Brittany Bethel is currently serving as the president of ROOM’s Board of Directors. She has been a advocate, leader and Board member since 2013. In addition to her volunteer role with our ministry, Brittany works as the Overseas Administrator for Carolina Cross Connection, one of ROOM’s partner ministries providing youth service opportunities for students in the U.S. to build relationships with children living in Honduran orphanages. Brittany’s heart overflows with passion for personal, meaningful, relational ministry. We are thankful for her willingness to share this passion and wisdom with us through “Connections.”
Recently, the New York Times posted an article titled, “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer” (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/14/opinion/sunday/how-the-most-dangerous-place-on-earth-got-a-little-bit-safer.html?_r=0). The tag line, Programs funded by the United States are helping transform Honduras. Who says American power is dead?, of course caught my attention. Being a part of two nonprofits that serve heavily in San Pedro Sula, Honduras has caused me to carry an arsenal of information to combat all of the “danger” questions as well as the “what are you actually doing?” questions.
I have had the privilege of planning many group trips to Honduras, and preparing these groups to go. Time and time again, I get asked the question, “what are we actually going to do?” This is a viable question, and one I have spent countless, sleepless nights pondering. In taking time to pour over scripture and listen to wisdom of people much smarter than me, the answer has been made clear: we are going to make connections. These are not the kind of connections that make us money or elevate our status. These are the kind of connections that remind us we are all human, broken, have something to give one another, and we are in desperate need of Jesus.
We go because we are told to go by Jesus. We go because we cannot afford to miss the connection with others, who in turn connect us to Jesus. We go because sitting down with people, listening to their stories, sharing our own, and giving what we given is a sign of loving our neighbor. And loving our neighbor puts us on the doorstep of heaven (Mark 12:29-34).
I think we can agree brokenness is everywhere. But, God is clearly on the move; using us to love our neighbor while teaching us to how reach out and touch the kingdom of heaven. The New York Times article does not mention Jesus; it does however mention relationships. What we are actually going to do is learn from one other, and take action when needed. We are going to fight for one other and carry one another’s burdens. In places like Honduras, India, and even Charlotte we are going to learn how to advocate for peace and justice in a broken world. And, most importantly, we are going to go in the name of Jesus who has the power to heal and restore all that is in shambles.
You do not have to get on a plane to find places that need Jesus’ healing. You do not need to travel to make these kind of connections. God longs for us to make them right now sitting at our desks, at the lunch table, or walking through the mall. Connections take time, a listening ear, a reconciling heart, and a generous spirit. Through the connections God has allowed us to make with ROOM we know the kingdom is not far away; in fact, you can reach out and touch it right now.
We would love for you to consider partnering with us as we celebrate 10 years of ministry. Your donations, time, and listening ear allow us the opportunity to love people well while pointing them to Jesus.
To learn more about how Reach Out Orphanage Ministries makes connections with children and communities in developing nations through abandonment prevention, orphanage care and family placement programs please visit our website.
For more information about how you can make meaningful connections through a ROOM mission trip, or other special opportunity, please email Cassie Murray at KyleAndCassie@makeroom.org. We look forward to hearing from you!