“God gave me my name, and HE has the final say!”
Today I want to tell you a story.
I had traveled to Honduras some years back. It was the first time I had been there.
The trip getting there was quite a unique experience. Resistance in the spirit world at every corner for sure. Crazy things happened.
Originally the plan was for me to meet with two different school administrations and staff, do several school assemblies, and minister at a few churches.
However, the week before I left, the Honduran government decided to shut down ALL the schools in the country for the week I would be there, for a health and safety break. Tensions with an upcoming election and the crime climate had both risen to dangerous levels across the country. The streets had become so unsafe that they could not have the children out and about, so they shut it all down. More than half of my plans were completely dismantled with that decision. No meetings with schools or school staff of any kind. Yet I still felt the Lord wanted me to go.
The travel to get there came with the same resistance. From planes breaking down on the tarmac, to the wrong airlines printed on my boarding pass. From people with fake IDs stepping in front of me, to the Honduran airports entire network of radar systems going dark and breaking when we were nearing our Honduran landing. Honduras had terminated all air travel into and out of the country while I was in flight and our plane had to turn around mid-air and head back to the states. This shutdown lasted for several days and I was left in Texas, waiting for another flight to Honduras.
I did finally did get to Honduras, but with only 3-4 days remaining of my trip and all prior arrangements cancelled. Every single plan we had made for the trip was either missed while I was stuck in Texas or had been shut down with the school closures. BUT WHAT REMAINED WAS BETTER than I could ever have imagined.
We decided that we would just get up every morning and we would ask God what He wanted us to do or where He wanted us to go that day. Our every moment, our every step was so fully submitted to and dependent on Him in a very profound way.
One day we had learned that there was a pastor with a private school located right in the middle of one of the most violent neighborhoods in all of Honduras. Literally. It was situated just outside of a city that was referred to as the ‘capital of homicide’ for decades. It was the city known to have the most homicides per capita in the world for quite some time. This specific neighborhood was a place where very violent crimes were common and gang activity was woven into the fabric of every nook and cranny of the community. Not a one that lived there hadn’t been exposed to the claws of this darkness, many broken and bleeding at its hands. And gangs in this neighborhood would target children as young as 7 years old to be among them, and by the age of 12 the children were full and active members of the gang.
The pastor/administrator of this school got word that we were in town and decided he wanted us to come to his school even though it was shut down like all the others. He and a few of his teachers came together and walked the neighborhood. They went door to door to get as many kids as they could to come to the school.
When we arrived, a whole group of kiddos was excited and waiting for time with us. They opened the layers of protective gates made of medal bars surrounding the school so that we could get in.
We came with nothing. No phones, cameras, pocketbooks or any personal belongings. No supplies. No books or toys. No donations. Nothing. Only empty hands to avoid misunderstandings of our intentions for being in the neighborhood and ourselves becoming victims of crime.
We convened in one large room on the second floor. There were no desks or supply shelves. Only a few stacks of chairs. The room had window formed openings all the way around with no actual windows in them. The neighborhood streets could hear what was happening in the school.
The children were running around, setting up chairs. The pastor went into a side room and brought out a small speaker and an attaching microphone. Everyone got situated in their chairs as Pastor said “What do you all want to do today? This is not a normal school day, so what do you want to do? Does anyone have something they want to share?”
A few seconds or minutes went by. I am not even sure how long it was because I was so enamored by the presence of the room. The atmosphere and culture of that school house was beautiful. It was joyful and safe, loving, believing and strong… In stark contrast to the streets that surrounded it.
A little boy got up. He may have been 8 or 9 years old.
“I have something to share.”
He walked up to Pastor and Pastor gave him the microphone.
He spoke with the strength of a thousand horses.
“I HAVE A NAME. And some people are trying to take it from me. But GOD gave me my name. And HE has the final say.”
Everything inside of me was speechless. I couldn’t move. This boy… his sound was rooted and strong and entirely unashamed. His words came with the weight of the Father Himself upon him. He knew Jesus and he was unshakeably His.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew in that moment that this is why I had to come to Honduras. It was to be in this moment… something so deep was happening inside of me. I could feel Holy Spirit drawing me in.
In my spirit I began to see this boy… Like really see him. I could see what was trying to take his name. I could see his strength, and I could see his depth of commitment to the real living Jesus that he knew and that was so fully with him. I could see his understanding that this conviction that he was standing in could truly cost him his life… And it did not matter to him. Only Jesus mattered. Only God’s words over his identity and life mattered.
I was overcome with the Spirit of Jesus… He was so strong in the spirit of this child. This child… his entire confidence was in the Lord, and he was fearless.
As the day continued, I experienced a group of children who are the living seeds of powerful hope and transformation for the country of Honduras. How honored I was to spend time with them… with their hearts and their sight, with their trust of the Lord, with their full belief. Those couple of hours with those children marked my life.
Their confidence in Jesus. Their heart for the world they live in. Their bold love and pure spirit of faith. These young ones, right now, are revealing the love of God and the reality of His heart, in places most of us would be afraid to visit, much less live in.
They were the flesh and blood, living reality that the Lord knew would remind me of what my spirit had seen years before. His heart for children is deep and strong, filled with purpose for the whole earth.
My goodness, all over the world, children are such powerful, pure revealers of Father’s light and hope. They are strong. They know this One who has always been with them. And they will reveal Him at whatever the cost. Their lives are shaking, breaking and loosening the grip of darkness that has tried to suffocate entire nations of the earth. I declare to you with the confidence of all of Heaven, “These nations will breathe again! They will breathe HIS BREATH and HIS LIFE!! For light has come!!”
Oh Father, how we love You and we love Your ways. We believe You. We believe in Your heart and Your mighty purpose in children. You have given them a name. Their identity as Your children is sure. You have called them Your glorious light. You have trusted them with the secrets of Your Kingdom, for they, even now, are opening them up and pouring them out into all the earth! We join them, Father. We join the very spirit of the child that is within us to who they are, and we will reveal You together with them, until the whole world sees You! May it be so in our lifetime, Lord! May the earth truly be covered with the LIVING KNOWLEDGE of God!!