In a hurricane season with record-shattering 30-named storms, it is no surprise that Honduras, a Central American country, has been affected. What is unusual is that she was hit with two hurricanes within two weeks of each other.
Hurricanes Eta and Iota, both rated as major storms, slammed Honduras this month, with Eta affecting mostly the northern coast, and Iota traveling through the area near the capital of the country. Although Iota, in particular, lessened in strength as it moved onto land, the rain and flooding she brought with her still affected homes and lives across the country. Between the two storms, hundreds of people have lost their homes, their crops, and any possessions they could not carry on their backs.
Something that we often overlook or underemphasize from the comfort of our state-side homes is the difficulty of recovery from such an event when you live in a country like Honduras. People in Honduras live, for the most part, day-to-day. There is no homeowners’ insurance, no way to replace lost crops, no back-up savings plan. Those who have been displaced have nowhere to start to get back on their feet. And as those in rural areas crowd into shelters, government officials worry that such close quarters will open the door for diseases, such as Covid-19, to spread during the storm’s aftermath.
As we have been following these events, our hearts ache for the country of Honduras, but we ache for more than the knowledge of their suffering. We know that the majority of these dear people have little hope in this life and even less hope in the next life. They may be devastated by the destruction of their home in this world, but they have never considered where their home is in the next one. Those who lost their lives in the storm – where are they right now? Did anyone ever tell them that Jesus is not just a figure on a crucifix, but Someone who loves them very much, and paid the price to deliver them from their sins, once for all? Did they know that their good works didn’t gain them favor with God and that He has commanded all men, everywhere, to repent? Did they know?
These are the questions that flood our hearts, and we don’t have the answers. But one thing we do know; there are still people in Honduras that have not heard the true gospel, and every day some of them die. Whether the cause is old age, disease, a traffic accident, a bullet from a gang member, or being buried in a mudslide, Hondurans cross into eternity every day, and if they haven’t met God before that moment, it is eternally too late. Our hearts are pressed with an urgency to do what we can to help them hear before that moment.
Will you open your heart to feel that same urgency for the world around you? Honduras is not the only place where death claims its victims every day. No country has a military that can defeat death. But the sting of that enemy is most felt in places where death comes to those who never had a chance to prepare for eternity, because no one ever told them who Jesus really is, and what He’s done. That is the true tragedy. That is the true disaster.
And it’s one disaster we can work against.
We can’t blow a hurricane to sea. We can’t stop a mudslide from crashing down the mountainside. We can’t hold back the wind or scoop floodwaters up in a giant bathtub. But we can win souls. We can cheat the enemy who is staking his claim on victims of darkness, and shine the light of the gospel into these places. Let it never be said that someone went into eternity unprepared because we chose not to fight a battle that we had a chance of winning.