By Katy Bennet
During a recent 9-day trip to minister to the beautiful women of Choluteca, and surrounding areas, God displayed His love, His power, His provision, and even His sense of humor. However, one of the most profound takeaways for me was His orchestration of His body in ministry.
My journey back to Honduras began with an email from Renee Lilly, with whom I had traveled to Central America almost three years ago, inviting me to return to Honduras. It was an easy “yes” for me, largely because of our travels together previously. My only hesitation was the daunting financial cost of the trip, which God then promised to provide for. Of course, He kept His promise as He always does.
Within the first few emails over the first few days of planning it became clear to me that Renee was not actually going on this particular trip. Had I known that she was not going, I would have been much more hesitant to go. Yep. The ol’ “bait and switch.” Now, no one had ever said she was going; it was just an assumption I made. God knows my heart that desires to serve Him, as well as my personal struggles that hold me back. This new revelation replaced some of my enthusiasm with fear of the unknown, mighty woman of faith that I am . God is not a deceiver, of course, but I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t part of His strategy…hmmmm. At this point, I was committed and was not going to let my team down…whoever they were.
Enter the strangers—I mean, my team members. Our first introduction to one another was by phone conference (we would only meet in person one time after that!). They sounded nice enough but could I really spend 9 days and nights, 24 hours a day, with complete strangers in one small Honduran hotel room? What if they were annoyingly…well…annoying? What if they found me unbearable? What if……
But God! (one of our catchphrases for the trip).
Why do we fret? Why do we fear? Our Daddy loves us and wants the best for us, even when it is downright uncomfortable. He would have grown me in new and powerful ways through annoying travel companions, no doubt. But He chose instead to introduce me to two incredible, godly, funny sisters in Christ. Carolyn, Darlene, and I hit it off immediately. Barriers dropped at a rapid rate the first night at a hotel before our super-early morning flight. We spent the next 9 days and nights joined at the hip (sometimes literally, such as on the plane and in Brother Mario’s truck). We laughed together…a LOT. We sweated together….a LOT. We even shared a virus!
The three of us came from very different backgrounds and were in unique stages in our lives. This was part of God’s plan! During the conferences, we each shared our very different testimonies and the unique messages God had placed in our hearts. We were in awe of how our messages dovetailed incredibly well, despite the fact that we had each composed them individually prior to the trip. It was clear that God had orchestrated each component. Even the differences in our presentation styles were used by the Lord to reach the individual needs of the 290 women who attended the two conferences.
There are so many additional ways I can see that God weaved His plan inexplicably throughout His ministry through us and to us during our journey. I know there are so many more that I can’t see and probably won’t see this side of eternity. The bottom line is that God gets all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise for all was accomplished, all that was started, and all that will come to fruition long after our return.
Katy Bennet traveled with the International Women’s Ministry team of Advancing Native Missions.