Crossing with Confidence

Yesterday afternoon, like any Saturday in Honduras, we headed to church to General Visitation. After meeting at church and sending the kids to the nursery, nineteen of us piled into two vehicles and drove to a nearby neighborhood. As we headed down the road, I glanced out the window and saw a disturbing sight. A man was hiding behind the corner of a building; he was carrying a large rifle and peering around the corner. I pointed him out as we passed, and everyone sighed in resignation. "Oh no, another thief...I hope no one gets hurt." It's amazing to me what becomes "normal" in a third-world country.

We had a great time of knocking doors, and although no one trusted Christ, we found several who were interested and would be good prospects for follow-up visits. Once again we piled into our vehicles and headed back toward church to pick up the kids. But as we neared the paved road that led back to church, we saw a large crowd of people and many parked vehicles. I immediately remembered the armed man we had seen on the way to church and prayed no one had been killed. As we neared the bridge that led back to church, we stopped beside the road to ask what was going on.

"Protesters have taken control of the bridge. A lady in this neighborhood is planning on putting up a cellular phone tower on her property and the protesters don't want her to. Everyone is afraid of getting cancer from the tower."

In dismay, we stopped our vehicle on the edge of the dirt road and talked about what to do. Over half of us lived on this side of the blockade, but many of us had children at the church. I had to find a way to get to Claire. And the only way across was this bridge. No one knew how long the protesters would maintain control of the bridge, and it starting to get dark.

Robbie had to stay with part of the group and the vehicles; I had to go get Claire. He sent Oscar, an older teenage boy from our church, to walk with me and a couple of other ladies who lived on the other side of the bridge. We weaved through cars and bystanders, nearing the bridge cautiously. As we approached, we saw that the protesters had used large rocks to block the bridge, and no one was passing, not even on foot. I looked down at the swirling waters of the brown river below. I could cross easily to get to Claire, but was unsure of how I could manage on the way back, if I were holding her. Lord, please help us cross!

I decided to look confident and continue toward the blockade. No one looked very hostile, and I doubted they would stop a foreigner accompanied by a body guard (Oscar had shoved his hands into the front of his shirt to look like he was carrying a gun).

As I got within ten feet of the blockade, the police officers made their move. We froze in place, waiting to see what would happen. They grabbed the rocks and moved them to the sidewalks lining the bridge. A few delayed motorcyclists, frustrated with the blockade, assisted them. Some of the protesters grabbed rocks and raised them in defiance, threatening to throw them at the police. Thankfully, they eventually lowered them and moved to the road's edge to sulk.

We passed through without incident and arrived safely at the church. I took Claire in my arms and began the trek back to the vehicles. By the time we reached the bridge this time, all that was left of the incident was a long line of traffic (about an hour's wait on both sides). Robbie's face melted with relief as he spotted us turning up the street where the van was parked. We headed home with prayers on our lips and gratefulness in our hearts.

I wondered on the way home how many of our friends and supporters back in the States said a routine prayer for our safety that day, never knowing how the Lord would answer. Thank you to each of you that calls out our names to God each day; I know we are on many prayer lists. Please know that a simple prayer of "Lord, please keep the Ellis family safe," means the world to our family. We can cross barricades and face danger with confidence and peace in our hearts, knowing Who is in control.
1 Response
  1. Kathy Says:

    Wow! Christine, we never know what a day holds nor how vital our prayers may be. Knowing that you are ultimately in God's hands gives us all such peace. He orders your steps and out-ranks anyone in that path!

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