(Part 3 of 6)
I want to introduce you to one of our own, a young woman named Jenny Kast. Her love-affair with Honduras began a few years ago when she and her husband, Sean, moved there to serve with an organization called “Heart to Honduras”. They lived there for just over one year; and while they didn’t end up doing exactly what they had planned, they experienced the reality of a broken world – and it left an indelible mark upon their hearts. Jenny was especially moved by an experience she had at a children’s home involving adolescent boys and extreme bullying. In her words, “As we left the home that day, I was a different person. I had seen with my own eyes a level of suffering that had always remained at a distance in the books that I read. And I could not walk away.”
God crushed Jenny’s heart that day. So it was no surprise that shortly after returning to the States she began leading team trips to Honduras, including several teams from our Chrio family. Her heart for the children in these homes and her involvement in tangibly serving them (both in person and from a distance) continued to grow. Then the unexpected happened. As a result of key partnerships and the generosity of others, God afforded Jenny the wildly unforeseen opportunity to create, shape, and manage her own non-profit organization. Her astonishment was exceeded only by her excitement.
As the founder and CEO of The Children’s Home Project, Jenny is rarely bored. And while her role is multifaceted – including such tasks as raising support, putting together budgets, managing and leading team trips – her heart is most full when she’s present with “her” children. For example, one of the most persistent problems in a home for street boys called Proninio is runaways. Many of these boys know the dangers of life on the street; and tragically, for many, that’s all they know. It’s not uncommon for some to run away from the home – even when that leads toward substance addiction, gang violence, or even death. Therefore, whenever Jenny discovers that “one of her boys” has run away, what does she do? She goes to the streets (exercising judgment as to which areas to avoid). She does everything she can to rescue even one, to bring him home. Her compassion compels her. So she goes.
Whether it’s in the Unites States or on the Honduran streets, Jenny works hard to provide a home for the homeless, a family for the orphaned, and healing for the broken. The question looms: Why do we, as a church, partner with Jenny and support the work she’s doing through the Children’s Home Project? In other words: Why Honduras?
The answer is simple: Because this is what God is like. According to the Christian story, the devastating reality of sin has left humanity orphaned and homeless on the streets of a broken world. From individual substance addiction to nationwide spending addiction, from domestic abuse to international systems of human trafficking – every blatant expression of selfishness and evil is a symptom of a much deeper problem. We sense that this world was created to be our home and even appreciate its glimmers of inherent beauty; but we know in our bones that it’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We’re all “homeless” as it were, trying to find meaning and navigate the dangerous streets of life. Therefore, driven by his love, God has acted to make things right, to rescue his estranged children by entering his beautiful though deeply distorted creation. He entered “our streets”, through his Son Jesus, who lived, died, and was raised from the dead, thus defeating the very sin and evil that orphaned us in the first place. Now God invites all to become his children by following his Son, receiving his Spirit, and by participating in the redemptive story that he’s writing in the world. His radical, lavish, unending love calls us off the streets of loneliness, self-absorption, purposelessness, apathy, fear, shame, guilt – and he calls us home. He calls us to himself. According to the Christian story, God provides a home for the homeless, a family for the orphaned, and healing for the broken.
Why Honduras? Because this is what God is like.