Hacky Sacks and Grace


When I think back to my time in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, I can’t help but smile from all that God worked out. I had so many great experiences in Honduras, but one impacted me more than others. I want to share a story about a boy named Jose.

I met Jose at the first Hope Center we visited. He was maybe 14 years old and looked more troubled than the rest. During the activities time of our VBS that day, I took a group of kids to play hacky sack, but I noticed most of them were missing. As I started to look for the missing hacky sacks, I noticed Jose a few feet away. He stood up, assuming no one was watching, took the missing hacky sacks out of his pocket and discreetly tossed them behind him as he walked away. I picked a hacky sack up off the floor and stopped Jose. He looked terrified, as if he was going to get in trouble, but I reached out and handed him the hacky sack and told him that it was a gift from me and that he could have it. He was shocked that I gave it to him even after he had tried to steal it.

Later in the day as VBS was coming to a close, we all broke out into groups for prayer. Jose was very timidly walking near my group and finally walked up, looked me in the eye, and ask for prayer. He didn’t ask for prayer over himself, or his future, but he asked for prayer to heal his blind grandmother’s eyes so she could see again. I was honored. I felt a sense of connection to him and responsibility to pray over him and for his grandmother. Generally I get nervous with praying aloud, and feel as if I stumble over my words. This time was different. As I prayed for healing for Jose’s grandmother I wasn’t nervous, and the words came to me without hesitation. It felt like I wasn’t praying but listening to someone else speak through me. It was an amazing experience that I will always remember.

I don’t think Jose would have looked to me for prayer if it wasn’t for our unique connection over the hacky sack situation. As Pastor C.J. says – “The church is most attractive when grace is most apparent”. Jose was shown grace in a moment that he was expecting condemnation, and because of that he felt safe enough to ask for prayer. I’ll always remember that humbling experience with Jose, and always be grateful for the way that God used me and taught us both such an important lesson.

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