ Skills Through International Ministry Work in Honduras
The opportunity to serve God internationally is something college senior Jonathan Dent and his fellow travelers will not soon forget.
WordServe is a church that is known for its’ ministries in the Katy/Fulshear community, but each summer members are given the opportunity to serve internationally. In keeping with this goal, the church gathered a Compassion Team to assist Living Water International for a week during the peak of summer. College senior Jonathan Dent admits, “You always hear that in mission trips the participants are forced to trust God with plans and timing, and this team received a taste of that truth earlier than expected. The original plan was to go to Nicaragua,” he explains, “but a few in-country factors caused our members to be sent to its Central American neighbor, Honduras.” He adds, “We know we serve a good God whose plans are always better than ours, so we jumped on the plane a day earlier than anticipated, looking forward to seeing God at work and being a part of that.”
Jonathan experienced the unique bond that a team of Christians share. Chance and Rylee Burton served as the team’s married couple, there was a father and son duo in Mark and Adam Ikenberry, siblings Jonathan and Amber Dent, as well as lead pastor Jon Sims, and logistics expert and resident translator Matt Clanahan.
Living Water employs an in-country team to find the communities to drill in as well as host and lead the incoming groups. After flying into San Pedro Sula, the WordServe team was dropped off at the coast in La Ceiba – wearing clean clothes for perhaps the last time. “After witnessing a passionate bilingual church service the following morning, the team was whisked across the beautiful mountainous country of Honduras to Saba,” shares Jonathan. “It was from here that our team would journey to the community we would bless and be blessed by from Monday to Wednesday.”
“While I've been on many mission trips to a handful of countries,” adds Rev. Jon Sims, “this was my first Living Water International t trip and I LOVED it! It was truly a working mission trip, so we got quite muddy by the end of the day, but it was also about building relationships with people in the community.”
According to Jonathan, the goal of Living Water is to engage local Hondurans as they use international teams to provide safe drinking water from wells and teach hygiene classes, all in Jesus’ name. The well was completed in record time despite technical difficulties the first day and help from the looming deadline of tropical storm Earl. “It’s not just about the fresh water,” notes Jonathan. “Jesus says to a woman at the well in John 4:14 that thirst returns, … but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Through the medium of physical water, Jonathan and the WordServe team witnessed life-changing water passed back and forth between an international gathering of believers.
Adds Jonathan, “Whether it was working side by side in the mud with the local men or being blessed by wonderful and unprocessed local dishes provided by the women, or wearing work boots while playing soccer and being shown up by the kids, the WordServe team saw God move in -- and through-- us. The dedication of the well took place on a family porch where we ate lunch and saw locals learning about water through the hygiene classes. It was a beautiful scene with rain falling quietly and mountains in the background, as people of all ages and colors gathered around. Members of the community, Living Water, and our team had a chance to speak, give glory to God, and we were on our way -- filled with both sweat and the Spirit.”
Over the next two travel-filled days aboard a gloriously air-conditioned van they deemed “The Yeti,” the Honduras team had time to reflect on the trip and how it impacted each of them before touching back down in Houston. Admits Jonathan, “The highlight could have been the beautiful people, picturesque scenery, zip-lining down the mountains, or learning Honduran style Uno. But for me it was a 12-year-old kid named Anjel who called me his best friend when all I did was the very small kindness of doing my meager best at Spanish -- and playing with him for a few days. Anjel and this trip gave me further confirmation that God can use you regardless of who or where you are, all you have to do is say ‘yes.’”