Are we answering?

By Lauren Wood | Feb 20, 2012
This is a photo of some of the young ladies I am blessed to spend time with during our visits to the 18th Street gang village.

I am just your average small-town girl.  I grew up in Haywood County, attended Pisgah High School and then college at Appalachian State University where I received a degree in Middle Grades Education, so nothing out of the ordinary. For as long as I can remember though, I always felt that God had a bigger plan for me than I had for myself.  After graduating from Appalachian, I moved to Charlotte and taught 7th grade in an inner-city school.  I thought God was crazy for placing me in a setting that was the complete opposite of what I had known my entire life.  Little did I know that this was a simple stepping-stone for the future.  Halfway through my second year, I could feel God nudging and preparing me for the next step.  However, the problem was that I had no clue what that “next step” was.  It’s funny how God works and through all the ups and downs and uncertainties of life, God opened a grand door.

Last March, I participated in an 8-day mission trip to San Ignacio, Honduras.  I have done summer missions since I was fourteen, but this was my first international experience.  My heart became burdened and my eyes were opened to a world that I had never seen before.  I spent much of my time on the trip crying out to God and trying to make sense of what I thought the world was and realizing what it actually is.  I remember calling my mom when we arrived back to the U.S. and sharing with her that I felt God calling me to Honduras.  At the time, I had no idea what to make of these feelings; after all, you cannot just up and decide to move to Honduras as a missionary, God has to open the door.  I spent the upcoming weeks praying that God would speak to my heart and that He would open and close the necessary doors.

Two weeks after arriving home, God opened the door that I had been praying He would open.  In August, I moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras as a missionary teacher.  I teach 5th and 6th grade at Honors Academy Honduras and serve as a missionary throughout the city.  The school was originally opened three years ago for orphans and within the last two years, the school has opened up to the community and I have the privilege of teaching fourteen beautiful children.  Along with teaching, myself and the other missionaries travel to the 18th Street gang village on Mondays and minister to the families of imprisoned gang members.  On Tuesdays, I co-lead a teen girl’s bible study in a local village and am also able to work with many other medical, food distribution and family ministries.  God is continuing to grow this ministry and allow opportunities for His love to be shared.  Honduras is in the midst of extreme violence, hurt and darkness.  It was just recently named the most dangerous country in the world.

If you had asked me a year ago where I would picture myself for the upcoming year, my answer would not have been Honduras.  That’s what is so amazing about God – He takes everyday, normal people and enables them to do remarkable things for His glory.  God has enabled all of us.  He calls all of us.  The question is, are we willing to answer?


Lauren Wood