A few weeks ago we traveled to San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras, in order to participate in a mission trip. The trip was organized by our church back in the US, so it was great getting to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones as well.
As much as we enjoyed the fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, the main focus of the trip was to visit local schools, drop by classrooms where we’d do a brief presentation of the Gospel, and accompany it with an arts and crafts activity tied to the theme of the presentation. Yes, you can do this here in Honduras! The school directors were happy to allow us to enter classrooms and share the message of hope in Christ. The response from students and teachers was very positive.
One classroom we entered had about 43 fourth or fifth graders in it (that teacher deserves a gold star), and after the presentation I asked the students if there were anyone there who didn’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior but who would like to. Nearly half the class raised their hand! I went student to student after leading them in prayer in order to collect their names so I could pray for them, and I confirmed that 22 children gave their lives to Christ that day. This is by far the most rewarding day in ministry I’ve experienced to date.
We also got to meet members of Honduran churches as part of our trip. These are the pastors and congregants who are putting in the daily hard work of reaching out to their communities, and developing relationships so that opportunities for mission trips like this exist. One pastor runs a hair cutting business out of his house, which is located right next to the church he oversees. He took us to the room in which he cuts hair, pointed to the barber chair, and said “This is my second pulpit”.
He explained that he had recently baptized four men, two of whom started off as customers. He takes advantage of the time he and a customer have together to share the Gospel, and he’s seen real results. As if that weren’t cool enough, he trains others to cut hair and then takes a group of hair cutting apprentices to local schools in order to offer free haircuts to the students. Again, he uses the opportunity to share the Good News with the students. This is a win-win situation: the school directors are only too happy to host a free haircut day for the students, the kids are happy to get a trim, and the pastor has a chance to preach from his “second pulpit” while he cuts hair. This has turned out to be such a great way of reaching people that the pastor almost insisted that he come visit us in our neck of the woods in order to teach me how to cut hair as a tool for ministry. I don’t presently feel any desire to cut hair at all, but I can’t deny the genius of offering a service like this in order to serve the community with a haircut and a sermon.
The pastor is tied up for the next few weeks, but we did agree he’d try to pay us a visit soon in order to train me in haircutting. I’m sure I’ll need practice cutting hair before I approach school directors about entering their classrooms. Any volunteers?