God gave me an idea and a nudge at a meeting of the Daughters of the King Province III board last year. I should invite those present to join me on a mission to Honduras. Carol White from the Diocese of Southern Virginia accepted the invitation followed by Joyce Frenz from my own chapter at St. John’s, Franklin. It wasn’t long before her husband Randall, a Lutheran pastor, signed on as well. We had a team!
I now marvel at the path we took to get to Danli, Honduras. We were four individuals answering a call but really not sure what God was calling us to do. We sometimes wandered off the path and I was reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
A mission trip was not new to me – I had accompanied my husband numerous times on his veterinary mission trips, but this time I would be leading a team with a very different mission. Lord, what would you have me do? My husband’s veterinary team was working with SAMS missionary Jeannie Loving, who just happened to be a Daughter of the King. We communicated with her and after much correspondence, prayer, and a shared daily devotional, God guided us to a plan: a quiet day, a Bible study, and a service project. It was a very ambitious plan that would require money for materials, interpreters, and in-country transportation for us and the participants. We applied for and received a generous grant from the National Daughters of the King Self-Denial Fund to cover those expenses. God gave us the plan and provided the means. Now we had to trust Him to show us the how.
Ten months later, February 10, 2017, we finally arrived in Honduras. The first task was to organize our service project. Our plan was to assemble and distribute mother/baby kits to the public health clinics. In Honduras, any woman going to the hospital or clinic to deliver her baby is required to bring with her a shirt, cap, socks, receiving blanket and two diapers for the baby and two sanitary napkins and an adult diaper for her. Many families earn an average of only $20 a month and it can be a real hardship to procure these items. We had brought with us more than 200 each of baby onesies, hats and pairs of socks donated by individuals in the US. With the help of local Daughters, we packed all the required items in a 2 ½ gallon zip lock bag. We included a card written in Spanish stating this kit was from Honduran and US Daughters of the King who were praying for the mother and baby. These same Daughters accompanied us to the clinics to deliver the kits. At one clinic, the doctor in charge clapped his hands and exclaimed he was so thrilled it gave him goosebumps. He ushered us into a room where two very young women had just delivered babies. We prayed with the new mothers and handed each of them a kit. Priceless.
Extra baby items and cash to purchase diapers, etc. were left with the local Daughters of the King so they could continue with this project.
Meanwhile Pastor Randall met with ten women for a Bible study. They came from four different Episcopal churches and some had ridden about an hour on a non-air-conditioned bus to get there. They were attentive, inquisitive and faithful in attendance. We left extra study books for these women to lead Bible studies in their home parishes.
The main event was our Quiet Day which was attended by more than 50 women and about a dozen children. The morning program was a series of songs and scripture readings with intervals of silent meditation. After lunch, we opened with a guided meditation followed by a service to admit nine new Daughters of the King to the Order. A celebration of Holy Eucharist closed out a beautiful, spirit filled day. It was a great day in the Kingdom!
I had a vision but I never envisioned the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. We hope by reading this you will be inspired to step out in faith to do a mission at home or abroad.
Kathy Paulo is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, PA, and has been a member of the Daughters of the King since 2005.